The Mind of Eden

I realize how the mind correlates amongst gardens. Like plants, we nurture and cast light to where we desire growth. Feeding our thirst for knowledge through informative mediums somehow seem beyond remarkable. I’d proclaim reading as the ultimate “watering” for knowledge. However, this day and age, we’ve expanded that intake. From libraries to websites, letters to clips, images to audio; our focus directed towards learning helps us discover all that we inquire.

I find it fascinating, our potential reach for education. Wide array of options, multiple forms of access to different perspectives; different minds that give us insight of memorable experiences. One can only assume with ambition, we conquer. Through our glory, we find wisdom and from wisdom grants growth. The mind of eden lies within us, the garden we raise like children. Enlightenment sought out and obtained, solely based upon our own wish to do so.  As our years tick like seconds, we pass on something greater than what we’ve learned. We share our growth, forever expanding our garden. The eternal passing of an intellectual baton.

Advertisements

Learning Nothing

Hey Followers!.. or Future Followers.. (Click the Follow Button Please and Thank You.)

I recently spoke of my journey to learn how the brain works. This post is what I’ve picked up on from my self-education. My most recent reading concerns Self-Repair which is from a book called “Whole” by Melissa Moore and Michele Matrisciani. I must say it is a spectacular read. 

However, within the book, I picked up on something I’d like to share with you called “nothingness.” This represents the idea that with nothing comes something and with something comes nothing. Without a space you don’t have a shape and there couldn’t be a shape without a space. Lastly, with void comes form and with form, surely, comes void. I am sure you see where I am getting at. 

If not.. Rest assure, I’ll further explain myself..

Nothingness is the importance of how absence plays a vital role in our existence.  Learning to understand something and nothing depending upon one another to exist can make way to the concept on how to utilize both during situations. We have a response instinct in us that is intuitive during stressful times called “Fight-Flight-Freeze.” The last of the three cannot be seen as useful until examined with a deeper look. The freeze concept correlates to the grand idea of nothingness since essentially you are doing nothing. 

However, keeping still can be very beneficial.. Here’s why..

The book states that doing nothing during an issue can more give clarity towards what needs to be done in order to resolve the situation.  In the reading, they call situations a “storm” and staying calm during the storm can help build enough confidence to not only gain enough insight but can help identify the right response or allow the path to reveal itself.

Food for thought, I suppose.

“Shape clay into a vessel; it is the space within that makes it useful.”

My New Start.

It has been quite awhile since I’ve set a new goal for myself.  From learning to survive on my own to venturing off into new areas, this person I had always dreamt of becoming had turned into reality.  I’ve lost weight, furthered my career, and even joined the military; I love the person I have turned into.  A lot has been set out with the path I chose. I have discovered that being grateful does not come with learning to appreciate who you are but appreciating the challenges and change you press upon yourself. Chasing after goals has turned me into a passion driven person. Even though I fail and succeed interchangeably, the chase itself is what I value.

Lately, I’ve been trying to set new goals for myself. I am eager to come up with new plateaus to reach for and one of them is to advance my passion for writing and reading. I shall take these next few months to concentrate on learning and understanding the concept of how the brain works. I have obtained quite a few books from a local library and will continue to educate myself in this field.  As I document and broadcast everything I experience, my idea is to not only share this journey with you(the reader) but to also gain insight and advice along the way.

Any feedback and thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you.

A Vital Lesson From Traveling

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” –Saint Augustine

To “travel” can mean anything from across the world to across town. From passing through various cultures with contrasting social norms or over a railroad that splits a neighborhood in two.  You could surpass an ocean full of life that the world has yet to discover or simply cross through an invisible line that we consider as our boundary.

An exploration needs not an airplane ticket, a boat voucher, or an automobile filled to the brim with gas. Our expeditions inquire us to step away from our limited imagination where we ponder our usual thoughts and give attention to ordinary imagery. Our journey begins once we step away from our comfortable path and into the outer limits where our minds give way to expansion.

A vital lesson I’ve gained from traveling to different locations inside and out of my country is that the best reservation, the greatest itinerary, or the largest amount of money will not be the cause of a meaningful experience. The incredible encounter we hope to endure will only be achieved once we approach our getaway with a clear conscious and an understanding of who we are and what we aren’t. To be fully aware of ourselves can help us find our findings become truly profound. Saint Augustine may have said that the world is a book, but I think it is only up to the reader how they travel through the pages.

