Tag Archives: life

Hart Quill Blog | Are your Thoughts your Own? | HartQuill.com

Are your Thoughts your Own?

We live in an information society unprecedented in history. Constantly bombarded with images and words from radio, television, print media, and the Internet, we have scarcely a moment of quiet solitude to hear our own inner voices. And therefore by extension, to be in touch with our innate wisdom. Whatever our conscious minds are not aware of, or care not to deal with in the moment, our subconscious is absorbing and filing away. Let’s face it; there are many external forces at work vying for a piece of our minds.

Essential to free thinking:

We cannot be autonomous, free-thinking individuals who rule our own thoughts and beliefs unless we (a) apply discernment to what information sources we give our conscious attention to, (b) apply critical thinking to information we take in, rather than just accepting it at face value, (c) commit to decoupling from media channels that knowingly apply negative subconscious programming, and (d) combine thoughtful analysis with our feeling awareness of the truth.

Critical thinking is an intellectual process involving questioning, examining, and analyzing information in order to come to one’s own conclusions. Too often, perhaps out of a lack of confidence in ourselves, or a belief that a particular media source is “expert”, honest, and unbiased, or out of just plain laziness, we readily accept prepackaged information as fact and incorporate it into our perception of reality.

Different points of view:

The daily news is perhaps the easiest to absorb without question, as we presume it to be fact based; it is supposed to be “real”. The problem is, from whose perspective is it real? While observing an accident on the street one day, I became aware of conclusions I was coming to based on a certain set of personal beliefs. Upon further analysis, I was shocked at what a narrow and judgmental viewpoint I had. I’m sure that for as many onlookers there were that day, there were as many versions of the “truth” about what really happened.

News reporters are trained to gather facts and present them in an unbiased and objective way, based strictly on the who, what, where, when, and why of the event. Ideally, opinion based on a personal viewpoint does not come into it. However, as objective as the individual news stories may be, their sum total in the newspaper or on the TV news show often paints a depressing collective picture of problems, fear, and impending doom. “The news” as a whole is frequently not unbiased. It is very much biased towards a negative viewpoint, where through select inclusions and exclusions, the audience is encouraged to think and feel a certain way about society and “reality”.

Ask yourself these questions:

The daily news affects our thinking, our emotions, and ultimately our collective belief system. Have you ever taken an objective look at it and asked yourself these kinds of questions:

“How much do I rely on just one media source for information on current events?” (One point of view).

“Who owns the media I follow, and what intent lies behind the particular slant or viewpoint in the content they are presenting to me?”

“Do I accept information I am receiving as ‘fact’ without question?”

“What kinds of beliefs are being reinforced by the media content I am taking in? Do they project an expansive world of joy and possibilities, or a world of fear, control, and limitations?”

“How do I feel when I am finished watching or reading about the daily news?”

“How much is it preoccupying my thoughts and affecting my own personal sense of empowerment in the world?”

“Is it really serving me well to immerse myself in it day after day?”

Taking back ownership of our own minds is an important first step towards creating a new world. Our minds are powerful tools of creation, and as long as we allow them to be cluttered with negativity and despair, that is all we will ever experience. What will you choose to focus your mind on tomorrow … The media’s projection of doom and gloom, or your own glorious vision of your life and the world you live in?

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susanlhart

Are your Thoughts your Own? © Susan L Hart 2019

Hart Quill Blog | Love in the Galapagos Islands | HartHaiku.com

Love in the Galapagos Islands

Sometimes we discover love in the most unexpected places. And so it was on that scorching April day along a dusty trail on North Seymour Island, Galapagos.

It was not my first visit to the Galapagos, and it surely will not be my last. I love the untamed ancient beauty of the islands. On this particular outing I had joined a group to hike and primarily bird watch. There was also other wildlife to enjoy, such as majestic giant sea lions basking in the sun on the giant shore rocks. Sea lion pups nestled in nearby crevices and I was able to get within several feet of them. The amazing thing about the birds and animals on the Galapagos Islands is that they have no fear of man. Close encounters with the wildlife are very usual. I was in my heaven that April day.

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It was mating season on North Seymour and love was definitely in the air. Magnificent male frigate birds crouched in barren bushes, with red breasts puffed out to attract the females. Several times I saw females approach the males, and a somewhat awkward tango with gangly flailing limbs would ensue atop the low lying shrubbery.

The other avian species profuse on the island were the quirky blue-footed boobies. The booby males exhibited their elaborate courting dance, lifting one bright blue webbed foot then the other while strutting around their potential mates. Their distinctive whistling enhanced the exuberant posturing. The guide pointed out that the brighter blue the male’s feet, the more desirable he is to the duller females. Brightness is apparently an attractive sign of youthful male virility.

Boobies breed and nest only when conditions are right, and they scout out several nesting sites to choose the one most perfect just before the eggs are laid. In other words, boobies are not at all careless where they put their progeny. Some of the females had already laid eggs in nests under bushes along the edge of the trail, and crouching birds watched us carefully as we passed by.

