The Same, But Different (a poem by Gabriela López de Dennis)

I am that same woman,
Only older.

I am that same woman,
Only wiser.

I am that same woman,
Only tired.

I am that same woman,
Only thicker.

I am that same woman,
Only no longer make-up-less.

I am that same woman,
Only grayer.

I am that same woman,
Only slouched.

I am that same woman,
Only slower.

I am that same woman,
Only seasoned.

I am that same woman,
Only schooled.

I am that same woman,
Only dreaming bigger.

I am that same woman,
Only louder.

I am that same woman,
Only laughing harder.

I am that same woman,
Only growing more, every day.

Gabriela López de Dennis is a Los Angeles based writer, artist, and producer. Check her out at

Little Luxuries: The Small Things That Make Us Happy

In college, a friend of mine told me that she believed that the happiest people in life are the ones who find happiness in the littlest things.  I wholeheartedly agree, and try to find true happiness through the simple joys the day brings me.


Coloring with No Lines

Like most kids, my one year old son loves playing with crayons.  He loves playing with all the various colors all over the place.  He has colored on the floor, the walls, his toys, my laptop, and sometimes on paper.

I'm guilty of the same thing.  I remember being little, around three years old, and loving coloring.  My mom brought home scrap paper from work for me to color on, but for some reason I didn't.  I colored on furniture and cardboard boxes.  At that age I didn't understand why I had to restrict my artwork to an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper. 

When I was in kindergarten, I remember coloring with my classmates.  Some of them produced really nice looking pictures of art.  The colors were smooth, even, and didn't have many blank areas between the colors.  I looked in awe seeing how I could make my work look like theirs.

The teacher instructed me to "color between the lines."  For most of the year, I didn't really know what that meant.  I colored where I thought I was supposed to, and sometime later I realized that when I colored pictures, the crayon marks were outside the lines of the picture.  I had to learn to have a steady hand, develop hand-eye coordination, and learn to conform to the social norms of coloring. 

It was the law of the land: color inside the lines.  That's what everyone does, and it's what I was supposed to do.  Slowly, I learned to color and keep every color in its own place.

Later on in high school I took my one and only art class.  There I learned all about art history and all the multiple techniques used to create beautiful works. 

One thing that I really admired about art is creativity.  I admired people who brought new and innovative ideas to the art world.  These were people who challenged the world (and me) to see things differently. 

Now as a parent, I want my son to develop his creativity.  I don't want to make him color inside a box (or think inside one) just because "that's what you're supposed to do." 

Instead of just coloring inside pictures, I want him to be able to draw his own pictures; of anything that his imagination can dream up.  I want him to be able to question why we color the way we do.I want him to practice doodling and designing.  I want him to be able to express himself in colorful ways.  I want him to imagine more than he or other people have been able to before.  I want him to be able to color without boundaries for the rest of his life. 

Respectable Thoughts on Respect

Kindness is the one commodity of which you should spend more than you earn.”
— T.N. Tiemeyer

"He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander."
— Aristotle

"The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude."
— Arnold Glasow

"Things hard to come by are much esteemed."
— Latin Proverb

"He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce."
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"This is the final test of a gentleman; his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him."
— William Lyon Phelps

Pictures at the Park

One of the best parts of being a parent is being able to bring my son to the park.  As a kid, I loved the park, and now I get to give him fun filled experiences.  Just looking at the park brings back childhood memories and nostalgia.


