Tag Archives: Diamante Lavendar

What Is Responsibility?

When we think of responsibility, we tend to think of being reliable and doing our jobs well. Whatever it is that we do from day to day, the perception of doing it well is seen as responsibility. Also the concept of showing up when needed, being there for others and taking good care of what we’ve been given in life. But is that it? Or is there more to being responsible?

This is a topic I’ve thought about for years.  The average person considers responsibility to be a consideration only within their personal realm or space.  But what about reaching beyond your comfort zone?  Here are some other ways I’ve found responsibility to be key and essential in life.

Being a good example when no one is watching.  When you see someone drop a wallet on the street, would you pick it up and bring it to them?  That is an important aspect of social responsibility.  If we want this world to resonate on a higher level of consciousness, we are responsible to be good even when nobody notices.  Doing this passes kindness along and increases a personal level of social responsibility among ourselves and others.

Doing the right thing without expecting a reward.  Something as simple as picking garbage up off the street makes you a more responsible person.  Instead of walking past wrappers and other things tossed out of car windows and thrown over shoulders, you can choose to take it upon yourself to clean up and brighten the world around you.  Even if it’s never acknowledged, you know you did the right thing.  This will increase your personal consciousness and self esteem which always ends up rubbing off on others you know.  Even if you don’t purposely try to make them aware of your beliefs.  And when others see how responsible you are, it will motivate them to be more responsible!  (At least some of them!)

society-picture-diamante-lavendar

Being fair and extending a helping hand.  We all have moments and situations come up where we have the opportunity to help another person out who may have the possibility of hurting us.  Sometimes being a responsible person is offering a hand up with no assurance of it turning out well.  At times, it’s good to give another person the benefit of the doubt.  And if it ends up biting you in the end?  Well, at least you tried.  I’m not saying to be a doormat and allow people to walk all over you.  What I am suggesting is when you are able, knowing that if the situation would fall flat, you are still willing to take a chance, take it!  Sometimes these are the best moments in life:  moments that can not only change you but the people you’re walking out on a limb for as well.  Actions like this not only increase your personal responsibility level and your self esteem but also the personal responsibility levels and self esteem levels of those who you’ve given the chance to.  When out of nowhere if you decide to trust someone and it goes well, it’s a very beautiful thing!

Doing your part to remedy societal issues.  Society has a sad way of “passing the buck” too many times.  “Oh, they’ll take care of that,”  or “I don’t know much about that.  Let someone else deal with it,”  or “I just don’t have the energy.  It’s a losing battle anyway,”  are all excuses created to keep us from feeling responsible.  But the reality is, we can all do something with the resources we have, even if it’s something small.  It really doesn’t take much to donate a coat to a shelter or to provide a bag of groceries to someone who’s hurting.  Maybe even secretly leave Christmas gifts on a needy familys’ doorstep or fill a bag with a few essentials from a dollar store to donate to a charity.  There are ways of filling in the gap with the resources we’ve been given.  If we’d all do our part, we could create huge waves of responsibility to ripple through our communities.

Take care of our planet.  Our children inherit this planet from us.  What we do to it, they’ll have to deal with.  Why give them more pain and heartache?  Take an interest in healing this world on a physical level.  Learn more about solar and wind energy, begin to grow gardens in our yards or stop using pesticides on our lawns.  There are numerous efficient chemical free ways of dealing with issues like this.  Why spray more harmful things into the atmosphere for our children and grandchildren to breathe?  Why kill off more animals and plants and eat GMO foods that are riddled with hurtful carcinogens?  There is no good point to these types of things. And engaging in harmful behaviors only makes things worse and worse.  It’s time to start paying attention and go back to healing this planet before the domino effect of pain becomes too great for us to conquer!

Rise above destructive thought processes.  If we all close our eyes to the hurtful things going on, who is going to make it better?  We need to increase our awareness….our level of responsibility…and understand that we each have a piece in this puzzle.  If we pass all of the responsibility on to our neighbor, our friend, our senator, our president, how can we expect anything to really change?  Yes, our elected officials can make changes but nothing compared to a global realization that we can all make a difference.  Even the poorest of us!  We can grow gardens, we can stop using pesticides, we can share with our friends and plant trees and spread kindness.  There are literally thousands of things we can all do.  No matter what our socioeconomic level or level of education.  We need to pull together to make amends!

