Friday, April 4, 2014


My theme for A to Z this year is a wildly different, but very exciting, HERE'S TO YOU all month long. 26 posts to be precise. The most difficult part was narrowing down the 26. All of you deserve your own post. What you will find here is a post by the featured blogger, with traveling music chosen by me that complements said post, and two links. One will link back to the original post and the other to the main page. This year's A to Z is all about making new friends! 

I discovered Dragon On A Mission, written by Al Diaz, during last year's A to Z Challenge. Al has slowly, but surely, worked his way into my heart and is one of my favorite bloggers and blogs. His blog tackles the tough subjects (failure, success, the difference between the two, and more) as well as fun stuff. For instance, who doesn't want to have dwarves that wreak havoc in your dragon cave?  Al also dabbles in the magical and mysterious. For instance, here is a close-up photo that I believe tells the tale:

Play that traveling music:

The Never Ending Battle For Greatness by Al Diaz
"...But somewhere along the line you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're not good. And when things got hard, you started to look for something to blame..." - Rocky Balboa
The more I meditate about life, the more I realize there is a permanent battle between my brain and my spirit. My spirit speaks of greatness and miracles and endless possibilities. My brain speaks of past wounds, fears, flaws and limitations. My spirit compels me to aim for the sky, my brain plots to chain me to the ground.  They fight over the control of my actions and I pay close attention to this war. Today, I share my findings with you.

My brain empowers people to decide not just my worth, but also my capacities and mood. "You make me angry." "They drive me crazy." "This disheartens me." Any of this sound familiar? It does to me.

One of my life teachers (who is a professional clown) once told me, "No one can make you angry. You allow them to make you angry."

Upset, I replied "It's the same shit."

"No, it is not. The first statement gives you an excuse and someone to blame. The second one makes you 100%  responsible."

I look upon myself and then I look around me. It's amazing how we've abandoned the responsibility of ourselves, our dreams, our emotions and hope to other people, to circumstances and to chance. Most of us do not take action. We react to what comes our way. We set our limits according to others' opinions and we do have many places to point fingers at when the going gets tough.

My grandfather, Father Dragon "The Great", used to say: "Just remember every time you point one finger, three fingers are pointing back at you."

"...You, me, nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain't matter of how hard you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"- Rocky Balboa.
Did you know that in life-threatening situations, those who panic and lose hope are more likely to die? Did you know that the attitude is a critical factor for any disease to heal or get worse? But keeping a positive attitude when it seems the world is collapsing on your head is little less than impossible. On those times, I have needed every ounce of will just to achieve the next breath, let alone not getting mad or crying. It was just cover my head and hope the next blow would not knock me out cold.

"It's all over. We're so very screwed. Just drop and die!" My brain would scream.
My spirit, however, says different. "There is a reason for this and it is NOT for you to dig your own grave. Don't hide. Face it! Fight it! Win!"

In times when even thinking requires energy one doesn't have, I found useful to focus on a single thought. Just one. "I'm gonna make it." How? Don't know. When? Doesn't matter. I just KNOW I'm gonna make it through. Why? Because I'm that stubborn and determined. No night, no storm, no disaster, no winter lasts forever.

Determination alone won't give you all answers or make the pain go away or make things easier. But it is the critical factor between those who cross the ocean and those who die trying.

"Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not point fingers and say you weren't what you wanted to be because of him, or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!" - Rocky Balboa.
You wouldn't believe how many times I've repeated these words to myself  in the last three months. I'm sure those who have multiple voices in their heads will understand perfectly. That would be all the writers. I have artistic, life and spiritual goals. I work on daily tasks leading to those goals. At the end of the day, I meditate on how many tasks I did and how many I missed or failed. One voice in my head immediately comes up with a long list of reasons excuses why I didn't do what I was supposed to. Another voice shuts the first one up with those words above. Cowards do that and that ain't you... Then, there is only silence as awareness is pretty much a confession and I am not shameless enough to insist. Dragon has always had a strong tendency to point, talons.

Grandmother dragon loved to say "My darling, to the bad musician even the fingernails are a problem." It's an old Mexican saying and it means when you're not willing to do something right, you will always have an excuse ready.

I've seriously wondered lately if I might be becoming too stern for my own good. I've meditated deeply about it, as I search for inner peace. There is a voice in my heart. A wise, peaceful, kind voice answering... "No. You are just becoming responsible for your actions. You're re-educating your brain and starting to believe in yourself." I really hope so.

Do you feel inspired? Good. Me too. I hope that you add Al Diaz to your regular reading. You won't regret it!


  1. Al always inspires me!
    Excellent choice. The dragon worked his way into a lot of people's hearts. He's definitely one of my best friends.
    I just don't let his dwarves near the clone machine anymore.

  2. Well, isn't this a cool surprise to have first thing in the morning? Thank you, Robin. Sometimes one forgets his own words. I really needed to re-read this post and remember. I am honored to have you as friend. So many times you have inspired me too and opened my eyes. I can't thank you enough. :) dragon hugs!

  3. Great words of wisdom here. We are responsible for our own actions and the path we take. Nobody else.

  4. I think it's nice that you've put this feature up. I'm guessing everyone can relate to the words you've showcased too.

