Hello, Creative Beasts! How have you been? I’m thinking about you, and wishing wonderful things for you all. Today is a big day for us, here in America, as citizens make there ways to the polls to cast their votes to determine who will serve as the president of our nation for the next four years. There is excitement in the air, and also, a good deal of tension, to say the least. But you know what? It’s okay.
Hi, Creative Beasts. This question is one that a friend of mine posted on facebook, recently–a Creative Beast, living in New York. I ask myself this question often, it seems, now, and it feels a bit like what I imagine log-rolling to be. We are living in tenuous times, my friends, that is one thing for sure. Even so, we must have faith, that indeed, it is coming together. We can make it happen, but we must believe that this is so–and make it so.
So then… the big question is:
How do we make it so?
Yes… so… how do we turn our wantem-so-bad-we-tastem-dreams into realities? I’ve been thinking long and hard on this one, and maybe–just maybe–herein lies the rub. What I mean by that is that maybe at times, we over-think things–which can then, put us into a tailspin, or worse yet–paralyze us. We get so overwhelmed by the possibilities before us, that instead of making a choice and acting–we do… NOTHING. Ugh. That said, I’m guessing most of us have something that we’re trying to realize… something that is challenging us in terms of gaining traction and momentum. So what are the steps, particularly if you’re feeling like you’re mission is something akin to spinning straw into gold? (And the truth is that once we really set our minds to it, the mission will ideally become more real, more manageable, and achieveable).
…Do you ever think that you give other people some pretty darned-good advice, now and then? Do you ever wish you could just give yourself the same quality of advice–and then follow it? Could it be, that we need to be better consultants to ourselves?
Over-thinking = activity. NOT achievement. Stop agonizing over things that are out of your control.
Here’s the deal:
I don’t think I’m the only Creative Beast who has gotten herself stuck in the hamster wheel of life. That said, how do we get out? We need to jump, right? You have to make a move, other than the uphill climb on the exercise bike to Nowhere. Because here’s the deal, again: you’re working like hell and getting worn to nothing–FOR nothing.
Figure out your options. 86 the ones that won’t help you. Employ the ones that will. But then, again, how do we choose??
Okay… so this may be the tough part.
Making the right choice.
Let’s think about this for a moment. What kinds of choices are there? There are practical/realistic choices, there are gambles, and then there are some choices that include elements of each. The old saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Now, while this has been proven over and over, we have also seen examples of fools who put all their eggs into one basket, only to see the basket wind up on the ground–eggs destroyed. Even still, to not make a decision, is probably–the worst decision.
Can we balance it out?
I think we must. Find something that works for you that will keep you going… keep you afloat… a lifeboat, if you will. Dream careers don’t always start out that way. Look at the creative people around you. Some of the successful ones make it look easy. Usually, this is due to long hours–in most cases, years–of hard work–and plenty of mistakes along the way–that most of us never see. But if you ask them, they will tell you their stories. Most truly great people have battle scars. It’s part of what has made them great. So, that said, we must choose wisely, but not too cautiously. Remember, if we risk nothing, we gain nothing.
So what’s in a lifeboat?
And how long can it sustain us? A lifeboat will have what you need to survive, but not indefinitely. It’s a short term solution. You need it to get you to a larger vessel–or to land. A “lifeboat” could be an interim or temporary job, or a series of gigs… it’s a step to help you along. Just don’t get too comfortable, because that’s when you will suddenly find yourself up Shit Creek with–you guessed it–no paddle.
Mostly try to avoid them. I say “mostly,” because sometimes they can’t be avoided. Stay on track. Stay focused. Keep your eye on the prize. Occasionally (and this is probably more appropriate when you’re feeling a bit more… caught up or ahead, shall we say), they are a good thing, but be sage about this.
The Bigger Picture
This would be your dream–and the vessel to the other side. I think the key is, here, that you want to have some idea as to where you’re going. Again, choices will present themselves, and like my old friend Bob Seger said in his song, Beautiful Loser, you need to “Realize that you just can’t have it all.” Figure out which dream you want most, and stick to it like there’s no tomorrow because, guess what? There might not be a tomorrow. But as long as you’re on the road, you can change your path, any time you choose. Right?
Break it down. Then build it up.
Every story is the sum of its parts. What are the parts? What parts are doable right now? As you begin to check things from your list, you will begin to see things take shape.
