Be Limitless

How many of our ancestors dreamed of human flight? And how many were admonished for dreaming of such things?

In the late 1700s to early 1800s there were the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne. They were the sons of a paper maker, but neither were the successor to their father’s business. In fact Joseph, the 12th of 16 children in the family, was seen as a dreamer. And somewhat irresponsible. While his little brother, Jacques, was far more sensible.

But that dreamer mindframe would serve them both well. One day Joseph became inspired by the way drying laundry, placed over a fire, would be moved by the hot air. He thought this “Montgolfier Gas” or levity, was responsible for causing the cloth to be lifted up; rather than hot air rising. But it was a close enough understanding to inspire great things. He’d previously been trying to create parachutes. Which he was able to test, without dying, by jumping off the roof of their home. I imagine this behavior was probably very uncommon during this period. And envisioning him, in period clothing, jumping off a roof with a DIY parachute tickles me.

Here are portraits from their Wikipedia page of Joseph:

As well as Jacques:

I find Joseph to be the most interesting of the two, as he was clearly the dreamer and mastermind. Though it should be noted that those who help manifest a vision are just as valuable as those who envisioned it. Perhaps, even more important at times. But my fascination is with the dreamers who don’t stop until they create their vision.

It took a few years for them to refine their contraption; picking up a friend and collaborator, Jean-Baptiste Réveillion, along the way. He worked with wallpaper. This was helpful as their balloon was made of layers, including paper as well as sackcloth. According to Wikipedia the later version that carried humans was about 75 feet tall by 50 feet wide. I imagine it too be magnificent to witness. Their collective understanding of paper, and treatments for it, were essential in making sure it not only flew but it also didn’t burst into flames. They did many tests including sending a sheep by the name of Montauciel, which means “climb to the sky”. As well as the sheep’s buddies, a duck and a rooster. All to test different aspects of living creatures in flight, as well as the affects of altitude. I bet they were all very confused, but don’t worry. They all remained unharmed, though I’m sure a bit upset. Poor things.

Since they proved that these animals could survive, the King of France, Louie XVI approved their endeavors. Another grab from their Wikipedia page, this depiction of their balloon was commissioned in 1786:

A bit different than the hot air ballons of today. Especially since Joseph thought the smoke was essential in levity. So, I imagine it wasn’t as pleasant as modern day balloons. But still magnificent.

To think, just watching laundry dry was what inspired one man to set off and create a device that allowed human flight. It’s absolutely incredible. Perhaps, it makes you feel like that dream of yours isn’t so far fetched? Especially with all of the advancements and so much technology at our fingertips. Today we have so much available to us. So, don’t let anything or anyone subdue your dreams!

Sources

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgolfier_brothers

Social Media Isn’t All Bad

Ok, first off let’s all agree we’re tired of the BS online. I’d be happy to not see rudeness for the “lolz” or trolling horrific things. We’re all aware of the creeps, drama, and how most things are fake online. I acknowledge all of this. However, I bet you all of that existed somewhere else before the internet. Which is something that got me thinking, are we blaming the messenger?

See everyone blames social media for highlighting materialism or for making people narcissistic. It’s “corrupting” people this way or that way. But that’s like saying the holidays made me gain a few pounds, and hence holidays are the root of the issue! Rather than admitting weakness with self-control. The blame goes to the internet for creepinsss, when it’s humans using it to be perverse.

It’s not just a mirror, it’s a super magnified mirror for humanity. If you’ve ever been brave enough to look at your face in a 5x magnified mirror, you’ll know that nothing looks pretty that close up!

I bring this up because there’s always a very negative conversation going on about the internet and social media specifically. It’s a great escape goat to place blame on, or deem as evil to justify dismissing a topic people are uncomfortable with. That the internet “burnt” everyone out on a hot button issuse, so don’t talk about it anymore. Or best yet, let’s all of us scream “fake news” at each side of an issue. You then can walk away from it much easier. While there is fake news, this term is often more used to shut down conversations. Which won’t do anyone any good. It’s ok to say you don’t feel this conversation is getting anywhere, let’s agree to disagree and walk away. We don’t have to invalidate each other clinging to the desire to have everyone agree.

