expand your potential

All I really want to do is mend
Every soul that needs a friend
Each and every beating heart
Can I spread peace and joy through art?
Chaos proliferating all around, There’s hateful protesting in every town
The earth is trembling & voices too
Signs held high
They loved once, just like you
Don’t give up, Mama said
How blessed you are to read the news from your bed
I’m crying in bed wrapped in my silky duvet
600 thread count, who am I to complain? I’m living in euphoria amidst the chaos that remains
I spent last Tuesday beneath the rising sun
While a terrorist was online shopping for a gun
I ask for your forgiveness. Because I know I can do more
There’s children in Aleppo who don’t know life without war
While bombs went off and families said their final goodbyes, I was at peace, under cotton candy skies
Waves crashed as I sipped red wine
While rates of violence, terrorism, and human suffering took a massive incline
It’s time I turn my prayers into actions. Damnit, please stop bombarding civilians
Let us plant seeds of peace and love for generations to come
And if we all start accepting and understanding our differences, one day those seeds will blossom
Let us cherish the times we hear “Honey, I’m home” Before we’re forced to face the true meaning of being alone
Teach your mind to only look for the similarities. Show empathy and be a precious jewel through your rarities
If you spread anything but light, then why are you here? In a world with too much sadness and not enough cheer
In the Buddha’s words, “Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
I pray to god one day you can stop feeling scared
You have a purpose. You are the change you seek. You matter, you really do; and I dedicate this poem to you
Wherever you exist in this beautiful world, let my words be a hand to hold, reminding you, be brave and be bold
Harmonize love. This I know is the key. Everyone with a decent heart deserves to be free
It’s not about win or lose
Your strength and courage can do wonders when you try walking in someone else’s shoes
Don’t you ever forget the power of love
And may you live for the angels kissing you from up above
How do you want to be remembered? 
What will your legacy be?
To inspire one human to rise above hate, 
that in itself is enough for me
Prioritize your education.
When your knowledge on the world expands, your potential can only strengthen
Because through education the resources to make a difference are provided
To someday live in a world that’s not so divided
What makes you passionate, my dear?
Answer this question and infinite potential is near
I know there’s something within you. 
A match that’s waiting to be lit
And once it’s sparked the journey you’ll embark on will be one you’ll never quit
Roses are red
Violets are blue
America’s got a new president
And dear god I hope he’ll practice empathy too
—  “We Are All One” by Riley Burke
Two types of motivation

Two types of motivation. Deficiency motivation and abundance motivation. Deficiency motivation comes from a place of lack. You are desperately trying to fill holes. With this mindset, you are always chasing your tail, working to feel complete. Abundance motivation comes from wondering what it would look like to expand, to live at your potential. You are curious about what’s possible, the dent you can make in this world. Ambulance motivation is limitless. It is bigger than you. It is a spiritual journey. Deficiency motivation stems from insecurity, wanting to prove that you matter. It is an ego journey. You can also apply this concept to relationships. Are you loving from deficiency or abundance?

All I really want to do is mend
Every soul that needs a friend
Each and every beating heart
Can I spread peace and joy through art?
Chaos proliferating all around, There’s hateful protesting in every town
The earth is trembling & voices too
Signs held high
They loved once, just like you
Don’t give up, Mama said
How blessed you are to read the news from your bed
I’m crying in bed wrapped in my silky duvet
600 thread count, who am I to complain? I’m living in euphoria amidst the chaos that remains
I spent last Tuesday beneath the rising sun
While a terrorist was online shopping for a gun
I ask for your forgiveness. Because I know I can do more
There’s children in Aleppo who don’t know life without war
While bombs went off and families said their final goodbyes, I was at peace, under cotton candy skies
Waves crashed as I sipped red wine
While rates of violence, terrorism, and human suffering took a massive incline
It’s time I turn my prayers into actions. Damnit, please stop bombarding civilians
Let us plant seeds of peace and love for generations to come
And if we all start accepting and understanding our differences, one day those seeds will blossom
Let us cherish the times we hear “Honey, I’m home” Before we’re forced to face the true meaning of being alone
Teach your mind to only look for the similarities. Show empathy and be a precious jewel through your rarities
If you spread anything but light, then why are you here? In a world with too much sadness and not enough cheer
In the Buddha’s words, “Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
I pray to god one day you can stop feeling scared
You have a purpose. You are the change you seek. You matter, you really do; and I dedicate this poem to you
Wherever you exist in this beautiful world, let my words be a hand to hold, reminding you, be brave and be bold
Harmonize love. This I know is the key. Everyone with a decent heart deserves to be free
It’s not about win or lose
Your strength and courage can do wonders when you try walking in someone else’s shoes
Don’t you ever forget the power of love
And may you live for the angels kissing you from up above
How do you want to be remembered?
What will your legacy be?
To inspire one human to rise above hate,
that in itself is enough for me
Prioritize your education.
When your knowledge on the world expands, your potential can only strengthen
Because through education the resources to make a difference are provided
To someday live in a world that’s not so divided
What makes you passionate, my dear?
Answer this question and infinite potential is near
I know there’s something within you.
A match that’s waiting to be lit
And once it’s sparked the journey you’ll embark on will be one you’ll never quit
Roses are red
Violets are blue
America’s got a new president
And dear god I hope he’ll practice empathy too
—  gypsies-paradise, “We Are All One” by Riley Burke
A Message From Me To All Writers