The Thing With Dreams…
They keep changing. So be flexible. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t continue to go after what you want, but if you’re too rigid, it can hold you back. Few things in life are black and white. Be open to the changes and possibilities, eh?
So what’s my dream? Mostly to have the chance to live a creative life. More specifically, though, I have a huge desire to tell the stories of other creative people around the world, and that’s really where I want www.CreativeBeasts.com to go. So what’s been holding me back? I could say time, money and lack of resources, but I wonder if that’s really true. All the issues I’ve mentioned are ones that I’m trying to solve. I’ve been told that every problem contains its own solution. I like this concept.
What’s your dream?
Sharing your story takes courage and faith. Here’s one from my friend @MarkFairbanks about his creative journey that I think you’ll enjoy:
Tools and Techniques
So. What do you think? Share your ideas. Let’s help each other out. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Peace and love, Creative Beasts. And of course–SEIZE THE PREY.
There are two ways you can push yourself to get what you want:
The first is centered around breaking unhealthy patterns. This requires awareness, focus and discipline. It takes practice. It takes catching yourself every time you’re about to do that thing that keeps you from getting closer to where you need to be. It takes preparation, which will allow you to be proactive instead of reactive. It will give you the strength to remain calm and steady at the helm when a storm approaches. It takes meditation.
The second involves going one more step every time that you think you can’t do it. This sounds simple, and in a way–it is. This is where faith enters the picture, and where fear exits. Believe you will succeed. Then make it so.
These two forces oppose one another, spar, dance–and then, when the moment is right–make perfect love. They are the yin and the yang. They form muscle. They produce brilliant, magical children–or inventions. They create alchemy.
There is a third part to this equation, and that is the pursuit of something better. It helps to remember that at the end of every day, it comes down to you. As my friend Hugh MacLeod says, “Remember who you really are.” And as William Shakespeare said, “To thine own self, be true.” Once again, these words sound quite simple on the surface, but dig deep, and you will come to see that their wisdom is boundless. Becoming self-actualized is rewarding and empowering. That said, in the first story of Spider-Man (go ahead and laugh–but it’s a great story ;)), he learns what turns out to be his greatest life lesson: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Every day we are faced with opportunities to make choices. We are presented with options. There are plenty of things we can do–but either way–our choices are beholden to the laws of causality, also known as “cause and effect.” What you choose to do can mean the difference between finding peace and creating harmony or unleashing demons and wreaking havoc. Every choice serves something. And the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Only you can determine for yourself whether the choice you make is right or wrong–but at the end of the day, you will know the truth.
So how is finding oneself like dying and living? Giving up the old ways can be hard, and as we say goodbye, their is a loss that we must recognize and come to terms with. But this death is good, and it and makes way for a new life… a better one. Embrace it, and fear not. SEIZE THE PREY.
Hey there, Creative Beasts–happy holidays! Can you believe 2010 is almost here? I don’t know about you, but for me it seemed like 2009 blazed by like a comet… or at least like a wild horse. Which brings me to why I chose this image. There’s an old saying: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Try this on for size: Do what you gotta, but get that horse. Me? I’m going after ‘im, and I’m gonna catch ‘im. And then I’m gonna ride. Where we will go is yet to be determined, but I can say one thing… it will be an adventure.
I’ve been invited to stay in Italy this coming spring. I’m not sure yet if I can make it happen. I need to come up with the ticket… and the time. I want to go. A lot. That reminds me of another saying: “When there’s a will, there’s a way.” Can I will myself there? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
So. This post, I’m asking all you CBs out there… What do you want out of 2010?
Personally, I’ve had it with resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are sooo 2009. 2010 is all about The Manifest-Wish-List. It’s about how we will turn our dreams into reality. Really, that’s the whole reason I started CreativeBeasts.com. I want the best and the most for creative folks everywhere and from all walks of life–the only caveat is that the creativity–has to be good. What does that mean? Humor me briefly: You don’t have to follow a special religion–but faith is important. Whether it’s a belief in something greater, or a belief in yourself, it is imperative. Creativity should serve a meaningful purpose. That could mean a lot of things; true. And since the general goal is to embrace and to expand the circle rather than to exclude or alienate, I’ll simply add this: Whether you write software apps or novels, whether you make films or medicine, whether you sing, run, play the drums or play basketball, sculpt, paint, act or teach–your creativity radiates from you. It takes on different colors, shapes, hues and tones. It moves people to act, it evokes, transforms, energizes and inspires. How will yours manifest?
