Kindness From a Stranger

It’s the season for random acts of kindness, and this month I have a small, but beautiful experience to share with you that happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

Last month I practically lived at Starbucks in order to complete my writing goals. Sometimes with friends, and sometimes alone, I always try to sit by the window. The view, no matter how abysmal, always gives my gaze and mind freedom to explore something larger than the room I’m sitting in.

One November evening, I was sitting alongside the window by myself when the sun was setting, the clouds a brilliant orange, a unique beauty to be had for where I live. As much as I complain about my geography, there have been quite a few show stopping sunsets to behold. I’m naturally someone who gets energy from the sun, so when it goes down, I’m immediately tired. Likewise, when it comes up, I find it hard to sleep, as if caffeine could be transferable through light and the moment it beams into the room, I’m suddenly lighter, energized, and happy. So I tried to get work done, but in this few passing moments where the setting sun was changing in such divine ways, I made sure to look up every few minutes to integrate with this beauty. One never knows when the sun will come out again here at this time of year. I looked straight at it, imagining the light passing through my skin and becoming a part of me, a keeper of the light.

It turned out that someone noticed my attempt to become one with the sunset. Shortly after the sun went down, I packed up and headed out the door. Someone politely stopped me from behind when I got outside.

“Excuse me, this is very awkward for me, but I just wanted to give you this.” said a middle aged man with a foreign accent that I couldn’t identify. He handed me a folded up napkin. Confused and curious, I said some surprised and enthusiastic exclamation of “okay” and went to my car to read it. Here is what it said:

   My favorite thing about this is that this person did not leave their number. They wanted no involvement, nothing to gain from the interaction. They simply had the pure intention of recognizing the beauty in another person and wanting to make sure they knew that. As someone with little faith in humanity, this touched my heart on such a deep level, and for the first time in a long time, I had some hope for the kind of people that are out there. I felt like there must be people who see each other for more than just objects, and more than what they want them to be for their own interests. There are truly those who are able to recognize a genuine moment, or characteristic in a person, and leave it at that appreciation.

   But the thing is, this experience did not end there. Shortly after that, I found myself back at the same Starbucks where the tables had turned, and I felt compelled to do something kind for someone else. It was night this time, and a boy and his mother sat at the table across from me. I’m usually very caught up in my work, but something about this boy’s stature and expression screamed at me. With no life in his face, he looked out the window as his mom spoke at him, occasionally getting caught up in whatever he had on his lap top. I felt like no part of him wanted to be there, and I wondered how this could be, until someone else joined them and I realized what was happening. They were there to meet with someone who could help him apply to colleges. Instantly I understood this boy’s dread, and went back to my work with the case solved. Some time afterward, I heard the guest get a bit louder and frantic in his speech, so I looked up. The poor boy was crying, and in his eyes I saw myself. It was a person who had completely lost hope. He did not believe that his efforts were good enough, whether they were or not, who knows, but in this day and age when immense pressure is put on youth to get high scores and do every extracurricular activity known to youth, it can be unbearable. I had the same feeling, the same reality, both in high school and into college. I started to hear more of what this guest was saying.

“You have a score of _____… What this college wants is ____…I’ve known people with ______ get into _______… I think you have a great chance with _____… You do sports, you do everything. That’s going to make you more sellable… Do you do varsity? Mention _____ and it will be a great essay… What’s a good attribute to describe yourself? Like, would you say that you’re the life of the party? People always say they’re going to get good grades but what are you going to offer to the university?”

I was ready to vomit just listening to this. Since when did people become numbers and a sales pitch? Immediately, I ripped out a piece of paper from my sketch book and started writing.

   In my note to him, I was quite frank. I made it very honest, and made it clear that it was from a perspective that had been through it all. I gave it a sense that although this feels like the end of the world, it is all a lot of hype and unnecessary stress (I believe I specifically chose the word ‘bullshit’ as my adjective. It has been my favorite adjective as of late). I told him that future me would want my past self to know that my dreams are valid and worthwhile, but that they’re going to change. They are not fixed. That’s a part of life. So if everything is constantly changing anyway, there’s no use in having so much turmoil over what will or will not be. I told him that he was not a number, or a sellable commodity, that he had something to offer no matter what the school boards wanted. I told him that life was short, and to be truly fulfilled is to find what your authentic self has to offer, and provide that. I told him that in the end it was all going to work out, which is needed to be heard after putting so much hard work and stress into something of this magnitude. Although it was incredibly awkward, like it was for that guy who saw my face looking into the sun, the kindness that I was given gave me the courage to stop him on the way out the door and give him my note.

