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Tsk, Tsk. Symbolism of Copycats

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Copycatting

Copycatting.  Plagiarism.  Claiming material as one’s own, when it’s not.  It happens all the time.  The act is especially rampant in this Internet age when the copy-paste function is just a few clicks away.

I don’t have kids.  Well, I take that back.  I DO have children.  They’re names are:  “My Work” and “My Websites.”  Yeah, it’s THAT big of a deal.

So, when I see blatant copying of my hard work without a hint attribution – it feels like someone is stealing my kids.

Over the years, I’ve coaxed myself into (mostly) ignoring the copycat syndrome.  I reason that information is meant to be shared.  I even reason that my stuff must be pretty good if folks want to use it as their own.  I also tell myself it could be an honest mistake…an oversight of etiquette, or simply forgetting to give credit to the source of whatever material being used.

It’s a good thing I calm myself into these rationalizations.  Why?  Because there’s very little I can do about plagiarism.  Sure…I copyright my material.  I’ve even trademarked my brand.  I also clearly state proper use of my material on my policy page. But folks are still going to do whatever they do.  It’s all just another lesson about control…specifically, the only control I have is the control of myself and my actions.

So what’s the symbolism of a copycat?  Sadly, I wish the use of ‘cat’ hadn’t been adopted in this 19th century American term.  Cats are astoundingly original.  They have no use for copying.

In truth, the symbolic meaning behind a copycat deals with an underlying insecurity.  It has nothing to do with having lack of originality.  Why?  Because everybody is original.  Everybody is unique.  Everybody is capable of spectacular brilliance in expression.  It’s how humans are built – we’re designed to create remarkable stuff.

Copycatting2

Nope – the symbolic root of the act of plagiarism is insecurity – specifically a fear of taking responsibility.  I get it.  It’s tough to step out.  Tough to expose oneself.  It’s not easy to break out of the drone mentality and create something wildly original.  Much easier to copy.  That way, the fault lies elsewhere.  Or…there is no consequence (good or bad) to being bold, breaking the mold, and being different than everybody else.  That’s a sad mental prison to be in, and I truly feel bad for copycats.

Thankfully, there’s good stuff that comes from replication.  Really good stuff.  Tons of folks use my material all over the world – and they do so by giving credit to my work.  I LOVE THAT!  I’m all about sharing the joy of symbolism.  The more sharing and spreading the word – the more people are reached – the more our world is exposed to a fascinating, healing way of living…symbolic living.  Rock on!

Am I vain to want credit for my work?  Maybe.  Perhaps one day I’ll coax myself to a place of complete neutrality about copycatting….not caring one whit about it.  I’ve done a good job at letting it go so far.

But in the end…like having kids…I made this thing.  I created it.  Worked hard at it.  Gnashed my teeth, and rendered garments over it…for hours, days, weeks, years.  You get the idea.  This is my baby.  I can’t quell my pride completely.

I’d like to think it’s healthy to stake claim for producing good work.  If I didn’t care so much – that would reflect in my efforts, which essentially means you’d be getting crummy stuff from me.  That’s no good, wouldn’t you agree?

Just thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading!

Avia

 

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Turning Over a New Leaf. It’s Symbolic.

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

TurningOverANewLeaf

Turning Over a New Leaf.  It’s Symbolic.

We’ve all heard the old cliché, “Turning over a new leaf.”  But what does it mean?

General consensus tells us the phrase means something like turning away from one behavior in favor of a new or better one.  Like changing a habit, or reforming our lifestyle.

Where did this phrase come from?  In truth, I don’t really know.  I’m more interested in the correlation between leaf-behavior in Nature and how we adopt this cliché in our lives.

To explain, many types of trees can detect changes in their environment.  They sense a shift in weather before it happens.  It’s as if they predict the weather.  Trees adjust to these changes to prepare themselves for pending change.  For example, deciduous trees like maples and poplars turn their leaves as a protective measure before a storm hits.

I like this a lot.  It’s an illustration.  An example of savvy sense and mature action.  How so?

Well, instead of telling ourselves: “I’m turning over a new leaf.”  Maybe trees offer a sophisticated twist to this affirmation.  I mean…what prompted us to make that statement to begin with?  Upon thoughtful introspection, perhaps we detect a shift in our environment.  Perhaps our intuition is telling us to prepare ourselves for future events – just like trees prepare for change.

Rather than flippantly tossing about the cliché – maybe we can embrace the idea that a deeper presence within and around us is beckoning us to shift our position.  Maybe a powerful, sentient energy sees a positive purpose for making a motion for our betterment – for our safety – for our future.