Here are just a few things on my Manifest-Wish-List:
1. Make CreativeBeasts.com into a show that is for Creative Beasts, about Creative Beasts and the creative process.
2. Go to Italy.
3. Better organization.
4. Hit the morel Mother lode.
So. Got any ideas? Got a list?
Here’s Spiritualized with Soul On Fire (Great band. See them live if you get the chance):
The past is history. The future is a mystery, and this moment is called a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present.’
Now I get it. Or at least maybe I’m getting closer.
Some things aren’t meant to be, or perhaps just not meant to happen at the exact moment that we would have them occur. Once this is understood, things can get easier. Deepak Chopra refers to this concept as The Law of Least Effort. He says that (and I’m paraphrasing) nature always follows the path of least resistance.
Grass doesn’t try to grow. It grows. Birds don’t try to fly. They fly.
The first time I heard that, it sent shivers down my spine (in a good way).
Here is a quote from Jesus (Matthew 6:28) which I believe is the same idea (this one’s for you, Liza):
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
I think this notion has a lot to do with success–in fact, almost everything. Talent and smarts are great, but faith, timing–and understanding timing–make a world of difference. Think of a baseball pitcher. Now, let’s say that this pitcher throws an amazing curve ball, and maybe he really likes throwing curve balls. But maybe the curve ball isn’t always the solution he needs to achieve his goal, which is to strike out the batters. In order to apply the best approach to any given situation, one must apply understanding which comes from awareness. Very successful people don’t waste time tarrying about and carrying on. They are often quick to measure how well their energies are being received, and from there they determine what the appropriate next step should be. This is how some of the greatest systems have come to be.
Here’s Bob Seger with Understanding.
Have you ever been driving on the freeway at a moment at which all the drivers seem to be moving in sync? Traffic just flows and it seems like a well orchestrated symphony. Then other times, not so much. Life can be similar. On one day your movements and actions might match or compliment those around you, and might be very well received. You are happy and those with whom you interact are happy. Other days, nothing seems to work as you might have expected or hoped for. This is where creativity comes in. You are aware of your situation, and so you make notes, and then adjustments.
I’m a writer. Words matter to me and I know that words can change the world. Not everyone agrees. Some people don’t think words hold much value or maybe they simply don’t remember how words may have impacted them. They might have sung New Years Day at the top of their lungs at a U2 concert once upon a time. They might have worn a Nike T-shirt bearing the slogan, Just Do It. And they probably felt something at the time… something like connectedness. Somewhere else at that time, someone else was listening to something else, and someone else was wearing a different shirt. My point is that we aren’t all on the same page at the same time, and that is OK, and in fact; it is just as it should be. But when we are on the same page–even if it’s just two people–it can be great… magical, even. And great and magical things can happen.
A great deal of time and energy can be wasted in an attempt to gain things like acceptance, attention, praise and even love, but such things can never be forced if they are to remain genuine. The best situational outcomes occur when things happen genuinely… naturally… and when the timing is right.
It may be just over a month away, but if you work in the service industry, Christmas is here, and Thanksgiving is just a little stop along the way. Perhaps you’re a server, or you work in retail… or both. You have been on your feet for hours, and they are killing you. You do your best to smile when two independent people interrupt your conversation with a customer you are currently helping–to help them–each… You think to yourself, “Something funny is happening… All of the adults in the world have suddenly turned into little children… Weird!” It will appear as though many folks have lost their minds… or their manners… or both. The snooty get snootier, the greedy get greedier, and the needy… needier. And then you think, “Hey! This is exactly the opposite of how it’s SUPPOSED to be. Even weirder.”
I was never really a Dead-head, but the phrase, “Nothing to do but smile, smile, smile,” couldn’t ring truer than at this time. CreativeBeasts Rule no. 1) Kill ’em with kindness. It’s what the Whos of Whoville did to the Grinch. It’s what Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius did to the Abominable Snowman. And yes; ’tis true, these are merely cartoons, but the lessons, here, people, are priceless and timeless! And if all else fails, just start singing Fah Who For-aze to the offender. I promise you, he or she will simply stare at you blankly… and powerless, not knowing what to do (at least until it snaps to, and calls your manager to the scene, but at that point you just pretend like nothing happened. “I started singing? Ma’am, perhaps you’re just tired from all the shopping. Would you like to sit down? I’ll get you a glass of water.”). See, that’s the thing about “Fah Who For-aze…” nobody knows what it means. Powerful stuff!