Dear Writers,

      Having been through several of the following situations myself, I understand what it’s like and feel that they should be addressed a tad more, so here’s my personal take on them. Also, I tried to make this as neutral as possible to leave it open for whatever type or genre of writing you do.

This is a slightly longer post, but I put a lot of time and effort into it, and had every writer’s best interests at heart, so it would mean a lot to me if you read the entire thing. Thanks in advance.

      1. Learn the meaning of followers.
When people follow you, it’s because they like your writing, and most likely you’re entire blog in general, and they would like to see you show up on their dash.

You have the following you have because you earned it.

If someone tells you that they liked something you wrote, it’s because it’s true. When people send you messages of encouragement, it’s because they want you to know that they care about you. Don’t dismiss these things as anything other than support and encouragement. It’s not pity, it’s not false kindness, they’re not being forced to do it. No, they like your writing and enjoy seeing it. And they took the time to let you know that.

Your followers follow you because they like what you post. They’re people who care, genuinely care, about your writing. Be grateful to them and for them, and never forget them. Love your followers as they love you.

      2. You are not a robot.
Let’s talk about requests. Alright, this is your blog. You decide what it’s about, how it looks, and what is posted on it. Nobody else can tell you what to do on your personal account.

If someone sends you a request that you are not comfortable with, for any reason, you do not have to accept it. You are not a machine that takes orders. Yes, you care about your followers, and you don’t want to let someone down, or turn someone down, but you don’t have to sacrifice your standards, emotional stability, or anything else that might make you hesitant to write that request, just to please someone.

Again, this is your blog. This is your writing. You’re the one putting in the work, so you get to decide what you work on.

It doesn’t matter if the person criticizes you, or hates on you, or says or does anything negative aimed at you. Because at the end of the day, all that matters is that you’re happy with your writing. And if that person does take negative action against you, then that shows that they are not worth you’re time and effort anyway.

      3. It’s okay to take your time.
Don’t feel like you’re pressured to post new works frequently. This is something I struggle with quite a bit. I always feel like I’m taking too long on a request or I haven’t posted anything new in way too long, but I’ve realized that I shouldn’t feel like that.

I always want to post the best works I can, I’m sure every writer does, and if that takes a bit of time, then that’s okay.

It’s completely okay to take your time in order to reach the quality of writing you want to attain.

In other words, if you want to spend a little extra time on that piece, making sure it’s the best that it can be, that’s okay. And I’m sure your followers will appreciate the effort. I don’t know about you, but if I was given the choice to either get a mediocre fic right now, or get a great fic a little later, I’d for sure choose the second option.

Now, whenever someone sends me a request, I immediately get this feeling that they’re sitting there, waiting on me to finish. Just sitting and waiting on a request, not doing anything else besides constantly checking my blog for any news on my progress. Although this is most likely not true.

While there may be times when you feel like you’re taking too long, aren’t posting new writing often enough, or in general just feeling a need to hurry, there’s something you need to remind yourself of:

People are not constantly waiting on you.

Whenever I send in a request, I click ask/send and move on. I don’t dwell on it, in fact, there are times when I forget I even sent in the request until it’s posted. Odds are most people do the same. Listen, you aren’t a servant. You aren’t working for these people. You aren’t getting paid by the hour. Just take your time. It’s not that big of a deal as it seems. Besides, all that time and hard work you put in will be worth it when you can proudly click ‘Publish’.

