Stick With the Facts

Made up stories that arise from one’s conditioning only take away from life, they don’t add to it. This makes the place where most live a world of make believe where there are no true facts to the stories that are made up.

One of the key things that is a must if one’s spiritual expansion is to be continuous, is for the stories in one’s head to remain at a minimum so one can stick with the facts, this will ensure that one’s life is based in truth. A story is very difficult to create if one uses only facts to live by. I have found factual living is second to none when it comes to the continuous process of understanding one’s own mind. Stories are noise in the head, they provide no benefit whatsoever to life. The stories I’m talking about are of the “he said, she said” variety, or the stories of the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve mind. These stories only take away from life, they don’t add to it, hence this makes one’s growth stagnant and not much good comes from anything that’s stagnant.

Without stories being created by sticking to the facts, life is seen as it is; nothing made up, just the facts. Being with what’s here, is being with the facts that life provides. When one is somewhere else it becomes the delusional story of the Conditioned Mind and it’s unfortunate because this is a fact that’s just not understood by many people. When one doesn’t live their life by what’s factual, one lives their life from their noisy delusional mind, this creates a world of make believe. Why this is unfortunate is because it means the place where you live is dictated by a made up story which doesn’t stick with the facts, thus one’s life is basically a delusion. Not because what happens isn’t real, but because there are just no facts to it.

Transforming Energy of Love

If one’s energy is established from a base of quietness, then love becomes the energy emitted to others. This energy emitted is what makes love the base for others and this is how the energy of love changes the world.

What is established as a base throughout the day determines the direction of one’s energy, and the direction of one’s energy determines their state of being. Except for the times when there’s something that keeps one based in the present moment, most of one’s energy will be spent chasing some past moment or hoping for some future one to bring the things they desire. If one is to be engulfed by love, a needed base of quietness has to be established so the noise in our head doesn’t block it out.

A base which produces quietness needs to be established if love is be our operating energy. There are many bases in the world, but there aren’t many that equate to love. Find one that does, and as quietness is cultivated one’s energy pattern will shift dramatically, but the shift will only occur if the mind is quiet. It’s when the mind is quiet that love arises and the noise stops. Without noise there is an opening to one’s heart of love. If love’s energy is established, this will be the energy emitted to others and love will very likely become their energy. This is just the way the transforming energy of love works.

How I found my voice as a poet (and five ways you can do it too)

I’ve been writing for almost a decade. Throughout my love affair with composition, there has been pain, fears, doubts, joy, and a sense of purpose. But here’s a few things that I picked up along the way that I think can help you become the best writer that you can be.

Learn from your inspirations, but don’t copy.

That’s plagiarism and just plain laziness.
Bluntness aside, there’s no point in copying your heroes. Their story is not your story. You can always take certain elements and tastefully incorporate them. The main reason artists create is to to inspire other creatives to create. The people that you’re reaching out to need to hear your voice, not your impression of someone else.
Developing your own voice is really a matter of time, patience, and willingness to go with the flow. It took me roughly 10 years to finally settle on a writing style that best suites me. It might be different for you. Truth is, your voice is your most valuable asset that will set you apart from the crowd and help plant your mark as an artist. Make sure that it’s heard.

Live life.

If you could read my poetry from when I first started to now, you would see the growth in quality. And it wasn’t that I just took a class or wrote more (although it helped). It was having more stories to tell. Emotions to express. And overall, just growing up and paying attention to how things work in the world.
Constant evolution is what inspires musicians to compose, writers to document, and artists to articulate visually. You’re not the same person you were yesterday, or even a few seconds ago. Yet as an introvert, I tend to spend most of my time focusing on the past and on what could have been. What if that relationship didn’t end? What if I had the courage to speak up in certain situations? What if some people stuck around and not abandon me? So on and so forth. While there’s nothing wrong with being reflective, there comes a point when you have to accept what happened, learn from it, and use it for a greater purpose.
I think the stereotype of the reclusive writer is counterproductive. You can’t talk about (or even influence) the world without participating in it. Social media has streamlined this process, receiving information through notification bars and email alerts. Life is always happening around you. Art is our response to it. Putting the human condition on display involves interacting with other humans. Learn their story. Share your story. Instead of always carrying a notepad, have an open heart and ears, willing to observe and absorb.

Know who you are.

