75 Questions (and answers) About Myself

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A quiz that I ran across on one of my follower’s blogs, and you know how much I like quizzes so…. here we go.

Are you named after anyone?  I am not.
When was the last time you cried?  Hmm, well I teared up a couple of days ago, but I can’t remember why.   Really cried, though?  Mid-April, I think.
Do you have kids?  Good God no.
What is the first thing you notice about people?  Their energy.
What is your eye color?  Brown
What are your favorite smells?  Nag Champa, Vanilla, Cloves
Do you have any special talents?  Tons of them, most of them having to do with creativity.
Where were you born?  Canada
What is your zodiac sign?  Taurus
What are your hobbies?  Gardening, jewelry design, writing, listening to audiobooks, hiking, photography, dabbling in new creative ideas and endeavors, learning
Do you have any pets? Yes.  A mostly black torti calico named Luna.
What do you want to be when you grow up?  Stable
Who was your first best friend?  My twin sister
How tall are you?  5’10
What is the least favorite thing about yourself?  Chronic physical pain
Funniest moment throughout school?   I’ve lost most of my memories of that time of my life, but there is the first time I heard the story of the “Little Black WooWoo”.  It was told to me by Z about her dad, who was driving home one night with her in the back and had come to some railroad tracks.  He stopped, and then went to drive across, and right at that moment a little black pickup truck came whizzing by, passing him on the way across the tracks.  He thought it was a train.   Thus… the “Little Black WooWoo”.
What is your favorite drink?  Water, although I waver between whether  prefer it room temperature or ice cold.
What is your favorite animal?  I don’t have one, although most of the ones I am drawn to are marine life.
What is your favorite perfume?  Z has this lotion that she uses that’s been discontinued for like twenty years or something.  It smells like vanilla and amber without the sharp smell of perfume or any floral notes.  It’s SO nice.  She complained a number of times over the past year or so that she’s almost out.
What sports have you played?  Ugh.  None.  I’m not a fan of team sports or competition.
Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?  So many these days.  Lets see, off the top of my head… The Hermit’s Cave, Boho Tarot, Ethony, Dani Mystic, Becca Tarot Night Owl, On the Cusp Tarot, Pappa Squirrel, Ozark Oracle, Heather Carter, Crow Quill Tarot (this one is new, but I’ve really enjoyed what she’s put out so far), tons more too.  Outside of the whole tarot/spirituality thing, there’s also Beadaholique, Today I Found Out, Doctor Mike, DaveyWaveyRawPhotoshop Tutorials by Layer Life, Stone Music Entertainment, AOMG Official, Bad Yogi, Yoga with Adriene…  hard to choose even just a few, I guess.
What is your favorite childhood memory?  Going to Z’s house.
What is one of your bad habits?  Judging myself harshly.
3 things that make you happy.   Gideon, Sleep, Luna
3 things that make you upset.   Disrespectful behavior, Entitlement, Closemindedness
Top 5 favorite series.   Laurel K Hamilton’s book series.  The Charlaine Harris book series.  The Big Bang Theory on TV.  The Tide book series by Anthony J Melchiorri. That 70s Show on TV, which is never on TV anymore, it seems.
Top 5 favorite self-help books.  Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen, How to Meditate by Lawrence LeShan, The Melt Method by Sue Hitzmann, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, How You Can Survive When They’re Depressed by Anne Sheffield
One word that describes you.   Myriad
What is one of your favorite quotes?  “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
Are you an introvert or extrovert?   Introverted with occasional moments of extroversion.
Are you left or right handed?  I am right handed, with a high amount of dexterity in the left.  I am ambidextrous when I have pliers in my hands and when I play pool.
Does your name have any special meaning?  My given name?  No.  My online name? Yes.  Twist the Leaf is from a spell casting that my sister and I wrote together when we were kids for a Samhain ritual, and still use all these years later.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Right where I am.  I love western Washington.  If anything, I’d love to live out in the woods, though.  Maybe a little, difficult to access cabin in the rainforest with a stream nearby.  That would be amazing as long as I could still have internet.
What is your favorite gadget?  ABCOTech Shower Speaker, although the remote plugs I have installed for the lights in my place come a close second.  I love  having the lights turn on and off on their own via a schedule.
