by Monette Danielle Ross
I created this slideshow as a personal journey of self-discovery. Oh, who am I kidding…I thought it would be a great tool to attract “the right guy for me” on internet dating. LOL I would create a piece that I could direct guys to that would truly reflect what I’m all about so they wouldn’t be so surprised and confused when they met me in person. (I know! “Goofy idea!” But trust me on this…nothing else was working! )
Well, this idea didn’t work either, and over time it DID become
a lesson in self-discovery. I found a lot of things I believed in for awhile, but over time some of them fell away…what is presented here is essentially what “made the cut” and stood the test of time. This is what I believe to be “My Essential Truth.”
Word of Warning: such a feat is not to be untaken lightly…it requires a lot of “soul searching”…and can break you into pieces if you’re not careful! “Voice of Experience” talkin’ here!
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -Dr. Seuss
"What a caterpillar calls the end of the world the rest of the world calls a butterfly" ~Lao Tsu
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothingenlightened about shrinking so that otherpeople won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make and manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just In some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Marianne Williamson"Our Greatest Fear" from her book A Return to Love
The Starfish Story
Once upon a time there was a old man who used to go to the ocean for peace and quiet, and for inspiration to dohis writing. In the morning, he usually walked on the beach before he began his work. One day as he was walkingalong the shore, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer, bending, then wading into the waves, arms
extended. It pleased him that someone would dance to the beauty of the day and the rhythm of the waves. As he got closer,he saw that it was a young girl. The girl wasn't dancing, but instead she was reaching down to the sand, picking upsomething, and throwing it gently into the ocean. He called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The girl paused and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll be stranded on the beach and die." "But don't you realize that there are thousands of miles of beach and starfish all along the way.You can't possibly make a difference!" The girl listened and considered. Then she bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea. Shewatched a wave lift it high, and then it sank into the life-giving water. "It made a difference for that one,” she said.
Introduction to Poetry I ask them to take a poemand hold it up to the lightlike a color slide or press an ear against its hive. I say drop a mouse into a poemand watch him probe his way out, or walk inside the poem's roomand feel the walls for a light switch. I want them to water skiacross the surface of a poemwaving at the author's name on the shore. But all they want to dois tie the poem to a chair with ropeand torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hoseto find out what it really means. Billy Collins
Child Of Mine sung by Carole King Although you see the world different than meSometimes I can touch upon the wonders that you seeAll the new colors and pictures you've designedOh yes, sweet darlingSo glad you are a child of mine Child of mine, child of mineOh yes, sweet darlingSo glad you are a child of mine You don't need direction, you know which way to goAnd I don't want to hold you back, I just want to watch
you growYou're the one who taught me you don't have to look
behindOh yes, sweet darlingSo glad you are a child of mine Child of mine, child of mineOh yes, sweet darlingSo glad you are a child of mine Nobody's gonna kill your dreamsOr tell you how to live your lifeThere'll always be people to make it hard for a whileBut you'll change their heads when they see you smile
The times you were born in may not have been the bestBut you can make the times to come better than the restI know you will be honest if you can't always be kindOh yes, sweet darlingSo glad you are a child of mine Child of mine, child of mine,Oh yes, sweet darlingSo glad you are a child of mine Child of mine, child of mineOh yes, sweet darlingSo glad you are a child of mine
I Believe... I believe in growing things,and in thingswhich have grown and diedmagnificently. I believe in peopleand in the simple aspectsof human life,and in the relation of manto nature. I believe manmust be free,both in spirit and society,that he mustbuild strength into himself,affirming theenormous beauty of the worldand acquiringthe confidence to seeand toexpress his vision. ~Ansel Adams
Think Different Here’s to the crazy ones.The misfits.The rebels.The troublemakers.The round pegs in the square holes.The ones who see things differently.They’re not fond of rules.And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal.They explore. They create. They inspire.They push the human race forward.Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?We make tools for these kinds of people.While some see them as the crazy ones,we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to thinkthey can change the world, are the ones who do. (Apple Computer Ad Campaign)
"How does one become a butterfly?" a little girl asked.
With a twinkle in her eye and a slight smile, the wise old woman replied, "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
The Journey One day you finally knewwhat you had to do, and began,though the voices around youkept shoutingtheir bad advice --though the whole housebegan to trembleand you felt the old tugat your ankles."Mend my life!"each voice cried.But you didn't stop.You knew what you had to do,though the wind priedwith its stiff fingersat the very foundations,though their melancholywas terrible.