Sort of similar to the first tip. Except this time, focus on your environment. What kind of person are you? How were your brought up?
Music is also a great place to draw inspiration from. Music and poetry have always been interconnected. So take some time and go through your playlist. See what you songs you tend to listen to and reflect on why you like to listen to them. There might be more connections than you’ll realize.
For example, I’m a shy, quiet kid that loves to listen to lyrical rap. As a result, it tends to blend into my poetry. The wordplay, wittiness, and attention to rhyming will show. I consider myself to be more of a lyricist than a songwriter. That’s mainly because I wear my musical inspirations on my sleeve, which then bleeds into my pen.
Believe it or not, I barely read poetry. Outside of classrooms and homework assignments, I normally don’t take the time to read poems from other writers. To be fair, I don’t like reading in general, even though it’s been said that more But I love to analyze song lyrics and watch reviews and discussions about some of my favorite artists.
Know what motivates you. Know how it motivates. And incorporate it into everything that you write. Let the reader know who you are.


Consistency and experimentation is the eternal struggle of every artist who ever existed. If you remain consistent, you’re boring. If you do something different, then people complain about change. It seems to be a lose-lose situation for the creatives, but there is a way to achieve the necessary balance that will appease the most fickle of people.
Be consistent in your strengths and experiment with your weaknesses. For example, one of my strengths as a writer is my ability to adapt. I’ve never tried to write the same poem twice and I always challenge myself in my compositions. Sometimes I’ll focus on rhyming as much as possible. Other times, I’ll rely less on metaphors and abstractions and just tell you a story in a straightforward manner. Whatever your strengths are, always play to them.
Dealing with your weaknesses, however, is another monster entirely. It’s hard to admit your weaknesses, and it’s worst when it becomes evident in your work. For me, it’s always been following a set of guidelines involving syllable counts, the amount of lines needed, rhyming schemes, etc. My least favorite form of poetry is sonnets. As a matter of fact, I just hate structured writing and formulas in general. But the few sonnets that I have written taught me to be really careful with the words I use. And if I find myself stuck, I always try to make as much wiggle room as possible. I take a break, take a walk, or take a nap. The point is, I experiment by giving myself space to write and not taking it too seriously. Realizing that it’s a struggle makes it less of a battle and more of a speed hump that I can smoothly glide over. No harm is done and I learn something new in the process.
So try out different forms of writing. See how you can adapt to the various structures and obey the different rules. When the time comes and you’re feeling rebellious, you can always make your own rules.

Publish and be proud of it.

I added this last because I imagine that’s where some of you are stuck it. Whether you’re posting on Instagram or getting ready to publish your first book, putting your work out there can bring out some inadequacies and doubts.
“I wrote this poem, but I don’t know how others will receive it.”
 “I just finished the final draft of this essay, but I’m not sure if it will be enough to raise my grade.”
And I know that anxiety all too well. I was 16 when I first started publishing poetry. My older brother introduced me to this website where he shared his works. I ended up doing the same, writing as much as possible and uploading as soon as I can. There was this excitement of sharing something I created.
At the same time, I felt this fear of critique. It’s this unspoken dichotomy of not wanting other people’s opinion, even though you’re writing for other people to see. I dreaded the idea of a poetic genius coming across a poem I spent days working on and writing a scathing review of it. My low self esteem would explode from the pressure and I would immediately start questioning my life’s worth. But over time, I realized the importance of critiques from those more experienced and understood that I’m not meant to be perfect at what I do. I just need to be confident in what I can deliver.

The critiques will come. The confusion will come. The praises will come. And even the obligatory vague comments will come. But as long as you are proud of what you created, the only opinion that ultimately matter is yours.

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Wisdom of Acceptance

When life is accepted as it is and you see the wisdom in this, you will react to the changes of life in alignment with Universal Love, not because you want to, but because it’s the only thing in place.

Wisdom isn’t something that’s just bestowed upon a person, it takes a quietness from within to become aware of what is the most beneficial way to react to life occurrences and then taking that knowledge and making it the way your life is lived. To me wisdom is knowledge being brought into alignment with Universal Love so love doesn’t become the way you want to live your life, it becomes the way you naturally live your life. This doesn’t mean everything becomes perfect, it just allows for a solid direction that puts one in harmony with whatever arises. When this occurs and life does its thing, which is constant change, one remains anchored and doesn’t get emotionally controlled by the changes that occur; this is because our wisdom base has been firmly established. Life may never be perfectly as it is wanted, but alas it always is as it is. How can it not be? Whatever it is that’s occurring is perfection because it what’s happening, you may not like it, but that is not life’s imperfection, it’s yours.

