Embracing Failure

July 26, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

It seems like since forever my life has been a text book in overcoming obstacles. Just when I think I have it all together life throws me a curve. A couple years ago I was truly enjoying my life oblivious to the fact that it was full of stress and out of control.

I reasoned, I am enjoying my life therefore I must be doing everything right; everyone deals stress it’s just part of life. I kept going paying no attention to the stress knowing I could endure whatever life throws at me. Endurance is that what life is about?

 I did not ask myself any questioners, I gave the marching orders and soldiered on. I was on track like most people, not paying attention to my life and bearing the weight of whatever came my way. I had my head in the sand and had no idea my life was not all it should be. I was going on with my life as if I were in control of the whole matter.

When I crashed and burned no one was more surprised than me. I began to feel like a failure on so many levels until I realized something spectacular. The stress is gone; I’m okay; heck, I may even be better. After all the smoke had cleared it was springtime again.

I now had the time to stop and mindfully think about how to rebuild my life. There is something that is so completely freeing about starting over again. The wonderful thing about failure is it brings the gift of opportunity. The sin is not in failure; the sin is in not even trying.

So if any of you are feeling like a failure right now, know that this is opportunity in disguise. Opportunity rarely comes dressed up on a silver platter, but rather is a simple piece of coal made brilliant by the buffing of adversity.

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)  

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Poems to Live By

July 22, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

When I was in seventh grade Mr. White made us memorize and recite poetry in front of the class. I already loved poetry but this dimension invited a new perspective on my view of the art. Two of the poems I learned were Be the Best of Whatever You Are by Douglas Maloch and If  by Rudyard Kipling; for whatever reason I cannot seem to get these poems out of my head this summer. Just like certain music is the soundtrack of our life and it evokes memories that takes us back to a simpler time the same can be said of poems. Poems take on different meanings when read at different points in our lives. I don’t what happened to Mr. White but the seeds he planted are still bearing fruit. Since these poems have always been special to me (Thank you Mr. White) I thought I would share them with you. Please enjoy!

 

 

Be the Best of Whatever You Are

By Douglas Maloch

If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill
Be a scrub in the valley, but be the best little scrub on the side of the hill
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree,
If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass
And some highway happier make.
If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass,
But the liveliest bass in the lake.
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser work, too,
And the thing we must do is the near
If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail.
If you can’t be the sun, be a star.
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail.
Be the best of whatever you are.

 

If

By Rudyard Kipling 

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Writing.

Lovely Words Vol. 16

July 19, 2010

Welcome to the July 19, 2010 edition of Lovely Words. Can you believe its July already; my how the time flies. Hopefully you will take the time, sit back, relax and enjoy today’s gift of lovely words. Remember, it’s the beautiful small things in life that makes the sweetest memories.

Lovely Words

Ana Maria Lagasca presents Relationships posted at Ana Maria Lagasca.
 
Juan Santiago presents Between the Lines posted at LensVerse.

Poetry

Missy Frye presents Lectio Divina: Reading Poetry as Sacred Text posted at Incurable Disease of Writing, saying, “IDW contributor, Anne McCrady, suggests the way we read poetry may be just as important as what we read.”
 
Mohit Salgaonkar presents Shreya! posted at Still Waiting to Wake, saying, “This is my poetic tribute to the inspirational Shreya Ghoshal, currently the best singer in India, on the occasion of her having won her fourth national award, a massive feat!!”

What Inspires You

Scott Social Media Allen presents BookRix Author Elizabeth Towles on Writing posted at Between the Lines, saying, “What walks through your mind at various times of day?”

Inspiration

Byteful Travel presents How I Solved my Travel Dilemma in 60 Seconds using the Law of Attraction posted at Byteful Travel, saying, “What if Reality, your daily experience of life, didn’t work like how you thought it worked at all? Well, today I’d like to share with you the story of something really inexplicable and amazing that happened to me while travelling which may challenge your assumptions about reality. And perhaps this article will inspire a new sense of curiosity and wonder in you for this magnificent universe we live in.”
 
nissim ziv presents Career: Quotes about Careers Goals & Inspirational Career Quotes posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “Deciding to move your career forward or to choose a new career? Usually that is the hardest part, making the decision to do just that – to take action. Then comes the second part, deciding on how you’re going to set goals and maximize your career potential. What ever you decide to do, you can always get inspiration from those who already made it.”