It was already lateenough, and a wild night,and the road full of fallenbranches and stones.But little by little,as you left their voices behind,the stars began to burnthrough the sheets of clouds,and there was a new voicewhich you slowlyrecognized as your own,that kept you companyas you strode deeper and deeperinto the world,determined to dothe only thing you could do --determined to savethe only life you could save. ~ Mary Oliver ~
The Yellow Chair by Thomas Kincade What color is a yellow chair? For me as a painter, the answer is not quite as simple as it
soundslearned long ago that the apparent color of an object (the way it looks) is a very different
thingfrom its intrinsic color (the color it really is).
In the fiery light of sunset, the yellow chair may reflect an orange glow. As daylight continues to
fade, the color will fade as well. In the cool shadows of a tree-shaded lawn, the chair may take on
a greenish hue or appear almost violet when silhouetted against a distant sunlit meadow. And yet, if you move the chair back to a neutral light, you see that the intrinsic color of the
chairhas never really changed. Regardless of the external circumstances, a yellow chair is still a
yellowchair. Artists refer to the yellowness of that chair - the color it is no matter what light - as its localcolor. Local color is the color that belongs to the basic chemistry, biology of the thing, that
is notdependent on tricks of light or external modification. Outside forces may change its
appearance, butnot its essence. That analogy helps me a lot when I think of my happiness.
After all, each of us wants to be happy. Given the choice, we’d prefer to live our entire lives in the
golden light of fortunate circumstances. And we all have a mental list of what such happiness
entails. The problem, of course, is that none of us gets everything we think we want all the time.
Some ofus don’t even get close. Others get what we earned for and then find we don’t want it
anymore.And although we can exercise considerable influence on what happens around us, we can
no moredictate our changing circumstances than I can tell the sunset to hold still while I attempt
tocapture its color on canvas. Basing my happiness on what happens to me, then, is a little like depending on the
ambient light tocolor an unpainted chair yellow. It might work for a while, but sooner or later the light,
and thechair will change. If I really want a yellow chair, therefore, I’ll do well to invest in some
brushesand a can or two of yellow paint!
And if I really want to be happy, I’d better realize that joy, as poet Don Blanding once put it, is an inside job. I need to cultivate a fundamentalattitude of satisfaction and celebration than can keepshining golden no matter how the light shifts around me. I need to concentrate on making surethat joy is the local color in my heart.
Personal Note:A little yellow chair sits a my desk at school as a reminder to “be” the yellow chair.
A Cherokee Proverb
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is goingon inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it isbetween two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret,greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, falsepride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love,hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity,truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you –and inside every other person, too." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked hisgrandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
Unwritten Artist: Natasha Bedingfield Lyrics I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefinedI'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending
unplanned Staring at the blank page before youOpen up the dirty windowLet the sun illuminate the words that you could not
find Reaching for something in the distanceSo close you can almost taste itRelease your inhibitionsFeel the rain on your skinNo one else can feel it for youOnly you can let it inNo one else, no one elseCan speak the words on your lipsDrench yourself in words unspokenLive your life with arms wide openToday is where your book beginsThe rest is still unwritten
I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the linesWe've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way Feel the rain on your skinNo one else can feel it for youOnly you can let it inNo one else, no one elseCan speak the words on your lipsDrench yourself in words unspokenLive your life with arms wide openTo the years where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
"The Sister Candles"
Individually we share our own distinctive glow, our own unique andsplendid dance of light and shadow; collectively...we light up theplace! ...dedicated to my sisters Machelle and Marissa with love
(I’m the first one, Machelle is the middle, and my youngest sister Marissa is the last. The candlesrepresent our personalities.)
“Did I Miss Anything" by Tom Wayman Nothing. When we realized you weren’t herewe sat with our hands folded on our desksin silence, for the full two hours Everything. I gave an exam worth40 percent of the grade for this termand assigned some reading due todayon which I’m about to hand out a quizworth 50 percent Nothing. None of the content of this coursehas value or meaningTake as many days off as you like:any activities we undertake as a classI assure you will not matter either to you or meand are without purpose
Everything. A few minutes after we began last timea shaft of light suddenly descended and an angelor other heavenly being appearedand revealed to us what each woman or man must doto attain divine wisdom in this life andthe hereafter
This is the last time the class will meetbefore we disperse to bring the good news to all peopleon earth. Nothing. When you are not presenthow could something significant occur? Everything. Contained in this classroomis a microcosm of human experienceassembled for you to query and examine and ponderThis is not the only place such an opportunity has beengathered but it was one place And you weren’t here. from Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993, 1993 Harbour PublishingReprinted from Poetry 180 website
“I never came upon any of my discoveries through the
process of rational thinking.” ~Albert Einstein
Wise Words from Winnie the Pooh...by AA Milne
"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit. "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just thatsomething happened to it along the way." "Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do isto go where they can find you." "Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?" "If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be thathe has a small piece of fluff in his ear." "Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." "Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slippingslowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known." "You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; butspelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count." "Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."
