Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank ~ What is one thing you really love to do?

Photo of my hands as I am working in my studio
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

The topic for this month’s Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank post is…..drum roll please…… “What is one thing you really love to do? And why?”

I absolutely, positively LOVE with a capital L-O-V-E working with my hands.  I have ever since I was a little kid.  Coloring. Playing the piano. Typing. Macrame, from basket holders to jewelry. Sewing. Painting. Creating Stained Glass. Wire wrapping. And now Metalsmithing.  I am drawn to anything that involves working with my hands.

The reason for this is I thoroughly enjoy the tactile experiences from the creative processes involved when I am using my hands.  Manual dexterity just feels so good.

A definite side benefit I experience is this wonderful sense of serene tranquility and calm. I’m in a zone where everything is at peace.  It’s wonderful.  I can be so focused on what I’m trying to accomplish that Dan has to find ways to get my attention so I’m not startled.

Yes, working with my hands has always brought about great personal satisfaction.  Sure, there are times when I have my bad days and just have to stop. BUT, I can easily say that 99% of the time, working with my hands is the ultimate  endorphin  releasing experience for me.

Let’s see what my fellow Think Tank bloggers wrote on February’s topic:

Andes Cruz:
Mary Spencer (WATTO DMW)
Shelagh Blatz:
Robyn Hawk:

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


You ARE Special

Photo courtesy of the Hubble Telescope Website

It is so important for each of us to realize and recognize that we are special.  The simple expression to another person of “You ARE Special” can lift anyone’s spirits.

I recently participated in just such an exchange where we spoke to people we knew and those we didn’t, stating that they were special.  What an incredible gift.  Having a stranger tell me I am special, hearing it from the man I love, well not only does it bring tears to my eyes, it brings a sense of euphoria.  Genuinely meaning it as you say it to someone else also provides a wonderful sense of satisfaction and yes, love.

Each one of us is special, unique, just like our fingerprints.  Even people we don’t particularly like or get along with are special.  Seeing how gifted others are can help us.  It’s easy with those we like and care about.  It’s more difficult for those who aren’t on our list of favorites, but it can help us to get past the behavior we don’t like in some.  Let’s face it, generally it’s not the person, it’s their behavior we don’t like.  At least I have found that to be the case for me.  I believe you will experience unlimited rewards when you are able to develop this understanding of how special people are, including you.

I would ask you to think about those things you feel make you unique and special.  Make a mental list of them or better yet, start a journal and write down what you feel makes you you.  What about the people you love and like?  What’s special about them?  And yes, even the people you are not that fond of, as it can be a very good way to help you appreciate them….even if it’s only one thing, that’s a start.

This journal about yourself, your thoughts, emotions, ideas can be a tool you can use when you are feeling down.  Go back to this journal and see what you thought about yourself.  I have been putting the date in mine when I write particular feelings or thoughts.  It helps me to get back to that good place where things felt right.  I think you will find it useful too.

It is my belief that each of us is here for a reason.  I feel all of us are here, on Earth, because we have something we are meant to do or accomplish.  Our unique gifts, that make us special, were given to us to be shared with the world.  For much of my life I have been trying to figure out why I am here and what I am supposed to do.  Sometimes I think it has been something as simple as entering another’s life and helping them through a given situation or vice versa.  Lately I have felt a very strong desire to write.  When a topic comes to me, I write it down for further thought if I can’t spend time at the keyboard or notepad when a particular topic comes into my mind.  Maybe one of the reasons I am here is to share my writings and thoughts about life to help others…..

It’s a big universe and sometimes we can feel very small.  One thing I do know is each of us is important.  Keep searching if you have not found your heart’s desire; if you have, embrace it and share it with the rest of us.

I would like to leave you with this, remember “You ARE Special”.  The universe knows it and if you didn’t, now you know it too.


Emotional Vampires

Image of a Dementor from the Harry Potter Movies

What in the world do I mean by “Emotional Vampires”?   The term certainly evokes a negative emotion; at least it does for me.  Have you heard of them?  Have you experienced what they are capable of doing?  Sadly, I have.

For those of you familiar with the Harry Potter series, I liken Emotional Vampires to The Dementors because of what they are capable of doing.  However, in their physical appearance, they have a  much nicer demeanor than that exhibited by a Dementor.

Emotional Vampires look like perfectly ordinary people, but that is exactly where it ends, because they are by no means ordinary.

The existence of emotional vampires was first brought to my attention by an artist friend about 12 years ago.  We were engaged in a great conversation when she suddenly said, “Are you aware you attract emotional vampires?” and pointed to my heart.  I was a bit taken back by that, frowned, shook my head and said, “No, what are you talking about?”

She restated that I attracted emotional vampires and as our conversation continued, I began to understand what she was talking about.  It became clear who had been the first emotional vampire in my life.

Just like a Dementor, the emotional vampire will steal your joy and any good feelings they can harvest from the very core of your being.  Unlike a Dementor, they have the ability to charm their way into your life and start draining any essence of happiness you possess before you realize what is happening.  They will leave you emotionally exhausted and your mind whirling from the assault.  The more it happens, the worse you feel.  They are highly toxic.

In my case, I had the good fortune of rediscovering my true, authentic self with the help of another lifelong friend.  Our combined positive energies brought both of us back to the respective lives we were meant to have.  It was as if we had our very own version of the Patronus Charm that Harry Potter effectively used to repel his Dementors.

For years I had been oppressed by the constant barrage of this ‘person’ diminishing who I was in a very twisted way.   By stealing my moments of joy, they were attempting to feel better about who they were.  I found that my tormentor, this emotional vampire, was seeking positive emotional reinforcement at my expense.  They seek to take your happiness because they don’t know how to be happy, they are extremely insecure with huge egos and generally they are narcissistic.  Too bad they don’t come with WARNING labels.

Thankfully, my spirit started to grow and soar.  It was a very real awakening. The shackles of torment were broken by a very healthy self-esteem, personal courage and my fierce desire to live a full and meaningful life.  Frankly I reached a point where I could no longer deal with this poison in my life and my authentic self found the positive means to escape.

At this stage in my life, I still have no idea what it is about me that attracts them to me. I still have encounters with emotional vampires.  However, because I’m aware of their existence, I can protect myself.  A few have tried to work their way into my life.  Their discovery comes much quicker for me now and I have been able to create boundaries to prevent much, if any, damage to by spirit.

It all boils down to awareness.  Becoming aware of our circumstances.  Why do we feel like we do?  What’s the source?  What’s the cause?  Is there someone in your life that continually brings you to a low point?

Learn.  Continue to grow as a person.  Be aware. Prevent others from stealing your joy.  Meditate.  Pray.  Believe in you and how special you are.  These are some of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal to protect yourself from the emotional vampire; believe me I know.