  5. Alex ~ No kidding. Dwarves and cloning machines spell disaster.

    Al ~ Who says it isn't possible to become motivated all over again by one's own words??? I am so glad that you got a shot of inspiration this morning.

    Sherry ~ Nobody else. Yep.

    rosey ~ I think so. I believe we all go through times of hardship when just carrying on is difficult. But we can and will do it!

  6. Al is truly amazing. I always love to read his thoughts. Plus what a song, if you hear that song and don't feel inspired something is wrong.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

  7. cool! Thanks for the reading/blog tip!

  8. FD is truly a welcomed presence in the blogosphere (and the first dragon to be knighted, I might add). Excellent tribute to a great blogger! :)

  9. I'm headed over to check out Al right now. And, Father Dragon's favorite sayings is also one of mine. Those pesky fingers!!

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  10. Another excellent tribute to a fine blogger. I don't get by Al's blogs as much as I'd like to, but that's the case with many blogs. Someday I'll have a speedy computer where I can whiz to many sites instead of losing time waiting for sites to download.

    I'm always either inspired, contemplative, or entertained when visiting Al's site.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  11. FD is ALL HEART! He's one of my favorites.... You couldn't chose a better D...

  12. What a great post! And reminder to me that I think I am in a habit to point the finger too much and too easily! Great inspiration and will definitely check out Al's blog.

  13. Great post. I used to do an entire class period in my health classes trying to get my students to understand no one can 'make' you angry. You 'decide' to be angry. It's all about taking responsibility for your own emotional state. Al is great.

  14. That image of the men on the raft is the 'Raft of the Medusa', and those men are trying to signal a ship in the distance. For a moment, hope arises. . .(by Théodore Gericault) Saw that up close and personal. A powerful painting. Almost as powerful as a dragon. I've see Father Dragon about, and know of his uplifting qualities. Thanks for the extra info!

  15. That was inspiring. I have always (well for a long time, anyway) told myself that same thing that I allow someone to make me angry. That goes for any of the emotions that we should have under our own control.
    That Rocky song always makes one sit up and take notice. huh?

  16. So true. You allow them to make you happy. I need to remind myself of this fact even after 43 years.

  17. "It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." Oh Rocky! So astute. So true. Wonderful words to resurrect, Al. Thanks Robin. On my way to Dragon on a Mission.

  18. That's an excellent quote and an excellent segment of Father Dragon's writing. I am feeling inspired. Thanks, Robin.

    Have a good weekend.

  19. Took a turn and found the Dragon on a mission. Thanks for pointing the way. Lovely post!

  20. Wow! This is a cool idea for a theme, and quite and undertaking!

  21. Brandon ~ I hear that song and I want to run up some steps. Just kidding. You will only find me running if someone is chasing me!

    Kathy & David ~ :)

    Elsie ~ Yeah, we all need to keep that "finger pointing business" in mind.

    Arlee ~ I agree. I adore his inspirational posts, but they are all good.

    Michael ~ Yes.

    GG ~ Yay! Al is a great guy.

    Susan ~ I bet that was quite the class period.

    D.G. ~ What are we without hope?

    Manzi ~ Maybe the healthiest people are the ones with control over their emotions. Something to think about....

    Blue ~ Good thing we live forever so we can sort all of this stuff out!

    Liza ~ Kind of surprised you haven't discovered Al already. Well, good! So fun to make new friends")

    Robyn ~ And that is why I am here...:D

    Siv ~ You are so welcome.

    Andrea ~ This was actually a lot of FUN.

  22. I love the dragon!

    When I was working in social work, I worked with delinquent teens and that was always my biggest lecture...when you allow someone to make you angry, you hand them control. They are now pulling your strings like a puppet. It started as a ploy to make kids stop punching people, but there is so much truth in that!

  23. You know, the clown hit my nail today on the head. I allow stuff to make me upset. I told myself that today. And one of these days, I'm going to listen. And then I'm really gonna bust myself right in the nose.

  24. I know Al Diaz is thought of very highly in blogland. Some profound stuff in that post.

  25. Al's words ring true for me. I often let things and people make me angry-constantly working on that. Great post.

  26. Elizabeth ~ That was a great tool. I imagine delinquent teens tend to be very angry people. Once you gain control over those emotions you can start working on them and what role you will allow them to play in your life.

    CW ~ Well, a hit to the nose seems extreme to me....

    J.L. ~ Yes.

    Tim ~ I think the reason that this is a great post is because it is something that challenges every single one of us... sometimes. The better we get at ruling our emotions (rather than vice a versa) well, I think that it gets easier and we feel happier.

  27. Father Dragon is an AMAZING individual! Full of wisdom... and inspiration... and oh, such a big heart!
    Robin, your theme ROCKS!!

  28. I agree that Father Dragon is very inspiring! He's also an excellent artist, and really knows how to make his readers feel special! Thanks for the reminder to visit his cave.


  29. Michelle ~ Yes, a very big heart and good friend. TY!

    Julie ~ Yes, he is one of those multi-talented folks. And he does go out of his way to make his readers know how special they are. I am so glad I could give back a little here today.


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