Does your name make any interesting anagrams?   No, but depending on how it’s written, it looks an awful lot like “Leaf”.
Where did you grow up?  Western Washington state
What do you call your grandparents?   I don’t.  I never met my grandparents before they passed.
What is your biggest accomplishment? Surviving
What inspires you?  Nature, Color, Music
What is your greatest fear?   Losing my home is the fear that drives me.  My greatest fear, though, is losing my sister.
What has required the most courage in your life so far?   Choosing survival and recovery instead of giving up.
Who is your favorite actor? Cary Grant
Who is your favorite actress?  It’s a tie between Gena Rowlands and Susan Sarandon
What is your favorite movie?  Night of the Living Dead (the original 1968 version)
What is your favorite musical?  My Fair Lady
What is your favorite series?  I already answered that one above, but I would have to say for television… The Big Bang Theory
What is your favorite anime?   Desu Nōto (Deathnote) by Tsugumi Ohba
What is your favorite Disney movie?  Escape to Witch Mountain (the orginal 1975 version)
What is your favorite cartoon?  The Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons from the 40s and 50s
Who is your top 10 favorite male singers?  In no particular order and only at this moment (as it changes regularly)… Leonard Cohen, Bi Rain, Bing Crosby, Kim Jae Joong, Xia, G-Dragon, Nat King Cole, Kim Woosung, Taemin, Dave Matthews
Who is your 10 favorite female singers?  Also in no particular order and only at this moment (as it changes regularly)… Barbara Streisand, Elkie Brooks, Heize, Emilie Simon, Ebba Forsberg, Beth Gibbons, Lou Lou Ghelichkhani, Fiona Apple, Kwon Bo-ah, Lesley Rankine
10 of your current favorite songs. Also in no particular order and only at this moment (as it changes regularly)… I Will Possess Your Heart by Death Cab for Cutie, Singularity by BTS, Bad by Tablo, Face by WooSung, Catch and Release by Silversun Pickups, Island in the Sun by Weezer, X Amount of Words by BlueOctober, Move by Taemin, UN Village by Baekhuyn, Boom by NCT Dream
What is your favorite book series? Currently (and for a while now) The Tide series by Anthony J Melchiorri
Who is your favorite author? I don’t have one, but my favorite book is a horror novel from the 80s called “Little Brothers” by Rick Hautala
What are your religious beliefs?  Buddhist Pagan…. Buddhist like as in an adjective, Pagan as the noun.
What is your favorite musical instrument?   Cello
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?   Orange Vanilla Swirl (but only if there’s Cheetos Puffs on hand), although the Blue Bunny brand of Bunny Tracks comes a really close second.
What is your favorite physical activity? Sex? Swimming.
What is your favorite way to pass the time?   Creating
What was your favorite subject in school?   English, especially the creative writing classes.
Did you go to college?  I sure did. For nearly four years… but, I didn’t finish.  Life happened.
What was your favorite tv show as a kid?   Z had these videos of this show from the 70s called “Land of the Lost“.  They were SO COOL.
Are you afraid of heights?   Not at all.
Are you high maintenance?   I want to say no, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the answer is actually yes.  Fortunately, I have an amazing partner who loves it when I’m needy.
Are you more inclined to build your own empire or unleash the potential in others? Unleash the potential in others.  I don’t want to rule over anything, because that just sounds miserable.
If you had more courage in your life, what would you do differently right now?  Courage isn’t something that I’m particularly lacking in, I don’t think.  Time and money, on the other hand…
What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen?   Road Rage
When did you have your first kiss?   Fifteen?  I gave (and received) my first BJ a good deal of time before I ever experienced my first kiss.
If you could be a Disney princess, who would you choose to be? LOL… Hmm. I’m going to say Aurora because… who doesn’t want to have THREE fairy godmothers?
Do you have a collection?   God yes.   I have a large collection of tarot/oracle/lenormand/affirmation decks. There are also crystals, candles, beads, jewelry supplies, finished jewelry pieces, houseplants, books, pliers, videos (I never watch), teas in the cupboard, paper punches (mostly in different sizes of round)… yeah, lots of collections.
What is one odd thing about you?   I’m allergic to lemons
What is your greatest dream?   financial stability
Do you sing in the shower?   No, although I do sometimes lip-sync or dance in the shower.
Where is your favorite place to shop in the mall?  Spencer’s Gifts.  Do they have those anymore?  I haven’t been to a mall in probably over a decade or more.
Where is your favorite place to eat?   Denny’s… I have a thing for pancakes.