 

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Lovely Words using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved) 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blog Carnival.

I Write Like?

July 17, 2010

C. J. Stegall-Evans

Yesterday I read an article on the Los Angeles Times  url about website called I Write Like. The premise of IWL is the participant paste a writing sample in a space provided and submits it for analysis. The analysis tells the participant the famous writer with which they share a writing style.

I find this whole idea so amusing, especially since famous writers have used it only to find out they did not write like themselves, yikes! I woke thinking about this new website I decided to give it a try.

I submitted three of my article with three different moods of writing to see if I would get three different answers. The results are as follows:   

Write to Listen to Your Own Voice _ I write like David Foster Wallace. 

Quiet Spaces - I write like Dan Brown.

Confessions of a Reformed Plant Killer -

 

I write like
Charles Dickens

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

 

All in all, I rather enjoyed my visit to IWL. The analysis cannot be taken seriously but it will lift your spirits if you are suffering writer’s block or just want a pick me up. Take that fine advice from a writer who has been compared to Dickens.

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights reserved) 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Writing.

Write to Listen to Your Own Voice

July 13, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

One of the reasons I get up early and write every morning is to hear my own voice. In America we are bombarded by messages 24/7; and sometimes it is difficult to discern the truth. Writing early before the clutter of the day sets in allows us to hear your own authentic voice.

There is so much information being thrown at us, sometimes it hard to decide simple things such as, do I really want to eat or am I affected by the commercial of happy people eating creamy, delicious ice cream cones. I bet if I ate a creamy delicious ice cream cone I would be happy too.

The messages are subtle but they are everywhere. It is imperative for all of us to stop and think rather than just operate on automatic pilot. Writing gives us an instinctive point of view that makes us stop and listen to ourselves.

We should listen to ourselves because so much of what we need to know about life is within us. We just need to take the time to listen to our inner-voice. If we are always ravaged by TV, computers, and other outside stimuli, when do we have time to hear our own voice?  

The act of writing renders credence to having an authentic voice. Writing it downs gives our voice weight; it is no longer just a thought here one minute gone the next. Writing it down means this is what I think and this is why it is important. Writing records your personal history and who can tell your story better than you?     

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Falling in Love with Poetry

July 12, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

It seems I have fallen in love with poetry all over again. I wrote my first composition book full of poems when I was still in elementary school. A bully took them away from me. Can you imagine someone stealing your words at such a tender age?

Poetry was always my first love, but as I continued to write at some point I became too grown up for poetry. I had to consider ways to make a real living. Until recently I had forgotten the hours of endless pleasure derived from poetry.

 I am quite sure I will never forget again, presently I am reading all types of poems and soaking it up like a sponge. It feels like I was in a cave and I am experiencing the outside world for the first time in years. I had forgotten the sheer loveliness of a poem.

 It seems as if I was more concerned with making a living as opposed to actually living. I continued to read poems here and there and even write a few, but I did it with my eyes closed. I did it without passion. I did not see how important it was to my life and my thoughts and feelings on what it means to be human.    

 I can no longer see living without poetry in my life. It is amazing how there was something missing from my life and I did not even know it. I honestly did not know giving up poetry came at such a price.

 It made me wonder the price we pay for the other things of our childhood we give up. For me, giving up poetry was giving up a dream. I feel as if I have made a new discovery as if I should plant a poetry flag in my heart.

Did you have a dream you let slip away? Think back to your childhood. What made you happy? Do you think that it would still make you happy? How do you define happiness; remember happiness is something only you can define for yourself.   

 

 


 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Writing.