Yoga: Nourishment for the Body, Mind, and Soul

Yoga instructor Lori Edwards strikes a pose.
by Lori Edwards
Guest Author
I first got into yoga because of my aching back.  Diagnosed with scoliosis at a young age, doctors told me I would never dance or play sports and it was likely that I would need a back brace to correct the lateral curvature in my spine.  Mortified with the thought of wearing a metal contraption to school and facing the ridicule of my fellow classmates, I begged my parents to let me try alternative medicine, i.e., chiropractics, acupuncture, and movement therapy.  I found that when I practiced yoga, I was able to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort of my scoliosis and was able to move in ways I never thought possible.  I continued to practice yoga on and off for 25 years before I decided to complete a teacher training program and share my love of yoga with others.
As a certified Massage Therapist, I have spent years studying anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology and I know that movement is essential to long-term health and well-being.  Through exercise, we develop strength in our muscles and bones, flexibility in our joints and tendons, improved circulation, and a natural endorphin rush that positively alters our mood and emotional state.  Through exercise we massage the internal organs, strengthen our heart, and improve our lung capacity.  Exercise decreases stress, prevents disease, and slows the aging process. 
But why practice yoga?  What makes yoga different than stretching?  Yoga is mindful, focused stretching, and much different than the five to ten minutes of ineffectual stretching usually practiced at the end of most fitness classes you might take at your local gym.  Yoga can be practiced anywhere, at any time, and with minimal or no equipment.   It is the perfectly portable exercise.  Yoga stretches every part of the body and develops strength and balance at the same time. 
Yoga creates balance, which, to me, is the key, to yoga.  Yoga shows us how easily we can become unbalanced.  One day a pose is easy and the next day it is difficult.  Just like the challenges of everyday life, yoga shows us that nothing is constant and that we must continue to adapt to change as we encounter it.  Yoga creates balance of the body, but also of the mind and of the soul.  When we “come to the mat”, we are making a mindful decision to focus on nourishing the body, mind, and soul.  In yoga, we connect our breath to our movement, and focus our minds on our bodies.  We look internally and allow the distractions of the world to fade into the background so that we can allow our subconscious minds to come to the forefront, thereby showing us the nature of our innermost desires, feelings, and thoughts.  In yoga, we find our true selves, free from the encumbrances of the outside world. 
Why do I keep practicing yoga?  I practice because yoga nourishes my body creating freedom of movement.  Yoga nourishes my mind allowing me to quiet the never-ending battery of thought that clouds my judgment.  Yoga nourishes my soul showing me who I really am and allowing me to explore the endless possibilities of what may be.  I am not one of those yoga instructors who can stay in headstand for 20 minutes.  To me, yoga is not about the perfect pose.  Yoga is not about perfection.  There is no perfection in yoga.  Yoga is about creating balance.  If I can find balance today by practicing one pose, one breathing exercise, or by utilizing one yogic principle, then yoga will have had a profound and positive effect on my day. I may not even “come to the mat” today and that’s ok.  I take my yoga with me wherever I go.  And guess what, you can too.
Lori Anne Edwards is a Certified Massage Therapist and Yoga Instructor in the Los Angeles, CA area.  To take a yoga class or to book a massage appointment, please visit her on the web at

Everyday Elegance

With more pictures nowadays being in high definition or 3D, it's easy to forget how beautiful black and white pictures are.  There is a fine splendor about them.  Here are some black and white photography showcasing the elegance that we see every day.

Dear Son: You Can Be a Superhero

Dear Son,

I want you to know that when you grow up, you can be a superhero.  When you wore your superhero shirt with a cape today, you had no idea how adorable you were.  Even though you probably didn't fully understand what you were wearing, I want you to live as if you were really a superhero.

When I was little, I loved watching them on TV.  I watched Spider-man, Batman, and Superman use their unique talents and abilities to save the world from doom.  I found something really inspiring about that.  As I grew up, I played with action figures, pretended to be them, and aspired to be like them when I became older. 

Now that I'm older, I've seen how my quest to selflessly work for the greater good has impacted my life and others.  I want you to have those same values and experiences.  I want you to hold on to your superheroic dreams as long as you can. 

I want you to believe that there is good in the world, that no matter what happens, all people are inherently good.  I want you to be able to imagine a world without senseless violence, cruelty, and starvation.  I want you to believe that love, peace, and understanding are more powerful than any form of greed or hate; that a world with endless possibilities is always possible. 

I want you to always act with courage and fight for what you believe in your heart is right.  Act with your mind, heart, and soul in harmonious governance.  Eliminate ignorance with enlightenment.  You have no idea how much potential you have in you.  Dare yourself daily to be a catalyst for a better world.  You have unique talents and abilities that are waiting to unfold.

You are my inspiration every day; you are my superhero.



Why I Write for Nourishment Notes

Sometimes I write for me.  I write to capture my thoughts, let my feelings flow freely, and simultaneously sustain my sanity.  Oftentimes I write to give my heart peace, especially after a trying day.

But mostly, I write for everyone: for you, me, our families, friends, and everyone all around us.