I actually found a few of the questions in this a little difficult to answer.  It was a fun quiz, but took a little extra time to complete because I had to mull over some of the questions before coming back at a later date to answer them.

 

Write It Down!

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and thirty seconds, and focused on the frenetic energy we ride within ourselves on the day to day, and how important it is to be aware when we are on that particular “ride” so that we can take a step back and hope off now and then.

I liked the title of the theme, which was “City Energy”, as I think that fits really well.   When we are in a hurry or even just going about our day to day, sometimes we are connected with an energy that is very much like a busy city.  There’s so much going on in our minds that it sets us on a path of higher adrenaline, and thus we react with physical strain (increased heart rate and breathing, higher blood pressure, etc) and the eventual fatigue both mentally and physically that can be the result.

Today’s meditation was an encouragement to pay attention to these times and, when they occur, take a moment to slow down and breathe, and settle yourself before moving forward.  This frenetic energy may -make- you feel as if you are getting things done at a faster pace or accomplishing more, but in truth it usually isn’t.   By calming yourself, a lot of times it gives you the focus needed to move along at a quicker and more thorough pace without the adverse mental and physical effects.

Two of Pentacles Today’s draw is my old friend, the Two of Pentacles, which is a representation of balance, duality, cooperation, partnerships, and division in the area of finances, resources, and the physical world.

I want to pause here to explain what I mean by “the physical world”, as this card is not just about money or resources.  This card touches on areas pertaining to the earth (both as an element and the planet), and also upon areas such as hearth and home, as well as the manifestation of things brought into the world such as ideas being brought forward into reality.

I think that’s an important distinction to make in today’s draw because today’s card is more about manifestation than money or resources.

Today’s appearance of the Two of Pentacles is a reminder to WRITE SHIT DOWN!! Ideas need to be written down, otherwise the clutter up the mind and never get done.  When they are written down, they then become something tangible that can be worked with and juggled rather than something lingering in the brain, flitting in and out, but never quite making it to the point of manifestation.

I have not been writing ideas down of late, and… yeah.   This is my reminder to stop cluttering up my brain and write it all down already!

Deck Used: Student Tarot v5

 

Taking a Breather is Okay

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and forty eight seconds long, and focused on how it is human nature to cast judgement, but that when we do so, it is important to look at how we came up with our assumptions and consider if those assumptions aren’t based off of something within ourselves rather than from whatever first impressions we are getting from others.

It was a good topic, although it neglected the aspect of instinct and intuition, which made it a bit incomplete as a discussion on the subject.   That said, if those aspects has been included, the meditation would have been quite a bit longer, and I know that for these daily guided meditations, they usually try to stick to a ten to fifteen minute window.

Today’s draw is the Four of Swords, which is a representation of rest, stability, restoration, contemplation, and recovery in the areas of the mind, thoughts, logic, communication, and instincts.

For a few weeks in July, I had been skipping my naps during the day, and I felt that by doing so I was getting a lot more done and being more productive.   But, over the past week or so, I’ve found that I’m really starting to drag in the late afternoons.

This card is a reminder that it’s okay to rest when I need to so that I can better bounce back and handle my responsibilities and interests with more energy and creativity.  Instead of lying down for a few minutes and using my phone, I need to start laying down for a few minutes and actually sleep.   For, as much as I want to be filled with boundless and infinite amounts of energy, the truth is that rest is an important part of progress.

