My Favourite Quotes

Wisdom
Image via Wikipedia

Those of you who know me will know that I am a confessed quotes junkie. If you didn’t know that, now you know.

These are some of my favourite quotes:

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere…
I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide.” –Emily Bronte

Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that’s all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that’s all we have – to hold on tight until the dawn.”
– Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway…If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.✓”
-Mary Kay Ash

I Dwell in Possibility
– Emily Dickinson

Live.Laugh.Love

Every experience God gives us
Every person he puts into my life
is the perfect preparation
for a Future only He can see.
– Corrie Ten Boom

The purpose of life is to live it,
to taste experience to the utmost,
to reach out eagerly and without fear
for newer and richer experience.
– Eleanor Rooseveldt


Write from your heart

Write from your soul

Make the best of your talent

And don’t Ever let it go

Not for anything…


The adventure of life is to learn

The goal of life is to grow

The nature of life is to change

The challenge of life is to overcome

The essence of life is to care

The secret of life is to dare

The beauty of life is to give

The joy of life is to love. – William Nathan Ward


today is your day

to dance lightly with life,

sing wild songs of adventure,

soar your spirit,

unfurl your joy. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller


I took the road less travelled and that has made all the difference.          – Robert Frost

We will only understand the miracle of life when we allow the unexpected to happen. Every day God gives us the sun and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. – Paulo Coehlo

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. – Ernest Hemingway

You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. – F Scott Fitzgerald

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.   – Mark Twain

“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

For everything there is a season
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
– Soren Kierkegaard

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.
– Emily Dickinson

Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.
– Richard Bach

Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 1606

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– E. E. Cummings

What are your favourite quotations? What words of wisdom inspire you?

My Muse

Today I spent time at my perfect place of Inspiration. Whenever I spend time here at this natural gem in creation’s jewellery mine, my mind feels cleansed and I can breathe again. It washes the week’s cobwebs from my thoughts and my soul soars as it sings.

This is my Muse.

Where is your favourite place to be inspired and refreshed?

What place makes your soul soar and sing with joy?

Atmosphere is so important to an artist of any type. Whether you are an artist of words, images or music – you often need to be recharged and re-energised to free the creative spirit within. My muse is not a person but it is a place.

Its name is Piha. It is a wild surf beach at the foot of natural rain forests on the West Coast of Auckland, New Zealand.

Tell me about your Muse…

I leave you with my day’s inspiration from my Muse…

Endless tides of Possibility under the clouds of fate and time…

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

Eat, Pray, Love ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Image by elycefeliz via Flickr

I have written many posts about words in this blog. But I realised today that I have neglected to write any posts about the books that inspire me. So today I am going to give the honour of my first Books/Writers post to one of my favourite books:

Eat, Pray, Love

by

Elizabeth Gilbert

By now most people know about this story and this woman. More importantly they know of the phenomenon that this incredible woman’s story has inspired. A woman’s world came apart. She went off in search of herself. She chose three destinations. The first she would focus on her love of food. The second she would focus on her soul. The third she would focus on her heart. She found herself and a new love. She put it all in a book and she called it Eat,Pray, Love. It resonated with millions of readers. Hollywood picked up the vibes and came calling. Julia Roberts came wooing. A movie was made. The rest is history as they say.

Let me tell you why this is one of my favourite books. First answer this question. What makes a book popular? What makes a writer an inspiration?

A book must resonate with its readers. It must hook them. It must make them laugh or cry. Readers must recognise parts of themselves in the characters of the story. They must feel a connection with either the writer or the reader. That is what makes a good book. That is what makes you even reread favourite books. That is what makes readers quote their favourite passages from books.

All of the above answers are the very same reasons why this book is one of my favourite books. Sometimes reading the correct book is all in the timing and the circumstances that you find yourself in. That was the case with me when I first came across this book. I won’t go into the gory details here but I will say that I found myself at my lowest. Life had taken a bite from me, chewed me up and then spat me out. Then I came across this book. At the time I was immersing myself in any books I could find in an effort to completely escape from my own life and for a moment to live in a world created fictionally. Initially I thought that Eat,Pray,Love would be the same: pure escapism. I had never heard of the author. But I picked up the book and I started reading.

