Posts Tagged With: Dreams

Budgeting

Budgeting

Unless you make a shit ton of money, have a wealthy uncle or heritage, most of us have to live within a budget.  We have to take note of what is coming in and what is going out or else we’ll find ourselves reactive, chasing one problem after another, instead of being proactive to prevent more problems.  Remember this: Reactive = chaos. Proactive=control.  I think this is one of the issues that plague our country, and even the world, more than anything else – irresponsibility of not realizing what our true means are and living within those means, or making a plan to increase or decrease those means.

I’ve experienced just about every aspect and level of lifestyle. I’ve been so low and have tasted being homeless living in my car and rest stops for a time, to a one room shack with no electricity or running water, onto trailer parks with holes in the floor fighting rats for my space, expanding to several different levels of apartments, moving into suburban America with a 4-bedroom home and two car garage,  rental properties,  enjoying a condo on the beach, and a hacienda complete with guards, servants and two toilets in a single restroom. I’ve experienced true hunger and have also gorged on extravagance; both just as depraved, and neither the key to true, lasting happiness.

As with any other goal in our life, we must take an honest look of where we are, what he contribute, what we owe, where we want to go, and where we need to be in order to make the appropriate plans to get there. Go ahead and keep believing your dreams and fantasies are going to take care of all your needs and solve all your problems. Let me know how that turns out.  However, if you truly want to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and live a good, balanced life, then you need to start being honest with yourself and circumstances, and then set your budget.

All of life is about a budget. We not only need to budget our money, but our time, our affection, and our dreams.  The most detrimental thing that happens to me is when I allow others, bad decisions, and unexpected circumstances to rob me of my peace and balance in life.  All the success I’ve enjoyed throughout my life has resulted from when I made an honest assessment, developed a plan, and then activated that plan – EVERY SINGLE SUCCESS.  If I look back, the majority of my failures have resulted from times when I’ve lied to myself, reacted spontaneously without counting the costs, or allowed others and their needs to come before myself.

So, this week I’m going to talk about budgeting. So stay tuned.  Hopefully something in these blog posts will open your mind, click within your soul, and set you on a path to success. That’s what I’m hoping for myself. This is all part of my latest journey.  If you want to come along, buckle up – it’s going to be an awesome, yet bumpy, ride.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Letting Go

Letting Go

Letting go isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be, or as easy as it sounds.  Hell, it sounds so simple… you know, just open your hand and let it go. Elsa even understood it so much she sang a song about it. Holding on is hard.  Holding on is scary.  Holding on takes so much out of you; it breaks you down and pulls at the very center of who you really are.  The way ‘letting go’ is made to sound so easy is like saying holding on is a bad thing.  But is it, really?  Isn’t holding on what makes a relationship work?  Isn’t holding on what gets you ‘through’ the tough times in life?  Hold on to the promises.  Hold on to the hope.  Hold on to faith.  Hold on to love.  Right?  How come I feel like I’m the only one that ever ‘holds on’ to anything in my life?  I’m sure that probably sounds like such a selfish and self-centered attitude, but I can’t help but feel the lump in my throat when I think about it, and feel the warm tears streak down my cheeks as I think of all those that found it so easy to let go… to let me go.

Yesterday, I was faced with the stark reminder that I’ve once again been left behind, forgotten, that life has moved on without me, that they have ‘let me go’ and are busy with their new life, without me.  Yet, feeling the pain of it made it clear that I’m still holding on.  The tears that flow this morning are tears from facing the reality that they’ve moved on. I suppose it’s time for me to do the same.  It’s time for me to let go of the fairy tale that will never happen, the knight-in-shining armor moment that’s never coming.  He’s got his Cinderella and I’m faced with the reality that I was just another faceless dancer at the ball; all dressed up, but didn’t quite possess the right shoes.  Obviously, that wasn’t my fairy tale.

