For Everyone Who Has Ever Had A Goal: Don't Chase It!

     


       When I first started out as an author, I naturally (like every other author) made my first attempts to network with other authors. In doing so, I found myself stuck with a bitter taste in my mouth and a negative energy all around me. You see, even when people do things in the name of positivity, often they are still forming a negative energy atmosphere around themselves that is churned out from the mechanical makings of competition, comparison, and "user-friendly" relationships. By "user-friendly", I mean: "Let's be friends because we can use each other to one another's advantage." So even if you gather together as a group of people for a positive motive, the energy that you produce around yourselves could very well be very negative for the other people in the vicinity. I became drained in that atmosphere of constant comparisons and constant competition between authors. That is when I decided that I would not even stop to look over my shoulder when I walked out that door. And I did walk out that door. And like I planned, I didn't even look over my shoulder.
       I became a "grassroots author." I reconnected with those inner roots that are buried deeply into the soil stuff of WHY I was doing what I was doing, in the first place. Why was I writing? I was writing because I wanted to talk to people. End of story. And so that is exactly what I did. I wrote to people, I answered them when they wrote back to me, I listened to their stories, and I forgot about being an "author." The rest is history. The next time I checked, I was advising presidential candidates, movers and shakers, and people that I can't even name due to their involvement in national intelligence and defense services. The next time I looked, people were coming out of rehab after reading my books, people were having my words tattooed into their skin, people were thanking me for their life. Yes. For the reason why they are still breathing!
       People are not going to trust you and come to you and open up to you because you have networked with enough big shots in the world to have earned a reputation. People are going to trust you and come to you and open up to you because they feel you, because you touch their hearts, because they know that's where their mind and soul is leading them— to you and to your work!
       If you have a LinkedIn account and if you are an active user of this method of professional networking, you will probably be familiar with the whole user-friendly, look-at-me-I'm-so-great, look-at-me-I'm-competition scene. It's a place where people gather not just to do professional networking, but more often than not, it is a place where people gather to try and be something that they're not, or to prove what they are, to be validated by other people. To compete. They talk about positivity but while they build positivity projects together, they dispense an incredibly negative, competitive energy into the atmosphere around them.
       The problem with focusing on your goals and forgetting about other people, is that you end up without other people. Simple. You end up (maybe) with your goal, but nobody actually loves you. Maybe the people who can get something from you will still be there in the end, but, do you ever stop to ask yourself if you are touching hearts? If you are healing lives? If you are hurting people? If you are forgetting people? People will run over others and forget about their word of honour, all in a bid to chase after their goals. Why? Because global society has placed such an immensely, immeasurably large amount of value on the goal itself (and on the process of reaching it), simultaneously forgetting about the human being, in the process. Both the human being going after the goal and the human beings surrounding that person going after the goal.
       Seven years ago, I dropped the goal and I held hands with the people all around me. And I never left anyone behind. Before I knew it, I had attained goals that I didn't even know I wanted! I didn't even know such goals could exist! I didn't even dream of them! The goals dreamt of me, the goals attained me, the goals reached for me.
       Sometimes, today, I can get caught up in the negative byproducts of positive projects and positive people (it happens more often than I would like to admit), and when that happens, I close my eyes and take a step back, I remind myself of the same things I reminded myself of when I first started out writing. I didn't look for anything, somehow everything looked for me. Why? Because I looked for people.
       Going forward, I want to continue to be this way. I don't want to be "an inspirer", I don't want to be "a leader", I don't want to be "an influencer", I don't want to be "a thought leader" and I don't even want to be "a good person". Then what do I want? I want to be me, then I want to meet people, then I want people to tell me what/who I am to them. That is what I have done throughout my career and that is what I will continue to do. I have found out who I am, through what I have become to people. I will find people, and they will find me, and they will tell me who I am to them and I will discover who I truly am and who I am truly capable of becoming.
       The next time you are told to "be who you want to be", answer that by saying, "I want to meet people, feel people, know people; and then I want them to tell me who I am to them". I believe we can change many things, simply by changing our workplaces through the renewal of our minds in this way. And yes, I am going to post this article to LinkedIn! Now, I hope this article has been helpful, do have a very wonderful day!