Responsibility is a way of life.  It’s a process of thinking that we need to commit to.  Responsibility doesn’t just happen.  It’s cultivated.  And if we begin to cultivate it into the younger generations, just imagine the changes it could bring!

How Can Love Bring Healing Into Relationships?

A focus on hate in society can be debilitating. Many believe that to stand up for what is right, an argumentative attitude is necessary. Unfortunately, argumentative attitudes only further complicate things. Many mistakenly decide that force may be required to change minds. But like Martin Luther King, Gandhi and other humanists have realized, hate only begets more hate.

In order to find some type of middle ground or resolution, love must be brought into the equation on some level. Why? Following are some great reasons!

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1.  Love increases compassion and empathy.  Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune”. (Dictionary.com).  When people enter into conflict with a sense of compassion, they feel the pain of their adversary.  It makes them realize how they would feel if they were in their adversary’s shoes.  Compassion is essential in bringing about change during times of conflict.  Likewise, empathy, “the psychological identification with feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another” (Dictionary.com) is also essential in bringing about change.  Until we can understand what someone else is going through on a personal level, we truly don’t know why change needs to take place.

2.  Love promotes more discussions and less arguments.  How many times have you tried to “get down to business” when anger is coloring your perspective?  Anger is like a flame that burns anyone who gets too close.  Anger is a natural facilitator of arguments.  It is nearly impossible to be objective when the flames of anger are burning bright.  Love, on the other hand, makes us more capable of being objective, thus facilitating more discussions.  And it is possible to have discussions without anger being involved.  It’s perfectly okay to agree to disagree-and much healthier than fighting, too!

3.  Love helps us to identify with an adversary’s perspective.  When we are able to identify with another human being on the level of humanity itself, anger is automatically driven to the background.  When we realize that we are all essentially searching for the same things on the level of being human, we experience unity and forgiveness.  Unity and forgiveness are critical in bringing about essential, peaceful changes.

4.  Love creates an atmosphere of acceptance.  When the kindness and compassion of love enter any picture, an atmosphere of acceptance is cultivated.  This is a widely understood topic even by giants in the movie industry (like Disney) with thousands of movies being centered around the topic.  Even children’s movies (one of my favorites entitled Brave)  speak of not only accepting others but also accepting ourselves….a beautiful mindset with a ton of benefit!

5.  Love reduces pride.  Now don’t get me wrong…pride in itself is not a bad thing…unless it is allowed to become the predominating mindset.  An inflated sense of pride causes us to believe that others owe us something.  Some synonyms of pride are conceit, egotism, vanity and vainglory.  (Dictionary.com).  How many times have you tried to reason with someone that is convinced they are overly important and you owe them the world?  It is darned near impossible to reason with people like that.  What is the outcome of vanity and an inflated self concept?  Argument!  And usually arguments with those types of personalities don’t turn out very well!

6.  Love increases a sense of value and worth among people.  Let’s look at the definition of love.  Perhaps I should have earlier, but the definition proves this point.  Love is “a feeling of warm, personal attachment or deep affection as for a parent, child or friend.”  (Dictionary.com). Love is easy when it comes to those closest to us.  It comes naturally.  But when you’re talking about your enemy, it can be much trickier.  Love with strangers and acquaintances is a decision, a life style you choose to lead.  It is responding with dignity to someone who you may not necessarily agree with.

I created a quote a while back that said “Lay down your weapons; embrace and be one; Forgiveness will reign when the battle is done.”  I got some backlash about this one!  But my meaning behind it was “Treat others with respect, as you would like to be treated.  Only then can you mend broken mindsets and societal patterns.”

How can we expect to find peace among the dissension when we aren’t even willing to lay our differences aside?  It’s impossible.  It will never happen until we make the decision to live with more loving attitudes!