I started the book in the early evening and read right through the entire night. I did not eat and I did not sleep. I read and read. I was enthralled. It was uncanny. Everything I had been feeling for months was written in this book and resonated through Elizabeth’s words. (I use the author’s first name because by the time I was into the second chapter of the book, I felt like I was connected to her. She stopped being an author and became an advisor, a counsellor, a shoulder and a friend.) When I finally reached the end of the story, I cried. I cried not just because the book had come to an end but because I could see a light at the end of my own personal tunnel.

This story is a story of one woman’s search for herself. That may sound simple. But isn’t that the same story for you and I. Isn’t life constantly about searching for oneself? This search might wear different masks for different people: For one it may wear the mask of love, for a second it may wear the mask of success, for a third it may wear the mask of happiness, for a fourth it might wear a face of politics. But for all of us the search for something more, something extra to help us make sense of things, the search for what we are supposed to do and who we are supposed to be: this is a universal theme. Just as universal is that life and more accurately emotion is a roller-coaster ride. It throws us up in the air and then brings us down, it speeds up and it slows down. This is the reason why I believe that Eat,Pray, Love has become such a phenomenon.

A good writer is a writer who can tell a story but an inspiring writer is a writer who with complete transparent honesty allows us to enter their head space and their heart space. Elizabeth Gilbert is such: the inspiring writer.

So I urge you if you have not read Eat,Pray,Love – go get a copy of this book and read it. Even if you have watched the movie, go and get the book. It is in her words on the written page that you will find a voice that resonates. It is in her written words that you will find yourself laughing out loud and crying at the same time.

Most of all read this book to learn how to be an honest writer. I would also call Elizabeth Gilbert a diarist. Her thoughts and emotions are so naked and vulnerable that you almost feel like you are reading her diary. It takes courage to write honestly. Elizabeth Gilbert has courage. She does not promise to have all the answers but she writes down all her questions and shares her answers with you, the reader. Take a step into her world.

Make it your resolution to be honest and vulnerable in your writing. It is said that if the writer writes with tears streaming down their cheeks, the reader will find tears streaming down their’s.

So: Eat. Pray. Love.

 

Mark Twain put it beautifully:

“Honesty: The best of all the lost arts”


© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

2011 Goal~Project365/2011 The creative me is taking priority over practical me

This week has been a week of reflection. It is the first week of the New year of the New decade. This is a time when most people look behind them at the past and resolve to make things better and newer in the New Year. I am one of those millions of people who have been going through New Year reflections. I have had a few A-Ha moments that I would like to share with you in this post.

A few months ago I wrote a post called: Joy is a Choice. It was an A-Ha moment that I had during one of my early morning Soul Photographs (Morning Pages). Joy is not a state of being and it is not a given. But Joy is a Choice. There is not much in life that we can choose to avoid or choose to manifest, most of life happens by happenstance or circumstance and how we react to those times.

But Joy is more than an emotion.

Happiness is an emotion.

Joy is an attitude.

The French have the best phrase for this:

Joie de Vivre

The Italian phrase that corresponds to this is:

La Bella Vita

This year my 2011 Word of the year is Possibility. I have also decided to focus more on the creative me and less time on the practical me. I have decided that life should not be a case of “Live to work” but rather a case of “Work to live”. I am going to make this a year of  Joie de Vivre and Life is going to be La Bella Vita.

How?

I am going to be branching out more creatively speaking and better my current creative crafts (whether that be in writing, photography) and opening myself out to the Possibility of other creative pathways. I am signing up for classes at a local Arts Centre from February. The classes that I have my eye on now are Painting (with a specialization of Surrealism) and Glass-Blowing.

I am also going to take part in something called Project 365. This is a project run by an extraordinary group of women who call themselves The Shutter Sisters. This is a project where you take a picture a day and then post it to the Website’s Flickr page called Shutter Sisters 365. The idea behind the project is exactly the same idea to what I had when I wrote Joy is a Choice. It is to capture a moment that inspires Joy in you through the lens of a camera. The ladies on Shutter Sisters put it in a sentence that really resonates with me this year:

“This was all about moment, right? Staying in the moment has a way of dissipating negativities even though we catch them in freeze frame with our cameras. When you sit with sadness or anger you are in control of ushering it out. When you sit with joy and love you are empowered and radiate it back to others. Photography has this magic to it as well. No one else has your eyes. No one sees the world exactly as you do. That is a beautiful thing!”