You never know what people are going through. You never know what is happening in a person’s life, or inner world. This is why kindness, and most of all speaking up when no one else will, is so important. I don’t have to go into rates of suicide or how stressful modern day life can be. Anyone reading this will know and can relate in their own way. So please, if you see someone struggling, do something small for that person. If you notice something beautiful in a stranger, compliment them, or simply tell them what you see. It’s the time of the year when everyone needs it, and when the spirit of the holidays makes it viable.

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Kerry Jane

If you like my work and would like to see my creative projects come to fruition, please support me on Patreon.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Why Your Word Count May Not Be as Bad as It Seems

I took a bit of a hiatus with this blog last month in order to fully focus on Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). This is my first year participating in Nanowrimo, now that I’m done with school and have more mental space to focus on such an undertaking.

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   I must first establish that I did not follow the traditional rules of Nanowrimo, but rather used it as a means to accelerate my own personal goals with what I have going on. I made my own rules. I’m not sure if this is frowned upon, or practiced by others, but nonetheless it is a time of dedication and perseverance for any writer. My goal for November 2016 was to finish the third part (out of nine parts) of my novel, from wherever I was able to get to in October. To some, this may not count as participation, but in my circumstance it does parallel the conventional rules. In my story, one part is an entire lifetime, an entire short story. So although the words are few, there is a lot that takes place, a lot that needs to be planned and outlined, and a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration to ensure that I convey the message and create something that flows with adjoining lifetimes.

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In addition to this, my novel is written in first person point of view. With first person point of view, there is an element of submersion that is often overlooked when calculating projected word counts that are appropriate given the amount of time put in. However, this is a discrepancy. Third person point of view is much easier to take on. The writer only has to tell the story from their God-like perspective, all high and mighty and full of confidence. But when writing first person narrative in fiction, there is a humbling amount of energy and mental resources that has to be put forth into experiencing first hand what it is that you’ve dreamt. It is the difference between getting into the water and swimming the laps, and watching someone from afar, describing the sore muscles and exhaustion. Another example is a commissioned painting. When you pay someone to paint something for you that requires design work, you are not just paying for the time it took for that person to sit down and physically complete the task. You’re paying for that three extra hours they took trying to determine what style, and additional elements they should add to it to make it whole.

This is something easily understood, and even perhaps well known, but I rarely see this come up on blogs or podcasts. Perhaps it is too obvious? Not worth going into detail? Either way, I find this very important to keep in mind so that I don’t inadvertently get bogged down with meeting low word count goals in comparison to others. As long as I spend a part of every single day advancing the story, that is an accomplishment to me. I am too busy making something real, so much so that I have no time to make something straightforward.

Let me just say that I am not saying anything negative towards third person narrative. If anything, I envy those who write in that framework and wish I was able to make life easier for myself in that way. However, if you are a fiction writer, especially of fantasy or scifi, who likes to write in first person, please take this message to heart. Do not ever feel badly about taking extra time to figure out the bigger picture, or minute details of what you’re writing. In the long run, it will only help the finished product, perhaps even pushing it past something that’s good to something that is extraordinary. You wont find out while trying to produce words for the mere sake of producing words.

If you participated in Nanowrimo this year or in past years, let me know what your experience was like.

Until next time…

Kerry Jane

If you like my work and would like to see my creative projects come to fruition, please support me on Patreon. Just $1 a month earns you mention on my blog posts with links to your website, if you have one. There are, however, a variety of rewards that I’m offering, so be sure to check them out.

The Human Condition Is a Disability

The human condition is a disability, but this wasn’t always the case.

I was a very strange child. Although it doesn’t make much sense, I vividly remember not liking kids when I myself was one. I felt removed from my peers, as if I was a spectator that didn’t have a role. My first impression of children my age left such an impact on me that I still remember it to this day, as it would shape my perspective of society into adulthood.

I was three years old and it was my first day of preschool. My first thought of being placed amongst a band of other three year olds was utter disgust. Well, a level of disgust that a 3 year old was capable of at least. What horrified me was their inherent unconsciousness, their inability to comprehend that there was a whole world of other people equally important to themselves, a world that had limitations and a world that they needed to share. Every whiney child believed that their snack time was more important than everyone else’s snack time, and that the adults should bow down to their every beck and call. They had no conception of how the adults were working hard for us, and that this took time and energy. They had no idea that their needs might have to be temporarily displaced in the wake of a teachers’ many tasks. But I somehow understood this at the ripe age of three. In fact, I often put others needs before my own. I remember going without something because I didn’t want to ask an adult to do it for me. I would have rather sat and dealt with not being able to reach the cup on the shelf, or the snack in the cabinet, because I didn’t want to impede on my family’s busy life.

