Author Archives: Hart Inspirations

Beauty

Physical beauty. It’s still often one of the most highly valued attributes in our society, and particularly in women. Of course, beauty is a wonderful thing to behold and enjoy. But are you aware of positive deeper attributes we automatically apply to an attractive face?

Here’s a great Psychology Today article on beauty and its effect on our psyche: The Surprising Power of a Beautiful Face. A short quote: “[what psychologists call] the halo effect causes one trait (e.g., beauty) to drastically color your perception of all other traits. If you think someone is beautiful, you are also likely to assume they’re smart, ambitious, interesting, etc. We’ve all made these assumptions before, for good or ill.”

We are hard-wired to judge based on appearances

The assumptions we make are evidently hard-wired labels in our brains. So we can be forgiven – at least a little bit. As an interesting exercise, the next time you see a beautiful or handsome face, observe your thought process. Do you quickly assume the person is also intelligent, educated, polite, nice, etc?

Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love, is laughing in her heaven. She knows, beauty has exerted power for eons.

Beautiful Life Quotes:

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
~ Maya Angelou

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
~ Helen Keller

“Life becomes easier and more beautiful when we can see the good in other people.”
~ Roy T. Bennett

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
~ Marcus Aurelius


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One Bit of Love

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” ~ Roy T. Bennett

I sorely need Mr. Bennett’s words this morning. In the aftermath of 18 days of protests and food shortages that I posted about in It Could Happen to You, the agreements reached between the CONAIE indigenous federation and the government on Thursday have at least brought peace back to my corner of the world. And yet, I’m left with this creeping feeling that it’s not over yet. Not even close.

Yesterday I tried to take a break from “real life” by turning on the radio, and baking without concern for how we would replace the propane or the ingredients. The road blocks have been cleared, and goods are flowing again. I tried to lose myself for a little while in a very simple and familiar task.

Real life managed to worn its way into my mind, however. My thoughts drifted to the CONAIE protestors, who were now making their way back home, but to what? The poverty they are trying to overcome will most assuredly not be resolved with the words and signatures committed to paper on Thursday. The agreements they made in order to restore peace fell far short of that for which they were asking.

The root problem lies in the fact that we live in a world that’s way out of sync with our basic human and spiritual values. The requests made by the CONAIE on the face of it were logical solutions to obvious disparity between rich and poor. However, the real problem has not yet been addressed. I do not believe the government sees these people as part of their human family. They see them as an inconvenience, people who although seemingly integrated into the society, still cling to values to which the government cannot relate. These people are getting in the way of global profit-driven and political agendas. There is still a vast chasm between the two worlds.

I do not share the feeling of elation that I see many around me expressing, that they can now go to the grocery store and get exactly what they want. (Really, are you that one-dimensional?) That feeling they have came at a very high price, but they do not realize it yet. They have a difficult time relating to the person for whom 15 cents on a gallon of gas makes a huge difference. Yes, they too may be on a budget, but 15 cents is not their breaking point (yet).

To come to full circle on all of this and back to Roy. T. Bennett’s quote, I see from these 18 days that I must be resolute in centering my mind and heart in the creation of solutions, not focusing on the problem. I went to the mercado (farmer’s market) one week ago, before the protests had been resolved. Fresh food was becoming more scarce, and certainly potatoes were much harder to find. I met a lovely indigenous woman and her husband who were still selling them. When I asked the price, the lady hesitated. I could see she struggled internally with what was fair for both parties concerned. With dwindling products, customers were becoming sparser in the mercado, and clearly my wallet would bear a higher asking price.

She conferred with her husband, and they did quote a fair price within the context of what is normal, but was it in the middle of this crisis? I gave her a bill, for which she went to a neighboring vendor to seek change. When she returned and handed it to me, I gave back to her some of it, to the extent my own conscience felt it was now a fair exchange. She knew then that I saw and felt her plight. and I was rewarded with a big smile.