Rule no. 2) When smiling becomes difficult, imagine that the guy who just insulted you is Burgermeister Meisterberger, and you are Kris Kringle.
You won’t believe how your heart will fill with laughter. You will, in fact, laugh out loud as though being insulted is the funniest thing in the entire world! And as Kris Kringle, you gotta fight the power. Fight the powers that be.
Rule no. 3) Empathize with your needy, ornery, spoiled customer (because hey–we’ve all been there at some point in our lives–like about thirty or so years ago). When they ask you to throw away their garbage for them, smile sweetly, and say “Certainly!” And then become Olivia Newton John from Xanadu. Straight guys, you too.
Rule no. 4) Gently try to remind the customer of the holiday spirit. You could say something like, “We’re simply having a wonderful Christmas time.”
Last but not least, Rule no. 5) Don’t Stop Believing. Dreams do come true, and if you had a rough day–or week–this, too, shall pass. Dare to dream… even if it’s just to soak your feet in baking soda at the end of the day!
Go ahead. Sing it at the top of your lungs. Play a little air guitar, even. Enjoy. And from all of us here at CreativeBeasts.com, Happy Holidays!
Curve balls. We all get them from time to time. It could be the loss of a job, an important possession or asset, a partner, a friend or a loved one. Or a cancer diagnosis. Such things aren’t easy to take, and they can certainly take us by surprise. We are suddenly struck by an unforgiving and unfeeling force, and sometimes we are given no explanation or reason as to why it occurs. When it happens, it’s as though the rug has been swept out from under us, and that instability can be frightening. But it doesn’t always have to be. The tides ebb and flow, and so must we ride with them, or be pulled in. It’s times such as these, when the truly creative show their true and brilliant colors. It’s about getting lemons and making lemonade. And yes, that is one heck of a “Pollyanna” cliche, but so what? Playing “The Glad Game” not only energizes the spirit; it builds strength and stamina, and in the end, it makes you smarter and stronger… it makes you a better problem solver… and hopefully, a more loving human being.
Adversity creates pressure, and a couple things can happen from there. Pressure has the ability to crush or overwhelm, but depending on the individual and how he or she responds to a particular situation, there are infinite possibilities in terms of outcomes. Again, faith comes into play, and the ability to see things in ways that provide opportunities… and solutions.
At this time, I would like to share with you an amazing story about an amazing little boy whose time here on Earth was short (he was with us for only six years), but whose light was so bright, it will be remembered and carried on for many years to come, and in fact; will likely grow brighter and brighter. His name was Pablo Castelaz.
Pablove Across America – When Out of Loss Comes Love.
He was the son of Jo Ann Thrailkill and Jeff Castelaz, and the little brother of Grady Gallagher. On May 17, 2008, Pablo was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms’ Tumor, a rare form of children’s cancer. The cancer appeared out of nowhere, with no warning signs in Pablo’s general demeanor or health. He underwent treatment at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. On June 27, 2009, Pablo’s individual fight with cancer ended. But we fight on in his name, with the spirit of love that Pablo embodied and inspired.
Needless to say, Pablo’s passing was a tremendous blow to his family and beloved friends. When someone so young, bright, beautiful and full of life is suddenly taken from us, we are left wondering how and why the greater powers of the universe can manifest something so seemingly senseless. This sort of loss is just the kind that either wields the power to destroy or transform. Everyone who knew Pablo was touched by his loving spirit, and the same is true even for those who didn’t know him–and this continues to be the case. That being said, destruction and despair were not options for Pablo’s family and friends. The love is too great; and therefore, can only result in a transformation that results in something more meaningful: a passionate race to save the lives of others, and to make the world a better place; also known as Pablove Across America. The mission is simple: 3000 Miles. 30 Days. 1 Fight. A salute to Pablo, Jeff and Jo Ann, Lance Armstrong, the cyclists, and everyone else who fights to keep dreams, hope and happiness alive. May love forever reign. To see how you can join in the race and fight against childhood cancer please visit http://www.pablove.org/donate/ .