7.  Love increases understanding.  When someone comes to you with a request, you must have a sense of understanding about what they’re talking about!  Love cultivates a sense of understanding.  That “aha” moment when we realize what someone else is going through makes all the difference in the world when it comes to us accepting them and being more loving.  Love breaks down barriers, arguments and all forms of hate and prejudice because it allows the beautiful knowledge of understanding to emanate among the souls of those discussing different scenarios and situations!  Understanding definitely diffuses arguments!

8.  Love promotes respect.  The nature of love is the nature of respect.  And the nature of respect requires that respect be given in order for it to be received.  When you respect someone, you care!  You listen, you lend a hand, you really want to make a difference!  That’s what love is all about!  It is impossible to say you love someone or want to make things better for them and yourself without experiencing some form of respect.  Respect is a precursor for the kind of caring that meaningful change requires.

9.  Love promotes hope and possibility.  With hate, there is little to no hope involved.  There is pain, anguish and agony.  With love?  Well, there is the hope of a better future because people are willing to discuss problems and understand each  other’s situations!  Hate leads to discouragement.  Hope leads to enlightenment!

10.  Love promotes a sense of responsibility.  Hate?  Well, it creates an environment where people feel helpless.  They become despondent and stoop to lower types of emotions and interactions such as apathy, anger and resentment.  Love creates a sense that everyone can make a difference.  When we each believe we can make a difference, our sense of personal responsibility rises.  So what’s better for our society?  Helplessness or an increase in caring and personal responsibility?  I think that one is pretty self explanatory!

The truth is we can make a difference.  Each and every one of us.  Even if we only influence one other person for the better, think of the ripple effect that can have on an entire society?  And the reality is, most of us are able to affect more than one other person.  Many of us are able to affect hundreds of people throughout our lives depending on where we work, where we live, who we associate with, where we go, etc.  Love is a powerful force for more reasons than those I just listed above.  If we all make the choice to embrace it, what a beautiful world this would be!

 

 

 

Meet Artist Sherry Shipley!

Sherry is a member of my group Emotive Art on Fine Art America. She recently was tied for first place in a contest with her piece entitled Getting To Know You.  Sherry’s art flows beautifully and is full of color.  Here is her winning piece:

getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley

Statement from Sherry:

Art has been a part of me all my life. I could never stop drawing as a child and in high school picked up my first paint brush. That was 1965. I have been painting ever sense.

Over the years I have explored many mediums and expanded my art skills when I attended the Art Institute of Seattle.

I depict animals in my art to create a feeling of wonderment with our connection with these creatures and a bond that only a true animal lover can feel. Animals have been depicted in art and stories since the beginning of time and our bond with them lives in legends and lore.

My art creates and reveals that bond in bold and colorful images either through letting the paint flow and working the images into it or use of lines that weaves the design around the subject to create it’s own story.

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A short bio:

Growing up in the shadow of the Cascades, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest inspired my love of nature and wildlife. Trips to the mountains have supplied a stunning and endless backdrop for my wildlife subjects which I have been painting for over 40 years.

My work has been seen in galleries from Seattle to New York. My wildlife art designs have sold on shirts and tote bags in Alaska, and many of the lower 48 states.

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If you enjoy this piece, you’ll love looking through her portfolio!  It’s stunning!  Here’s the link:

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley.html

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you’ll be back soon!

Breaking The Silence Video Clip!

My book Breaking The Silence is now a double award winner in the genre of Inspirational Fiction! I am so grateful to Mom’s Choice Awards for their gold medal and to Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for their award! It is humbling, to say the least, since Breaking The Silence is written about my life (though places and names have been changed). It has been a surreal experience to have such good come from such pain and turmoil.

Here is a video clip I created about Breaking The Silence with excerpts from my book:

 

If you are a victim of abuse or know a victim of abuse, please pass this information along.  It is my desire to help those who feel trapped by their pain.  I want them to know it is possible to heal.  Breaking The Silence is my story of agony and abuse to hope and healing.

God Bless!

 

 

Crying For A Savior

The pain you caused
Has left permanent scars
Like armies of demons
In my brain.

