Love of Coffee and Chocolate – and Intelligent Presidents

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” [Franklin P. Jones]

 “I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.”  [Meryl Streep]

“I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts but I don’t see myself being queen of this country.”  [Princess Diana]

Everybody’s got something to say about love, haven’t they?  Well, not everybody.  I watched again some of the BAFTA pre-awards the other night, and everybody went love-gaga for this decade’s British film icon-babe Colin Firth.  I wonder what he thinks about love?  I don’t know, I couldn’t find anything he’s said about it, so I chose this one instead “My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem.”

Is there any love in there?  Love of humor of course.

Michelle Obama said “Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’  Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good… You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.”  [ Michael Y. Park. “Michelle Obama’s Secrets to Finding a Great Guy” People.com. 10/28/2009.]

Obviously she’s got something right.  Andrew Romano said of the Presidential couple “… I think it’s the Obamas’ willingness to act in public much how they act in private – open, informal, flirtatious – that has incited most of the swooning.  At the Youth Ball, I noticed the president do something that’s impossible to imagine any of his predecessors doing: resting his head, eyes closed, on Michelle’s shoulder.” [“Our Model Marriage” Newsweek 2/23/2009.]

Love – isn’t it a great thing when it’s the real thing?  Love of truth, love of freedom, love of chocolate and coffee.  Love of intelligent Presidents married to extraordinary women.

Even Einstein had something to say about love: “you cannot love a car the way you love a horse”.  Nicely put.  Not sure what he thought about men and women, though…  Or chocolate, for that matter.  Or American presidents.  But I bet if he was alive today he’d vote for Barack Obama come the elections.

Valentine’s Day Celebration with Love, Coffee and Chocolate

“I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss.   I’ve always found time to teach them. ”  Mae West.

“I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.”  Meryl Streep

“I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts but I don’t see myself being queen of this country.”  Princess Diana

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin P. Jones

What a great day, Valentine’s day, everybody thinking about love.  Love of freedom, Love of women, men, children, love of chocolate…  Me I’ve been thinking about all the different things people have said about love – in between thinking about my love of chocolate, that is, and then thinking I’d better get me some.  Dark chocolate.  Mmmm.  It’s very good for your health, also.  It was probably just as good for my health to walk down to the shop past the beach to buy said chocolate.   And then, I had my cup of coffee when I got up this morning.  What a healthy person I am!  Add a good dollop of love from friends and you can understand why I’ve been in seventh heaven today.

So what do other people think about love?  Michelle Obama said “Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’ Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good… You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.” [ Michael Y. Park. “Michelle Obama’s Secrets to Finding a Great Guy.” People.com. 10/28/2009.]

Obviously she’s got something right, Andrew Romano said of the Presidential couple “… I think it’s the Obamas’ willingness to act in public much how they act in private—open, informal, flirtatious— that has incited most of the swooning. At the Youth Ball, I noticed the president do something that’s impossible to imagine any of his predecessors doing: resting his head, eyes closed, on Michelle’s shoulder.”  [“Our Model Marriage.” Newsweek 2/23/2009.]

Einstein said “you cannot love a car the way you love a horse”.  Nicely put.  Not sure what he thought about men and women, though…  Or chocolate, for that matter.

I watched some of the BAFTA pre-awards the other night, and everybody went gaga for this decade’s British film icon-babe Colin Firth.  I wonder what he thinks about love?  I don’t know, I couldn’t find anything he’s said about it, so I chose this one instead “My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem.”

On that note, I’ll have another chocolate.

“Imagination…is the preview of life’s coming attractions” (Einstein)

Jean Horst, who owns SearchWarp.com with her husband Bruce, wrote an interesting article yesterday, about how we can look at something and not see it for what it is.  She spoke of a mis-spelling that’s been on the front page of SW for over a year, and she just didn’t see it!  And from there she wrote of how much polarization there is in the world, because people can’t or don’t want to open their minds to the perspective of others.

We don’t always see what is, we see our preconceptions.  I hold onto mine because they’re what I know.  When the world feels unsafe, or doesn’t make sense, or I feel threatened, some part of my brain seeks an explanation, seeks something that it can register as knowledge.

The nature of the explanation isn’t the part that makes me feel safe, it’s the familiarity of it.  Familiarity makes us feel safe at a primal level.  It doesn’t actually make us safe – in fact quite often it leads to our destruction or that of society at large.

Take low self esteem: I can grow up believing I’m worthless.   If the idea has been well enough entrenched, then in later life somebody can tell me I have value and I’ll resist them, I’ll think they’re lying or are just trying to make me feel better, or have an ulterior motive.   Yet the idea that I’m worthless makes my life a nightmare, makes it very painful and uncomfortable.  You’d think I’d do everything in my power to change it.

Here’s the weird thing: even when I am doing everything in my power to change it, some part of me resists the change.  I remember the day I saw that clearly for the first time – that there’s a part of me that is desperate to change, and a part that refuses to do it.

I look outside today: it’s sunny, warm, no wind.  The sky is that beautiful pale blue of early autumn, the ocean quietly frothing where it breaks on the rocks at the shore.  I’ve just had breakfast, I have the whole day ahead of me.  I’ve recently completed the 2nd draft of my 2nd film script, I have a blog that’s beginning to be read, I’m developing readership at SearchWarp and elsewhere.  I’ve started on my crime novel.  Yesterday I practiced the piano.  I’m not making much progess at the moment but I’m not losing ground either.  I’m developing a small business that I believe can sustain me until my writing brings in money.  I have money to buy food for the next 20 days and my rent is paid up until the end of the month.