And from Eeyore (who reminds us to laugh at ourselves when weleast feel like doing so...)
"It's not very pleasant in my corner of the world at three o'clock in the morning. But for people who like cold, wet, ugly bits it is something rather special." "One can't complain. I have my friends. Someone spoke to me only yesterday." “It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily."So it is.""And freezing.""Is it?”"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "wehaven't had an earthquake lately.”
John Keating: No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. John Keating: We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here–that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play “goes on” and you may contribute a verse. Whatwill your verse be? John Keating: Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the lesslikely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." Don't be resignedto that. Break out! John Keating: Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs areunique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go,[imitating a goat] "that's baaaaad." Robert Frost said, "Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less
traveled by, and thathas made all the difference." John Keating: I SOUND MY BARBARIC YAWP OVER THE ROOFTOPS OF THE WORLD.
Favorite quotes from Dead Poets Society (1989)
The Rainbow Connection
Why are there so many songs about rainbowsAnd what's on the other side?Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,And rainbows have nothing to hide.So we've been told and some choose to believe itI know they're wrong, wait and see.Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,The lovers, the dreamers and me. Who said that every wish would be heard and answeredwhen wished on the morning star?Somebody thought of thatand someone believed it,and look what it's done so far.What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?And what do we think we might see?Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,the lovers, the dreamers and me. All of us under its spell,we know that it's probably magic....
Have you been half asleepand have you heard voices?I've heard them calling my name.Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?The voice might be one and the same.I've heard it too many times to ignore it.It's something that I'm supposed to be.Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,the lovers, the dreamers and me.La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa Written by Paul Williams and used by Kermit the Frog, of The Muppets
If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you,If you can trust yourself when all men doubtyouBut make allowance for their doubting too,If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,Or being hated, don't give way to hating,And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:If you can dream--and not make dreams yourmaster,If you can think--and not make thoughts youraim;If you can meet with Triumph and DisasterAnd treat those two impostors just the same;If you can bear to hear the truth you'vespokenTwisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,Or watch the things you gave your life to,broken,And stoop and build 'em up with worn-outtools:
If you can make one heap of all your winningsAnd risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,And lose, and start again at your beginningsAnd never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinewTo serve your turn long after they are gone,And so hold on when there is nothing in youExcept the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;If all men count with you, but none too much,If you can fill the unforgiving minuteWith sixty seconds' worth of distance run,Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son! --Rudyard Kipling
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.” ~William Blake
The Desire of Words
words are not born in chainsthey run along the beach and kissand form clouds against the skyunreachable patterns of happiness occasionally you stub your toesagainst one which is hard like stoneand you feel like a clodyour face distorted in pain they do what they likethey follow you aroundthey sing their desirethey lose you and find you they move so softlythat no-one can hear them approachuntil they have entered your ear;then there is no way of getting rid of them words explode in your brainshattering other wordsdislodging your conscienceand building nests for their offspring Peter Horn
Liver and Cheese
Three handsome male dogs are walking down the street when they see a beautiful, enticing, femalePoodle. The three male dogs fall all over themselves in an effort to be the one to reach her first, but endup arriving in front of her at the same time. The males are speechless before her beauty, slobbering onthemselves and hoping for just a glance from her in return. Aware of her charms and her obvious effecton the three suitors, she decides to be kind and tells them, "The first one who can use the words liverand cheese together in an imaginative, intelligent sentence can go out with me." The sturdy, muscular Black Lab speaks up quickly and says, "I love liver and cheese." "That shows no imagination or intelligence whatsoever," said the Poodle. She turned to the tall, shiny Golden Retriever and said, "How well can you do?""Um......I HATE liver and cheese," blurts the Golden Retriever. "My, my," said the Poodle. "I guess it's hopeless. That's as uninspired as the Lab's sentence." She then turns to the last of the three dogs and says, "How about you, little guy?"The last of the three, tiny in stature but big in fame and finesse, is a chihuahua. He gives her a smile, a sly wink, turns to the Golden Retriever and the Lab and says...... "Liver alone. Cheese mine.”