I write to spread hope, love, and understanding in hopes than anyone anywhere will be positively pushed.  My words are for mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, teenagers, students of all ages, career people, and anyone who has ever had a pulse.  I write for dreamers, those who dare to dive for their dreams.  I write for people who face the future with curiosity and wonder.  This is for those who embrace the adventures of the wild world we live in. 

This is for all of you who support the Nourishment Notes movement.  We "spread goodness" in any way possible.  We spread it all around the world in various different forms.  We connect the dots between the hearts across the universe.

This is for anyone, someone, and everyone; and it's only the beginning.

Splishy Splashy (a poem by Gabriela López de Dennis)

The rain woke me up this morning with its splishy splashy,
crashing droplets sliding down my window, trying desperately to get my attention.
To bring me down with it so I too may fall in liquid limber.
My dreams dwindled to nothing but ephemeral raindrops that dissolve upon hitting concrete, disseminating into the unknown.
If I should be so weak still, I would have let myself be carried away in such sorrow,
in such despair that even the clouds shed tears.
Into the darkness yet again, of a past that troubles for scrutiny, and a future that knows nothing yet.
Running in circles in my mind, crawling deeper into black, shutting it all away,
drenched in cowardliness.
But, on a day like today, when nothing could seem more powerful than this moment, than this here day as I lay in bed, right now, and hear the teardrops crash but refuse to listen. Refuse to be swept away. Refuse to relinquish my power. On this morning that is, life is filled with so many possibilities.
Today the rain, it makes me smile.
The cold breeze that comes in through my window that I refuse to close but instead,
take control of the situation.
That cold breeze it warms my heart, like rain breeze has never done before.
Like warm fire that was waiting to be unleashed.
The crashing waves pass right through me, like water is supposed to.
It’s translucent.
It’s no longer powerful over me but delicate like a whisper that I blow away.
Today, those tears of rain filled with contempt, crash and fall against my soul.
Are nothing against my fierce body, and my mind does not even bother.
Because on a day like today, I will not be sucked away in compulsive mind nonsense, but instead, stand tall against the violent waves of this morning rain, impervious.
Like a huge, solid, strong rock.
The rain droplets slide off me left and right.
My surface is too smooth to hold on to them too long and I simply watch them fall, hit the ground, and crash.
Vanishing into nothing and this time, I am not coming along.
I stand.
Unmoved, amused, empowered, and only ever so slightly wet.

Gabriela López de Dennis is a Los Angeles based writer, artist, and producer. Check her out at

Illuminating Insights for Everyday People

Hope ever tells us tomorrow will be better.”
— Tibullus, Roman Poet 

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
— Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

The best way to stop a bad habit is never to begin it.”
— James C. Penney, founder of JC Penney

"Earning respect starts with giving it."
— Suzanne Grant, Commenter, "Why You Need to Lead with Your Heart"

Liberty is the result of free individual action, energy, and independence.”
— Samuel Smiles, Scottish Author

"It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it."
— W. Somerset Maugham, English Novelist

14 Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin this Season

Fall is here in the United States, and for many people that means it is the season of pumpkins.  Since both the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving are coming up, there are an evolving multitude of methods to enjoy pumpkins.  (Personally, I really love a pumpkin spice latte on an evening coffee date.)  There are more ways to enjoy a pumpkin than even an Iron Chef can think of.

Here are some of the different ways that we can enjoy pumpkins this season:
Do you know other ways PUMPKIN can be used?  Let us know in the comments below.

Clutter Cleansing: How Reducing Clutter in Life Makes People Happier

Clutter in any form can be a nuisance.  Physical clutter around the house, in the car, and in the workplace make things less organized, inefficient, and look unprofessional.  Mental clutter (being mentally preoccupied or stressed) makes people unfocused and distracted from what's right in front of them.  It prevents people from being self-confident, having meaningful relationships, and being completely happy.

Reducing the amount of clutter in my life is a an everyday task.  It's necessary to feel at peace at home, at work, and within oneself.  Every time I put things away at home, in the car, or organizing paperwork around the office, I remind myself that it cleanses my life of clutter and the stress it may bring. 

How I Measure Career Success

How would you measure the success of your career?

In a recent interview by CNN Money, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen argued that success is measured by the relationships we have, not the amount printed on our paychecks.

