Showing posts with label submission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label submission. Show all posts

March 18, 2011

Colorful Climb to Perspective in Collioure

The following is a lovely and inspirational article written and submitted by Meg (

"Be careful how you interpret the world:
It is like that."
- Erich Heller, 1911-1990

On a misty morning last summer, in a French village with the motto Sempre endavant, mai morirem or “Always forward, we’ll never die,” I found myself in an ancient cemetery.
In an unusual burst of early morning ambition, I had decided to go for a walk after waking just before daybreak. A block or two from my hotel, I wandered into an alabaster acre packed with miniature marble mausoleums shoulder to shoulder, and rows of ivory crosses that resembled outstretched arms touching fingertips.
In the midst of this pale sacred space, the air damp with heavy fog, a black cat scampered across the chalky gravel. Startled, I shrieked and jumped several inches in the air. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I bolted through the elaborately scrolled wrought-iron gates. Reaching the main street and recovering from my palpitations on a bench, I segued from spooked to crestfallen.
Collioure is shaped like the arc of a palette and encircles a poetic port, its perimeter dripping with delicious pastels. Matisse is reported to have said “No sky in all France is more blue than that of Collioure.” He and his fellow painters Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali had been drawn to the quality of light here, and like them, I sought to capture the town’s rich shades, albeit with my camera rather than a paintbrush. When I had arrived the prior evening, even at dusk I could see the promise of lush hues hidden in the shadows of the tropical foliage, cubist architecture and picturesque harbor.
My sunny expectations were now dissolving. With the sky hazy and thick with humidity, the day I had envisioned for myself seemed destined to be a washout. Disheartened, I dragged myself off the bench and began walking toward the water, navigating through the narrow, maze-like streets, empty at this early hour. Ruminating as I rambled, my pace quickened with my temper. I fumed that I had driven the better part of a day in the height of Europe’s summer holiday season, only to have my photography party spoiled by the certain rain.
With each step my disappointment deepened and then made a hard turn down the emotional dead end that is resentment and anger. Taking long, purposeful strides propelled by frustration, practically at a run and breathing heavily, I turned a corner and shot out from a cobblestoned alley into open space. The scene in front of me stopped me short.
Beyond the deserted plaza and small sandy beach was a study in shades of peach, tangerine, and apricot. Against the backdrop of a glowing sky layered with mist lay the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean, the color of ginger tea. The long curled arm of the centuries-old defensive bastion encircling the harbor was a shade of deep rosy tan.
Standing on a paddle board, a lone figure using a single oar skimmed along the surface, heading out to sea. With each stroke that sliced the water, the sun rose higher above the horizon line, its rays wringing out the fog. Watching the solitary oarsman gracefully glide away, my breathing slowed to the lull of the lapping waves, and my anger sputtered out like a snuffed candle.
Rustlings along the perimeter of the harbor awakened me from the brief and unexpected spell of enchantment. An elderly man in bathing trunks, towel thrown over his shoulder, appeared on my right, walking down to the beach. A few feet from me, a father and son with fishing poles emerged from the warren of densely-packed buildings. Far to the left, a trio of teenage boys dove from the sea wall, their splashes followed by three wet heads surfacing seconds later, ringed by ripples in the water.
I moved along the waterfront and nodded at the other early risers who had appeared: a matron stood with hands on hip peering at the church bulletin posted outside its open door, out of which another black cat sauntered. A man paused to take in the view, three fresh baguettes under his arm. Looking up, I saw a naked toddler wander out on to a second-story balcony, plop down on her behind and stare back at me.
Taking my pick of the network of intersecting lanes that wound their way up the hillside, I discovered one artistic flourish after another adorning the exteriors of the quirky buildings. Someone had sprinkled the surface of a tattered shutter with tiny hearts, sketched in chalk in a tic-tac-toe pattern. A statue of a Madonna and child nestled in a niche embedded in an old wall. Outside a cubbyhole-size storefront, a heart-shaped satchet sweetly stitched with the word Amitie rested among an artful display of brightly-patterned linens.
I made a slow climb up the steep, crooked streets, fronted with houses in Crayola colors and wreathed in fragrant bougainvillea. At Collioure’s heights, I looked out over terra cotta rooftops and enjoyed the same azure expanse that Matisse had so prized.
Collioure illustrated for me a lesson I seem to need to learn and re-learn. Life is not black and white, or all or nothing; it is the multi-hued shadings and contrasts that give a day its texture and meaning. Nothing is static, and any given situation can be seen differently, given a little time and some perspective.
Today, I aspire to remember the “Always forward” battle cry of Collioure’s residents. While seeing the big picture sometimes involves a bit of an uphill slog for me, I am moving in the right direction when I can recognize that expectations will only cloud my view.