Thank you.

One Phrase I Live By

“If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying.”

This brilliant quote has turned me into the discomfort seeking, pain enduring, and failure-oriented growth monster I am today. In my youth, I had sought after comfort as if it were something beneficial. As if to conform in my own shell would help myself grow into the person I planned to become. I had always knew what I wanted and most certainly had envisioned what I were supposed to be, except, I didn’t know the route to develop into him.

At an early age I was taught not to walk too close to the street, to stay away from bad areas, and to look over my shoulder in fear of trouble lurking. This sort of brain washing had morphed me into some kind of worrywart in which I am still in constant battle with today. I have never been scared of standing up for myself but can plead guilty to over worrying about every consequence stemmed from my actions.

As time presses on, the pleasure I seek has been through journeying into different outlets. Various platforms in which I have longed to conquer in reality, but at one point, have only dreamt of. As I sit in this café in my new neighborhood that I had once assumed was “too dangerous,” typing on a laptop that I longed to own but deemed “too expensive,” and thinking with the mindset that I had originally thought of as incomprehensible; I have begun experiencing life and all of it’s embellishments. I continue to grow through all of my uncomfortable positions, all of the pain inflictions, and all of my failing attempts to succeed; so I can argue that living my life to it’s fullest potential is now underway.

Being able to fully experience growth coexisting with life has also helped me understand how my demise will only come from the inability to grow any further. Though all of this lay in question, one thing is for certain; I will continue to grow until my last breath is taken.

Growth Is Life.

 

What I’ve Learned From The Passing Of A Loved One

Painfully, as the saying proceeds, “ The Good Ones Are Always First To Go.”

This quote has played out immensely over the past week from mourning the passing of a tremendous person, Eddie Lopez.

Through it all, I have seemed to pick something up from this experience.

As I stood inches away from the burial of my beloved friend, thoughts ran sporadically through my mind. I’ve always been very intuitive growing up, so while staring at the gravediggers fill up the hole where the remains of greatness lay; I felt a strong gush of wind blow right through our commencement. Hastily, I glanced around to nearby trees where no other branches swayed in the distance. Yet, the tree that overlooked ours shook like no other.

“He’s here,” I quietly thought.

As each hair on my skin propped them selves up, I felt his presence and energy. The ceremony ended but while soaking it all in, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had just come about.

While breaking free from this deep thought, I looked around and realized everyone had already left. I stayed due to the connection I felt that offered enlightenment.

“What if life was more than just a physical being with an expiration date imprinted on it? What if we were more than just animals comprised of a birth and death?”

As this spiritual inception began to grow, I started to think about life in its entirety. I believe we are given one chance at life, one issuance of our own beginning and ultimately… Our demise.

I think, however, what makes this set of events so special is that from the moment we are brought in this world we chase after what brings us joy and we die in pursuit. From our introduction we puzzle together an understanding of ourselves and as we continue, this pursuit becomes our purpose.

“Our purpose” being the reason we were created or exist.

As time gave way, all I could think about was this idea. If this concept were true, it would seem that our purpose is far more significant than us as individuals; and if that were true then us as single entities play a part in something much larger.

Point being, in my opinion of course, what I’ve learned is that it’s important to chase whole-heartedly after what drives us because in the end we all play a single stroke to a much larger painting; a canvas of life where us as the details are vital to contributing to a fuller picture.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

-Dylan Thomas

 

Thank you for listening…

R.I.Paradise

Eddie Lopez

 

 

 

 

 

My Father/The Hero

I remember at one point in my life, I would always run to my father for every question, troubled issue, confused idea, or pondering problem..

“Hey dad, can you help me with my math homework?”

“Sure!” was his reply as he would jump up without hesitation to help me finish the rest of my school work.

The man knew everything from solving quadratic equations, to knowing an artist’s name of a song(and album name), to fixing my car when it broke down.

When I got older, I’d drive around the city of Chicago and get lost..

(Phone rings) “Hey dad, if I’m on Foster and Kedzie, how do I get back home?”