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A picture my sister took of me when I was about 4 years old 

Like I said, I was a strange child.

This feeling continued well into elementary school and middle school. I spent my entire childhood desperately wanting to become an adult because I honestly thought that this was a trait that kids grew out of. I wanted to be amidst peers who understood the importance of cooperation, who didn’t think their food, water, shelter, and overall comfort was all that mattered, was more important than my own or the person next to them. As many of you could accurately predict, I grew up only to be disappointed. Now 22, I see no difference between humans at 3 and humans at 45. If anything, the only thing that has happened is people grew out of their valuable innocence and into their immaturity. They are unable to come to a fundamental understanding that we are all connected, that “I am another you” as I’ve written about already. There’s no comprehension that when you hurt your surroundings, you are hurting yourself because the thing you’ve externalized is a part of you on space ship Earth, whether it is apparent or not.

Yes, many self-centered people come about because a parent did not practice boundaries and discipline with their kids. But why is there a need to teach this quality out of a person in the first place? Why are so many humans inherently self-serving to various degrees?

For thousands of years, we’ve built humanity on a system where the extent of success is determined on a person’s ability to step on the throat of their neighbor in order to get ahead. It’s well documented that we’ve built humanity on competition rather than cooperation, and I suspect that this behavior is now tightly woven into the fabric of our DNA. It is in this way that the escape from the hole we’ve dug for ourselves is likened to a rope we’ve weaved and now have to unravel. In this case, the rope is our strands of DNA that are now in serious need of a makeover.

Although I’ve made everything sound very dismal, I do believe there is much hope and that this is not how humans were meant to be. The mere fact that I’m able to sit here and write this is a good sign. In my opinion, the selfishness is largely unintentional, where humans do not know the extent of the impact they have. If it is a behavior learned and adapted over time, it can be unlearned and discarded as well. DNA works like a lock and key system, and once the choice is made to adapt to a changing world, or an evolving consciousness rather, it sets up for the right adjustments to take place.

It is a good sign that I’m able to be here writing this, but an even better sign would be to have readers that can relate to these words. It would be the growth of this blog in terms of likes, comments, shares and subscribers. I’ll continue to commit more time to see this happen, to reach anyone and everyone I can, not just through WordPress but in my every day life, and with the eventual publication of Metanoia. I constantly wonder if there are people out there with similar thoughts and feelings. I know there are but it seems impossible to reach them. The articles and posts that get shared the most are the short, shallow, and relatable items on the internet. These things are not bad, but are not the full extent of what can be thought, felt and dreamt by the mind.

In order to find like minds, or for people who need to read these thoughts and words for whatever reason in their life, I need the help of my readers to share this on whatever outlet is comfortable to them. If you think you know a person who would benefit from one of my posts, or find them interesting, send it to them. If you like any concept that I’ve written about, turn it into your own content for your blog and mention me. What are some experiences that you’ve had on this subject, or what are some insights you’ve come to on your own? I’d genuinely like to know.

That aside, if you are reading this, I love you and thank you.

Featured image by Krystleyez

The Illusion of Separation

   As someone who has a background in biology and chemistry, I’ve had the opportunity to come to a fundamental understanding of our living world. Depending on the person, this can lead to an increased awareness of self, and awareness of their actions for those who are willing to fully grasp the meaning behind the facts. Suddenly, there are greater implications with nutrition, for what we put into our bodies to generate our physical makeup. Some also become more aware of the extent to which their actions effect the world around them. The concept of what it means to be connected to the environment becomes intensified, and one comes to understand that the “connection” science mentions penetrates far deeper than the thin, branching lines of a phylogenetic tree.

   Let me take a moment to explain who I am. I am a person who believes that we live in a divine cosmos. I believe that the human race has amnesia, and that someone or something is taking advantage of that for profit and power. I’ve made a choice to be here as a participant in the rise of consciousness, the volunteer souls who came to be apart of the journey and assist in our human ascension. What I want to ultimately convey here is the true concept of interconnectedness. It is not that you are connected to the plants, animals, and rocks, it is that you are the plants, animals, and rocks expressed in a different, unique way. We are all different expressions of organized matter, the same matter, either through  physical laws of chemistry, or through the detailed recipe book of DNA. It is in this complex, yet simple manner that everything you see or touch is your brother or sister.

As scientists, and a newly educated public, we know this, but have we fully grasped the implications of it?