I am stilled by agony
In unguarded moments
Like razor blade cuts
Across my heart.

It’s been years
But somehow
Your deathly grip
Still holds me fast;

I crawl
Like a wounded animal
Through the dust and debris
Of the past

Crying for a Savior.

How is it
That after thirty seven years
You still reach me
From the coldness of your grave?

Groping and grasping,
Ripping my flesh off in layers,
Stabbing your evil
Through my heart and soul?

Will I ever be free
To live as I dream of living
Or will I forever be
Your prisoner of anguish and shame?

I deserve to be happy
I dream of it every day
But somehow your memory
Always succeeds

At burying me with you in a Hell you so adeptly created for both of us.

 

In Order To Be Successful You Have To Be Reliable

So many times we dream about things we could do or be, only to give in too easily to despair and hardships on our journey. If we really want to succeed, we need to remain reliable to our dreams and ourselves through the good times and bad. Setbacks happen to everyone making success seem like smoke on the horizon…something we think we see but we’re unsure of how to go about achieving it. Or we know how to achieve it and stumbling blocks shorten and delay our stamina. To succeed, we must keep our dreams just ahead of us and continue to strive, to be reliable!

In order to be successful you have to be reliable by Diamante Lavendar

We hear overnight success stories and they do happen from time to time.  More often though, we have to work tediously and slave for our dreams to become a reality.  I am reminded of the saying “nothing in this world worth having comes easy.”  The seemingly overnight success stories often are built on a platform of hard work behind the scenes.  Even the singer who wins the reality show has spent years perfecting his/her voice.  Overnight success is rare.  Very rare.

Never give up.  Unreliability and irresponsibility will kill a dream every time.  Believe in yourself and know you can achieve whatever you believe you can.  Then, if you persevere, chances are you will succeed…if you don’t give up.

And never be afraid to lend someone else a helping hand.  You never know when the favor will come full circle to bless you in the end!

Spotlight: The Sleeping Town by F.A.R.

Cover

It all began the day Michael Walker woke up and everyone else didn’t. Powerful forces are at work, and the small town of Redfield might not survive it. As the uncanny becomes commonplace and truth remains elusive, Michael struggles to discern between friend and foe. Should he fail, not only will his head become a stranger to his neck, but the rest of the town might soon follow his fate.

Reviews:

Format: Kindle Edition

I really liked The Sleeping Town. I really liked this book’s take on magic. I won’t get into it too much because it’s kind of special to the book and I don’t want to ruin anything. Suffice it to say, I thought it was pretty original. That really helped me get into this book. So many books just have a generic view on magic and the like, so when you come across something that’s a little different, it’s easy to get caught up in. There are a lot of things in the book that I really liked, but I don’t want to mention because they were just kind of special to the book itself and I don’t want to ruin anything.

Even though I didn’t say much, I did really enjoy this book and recommend it for anyone looking for something a little different.

