by Frosty Wooldridge –
During the Christmas season, I reflect a great deal on the year’s events. As usual, 2015 has been a doozy of a ride. While I attempt with all my heart to alert the American people as to our country’s challenges, I would rather write about the beauty, adventure and joy of living. I am laboring on a new book to publish in early 2016: Happiness—Living Your Life On Your Own Terms.
Nonetheless, over the weekend in Denver, Colorado, I attended Mark Rogers’ brilliant presentation:
Nonetheless, over the weekend in Denver, Colorado, I attended Mark Rogers’ brilliant presentation: “DaVinci & Michelangelo—Titans Side by Side”. You can access it at www.discoverdavinci.com . Mr. Rogers presents spectacular and compelling oratory on two of the most brilliant minds of the Renaissance in Italy. Among other artists like Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael—the Dark Ages faded with paintings that released the death grip of the Church of Rome on peoples’ understanding of the world. Science leapt to the forefront of humanity’s grand march. I’ve studied Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo during my lifetime. They dealt with the same vagaries of living as all of us. They competed against each other. DaVinci stood tall and handsome. DaVinci hated war, but created war machines. Michelangelo, short and unattractive, hated painting but bequeathed us with the Sistine Chapel.
When I walked into the Vatican the first time, I saw Michelangelo’s “Mother and Child” with a young Mary cradling Jesus in her arms after soldiers took him off the cross. Men and women weep at the sight of Michelangelo’s most famous work. He continued creating incredible works of art through his 88th year.
Thus, here in America, you also enjoy the ability to create great life work in your chosen field. I urge you to lend your energy, enthusiasm and love into your life’s passion. It’s what I have done to make my life productive, creative, adventurous and happy. I give up all my secrets in my forthcoming book.
As you grew up, you experienced different lessons along your life-path. You discovered a hot stove hurt when you touched it. A candle flame caused pain when you passed your finger over it. A rosebush thorn made your finger bleed. A bee sting caused you terrible agony.
(Arches National Park features Delicate Arch that offers a “gem” of understanding to those who seek it out in the desert. You must climb to reach it. You must experience heat, altitude and struggle to attain your goal. You must understand that all creative processes take time and lots of work, whether by nature or by your own hand.) Photography by Frosty Wooldridge
From those experiences, you avoided the obvious in your daily meanderings. Marching into your teens, you discovered friendship, jealousy and betrayal. A bully beat you up. A girlfriend undermined you in your pursuit of a boyfriend.
In nature, you learned to run for cover during a lightning storm. When a dog gave chase, you picked up a stick to protect yourself.
You learned life-lessons either by your parents advising you or you learned the hard way by direct experience.
As you grew into your twenties, relationships grew more complicated, you worked a job with acerbic bosses and cantankerous fellow employees. You discovered many different aspects to how people operate in the world.
Along the way, you picked up new understandings and created game plans on how to deal with your circumstances.
All the while, you became a better you. But sometimes, you wondered about your choices or predicaments.
I’m reminded of the ancient king who held court each day. He beckoned the local sage for words of wisdom. Each day for a year, the sage brought the king an overly ripe piece of fruit along with a witty statement. When the sage left, the king tossed the fruit into a hole in a pillar where it fell to the basement, untouched.
One day, after the sage gave the king the overly ripe fruit, he turned to exit, but noticed the king tossing the fruit into the pillar.
“What are you doing?” asked the sage. “Did you not know I gifted you with a gem in the middle of each fruit?”
The king made an excuse before the sage exited the throne room. Quickly, the king ordered a knave to recapture the fruit.
The king cut it open to reveal a valuable gem. He said, “I never knew such beauty could be found inside an aged piece of fruit.”
The king ordered his staff to recover the gems from all the fruits in the basement. The gems of knowledge enlightened him, which allowed him greater understanding. He became a better king for all the people of his realm.
The great writer Thomas Moore said that every person faces the deadly turpitudes of living: obsessions, addictions, depression, loss of meaning, judging others, violence, anger, hate and prejudice.
It’s your challenge to connect with the divine in you. You might call it the “spiritual” within you. Choose to identify with your higher self. That quest creates a transformation that leads to your better well-being and better choices.
When bad things happen to you, decode the experience to see the gem. As you discover the synchronicity of the lesson, take advantage of it. Synchronicity coupled with purpose equals “coincidence.”
Once you step into the “flow” of life, those synchronicities multiply because your energies coordinate with the natural vibrations of the universe.
Engage these talents: walk in the light, walk tall, walk with a song, walk strong, walk wise, walk with hope, walk with joy, walk with purpose and walk with passion. People notice your demeanor. You attract them to their own higher self.
Take advantage of a bitter experience, betrayal of a friend, unfair treatment by another or any of the overly ripe experiences of life. You will find a “gem” in the rotten fruit that will enhance your life beyond all ordinary understanding.
Finally, this Christmas season, a movie titled “Joy” with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert Di Nero best describes everything I have shared with you in this chapter out of my forthcoming book. By watching the movie, you will learn the pitfalls so you can avoid them. You will be inspired and encouraged to seek your fortune on your own journey. You will find that “genius” by DaVinci and Michelangelo took hours and years of hard work, perseverance and attitude. No matter what your talent, you must “work” it. Choose to make your journey one that makes your parents’, colleagues and friends proud. Most of all, seek to be happy in your life by following your heart while being guided by your mind.
Population-Immigration-Environmental specialist: speaker at colleges, civic clubs, high schools and conferences
Six continent world bicycle traveler
Adventure book: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World
Frosty Wooldridge, six continent world bicycle traveler