Christensen explained, "I believe that the source of our deepest happiness comes from investments we make in intimate relationships with our spouse, children, and close friends. But if you measure your life by how much money you make or where you go in a hierarchy, you invest more and more to maximize those things and less and less of your time and energy on family. Even though you think family is important, you invest in things that are counter to what you had intended to do in your heart."

As an educator, there is a multitude of mathematical measurements that I'm bombarded by.  There is a school's API (Academic Performance Index), student passing rates on the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam), the amount of students who score proficient, advanced, basic, and below basic on standardized tests, quarterly benchmark tests, and other miscellaneous test scores (not to mention my students' grades; they do matter).  I could also look at graduation rates (of both my school and students who've taken my classes) and see how many of them graduate from four year universities.

To measure my success, I choose to focus on other factors.  How many of my students leave my classroom better people than when they first came in?  How many of them were inspired to have higher expectations of themselves?  Did they learn something new and useful today?  Was my class a safe and comfortable environment?  How many students did I mentor today?  How much quality time have I spent with my family?  Have I been a good friend lately?  Have my relationships grown or withered due to my career?

When I was in college, an administrator told me that he considered himself successful because he was able to build both a successful career and family life.  His home life didn't suffer for his work life and vice versa.  This, along with Christensen's interview reminded me that my relationships outside of work help determine my success at work.  I would consider myself a failure if I didn't have any qualtiy time with my family and friends. 

Right now I am proud to say that I have a great career and a terrific family; this is how I measure my career's success.

Time is a Ridiculously Precious Thing

“In the view of Infinity, any defined long-term is short-term.”
– from
God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert

The older I get, the faster time flows.  Days go by so quickly and now quicker than ever before.  It wasn't always this way.

When I was a kid, an afternoon sometimes felt like an eternity.  There was enough time to play and play my heart out until dinner.  Every day felt like two whole days: one day spent at school and another at home.

Now my days pass faster and faster.  Weeks go by within a blink.  The last time I turned around, a year went by.

Family time.  Weekends.  Time alone.  I crave much more of them.  Once they're here, they're already almost gone.

The more I think of it, the more I realize how short my life is on this Earth.  There is so much more I want to do: places to visit, conversations to have, and books to read.  I don't know how long I'll be here, but I'm going to make every moment matter.

Why I Write Sleepy Late at Night

I'm tired.  I'm also sleepy.  If I make any grammar or spelling mistakes, don't blame me, blame the lack of slumber.  I am definitely drowsy.  It's not the inconsiderate and noisy neighbors keeping me up, it's my hunger to write.

I write me for me.  It's for my soul and my sanity.  It helps keep my brain in one piece.  It helps me feel like my world is on solid ground.

I want to do this (write, not torture myself).  This is what I'm passionate about.  Sometimes I want to write so badly I can't sleep no matter how tired I am.  My eyes are droopy.  I'm almost asleep on the floor.  I'm still going until I feel like I've done enough for now.  I'm sacrificing precious sleep for this.

Since this is what I really want to do, I've found a way to do it.  I actively made time to do it.  This applies to all of us.  No matter how high the obstacles and boundaries are, if something is important enough to us, we'll find a way to make it happen.