When you understand the wisdom of non attachment, you can naturally be with life and all its changes. If you let these changes control you, your reaction to them will not be conducive to your well-being and you will suffer. Acceptance of change is an acceptance of peace. Non acceptance of change is the cause of so many of our dysfunctional emotional reactions and it’s knowing the wisdom of these differences that allows harmony with oneself. When life as it arises is accepted as it is and you see the wisdom of this acceptance, you will react to the changes that occur in life aligned with Universal Love, this doesn’t happen because you want it to, it happens because it’s the only thing in place.

Most Thoughts Are Garbage

If you don’t see the thoughts that hold you in bondage, you won’t see them as garbage, and unfortunately because of the garbage being held onto and cultivated, it is the garbage that you will live by.

Most of, if not all your thoughts are garbage, what arises next should be used as a gauge to see if this is true or not. You may think this is insulting, but that’s only because you’ve probably never investigated if this is true. You may also say who do I think I am to say that, but that thought comes from you. If I said you were a cow, a second thought about being a cow wouldn’t arise, but that’s only because there isn’t attachment. If I said you were stupid and you took it personal, it would mean the association to “I” has kicked in and so will the triggered second thought. What happens with our thoughts that arise is we take ownership of them and we automatically take them to be true, but just because you think it that doesn’t make it true. I see this all the time within myself and with other people. Just because something has been done for fifty years doesn’t mean it’s the most beneficial thing to do. One look at the 12 Step recovery industry exposes this. It’s thought the 12 Step programs provide freedom, but if you just observe some of the thought processes in place, you will see how the thought of needing a program to live life is not freedom. Freedom can only be had without the thought of needing and attaching to something.

This is the reason the body is so important in establishing present moment awareness, it doesn’t take thought to be in this space. This is difficult because of the “I” association to our thoughts and how deeply engrained “I” is, but truly you are not your thoughts. When AA began if the person who started it simply asked the question, why did the thought arise to want to drink alcohol when all that happened was a business deal went sour, things would be much different in the recovery industry. Someone should expose this truth and start something to provide true freedom, oh ya I’m doing that. If you don’t see the thoughts that hold you in bondage, you won’t see they are garbage and unfortunately because of the garbage being held onto and cultivated, it is the garbage that you will live by.

A New World Order: Normalizing Hate

What do you do when you’re consumed with the knowledge that you’re right, that you know the right way, the right thing to do, but you need to convince other people to listen?

Most of us would come up with a plan, construct our arguments, anticipate and prepare against counter arguments, then plead our case.

But what if your passion causes you to lose perspective? What if the world around you, a world that increasingly makes ostracization and violence against others acceptable, inspires a different way?

Last year, staff at a hotel in Ohio heard an Emirati man speaking Arabic on his phone, and called 911 to falsely claim he was pledging allegiance to ISIS.

When a Texas deputy was shot and killed in April, several websites falsely reported that a trio of Muslim refugees were responsible, to stir up support for stronger deportation and immigration policies.

In May, authorities in Germany discovered that a soldier had registered as a Syrian seeking asylum, with the intent of planning an attack and blaming it on refugees.

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Playing the blame game is not new. In the U.S., white Americans have been pointing the finger at black Americans for hundreds of years. 

American minorities are now flipping the script and blaming Trump’s right-wing and supremacist supporters. 

Even Trump has weighed in, with conspiracy theories that accuse Jews of attacking their own synagogues and Muslims of attacking their own mosques.

The growing epidemic of paranoia and deceit is mind-boggling. Examples continue to sprout, ranging from the banal to outright murder. The scary thing is that most are not simple cases of ignorance. They are calculated efforts to use fear of a “faceless” enemy as a means to an end.

But what about the collateral damage? The reinforcement of misguided beliefs and prejudices through everyday terror, feeding an endless cycle of destruction and encouraging similar predatory acts of cowardice?

For a long time after the September 11 attacks, the meme in America was “if we do/don’t do XYZ, the terrorists will win.”