Yet the internet couldn’t exist without humans. It’s only highlighting issues we’ve been better able to hide in the past. It only gets in your face, or burns you out, if you’re spending a lot of time on the inter-webs. And there is the option to take a break from the internet. I know, not realistic long-term. At least not with the current direction of human development. But it’s still ok for a couple hours!

Yet, just like a magnified mirror, backing away can make the image so blurry you don’t see that suspicious mole, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. One day you’re going to have to address the issue. Having a chance to see it when it’s smaller, means it’s easier to address. We get annoyed at social issues blowing up, yet they only got that way because they went ignored too long. Building up until it bursts.

This new era of humanity can either be the catalyst that forces us to take a deeper look at things humanity needs to change, things we all have to work on. Or we can allow all of our inner demons to destroy us.

So, I may say that there is so much good going on in the world, yet where is it all online? Well, it doesn’t “sell” well. So, fear and negativity are pushed because that’s what spreads quickly and far. It’s preying on the whole concept of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The foundation of which is your basics, survival and security. Then moves up to family/relationships, and then on to self-esteem. I won’t go too far into that though. I think we’re all pretty aware of the potential for manipulation.

Plus, I’m no saint in all of this, as at times I too get sucked in. So, please don’t think I’m preaching to you. We all have work to do.

I’m just saying, don’t condemn technology for the evils of humanity. Instead look at it as an opportunity for growth. If something repels you so much, find a way to get involved and make changes. But do it respectfully. I see people get involved because the issue is so important, then they spit poison at anyone with a difference in opinion. That’s not helping.

Remember none of this is new and maybe that’s showing us we need to approach things differently. People have battled it out over important issues since the dawn of man. Corruption in power, and using that to manipulate others, has existed throughout the ages. It morphs to adapt to the different ages. Today it could be the media or government when ages ago it hid within a religion or dubbed itself royalty. Today it’s morphing to adapt to our world. Being more connected means we see it more, but that is good because corruption doesn’t function well when visible.

How We Can Shift the Paradigm

If you see a day where everything online is soul crushing misery, that destroys your faith in humanity. Find something positive to post. A quote, a photo of your goofy pet, or heck make a silly face selfie. It won’t change the internet, but it could boost those in your little section of it. Maybe it will spread. Or if you see it’s a day the internet is being used not to inform, but to just push negativity, then get off of it.

I don’t mean for your work or whatever you have to do. I mean the mindless scrolling through news, social media, etc. However, I also see so many people stressed about not being available 24/7. You miss a nonessential phone call or message at 4:55 pm and decide to wait until the next morning to reply. Yet that person has a straight up hissy fit that it took you “so long” to respond. Even calling back within an hour, I’ve had platonic social interactions that demand to know why I wasn’t by my phone when they decided to call me for an update, which was that they had no update. Seriously? I went to the bathroom, do I need permission? No.

I’ll age myself for a minute and say, we didn’t have cellphones when I was younger. Or they weren’t widely used. You generally had to wait a lot longer to get a return call. Sometimes days of playing tag with each other’s answering machines (aka antiquated voicemail). Somehow, the world did not implode. It’s ok to take a couple hours off the internet. It’ll be there when you get back.

My point being, the internet is molded by our interactions with it. Literally, look at how the ways we interact within the internet is evolving and shaping it. Brands notice trends and those in power see what holds influence. It’s changing society, we might as well get in on that possibility. There’s all of this opportunity to be involved in ways our ancestors never could have dreamed of. Jobs that never would’ve been an option. Or how you, yes you, that one person in this big world, have a higher chance of making something that could impact a massive amount of people. That’s power within your grasp. One that only multiplies when we connect and join together on a cause. And I firmly believe, that despite all the negative and work needing to be done, there’s an overwhelming amount of good in people. People who aren’t afraid evolve and work together. And that will prevail.

Let’s all learn to practice looking at it with a bit of objectivity so we can see if we’re being emotionally manipulated. Find ways to enjoy research, so we’re not just taking force feed facts. And being able to recognize if it’s something that hits us in the feels, it could be because it needs to be addressed. But please, let’s not forget to find time for adorable animal videos. Like this one, and a doggo for good measure! I won’t leave you with all that and no cute animals to wash it down!