The Conversation of Dragons: A Book Review by Jim Crotty

It’s time to meet Jim Crotty. Jim is a photographer, business man and former US Marine. In his review of The Conversation of Dragons, he has actually compared my book to a required reading for the US Marines. Read his review, you will be moved by it:

"The analogy that came to mind right away after reading C. JoyBell C.’s The Conversation of Dragons was the memory of being handed my copy of a Guidebook for Marines as a new recruit so many years ago on Parris Island. However, with C’s insight and wisdom are the general orders that are life-changing. Through the narrative of the 'conversation' the reader is imparted with a new way of being and just not thinking; an entry so to say to the higher realm of what I would attempt to identify as the cosmic alchemy of the soul. 'Love as fire loves' best summarizes the essence of what it means to be a dragon, and in and through that fire aren’t just simple words of encouragement but rather a full awareness of both the realities of life with the underlying foundation of both the mystical and spiritual energies that pull and push one’s soul out of the comfort zones of simple existence. It’s in these pages the reader will discover a transcendent wisdom that lifts one above the constraints of the everyday and obvious and into the wondrous ether of what is to truly live and love not as flesh but as a soul with a heart set free from the temporal bounds of the prisons we often build for ourselves, be it guilt, shame or fear.

All dragons carry and protect the sacred fire of each person’s potential to move beyond the stagnation of comparison (which I believe has become even more of an issue given the nature of instant social media) and the acceptance of socially convenient labels. C. JoyBell C. gently adjusts our common perception of light and darkness, of good and evil and of love and hurt to help us guard and grow the true treasures of our lives with the power and majesty of the dragon that resides in each of us."

More about Jim:

Jim is the Owner and Photographer at Picture Ohio, LLC. Aside from Jim’s involvement with the arts and entrepreneurship (he comes from a long line of entrepreneurs), he also gained a firm foundation in perseverance and determination while serving as a United States Marine. Jim’s evidence of loyalty to the United States Marine Corps Reserve includes the following: Honorable service including active duty training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC; graduate of USAF Security Police Academy at Lackland Air Force Base, Marine Corps Detachment; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Ft. Carson, Colorado Springs, CO and Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan. Corporal E-4 with Selective Marine Corps Reserve Award.

Jim has been a Marketing Communications Manager, a Journalism Teacher and a Speech Communications Teacher. His true love, though, goes to his two daughters, Emma and Chloe; and also to his son, Philip. His love is also evident in his affection for the arts. Jim says about his photography: “Life is art and a love for the art of living infuses every project I become involved with, from commercial photography assignments to teaching photography to capturing images that effectively express my appreciation for the beauty and wonder of nature. What I do as a profession and avocation resides deep within my being.”

You may connect with Jim here.

Jim is courageous and sensitive. Be courageous and sensitive like Jim. 😊

The Conversation of Dragons is now available for purchase on Amazon and other online bookstores. If you would rather, you can always place an order at your local brick-and-mortar bookstore and they will ship in the book for you within a few weeks.

Three Levels of Consciousness: What Kind of Conscious Are You?

Of people that hold an opinion that is popular and that makes them look good: I cannot take your opinions seriously. If you are of a persuasion that is popular and that makes you look like a better person, then you hold that persuasion as a result of no inner convictions of your own; rather, you hold that persuasion as a result of self-consciousness. It takes courage and inner strength to hold convictions that go against popular opinion and that go against what would make you feel accepted in the eyes of most. There are three levels to this sort of consciousness: the first level dictates that you are simply unaware and you go about with daily life with no presumptions, simply going with the flow of everything. The second level is the one that the current generation mostly belongs to: the level of those who believe themselves to be enlightened, awakened. This second level belongs to those who would call those belonging to the first level as "sheep". This second level belongs to those who would believe that there are only two levels: one belonging to sheep and another belonging to them. They are unaware of the third level. But the third level of consciousness is the level that belongs not to what those on the lesser level would call as "sheep" and also not belonging to the second level of those who believe themselves to be free thinkers. At this third level, are those who see plainly that the free thinkers of today are simply a different herd of sheep, who all hold a shared opinion of what it means to be a better person, what it means to be an enlightened individual, what it means to be free. They are the herd that believe themselves to be free. At least the first herd at the first level do not care to go about with such thoughts in their minds: they are the ones who care only of working honestly, living honestly, and doing good deeds. Those on the second level, however, upon believing themselves to be set free of former persuasions, are convinced of their mental and spiritual superiority. But, alas, such individuals would not dare hold any personal conviction if it meant they would be seen in an unfavourable light by their peers, friends, by the masses. Their inner compasses are controlled not by the image they wish to see in the mirror; rather, their inner compasses are controlled by the image they wish others to see when looking at them. Now, at the third level, nothing controls these minds except for the desire to see in the mirror what is true, what is pure, what is better; regardless if anybody else can see it or not. At the third level of consciousness, we find those who have transcended the pleasures provided by the feelings of other people's acceptance, praise, and opinion of them. To be good, and to believe good, not because it is popular, but because it is true and good. At the third level, we will find those whose inner compasses are controlled by their reflections in the mirror, not by their peers, their friends, or the masses.


