One Thing Better with Bri The Angel Guy

One Thing Better is a weekly series featuring an intriguing individual who’s sparked my curiosity, in a one-question interview format.


It’s a simple premise. Each week someone answers The Question.

Several years ago Brian Reekers was introduced to me by one of the readers of Freaky Beautiful. She thought we should connect because we were both interested in contemporary spirituality.

Me: “What does he do?”

Her: “Talks to Angels.”

After I about spit out my gum, she went on:

“Or rather, Angels talk to him and he translates their messages for us.”

We did eventually meet and an unlikely friendship ensued. Unlikely only because I was so rigid in my progressive spiritual thought that I could accept terms like spirit guides and entities and channeling, but choked on traditional terminology like Angels.

Brian is so down to earth about his heavenly communications that any resistance was futile. He wins you over by not trying to win at all.

Brian, among others, has helped me become far more embracing of both traditional and contemporary avenues to spiritual inquiry.

Though he’s an angel communicator, today he grapples with The Question as himself. Let me step aside here so he can get on with it!


The Question:

What one thing have you been doing recently that’s making your life better?

Brian Reekers:

Hmmm… 

You’d think this would be an easy question to answer, but it’s not. 

If I had to choose one thing I would have to say that I’m learning to pay attention. 

I’m learning to follow what opens before me, hopefully without asking too many questions or overanalyzing the situation. That’s always been my weakness … over thinking. 

I used to agonize over every little decision to the point of paralysis. “Analysis Paralysis” I believe is the clinical term. I’m working very diligently to move past this behavior. It’s never served me well. 

I wish I could say that I know exactly where I’m headed. I don’t. My life seems to be more like an overture than the aria. No sooner do I adjust to the current melody than the tune changes and I’m moving in a new direction, discovering something new and interesting about my life, my self, and my talents. 

I’m discovering that when that happens I’m better off just to go with it than to try and understand it. 

Does that mean that it’s an easier path to follow? Not at all. 

Does it mean that I’m making better decisions? I hope so. 

Does it mean that my life, my work, and my purpose are clearer, cleaner, and more congruent? I think it does. Although, I may be the only one that feels that way. 

I’ve made some choices, especially recently, that have been maddening to those closest to me. But these choices, no matter how insane they may appear on the surface, have deepened my commitment to my True Work and Purpose. 

I am a conscious channel. There, I’ve said it. But it’s taken years for me to be able to say those simple words. They fly so brazenly in the face of the conventional world that I was raised in and the “wisdom” which ruled my world for so long. 

Learning to pay attention to the little nudges from the Universe to go this way or that takes a little, no, a lot of getting used to. 

Learning to trust completely in what your Heart is telling you while overcoming the fear that your mind is flooding you with is not as easy as it would seem. 

It all comes down to learning to listen to your Soul. 

We all come into this world with a gift, a purpose. Some bring only one. Some bring many. But all bring that which ignites their Spirit. 

Pay Attention! 

Pay attention to those moments when time flies by unnoticed. Pay attention to those moments when the term “happiness” becomes an understatement. Pay attention to those moments when you feel truly alive. 

These are the signposts of your life. They are showing you the way to living your “Best Life Ever!” 

I don’t always get it right, but I’m trying. 

In the One Love, 

Brian





For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for (occasional) notes at the intersection of creativity and spirit. Once a month, maybe.

Feeling the urge to answer the One Thing Better question? Please do! You can email your response to me at this address:

TheWorldIsFreakyBeautiful (at) gmail (dot) com
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Distress, and how it relates to your purpose

“Your distress over any issue provides greater clarity about your purpose. If you dig. Your distress is to alert you to what you want.”

The above thought arrived in a meditation. I can no longer recall the issue prompting the thought, but the idea has served me well. When I remember it!

Distress comes because there’s a sharp gap between what I’m expecting and what I’m living. 

Like when you think you’ve got a play date with your wife and suddenly unexpected company shows up. Maybe that’s not real distress for some — only dismay — but in my case, with my wife, it’s an abominable misuse of my time.

When I dig into distress I often find something unexpected. Unfortunately it’s the same unexpected thing that keeps popping up.