For more images of Collioure, see here under Travel Photos.
[To read more of Meg's journey's in life including both inspiration and travel, visit her blog at]

March 1, 2011

Jessica's "Daily Affirmation"

We should all learn something from this amazing little girl : )

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”

-Kahlil Gibran

(Thank you Leah for submitting this video)

I Believe...

that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe…
that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.
I believe…
that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I believe…
that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I believe…
that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
I believe…
that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I believe…
that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.
I believe…
that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
I believe…
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I believe…
that no matter how bad your heart is broken that the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I believe…
that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I believe…
that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.  And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
I believe…
that you shouldn’t be eager to find out a secret.  It could change your life forever.
I believe…
that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I believe…
that you should always leave loved ones with loving well wishes. It may be the last time you see them.
I believe…
that you can keep going long after you can’t.
I believe…
that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I believe…
that we don’t have to change friends, if we understand that friends change.
I believe…
that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I believe…
that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I believe…
that you either control your attitude or it controls you.
I believe…
that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, that passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I believe…
that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I believe…
that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I believe…
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I believe…
that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I believe…
that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down, will be the ones who help you get back up.

[Thanks to Kelsey for this submission]
Disclaimer: I did not write this. It is originally from a poem "I've Learned" - Author Unknown.

What do you believe?

Share with us here.

February 24, 2011

Pay It Forward

Submitted by Ashley. 

I was given an assignment in class today, to do something for three people that they can’t do on their own and to pass it on; it’s the movement called “Pay It Forward”.
 I want to take it to the next step and try to reach more than just three people. I want everyone to know that even if their having a bad day, someone somewhere loves them, is thinking about them, and is keeping them in their prayers. That when you've had enough with frustration and hardship, that there will always be something that’s going to change for the better.
 So smile, its scientifically proven to put you in a better mood by releasing serotonin. So become a serotonin junky, hug some one who needs it, or just offer encouraging words, make a new friend, live life.

 I believe in humanity, I believe in you, so pay it forward, the universe will reward you kindly.

I love you and have a phenomenal day!

“My humanity is bound in yours, for we can only 
be human together."

February 15, 2011

Give Me Sympathy

You're gonna make mistakes you're young

Come on baby play me something, 
Like here comes the sun

"The birds chirping in the background always make me feel happy"
Thanks for the submission Maggie : )

February 11, 2011

It's Only Life (Kate Voegele)

Thanks to Paula for the submission! 
"I listen to this video whenever I feel like crying. It always make me feel better. No matter what."

Don't look away 
Don't run away
Hey baby it's only life
Don't lose your faith
Don't run away
Hey baby its only life
Yea it's only life

February 3, 2011

Smile. This is Not a Drill.

I know you're looking at this post right now and thinking "oh boy, that's a lot of text to read... hmm, skip." If there's something on the internet worth reading, it just may be this. Take a moment of your oh so busy day, do yourself a favor, and really read this:

"Smile. This is not a drill. Please fasten your safety belts and restore your trays to their full upright and locked position. Dig into thoughts and memories until you've found power; that inner strength and the will to go on. Find the lingering smell that makes you think of that time... Look for the color that sparks the memory about... Show the world the person that can smile no matter what. Please keep all body parts away from the closing doors and prepare for take off. You know that in all darkness you will find a matching light. Conquer the fear of heights, spiders and ghosts. Take a shot of courage and march on through fire. Accomplish what you know you can do. It only takes a fraction of happiness and a moment of your time. Stride short and sweet with power in your footsteps. March to your own beat and rhythm. Excite the flip flops beneath you and fly on Hermes wings. Your time to shine is now, and aim that light at shadows below you. Light will stream out from you and catch others who will reflect it back. Your smile becomes their smile and show you every bit of comfortable strength it has to offer. Accept the offerings and be glad in this. This is a smile creeping across your face, and this is not a recording. Just don't forget to smile. You, this world and everyone in it is ALWAYS more beautiful when you smile."

