I never said I was sane…

Welcome one and all!  I, Eva Harley, will be your flight attendant, pilot, and in-flight entertainment during this most interesting ride into the cosmos…or truly of the virtual reality world of Second Life and my inner mind.  Scary indeed.  Please fasten those seat belts for even I do not know where this adventure will take us!

Why a blog you ask?  Because the voices in my head demand a new medium.  Perhaps there are things to share, to inspire, but also because sometimes creativity is found when I just put finger to keyboard and type freely without thinking.  Sometimes thoughts just swirl in my head, unsatisfied until they are written.  I ramble, always have, make no apology for it any longer.  It is how I process things, how I share when something excites me.  I like to write, like to think, and create.  So many different things, always more to learn and explore.  I discover new things about the world and myself, every day.  This is a story of that journey… or pieces of it.

What will you find here?  I dance in SL, very passionately.  There is such creativity, potential for expression, diversity in it for me.  When it feels like work, I remind myself to step back and remember why I do what I do.  I believe in universal spirit, energy in all things, that when people cross our path it is for a reason.  In this life there are lessons to be learned, experiences to be had, some good, some not so good, but all have a reason.  I believe that everyone has something special to share, that I am no better than anyone else, and that we all see life through our own perception, our own thoughts, our own realities.  I read nearly anything I get my hands on, like to push experiences, to learn new ways to do things, and thrive on new ideas and creative thoughts…then bringing them to life.

What precipitated creating this blog?  First, a song shared by a good friend that resonates deeply with me.  It is so easy to stop seeing the magic, stop exploring all that is new and different, to fall into the same patterns, to forget.  Listening, it moves me.  I feel deeply, feel the flow of the universe when I stop and fall quiet.  I embark on new adventures in all worlds.  This is my canvas to paint.  Welcome to a piece of my world.

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I will never be that good…

I will never be that good….words I hear too often, and sometimes even think to myself as I watch other dances or amazing pictures on Facebook.

As I come off my 1 month (almost complete) break from dance, it gave me time to rest, to re-think, to jump off the deadline treadmill for a little while.  It was also an odd time, still feeling part of the dance world, but outside it too, disengaged just a little bit.

Truth is, there will always be someone who is better at something, who creates an amazing and creative dance that I’d never thought of…and you know what?  That’s ok.  Sometimes that small feeling of “I wish I did that…could do that” rolls through me and lingers for a moment, but then I whisk it away like a warm summer breeze.  I am me, I create good stuff too, stuff that makes me happy, stuff that some people enjoy.

I’ve seen dancers of all levels create great stuff – drooling over their set, a creative element they added, a brilliant animation hit, epic costumes, and amazing music and theme choice.  (I’m running out of adjectives here btw…but you get the drift.)  That’s YOU I’m talking about, yes YOU.

One of my newest favorite things is finding and appreciating art in SL, in a way that’s difficult in RL.  It’s like jetting to some of the most amazing, most obscure galleries all over the word with the simple click of the button.  I surround myself with these art works as I decorate my SL home.  They make me think, they make me feel, they inspire me in so many different ways and they’re all very different.  I swap it out depending on my mood.  Dance is like that to me…you the artist.

I needed this break, to rebalance and refocus, to be inspired.  Now I begin the slow process of re-engaging, while incorporating what I’ve learned of myself, and also remembered what had been forgotten for a while.

There is a place in this world for all of us, our own unique style.  There are people who will accept us as we are, and will appreciate us being part of their lives.  There will be people who enter our lives, and leave – after a short while or longer.   Some where the connection will change, others who will leave it before we expected.

I watched an amazing TED video yesterday, Know Your Worth then Ask For It.  While it was quite a bit about the work you do, to me it’s also about how we feel inside.  Celebrate your talents, what you CAN do, what you HAVE accomplished that made YOU happy.  Know your own self worth and don’t minimize it.  Don’t accept less than you deserve out of fear, don’t give up on trying something new because you’re afraid it will fail or won’t be “good enough”.  Strive to grow and expand in whatever way you want to – even if others don’t understand or don’t agree.  Try.  This is your SL – an open world where you can be anything, do almost anything, and where there are those who will support you.