I imagined distress comes because I’m being thwarted from my purpose

Yes, I get thwarted. We all do. Those are easy signals to change direction. To tweak my approach.

But much more often it comes because I’m not aligned with my purpose

I’m not living congruently in that moment. Maybe for so many moments that mild stress had to turn into real distress — to get my attention.

Real distress is when I’m not living up to my purpose. When I am the obstacle to my purpose.

Distress, in this way, is a cautionary signal. You could say it’s friendly fire. A signal to be attentive. To line up with my deeper values. 

Who knew?! Distress is a beacon . . . seeking to pull me away from disaster.

You know when I’ll know I’ve grown? When it only takes mild annoyance to get my attention to line up with Deeper Me.

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee! Once a month, maybe, if you’re lucky.

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AC = CP: Creative power through alternating current

When speaking of electrical transmission the initials AC stand for alternating current. The current flows in one direction, then alternates . . . and flows in the opposite direction. 

In the late 1800s  there was a battle between two standards, alternating current fed by the genius of Nikola Tesla, and direct current (electricity flowing only in one direction) championed by the inventive Thomas Edison. 
Alternating current won the day for transmitting electricity over distance. It was cheaper in every way, and could be sent farther with smaller lines. 
I used to think simplicity alone was all creative work needed. A simple schedule. Now I think more along the lines of Tesla. 

I’m stretching this analogy to the crackling point, yeah, but here’s what I mean: 

I strain to simplify my schedule every time it becomes crazy hectic. And then once reduced to utter simplicity for some time . . . I find myself craving more complexity. More movement. More excitement. More connections. More life.
I used to fight it. But now I give in. It’s an alternating current. It’s necessary. To energize the creative work. It’s the alternating current that goes the distance. It’s the alternating rhythm that sparks epiphanies. 
A good song ramps up and ramps down. There’s the part that slowwws down enough to draw you in, and then there’s the part that leaves you breathless. Kurt Cobain was a master at it. There’s hardly a Nirvana song that doesn’t contain both frenzy and calm.
Pay attention to your own life — and look for ways to amplify your alternating rhythms. Master creators seem to know how to slide from easy to fast paced and back again, without losing stride. 
The key is to segue from steady mode to revved mode as soon as you feel the need. Same for the reverse. 
Fighting it, as I have, only leads to imbalance. You know what letting yourself alternate back and forth does — especially if you learn how to do it in the same day? 
It sends creative juju fairies running the length of your spine. (True.) They tap dance their elven souls away on your creative chakra . . . ideas happen. 

Up time. Down time. More. Less.

Let the current alternate. Let it ripple! Let it reverse course. On, off. Create, subside. Engage, slacken. Charge, retreat. Work, play. 

Oh wait, this way — alternating throughout the day — work is play!

AC = CP.

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee! Once a month, maybe.

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My origin story: How I acquired my superpower

My son is twelve years old. Which means we spend a fair amount of time watching superheroes. Inevitably the best storylines are the origin stories, where it all begins. Frequently it begins in chaos . . . .
Let me take you back to September of 2008. I was in Key West on my then annual trip with my friend Russell. As we’re strolling down Duvall Street enjoying the people on display Russell nods toward a newspaper rack.
“Evs,” Russell calls out. “It seems like the stock market’s tanking.”
Foolish Russell. Paying attention to the newspaper headlines and TV news blips . . . I was above it all . . . floating . . . Hakunnah Mattata, my soul sang, it just doesn’t matter . . .  
“Seriously, I think something’s going on with the market.”
Oh Russell, Russell, Russell, that’s what the market does best, scare the hell out of you and then three weeks later you feel pranked and everything’s back to bagels and creamcheese.
“Seriously, it seems to be all over the news.”
After the Key West trip the world continued having no fun. Life had never felt so 1929. After Key West the market continued its collapse. Every time we managed a breath it seemed the Dow would calve off another 1,000 points. Worst of all it was a financial panic, not just a market plunge. Banks teetered, some collapsed. Confidence imploded. We were in for it.
I’m no keen intellect — or else I wouldn’t have this tale to tell you — but from my understanding then, when the banks go . . . it all goes.
Our sales at the art gallery — our only source of income — fell off by upwards of 90%.
Several years earlier we’d had a near-business death, from a move into what turned out to be a very wrong location. After recovering from that fiasco we rebuilt the art gallery with this intention: to be able to survive up to a 50% falloff in sales.
I can only compare the shock of a sudden 75% to 90% fall off in business to this scenario: You’re planning to repel the Russians but are instead invaded by Alpha Centaurians whose weaponry operates like black magic. The world we faced was far more severe than the casual-to-bleak, run-of-the-mill recession.