So, what do I do now?  Let go?  That’s easy to say, easy to think, easy to plan, but… what everyone fails to explain is ‘HOW’.  How do I turn a part of my heart off?  How do I stop dreaming?  How do I stop hurting?  How do I start to breathe again?  I should know how to do this; I’ve done it so many times before.  I should be an expert, or know how to write a how-to book on “letting go” and “starting over”.  Yet, I know as much now as I knew every time before.  I’m lost.  I’m just lost. Nothing’s familiar in my life right now.  For a few seconds in the mornings I forget I’m in a new town and separated from everything I love.  I’m in a new job, and haven’t yet started back writing.  I have everything I own and possess stuffed away in some storage unit, waiting to be reclaimed.  That’s how my life feels: stored away just waiting to be reclaimed.

I have to let go, I have no choice.  Those decisions were made without me.  I may have been the one who moved away, but they left me long before that.  The tears this morning remind me I’m still holding on, but there’s nothing in my hands except broken pieces of myself.  Was it worth it?  Is the pain I feel now worth the joy I felt while falling in love?  Yes.  I loved falling in love.  It was scary, but exciting.  For just a little while, I was the princess at the ball in the beautiful gown, and it was me with whom he was dancing. I felt the magic. The music moved me. Everything about it was beautiful.  He was beautiful.  I don’t know how  long it’ll be before I dare dress up and attend another ball, but before I do I have to somehow “let go” of this particular fairy tale.  Elsa, help me.  My friends, please just hold me close and very tight.  I love you all very much, and it’ll be your love that helps me find my magic again.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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How Do I Say Goodbye to a Dream?

How do I say goodbye to a dream, when the dream has been better than anything I’ve ever seen? How do I say goodbye to a love, deeper than the oceans or any love that ever was?

How do I say goodbye to my heart, beating stronger when we’re together and nearly stops when we’re apart? How do I say goodbye to  my breath, the very one that I lost at the very moment we met?

How do I say goodbye to a friend, who’s constant companionship I’d thought would never end?

How do I say goodbye? Where do I get the strength? I know what must be done, but I can’t even breathe.  How do I say goodbye to the greatest love I’ve ever known? How do I say goodbye? How do I move on?

It’s killing me to leave you, it’s killing me to stay. I want nothing more than to run into your arms, but I must run away. How do I say goodbye to you, how, oh how, do I breathe? You are the greatest love of my life, but I really have to leave.

I can’t stay here any longer, you’re not real, you’re just a dream. You’re the devil sent to torture me, the angel to unravel my seams.  Did you ever love me? Did you ever care? Or was it all just my imagination and a fool’s hat I wear?

How do I say goodbye?  Where do I get the strength? I know what must be done, but I can’t even breathe.  How do I say goodbye to the greatest love I’ve ever known?  How do I say goodbye? How do I move on?

It was a lovely dream, and I wish I could stay.  But life is calling me, it’s pulling me away.  I can’t worship you any longer, and pretend that you’re mine.  You belong to another and I’ve been left behind. To pick up the pieces of my broken, shattered heart,  With my arms loaded with shards, down the broken road I start.

Goodbye, my dream.  Goodbye, my heart. Good bye, my love.  Good bye.

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Fly, My Love

Fly, My Love

As my dreams evaporate in the morning, you, my lover, are the star shining brightly in the darkness like an angel from the heavens.

Your skin pulses with an electric radiance, drawing me like a magnet.
Your scent is so alluring, it makes my head spin and my heart pound.

When you touch me, I meld with the universe. The world stops spinning and the very fabric of existence acknowledges our connection. I can’t stop touching you. My fingers ache to roam all over you, my body yearns to absorb your warmth, my ears long to hear your heartbeat.

When you look at me I can’t hide behind my mask or beneath my fear. They all fall away, crumbling like dust at my feet. You see me, you expose my soul.

Foreign hands have touched my body, and like armor I have resisted them, even despised them. But you, my angel, have reached inside and wrapped your strong fingers around my heart. Can you feel it beating against your palm?

I can’t look away, your gaze has ensnared me, hypnotized me, possessed me. I see you in every face, I hear your voice in every song, I feel your touch in every note. All else is imitation. All else pales to your consuming fire.