One other thing I realized during this “sabbatical” – sometimes your biggest supporters are in the background, there to pick you up when you need it…who watch from afar, supporting you in their own quiet way as you submerse yourself in creation.  I also rekindled friendships, and met new friends in unexpected places.  I am so grateful, and I’m reminded that a little kindness and acceptance go such a long way.

It’s time to re-engage now, put the pieces back together but in a way that it forms a new picture of all my favorite things, and also the experiences I’m yet to have on this journey called life.  In a way, I can attribute “As above, so below” to SL and RL.  While I have a new appreciation for truly “being in this world” when I’m in SL, the lessons I learn, the experiences I have affect my RL also.  Only you can choose what those will be – and bring those lessons, that positivity out here into the “real world”.

Sometimes it’s not easy, I’m a passionate person and I feel deeply – to the core of my soul sometimes, so many feelings.  I will share what I try to remember when I slip into dark thoughts and feelings:

  • when I feel envy, I turn it into appreciation
  • when I feel lonely, sometimes I reach out to others to say I’m thinking about them or a simple hello (I do this sometimes “just because” too 🙂  )
  • when I feel alone, I visit a beautiful sim, meditate, and open to gratitude and being part of this amazing world
  • when i feel self-doubt, I open to imagination and creativity
  • when I feel jealousy, I turn it to unconditional love and wish happiness

Know your worth, embrace your uniqueness, stomp fear into the dirt.  This world is yours to make of it what you will, and when you feel alone – reach out a hand.

Breathing deeply, sunshine in my soul
~ Eva

https://my.secondlife.com/evaharley#about_tab

Confidence. Balance. Strength. Calm. Perseverance. Gratitude.

 

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Morning Miracle – Chapter 2

Morning Miracle, Chapter 2
Comments, highlights, & quotes from the book

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

I love having an insane imagination and dreams, but doing the same thing over and over expecting change…not so much.  I spend quite a bit of time sometimes, wondering what makes me happy.  Other times it’s all by feel, and mood…which changes A LOT being a Scorpio.  Change isn’t easy, especially when it’s not my own “inspired idea” like writing a script, creating a dance, or taking up a new hobby.

I believe we have innate talents that we sometimes hide behind the mundane.  Promising new experiences we may not have because we hide behind what’s comfortable and “safe”.  I believe we can and should always keep growing and evolving, and that who we are and what we do touches not only our lives but that of others.  I realize that certain parts of me and my life keep growing, while other’s don’t –  because it’s easier to stay the same.  Life unfolds in mysterious ways, but being open to it..listening to the messages is just as important too.

I have a quote on my profile, which I re-read often for myself.

“Embrace everything. Regret nothing. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

Quotes from Chapter 2:


feeling stressed or overwhelmed, going for a run enabled him to think more clearly, lifted his spirits, and helped him come up with solutions to his problems.

You know how sometimes you hear something over and over again without actually implementing it, but then one day it finally clicks for you?

“Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become,”

developing myself into the person I needed to be to attract, create, and sustain the level of success that I wanted.

We all want Level 10 success, in every area of our lives—health, happiness, finances, relationships, career, spirituality, you name it—but if our levels of personal development (knowledge, experience, mindset, beliefs, etc.) in any given area are not at a Level 10, then life is always going to be a struggle.

Our outer world will always be a reflection of our inner world. Our level of success is always going to parallel our level of personal development. Until we dedicate time each day to developing ourselves into the person we need to be to create the life we want, success is always going to be a struggle to attain.

commit to making personal development a priority in my daily life.

bestselling author, Matthew Kelly says:  “On the one hand, we all want to be happy. On the other hand, we all know the things that make us happy. But we don’t do those things. Why? Simple. We are too busy. Too busy doing what? Too busy trying to be happy.”

committing to my personal development in the morning, it would give me a positive motivational kick-start to my day.

more energized, more focused, and more motivated for the rest of my day.

“It’s been said that the first hour is the rudder of the day. If I’m lazy or haphazard in my actions during the first hour after I wake up, I tend to have a fairly lazy and unfocused day. But if I strive to make that first hour optimally productive, the rest of the day tends to follow suit.”

