Are You Drowning in A Thimble?

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 10.52.13 AM

Once after a talk, I had just given,  a lady came up to me and said, “I thought I was drowning in a ocean, but after hearing your story, I realize that I am just drowning in a thimble.”  She explained,

“I’ve magnified my problems in my mind to such an extent that I’ve felt like I’m drowning in an ocean and I now realize they aren’t as big as I’ve made them out to be. Thank you for helping me put things into perspective.” 

What she meant was that her problems (from her new perspective) were minuscule or thimble size in comparison to mine. I had an impact on her that day and she in equal measure, had an impact on me.  Just as her problems paled in comparison to mine, so do my problems when compared to others. So let’s put things into perspective.  Some people are dying; others are homeless or refugees; many have mental or physical illness; some are jobless!  Some are losing a loved one, a home, or a marriage today. Others are losing their freedom, their ability to walk, see, or hear.  All of us I suppose tend to make our situations worse than they really are by focusing on the worst outcome.  But, in all cases, our stories (trials, tribulations, or woes)  when compared to others may not be that bad.

It Could Be Better, but It Could Be Worse

I felt like I too was drowning in a thimble after hearing a prison account of a young girl in Iran who was imprisoned because of her faith in God. Imagine this: A young girl was imprisoned for three years simply because she was trying to teach the youth around her about God.   She was only able to get 30 minutes of sunlight a day and lived in isolation, no refrigerator, no mirror, no one to talk to.  And yet her account of the experience was filled with gratitude.

She faced each day prayerfully, reciting “Is their any remover of difficulties save God…” over 1000  times a day!   And, the brief time she was out of prison, she was comforting families of the imprisoned, typing her notes so that she could share her prison accounts,  and getting books so that she could continue to learn.  She was a Baha’i in a Muslim country teaching the youth to love everyone, that there was only One God, One Human Race, and One Unfolding Religion, from time immemorial.  For wanting to promote unity, she had all of her freedoms stripped away from her.All I can say is, “What a jewel.”  I pray that God continues to protect and bless her and keep her strong.

Put Things into Perspective

When I heard her story, I too had had to put things into perspective.  For while I too had felt that I  drowning in a ocean, her story helped me to see that it was only a thimble.   What a wonderful message of faith, patience, radiant acquiescence, and service she taught me by her encouraging words written from that prison. Many of us think we have a reason to complain. And we begin and end our days spreading our pain, gloom and doom.   But when we hear a story of adversity, like the one of this young girl, all of our problems pale by comparison. We can change our perspective IF we choose  to. Now today, you have a choice on how you will choose to view the world.  Will it be from a perspective of gratitude, hope, or power?  We can spend the day parroting bad news or we can focus our thoughts on the good around us.  You can choose to view your circumstances as an ocean and picture yourself powerless, sinking, or  drowning OR view yourself and your God as powerful and put all of what you are going through in perspective.  Ocean as a thimble?  Your choice will impact your joy, happiness, and that of those around you.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

Dream Derailer #9c: Lack of Creativity about Money

Think Outside the Box

Most projects require some amount of money in order to be successful, but money is merely a medium of exchange. Think outside the box.  We may not need actual cash, but we do need something of value to exchange for the resources we need to invest in our dreams.  What is it that you have to offer?  Everyone has natural or acquired gifts and talents and the greatest tool you have to get the resources you need is your creativity and imagination.  Some people quit or postpone going after their dreams because they just think about cash and cash alone. Below are a few questions you can ask to stimulate your thinking about attracting the resources you need.

  1. Have you ever thought about bartering?  That’s how people used to do thing in the past before we got so dependent on greenbacks and plastic.
  2. Is there someone else that has a similar goal that you can share the costs with?
  3. What talents do you have that can bring in the resources you need?

If none of these ideas work for you, consider getting together with a master-mind group and brainstorming on your project to come up with some creative ideas.  Who knows, there might be a less expensive course of action and you might be closer to your goals than you think!