I’m developing meaningful relationships with quite a wide variety of people, all over the world.  In reality my life is opening up.

On the other side, these last two and a half months I thought I could create something with internet marketing that would be earning me something by now.  That hasn’t happened, and I’m not sure whether I’ve just been wasting my time – and the 2 months’ money I got from selling a painting.   I have no way of knowing, all I can do is keep on going and presume – or hope – that I’ll find my way.  But it might take me six months, and I don’t know what I’ll do for money in that time.

That insecurity and the fear is enough to make me cling to the old idea, the one I’m most familiar with, that says things can’t work out for me because I’m too worthless.  Even though that idea makes me want to go and blow my brains out!

Why would I want to believe I won’t be able to access money – either through work or support?  The idea completely terrorizes me, gives me nightmares, messes up my digestive system, interrupts my creativity, turns my brain to mush.

On the other hand, if I can believe I’m safe, I’ve got time, I’ll find the money I need, I’ll be able to do the work I need to do and learn along the way – then my day couldn’t be more perfect.  I’m happy, I work well, I eat well, I sleep well.  I’m organized, I’m focused.

Truth is, neither of the two ideas – that I will access money and that I won’t – is a reality today.   So why choose the one that makes my day a nightmare?

Because it’s scary not to know where money’s coming from and in that place of insecurity I instinctively grab for anything that’s familiar.  I’m familiar with the idea that I won’t access support.

So the challenge isn’t just to go and find money (although that’s important)  The challenge is also to resist the idea that I won’t find it (the idea I’m familiar with) and build on the newer idea, that things are changing, that everything is going right, that I can have financial independence and the life I’ve always dreamed of.  That I can have fulfillment and a success that’s meaningful to me.  That I’ll be able to access the money that I need.  I’m not sitting on my bum, I’m working hard, why wouldn’t I deserve support?

The more I resist the old and build on the new, the more familiar I become with the new.

One day it’s going to be the stronger idea.  One day I’ll instinctively accept it when challenge arises.  Until that day, I’ve got my work cut out for me.  Persistence, that’s all it is.  You just don’t give up.  I was thinking this morning, that persistence isn’t about not wanting to give up.  Please.  You want to give up all the time!  It’s about not giving in to that desire.  Just like courage isn’t about the absence of fear, it’s about acting in the face of fear.

Einsein said “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”.

He also said “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”.  So that’s another reason for not giving into the old idea.  I’ve got the option of two previews: when it comes to the old idea and the new idea, it’s just my imagination that’s at work.  And I may not have had two ideas to choose from before, but I do now.

So let me be accountable for the preview I choose.  Let me fly in the face of my primal instinct, and choose the one that makes me feel alive and gives me prospect.

I’ve already lived the movie from the lousy preview.  Don’t need to see it again.   Stepping out of history here.

Affiliate marketing part 2

My gut is in a knot.  Bile rises up in my throat at what I’m doing with affiliate marketing.   Why do I feel like I’m selling my soul?  Because I’m doing something I hate, I’m on the periphery of an industry that I abhor.  I’ve said it before, it’s a shark feeding frenzy and I’m swimming with the sharks, trying not to get bitten, trying not to be a shark myself.

Gulp.

I watched Oprah yesterday, for the first time in quite a while.   It was good to be reminded that my reason for writing at all is to write about the things that are meaningful in life.  I want to be one of the writers who exposes cons – which I think affiliate marketing largely is.

Am I just being super-moral and Catholic?  I can’t really tell, I just know what bile tastes like. I also know I need to eat.  Sigh.

Ironically, I’m not making any money with affiliate marketing anyway (guess I’m succeeding in not being a shark, which is some kind of small comfort!), but I am having success with writing about what’s meaningful to me.   How about that?  It’s as if life is saying to me – “forget it, you’re not going to succeed doing something so disgusting to you, something that goes against your grain so strongly”.

The thing is, if I succeeded, would I be seduced into doing more?  And how soon would it be before the line between what’s okay and what isn’t got blurry and I slipped across it?

I keep thinking that I have to control how the money comes in, which is why I looked at affiliate marketing in the first place.  Actually somebody else offered to buy a product for me and I just began reading around it, and committed myself to it because you can’t succeed in anything unless you commit.   I didn’t know what it was about, though.  Now that I do – yuck, bile.

Well, my situation is what it is.  I don’t have an independent source of income, I did go bankrupt, I am accountable for looking after myself and for living with as much integrity as I can.   I’m where I am.  Einstein said when you can acknowledge that, is when you can move forward.

I’m willing to accept that for the moment whatever I do to earn might be anathema because what I’m really enjoying doing isn’t bringing in money yet.

YET.

It’s just a snapshot, it isn’t going to be like this for ever.  It’s important to remember that.

I picked up my script again – mostly because I was getting sick of hucking myself.   It’s not as big a mess as I thought it was.  I’m nearly finished with the 2nd draft.  It’s still way too long, but that’s fine.  I’ve ironed out a lot of problems.  Forward and onward!   Feels good to be doing it again.  BIG RELIEF.  BIG RELEASE.

No matter what was “done to me”, it’s my life, my destiny.  It’s up to me to find what I need so that I can be inspired to keep up with my blog, finish my script, carry on singing, playing the piano, and carry on marketing my completed script.  Finish my crime novel.   It’s not what happened to you that counts in the end, it’s what you do with it.

Somebody said the biggest events of your life can’t be predicated on the past, because they’ve never happened before.  They’re still to come.  Right, but you can still believe that they’re going to happen.

At this stage, when nothing is very clear, if it’s not about love, it’s all about faith…