“Hal, if you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first!”

personal development practices that I had learned over the years, but never implemented—at least never consistently. Activities like meditation, affirmations, journaling, visualization, as well as reading and exercise.

Silence Sitting in silence, praying, meditating, and focusing on my breath, for 10 minutes. I felt my stress melt away, felt  a sense of calm come over my body and ease my mind.

Reading I was reminded that it only takes one idea to change your life, and I felt motivated.

The affirmation was a powerful reminder of the unlimited potential that was within me—and within each of us. I decided to write my own affirmation. I jotted down what I wanted, who I was committed to being, and what I was committed to doing to change my life. I felt empowered.

Visualization what it would be like to manifest each into my life. I felt inspired.

Journaling On this day, I wrote what I was grateful for in my life. Almost immediately, I felt my depression lifting, like a heavy fog which had been weighing me down. It wasn’t gone, but it felt lighter. The simple act of writing down the things I was grateful for lifted my spirits. I felt grateful.

Exercise motion creates emotion. I felt energized.

stress levels dropped dramatically. I had more energy, clarity, and focus. I felt genuinely happy, motivated, and inspired. Thoughts of depression were a distant memory.

newfound levels of energy, motivation, clarity, and focus I was able to easily set goals, create strategies

enabling each of us become who we need to be to create the lives that we want; to positively influence the lives of others, and change the world around us.

making consistent, daily progress towards the life you truly want and deserve, your success—and the life of your dreams—is inevitable.

 

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Finding the Right Tool for the Job – Let’s Play with Audacity

Would you use a hammer to tighten a leaking pipe?  No… it’s all about using the right tool for the job.  The hard part is – there are so many tools out there!  When it comes to music, you have Windows Media Player [insert loud, painful groans here] or you have YouTube [insert squinting shrug here] and you have two tools that might be great but totally fail for choreography.

When you choreograph a dance, it’s immensely helpful to be able to move to an exact time in the music, to be able to isolate a certain section so that you can find animations that fit.  When I practice before I record, I go over sections again and again and again until I have them smooth.

When you were in kindergarten, did they teach the the ABC’s all at the same time?  Start to finish?  No!  You had “S” day…where you could bring in things that started with S – like snakes, and silly puddy, and socks, and Sphinx your cat.

For me, it’s the same with music and choreography.  I need to work through it a piece at a time so I can hear the music transitions, really work with my animations, and practice until I can perform a dance start to finish smoothly – THEN I record.  But what, oh what, can we use to perform such magical feats????

Ta da da da!!  <– insert Superman music.  I LOVE…love love love…the free program Audacity.  It was a requirement for all dancers in the first dance company I belonged to, it’s amazing for choreography, and I even use it to edit music files.  Did I mention it was free?

You will need two files to install, both from this website:
http://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows/

Audacity 2.1.3 installer – the main program file  (install this first)
LAME MP3 encoder – allows you to export MP3 files

It looks pretty complex, but it’s not if you focus on the basic features.  It is very flexible if you want to get into music editing and whatnot.

Key features you’ll use.

  • see the “I” bar that’s highlighted under Analyze?  That means when you click your mouse over the music (the dark blue area), it will jump to that area.
  • you can also click and hold your mouse to select a certain selection of music
  • see Selection Start, end, audio position?  This tells you at what time in the music you are, and if you highlighted and area, the length of time for what you selected
  • Press space bar to start playing the music, press again to stop play the music
  • Want to repeat a certain section over and over while you find animations for that part of the music?  Click and hold your mouse button to highlight and area.  Select Effect from the menu, then select Repeat.  Type in how many times you want it to repeat – I usually do 20.   Use the space bar and now you can just focus on a certain section.  When you’re done with your repeat, just select Edit and Undo to put the song back to normal.

It’s truly an amazing program.  I have taught classes on it before, and may again, but for now I will share a supplemental video I had recorded for one of my classes.

Enjoy!

 

 

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New Dance Workshop Opportunity!