Deck Used: Student Tarot v5

 

Paganism and Practice

I discovered a new channel on Youtube (new to me, not new on YouTube) called Pagan Perspective the other day, and I really liked some of their weekly discussion topics.  I’m a bit inspired to follow along here on the blog, and so here is my first post.

Spiritual development is a progress, so sometimes thoughts and opinions change along the way, and sometimes we don’t even realize this has happened.  I think this is a nice way to share a bit more of my path with you, but also a way of looking a little more in depth at different aspects of my own faith and getting in touch with where I am at this moment on that journey.

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Topic for the Week of 7/22:  How often do people practice? What do you think about NeoPagans who believe without practice? Is it still a spiritual path?

I think that I have a hard time with the word “practice” in this question.  To me, “practice” usually refers to spellcraft, where as Paganism is a spirituality/belief system.

So, with that in mind, I would say that you can absolutely be a Pagan without “practicing” anything.  Just because you’re not lighting candles or what not does not change your beliefs and as long as you have your beliefs, you are still walking the path.

That said… perhaps there are “belief system” practices, right?  Because there’s things like daily devotionals, or meditation on deities, etc.  Still, I stand by what I’ve said above.  If you have a belief system, then you are on a spiritual path, regardless of the amount of “practice”  you are instilling within it.    As long as you have that belief and are following its tenants, then you’re there.

For example (and lets beat this horse to death, shall we?) we’ll look at Christians. A Christian is a Christian because they believe in the Almighty God and the tenants outlined in the Holy Bible.  If they do not go to church or say their nightly prayers does that mean they aren’t a Christian anymore?  Of course not.  They still have their belief system and thus, are still on their spiritual path.

On to my personal practices…

For me, it’s hard to separate spellcraft from my pagan practices, because in my case they are very interwoven together in how I connect with the energies of the elements, balance, and creation.

Over about mid-2016 through the beginning of this year, I had taken a bit of a hiatus from a physical practice.  I still did my ‘forest bathing’ and I still had my faith, but other than on Samhain, I wasn’t really doing any sort of a physical, tangible practice.

Even in those times, though, I was connected to my beliefs.  I was aware and comfortable with my connection with the earth in all the things I did that brought me in contact with it, I was instilling intention in my time in the kitchen and in my time working on jewelry that was to be sent out to others.   It was simply not being structured or physically expressed in ritual.

Prior to that (and again since the spring) I have returned to doing a daily devotional when I get up in the morning, which includes a short meditation each day, and I have returned to ritual and spellcraft on holidays, new moons, and full moons.  Not that these are the only times I do so, but they are the structured times that are planned for.

Therefore… back to the question at hand because I’m rambling all over the place.  How often do I practice?  Every day.   And I suppose that was always the case, even when I stepped away from a more structured practice for a time.

And I suppose that in the end, “practice” can be anything that instills your beliefs in your life, even if that is just in the way of one being consciously aware of their beliefs rather than abandoning them entirely.   Which, in a way, ties right back into what I said at the beginning of this post.

 

You Don’t Have To Do It Alone

220px-Fractal_treeToday’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on how one’s life and meditation practice is like a fractal.   I… didn’t really get it, to be honest.  I mean, I know what a fractal is.  Essentially it’s when you have a specific design/shape that is created out of identical shapes (see example picture).

My problem lies in how this applies to the relationship between meditation and daily life?  She did some explaining, but it didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

That said… I very much enjoyed the meditation’s method on focusing on the breath today, which was a step by step process of noticing where in the body you feel the breath, from nostrils to belly, and then as a whole throughout.

Today’s draw is the Six of Pentacles, which is a representation of harmony, cooperation, abundance, charity, and a cyclical balance of give and take in the area of finances, resources, and the material world.

Sometimes we are all on the giving end, and sometimes we all need to be on the receiving end, but in our journey through life this is truly more of a cycle.  Even the most wealthy sometimes need a helping hand, and even the poorest of the poor are able to give of themselves to others in need.

