Staying Power, What is it and Why does it Resonate?

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My granddaughter, Rachel and me

My granddaughter, Rachel and me

One of my favorite movies is Forrest Gump. From the moment the feather floats upward and the background music begins, I’m hooked. There’s something about the soft flutter of this delicate work of nature that intrigues us all. As the feather rides the air currents, we know this is going to be a whimsical fun tale; an imaginary flight of fancy.

The feather also mirrors each of our lives. We wander through a myriad of choices and struggle over countless obstacles that may, at any time, bulldoze us and lay us flat. The feather symbolism is real and down to earth. Birds soar overhead and use their feathered wings to escape their prey. They flutter gently to protect a nest full of hope and regeneration. Feathers signify angel’s wings and God’s protection.

"Brown Thrasher" 16x20 acrylic with overlapping paint on barn wood frame

“Brown Thrasher” 20×16 acrylic with overlapping paint on barn wood frame

Sometimes the loud obnoxious and violent things around us distract our attention from the subtle messages that play out around us every day. Yet these quiet gentle winds bring us whispers of hope, touches of love, and heartfelt warmth if we but listen and receive them.

Good things often come in small packages. Great inspiration is usually received in moments of calm. Reverie was a word used by many creative’s in the past to indicate those times when they were in solitude and sought to connect with their God or muse.

Gump made us laugh and cry, suffer and weep. We rode the tides of his emotion and felt the slap and abrasion of his pain when he hit the sand. It is surely one of the great classics of our time.

"Robin Hood" 16x20 oil on canvas

“Robin Hood” 16×20 acrylic on canvas

Staying power is a huge element in success. What are you creating or doing with your life that will have lasting staying power. I’m not speaking of a long life, but a memorable one where people remember the pleasure and the pain of your deeds, your life’s work.

Some artists call it “universal appeal.” Without this key ingredient, your work (your life) is just attractive colors and shapes pieced together on a page that will quickly be forgotten in the next wave of popularity.

Staying power is an eternal principle that doesn’t go away even after you are gone. Universal appeal reaches out to all people regardless of race, religion, or social status. There is something there, a quality if you will, that resonates with the masses and connects with another’s inner and spiritual life.

Forrest Gump captured the essence of these eternal vibrations and mirrored each of our lives as they meander and roll into endless time and space. Please enjoy the following clips:

(feather theme)

(preview of show)

The Props we depend on – are they Necessary?

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After work last night, I played the couch potato. Hypnotized, I watched colorful commercials spin their magic only to repeat themselves every 10-15 minutes. One central theme seemed to stand out. If you’re alive and well, you should be on the fast track to success using the latest technology to speed up your dreams and luxuriate in wealth.

We are bombarded with advice to get richer and go faster. We’re riddled with guilt if we don’t. Hurry, hurry, “Run, Forrest, Run!” Between jobs, we chase errands, shop for groceries, and chauffeur the kids to school, day care and a hundred other activities and involvements. We may have several blogs to keep up with including our own. “Run, Forrest, Run!”

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We eat, we sleep, we work, and if we’re lucky we play. When we’re sapped of strength, we veg out in front of a T.V. set or check out text messages while trying to stay abreast of the latest trends on Facebook and Twitter.

Keeping up is as important to a career as staying informed. If we’re not moving forward, we’re sliding backward. Wherever we are, at work or at home, phones are ringing, horns are honking, traffic is rushing, and the urgency of life attacks us on all fronts. Caught up in today, yesterday is a blur.

We worry about lack of sleep, or the forbidden foods we eat as we grab and run. “Go, go,” we urge our children; “We’ll be late!” The clock waits for no one. If we lag, life speeds ahead of us. “Snooze, you lose,” we’re reminded at each turn.

Jump in. Hang on. Cut in. Elbow your way to the front. Before long, assertiveness turns to aggression and we’re off to the races battling other people for our small space, our tiny footprint on the planet. We feel insignificant and overlooked. We’re ready to fight or scream, or come to a screeching halt!

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Moody Blues

What if we did? What if we postponed a meeting? Were late posting on a blog? Slowed down our efforts long enough to notice the people we care about? I can almost guarantee that the world will not notice your feeble efforts at punctuality. And people will not see that your blog is two days late because they’re too busy working on their own.

What if your numbers do slump slightly? What will it matter ten years from now if you lost two followers? What if you refused to work on weekends?

I’ll tell you what will catch the attention of the important people in your life. They’ll see that you’re less on edge. Your children and sweetheart will relax when they feel your tension melt away. Instead of watching them grow apart from you influenced by a web of strangers, they’ll find out how life is supposed to be lived. They’ll learn how to set their own priorities and how to set limits on their appetites and passions just by watching you cope. Instead of rebelling, your children will respond to the new you!

Habitual yelling and anger can be replaced with laughter setting a tone of patience and compassion. No longer will you resent their demands because you’re too busy. You’ll trust in yourself and in your God trusting that “things will work out for your good.” If you do your part, your family will follow. Strength and power come from within. When family members stand together and support one another, the family unit is stronger.

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With These Hands — Love

Remember when Forrest Gump’s leg braces shattered and fell off? He discovered that he didn’t need crutches to live a full and successful life. Once we realize that we can achieve our dreams without relying on the false crutches that society proclaims we need, the faulty support systems of the world explode and fall away. What we are left with is a strong inner core that will see us through any crisis.