Written by: whentheempirefalls
Much gratitude for the amazing submission. 

February 1, 2011

8 Ways to Conquer Stress

Submitted by Dan from (big thanks for the awesome article!
1. Find out what is causing the stress and work on fixing it- The best thing to do when stressed is figuring out what is causing it. If it is something that is fixable, work on fixing or improving the situation. In other words, if you are stressed about a test or a report that must be done, then don’t waste your time thinking about it. Study or work on it so that it can be completed on time. The quality/effectiveness of the work done prior to your due date reflect highly on the quality of the final product (no matter what the case is).
2. Take things one step a time- When someone is stressed, many times it is because they may have too much to do at once. Instead of going over your head and worrying about everything, take some time and write a list. Make sure the list is moderately detailed so that you have to know exactly what you have to do without wasting additional time toward the end. Once you have made a list, go from the first item to the last in that order. Do not skip around or think about the other items listed.
3. Make sure to have time for you- Many people are stressed because they devote all of their time to other causes. Whether it is school, work, family, or other obligations, you must make sure to remember who is most important. YOU! Try to give yourself a certain amount of time each day to do something you enjoy. This shouldn’t seem abstract because we must do what makes us happy. If you enjoy singing, spend 30 minutes a day singing. If you like to dance, take some time out to do that. It is healthy and will allow you to relieve built up stress and emotions.
4. Play sports- Many people take their emotions out when working out and playing sports. It is healthy physically and mentally to spend some time each day playing sports or doing some kind of physical exercise. Many times, recreational team sports allow you to meet new people, socialize, and forget the stress while playing.
5. Listen to slow music- When we are stressed, often life around us seems to be moving way too fast. Whatever your choice in music is, try to lie down somewhere, take a walk, or step into a bath and put on some slow music. Even if you do it for fifteen to thirty minutes a day, you will feel relieved and ready to take on the rest of your day. Your mind and body will thank you for this.
6. Talk to someone- If something is stressing you out, especially if you believe you cannot handle it, talk to someone. Many times a friends or family member’s insight on a situation will provide you with a clear path. Though sometimes they may be wrong, always take what others say into consideration. The people closest to us are there to help and, even though sometimes it won’t seem like it, they support you.
7. Cook something (or learn how to)- Personally, I find that cooking is a relaxing and fun experience. Grab some cookbooks or find some recipes online, turn on some relaxing music in your kitchen, and start chopping. As soon as you know it, there is an aroma of smells in your kitchen, you’re relaxed, and most likely eating something healthier than you would have if you went out.
8. Find yourself- many times, people are stressed because they are confused as to what or who they want to be in life. That is fine and a completely natural feeling. There are certain things you must do whilst looking to find yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Make friends with new people. If possible, travel (and by travel I mean somewhere at least six hours away by plane). Learn new things and open your mind to new cultures, foods, and religions. Don’t analyze anything too much, but make sure to keep your mind rolling (not of stressful thoughts). Find what makes you happy.
"Inspir(CRE)ation was developed so that people had a place to go, a place to share stories, a place to discuss success and failure. When there is no one else we can talk to, one may feel left out of society. With the concept of inspir(CRE)ation, there are many like you who have had these life experiences and are ready to share them with the world. How do we overcome those stressful situations? What do we do when a family member or a friends treats us badly? Tell us your story. Let us know what you do or have done to fix the problems that seemed unfixable. Visit at "

Keep Smiling

"If the only complaint people have about you is that you are too happy then you are doing something right."

Thank-you to Robyn for the lovely submission!