New Dance Workshop Opportunity!
“The Secret Scrolls of Great Choreography”

Tools are only part of the educational journey in Second Life Dance performance.  It is the choreography that truly brings the art and emotion to dance.  Klark Harvy, a very talented performer, creator, director, and artist will be offering additional opportunities for learning and growth!

Klark Harvy will be presenting a hands-on workshop focused on building and enhancing choreography skills.  This is an amazing opportunity as he demonstrates what to look for in animations, linking animations for smooth transitions, and making your dance memorable!  Not only will he be providing instruction, you will also be participating during this workshop!

Two workshops are being offered, class space is limited.  Please contact Eva Harley (evaharley) in world to register.

Session 1:   Sunday, August 20th, 12 – 2 PM SLT

Session 2:   Sunday, August 27th,  12 – 2 PM SLT

SECRET SCROLLS OF CHOREOGRAPHY - Klark Harvy

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Random Places to Visit

Willy Wonka: A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

Have not been, vouch for none, a list when exploring strikes my fancy…


The Tower – MadPea
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/MadPea/224/30/2472

Chess Wonderland
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Egypt/41/18/23

Art Box
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Missing%20Beckett/16/224/43

Light Thoughts 3
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA20/145/250/23

Through the Rabbit Hole
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Leodegrance/59/72/70

Lichtbringer
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA2/94/170/24

Neverland
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shadewyck/195/133/31

Dysphoria
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Oxygen%20Island/146/129/857

The Jewell Theatre
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Samandiriel/206/128/29

The Lost Unicorn Gallery
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Faerie%20Tale/204/75/125

Art Ark
Art Ark is an interactive experience that takes participants through a series of art quests designed by Dr. Mary Stokrocki, a professor of Art Education at Arizona State. See http://pdx.be/21de for more information.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Teaching%2010/60/210/30

Shakespeare’s Macbeth
At Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters, explore this immersive project that involved a creative team of more than 40 artists, actors, sound engineers, designers, and literature experts. This themed island features gaming-style interactivity for individual users to experience in a media-rich environment employing sound, text and animation.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Macbeth/47/50/55

The Reading Cafe
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Las%20Baulas/59/59/32

Worlds’ End Tavern
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jeulmun/72/80/600

HHVET Victoriana
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/HHVET%20Victoriana/139/119/22

The Notebook Society
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sargas/189/84/21

Bookstacks Isle
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Awen/111/154/22

Haunted Silent Peacock Hotel
http://secondlife.com/destination/haunted-silent-peacock-hotel

Corpsewood Haunted House
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Miasma/116/132/25

Post Mortum Designs
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ibranic/63/62/3002

Aubrey’s Coffee House
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Madeley/15/98/21

Shoot The Rapids – Whispering Windz’s Log Flume Adventure
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Whispering%20Windz/126/96/21

Club Zydeco
As close to a real Louisiana swamp as you can get, with a cajun village. Club Zydeco offers a full schedule of live performers and many things to do for fun including 450m water slide! live performers live music zydeco music motorcycle tracks water s
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Pengo%20Ceres/160/61/24/

 

Live Music Search:
http://search.secondlife.com/?query_term=live+music&collection_chosen=places&isLeftColOpen=true&sort=popularity_desc&category=

Camping:
http://search.secondlife.com/?query_term=camping&collection_chosen=places&isLeftColOpen=true&sort=&category=

7Seas:
http://search.secondlife.com/?query_term=7seas&collection_chosen=places&isLeftColOpen=true&sort=&category=

Horse Trails:
http://search.secondlife.com/?query_term=horse+trails&collection_chosen=places&isLeftColOpen=true&sort=popularity_desc&category=

Tai Chi:
http://search.secondlife.com/?query_term=tai+chi&collection_chosen=places&isLeftColOpen=true&sort=&category=

Theatre:
http://search.secondlife.com/?query_term=theatre&collection_chosen=places&isLeftColOpen=true&sort=&category=

Meditation:
http://search.secondlife.com/?query_term=meditation&collection_chosen=places&isLeftColOpen=true&sort=&category=

 

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Morning Miracle – Chapter 1

Morning Miracle, Chapter 1
Comments, highlights, & quotes from the book

I’ve debated about this, and the last thing I want to do is sound like a preacher, but writing helps me process things, and I do like the thought that maybe someone will read my words and be inspired, or understand me a bit more, or even read it and totally disagree – positive debate is great thing.  Personally, I think not enough people in society think for themselves any more.  We’ve all been conditioned to some extent or another in how to live, how to be, what to think.  I like to explore everything, to consider, be open to other viewpoints, and decide what is best to me, to feel it.  So here it is…my own personal sharing as I work through this book, slowing down and taking time to highlight and share.