      4. There’s nothing wrong with having a little help.
If you want to google “How to write better stories”, then that’s fine! I’ve done that, too! I have and currently do frequently search “synonyms for _______” when I’m writing. Yes, it’s true. Because I want to make my fics the best they best be, and there’s nothing wrong with that, even if I have a little assistance from the internet.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from your friends, either. I’ve shown fics to my friends and asked for brutally honest feedback, I’ve asked friends for writing advice. Even though I’ve been publishing works for over a year, I’ve received positive feedback for many of my fics, and I’m proud of my work so far, I still ask for tips. Because I want to get better. And wanting to get better is a fantastic goal.

      5. Don’t worry about haters.
I understand this can be difficult at times, but it comes with the territory. There are going to be people who: disagree with something you wrote, don’t like or even hate something you wrote, correct you on what you wrote (from grammar to a misportrayal of a character/act/etc.), and criticize you for something you wrote. And some people will do it more graphically, bluntly, or hurtfully, than others.

The main thing to keep in mind when someone hates on something you published is that all that matters is your happiness. If you’re happy with your writing, then that’s all that’s needed. If someone hates on your writing, brush it off. That only reflects badly on them. Anyone that treats you or talks to you like that is not worth your precious breath or attention.

Now, there is a different between constructive criticism and hate, and all I can really say about that since every thing is a case-by-case situation, is to watch the language. Most people, when giving constructive criticism, will use words such as please, sorry, and thank you. And the tone of the message will be polite or professional. Haters, on the other hand, whose goal is to make you feel bad about yourself or what you wrote, their language will be crude, insulting, hurtful, harsh, cruel, hateful, or rude. Sometimes all of the above. But it doesn’t matter. That makes them a bad person, that makes you a good writer. Because they’re jealous of you and they use hate and intimidation as a weapon. Please don't dwell on unnecessary hate by a pathetic and cruel person. If they’re on anon, then that’s even worse for them because it announces that they’re a coward who couldn’t even own up to their own comments (which should be kept to themselves).

      6. You don’t need to cater to everyone.
If you want to, then that’s fine, go ahead, but if you don’t, then by no means are you required or obligated to.

Write what you want. Write whatever you want to write about. When branching out, try not to take into consideration others’ opinions.

Examples: “My followers are used to me posting this.”
“I’ve never written something like this before, it might shock people.”
“One person said I’m good at writing _______, maybe I shouldn’t stray from that if that’s what everyone thinks I’m best at.”
“My followers might not like this, maybe I shouldn’t post it.”

And by the way, a couple of these thoughts have occurred to me as well. Don’t be afraid to stray from the path. If you usually write fluff, and want to try your hand at writing angst, then do it. If you’re a smut writer who wrote a non-sexual fic and wants to post it, then do it. Now, I can understand being concerned about how certain fics will be received, but that’s a different issue. The topic here is that this is your blog, your writing, your time, your effort, your ideas, your work, your talent, your decisions. You and only you get to decide what you want to write about and what you do with your writing. Nobody else. And challenging yourself, or experimenting with other genres is nothing to be concerned about/afraid of. It’s great, in fact. By doing that, you’re expanding your map of potential writing subjects. And it can open your mind up to so many new thoughts and ideas and inspirations. So go ahead and experiment! Do whatever you want; do *you*.

Nobody can tell you that you should or shouldn’t write about _______. And if you’re happy writing _______, then don’t let anybody shame you for that. Don’t let anyone shame you for writing anything. As I said before, this is your blog and you can do whatever you want on it. Please don’t be ashamed, embarrassed, nervous, etc., about enforcing or embracing that rule.

      7. Persevere!
This is a huge part of being an author. Don’t put yourself down! Don’t criticize yourself or your writing all the time! You will get better with practice! I used to be pretty bad at writing, but I studied other people's writing style and practiced a lot, and now I’m pretty proud of the quality of my work.

It’s cheesy, but, “Practice makes perfect” and “Never give up” are phrases that you should live by while you’re writing.

Don’t give up! Just like with a lot of things in life, you’ll start out small and poorly, but the more you try, the more you’ll progress. And everything you write counts! Public or not, you still tried and it adds to your log of practice.
______________________________

I really wanted you guys to know these things. Keep your dignity, don’t apologize for running your blog how you want, never sacrifice your own happiness to appease others, and write what you want to write.