– Meredith Winn (04/01/11)

So I have signed up to be a part of this Vision. I have always loved photography even before I studied it both in School and afterwards. I remember my first two photographs that really made me fall in love with viewing the world through the eye of a camera lens. I was about 11 years old and I was on holiday at the beach staying with my great-aunt. One day we went down to the pier. It was a stormy grey day and because of the impending storm, the beach and pier was empty. I took a couple of photographs on a simple 35mm point and shoot (this was in the days before digital) of the ocean being sheltered by a stormy sky. When I got home from my holiday I was excited to have my 35mm roll of film developed. The photos that I had taken that day on the beach were exquisite. They showed the impending power of the storm and gave a real emotion to the shots. I realised then that photography is a powerful tool in life. From that moment I was in love with shooting the world. Nature scenes are my favourite in particular beach shots and sky / storm shots are still my favourite. So this year I am going to post a picture a day that inspires me. I will post it on the Flickr site but will also be posting it via my new Tumblr account.

This year is going to be a year where I saturate my soul in creative pursuits. I am truly Joyful when I am doing something creative. That is my joy: Creativity,Passion, Travel and Change. It is going to be a year of POSSIBILITY and a year where I make the Choice to be Joyful and to have JOY.

What are you going to do that inspires you this year?

What new creative pathways will you pursue this year?

Share your creative aspirations here in the comments so that we can support and encourage each other.

Make this your year when the Creative You takes priority over the Practical You. Do what you love to do and what gives you joy.

I leave you with this quote which is on my 2011 vision board:

today is your day

to dance lightly with life,

sing wild songs of adventure,

soar your spirit,

unfurl your joy.

-Jonathan Lockwood Huie –



© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

Soul Photographs

Art Journal: April 4 - from Blissjournaling Gr...
Image by juliejordanscott via Flickr

Dear Reader,

Photography….sometimes when you look through the lens of a camera you are able to see true depth. The red indians used to believe that when they were photographed that a piece of their soul was stolen for the time that the photograph was taken. I think that there could be something to that. A photograph is a modern marvel that has allowed us to capture moments and emotions and keep them for posterity. You see a beautiful sunset and you may remember it for a few hours or a few days…but if you have photographed it…every time you look at the photograph you are taken back to that moment in time and are able to recapture that moment.

I think beauty forever alters the soul. The important thing is to search for the beautiful in the ordinary. Our lives are filled with beautiful moments but so often we miss sight of these moments because we are so caught up in living. We need to be more observant.

We need to have a soul-photograph of moments of beauty…

Think of an incoming wave…or the arch of a rainbow…or the petal of a daisy…so many very beautiful things and moments surround us daily. Let me not rush through life and rush through living. Life is so short that I must search for inspiration every day in the things around me. I want to take soul-photographs….I want to capture the beautiful, the extraordinary, the amazing, the miraculous….and all of these things are brought into my life daily. Let me not take life for granted. It is the most precious and rare commodity in this life.

I have just had an A-Ha moment…

I write daily morning pages in an unedited diary-style. I got this inspiration from a wonderful book called “The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron”. (If you have not read this wonderful book, please get yourself a copy….)

I call these morning pages My Soul-Photographs. This is truly what they are…photographs caught of my soul early in the morning…This is a way of unlocking my creative juices and sometimes allows me to even unlock the creative imagination locked into my dreams.

How do you exercise your creative mind? Do you have a ritual…?


All rights reserved © Kim Koning

The Story-Place ~ Crafting the Art of being a Storyteller

This weekend was like an IV of oxygen straight into the arteries of my creative self.

I had been anticipating my first writer’s conference for about 2 months. I researched all the best online advice I could find on the net. I was ready to network,to observe,to question and to learn. However, nothing could have prepared me for the tremendous dose of inspiration and knowledge on offer at the RWNZ 2010.

From a VP of a top publishing house, to an Editor of another publishing house to an Agent to the many authors, scriptwriters and experts that gave workshops: It was this writer’s jolt of creative electricity. The questioning and learning was definitely achieved. The observing and networking was constant throughout the weekend. The conference venue was tangible in the creative energy that was enclosed in its hallways, ballrooms and boardrooms for 3 incredible days.