💖

Realistic Positivity

fabian-moller-401625-unsplash.jpgIf you know me at all, or follow me on Instagram, you will know I am all about those positive vibes. Whether it is Law of Attraction (positivity attracts positivity). Or just down to the science of Psychology and what powerful effects positive thinking can have on your well-being. I am on board! I try to spread it everywhere and use it to get through the challenges of life and especially, the challenges of chronic illness. But I wanted to talk briefly about, realistic positivity. As it seems so often we’re bombarded with messages of “just be positive!” and there’s a point we all reach where that isn’t realistic.

I’ve had chronic pain for a while, but over the last few months it has gotten a lot worse. With horrible flare-ups that just hurt to my core. While I continue to battle for a proper diagnosis, I still am trying to get the pain under control. Due to my holistic wellness training and desire to heal my body rather than band-aid the issues. I have had a lot of issues with finding solutions. Even being adamant about not wanting narcotics, western medicine treats chronic pain with extreme suspicion. Which I understand for the addiction issues, but for a patient who doesn’t want to go down that road at all, it is still an extremely frustrating and often dehumanizing experience. For the past few months I felt like a ping pong ball being batted back and forth between doctors. Yet even clearly stating I do not want narcotics, I was verbally spat on. I kept at it and finally I was referred to a specialist. It would take months to get an appointment, but I was so hopeful this would offer me some solutions for my pain. My primary even ran scans and tests ahead of time so that I would be set for this appointment.

I’ve been driving myself for weeks to just get to that appointment, to use the pain, and have it drive me. Thinking I’d finally have options and potential answers. I got there almost an hour early, only to be rushed through intake. To find out they never even looked at my scans/tests, and had to only see the Physicians Assistant. Who would shush me every time I tried to speak. He was robotic and barely even looked at me. I felt like I wasn’t even aloud to speak, let alone hurt. I don’t feel like I was heard and I wasn’t given any viable options from the visit. It was a waste of time and it left me crushed. Then today I had a flare-up, which hit me hard. And you know what? I let it. I got the kiddo off to school, I looked at my schedule and set aside the none-essential things. Which gave me a couple free hours today. And I let the sadness, frustration, and pain wash over me. I gave myself permission to cry, be upset, feel sorry for myself, wallow. Just gave myself permission to feel. I let all those emotions that I don’t want to dwell on, pass through me. Because if I keep going like they’re not real, I will burn out. They’re a part of life. And I so often see people who believe in the power of positivity, carry this guilt of having a bad day. Yet, we’re only human and no one can realistically be positive 100% of the time. Even if you can, I think it is a disservice to your experience in this existence. Because it is part of life and it is essential to allow all things to balance out in life. But the key is to allow yourself time to let it pass through you, and not dwell inside you. It is just a moment in time and it will pass. It is just energy and it will pass.

I could go into more depth about all the specialists I’ve seen and how they treat me like I’m subhuman. How much having a disability requires me to constantly advocate, not only for myself but others as well. Just never-ending avocation and work to get through all the barriers that happen in just “normal” existence. But that is seriously enough for an epic book. One you gotta let me know would want to read. As I don’t want to just rattle on with stories.

My main point is, if you’re going through some stuff. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to take a break from trying to be “on top of it all”. Learn to tell the difference between allowing negativity to take up residence in your life, and just allowing experiences to flow through you without attachments. Because life is really all about energy. There’s good and bad. While we try to maintain the positive, negative energy has to be around for balance. Most importantly with all this, please, learn if you need to take out time to retreat inward during a bout of treacherous energy. Or if you need to reach out. It can be isolating and I am so grateful for the support system I have. Don’t let it isolate you if you need someone (I’m here if you wanna talk!).

We just need to learn to not attach self-worth to the current flow of energy. So, we’re capable of navigating through it.

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Well, hello…

Yes, it has been far too long. I have no excuses. Life has had a lot to give me and I was putting my energy where it needed to be. However, I am very sorry for neglecting you. It isn’t right, and I will do my best to make sure to that we’re in consistent contact. After all, I have so much to update you on, and so much I want to share. Stay tuned!