Written by Arleen M. Kaptur

Continued from page 1

This is quite a statement when you hear it. Its quite devastating when you say it. Let’s get back to that painting. Noticerepparttar different shades of color,repparttar 123881 subtle hues, andrepparttar 123882 muted brush strokes. You see,repparttar 123883 more effort we have to put into our choices, andrepparttar 123884 more innovative we have to become to make ends meet,repparttar 123885 more color and highlights our picture will have. The words in our book will be more endearing and heart-felt, and our tapestry will have features that will make it truly a one-of-a-kind treasure, a masterpiece of a life.

Obstacles are there so that we can learn to go around them, through them or eliminate them. We can ignore them as well, but then this creates a paint smudge, an incorrect sentence, or a slipped stitch.

The person who seems to have it all before we even get started may sit back and marvel at his creative endeavor, andrepparttar 123886 world may stand up and applaud. But upon further inspective,repparttar 123887 cheering crowds will see that it is only surface beauty, that it is faulty workmanship, and will not stand up torepparttar 123888 test of time.

Inrepparttar 123889 long run, when allrepparttar 123890 paintings, books, and pieces of art are collected,repparttar 123891 judging criteria will placerepparttar 123892 blue ribbon, orrepparttar 123893 gold medal onrepparttar 123894 one that has allrepparttar 123895 qualities that it takes to be labeled a true masterpiece. There will be no excuses for shoddy workmanship, or quick-fixes. There will berepparttar 123896 final results, and there will berepparttar 123897 final judging. The contest will be over andrepparttar 123898 best works of art will walk away withrepparttar 123899 cherished trophies.

So, do we sit back and feel sorry for ourselves, or do we pick up that brush, that pen and that thread and start on what will berepparttar 123900 story of our life. It will berepparttar 123901 gallery picture that everyone will want to take a closer look at and admire.

It will berepparttar 123902 book that others will take to heart and hold dear, and it will berepparttar 123903 fine embroidery of a life well spent, that will look just as good onrepparttar 123904 opposite side with allrepparttar 123905 threads in fine lines, as it does onrepparttar 123906 top.

What will your masterpiece be? Only you can make that choice, only you can choose repparttar 123907 colors,repparttar 123908 words, andrepparttar 123909 strokes. Only your name is on that bank account of time. What you do and how you do it, will be your choice. Will you be proud to sign your name to your work of art, or will you scribble something illegible because you really don’t want to own up to what you have created? The choice is yours.

©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 All Rights Reserved

Arleen Kaptur has written nmerous articles, cookbooks, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES. Websites:


Written by Stephanie West Allen

Continued from page 1

All of us can remember a few shining moments in our lives. Focus your full attention on those moments and your star will begin to vibrate and resonate with those memories. And then it will shine again, giving to you and those in your life many astronomical gifts.

Be kind-hearted and star-hearted with yourself.

And Today . . .

Buy a box of tiny stars. Remember those little stars? The kind that look like shiny foil and stick to things. They are very small, smaller than a coin. Perhaps your teachers used them back in school to reward accomplishments. Buy a box of gold stars. Or maybe a box of multi-colored stars. Armed with your stars?

Every hour today (yes, every sixty minutes), write down something you have done during that hour that sprang from your star-being or your star-doing. Next to what you have written, give yourself a star from your box of small stars -- symbolizing and honoring your big STAR. Byrepparttar close ofrepparttar 123880 day, your star will be shining brighter and more brilliantly.

Review your star log as you endrepparttar 123881 day. Wear a dazzling smile as you do so. Dis-aster is gone. A star is born.

Stephanie West Allen, JD, is the author of _24 7 This! The Merry Method To Accelerate Success_. Excerpts at She coaches people in using the two Merry Maxims, WYTUG (What You Think Upon Grows) and LULU (Loosen Up, Lighten Up), to achieve health, wealth, creativity, and harmonized relationships. Contact her at

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