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One important distinction that may take some initial mental dexterity is that “the environment”, the thing we’ve externalized and identified as something that operates as a closed system outside of ourselves, includes your very own flesh and bone. Your body is the environment. You, your consciousness, is merely borrowing it for a short while. The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat eventually becomes the building blocks of your body in a continual exchange of atoms. Every atom comes from Earth, and from the cosmos. This connection is not merely a thin string that ties you to something, it is the inherent design which reveals that all separation is an illusion.

For a passerby taking a minute to read about this concept, it is extremely easy to go back to living in the disconnected life we’ve made for ourselves. The illusion of separation is enhanced by the thin walls of our dwelling. It’s enhanced by 7 billion other people who are convinced in the illusion and uphold it. It is true that we’re all experiencing individuality, and there is a deep lesson to be had in that. Individuality is not a bad thing. The problem only occurs when the reality of our union becomes obscured and we become apathetic and disconnected. Perhaps the lesson lies in learning how to not subject power on one another once in a convincing state of separation.

 I long for humanity to redefine “human” as an intrinsic aspect of planet Earth, and not some deity free from the natural cycles or from the consequences of their choices.

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   This post has the potential to develop into a series encompassing several branching tangents of thought. There are so many avenues that can be explored with this rudimentary concept. Some of these ideas that I’m thinking about delving into include the efficacy of herbal medicine/holistic lifestyle, why or how humans have severed their connection with one another and the Earth, and our society’s reluctance to say “I love you”.

Share your input, questions, and thoughts with me! The right comment might just help me develop the next train of thought.

Kerry Jane is now on Instagram!

Featured image credited to Lauralai

Conquering Writer’s Block Through the Use of Alternative Creative Outlets

   A lot of my followers are creative individuals. This has encouraged me to write a short piece on my own methods of maintaining an expressive lifestyle.

   I have found several pursuits that help me think when I’m in a rut, or experience an obstacle in my writing. For everyone, this distraction will be something different. I am only sharing what works for me, and perhaps it’s something strange that you haven’t considered or might like to try. I’ve incorporated these activities into my daily routine, and have found that I experience less blockages because of it. I’ve never considered myself an artist, but refocusing my attention on drawing, oracle cards, gardening or painting keeps me in a receptive state while also distracting myself from the problem at hand.

Its all about keeping the flow going while taking your mind off the problem. I don’t really care so much about what I’m creating as I am about making something, anything. I draw when I see something and want to learn the nuances of its definition. I paint when I want to feel and experiment with colors and textures. I pull a card from an oracle or tarot deck when I want to reach out to the universe or my subconscious.

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Oracle cards are a visual and tactile way to connect and to be receptive. Although they are a way to physically connect with something for those who are spiritually curious, oracle cards can also serve as an awesome writing prompt. Not just because of their thought-provoking images, but because of the insight of their messages. They might spark a realization that you couldn’t come to on your own. You may also find a consistency in the messages, and feel compelled to learn and share it. Thats how my recent post The Utility of Doubt, Lethargy, and Other Perceived Negatives came about.

Although I already have a story in progress and have not had the need to do this yet, here is an example of a Tarot writing prompt:

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1. Character; 2. Setting; 3.Underlying Motivation; 4. Conflict; 5. Pathway; 6. Outcome

In addition to forming outlines, this method can be used for character development and specific scenes.

Even coloring can be a simple distraction. If you are a writer, reading helps collect tools for your creative toolbox whilst remaining in the realm of words.

When all else fails, take a walk at an inspiring location and listen to some music.

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Creating for the sake of creating is one of the most empowering activities we can do. As any creative will tell you, the mere act of manifestation is the most fulfilling aspect of the process. It brings you back to yourself, your center. You learn how to draw from an internal pool of infinite creation and possibilities. It can be a visceral experience at times. I often imagine having to pull what I want to make from my own heart or mind, and channeling it based on intention. It brings you back into your power in a world where we normally just let things happen to us, rather than taking control of what we want to make happen. You go back to a place where you feel confident enough to create whatever is meant to be created despite what the ego is trying to manifest, or the direction it wants to steer you in.

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Photo Credited to DELA

Waiting For Now

A dull neutrality can be born out of the ups and downs of life. The inertia of this middle ground is likened to quicksand, where any movement or struggle just sends you down further into the muck. You don’t move an inch and you don’t dare to take a breath of hope in fear that it’ll make the situation worse. The possibility of never breaking free from that moment arises, but panicking would only quicken the descent. Blindness to the predicament doesn’t do a service either. You may forget about your impediment and make a fatal move. So you numbly surrender to the outcome, to the molasses that is the present.