Spread your wings, my dream warrior. Wrap your strong arms around me. Kiss me. Hold me tight. Fly, my love, fly. I am yours. In my dreams you are mine. We are one.

I hate to open my eyes. I hate to say goodbye. When we separate, my world once again dims, my armor weighs me down, grounding me. I long for you. I become lost, unbalanced as the world begins to spin once more.

I love you, angel of my dreams. Fly, my love. Fly back to me.

~T.L. Gray

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The Beautiful, Wonderful Mess

The Beautiful, Wonderful Mess

Every morning, just as my dreams begin to fade and reality takes over, a choice presents itself – a choice on how I’m going to face the day.  Regardless of the dream, whether it was good, bad, erotic, scary, hurtful, funny… no matter – I have a choice of how I’m going to set my pace for the day.

So many mornings over the past couple of years have been met with trembling hands, lumps in my throat, tears running down my cheeks, fear of the unknown, pain of the past, yet mixed with hope for a better day, for a better tomorrow, for love, for joy, for happiness.  Some days are met with those good moments, other days I face more trials and more heartache.  Every day I face me and the woman I was, the woman I choose to be, the woman I want to become.

I wish I could make everything perfect.  I wish I could always make the right choice. I wish I could always find happiness, always pick the right circumstances, and always find the right person.  I’m human and I make mistakes.  I get things wrong… a lot.  Sometimes …sometimes I get it right.

The world is in chaos, yet we’re expected to continue to keep on living, to continue hoping, to survive the pain.  Do you see me?  Do you not know I’m part of this world too?  For those who come into my life, I see you.  I look beyond your body, your words, your masks, and I see you – the beautiful, wonderful mess that you are, because in you – I see me.  I smile at your imperfections and hope you can do the same.

Quit expecting me to be perfect, to have all the answers, to lead you where you need to go.  I will disappoint you and let you down.  Don’t put that burden on me, I can’t carry it, I’m not strong enough.  Just love me as I am, and I’ll do my best to love you just as you are, and maybe together as we struggle to carry ourselves through this life and we won’t have to walk alone.

But if you can’t do that – let me go.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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If You Can Fly – Come Find Me

If You Can Fly

 

Not all changes happen on the outside.  The best ones, the ones that have the most impact, often happen on the inside.  I’ve always heard the phrase that if you want to make a change on the outside, you have to first make a change on the inside, or it’s not really a change at all.  I’ve come to realize that the outside is either a reflection or a mask.  I used to hide behind a mask, a secret identity, but I’ve since learned to shed my skin and expose all that I am to a harsh and judgmental world.

I’ve had some ups and down in my journey of change, expect even more, but I’ve accomplished so much in a short period of time.  I’ve not just lost weight, but I’ve focused on getting my body, mind and spirit healthier and stronger.  I’ve learned a lot about my limits, and pushing myself beyond those limits, and listening to what my body, my heart, and my mind needs.  I’ve learned to love and appreciate them for what they are, not only focused on what they could become.

I used to not be able to look at my scars, being reminded of the pain in receiving them, some things no human should have to endure. I’ve seen the true face of evil – it has burned, cut, stabbed, raped, degraded, abandoned and used me. I don’t know how I survived, but I did.  But, the outward scars are not the only ones left by abuse, there are inward scars that run much deeper. Those are the ones no one but a few ever get to see.

I’m a beautiful woman, but I know that not everybody will be able to get passed my scars, both inwardly and outwardly.  Not everyone has the strength to look at them and see their beauty.  I would win no beauty contest and would never be the object of a dream fantasy, but someday, some lucky man is going to be showered with such an abundance of love he’ll be overwhelmed.  Because it required an abundance of love to get me where I am and to teach me to see the world, people, and things around me with a different set of eyes.  I used to have shallow eyes, and hid behind their prejudice, but I now possess x-ray vision.  I see hidden beauty where others only see skin.