(Answers quickly) “Take Foster west to Austin and then take a left on Austin, take that street all the way down to Roosevelt, you’ll know your way from there.”

Boom, got me home in 20-30 minutes.

It was easy going through life having a strong person support your every move. Even though he would give me a hard time when I was lazy, he would push me to go the distance at all times.

Dad – “I don’t care if it’s snowing, you’re still walking to school! I walked to school everyday when I was young, you will too!”

As he drove off in his car to work, I angrily walked my seven blocks to school. (I was just being lazy. haha)

Well.. Last year he had a massive stroke and as he lay in the hospital bed at Loyola, all I could think about was how devastating life would be without my super-human dad. He was more than my leader, more than my guardian, more than a role model.. He was my father.

I’d show up at the hospital everyday to watch the Bulls/Steelers/Blackhawks play, I’d shave him, keep his pillows tucked neatly on both sides to prop him up, bring a speaker to play his favorite salsa songs, and even stay overnight sometimes to make sure he had everything he needed(the nurses there did a great job as well keeping him comfortable).

A couple months later, the nurses reached out to me and asked that I come in to learn how to accommodate to his needs while he was home. As I came in at the time prompted, I was confused by what they were teaching me. They showed me how to lift him up, lay him down, how to shower him, how to bring him up and down the stairs in a wheel chair. I was so confused..

“You mean he’s always going to be in this paralyzed state?” I asked..

The nurses would respond that it depended upon my father. Something we had no control over, only the strength and perseverance of my father would make any of that possible.

“Until that time comes, we’ll teach you how to accommodate to his needs for the time being,” they would politely respond.

As I stood there worrying that my strength would not be enough to handle this, I heard my father’s voice shouting within me, “stop being lazy, you can do this!”

What I realized is that, even with my father in this state; he is not only still physically around but also spiritually within me. I possess the strength my father had and as our roles have shifted, the energy never left.

I am the rock, the leader, the role model now.. I am the one that will hold this family together.. I am the one that will build him back into the man he once was, because I am “my father.”

I am the Hero.

Thank you for listening.

THE DISCOMFORT ZONE

As far back as I can recall being uncomfortable always came to mind as something “bad.”

If my clothes felt uncomfortable, my mom would reassure me that it was because they were either too small or perhaps I was too big. When the weather was too hot or bitter cold, I was uncomfortable searching for ways to feel comfortable again. When classmates would poke fun at things physically wrong about me, I’d go home and look in the mirror and see all those flaws staring back at me in the face, again uncomfortable…

This made it easy for myself to draw the correlation between feeling “uncomfortable” and the idea that it should be prevented, hidden, and/or avoided at all costs.

Now I am in my mid twenties and I find myself going through reinvestigation, retracing my steps on things I made my way around in the dungeons of “discomfort.”

Foods that once left me in disgust are now given another chance, movies that once frightened me I laugh at, and places I never thought I’d visit are now pictures posted on my social media with my selfie somewhere in the mix.

Being able to find joy in the discomfort zone as I get older has helped me truly understand the feeling of being uncomfortable and the benefits that come with it. Stepping outside my comfort zone has helped me push through to new depths, realizing my true strength when going with the flow and trusting my instincts as I move along.

One cannot technically see into the future, but with a vision of what you want of yourself, anything can be accomplished. All it takes is that first step into the land of “discomfort.”

Break Out.

How I Book My Getaways

This blog is meant to share my process behind traveling, from booking my stay to planning each daily adventure. The trips I plan are usually chosen amongst varieties of flights and housing options given at great prices. In this blog I’ll give you insight on how I plan my trips and since “MotivatioNel Works” is meant for creative inspiration, I hope this will inspire you to try out my method in planning your next getaway!

Since booking the vacation is clearly not the best part, understand that choosing a qualitative flight and a unique travel destination for a great price will make your trip ten times more memorable.

To start off with the trip planning, I like to research the desired location I’d like to visit. Once the place is decided upon and thoroughly examined, I figure out when the best time to visit would be.

Having an idea of a date in mind while investigating prices will help a ton, since airline tickets fluctuate throughout the year. More than most, the spring and summer time bookings are usually the time when prices greatly inflate, although locations vary dramatically. The prices could change from endless factors like the day of the week you leave, the time you depart or arrive, how long you stay, when you come back, or even the airline or seat you choose.