Is this the true essence of now? Is this what the spirit of the present feels like? No, I’d say the real present is something much more joyful. It is freedom, love, purity of sheer existence. It is much like the literal representation in The Muppet Christmas Carol where a jovial red headed muppet sings a song for Scrooge to teach him a lesson about the magic of now. It is what we always expectantly project into the future, either just beyond the horizon, or much farther. It’s hard to live in the moment when it does not feel worthy of living in. I currently have not come to a conclusion, or have found any answer that gives guidance to this at this juncture of my life. I’ve even thrown around the idea of trying to write a short story about this in an attempt to find the answer. I would title it, like I have in this post, ‘Waiting For Now’.

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When what we want is in the distance, we attach that spirit of joy of the present along with it. I guess this is why many “new agers” talk so much about trying to attain abundance by already feeling like you have what you want. Time is, after all, only linear within the confines of our human perception. It is this idea that pushes me to imagine that I am in fact not sitting in a Starbucks on Long Island, but a privately owned cafe in California as I write this. I have already written Metanoia, and it is providing a second income so that I don’t have to work 40+ hour weeks to survive, so that I can explore other passions and ways of making money. I imagine the world going to shit, but that it doesn’t matter because the world I created for myself is safe and abundant with people and situations I’m meant to be around and encounter.

But my imagination can only take me so far in time and space. No matter how much I day dream, the reality is that I will wake up in the same bed tomorrow. Despite how ever introspective and insightful my followers might think I am, I do not know how to deal with this unfortunate reality, especially after trying so hard to change it. Where is the proverbial now, and how do I get there when traditional human customs do not bring me joy?

Right now I look outside and I see flowers bloomed in a summer that I waited so long for. If I had to guess I would say that it is the very nature of our lifestyles that makes it so impossible for us to be happy enough with the mere sight of this bloomed flower, and nothing else. Our lifestyles do not allow for a moment to fully enjoy the flower, the trip to the beach, or the camping trip. Have you ever felt an overwhelming sense of desperation while watching a sunset or playing a fun game, and then become confused about this sensation that came on so suddenly? I do almost ever week, and when it comes I don’t even feel like it is my own.

 In these moments I am uncontrollably mourning the death of the divine colors cast by the setting sun before it’s even over. I am lamenting over the fact that precious moments come in crumbs rather than wholesome meals.  I feel desperate to lose that moment because I’m allotted so few of them in a summer that becomes winter with the blink of an eye. I feel desperate to lose it because it is the only thing I truly value in this world, over anything that I can buy, or any lame social interaction that is to be had in this materialistic world. I value these crumbs more than the industry and the regimented lifestyle that consume every person. I don’t know when the next instance of oneness and belonging will come and when the sunset is gone, I feel like I have to part with my soul indefinitely. I have to go back to the quicksand, to the muck and the mud of a false present. I don’t want to be left alone with that fabrication any longer. That is how and why I find myself waiting for now, and I wonder if there is anyone waiting along with me.

Virtual Reality Earth

Recently I read an article about how Pokemon Go is helping people with depression. As everyone knows, the major difficulty with depression is that it makes it nearly impossible to simply get out of bed in the morning and begin. Pokemon Go can trick people into lessening the burden of going outside, exercising, and interacting with strangers.

While this is appreciable, it also makes me think how unfortunate it is that we need to create a virtual reality that reminds us of the adventure, wonder and discovery that there is to be had in the world.  When asked if I play video games, I often say “No, I’m too busy playing in this virtual reality.” If you logged into your Sims game, you wouldn’t immediately move your Sim over to the TV and start playing video games. That’s pointless, and reveals the loss in awareness of your higher self, the real self that lives beyond this simulated world and logged onto Earth to complete some assignment. We are, I suppose, lost in the game of life, impeded by amnesia, and convinced by the illusion.

We have lost the magic that there is to be had in the “real world”, whatever that term means. Do remember that there is surmounting evidence that this reality is a hologram. Quantum physicist Leonard Susskind is the leading mind of this new theory, whose mathematics reveal that there is an equivalency between our projected image, and the self that exists beyond this boundary:

“We are actually projections of equivalent versions of ourselves that live on the outer surface of the universe”

In a sense, your body is an avatar and you are a co-creater of the universe, of your life. If you knew this world wasn’t the only reality, would you be more courageous with your life?  Would you take risks and pursue your true purpose? Above all, there is much more than meets the eye, and embracing the unreal world will help us live fuller lives that we could not attain through escapism. I urge everyone to go out on quests, pursue challenges, power up, and live the lucid dream.

Featured image by Corina Chirila