Fighting for Words

by Gabriela López de Dennis
Guest Author

Words… oh, words. I love you so. You are what keeps me up at night, you are what wakes me up at dawn, when it's still dark. Bare feet hit cold, hard wood floor. Duty calls. As a writer, I believe I have to fight for my words. I have to put on my armor and battle for my writing time. Camouflage myself into the pages of life so that you miss me. You do not see me therefore do not distract me. Guess I’m not home. Success. Back to writing. Grabbing it by the horns and never letting go. Do not disturb. Closed for the night. Out of service, not in service, do not bother me… I am writing. If it means crawling out of bed at 5:00 a.m., sometimes 4:30 a.m., pouring the hot water in my French press and letting that first gulp of coffee, 2% milk and turbinado sugar give me that “wake up and write!” slap in the face… then so such things must be done. Because… I have to fight for my words… for my lifeline. I dream of words in my sleep, after letting them lure me to rest, sometimes till the wee hours. I am not a night owl, but if the words call, I report to the page. Don’t complain. And then, I wake up to words. Do it all over. Reading, reciting scripts out loud, praying out loud, singing, writing lyrics, that never ending re-writing war… whatever it wants it to be, I let the words consume me, embrace me. I love each and every formation that comes through me. I love it when they entice me, visit me, romance me, beg of my attention, that, I may help them come to life. I serve words. I am a slave to words. I put on that bondage costume and I let them take me where they want to. Whip me into shape, correct my grammar, proofread my tenses, abuse my fingertips, as I wear all black type slamming against the stark white page. I am not afraid. I love every combination of such hard-bodied words. I live for every period, each and every comma, every paragraph, and all the spaces in between. I try to decipher the subtext. I allow them to confide in me. I promise not to tell, and yet, I promise to tell the whole world. A gossiper of words, a carrier of words. Safe haven, white paper, keyboard or pen. I surrender. Knees on ink smudging tired words on concrete. S.O.S. I simply can’t go on. And then… a lullaby about stars, a Dorothy Parker poem, a beautiful jazz, Billie Holiday song with lyrics that tear at my heart, seduce my body into rhythm, with longing words that caress the back of my neck… how dare you words? How dare you! I love you words, I shout it to the mountains and the oceans and the territories not yet revealed. I am in love with you, words. Please kiss me on my blood red fingernails and let my hands do your dirty work. Give me criticism, correct my mistakes, make me start over, I can take the pain. Try again. I close my eyes for a second and let your essence come over me, all over me. On my hands, on my heart, on my head, in my mouth the words have conquered me and I scream stanzas to save my life. Euphoria. Yielding. I collapse in your literary arms. I cry out to you. Spell check. Thesaurus. Undo. Shift. Control. New document. Words. They whisper in my ear, all that I never realized I wanted to hear. Sleep. Live. Awake, to words. Words… oh words, I love you so. The end.    
Gabriela López de Dennis is a Los Angeles based writer, artist, and producer.  Check her out at

How I Would Convince a Dying Tree to Live

There is a tree outside that has wilted and withered with time.  It solemnly stands by the road as people pass by. 

It's almost at its end. 

If it could hear me, I'd tell it that it needs to live.  We need it to live.  We need it for oxygen, shade, and as a constant reminder of the beauty of nature.  Animals need it for a home, nutrition, and to help balance the ecosystem.  It needs to see what the world is becoming and experience what tomorrow has to offer.  It may not realize it, but it has so much more left to give in this world.  I'd tell it that it needs to hold on for one more day and it needs to tell itself that daily.

This world is slowly becoming covered in concrete more and more every single day.  What natural wonders still exist need to not just live, but thrive!

Playing with Trains: How My Son Taught Me a Life Lesson

When was the last time you learned something from watching a child's imagination run wild? 

Yesterday I took my one year old son to our local bookstore and let him play with the toy trains.  In the children's section, there was a short table topped with wooden tracks, a colorful painted landscape, and train cars for youngsters to enjoy.

Even though it was a clever marketing tool (the train, tracks, and other accessories were sold there), my son enjoyed playing with it and letting his imagination run loose.  He watched in amazement as other kids moved the train cars around the wooden curves.  It was delightful watching him having a great time walking around the table while pushing the little wooden train along the tracks.

After about an hour, he finally slowed down and did something different.  He took the train off the table and started playing with it on the floor.  I thought to myself, "Huh, trains are supposed to be on its tracks."

I was about to correct him, but before I could he gave me a puzzled look.  It was as if he knew what I was going to do and was tryin to tell me, "Why not?"

Then it hit me: he was right.  This little bundle of joy didn't see the purpose of limiting the toy train to only its wooden track.  He had the train go where he wanted it to go.  To him, it made sense to explore other possibilities.

For me, it was a lesson learned.  He reminded me to not just think outside the box, but also outside the wooden tracks.  No one should be limited in their direction in life; people should be able to go as far as their imagination can take them.

How a Moment Can Change Everything

Anything can happen in a moment.  In fact, everything that has ever happened has happened in a moment. 

In one moment, a person's life can change forever.  Someone can meet her/his soulmate.  A person could come across an ad for a job opening that could develop into a career.  Through serendipity, anyone can recognize an unexpected opportunity and seize it.

All these moments could happen, and if they did, can only happen in the present. 

This is why I show up to class every day to teach high school English with the mind set that anything can happen.  On any given day, any lesson, discussion, or interaction can have a significant impact on any of my students.  This is also the reason why I enter every class with as much hope as I can arm myself.