In late October my friend Gil came down from New York City. As a trader he was a keen student of the markets. He agreed this was unprecedented in our lifetime. We talked it over at length and the only conclusion we could draw was how colossally impossible it was to even conjecture.
The fallout? Unpredictable. The timeline to recovery? Unknown. How could you prepare for it? Too late. How could you survive it?
How are we going to survive for two years?! This was my burning question. I thought we had investments that would  hold us for two years — in the hope a recovery might take hold by then — but the stock market was rapidly halving itself, taking our buffer zone south with it.
When you ask a question intensely for hours and days, the reasonable answers disappear. Traipsing through your mind come ideas like this . . . we could sell Zane . . . no! what am I thinking . . . we could sell Ann’s body . . . OK, better . . . make a note, talk to Ann . . . orrrr, we could sell that old kayak, what will that get us? Let’s do the math . . . Oh, six hours. That will get us about six hours of living expenses. Ummm, what else is in the house that we can sell . . . My god, the house! Let’s sell the house!



Gil is a numbers guy. So we ran the numbers.
As Gil and I reviewed our expenses selling the house started to look like the only viable alternative. The Depression ripped the country apart for more than a decade. It took the unparalleled expenditures of a world war to kick start that economic engine again. Who knew how long this one would be?
If we sold the home and moved into something at half the value, we’d eliminate the mortgage. Plus, wherever we landed there would be less upkeep, property taxes would be halved. That would save thousands a month. What else?
By asking what else I really was asking myself, What else could sell this idea to Ann? — who’d be forced to leave her dreamy home for something . . . less. Far less.
The pretty thinking would be that the economy would recover in a year to a year and a half, like most recessions. But I knew this wasn’t most recessions. If we were to survive this — business intact — we had to accept the collapse and improvise from there.

The worst part was the talk: Ann absorbing what I was saying. Ann crying. She listened. We went over details, outflow, all the outflow. The expenses that didn’t go down just because our sales had. We went over inflow, the spigot was only trickling now. I felt like an assassin, killing her dream home dream in one blow. Gil, thoughtful as ever, left for a few hours so we could could speak privately.
I told Ann to take as much time as she needed to think it over. But she surprised me. She decided within the day, Yes, let’s sell it. In three weeks we had it ready for market.

The turnover
It didn’t take much — just everything we had. It was ejecting everything we could to storage . . . to space up the place for viewing. It was converting Ann’s studio back to a dining area, removing the sink we’d put in — and the curtains, and the armature to fasten paintings to the wall and spin them! Ann’s a creative lass. So damnit, when it came time to fasten painting supports onto a wall, why not make ‘em spinnable?
After the makeover, it was quickly on to painting the whole terrafloppage of house. We created space. Cleaned it up inside and out, filled dings, repaired floorboards, emptied the garage — it was so ready. The painters came in and turned that house over in days. Doors came off and were spray painted outside. Rooms were taped off and slathered in white. It was like watching icing being applied to a cake (thinly) (these guys knew what they were doing, they knew how to apply just enough).
The crew was a happy, energetic crew. Close to the end one of the painters revealed why this was so. Since the real estate crash — which had preceded the stock market crash by a couple of years — work had been hard to come by for paint crews. So the owners bid low on jobs, often taking break-even projects.
As the painter put it, “They take jobs where theoretically if all went perfectly well they’d at least make one dollar.” The owners bid obscenely low  . . . to keep their guys working. To keep their guys working!
This endeared them all the more to us. When we’d sat down only a week or two earlier to face the grim music ourselves, we’d decided instantly, with only the merest discussion, that we were going to try to keep everyone employed. We had to let go the newest hire of a month or two, but everyone else we would try to save . . . for as long as we could.
There we stood. In the home we’d loved for ten years. It had been made beautiful and proud in just three exhausting weeks. We would live daintily in it until it sold.
It sold within the month, the deal finalized on Christmas Eve. We were out another month after that.