Personally, I had registered for this conference with the aim to garner knowledge from experts in the publishing industry. What I have gained from this weekend is immeasurably superior  to what I had hoped to gain.

One of the highlights of my weekend was finding critique partners that I can connect with. As much as I enjoy and appreciate the feedback from online critiques, it has been a task set for myself to find critique partners within my home city. This task I can now tick off my to-do list.

Being a writer though, I do not plan to selfishly keep all these creative pearls of wisdom to myself. I am a writer after all and I am a blogger. This means that my writing process is meant to be shared to the benefit of one and all.

Over the next few days I will break down all the workshops I attended into gourmet food for thought. For this blog post though I will give a bite size synopsis of all the tools and tips I learned this weekend.

__________________________________________________________

In the history of all cultures throughout the ages and throughout the world Story-telling has been and is crucial to human health. Every good story has at least one of the crucial elements at the heart of every culture: Love and Romance; Justice and Crime; Trials and Triumph of Good over Evil, Myth and Spiritual. Every story-teller is there to pass on the stories that record the history of nations, that inspire the actions of the present day and that influence the future of tomorrow.

So how do we define good story-telling?

There is a simple test that is a universal standard:

A) Does the story achieve what it sought to achieve?

and

B) Does the story communicate the story-teller’s intentions to the audience?

There are three critical aspects to ensure the correct outcome of a story:

1) Story

2) Inspiration

3) Language

In the first aspect, the audience simply seeks entertainment. This entertainment needs to satisfy them. The cardinal rule to any story, whether it be audio, visual or written is to never disappoint the audience. In the story they must be supplied with sympathetic protagonists that are believable. These protagonists need to grow through overcoming a conflict. Your antagonist is the instigation or the culmination of this conflict. These characters are the vehicle to carry the emotions of both the storyteller and the audience. The audience will mimic the emotions and actions of the characters that they are invested in emotionally. Though we are rational beings the audience needs its emotions engaged to invest their belief and their hopes in the story.

In the second aspect: Your inspiration needs to be at the heart of your story and needs to be communicated through any means necessary to your audience.

Memory is the mother of Inspiration. For both emotions and rational thought to be in balance, the storyteller needs to be AMUSED in the truest sense of the word. The story-teller needs to be in the presence of the Muses.

The third aspect of a storytellers’ toolkit is Language. You can alter the part that the audience plays in your story by the subtle mastering of some language tools. Painters use different colours of paint to portray a visual image. Musicians and composers use musical instruments and voice to entrance audiences. As story-tellers we need to use our greatest and simplest tools: we need to use our words to paint a picture and to create a world that the audience enters into through the doorway of our language.  In a story we are the composer, the painter and the director through the subtle mastery of words.The way we utilise them can bring the reader into the mind of a character or we can put them in the room observing our character.

Our words become our voice. Our sentences become our compositions of sound. Every storyteller needs to learn the art of language and words like a mime uses body language. The language needs to match the scene of the tale. If the scene is full of action, then the language needs to be staccato and terse in character. If the scene is full of conflict the language needs to be restrained and held back. If the scene is emotional, your words need to state the emotion. In any scene your characters need to be infused with depth and emotion. Your characters need to have strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately your audience needs to either recognise a reflection of themselves in your characters or a reflection of people in their lives.

Through all three of these crucial aspects we have the unique power of communicating a world we imagine to the audience’s imagination and touching both their hearts and their minds. For a magical moment in time whilst the reader is engaged in the tale: they begin to believe this world we have created through our words and they begin to be a part of the story themselves. The STORY-PLACE has now become a favourite destination for both the reader and the storyteller. The pen is a powerful weapon that has the power to change thoughts; mold views; create worlds; give power to the weak by giving them knowledge;  lastly it has the ability to take us, storyteller and reader, into a world where anything is possible...

Storyteller

____________________________________________________________

This is just a bite size appetiser of this weekend’s conference. Watch this blog for further illuminations on: The Story-Place ~ Crafting the Art if being a Storyteller.

I leave you with this thought:

In unsettled times like these, when world cultures, countries and religions are facing off in violent confrontations, we could benefit from the reminder that storytelling is common to all civilizations. Whether in the form of a sprawling epic or a pointed ballad, the story is our most ancient method of making sense out of experience and of preserving the past.” – William Collins quote

© All rights reserved Kim Koning.