I come every day with the hope that someone (hopefully more) will be inspired.  Maybe someone will spark a love of learning.  There is always a possibility that they will be motivated to push themselves harder and farther than they ever have before. 

There are exactly 86,400 seconds in each day.  Each second is a moment for something great to happen.

8 Thoughts for Working Professionals

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength.”
— Ralph W. Sockman

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.”
— Somerset Maugham

Love All, Trust a Few, Do Wrong to No One.”
— William Shakespeare

"I have no special talent.  I am only passionately curious."
— Albert Einstein

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
— Pablo Picasso

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
— Winston Churchill

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
— Napoleon Hill

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
— Walt Disney

An Incredibly Simple Way to Be Inspired

When people want to inspire each other, there is a reason why people say "Reach for the stars", "Sky's the limit", or "Touch the Sky."  It's a way to motivate people to have high expectations for themselves.  It challenges people to set their "bar" higher and higher

If upward is the direction of success, then all anyone has to do in order to empower themselves is simply look up.

Penny for a Thought: How Luck is Mostly Perception and Attitude

If you found money on the floor, would you pick it up?  There is an old urban legend if you see a penny on the floor and it’s head side up, pick it up because it’s good luck.  If it’s faced down, leave it alone; it’s bad luck.  In the current state of the U.S. economy, I say that finding money on the floor, heads up or down, is lucky.  (I think I’m lucky that people leave money for me laying around just because it’s face down.) 
Our thoughts are more powerful than we think.  Our thoughts affect our attitude, which in turn affect our choices, then affects our life’s results and consequences.  People who carry a penny that they believe to be un/lucky will let it affect them consciously and subconsciously.  I choose to believe that every penny (and sometimes quarters or even dollar bills) that come my way is lucky.  Even if one cent is a miniscule amount, I’m thankful for every penny I have. 
For the few months, every single coin I’ve found on the floor has been head side down.  They have been collecting in a jar for my son’s college fund, which has about $70 in change.  Having free money to add on top of his current 529 college fund is what I consider lucky.

In the Sun/light/shine (a poem)

In the sun
there is freedom;
there is warmth,
      a feeling of truth,
      like this is how it's all supposed to be. 

In the sunlight
love holds hands with peace
      and play like kids in a playground.

In the sunshine
life blooms!
      It blossoms and expands
      as far as the sun can reach. 

Why Being Able to Face Rejection is Vitally Important

“'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
For about six months already, I’ve been on a house huntingadventure.  I have put in multiple offers on various properties and my last offer is currently a backup offer.  It seems that every other week I lose hope and then regain it again for another seven days.  Part of me wants to give up and rent for the rest of my life, but the other part of me really wants to find a house to raise my family in.  Fortunately, the majority of me is determined to endure the adventure and find a place to call “home”, even if it means having to face more rejection and heartbreak.
Last week a former student of mine (I teach English) told me how her dream is to go to Yale for college, but doesn’t want to apply because she doesn’t think she’ll get in.  I can honestly say that she is remarkably brilliant and I think she has a great chance of being accepted.  I told her that she should apply and then see what happens; not applying guarantees that she will not get accepted.  I truly hope that she does end up applying (and get accepted!).
Being able to take risks is an essential life skill for success.  Having the courage to “go for it” even in the face of rejection is necessary to achieve almost any goal.  It is as if people's quality of life is influenced by this ability.  I need to put in offers to get a house just like my student needs to apply to Yale to get in.  People currently in strong romantic relationships had to face the possibility of rejection at some point.  Back when I used to work in sales, I heard, “No” 75-80 times before I heard a “Yes!”  When I got my current job, I applied to over 200 open positions.  Even though I received dozens of rejections, it was worth it (I love my job).  Anyone who dares to dream big needs to also be able to face the dragon of rejection with an armor of hope.

On the Verge (a poem by Chris Kirkpatrick)

There is a pause before it starts, a gap
Between the last line spoken
And applause:

A raised baton--orchestra in rapt readiness:
The moment between darkness
And the dawn
When all is possible, all impossible,
Everything and nothing,
Jockeying into place.

Chris Kirkpatrick is the author of two books of poetry, Learning to See from the Blind and Mixed Metaphors.