This Is What You Need To Understand About Makeup (And About The Women Who Wear It)

       Much has been said about makeup and women who wear makeup. Much opinion has been formed about makeup and about women who wear makeup. Much has been expressed— by both men and women— on the subject of makeup and makeup wearing. Now, you are about to read something that I hope becomes the sacred word on makeup and makeup wearing and it would do your mind good to read this right now, whether you are male or female. Let's nail this down right now. For everyone.
       The most common opinion that people have about a woman who wears makeup, is that she is trying to be beautiful. The second most common opinion is that she is trying to hide something. The third most common opinion is that she is trying to look different. And the fourth most common opinion is that she is trying to prove something to someone (or to everyone). Let us examine these opinions and present the facts parallel to them.
       Some argue that the use of makeup can be dated back to 100,000 years ago, during the African Middle Stone Age. Archaeological evidence of this has been found. Irrefutable evidence of the use of makeup and other beauty cosmetics certainly dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians (1st Dynasty of Egypt c.3100-2907 BC), Greeks (5000 BC), Jews (approximately 840 BC), Persians (early tenth century), Chinese (3000 BCE), so on and so forth. Archaeology proves that men and women have been using makeup since times immemorial.
Nefertiti bust with eyeliner applied
(1,320 BC- 3,300 BC)
       During the European Middle Ages, the Church had condemned the use of makeup as immoral and sinful. Nevertheless, many people ignored that and continued to wear makeup. But as a result of the stigma manufactured by the Christian Church clergy in Europe, during the early 1900s the popularity in makeup began to fade and the use of it could be found predominantly amongst prostitutes (ladies of the night). Since it was designated as a sin, then it naturally remained as a trend amongst the sinful. I believe this mindset still taints the minds of men and women today, although to a much lesser extent. There is that idea in the back of the minds of some people, which associates the use of makeup with prostitution/ being an "easy woman".
       Needless to say, today, men and women wear makeup as a norm; men to a much lesser extent than women when we examine the Western culture in particular (in many Asian cultures, straight men may own more makeup items than women). And it's now more than ever, that we need to really examine the popular notions and opinions that people do form in their minds, whenever they see a woman wearing makeup! Why? Because too many people are not thinking for themselves properly! And so, I will provide you with the tools that your mind needs to utilize in order to create informed opinions before speaking your mind and appearing to be a fool!
       Surely, there are always a bunch of women who are going to use makeup because they indeed think that makeup will make them beautiful, because they indeed do want to change their appearance, hide themselves, and/or prove something to people. However, just like all things in our lives, there are always a bunch of people who are going to do something for their own reasons. Case in point: Many men buy new cars in order to get laid. Solid fact. But do all men buy new cars in order to get laid? No. Another case in point: Many people sign online petitions on Facebook, in order to appear to be good people. Solid fact. But do all those who sign online petitions, do so for the sake of the eyes of others? No. I hope these two solid fact examples are enough for you to catch my drift. I could go on and on with more examples, but, I trust that you don't need them.
       I personally really have a passion for makeup. I think that they are beautiful items. I know the history of the House of Chanel, the House of Guerlain, Chantecaille; I know the inspirational and empowering story of how Bobbi Brown launched her own cosmetics empire from her love of mixing colours and textures; I know the life story of Estee Lauder and how she would pick flowers from her own garden to harvest into her cosmetics jars, so on and so forth. I know my cosmetics, beauty and fashion history! I am passionate about beauty and I think that beauty of the world and beauty of one's form and appearance, is an honourable pursuit. I believe that it is artistic and that it is respectful and polite of oneself and of others. Just as I would not go to a meeting with someone without brushing my teeth, I would in that very same light, not show up for a meeting with someone without applying perfume. I would not show up for a meeting without my favourite shade of lipstick on! Why? Because I respect the other person, the meeting that I have with him/her, and I respect myself! Moreover, just as you would not show up to a meeting with someone without wearing a shirt, I would not show up to a meeting with someone without covering my acne scars. Why? Is it because I want to impress you with my flawless skin? Maybe! But you ironed your shirt to appear conscientious and respectful of your body; if I do the same with my skin, why is this any less important than what you do with your shirt? Especially in Asian cultures, where the skin is regarded and ordained the most important organ of the woman's body (and it is in fact the largest organ of the human body, biologically speaking).