By ALY on November 27, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

This book was interesting. The description sure does not give much away. But I liked the book. Michael has his struggles for sure but the book kept me on my toes. I was always wondering what would happen next. I think a good first book. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Interview with F.A.R.:
1.  Please tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
The Sleeping Town is my first book. It is the story of Michael Walker as he wakes up and finds he is the only one in the entire town who did. The book can roughly be divided in two parts. The first part is Michael trying to figure things out and finding himself increasingly out of his depth. The second part is after he identifies the supernatural force at work and tries to do something about it… and finds himself increasingly out of his depth.
I decided to write it, because I have been coming up with ideas for stories since I read my first book. I kept thinking about what I would have liked to see happening and how I would done certain things. Eventually, I got brave enough to sit down and actually write one of those ideas. The Sleeping Town is the result of that.
2.  Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?
As a matter of fact, I do. Just a few days ago I finished the first (very rough) draft of my next book, Devils of Black and Gold. It is a darker tale when compared to The Sleeping Townbut I had fun writing it. It features a guy who thinks he might be a werewolf, a series of bizarre murders, and a cop who is definitely not getting paid enough. Additionally, I am about to start working on the sequel to The Sleeping Town later in October.
3.  What would you like your readers to know about you?
Seeing as how I’m using an obvious Pen name it would be easier to think about things I don’t want readers to know about me, but here it goes. I’m Latino, F.A.R. are my actual initials, and I like to use the kitchen. I’m not saying I am any good at it, but I do like cooking every now and then.
4.  If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Tough question. There are so many I would like to meet, but if I had to pick just one… James Spader. Stargate, Boston Legal, The Blacklist, Age of Ultron. How can I not be a huge fan?
5.  Favorites:  color, food, acitivity, place?
I have always been a fan of orange as far as colors go. My favorite food is Fettuccine Alfredo. My favorite activity (other than writing) is swimming. Whether it is in a beach or pool, I love it all the same. My favorite place is a nice park in the middle of autumn.
6.  If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
Well, it is a bit presumptuous of me to be giving out life advice, but if I had to give one it would probably be something like, “Go for it!”
I spend a lot of time thinking,”I want to write a book.” Years if I have to be honest. During that time I got very little book-writing done. One day I got fed up with that. I started writing every single day and didn’t stop until I had a book, If there is something you want to do, you can’t just think about it. You need to bring that thought into action.
Where you can find The Sleeping Town:
https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Town-F-R-ebook/dp/B014CBA48A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1470526248&sr=8-3&keywords=the+sleeping+town#nav-subnav
Where you can find F.A.R.:
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FarBooks

Introducing Hair Power by Piers Anthony!

Enjoy this entertaining interview with Piers Anthony!  Guaranteed to lift your spirits!

HairPower_smaller Piers Anthony

Terminal cancer patient, Quiti, walks into an abandoned building planning on taking her life. Instead, she encounters a telepathic ball of hair that insists it is an alien seeking to facilitate diplomatic communication on Earth. Quiti assumes it is all a hallucination conjured up by her brain tumor. Because of this assumption, when she saves the alien’s life and it insists on doing Quiti a favor in return, she only asks for her hair back. She soon discovers, however, that the creature’s gift extends much further than her new locks that can change color with a thought. As her powers grow and her deadly illness goes into remission, Quiti quickly realizes that there are those that would want to use her for her abilities and is forced to leave behind everything that she knew. Will this blessing curse her to a life on the run, or does the mysterious hairball have more in store for her? Piers Anthony, critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestselling Xanth series, brings together humor and adventure in this original story of loyalty, friendship, extraordinary powers, and hair. Dreaming Big Publications

Interview with Piers:

Tell us about your latest book.

Hair Power is a novella about a girl with terminal brain cancer who helps an alien hairball, who rewards her with hair that not only replaces her own lost hair, but cures her cancer and makes her something of a super woman. In time that hair is six feet long and she wears it like a cloak. That’s only the beginning.

Tell us a little about some of the others who contributed to your book, such as cover designer or editor.

I have to default on that, as I don’t know them.

Who are your favorite authors?

If I lost my memory and had my choice of reading matter, I hope my favorite would be Piers Anthony. I try to write what I would like to read. As for other authors, I have admired many in the Science Fiction and Fantasy fields, from Robert A Heinlein on down. I am also an admirer of the plays of George Bernard Shaw, and not just because he was a vegetarian.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Publishing is changing so much now that much of what I might say would become dated about ten minutes after I wrote it. So I’ll just say read and study the genre you are in, keep writing and improving, and may the world go well with thee.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

For me the best thing is getting to exercise my imagination and being independent. I can’t be fired for someone else’s mistakes.

What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

It used to be dealing with publishers, who were like insensitive robots interested only in money, regardless what they claimed. But the old order is passing and the new publishers I am dealing with are generally more compatible. Some of them even like good fiction. So now the hardest thing is facing the prospect of my declining ability with advancing age. I’m not capable of simply letting it go and retiring. So when I no longer write well, I hope I am the first, not the last to know it.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

My web site is www.hipiers.com where I have a monthly column, commenting on whatever is on my mind, and background information on my titles. I have also written two autobiographical books: Bio of an Ogre and How Precious Was That While.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Three Weeks for this 35,000 word novella. It moved well, and I am an efficient writer.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?