My skin is steel, forged by a stubborn will.  I use that thick skin to repel the bullets shot at me, letting them ricochet back at those who meant to wound me. I have a spirit that soars in the clouds.  The world wants to ground me, force me to keep my feet anchored to the earth, but I can’t.  My cape flaps in the wind that calls my name.  I don’t know where I’ll land, where I’ll go, or if the ride will be wrought with fear – but I leap anyway.

So, I’m not an ordinary woman and it will only take an extraordinary man, a superman, to be my partner.  I’m a stranger and an alien, different and alone, and the world seeks to use me and my gifts for their own ends.  But, I don’t play by their rules. I won’t be found on the ground, only in the clouds.  If you can fly – come find me.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Health & Fitness, Inspirational, Musing, Philosophy, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Good Morning, World – April 4 – April 17

Here are my latest morning musings.  I hope you enjoy them.

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Never, Never, Never Give Up!

Never Give Up Bracelet

That’s easy to say, but so hard to do. It’s actually the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the thing I struggle with most every day.  It’s easy to give up, but it’s not in my character to do so.

I know I’m a fool when it comes to a lot of things.  I hope when there is no evidence of hope. I love when there is no evidence of love. I believe when I’ve been given nothing to believe in.  So, yes – that is the definition of a fool.  Even my nickname growing up was a synonym for ‘fool’ – a Sap; I’m a stubborn fool.

A very dear woman, one I love even more than my mother, gave me a silver bracelet with the following inscribed words of encouragement: You can do it. Have no fear. Live Life. Love Life, Honestly, Strong, It’s already in you. Love is power. Have Courage. Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up. You can do anything. Believe. Love Yourself. Achieve.  Be Yourself. Be Brave. Leap and the net will appear. Love Life.

I wear this bracelet quite often to remind me to never give up on my dreams.  No matter if anyone else believes in me, I have to believe in myself. A harsh truth when it comes to our dreams is that often no one else truly believes in us, and most often those who are closest to us are our biggest obstacles.  We don’t give up what is important to strangers or people who don’t care about us.  No, we’d fight hard against those enemies.  But, those we love and admire most often are the ones we allow to steal our dreams from us, usually bit piece by bit piece. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe these people purposefully become an obstacle for us, or that we consciously allow them to detour us.  But they are the birds that come and eat the seeds we plant before they’re able to take root.

Never, Never, Never Give Up!

As Journey says, “Don’t stop believing…” Surround yourself with people who believe in you.  Most of all, believe in yourself.  And – never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up!  As Lucy Spraggan says, “I know what you’re scared of. I can feel it too. You’re not scared of climbing mountains. You’re scared you can’t make them move. ”  Jesus says, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”  Believe it, or don’t believe it.  It’s up to you. I choose to believe.  Yes, I’m scared, but I’m a stubborn fool who doesn’t know how to give up.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Make It Happen

Make it Happen

 

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year pertained to a lot of hiking, enjoying the outdoors, and experiencing more of the things I love.  I’m happy to report I’m doing a really great job keeping those promises.

Being outdoors does something for me I can’t really explain.  When I’m in the woods I can step outside the four walls that close around me all the time.  On an emotional level, I’m able to disconnect from fears that pressure me. I can think more clearly among the birds, the trees, and the glorious sunshine. The wind speaks to me.  The colors paint me beautiful pictures.  The songs of nature sing me beautiful lullabies.  I feel human, a part of the earth, and connected with the universe when I’m in the woods.  I feel I belong – not alone, not unwanted, not unloved.

We all dream about doing things.  We probably suggest to ourselves a dozen times a day wonderful ideas of amazing adventures, yet we either talk ourselves out of those dreams and settle for a more practical solution, or just forget about them altogether.  I’m a pro.  For most of my life, I didn’t fight for the opportunities to do these things for myself.  I allowed the practical to rule the day.  Not anymore.

I have a journal I received at Christmas that has the words “Make It Happen” stamped across the front.  This is my outdoor adventure journal, where I fill it with tokens, receipts, pamphlets, passes, and reminders of the excursions I take.  I know as I fill this journal, I’m not just filling dreams on a page, I’m LIVING these adventures.  I’m making it happen.