Personal Note: This is my favorite joke of ALL time!
I'm not old enough to pay baseball orfootball. I'm not yet eight yet. My momtold me when you start baseball, youaren't going to be able to run that fastbecause you had an operation. I told Mom I wouldn't need to run that fast. When I play baseball, I'll just hit themout of the park. Then I'll be able towalk." ~Edward J. McGrath, Jr.
"An Exceptional View of Life"
I Am A TeacherI am a Teacher.I was born the first moment that a question leaped from the mouth of a child.I have been many people in many places.I am Socrates exciting the youth of Athens to discover new ideas through the use of
questions.I am Anne Sullivan tapping out the secrets of the universe into the outstretched hand of
Helen Keller.I am Aesop and Hans Christian Andersen revealing truth through countless stories.I am Marva Collins fighting for every child's right to an education.I am Mary McCleod Bethune building a great college for my people, using orange crates for
desks.And I am Bel Kaufman struggling to go Up The Down Staircase.The names of those who have practiced my profession ring like a hall of fame for
humanity. . . Booker T. Washington, Buddha, Confucius, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leo Buscaglia, Moses and Jesus.
I am also those whose names and faces have long been forgotten but whose lessons and character will always be remembered in the accomplishments of their students.
I have wept for joy at the weddings of former students, laughed with glee at the birth of their children and stood with head bowed in grief and confusion by graves dug too soon for bodies far too young.
Throughout the course of a day I have been called upon to be an actor, friend, nurse and doctor, coach, finder of lost articles, money lender, taxi driver, psychologist, substitute parent, salesman, politician and a keeper of the faith.
Despite the maps, charts, formulas, verbs, stories and books, I have really had nothing to teach, for my students really have only themselves to learn, and I know it takes the whole world to tell you who you are.
I am a paradox. I speak loudest when I listen the most. My greatest gifts are in what I am willing to appreciatively receive from my students.
Material wealth is not one of my goals, but I am a full-time treasure seeker in my quest for new opportunities for my students to use their talents and in my constant search for those talents that sometimes lie buried in self-defeat.
I am the most fortunate of all who labor.A doctor is allowed to usher life into the world in one magic moment. I am
allowed to see that life is reborn each day with new questions, ideas and friendships.
An architect knows that if he builds with care, his structure may stand for centuries. A teacher knows that if he builds with love and truth, what he builds will last forever.
I am a warrior, daily doing battle against peer pressure, negativity, fear, conformity, prejudice, ignorance and apathy. But I have great allies: Intelligence, Curiosity, Parental Support, Individuality, Creativity, Faith, Love and Laughter all rush to my domitable support.
And who do I have to thank for this wonderful life I am so fortunate to experience, but the parents. For you have done me the great honor to entrust to me your greatest contribution to eternity, your children.
And so I have a past that is rich in memories. I have a present that is challenging, adventurous and fun because I am allowed to spend my days with the future.
I am a teacher...and I thank God.~John W. Schlatter
There are two ways of spreading light --to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. -Edith Wharton
from Desiderataby Max Erhmann
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with
others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity
and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with
imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here. And
whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive God to be; and whatever your labors and
aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be
To dream the impossible dreamTo fight the unbeatable foeTo bear with unbearable sorrowTo run where the brave dare not go To right the unrightable wrongTo love pure and chaste from afarTo try when your arms are too wearyTo reach the unreachable star This is my questTo follow that starNo matter how hopelessNo matter how far To fight for the rightWithout question or pauseTo be willing to march into HellFor a heavenly cause And I know if I'll only be trueTo this glorious questThat my heart will lie peaceful and calmWhen I'm laid to my rest And the world will be better for thisThat one man, scorned and covered with scarsStill strove with his last ounce of courageTo reach the unreachable star
The Impossible Dream
Henry David Thoreau
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn
what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the
music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter." ~Martin Luther King Jr.
(1929 - 1968)
"Everything should be as simple as possible -- but not simpler."
- Albert Einstein
"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
The hardest part about this “spiritual quest for my personal truth” was realizing that when you let all the “other crap” you’ve believed in for so long fall away…you find you really have very little left.
Take Care, My Friends