So, what do we do when the terrorists are the people next door? The people who won’t be found through profiling or names on lists? The people who feel a few sacrifices might need to be made for everyone to buy into their world view? How are they any different than the people they’re trying to combat?

We have historical examples of purges and a holocaust which many choose to ignore or deny. We have modern-day genocides to which we turn a blind eye. We continue down the same path with the justification that “this time it’s different.” The roles of persecutor and persecuted may shift, but the result is always the same.

When we sit in silence, shake our heads, or shrug in disbelieving defeat, we are giving tacit assent. These horrors then become our responsibility, because we are nurturing the belief that this vilification is justified.

Speaking up, speaking out, admitting our fear, and showing we’re willing to take a rational look at what seems different—that’s the only way to protect humanity from our latest threat: the menace within.

Lessons Learned

A couple of weeks ago, I was stopped at a red light. I was distracted because I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood a bit lost. I was checking the GPS on my car, and at the same time, I was using my visor’s mirror to apply lipstick. Needless to say, I was multitasking at an inopportune time. I heard a honk from the driver behind me, and wondered why he was honking, when I felt a bit of a nudge at the rear of my car. I became confused wondering how the car behind me could have rear-ended me. Suddenly, the fog lifted, and I realized that it was my car that rolled backwards and hit the Jeep behind me.
In hindsight, it was at this moment that my mind began to rationalize what I did. I began telling myself that I barely touched the Jeep, and therefore, there couldn’t be any damage. I waited for the other driver to get out of his car. We were still stopped at the red light, and it seemed that much time had passed, at least a full minute or more. He never got out, so I never got out of my car. The light finally turned green. It was my moment of decision. What should I do? There was no place to pull over, so I proceeded very slowly.
To be completely honest, by then, I had convinced myself that there was no damage. I confirmed my conclusion by telling myself that the other driver believed that there was no damage and that was why he did not get out of his car. I watched as he made a right turn at the next intersection. I proceeded forward feeling a little nudge on my conscience, but I reassured myself by reminding my mind that there was no damage. To appease my doubts, when I finally arrived at my destination, I check my car for any damage. I saw nothing, so I told my conscience that everything was fine. I was so good at convincing myself that I truly forgot about the incident for several days, until…
I received a letter that filled me with fear and regret! The sheriff wrote to tell me that the driver of the Jeep had made a report using my license plate. He reported a hit and run! I panicked! Hit and run! That is not me! I would never do such a thing, but when faced with the facts, I knew that is exactly what I did! I called the sheriff as soon as I could and explained what had happened. Strangely, I still believed that there couldn’t possibly be any damage to the other car. I barely touched it.
The sheriff asked to meet me the next day to take a look at my car. Before meeting him, I double-checked my car for damage. I found none, so I was still convinced that the other car couldn’t possibly have any damage from my car. When the sheriff examined my car, it only took him about 30 seconds to find the tiniest of dents, almost invisible, yet I could see it plainly as he pointed it out. According to the sheriff, the tiny dent lined up with location of the dent on the Jeep. My conscience flared up once again. I reassured the sheriff that I would take responsibility. He wrote down my information and would call the driver of the other car to let him know.      
    What did I learn from this experience? Lots! Of course, the obvious lesson is do not assume anything. Even with the slightest of collisions, stop, get out of the car and check for damage on both cars. Do not leave the scene of an accident, no matter how insignificant it may seem. However, this was something I already knew! The greater lesson I learned is how powerfully our minds can rationalize our sins. I had myself completely convinced that everything was fine because there was no damage. Now, I am usually not the kind of person that allows my mind to deceive me, but this time, it did. Rationalizations can be very powerful, when we want to believe them.
Of all the lessons I learned from this experience, the following Bible verse is the greatest lesson I absorbed: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). I was reminded that God will provide a way to soothe my conscience. I committed the sin, but now I would be able to take responsibility. I was actually thankful that the other driver reported the incident. I asked God for forgiveness and decided that I must also apologize to the driver. I would apologize and thank him for reporting it to the sheriff. I was extremely remorseful and ashamed of my poor decision and for allowing myself to be deceived.
         However, the story doesn’t end there. There was one more lesson that God had to teach me. Yesterday, when I had returned to my car, I discovered that someone had scraped and dented my entire right side of my rear bumper, while it was parked. Oh, well. I know God hates lies, especially if they are lies to ourselves!  

© 2017  Helen Kamenos  All rights reserved
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