The last day of the ride is Saturday, November 21st (of ’09). Any and all cyclists who wish to join in are encouraged to do so. Visit http://www.Pablove.org/news/ for details.
This goes out to the cyclists on their journey–inspiring tunes help!
Mike Snow – Animal
This blog goes out to my very dear friend, whom I will simply refer to as “Super-T,” who moves and grooves with the dexterity of a lizard, and who sometimes forgets, but he is also the most tater-bob dude that ever existed.
A few days ago, I had the privilege to spend time with another dear friend of mine, Adam–a brilliant artist and graphic designer, and a true Creative Beast. Talking with him inspired me and gave me encouragement.
I begin this post by saying that some friendships are real gifts. And I suppose it is ironic, but I now know it to be true that sometimes what can seem to be the toughest, most challenging friendships of our lives are also sometimes some of the deepest and richest ones–in addition to being the ones that teach us the most valuable lessons. It hearkens the saying that it isn’t the destinations that make us who we are, but the journeys that we make to reach them. Certain journeys–and life changing events–can sometimes crush us… and sometimes they can save us.
I love my friends. I don’t always get to tell them how much the things they do and say–whether they are big or small–matter to me. Sometimes simply possessing the ability to make someone laugh or smile… the ability to evoke–can have a tremendously earth shaking effect. I have said this before, but I’ll say it again: Creative Beasts are powerful, brilliant souls. They tend to be very intense, even if it’s in a very quiet sort of way, but they can also be extremely fragile. This knowledge can be heavy. In our creative circles, we all likely know someone, or perhaps even several people whose intensity is at times, a great joy to come into contact with, and at other times, it’s saddening or maddening. For me, it seems like it’s just about everyone I know. Why? Just lucky, I guess (and if you are one of these people, do me a favor–relax. I’m kidding… sort of. Try not to take yourself so seriously). It’s the agony and the ecstasy. Three of my creative friends have committed suicide, all within the last ten years. First was Dave; a brilliant filmmaker/director who taught me that animators are among the most patient people on the planet… usually. Then there was Jen; a great, beautiful, quiet and quick-witted writer whose wonderful sense of humor was matched by her generous and gracious spirit. Just one year later in November of 2008, I lost my friend, Brian, who was an amazingly gifted photographer, a fantastic cook, and just wickedly sharp in countless ways. Each and every one them had an energy–an intensity–that could fill any room. That said, you can imagine how the loss of each person reverberated. I wish there was something I could have done or said that would have kept each one from doing what they did. I think maybe this is what I would have said: “You have truly lived. You have done great things, and you have experienced great things. And you have touched a lot of lives. Do you really believe that this is it? That there is no more beauty yet to come? If so, you are wrong. Stick around a while. Keep at it. See what happens.”
Creativity doesn’t always flow the way we want it to. Sometimes we feel stuck, and it’s frustrating. Roadblocks are common. David Lynch addresses this issue in his book, Catching The Big Fish. He writes, “If you want to catch the little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.” I agree with him. Another factor in the concept of catching these big fish is having creative circles–pools, if you will, in which you may freely express yourself, bounce ideas off of others, and then build on your concepts. No one person is an island, and as it is with anything else, thoughts and expressions that are exchanged freely can exist harmoniously and in a symbiotic manner, like the ebb and flow of the tides. The sharing of ideas allows creativity, itself, to become larger and richer, like a beautiful tapestry. When there is a greater opportunity to draw from a more vibrant lexicon, creative thinkers naturally put that knowledge into everything they do. When we keep things to ourselves out of fear of loss or perhaps rejection, we risk stagnation and even collapse. Even when times are difficult, and perhaps especially when times are difficult, it is better to share and connect with others. We see this example again and again made by successful people throughout history. One example that comes to mind is advertising great, David Ogilvy. He went against the grain and leapt ahead of his competitors by insisting that indeed; you must literally give away your trade secrets to win clients. His peers thought he was crazy, and maybe he was… crazy, like a fox. He was right. His ideas worked, and he made history.