The aftermath that keeps on giving
You might think selling your dream home and moving into a space one half the size would get you through the aftermath of the crash. But no. Toward the end of the season — a season of blood-letting — we were facing bankruptcy. I had taken to the road in our big cavernous van, to return unsold consigned artwork back to the artists. The better to save the thousands of dollars it would have cost us to ship.
I remember this clearly. It was my fourth such trip in a few short months. Our season was drawing to a close. We didn’t have the money to survive the summer. As I drove I looked skyward, begging for an idea. Something I could do to save the business.
This is when I discovered the power of asking. That if you ask something intently with all your being, answers come. You ask the sky . . . it turns out the sky is connected to all things. Two days into my asking — and declaring — for I alternated declaring the answer would come, for good measure — two days into this rhythm method of solution seeking, an answer came.
It was so simple I felt a chill of This is doable run down my spine.
The answer was to get into the art transport business. I called the art transporter we loved and asked if he needed another van on the road. He had me working in a week.
I spent a year and a half on the road, circling America relentlessly, running artwork here and there. It turned out to be a good time to enter the transport business. Ironically because art galleries were collapsing everywhere. Because of this art was being moved.
It wasn’t glorious. In the beginning I slept in the cab of the van — with no money for lodging — with barely enough money for the gas. I was skimping the best I could. Standing at a gas pump was its own kind of hell, squeezing out the remaining credit on credit cards. Juggling the cards, praying some bank wasn’t suddenly rescinding our remaining credit.
One night in Houston, after midnight, I semi-slept in over 100-degree basting temperature at a truck stop, diesel fumes choking me through the cracked windows.
Two days before my 50th birthday on the far side of the country I pulled into a campground for the night. There in the cab I broke down, crying. Sobbing really. The kind you try to choke back so other campers don’t hear you. But I couldn’t.
I’d already been back and forth across the continent a couple times. From where I was I could easily count to where I’d be in two nights. In a barren little campground in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, two and half hours south and east of Santa Fe. It was a forlorn location for the road lonely. I’d been there enough already to know it wasn’t where I wanted to be celebrating my 50th birthday.
As bad as the crash had been, as bad as the subsequent months had been, nothing prepared me for the desolation I felt that night in the mountains outside of San Diego, me in my van wrapped with art images, surrounded by luxury campers.
It wasn’t the Santa Rosa campground itself — it was what it represented. The total washout of my life. Turning 50 and nothing but loss to show for it. Not even able to live with my family — seemingly stuck in a cycle of looping the country, alighting for 5 or 7 or 10 days then shackling myself into the van again for another loop.



After I was all cried out I forced myself out of the van cockpit, into a walk. I couldn’t do laundry. The laundry soap was all sold out. The woman at the check-in couldn’t find more for the machine. So, feeling dirty, feeling low, I walked, circling the campground several times. Each time hopping over a small creek bubbling along the flank of the campground.
The water, the wind, the walk brought some small bit of life back into me. Ever so slowly. The trees and rocks and inclines conspired to enliven me. I can’t say what it was — the exhausting of all my self pity, becoming grounded with the earth beneath my feet, the last of the daylight — I don’t know what or how but by the time I came back to my van I felt lifted. Slightly. No longer on the floor of despair, but maybe with my head a few inches above it.
I came back to the van and there was a little baggie tied to one of my mirrors with a note. Laundry detergent. Laundry detergent! In a small bottle inside a zip loc bag inside the plastic bag. With a note from the woman from the check-in counter.
Once she’d gotten off duty, she’d gone straight to her trailer for the detergent — I was able to locate her to offer my over-the-top thanks. She was laughing, that a little kindness could spark such manic joy in someone.
After that trip I was able to buy a pop-up tent.