I know how easy we can allow the practicality and hardships of life to steal these dreams from us.  But, I can’t express how much we need to protect them and do what we can to make them happen.  Life isn’t made up of those great moments, because great moments are far and few between.  What makes our lives worthwhile are what we decide to do in the simple every day moments. Don’t throw those little dreams away.  Instead, make them happen.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Health & Fitness, Inspirational, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

What You Tell Yourself

What You Tell Yourself

I’ve read some inspiring articles lately about how, as the poster above states, what you tell yourself every day will either lift you up or tear you down.  I know this to be a deep existential truth. It’s what’s holding me together at this particular and scary moment in my life.

The world is a harsh place filled with disappointments, broken dreams and heart aches, but it’s also full of accomplishments, adventurous successes, and great love stories.  I’ve asked myself a million times how one gets from one end of the spectrum to the next, from dreaming to the realization of those dreams, from surviving to enjoying life, and I’m learning the key is attitude and having a positive mindset.

According to both of the articles listed at the end of this post, we should remind ourselves of three unique and positive things about ourselves, and list what three things for which we are grateful. No, the world won’t just magically align itself and every wish comes true at the onset of this positive turn, but it’s a beginning, and one I’d like to do today.  According to my faith, I should write my vision down and keep it before me, because if I can see it in my mind, I can achieve it.  So, here I go.

 Three positive things about myself:

  1. I’m honest. Honestly is a rare today.  The world is full of lies and liars. My honesty often costs me.  I’ve lost nothing to honesty that wasn’t worth losing in the first place.  I make mistakes, but I have no regrets because they’ve been honest mistakes.  I’ve seen what dishonesty does to families, relationships, and self esteem.  Deception destroys a person from within, and liars always get caught.  Nothing good comes from a lie.
  2. I’m beautiful.  I’m not a supermodel, an actress, or have a body that would stop traffic or make men drool, but I love the hard work I’ve put into my body. I’m healthy, I’m active, and being that way makes me happy.  Being happy puts a smile on my face, and that smile makes me attractive.  But, my heart, though having been broken, abused, and abandoned many times -yet still chooses to love and not become bitter in spite of it all – makes me beautiful.
  3. I’m a dream chaser.  I don’t let the world dictate to me who I am or what I do, or what I should be. I have dreams and hopes, and no matter what anyone else thinks or says, I do my best, sacrifice what I must, and pay whatever cost, in order to chase my dreams. Believe me, it’s cost me dearly.

And now for the three things for which I’m thankful:

  1. I’m thankful for my children.  They are the treasure of my heart. I love each of them in their own way, and being their mother has been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.  I’m not the perfect mother, but I love my children with a perfect love, and they love me.
  2. I’m thankful for the opportunity to chase my dreams.  I love writing.  I can’t imagine my life without it.  I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to pursue my dream of publication and have had that dream realized now several times, and know there will be so much more to come. I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve made in this industry.  Writers are unique people, a peculiar lot, and only they can truly understand my passions, my sacrifices, my frustrations, my goals, and my dreams in this area.
  3. I’m thankful for my friends.  I know they love me and without them I would be completely lonely.  Someone recently told me that I should become completely independent and get to the point where I don’t need anyone. I’m already there.  I depend on no person for anything – financially, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.  However, I choose my friends. I choose to love them and to want them in my life. I don’t need them and would be just fine without them, but without them I would be lonely and I would miss them greatly. I love them and want them, and am so thankful they have chosen me to share their life.

So, what three positive things can you think about yourself, and for what three things are you thankful?  Come on, I’m sure it won’t take you long to figure those out.  Then, once you do, remind yourself daily of those things every day and watch your world begin to transform into a happier, more successful life.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Re:

Changing Your Attitude by Tanee at From Fat to Fit Chick – http://fromfattofitchick.blogspot.com/2013/12/changing-your-attitude.html

Three Good Things by Jeff Suwak at The Prague Revue – http://www.praguerevue.com/ViewArticle?articleId=4120

Categories: Blog Post, Health & Fitness, Inspirational, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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