Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How to have Unlimited Energy:

Okay, I'll admit, the title may be a little deceiving. Of course there is no such thing as unlimited energy! Perpetual motion, or the idea that - once activated - something could run forever, is a physicist's pipe-dream and, quite simply, not consistent with the laws of the Universe. To quote an undated proverb, "All things must come to an end." No matter how hard we try to reverse this reality, everything in life will either stop or progress into something entirely different. You can go strong and hard with whatever you are doing but eventually fatigue will ensue or you will reach a climax and begin a new oscillating cycle. 

We all know that the energy in our lives tends to ebb and flow. Emotions come and go and the feelings we so desperately try and hold onto seem to slip out of our tight grasp. We've all experienced loss of desire, motivation, and peace of mind. Many can relate to the frustration of depleted energy when we needed it most or perhaps, even the occasional slip from a physical or spiritual plateau. Sometimes, the feelings produced by things we once viewed as majestic have ceased to excite the senses and rev our internal engines. Other times, we may feel that we just don't have what it takes and helplessly watch as our bold sense of courage sluices down the drain of time. 

Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography
The most infamous example of expiration, of course, is the loss of life. I do not fear death. Just as I had no choice in being born I will have no choice but to die. The mystery is how and when our lives will terminate and what kind of life we will live before we are forced to embrace death's final calling. Like our favorite song, the tune may sound beautiful but the music will eventually end. The idea is to create a novel sound and always play your very best. Occasionally, yield in your tracks, listen closely, and enjoy the pure melody while it lasts.

In order to play this "song of life" we need energy. The key is to understand that there are forces encompassing us and are readily available for our personal use. Despite inescapable laws of physics, mass reserves of energy that can propel us forward -- under any circumstance -- are just waiting to be tapped.

Energy surrounds us all. The most concentrated form -- available almost everywhere -- is human emotion. Unless you are a hermit secluded in a cave (or perhaps work as a politician) you will come in contact with raw emotion and real human feelings throughout your day. There are so many things that create emotional responses and send a powerful surge of energy rushing through our bodies. Even seemingly meaningless events can trigger emotion and by definition energy. From car horns and police sirens to barking dogs, crying babies, and even the amateur DJ blasting a sorry excuse for music in the car next to you in a traffic jam. While these are widely considered a nuisance, they all emit a charge that -- if channeled properly -- can springboard you through your day with a boost of energy and enable you to take flight reaching previously unattainable heights.

Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography

While many of the aforementioned are irritants that come and go with the times, there are certain cycles that are constant. Nature is an energy machine that does not stop. Albeit an illusion of Earth's rotation, we see the sun rise in the east and set in the west each and every day. The cyclical seasons pass, change, and morph into each other without fail and trees, leaves, and plants wave their foliage with the push of Wind's everlasting force. Tap into the rhythm and momentum of nature and you will be constantly rejuvenated and awakened by it's beauty and vitality. Likewise, so long as we are alive our hearts will keep ticking. Listen to the music that is constantly playing within your chest and find your body's own natural rhythm. Focus on the beat and exercise your ability to quicken the pace of your pulse when you're running below your personal speed limit. Find personal equilibrium in the expansion and contraction of your lungs and concentrate on your breathing to nourish your body's dynamism and mind's stream of consciousness.

Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography

To quote another undated idiom that somehow manages to trickle down into our daily conversations, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Beauty, in all it's glorious subjectivity, has the tremendous power to refresh the mind-body-soul trio. All forms of aestheticism, whether it be in the form of people, artscenery, humor, jaw-dropping talent or countless others can shower a ray of hope onto even the darkest form of fatigue, laziness, and depression. There are people on this planet who are blessed with personalities so bold and bright that they inspire people by merely being in their presence. If you allow beauty to reinvigorate your senses you will soon be on a constant lookout for pleasantries because they will put a skip in your step and give you delight throughout your day.

The sundry riddles of creation and the universe can frustrate the thinker but instead of denying their ideas entrance into your line of thinking, allow them to drive your imagination and fuel your own hypotheses. The thrill of the unknown can tantalize the intellect and unleash the caches of vigor needed to search and find the solutions to the questions that our hearts and Souls yearn to have answered.

Photo Credit: A.Massey/Shiffman Cottage Productions

Ironically enough, another way to boost you performance and raise energy levels is by giving it away. Scientists and academics are suggesting that altruistic and benevolent behavior releases endorphins in the brain which sends a rush of exhilaration and well-being through the body.

Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography 

At times, we may be haunted by the memories of our past and terrified by the foreshadowing of our future. But the combination of both feelings – if transmitted properly – can play a pivotal role in enhancing the present. Find life in inspirational quotes and photographs and tap into the vibrations and waves that radiate from media and advertisement. Think of your loved ones, mentors, and role-models for encouragement and motivation.

Although the possibilities are limitless, there is one technique that offers a fail-safe way to immediately boost energy. By doing something outside of our comfort-zones we can turn the crashing heartbeat that knots our throats into easily instrumented power. Once the butterflies are released they can then flutter away effortlessly into any direction you choose.

Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography

As I have mentioned previously, energy is not good or bad - it's neutral. Only once the charge is directed positively or negatively can it then take on a constructive or destructive role.

Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography

The sunset that sends a surge of awe through your system? That is potential action.

The military jet-plane that roars across the sky making the hairs on your body stand at attention?  That is a boost of power.

The undying wind that annoyingly ruffles your hair-do on the way to meet your date? Well, that's just bad luck…. Just kidding! It's a burst of buoyancy that if harnessed properly will put a light in your eye that he/she cannot deny.