At the time there was a saying making the rounds — you saw it on signs, on trinkets, you heard people say it with resignation, you heard people say it with wisdom in their heart, you heard people say it with equanimity, you heard people say it with a sense of fatalism:
It is what it is.
In the right hands, in the right frame of mind, it could be comforting. In the aftermath of the crash it too often took on a tone of defeatism. But it felt incomplete to me.
I grabbed ahold of It is what it is — I accepted where I was. This is where I was, this was the reality I’m living in. I wasn’t denying it.
Minor miracles could find their way to me with this feeling of allowing the situation to be exactly what it was. Like accepting I was in a van in a campground surrounded by luxury campers and trailers . . . and going for a walk.
At the back end of the phrase I added, but it isn’t what it will be.
Linked together it became a beautiful two step:
It is what it is . . . but it isn’t what it will be.
The first phrase was about acceptance. The second was about possibility. Minor miracles could find me at any moment! Like the generous heart compelled to bring me detergent.
Major quantum leaps of near impossibility could happen too. We’ve had help come at the most necessary yet unexpected times. We’ve been able to help others.
Things could change and I could be an active agent in that change.



Flash forward six more years. I’ve spent three birthdays on the road. This survival side business has become a real summer side business. After several years of imminent bankruptcy our business climbed back. We live in a dream home on 1.3 wooded acres, abutting a preserve. It’s much smaller, single story, older and in need of continuing upgrades — but we own it outright at half the cost of the previous home.
The property has so many of the dream elements my wife and I wrote down on a sheet of paper once that it seems ordered for us. A pool you can swim laps in. A big natural yard for our son and his friends. Hemmed in by forest on three sides this new home has become the sanctuary we sought in the storm.
More than that I acquired a superpower: Resiliency. And it’s all in my augmented phrase:
It is what it is . . . but it’s not what it will be.
In it is the surreal freedom you gain by engaging life where you’re at.
Resilience is simple. It’s comprised of two elements: Acceptance and possibility.
I’m better for the crap storm I’ve gone through. I’m more resilient. I’m more loving. I’m more accepting. I’m more understanding. I’m less in a hurry. I’m less agitated. I’m more about less now. In an essentialist kind of way. Seeking what is essential for my life and discarding what is trivial.
I value my time in the shadowlands so much that when things go awry a little tinge of excitement comes. I know from hard experience that whatever is weighing me down will be the catapult into better — if I can learn its lesson.
May you too find a way to thrive in the sometimes chaos —

For you

Evan Griffith
__________________________
To enjoy an occasional e-letter from The World Is Freaky Beautifulclick here.

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The payoff

snapped at a Gay Pride parade in Lake Worth, Florida

The end-zone dance. The swig of water at the end of the race. The week in Barbados after a flurry of work. The time in the hammock after a robust day. The fist pump after project completion. The braying laughter on the heels of an off-color joke among friends. The embrace upon parting. The quiet nestling in the afterglow of lovemaking . . . 

The award. The payoff. The book. The post. The poem. The startup. The quilt. The contribution. The smile. The raise. The compliment. The relief. The awe. The sharing. The chuckle. The kudos. The moment it sinks in . . . that love was expressed in some way . . . and it was good.

Celebration has many forms. Every version of it comes because we take a moment to reflect on what was created . . . and honor it.
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Nature sprite: One Thing Better with Terry Cole-Whittaker





One Thing Better is a weekly series featuring some cool creator I’ve stumbled across, in a one-question interview format.


It’s a simple premise. Each week someone answers The Question.

This week we’re honored to have famed author and speaker Terry Cole-Whittaker on deck. When I first stumbled onto New Thought literature some fine soul pointed me in her direction.

Over the years I’ve been inspired by Terry Cole-Whittaker’s work — in books and in audio programs. In my darkest months Terry’s work was part of my own self-education curriculum . . . to raise my level of thought. Away from desperation, toward inspiration.

Terry Cole-Whittaker has experienced the kind of success many an author and thought leader dream about, from growing a tiny congregation into an impactful ministry to helming a celebrated TV show. 

Seekers continue to flock to her seminars, programs and retreats.

I think you’ll find the simplicity and blissicity of a Sufi in Terry’s response here (if I may coin a word . . . :).


The Question:

What one thing have you been doing recently that’s making your life better?

Terry Cole-Whittaker:

Hi there Evan, what fun! 

Thanks dear one. My answer is: walking and dancing bare footed through the meadow and climbing Mount Shasta. 

Love It! 