Thank you~

2014 Gemini Forecast

All of your hard work is totally paying off in 2014, Gemini! The rewards started trickling in throughout 2013, but the real windfall of success is still yet to come. This is the year of perseverance and pay-off. Plus, the super lucky money spree that began late last year continues in 2014. Take advantage of the first six months of the year to work the generous influence of Jupiter in your money zone. The bounty that started last July will continue all the way until summer, so stash some of this awesome surplus for potential rainy days down the road.

Perhaps, the best news of the year is the dramatic shift from work to play. Instead of focusing the majority of your time and energy on projects and the daily grind, you’re now feeling desperately inclined to devote more of your waking hours to creativity and romantic pursuits. The North Node of Fate is finally leaving your work zone and backing up into your house of love, starting this February. This puts the emphasis on the people, places and things you adore most. The desires of your heart take priority this year. Think of 2014 as a chance to live out your second (or third) childhood, Gemini! Your creativity is sure to skyrocket in a way that you haven’t experienced in close to 20 years. This isn’t to say that you won’t still be hard at work, but you will realize that it’s just as important to make time for love and leisure.

Communication, travel and learning become major areas of interest and opportunities for expanding your income in 2014. Watch how your travel schedule is suddenly jam-packed from July onward. You thrive when you’re exploring new places, so this should feel like a welcome gift from the universe. Plus, your legendary curiosity reaches new heights as you’re suddenly struck with the strong desire to dabble in as many new areas of interest as possible. Just don’t spread your busy little self so thin that you lose sight of your top priorities!

Career & Finance

All work and no play was turning Gemini into one cranky camper last year. But not to worry, that level of burnout is so 2013. This doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly turn into a hedonistic slacker, but you will remember why you’ve been working so hard in the first place. Work is the means; love, money and security are the ends. You’re learning the art of working smarter instead of harder by getting just the right people to help you out so that you can delegate some of your more time-consuming tasks and reclaim your lost social life. The beautiful news is that in 2014, you’ll find just the right balance between ambition and leisure. You’ll be approaching everything creatively in your professional world in 2014. Your goal is to bring more streamlined loveliness into all facets of production next year.

Be sure to take advantage of the ongoing lucky influence of Jupiter in your money house all the way through until July, Gemini. This is the best time to take risks in order to expand your earning potential. Think big – and think bigger picture! If you’ve been limiting yourself to just plugging along and trying to make ends meet over the past few years, Jupiter has come to assist you in expanding your moneymaking horizons. Chances are, there are many opportunities you’ve been overlooking or just too busy to incorporate into your current career plans. But now is the time to really dream large-scale.

During the second half of 2014, Jupiter will leave your money house and move into your zone of learning and education. If there are new areas of interest that you know could increase your skill set and marketability, by all means jump on them. Any investment in furthering your knowledge proves to be extremely lucrative, so don’t be afraid to take the time and resources necessary to make that happen. You’ll also be learning a ton through your everyday experiences, and luck can happen through chance encounters with strangers, neighbors and potentially even siblings.

Love & Relationships

Your love life takes a destined turn this year, Gemini. The North Node will move into your house of love and romance this February and spend the remainder of the year there. The desire for partnership could feel surprisingly overwhelming, turning your free-spirited ways upside down. If you’re already committed, this could be a renaissance in your relationship where pleasure and romance become the essentials. If you’re still a free agent, you may be shocked by your sudden need to go straight from dating to mating. In any case, this year promises to bring serious lessons in love and partnering. You’re about to learn the whole art of compromise and putting the needs of your beloved before your own when necessary. The whole give-and-take balance can be a tricky issue, but if anyone can master and juggle the impossible, it’s you Gemini.

Commitment is a theme in all areas of your life in 2014, and romance is no exception. Saturn is asking you to get serious about your sexuality and how you direct your life force in general. As much as you love to flit and flirt, you’ll gain more if you go deeper with just one person. Even if this feels like it goes against your fickle essence, you’ll be surprised at how satisfying and fulfilling it can be to just stick it out even when the going gets tough or the tough gets boring. The bigger rewards come from staying put and working through the rough patches rather than jumping ship and looking for something lighter and easier. Although that may prove to be an alluring quick fix, in your heart of hearts some part of you knows that it’s just another escape hatch and will only leave you lonely in the end. Try not to give in to what’s comfortable this year because the real magic happens when you go beyond what’s familiar and safe.