This is the crux of inspiration. A spark of energy and emotion is ignited which creates a powerful surge of motivation and passion that can be aimed into any area we choose. In turn, fear can be transformed into courage, pain into power, and lust and infatuation into compassion. Impatience can lead to creativity and jealousy into an innocent desire for bigger and better things in life.

This starts by being an unbiased observer of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations. With proper awareness, the many forces of nature and aspects of society that influence our desires and emotions can be stopped in their tracks and redirected down the avenues that we choose.

Everything is alive.
Everything is energy.
And it's all ours for the taking.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Hidden Power of Artistry:

When I was in High School, I had an influential English teacher named Ms. Tipton. Initially, I viewed her as the one solely responsible for assigning harsh loads of homework but that hardly scratches the surface of her impact. Ms. Tipton challenged my worldview. She encouraged my creativity and opened my mind to the influential literary works of Emerson, Thoreau, Hemingway, and Coelho. Although, most importantly, she provided me with a platform to present my ideas, inspiration, and unique individuality through creative writing assignments and painstaking essays. I would never have admitted it at the time but - looking back - Ms. Tipton had a profound impact on my life.

One day, Ms. Tipton stands in front of the class and asks if any of us has ever written poetry.

"Poetry?" I scoffed. "Poetry is for fairies."

Ignoring my crass remark, she slaps us with a fresh assignment: Write a poem. 

I remember sitting silently at my desk with a blank mind. There is much negative stigma surrounding poetry and perhaps I was to blame for obstructing ideas from passing from my mind, down to my right hand, out of my pencil, and onto paper.

"This is Horse5#!7," I thought. "I didn't come here for games."

With time running out, I was forced to recalibrate and reluctantly penned a poem.

Surprisingly, it was pretty good! The poem was shrouded in key-words that depicted elements of my private life. It was humorous and playful yet, mysterious and thought-provoking. It was genius. More notably, it means something to me. It is my brain-child, a product of my creativity and labor. The poem had remarkable depth and - along with the others from the class - the paper adorned the corridor of our school for a couple weeks. I would sometimes stop and read my work while shuttling between classes (or when I found myself in the hallway for long periods of time). I would reflect on its personal meaning and retract to the moment when I wrote it. It was gratifying and uplifting.

Poetry is just one of many forms of art. Others include: music, song, film, theatre, photography, dance, painting, drawing, culinary arts, and even imagination. Art is powerful because it is more than just leisure and aesthetics, it is alive. Aside from its entertaining properties, art has the ability to trigger novel thought and fresh emotion. It can activate memory and inspire enlightening ideas and courageous action. This happens because the benefits of art are multifaceted. When an artist successfully fashions a finished product they put a piece of themselves into their work. If it is personally satisfying, kvelling ensues. Perhaps, they have found consolation in the arts; not just relief but long term  empowerment, especially if the work is timeless and can be returned to. It can then relieve, educate, uplift, and entertain the viewer, listener, or patron. If it is coherent it can encourage them to create their own form of artistry thereby continuing the cycle of progressive inspiration. 

Art acts as a conductor where real live emotion can be passed from artist to observer. In its unadulterated form, art can even communicate. Music, for instance, is an excellent form of communication. Even to this day, musicians use the power of song to influence society and spread ideas. Aside from lyrics, the top-note of a melody can stir the emotions of even the hardened criminal because music conveys moods and feelings in ways that spoken word cannot articulate. Known as the language of the Soul, music is a catapult that sends me soaring into the unknown. Using the strings of an instrument, I can climb to a higher level of consciousness while being supported by the vibrations and security of the melody. Music is VITALITY. I have told friends that if I ever kick the bucket they should play some of my favorite tunes because I will rise from the dead.

While I indulge in many types of art, it is writing that truly fascinates me. The fact that your eyes scan the numerous symbols and characters on this screen and can present an idea or produce a feeling is mesmerizing. It is subtle and simplistic, yet it can transmit even the minute intricacies entangled within the complexities of human thought and existence. Take, for example, this quote: 

"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't have to escape from."

-Seth Godin 

For some, it's provocative, for others, earth-shattering. What's blissfully apparent is that a one-liner has the power to change a life. The mere formation and placement of symbolic characters can inspire one to evaluate their lifestyle or question the norm. 

Photography can be even more powerful than writing. According to an old adage: "a picture is worth a thousand words" but it really depends on the quality of the picture. Because photographs are visual they can be a catalyst to boost the power of imagination. The sheer ambiguity of some snapshots can instill emotions based on the viewer's interpretation. They can capture and immortalize a moment, promote dialogue, and even start a revolution. Below are selected pictures from my portfolio that will arouse feeling in the heart and activity in the brain:

"The Right Moment"


"We Found Love"

"The Good Life"


"The Sun Will Shine Again"

Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography

Similar to music, still-images, along with film and theatre, can be a captivating tool to transmit a message to an audience. When used in a classroom-setting it can often help student retain more information by exciting the brain with audio-visual stimulation as opposed to conventional ways of learning. For performers, the art of entertainment can upgrade their personality and - by assuming the role of another - is a fun and harmless way to get away from the daily grind and everyday routine. 

To dance is to find rhythm in chaos. Much like exercise, through dance, one can express strong emotions and energy that would otherwise be inescapable. It also unleashes a rare freedom in the dancer. The ol' one-two step increases breathing and heart-rate which pushes the body to higher capacity thus, making room for bigger and better things in life.

What moves you? Whichever form of art tickles your fancy or lifts your luggage, embrace it. Use it as a tool to fuel your imagination and uplift your lifestyle. Find an outlet for the immeasurable amount of energy and emotion that rages through your body and use it as a way to express yourself. Enjoy art's natural relieving properties and delve into your own special interests through creativity and expression. But most importantly, have fun, explore, and enjoy.

All Art is powerful. Although, one type sticks out from the rest:

The Art of Living