Hugs, Terry

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for (occasional) notes at the intersection of creativity and spirit. Once a month, maybe.

Feeling the urge to answer the One Thing Better question? Please do! You can email your response to me at this address:

TheWorldIsFreakyBeautiful (at) gmail (dot) com
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Ask the sky: When you don’t know where to turn

It took five decades and the crash years for me to learn to ask

Many get hung up on whom they’re addressing when they want to ask a greater power for help. Especially those who are troubled by religion, or have a phobia to any phrase with God in it. As I did for years. 

You don’t have a clear sense of ultimate reality, you just know there’s more.

So, you’re in need . . . but you’re hung up on who/what to ask.
I say it doesn’t matter. Ask the sky . . . the sky touches everything. Answers will come.

Here’s what happened the first time I looked up to the sky and pleaded for an answer. It was profound. So much so it changed my life forever. This site tendriled out of that moment. My openness to spiritual interpretation of experience burst out of that moment.

When I looked to the sky and demanded that the fear be taken from me, I wasn’t looking up to a deity. I’d been religionless too long. It was an instinctive human thing — to gaze heavenward in a moment of urgency and demand a response.

That an answer came at all shocked the hell out of me. Or maybe more aptly put, it knocked the transcendent into me. Since then I’ve found answers come in all kinds of time frames. That one came instantly. Within five steps. Others have taken hours or days.

Sometimes I don’t realize I’ve been answered at all until I look back some months later and see, yes, the response seeped into my experience so subtly I’d missed it. Though I’d lived it I’d missed the response to my question. 

This happens especially often when you put it out there. (Like here: The power of putting it out there) Because you put it out there and then let it go . . . it’s easy to forget your request.

Now I ask OmJah — my pet name for the super-intelligent superforce underlying all reality. But it really doesn’t matter whether it’s Ra or the sky or the zero-point field or a butterfly (effect . . . ;). 

They are all stand ins for whatever it is that answers us through the life we’re experiencing.

Let me give you the smallest example, from yesterday. (More examples of asking/answering are strewn throughout FreakyBeautiful.com.)

We’re buying a second van. We own an art gallery — this van has to serve 3 purposes: 

  1. hauling artwork
  2. hauling kids
  3. and as a family adventure vehicle. You know, to run off on little trips for the family fun of it. 

So it’s got to be big — and versatile.

We’d settled on the make, a Ford Transit. One of those new breed of van cats you can walk around inside. Upright.

We’ve settled on the engine/fuel type. We’ve settled on the size. (Super sized.)

But we couldn’t decide on modified passenger or modified cargo. And it’s go time on the decision making. Last night I gave it up to the sky. In a meditation I put it out there that a clear direction would appear. I literally asked to be shown the best way to go for us.

And then let it go. I’d forgotten about it by the time I awoke.

. . . . . . .

This morning I’m walking up to the gallery and I see this stunning passenger van parked in front of our gallery — a Ford Transit 250, the model we’re looking at. After snapping shots of it to send to my lover woman wife I hastily wrote a note to the owner.

She popped in a few hours later, excited to answer questions I had. And — sent me in a new better direction I didn’t even know existed. Essentially a passenger van exterior with a cargo interior that could easily be modified for extra passengers. As this woman’s husband had already done in her van! Something we didn’t know existed, even after all of our research.

. . . . . . .

You don’t need to know the workings of the universe to access its power. You don’t need to know the workings of your plumbing to flush away your, er, discards.

Just ask. Look up. Ask the sky. Answers will come.

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee! Once a month, maybe.

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An open letter to Naomi Novella — beyond the catfishing there’s the real you

Naomi —

You have much to deal with right now. I want to let you know that you are missed. While the questions over the images used to represent yourself are left lingering in many of your supporters’ minds, I feel compelled to say . . . thank you.

Though I only followed you for a brief few weeks before you withdrew from the G+ world in a blaze of catfishing . . . I feel it’s important for you to know that you touched many lives. Regardless of the reasons for using someone else’s photos, you were supportive and generous-hearted to dozens upon dozens. Especially those in the creative fields.

That is the real you. The you that reached out daily to make a difference in people’s lives. You lit people up. You warmed them when they were cold. You were a friend to some who were friendless. Regardless of the images issue, you made a difference. That is you.