Hathor, Egyptian Goddess of the sky, sexuality,
love, beauty, joy, dance, abundant life, innocence,
celebration, fertility, and makeup. 
       I am aware of the fact that makeup does little for the unsightly. It may improve their appearance a bit, but, if you are not good to look at, makeup will do little for you. I do not use makeup in order to change my appearance. I am also aware of the fact that women today do something called "contouring" which does dramatically alter the appearance, to the extent that someone can really turn out looking like someone else, entirely. But, I don't do contouring, not in the least. Why? Simply because I have very oily skin and all of that contouring would just melt off of my skin an hour later! Also, I just feel like I don't want it! So, even if I had dry skin, I probably still wouldn't contour my face with makeup. Does this mean that I think women who contour their faces are fake? They are probably not "fake". They are probably just enjoying the process of application. Believe me, plenty of women enjoy the process of applying makeup to their faces, just like how painters enjoy painting sunsets on their canvases.
       My mother detests makeup. She doesn't enjoy the application process, she can't be bothered with applying a lipstick before heading out the door, and she can't even be bothered with carrying a powder in her bag. She's just that type of person! And that's okay! Her and I are the opposite in this aspect and that really is okay! But what's interesting about this, is the fact that my mother is truly a phenomenal artist. And I mean truly, truly phenomenal. And her specialty is the human face. Believe me when I say, that if she sketches or paints a human face, you will be able to identify who that face belongs to within seconds. She is really that accurate. And yet, she cannot and will not be bothered with makeup! And that's just her!
       Perhaps there are many women who are fake, who like to contour their faces and use too much makeup. But that is to the same degree as the many women who are fake, who try to prove that they are better women by not wearing any makeup! Yes, those types do exist in abundance: "I am a better kind of woman, because I don't need makeup to prove anything to anyone, this means that I am more secure than that woman over there and I am more secure than this woman over here. I am better, I have a better heart." And so, such types of women are just as fake and just as pretentious as the women who bake and cake in order to prove a point. These are just two different types of pretentiousness! Different types, but equivalent in outcome.
       In all human interactions and actions, there are the fake and there are the pretentious. There are the simple and there are the pure. This applies to everything. Fakeness can be found in all human actions and interactions: from church attendance to the brand names on handbags. From mindsets and political affiliations, to the posts that are made on social media. It is up to us to determine which types of fakeness actually affect our lives profoundly. I don't know about you, but I am of the persuasion that a woman's baked and caked face probably will not affect my life as profoundly as a woman's carefully outlined presentation of personal goodness.
       Aside from the respect and politeness for other people and for myself, which I express through the use of makeup, I enjoy makeup for its beauty in craftsmanship. Not all women appreciate delicate and ornately crafted items. Albeit, many women would rather have a toolbox. That's okay! My mother has a toolbox and she can assemble an electrical generator with her own two hands! But there are also women who like to climb trees and would rather do so with a lipstick and a compact powder in their back pockets. Some women like to do all things with a glorious face and that's okay! It's not that our makeup-free faces are not glorious, but, why should we forego feminine choices in our day-to-day lives? Because for many of us, makeup application is not only enjoyable, but, it is in fact an expression of femininity. If that's how we like to express our femininity, then that's up to us. And that's okay.
       In this day and age of feminism, other women are dictating to their fellow women, more than ever before, what it is supposed to mean to be feminine. To be feminine means to get a degree and become an engineer and to not have kids and not get married. Well okay, if that's what some people think, then they are free to think that. But that is not what femininity means for everybody. For some people, femininity is the celebration of the attributes that differentiate us from men. And for me, that is indeed what femininity stands for. This does not mean that I do not have a brain. Modesty aside, I consider myself to have a better thought process than many people with doctorate degrees. In fact, there are plenty of people with doctorate degrees who need my guidance in their lives! And so as you can see, being feminine in a way that celebrates what differentiates myself from the masculine in this world, does not mean that I am not brilliant, that I am not intelligent, that I cannot be effectively smart.