The basic premise of this book is waking up to your full potential.  I hate to call them habits, but perhaps a lifestyle and way of being, positive things to incorporate.  This first chapter felt more like a build up but there were amazing quotes.  I recently learned you can access these from the web, which makes it easy to share my highlights.


Highlights:

You’ve got to wake up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction. —GEORGE LORIMER   ~ I currently wake up craving a fresh cup of coffee and taking my dogs out for their morning romp.  Does determination for coffee count?  (kidding!)

What about you? Are you maximizing your potential and creating the levels of success that you truly want—in every area of your life? Or are there areas of your life where you’re settling for less than you really want?  Are you settling for less than you’re capable of, and then justifying that it’s okay?  Or are you ready to stop settling, so you can start living your best life—you know, the life of your dreams?  ~ Yep, change is very hard for me unless it’s my idea.  With each unexpected and often less valuable change I adapt…like the frog in a pot of water.  You heat it slowly and the frog boils to death…

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

Most people resign themselves to a life of mediocrity, passively accepting whatever life gives them.

You are just as worthy, deserving, and capable of creating and sustaining extraordinary health, wealth, happiness, love, and success in your life, as any other person on earth.

In order for you to stop settling for less than you deserve—in any area of your life—and to create the levels of personal, professional, and financial success you desire, you must first dedicate time each day to becoming the person you need to be, one who is qualified and capable of consistently attracting, creating, and sustaining the levels of success you want.   ~ I think this resonates with me most.  It’s easy and comfortable to do things as we’ve always done them

How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably create a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.

Life S.A.V.E.R.S.—six powerful practices which combine to make up The Miracle Morning and are guaranteed to save you from missing out on the extraordinary life you deserve to live—

Never forget that who you are becoming is the single most important determining factor in your quality of life, now and for your future.    ~ Awesome reminder and a great way to start out the day.

 

 

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Book – Becoming Awareness – An Introduction

I find it important to mix up my reading, to continue to be open to new thoughts and new ideas, questioning, reflecting, and incorporating what clicks with me, or being more aware.  This almost always includes a spiritually inspiring book for the soul.

I recognize and appreciate that this may not interest those that do visit my blog, and that’s completely ok.  Perhaps you prefer the dancer resources, or the musings.  This is yet another piece of me shared, an outlet for me.  Perhaps it will touch someone, and if so, I am grateful and honored.

My Current Spiritually Inspired Reading:

Becoming Awareness

If you are inspired, read it with me.  Debate it, discuss it, read it on your own privately.

from Amazon:
Who were you before the world told you who you should be?

Lorraine Voss takes us on a powerful journey of awareness and perception that awakens us to natural beauty and the realization of authentic being.

In Becoming Awareness, Lorraine explores how our connection with the Earth facilitates the awakening of our vibrational frequencies, bringing us to states of higher consciousness and into realms of deeper awareness. Her insights motivate us to recognize ourselves as beings who are free to choose and create from the infinite possibilities that are available to us. She illuminates the patterns that prevent humanity from evolving and inspires us to feel, see, hear, and know our world from a place of stillness, a place of Spirit, a place of pure perception.

Through stimulating conversations with seers, Nayeli and Alejandro, Lorraine identifies the following:

  • Energy practices – why they are important and why they work.
  • How to deepen our connection with the Earth in order to raise our vibrational frequency.
  • Why integration is an essential component to a holistic level of being.
  • Living in balance and freedom through our surrender to Universal Life-Force energy.
  • The importance of sustainable evolution that ensures preservation and freedom.

The journey is exhilarating and Lorraine’s insights motivate us to recognize ourselves as beings who are free to connect with our true lineage, the genuine essence of our being.

 

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