Quiet Spaces

July 8, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. My mind keeps racing back to this morning when I went out on my patio to greet the sunrise. I found the world so noisy I had to go back in and embrace the quiet spaces. I get through the day; but I can’t seem to get through the night.

 

Quiet Spaces

It’s the middle of the night.

I am hunted by the quiet spaces.

I find it comforting, yet, I am afraid.

 

The quiet spaces are where you face yourself.

You ask yourself the tough questions.

It is the pulse of your existence.

 

There is no hiding.

Your soul looks back at you in the mirror.

There is all this time, there is no time.

 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Lovely Words Vol. 15

July 5, 2010

 

Welcome to the July 5, 2010 edition of Lovely Words.

Inspiration

 
C. Bosco presents In Sight of the Moon posted at Hammers of Flight, saying, “What does Artemis hold on her bowstring?”

Poetry

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Whimsical Limerick and Lush Limerick posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.
 

Tranquility

 
OmarAdams presents 60 Incredibly Inspiring Simple Living Blogs posted at Online Accounting Degree, saying, “Living simply means refusing to let stress, clutter, and anxiety gain a foothold in your life. Sounds great, right? We’ve looked all over the Internet to find inspiring simple living blogs.”

Who Inspires You.

JHS presents My Life as a Parent: Milestones, New Chapters, and the Status Quo | Writing My Life posted at Writing My Life, saying, “Reflections on parenting written on the occasion of my youngest son’s graduation from high school — a milestone that marked not only the changes in his life, but in mine, as well. Writing My Life is a site I use to tell my life story in order to preserve it for my two sons, who inspire me each and every day.”

Writing

 

 

 

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Lovely Words using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blog Carnival.

That Obnoxious Bird

June 30, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I start most mornings out on my patio watching as night gives way to day; I am at peace as I listen to the world waking up; then the obnoxious bird starts his songs. This bird sounds like someone randomly dropping instruments down a flight of stairs.

This bird is so awful all of nature stops to listen; at first he just drowns out all the other birds but then they just stop. When the other birds stop the obnoxious (Oxi) bird seems to get louder as if they stopped to hear his delightful tunes (excuse my giving Oxi a male persona but I have big brothers and this is exactly what they would do).

Oxi is not satisfied to give the occasional concert; this bird practices his art almost every morning much to the chagrin of Mother Nature and anyone else with ears. After four years of Oxi’s pollution I decide:  I don’t have to listen to this I have choices; I can go inside, wear ear plugs, or (sigh) make peace with Oxi music. I chose to make peace.

Since making peace with Oxi I have come to see the beauty in his awkward music. This morning when he sang instead of thinking how obnoxious, I just smiled. I have come to appreciate Oxi’s gift, after all it is a joyful noise.

To quote American Idols Randy Jackson “Dawg, you took that song and made it your own, dawg.”  This bird really does have its own song styling, and it is going to make a joyful noise whether anyone wants to hear it or not.    

 Listening to Oxi’s song I begin to think perhaps we all should be like Oxi. Perhaps we all should practice our art for art’s sake. Perhaps we should find that voice that’s uniquely our own and sing our song, dawg.  

 

 


 

 

 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Wordless

June 28, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Today is challenging in that I have written several articles to post, yet, I’m not putting them out for anyone to see because I’m not feeling it. In fact I’m feeling quite wordless today. Whenever the words don’t come or I am not pleased with what I have written I simply sit and continue to write.

This phase is not quite writers block but rather a time of reflection. This is a time when although I am writing it is of such a personal nature I cannot share it. I don’t like feeling wordless; it’s very isolating. Wordless or not I sit in front of my lap top and write; more than half the battle of being a writer is showing up, sitting down, and writing.

Writers should write even if they don’t feel like writing because everyone else who goes to work gets the job done whether they feel like it or not. Writing is an art but it’s also about discipline, a successful writer is one that shows up and gets to work.

So, even though I am feeling quite wordless this morning, I am grateful for the words that do come. I know that tomorrow is another day and I get to start again with new thoughts and new words.   

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)  

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

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