This card’s appearance today is a reminder to me that it’s okay to ask for help.  Sometimes I forget, and will struggle under the weight of trying to do everything myself and work it all out on my own.   That is a completely unrealistic mindset, and yet I return to it again and again.

Some of the aspects of my life that I find this most prevalent are in my business, in my self care, in my finances, and in my resources (such as my grocery/food supplies specifically).  It’s good (and in fact, important) to remember that there are venues out there to assist me in some of these areas when I struggle with them.

Deck Used: Student Tarot v5

 

Self Care Saturday (on Sunday)

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So, I’m thinking maybe I need a little bit of accountability on my Self Care Saturday spread.  For the next month, I’m going to try adding it here, as although I’m doing the spread and reading it in the moment, I find that my motivation to write it down seems to be a bit lacking.   I’m hoping that by adding it here that possibly I will be able to get myself motivated into writing it down rather than just reading the spread in the moment and moving on.

These readings are (not usually) bearing down onto any one thing or event in my life, as the question used is asking for a more general outlook.  This is a self care exercise, and not meant as a predictive reading.

The question is… What do I need to focus on in the week ahead?  (Boring, I know, but helpful in pointing out where I might not realize I am neglecting or not realizing needs my attention.)

BodyPage of Wands – Be sure to approach caring for your body’s needs this week with a spirited and youthful mindset that is open to learning new methods and taking in new ideas.

MindKnight of Swords & The Death Card – Being aggressive in one’s thoughts and their expression will lead to endings and change that has perhaps been building for some time.

EmotionsSeven of Wands – Be willing to take some risks with your feelings and emotions.  Just be sure (and careful) of what comes out of your mouth and take the repercussions of speaking your mind into account first (see Mind).

Inner SparkTwo of Cups – One on one collaborations will feed the soul this week and keep the inner spark kindled and burning bright.

Moving Away FromSedum / Discomfort – Testing limits and learning tolerance.  Last week I had a bit of an issue with tolerance where the helper was concerned.  Working through that may show to have created lasting change in how I see things and set in place good (new) methods to use again in the future.

Heading TowardsCardinal / Authenticity & Aloe / Restore – By embracing my unique qualities and characteristics, I will be able to both foster my own store of energies, be refreshed from within, as well as better seated within my own skin.

Decks Used: Luminous Void Tarot, Flora Healing Cards

 

From Resentment to Gratitude

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and seventeen seconds, and was a simple body scan that started at the crown of the head and moved slowly through each body part, as well as the chakra associations involved with the center line of the body.

I often find that these types of meditations make it much easier for me to stay focused rather than catching myself in a constant tug of war between focusing on the breath and my mind beginning to wander.

All in all, I found the meditation very relaxing, although I’ve noticed that on a physical level I’ve been having some problems with my left hip just recently.  I’ll have to discuss it with physio/chiro doc when I go in next Tuesday.  It’s not the right side, so there’s no pins or rods or anything to worry about, but there’s definitely something going on on that side.

Today’s draw is the Three of Wands, which is a representation of growth, small gains and emerging progress, group efforts, and the realization of successes in the area of one’s passion, drive, and ambitions.

This card has shown up today to remind me to be nice, and grateful, for the help I have.  Specifically, in my business.   It is no accident that this card has appeared on the same day that my helper has come back from a week away.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve felt a little resentment lately about her presence in my home.  I don’t think that this has anything at all to do with her, but rather with the fact that I needed a little alone time and just wasn’t getting any.   Between L and J always being around, and the helper coming, and the housekeeper visits, I wasn’t really getting the alone time I need in order to stay balanced.

I realized this last night, and that along with seeking a more mindful and grateful mindset where she is concerned seems to have really helped.  I even taught her a new skill today.  Something that she can work on at home now and then when her school schedule is too strained to make it out this way as often as I’d like, or our schedules just won’t match up.    It meant sending some supplies home with her, but I’m okay with that in this case.

So there you have it.  Better use of that area of ‘group efforts’ and a more mindful, grateful attitude about her presence.

I love you.

Deck Used: Student Tarot v5

Digging For the Roots

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on being mindful of how we treat those that are closest to us.  It discussed how it is those closest to us that sometimes get the brunt of our bad days or dismal moods.