Before I spend any kind of money, my process is to gather up as much information as I can about my desired location, explore all options before booking any reservations, not to mention guarantee the date range set up to work out and be available to book.

For Example:

Let’s say my desired location is Las Vegas, Nevada.

I start off by researching all I can about the best times to go to Las Vegas, the best areas to stay in Las Vegas, what to avoid in Las Vegas, Cool things to do in Las Vegas (I Usually Add In The Time I’m Going For More Specific Events), anything I can think of that will enhance my experience. I’ll also figure out when is a good time to take off work so I don’t miss too much while I’m gone.

After deciding upon a date,

I visit the site “Google.com/Flights”

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 8.46.40 AM.png

With Google Flight’s search engine, I would set up the flight information for the getaway where my flight would depart from any Chicago airport and arrive at the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Right after choosing the flight destinations, you’ll be asked what dates you wish to depart and return from the trip.

One of the cool features about Google Flights is that it allows you to scan through different dates, with the lowest ticket prices for each date attached, to see what date would be best for you. If the date you want is too expensive, Google Flights will also allow you to see prices for alternate destinations that are nearby. This is to see if somewhere close is cheaper than the direct route you are trying to take. So I choose the dates that are the lowest and match it up with the time I’m taking off work. It’ll then give me multiple airline choices with different times amongst the airline chosen. I like to choose an early time if I have the whole day off to get the full day where ever I’m going but if I am leaving after work then I choose the latest possible.

Before finalizing my airfare purchase, I’ll begin my research on finding a location to stay at. I prefer to figure this out BEFORE I make my airline purchase because you may be able to alter the days of your flight to find better deals on the location you want to stay at.

*For Example – Finding a bigger place on Airbnb.com for a cheaper price only if you check in on a Sunday rather than when you originally planned to head over there that Saturday night.

The two sites I center my findings around are usually Airbnb.com and Hotwire.com. Both of these sites usually help with finding the cheapest deals with unique options. I have a deeper love for Airbnb.com because I feel that the idea of living in other people’s homes are more authentic and exhilarating. Airbnb.com is a site where people that own buildings and have extra rooms and space available rent them out for a couple days or as many months as you’d like. Hotwire.com is hotel based and does not tell you what location you will be booked with until after you make the purchase, not to mention hotel deposits and the tasteless layouts of hotel rooms. Although I still like hotwire.com because sometimes they offer cheaper deals for hotel rooms that can give you convenience with checking in unlike Airbnb.com where sometimes you meet with strange people to get your room or own place. Not to mention hotwire.com has hotels that offer cool amenities like breakfast buffets, gyms and pools.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 8.48.42 AM.png

Above: AirBnb.com

Below: Hotwire.com

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 8.51.24 AM.png

Another cool thing about Airbnb.com is the flexibility it provides with your budget. You have an option whether to share a private room in someone’s place or even rent out an entire house! Every location is different and offers multiple amenities alongside various prices. You can also rent locations that do not require an approval by the host, those are called “instant book.” Once you get enough written reviews on your profile from hosts, it will be easier to tap into those more exclusive deals that require an approval before any booking can be placed. If not, they may need a background check. Airbnb.com also has convenient filters to keep your search within range of your budget and all the amenities that seem most important to you.

I, myself, like to search for locations that play central to everywhere I plan on going while I’m there. That way transportation isn’t as difficult or time consuming when it’s time to explore.

Once you find a great deal on the location and finalize the date for your round trip flight, then its time to research what you want to do during your stay!

I like to set up my day in advance with a bunch of options to check out. I give myself options because sometimes things are closed or the weather ruins it or even my mood doesn’t feel up to sticking to one specific plan. As I still play around with different things throughout the day, having that original layout for reference is usually something nice for me to start off with.

For finding out cool things to do where ever you head out to, make sure to check out apps like TripAdvisor, Like A Local, Yelp, Field Trip, Event Brite, and even Time To Enjoy to discover exciting new experiences while out exploring the world!

I appreciate you reading my process on trip planning; I hope this can help give you guidance on planning your next trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