I don’t think so. I had worked it out pretty well before I started writing. I’ve always loved long hair on a woman, so this was easy imagination.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

From wherever the publisher puts it.

What are you doing to market the book?

Precious little. I’m a writer, not a marketer.

Who inspires you?

The world inspires me.

How do you research your books?

There wasn’t any real research for Hair Power. I generally try to stay within the boundaries of what I know. When I do need to research, I buy books on the subject.

Do you have another work in progress? Tell us about it.

I am working on the sequel, Hair Suite, wherein there is competition with Cyborg aliens in very attractive human form. Until the two cultures have to unite against a third.

Have you written other books? Where can readers purchase them?

I have written about 175 other books. Readers can find many of them listed on Amazon. Many readers like my Xanth fantasy series, which now number 42 novels, not all in print yet.

Where you can find Hair Power:

https://www.amazon.com/Hair-Power-Piers-Anthony/dp/1534919147/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468715975&sr=8-1&keywords=hair+power+piers+anthony

Who’s Tired? I’m Not Tired!

For those of you who are familiar with me, you know I’m a night owl. I’d rather stay up late than get up early. It’s how I’ve always been. I think I was wired for the night life.

The dark cloak of night is a comfort and the sounds of the night are relaxing to me. I love to look at the sky and watch the moon and stars. I find them particularly beautiful on cool summer evenings.

To celebrate my erratic hours, I created a GIF entitled “Who’s Tired?  I’m Not Tired?” for people like me who tend to burn the candle at both ends.  Not only do I have a day job and a family, but I’m also a writer and an artist.  So there have been many (too many to remember) days when I felt like this:

If you can relate, feel free to pass this GIF along.  It’s a fun way to say,  “Cut me some slack!  I was up much too late….again!”

Pain Is An Activist

Are you someone who has felt a great amount of pain during your life? Are you in pain right now? I’m talking about every type of pain that exists: mental, physical, spiritual and every other type of pain that you can name.

As a species in general, we try to shy away from pain. I do it as much as the next guy. Let’s face it. Pain sucks. No matter what you’re experiencing, it’s tough to see any good in it at all. But the truth is there IS good in pain. It just takes a lot of guts to acknowledge it.

I just recently saw a post stating that “we are continually faced with great opportunities disguised as insolvable problems” (AmpLIFEied.com).  What a way to look at it!  Our insolvable problems…the ones we can’t seem to figure out that keep us on a hamster’s treadmill are our great opportunities…WOW!  If you tell the wrong person about this philosophy, you could end up with a harsh slap to the face!  But is it true?  I believe it is.

As someone who has been faced with thousands of seemingly unsolvable problems, I’m a first hand witness to the emotional throwback of such a statement.  When we’ve been through a million and one things, the last thought on our mind is, “Oh, great!  Another wonderful opportunity wrapped up in anguish!  Yay!”  When in reality, it is a great opportunity…to GROW into a better person.

Is it really worth the pain?  In the end, yes.  But during the daily fight of turmoil and angst it can almost drive you to insanity.  You have to keep holding onto the hope that some time it will bring blessings beyond comprehension.  But in the meantime, check that temper!  Continually let go of that anxiety!  Growth is never easy but it always brings us to more peaceful understandings of our lives and situations.  Isn’t that what life is about?  To learn as you move through your experiences?

As you examine your current condition, whether it be mental, physical, spiritual or some other type of angst, look at what seems unsolvable.  The truth is, there is always a solution but sometimes we fail to see it or we don’t want to see it.  What ending will the solution bring?  Does it add to your life or take away from it?  Many times the process of taking away adds bigger things down the line.  Do you have the guts to walk through the fire?  To deal with the cards that you’ve been dealt?  Bad things happen to good people.  It’s true.  You have no choice in the matter.  But you do have a choice as to how you will respond to tragedy.

Keep the faith.  Hold onto hope.  You’ll make it through and some day you’ll be a better person for your pain.  I know it’s tough, but don’t ever give up the fight!  Even if it’s debilitating, it will cause you to grow in ways you’ve never imagined.