The guided meditation then walked through a practice of mindfulness and gratitude, to assist in keeping in mind just how precious these people are in one’s life.

Today’s draw is the 2nd card in the Major Arcana, the High Priestess card.  As with all cards in the Major Arcana, this card does not deal with one singular aspect of the human experience, but rather with the “larger picture” and our journey along our life’s path.

The High Priestess card is a representation of intuition, spiritual knowledge, the subconscious, and divine feminine energy.  This card is a reminder not just to listen to your intuition, but to tune into your awareness of the yet to be discovered and the unknown.    She is a reminder that there is more at play in the world than what lies just upon the surface of our awareness.

This card’s appearance on a Self Care Saturday indicates that there are deeper motivations at work than what I perceive going on just on the surface.  I’ve been more tired than normal this week, and a bit reclusive from the world at large.  I even started resenting the presence of my helper a bit, which is ridiculous because 1) I’m PAYING her to be here and 2) she really does help me and my business.

Today I am being given a chance to get in touch with what’s going on beneath the surface and foster the temperance and tolerance, as well as the gratitude, that I need in order to move forward into the busy new week ahead.

Deck Used: Student Tarot v5

 

A Peter Pan Kind of Day

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and eight seconds, and focused on shame and how to deal with shame so that you can move past it.

I do not really have a lot of experience with this particular emotion, despite my father’s insistence throughout my life that I should. There are times, of course, when I have felt guilty for hurting someone on accident, not making good choices, or occasionally from my mother’s machinations. But, I do not consider guilt to be shame, as I believe they are two very different monsters.

Regardless, I do believe that the way to deal with both of these is much the same, which is what is what was outlined in today’s guided meditation. This method is by approaching yourself with kindness and understanding in these moments, as guilt and shame both come from a place of harsh judgment inflicted upon the self.

Today’s draw is the Six of Cups, which is a representation of vitality, harmony, and cooperation in the area of emotions, creativity, intuition, and relationships.

The Six of Cups can often represent a youthful energy, and this is a part of the message that this card has for me today.

In my morning devotional this morning, part of my hopes for the day was to “enjoy the day to its fullest”. The appearance of this card is telling me that in order to do that I need to get in touch with my inner child and that fun vibrant spot inside of us all that is the birthplace of enthusiasm and joy.

This is also a mindful practice for me in living in the now instead of always pushing for the future.

Although I have a long drive ahead of me and much to do, I am going to strive to approach each task and challenge today from a mindset filled with the spark of joy and adventure, rather than one of responsibility and drudgery.

Deck Used: Student Tarot v5

 

#MyBestAdvice a (non) VR to Brian Cormack Carr

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So this will be an easy (and short one) for the questions thing.   Brian Cormick Carr over on YouTube introduced the hashtag #MyBestAdvice on his channel recently, where he shared what the best advice was that he has ever gotten in life, and where from, and then asked others to do the same.

For me, this was advice given to me by Z.  Growing up, I spent a great deal of time at her house because she was 1) my parent’s “Pagan Parenting” coach of a sort, 2) she kind of ended up functioning as my sister and I’s “godparent”, and 3) she did a LOT of babysitting of L and myself.

So, with all those factors in place, it’s not really much of a surprise that this advice comes from her.   I think I was around twelve?  Maybe a little older.   Perhaps she was worried about how I would turn out, or perhaps it was just another guiding step on teaching us values.  Whatever the reason, her advice was to read a poem named “The Dash” by Linda Ellis.

Here it is…

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

By Linda Ellis, Copyright © Inspire Kindness, 1996, thedashpoem.com

This poem changed my life in a very literal way. It made me conscious of my effect upon others and the world at large in a way that nothing previously ever had and created a “community perspective” that reached way beyond just my immediate family and friends.

This poem is the best advice that I’ve ever received, and holds a framed place above my altar in the bedroom where I stand to do my devotional each day.  A daily reminder to always look beyond myself and be mindful of the influence I have upon others and the world around me.