Of such interactions are real and solid bridges built. It is our direct human contact and commitment to change that will transform the world, and from the bottom up, not the other way around. We each can personally construct the bridges that build a better society, one bit of love, compassion, and understanding at a time.

We must all be committed to this, because we live in a world that’s in flux. This crisis, or any of the others brewing around the world, are going away until we all take responsibility for solutions, and get in the game.


© Susan L Hart | HartInspirations.com | Photo courtesy of DEZALB, Pixabay

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Turning Point

It just keeps coming around again, and when it comes right down to it, are any of us really surprised by that? War is a theme on this planet; it is a way of life. It repeats again and again throughout history.

When will it end?

When humanity decides it has had enough of the destruction, chooses Life, and evicts the self-serving war-makers from this Earth.


“Listen up – there’s no war that will end all wars.” ~ Haruki Murakama

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ~ Albert Einstein

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” ~ Voltaire

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?” ~ Laini Taylor

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© Susan L Hart | HartInspirations.com | Photo courtesy Fotorech, PIxabay

Outcast

Being different isn’t easy. There is tremendous social pressure to conform, and certainly the people “at the top” who are trying to shape society rely on this. They can count on a certain number of people to belittle and shame the ones who do not conform to agendas. They envision a society where everyone gives up on thinking for themselves, eventually relenting and following the status quo because it’s just easier.

In life it’s important for each of us to draw our line in the sand. I will never agree to such a society.

We have the personal choice and free will to overcome the narrow viewpoint, and the demand that we all conform to a one-world ideology. We have the personal power to shape a society that is open-minded and respectful of many points of view. We have the love within us to build the rich and diverse society of which humanity is capable.

Why would we or should we ever settle for less?

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.”
~ Albert Einstein


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© Susan L Hart | HartInspirations.com

I Am Infinite

Who am I? Genetics, environment, and experience, they have all helped to shape me. I was born into this life with a touch of auburn in my hair from Dad, and long piano playing fingers from Mom.

But father, why did you not give me the flaming locks that run in your Scottish family? Why just a whisper of red for me? I have a fire inside that rages, and a call to blaze a path in this world. My Maori friend calls me “Fire”. Perhaps it is so my flame is evident only to those with eyes that see deeper?

And mother, why was I born with your hands and no musical talent? It felt cruel. It was a source of frustration to me that I failed at piano lessons. Perhaps it was so I could learn to see in myself what is, rather than what is not?

One summer afternoon, the girl I was lay on her bed daydreaming. I left my body and up I rose until I floated among the stars, tethered to Earth by a slender silver thread. I felt infinity for the first time, and I realized that I was so much more than they were telling me.

I am the artist in France, learning to express my soul on canvas. In this present life, I recall those lessons easily. Painting is like breathing to me. That other self walks in Monet’s garden, and I yearn to again. A photo of the Seine in the fog makes my heart ache with longing. It is a happy life.

I am the Japanese geisha in love with a powerful man. He loves me, but we cannot be together. Even now, pink cherry blossoms in spring make my heart both sing and weep, all at the same time. The lesson? I love and I am loved. In the end, the love is all that is important.

Sometimes when I walk along the sidewalk, I recognize a piece of myself in a stranger’s eyes. How can I say what it is exactly? It is fleeting, but I see it, and I feel it.

When I pass a beggar on the street, I attach a blessing to the coin I give. In my mind I say, “I know you, and I feel your pain. I have been where you are. It is a lesson you are learning, and it will all be okay.”

There is so much of me flooding in from the world, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it. So I wash the dishes or sweep the floor, ordinary tasks that ground me in the here and now.

But I can never deny to myself, or to the world, that which I know to be true: I am stardust. I am Infinite. I am part of it All.


Today’s post is an excerpt from my book Becoming Bigger In a World that Wants to Keep Us Small. This ebook is for sale in my store, however readers of today’s blog can get it as a special direct free download here.

If you enjoy my writing and are in the position to do so, the purchase of an ebook supports my writing and is much appreciated!  SusanLHartBooks.com

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