       If women need to hide things on their faces with makeup, why is this a crime? If you had a scar on your face and you sought treatment or coverage for it, should I consider this as a telltale sign that you are a fake and deceitful person? I have acne scars on my face that stem from my adolescent years. Thankfully, they are easily covered with concealer/foundation. Is this a deceitful crime? I think not. Some people shave their beards, some people wear contact lenses, does this therefore mean that they are being fake towards me by not showing me their true unshaven faces and/or that they are deceiving me by making me think that they have perfect eyesight? I hardly think so!
Maison Guerlain, Champs-Elysees, Paris; celebrating 100 years
in fragrance and cosmetics.
       Why is there an obsession with women and makeup? Why is there no obsession over how people like to quote Buddha in order to make others think they are enlightened? Why is there no obsession over how people like to associate themselves with the Dalai Lama in order to publicly and visually align themselves with what is peaceful and good? Why is there no obsession over how many times a man shaves in a day? Really, when you examine all that I have presented to you here today, you will be able to plainly and simply see that there is a laughable imbalance here. And I think that this most likely stems back to the early 1900s when the Church designated makeup and the use of makeup to harlotry, sinfulness and immorality. There is that quiet, mute little notion in the back of people's minds, that just festers there.
       Do people realise how much makeup it actually takes to make a woman look like she is not wearing any makeup at all? It takes longer, and it takes a lot more product, to make a woman look like "the no makeup look." Usually, a woman with a bright red lipstick is probably wearing only a bright red lipstick, some foundation, concealer and a bit of eyebrow pencil. It's the women who are wearing nude lipsticks that are caked in highlighter, contouring pencils, so on the so forth. And so, you are ultimately deceived by the things that you judge to be better. And why is this so? Well, that is because it would all benefit us to judge no one but ourselves, in the first place. And to judge ourselves not for the sake of the eyes of others, but to judge ourselves for the sake of our own eyes when we look into the mirror.
       We all have different preferences in makeup. Mine is a preference for what is simple and elegant (elegance is simplicity, afterall). But others have a preference for the dramatic and the intense (which is none of my business, afterall). While I enjoy collecting beautifully crafted makeup items and while I am ever so appreciative of some of the exotic, rare and very beneficial, healthy ingredients that go into some of the luxury makeup products; I also enjoy using a light hand with makeup, just as much as I enjoy a light heart in life! Simplicity and lightheartedness is elegance.
       Finally, as you can plainly see, the makeup that I use, and how much I appreciate it, is only an extension of my own attitudes towards beauty of life and of living. This is me. This is not the same for everybody else, but, this is me. And I cannot be told to run out of the door without a bit of lipgloss on, because, with that little bit of lipgloss on, I will smile bigger, I will laugh louder, and I will appreciate the sunsets more wholeheartedly, This is what my lipgloss does for me. And more often than not, lipgloss is really the only makeup item that I have on. I do enjoy my naked face and I often share photos of myself everywhere sans makeup. And I'd just like to end this article, by saying, that it is a most important discussion to engage in and to pass on, because while it may seem trivial in nature, it really is not. There is a lot of understanding that is to be gleaned from this conversation, a lot of understanding which I hope will help to form your thought patterns and your own outlooks not just towards makeup and women who use makeup, but your own outlook on other people, yourself, and the way you live your life. Have a wonderful day!


References:

The History of Makeup, by Christy Tillery French; Medusas Makeup: http://www.medusasmakeup.com/history-of-makeup.htm; accessed March 2, 2017

History of Cosmetics; Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_cosmetics; accessed March 2, 2017

Cosmetics in Ancient Greece, by Shannon Leigh O'Neal; Sciencing: http://sciencing.com/cosmetics-ancient-greece-5739.html; accessed March 2, 2017

Perfumes and Cosmetics in the Biblical World, by Norman A. Rubin; Anistoriton: http://www.anistor.gr/english/enback/v051.htm; accessed March 2, 2017

Hathor: The Exuberant Goddess of Abundant Life, June 21, 2015; Symbolreader: https://symbolreader.net/2015/06/21/hathor-the-exuberant-goddess-of-abundant-life/; accessed March 2, 2017

Guerlain Celebrates 100 Years at Champs Elysees, by Sergey Borisov, December 1, 2013; Fragrantica:http://www.fragrantica.com/news/Guerlain-Celebrates-100-Years-at-Champs-Elys%C3%A9es-4915.html; accessed March 2, 2017


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