As we curved around the far side of the island, I became somewhat separated from the group. I lingered near one large nesting area, as I found the bird population to be extremely colorful and interesting. I had just circled back to take a few last photographs when I heard a little grunt from the ground near my feet. I looked down and to my surprise discovered that I had almost tripped over a booby right in my path. I was focused on taking photos, and, she was squatting in a most unusual open area.

As startled as she likely was, she did not budge an inch from her spot. I crouched down right in front of her and spoke softly, “I did not see you there little one. I’m sorry if I scared you.”

She calmly looked me in the eye and then slowly stood up. Looking down at the ground between her feet, she revealed to me a large beautiful egg. There was no nest built around her or her treasure. It was as though she’d been walking along the path and got caught by surprise, much as human ladies sometimes have babies in improbable places. What are you going to do? Babies wait for no one once they decide.

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The blue-footed booby moved her gaze from her prized egg back to my face for an instant. Then she looked back down and a second time back at me, transmitting great pride. The moment was frozen in time.

She clearly was saying, “Look at the lovely thing I have made. Isn’t it wonderful?”

I exclaimed over the beauty of her egg, and told her soon she would have a cute little chick to protect. I was awestruck in this simple encounter, so pure in its innocent love it was. In that moment two females of very different species acknowledged between them the magic of all creation. I was acutely aware of the web of love that connects all of life here on Earth.

Sometimes the infiniteness of the ocean can be seen in a single drop of water. The encounter between the blue-footed booby and I was one brief small exchange, and yet it had immense depth.

As unpredictable as love between humans may sometimes feel, in actual fact it is a universal law as constant as gravity. They are one and the same. This invisible, powerful force draws us magically and inexorably together into the One. We are bound and challenged by it. And ultimately that is why we came here…

To learn and get better at Love.

susanlhart

Love in the Galapagos Islands © Susan L Hart  2017-2019

First published as A Little Love Story, in Seven Degrees of Wisdom, Welcome to our Circle

Tick-tock Madman | HartQuill.com

Tick-tock Madman

That round evil man
with his shallow pretty face
leers from my wall.
Cruelly and incessantly
he chips away at my life
with his sharp little pick-axe.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

My days mete out
in an endless dribble of
task and responsibilities.
And he watches me.
Be on time, get it right!
Get up again, do it again.
And again, and again, and again.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

I thought he was my friend
that insidious little man.
Mom said he was.
Dress for success, be on time,
and your life will be right.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Then one day I woke up
and my life felt all wrong.
Where are my dreams
you cunning little man?
You stole them when
I wasn’t looking.
I was busy listening to your

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Oh poacher of my hours –
Is there still time for me?
Still hope for me?
The Me you took while I was
distracted and toiling,
And worried about being on time.

And that smug little man
with his false pretty face
just stares coldly at me
from his unfeeling wall.
Silent he is, but for
the relentless

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

susanlhart

Tick-tock Madman © Susan L Hart 2016-2019

Our Losses & their Lessons | HartHaiku.com

Our Losses & their Lessons

“Michelangelo knew… A most powerful tool of the Master Sculptor, Loss is.” Loss is a life teacher, and our losses may be our hardest learning. But just as chiseling away the marble revealed Michelangelo’s masterpiece David, so does loss sculpt the beauty of our souls.

Our losses carry fear with them

Beyond loss itself, we consequently grapple with fear of it. The void that loss creates in us feels gigantic and black. Fear of more loss becomes crippling. Potentially it keeps us from risking anything that might repeat it. And of course, the losses we take around love feel the most brutal. We open our hearts, and sometimes they are crushed.

It is only by moving through the fear that we finally achieve the fullness of loss lessons. When we can acknowledge and embrace the good that came out of our losses, we are able to move on to risk again. Taking risk, being willing to make mistakes, reaching out for all that life has to offer in the face of potential loss, leads to great growth and gains.

My poem about Michelangelo and his creation of the famous sculpture David is a metaphor for how loss lessons grow our souls. Interestingly, the statue depicts the legendary David, of David and Goliath fame. David risked his life to take on the giant, an act of courage and faith.

Loss Unveils the Masterpiece

Michelangelo knew …

A most powerful
tool of the Master Sculptor,
Loss is.
It was the taking
away that unveiled
breathtaking David
to the world.

“I saw the angel
in the stone and
set him free.”
Inside every raw
slab of marble
awaits a masterpiece
to be revealed.

We are all
magnificent works
of art in progress.
And losing a beloved
is perhaps the
greatest Master
chisel of all.

We gasp, clasping
our hearts when
our loved one dies
or leaves us.
How will we ever
risk to love again?
And yet, we do.

For in our loss
we learn to cherish
the value of love.
We understand
the power and
importance of “now”.
And we grow.

Love is the fine grit
that hones the
rough broken edges
to a polished glow.
The answer to our
growth lies within
the problem itself.

Michelangelo, you said
God guided your hand.
And in the taking away,
you revealed
astonishing Beauty.
David is your work of Love,
and a lesson for us all.

Our Losses and their Lessons

susanlhart

Our Losses & their Lessons © Susan L Hart 2019
Loss Unveils the Masterpiece © Susan L Hart 2017-2019