People are ultimately forgiving. I believe you could easily come back as your authentic self — and you would find open-minded people welcoming you back. We’ve all wanted to hide aspects of ourselves. What you couldn’t hide was your wide-open heart. You were there for those who needed a little encouragement and a lot of support. You gave that beyond measure. That is the real you.

Whenever you’re ready — if ever you’re ready — please get in touch — of course I will have questions — of course people will have questions — but you offer so much to so many, I hate to see you go underground. The real you made a difference. The real you was in the embrace of all the creative and spirited individuals who came your way. 

I wish you the very best in the days to come — you touched lives — you will touch them again — 

Evan

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
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One Thing Better: Naomi Novella on the hardest thing

Art from Naomi Novella’s G+ stream




One Thing Better is a weekly series featuring some cool creator I’ve stumbled across, in a one-question interview format.


It’s a simple premise. Each week someone answers The Question.

Sometimes this series is more about the person than the answer provided. Today though, I want to get out of the way quickly . . . Naomi Novella’s story below demands it. 

We’ll circle back another time to her incredible journey, from Italy to the U.S., from thwarted artistic ambitions to successful entrepreneur to ragingly expressive artist. 

(But . . . as luck would have it, you can read her story in her own words here . . . 😉




The Question:

What one thing have you been doing recently that’s making your life better?

Naomi Novella:

The one thing I’ve been doing is forgiving completely. 

Two years ago I was on the brink of divorce. I am from a very strict Italian, Catholic family. It was very hard for me to fathom such a thing as divorce. I had taken a vow before God, till death do we part. I didn’t want to get divorced so I decided to give my marriage another chance. 

I forgave my husband his trespasses but our marriage had changed. I was stiff and uncomfortable around him. I wasn’t happy and I didn’t know how to get our happiness back. 

I realize now it’s because I verbally forgave him but not in my heart. 

Then life struck, in a hard way. I had a situation where I almost died. My husband saved my life. I woke up in a hospital room to see him sitting next to me crying. I’ve seen my husband wipe away tears but I’ve never saw him actually sob. I always saw him as so powerful, like he couldn’t be wounded. 

There he was, a perfect portrait of an imperfect human. I didn’t need to wound him, he was completely broken. I was completely broken too. In this place of brokenness there is a lot of space, there is freedom. I felt my heart open up wide and just let go. 

I let go of my rigid ideals about what marriage should and shouldn’t be. I allowed my husband to be an individual trying his best to make his way in this world. I forgave him completely. 

And what I also found is that I finally could forgive myself for being resentful of his actions. 

We recently renewed our marriage vows. Just the two of us and a minister, at the beach, very early on a Saturday morning. We told each other new vows, unscripted, right there in the moment.

We were free falling back to one another and the ride was fantastic. I have never felt so loved and so free, and so completely happy.


Note: Soon after I published this a maelstrom overtook a little corner of Google Plus. I learned what the meaning of Catfish is as it pertains to the Internet. More on that in the next post.



For you 

Evan Griffith
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Click here for (occasional) notes at the intersection of creativity and spirit. Once a month, maybe.

Feeling the urge to answer the One Thing Better question? Please do! You can email your response to me at this address:

TheWorldIsFreakyBeautiful (at) gmail (dot) com
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Life supports you, bastard or billionaire or beautiful soul

You are supported however you frame your life. If you gotta screw people to get ahead . . . then in your world it’s true, you gotta screw people to get ahead.

If you know that everything always works out well for you in the end, then even after misadventures things tend to fall into place for you.

You’ve seen this in your own life, which has already contained many lives in this lifetime. You’ve already lived one way, changed, and over time found yourself in a new world.

You’ve seen this in the lives of the people you know. It’s often more evident in the lives of others. You can see how completely what they are living is the result of who they are.

It’s true for you. Me as well. I see it in my own life all the time. The subtle thoughts that run through my head, seemingly in background mode . . . they become real. They play out in front of me.

Damn, how did that gorgeous woman become my life mate? Oh, yeah, I was looking for her . . . in many a stray thought.

Life supports you, whatever you believe. What are you deep down believing?

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