Feeling a shift in the wind?  Sensing something coming your way?  Consider opening yourself to the gift all biological beings have – the gift of perception.  Everything in Nature is hard-wired with predictive ability….including us humans.  Often, our awareness is crammed with distractions.  But stoic, patient, wise trees don’t let distractions jam the signals they receive from Nature.  Nope.  They open themselves to the subtle signals Nature impresses upon them.

Be like a tree.  Experience environment on a full-body, full-spirit scale.  Know you have Nature’s gift of knowing to turn your leaves whichever way necessary to insure your best life experience.

Just thinking.

Happy leaf-turning :)

Avia

Go Green. Symbolically green, that is…with more links to meanings in Nature:

Symbolism in Nature

Symbolism of Trees

Symbolic Earth Meditation

 

 

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Top 10 Reasons Christmas is NOT for Sissies

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

ChristmasNotForSissies1

Christmas is not for Sissies – Top 10 Reasons

1)  A big gold star goes to those of us who normally wouldn’t be caught dead on a 8-foot ladder….but make an exception to hang holiday lights.  :o

2)  ‘Shop till you drop.’  What!?   I’d rather drop first, and skip the shopping altogether.  Shopping this time of year is not for sissies! It’s madness out there!

3)  Hot cocoa is such a cozy Christmas beverage.  Unless, of course, it’s served at 5,778 kelvin – which will melt your face off.  Not pretty.

4)  The weather outside really is frightful.  At least in areas that get snow and ice this time of year.  Sometimes venturing out in a ‘winter wonderland’ ain’t so wonderful.

5)  Gift bags rule, wrapping paper drools.  Kudos to all of the wrapping-paper-challenged who dare to fold and square in spite of the vexing crinkles that foil.

6)  You know you’re not a sissy at Christmas when you don the knee braces and Ben-Gay before spending untold hours in the kitchen.   Cooking should be a competitive sport this time of year.  Bless you merry cooks and bakers for laughing in the face of personal injury and getting those tasty goods out!

7)  Holiday traffic. Need I say more?  Not for sissies.

ChristmasNotForSissies2

 

8)  Cats!  If you have one and deck the halls for Christmas – you are definitely not a sissy.  Every new Christmas bauble and sparkle is fair game for the felines.  I found an ornament in the bathroom sink.  Don’t know how it happened, but I know there was a cat behind it.

9)  Dogs!  How many times do we have to tell them not to drink from the Christmas tree water container?  And what’s up with the overly affectionate advances on the stuffed Santa pillows?  Off!

10)  Sometimes keeping our sanity this time of year can be a Herculean feat.  The holidays are so out-of-the-norm.  New stuff, a break in usual routine, visiting friends and family we normally don’t see.  It’s a tsunami of uncommon experiences.  This can potentially uproot a body who’s been quite alright in a comfort zone every other day of the year.  Hat’s off to those of us who embrace the unique situations Christmas might toss our way.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I dig the holidays.  But they can present some challenges.  Our early ancestors experienced challenges too.

This was a hard time of year for early humankind.  In fact, some of the roots of Christmas traditions today were born from early darkness.  Specifically, the darkest day of the year.  To explain, the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and hence, the darkest.  It was a time that was symbolic of unknown’s and mystery for early peoples.  The solstice brought up questions like:  “How harsh will the weather be this year?”,  “Can I provide for my family through the winter?”,  “Will we be spared illness?”, “Do I have enough food?”.

To counteract some of these fears, civilizations and cultures (especially early Europe) started to employ good juju.  For example, they brought evergreens into the home to brighten the gloom.  The scent of pine is invigorating and proven to lighten the mood.  The sight of an evergreen bough indoors is inspiring against the stark, snowy landscape outside.  Interestingly, this practice eventually grew into our modern day Christmas trees!

Another example:  Candles.  Early traditions included ceremonies around lighting candles.  This symbolizes the return of the light…the promise of lengthening days and eventual return of spring.  Fire and candles are icons to the eternal light that is always present – even if not evident all the time.

There are lots of old practices that uplift this sometimes anxious time of year.  Check out my Symbolic Meaning of Christmas post to explore a few.

Let’s face it.  Christmas isn’t for sissies.  It certainly wasn’t for our ancestors way back when…and even though our challenges have morphed, in many ways, today’s challenges are just as stressful.

We can transform holiday anxiety.  How?  By being grateful.  By having a laugh.  By poking fun at some of the lunacy that goes on this time of year.  By appreciating what we have.  By giving to others who need more than we do.  Just thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading.

I hope all your holiday moments are magical and mostly stress-free. :)

Brightly,

Avia

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