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Find Your Own Truth

Discernment is the Goal

Oprah routinely asks her guests, “What do you know for sure?”  That’s a good question for all of us to reflect on and answer. Part of our responsibility for receiving this gift of life is to be searching and discerning.  We must take this life seriously. One of the best ways to do this is to learn to discern the good from the bad, truth from falsehood, and right from wrong.  That’s our job, to stay in the light and on the straight path.  We must independently investigate truth and not accept everything that we hear, see, and are taught.  We are responsible for living our best life so, we must be true to ourselves.

We Must Validate Truth

We must use our brains, our thought processing center, our human CPU (central processing center) to validate our input.  It is our thoughts that create our reality.  Reflect on the Buddha’s words, “We are what we think, having become what we thought.” The goal is to create more and more good in this life.  Surely our purpose for enduring this earthly existence with all of its pains, trials, and tribulations  couldn’t have been to “create more bad, evil, falsehood, and wrongs.”  No intelligent mind could come to this conclusion after serious reflective contemplation and meditation!

So, what do you know, for sure?

I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out What does Barbara do? or visit  my website.

Independently Investigate Truth

It can be dangerous to just blindly follow the majority.

Nothing is off-limits today, from health, identity, race, ideologies, war, to religion.  We have been told who and what to believe and trust and who and what to fear and hate.  We follow the leaders or turn a blind eye even though our hearts tell us something contrary.  The enlightened are learning that they must do their own research: search their hearts and make their own conscious decisions.  Consider how time disproves many facts that people once accepted without question.  In 1964 more than half of all adult men smoked; it was the norm. People were taught that smoking was okay and almost nothing about second-hand smoke.  Now we know that both the smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoking are at risk.  Once we thought that smoking was safe, now we know it is the leading causes of preventable deaths.

What Are You Accepting Without Question?

Are you accepting the cultural, religious, and political fears, hatreds, or biases fed to you?  Are you accepting the limitations defined statistically for people who look like you, talk like you, dress like you, or who are your gender, ethnicity, or color?   Ideologies are one thing, but it is just as important to be informed about your health.  We don’t like who we see in the mirror and are afraid of aging, spending billions to avoid a natural process. Instead of changing our diets, lifestyles, and stopping catering to our addictions, we are accepting pills and medications as a way of life.  Some take a pill to get up, a pill to relax, a pill to arouse you and one to get to sleep.  Enough already!  What are you accepting today as fact, without question, that tomorrow may be proven catastrophic to your health.   We’ve been told to brush with fluoride toothpaste and fluoride has been added to all public water systems.  Now that too is under question.  One research study found that kids drinking water without fluoride had IQ’s that were eight points higher. Fluoride means lower IQ and more mental retardation. You are responsible for you and if you are a caretaker, for your children.  Before you believe something, check it out.   Before you put anything in your mouth, check it out.  Before you put something in your mind, check it out!  As the United Negro College slogan asserts, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Here’s to more conscious thinking in 2011.  Your life and even our planet’s survival depends on it.

I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

Don’t Stick Your Head in The Sand.

You Can’t Hide from The Truth

Closing your eyes doesn’t make your problems go away, neither does ignoring them.  If we are to be sane, successful, or of service to ourselves or others, we must operate around truth. We must pray for certitude and strength.  We must make the hard decisions that need to be made and change the things we can and let go of the things we can’t.  Even though it may be hard, we must learn to let go of dreams, relationships, or even jobs when it’s clear to everyone that they are no longer nurturing or sustaining us emotionally, mentally, or financially.  We can’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is okay.

Face and Handle the Truth

On the other hand, we also must hold on to our dreams and visions when our heart and faith tells us to, even if the whole world is against us.   Instead of abandoning our dreams, we might just need to change our perspective,  strategy or environment.  Be true to yourself by facing and handling the truth wherever it may lead you.  Look at the man or woman in the mirror and see what changes need to be made and change them.  Last year about this time I shared Five Changes That Will Make a Dramatic Difference. and How Are You Handling Change? I offer them to you in spirit of service as we take this journey together.

I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.