Now David Ogilvy is dead and gone, and some of today’s ad geeks giggle and scoff at his ideas, but I think there isn’t one among them who wouldn’t give their eye teeth to reach the peaks that he did. Genius, as it turns out, is pretty timeless. And it takes bravery–and faith–to be creative. Some people might tell you you’re great, and some might tell you you suck… or that you are crazy. It’s not always easy to push forward, and for whatever reason, it’s sometimes easier to accept defeat or criticism, than it is to accept success and praise. If you have any desire to create, or to see an idea come to fruition, keep going with it. If it’s a passion within you, keep that fire burning. There is a reason for it. You must believe that.
Do you realize that time goes fast?
It’s hard to make the good things last
Do you realize the sun doesn’t go down?
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.
It was asked of me if I would blog about details emerging in regards to Michael Jackson’s death. This will be my final post on the subject, and this is all I have left to say: It is not my place, nor is it my desire to comment on or pursue such matters. The man has died, and he deserves to rest in peace. Highly creative and talented people like Michael Jackson–whom I call “A True CreativeBeast”–develop an unearthly and brilliant energy that can’t help but attract others. Admirers crave this energy in a way that can be downright frightening, and such attention can be a tremendous weight to bear; so much so, that some creative souls simply collapse beneath it. I believe that CreativeBeasts are creatures that have great strength, but at the same time, are highly fragile…
One of my favorite films is Blade Runner. I can’t help but think of the quote by the character Eldon Tyrell, “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” He was speaking to Roy, one of his prized creations.
Consider that fire needs oxygen. Without it; it dies, and the more intense the fire; the greater its need for air. Great artists are intense fires. They burn so very brightly, but to maintain such an intensity for any length of time is an incredible feat. The truth is that in the end, we are all only human, yet when some humans attempt to make deities of other humans, things become skewed on both sides.
It seems that society rarely tires of creating stars, only to take equal pleasure in watching them fall, or in some cases; tearing them down. I don’t care to know the details of how or why Michael Jackson died. I understand that others feel differently, but I just don’t have any more questions. At this point, to dig for answers seems a bit like rifling through someone’s dresser drawers… inappropriate and disrespectful. It’s a worn-out cliche, but songs like Elton John’s Candle in the Wind and The Kinks’ Celluloid Heroes also enter my mind. I think tonight, I’ll sign off with a favorite scene from Blade Runner; here is Rutger Hauer as Roy:
Also known as “The Lemonade Diet,” I have decided to give this thing a whirl. “Why, oh why, T-Haus, would you do something so completely insane?” You may ask. Well, my dear friends, I am, after all, the original Creative Beast, and therefore, usually up for some sort of adventure. I must admit, however, that this “adventure,” seems about as enthralling as getting the flu, which I suppose for some, is a weight loss program of sorts–and–Oh, golly! It is nearly time for my second helping of water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper! …I can barely contain myself. And that reminds me, I must tell you how my day began… with the recommended “Internal Salt Bath.” Sounds clean, right? Huh. This is a laxative, folks. And I am here to say that it works. There is a reason that they tell you to “wait two hours before leaving the house.” If you must try this–ONLY–TRY THIS AT HOME! That’s all I have to say about that.
By now, you might be asking yourself, “Trish… T-Haus… Dumbass… why the hell do you wanna do this? You, who are a lover of food, glorious, food …and beverages?” And I say to you this: I heard it’s a good way to get rid of toxic crap that your body stores, AND you can shed a few. But there is another reason I’m doing it. If you’re already a hard core Creative Beast, then you know that I am pretty sure that meditation is a big key, if not the key to unlocking a realm of personal possibilities and opportunities that exist in the world as we know it. So. I’m doing a little personal experiment. I feel I may have a better ability to transcend while meditating if I do this cleanse-thingy. They recommend that you try it for ten days or more if you can hack it. I’ll be impressed enough with myself if I can do five. We shall see. So far, I’ve fantasized about a vanilla latte, a toasted peanut butter and jelly English muffin, and Fage Greek yogurt (pronounced fah-YEH) with blackberries, toasted pine nuts and honey… one of my favorite things in the world (thanks, Demitra, for teaching me about Greek yogurt). I like to slice some of the big, fat blackberries in half because they look pretty and I like the added texture. I mix the blackberries with about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, a couple or so tablespoons black raspberry honey from The Wisconsin Honey Cooperative, and about a 1/4 teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract (this is the only vanilla I ever use because it IS true vanilla, and it’s how vanilla is supposed to taste). Anyway here it is. I made it the other day… today I am only dreaming about it.