"The eyes are the window to your soul" is a quote from Shakespeare that lingered in my life. I suppose I was attracted to the truthfulness of these words rather than the cliche of the quote.
When I was nine years old, a tall and pale elderly woman with ice blue eyes approached my mother and I in the grocery store. Without acknowledging my mom, the woman stared into my eyes, smiled, and said "You can tell a lot about someone when you look into their eyes." I responded with a shy smile and then we parted ways. Of course at the time I had no clue what the lady meant. My nine year old brain wondered why this stranger spoke those words to me.
After that day I was aware of the lingering quote in my life. At first, I was only impressed with the flow. I hadn't yet connected it with the stranger in the grocery store encounter. As the quote constantly reappeared throughout the years, I realized that it wasn't a coincidence. I actually took time to understand the words as I matured. Ironically, I attended a theater camp called 'The Shakespeare Academy.' In the camp we did a lot of exercises and games that required focus. In order to obtain this focus, we had to make eye contact. As teens, we laughed at the idea. Eye contact was meant for close friends, lovers, and family members; not strangers. The thought of being "lost" in someone's eyes was just eerie! Especially considering that we had only formed opinions based on outward appearances.
Our instructor told us to get into pairs. We were to stay silent for five minutes. We could only stare into each other's eyes. Of course it was awkward at first. We concealed our tension with laugher. We looked at each other's eyes simply observing the color. Once the laughing stopped, our five minutes began. Looking at my partner's eyes, I thought about how uneasy it was and I wondered why time was being held hostage. After a minute I began to focus and really look into my partner's eyes. I met someone new. I met someone who looked shy on the outside, but my partner's eyes introduced me to someone comical and nice. When we made eye contact we became vulnerable. The silence wasn't full of tension and we didn't laugh because of awkwardness. In the beginning we were defending ourselves. We were afraid to be raw. My eyes introduced me to someone new.
People are often times afraid to make eye contact because they do not want to be vulnerable. They distract their human interactions with cell phones, tv's, and small talk. Being vulnerable to another person doesn't always mean that we're in danger. You're only in danger if someone's intentions are to hurt you. Don't allow other people's opinions to bother you. LOVE YOURSELF!!! Stay positive and be kind! We are human. We are not perfect and we shouldn't have to refine ourselves for someone else's approval. Open your eyes and free your soul.
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to look into someone's eyes and be vulnerable. Allow someone to be free with them as well. Don't talk; simply listen with your eyes. If you see that someone is HURTING; ENCOURAGE THEM. If you see ANGER; LOVE THEM. If you see HAPPINESS; BE HAPPY TOO! Free your soul! Have a great week!
By Kaci Hollingsworth
Stay focused on your aspirations! Do not let limits and downfalls distract you.
Imagine yourself walking on a tightrope. At the end of the line your goals are untouched and ready for you. All you have to do is walk to them. However, fifty feet below you are problems, haters, and negative distractions. If you allow these bad things to hold your focus, you'll fall. Do not let negativity distract you.
This past week, I've been working in a play production. The director constantly stressed the importance of focus and how eye contact results in better communication between actors. As young people, we need to make eye contact with our goals. We need to communicate with them and achieve them. While I was working on the play, I was focused on making helpful contributions to the overall production. I was also focused on my aspirations of becoming a successful actress. However, outside of the play production, I encountered a problem. I was distracted by a situation that I had no control over. I allowed it to get me down and taint my mind. Within the same week, my church was hosting a revival. The guest pastor talked about how Peter was focused on Jesus as they walked on the water. Peter allowed the storm and his obstacles to distract him, so he began to sink. Peter cried out for help and Jesus had his back. If you are focused on your problems and limits, encourage yourself with positivity. I focused on positive things and I worked toward my acting career.
Don't get distracted by things that will keep you away from your lifetime goals. Be productive, be proactive, and stay positive and focused on your destiny.
I'm sending out positive vibes for you to stay focused on your aspirations, to be happy, and to keep striving to accomplish your goals. I challenge you to counteract any negative thoughts with positivity.
By Kaci Hollingsworth
Friendship is not to be taken for granted. It is a warm atmosphere of love, trust, and support. Cherish it while you can!
I haven't always understood friendship and I used to often say that I didn't have friends. However, that wasn't true. I had friends. I simply wasn't cherishing them. They were always there when it was time to hangout, yet we drifted to the back of each other's minds while we were apart. Maturity and time revealed the importance of friendship. How much people truly care for one another is revealed through friendship. It is the transition from friends who only hangout periodically to people who often think about each other. In this bond people wonder how the other is feeling. They want each other to be happy even when they are apart. Friends encourage each other!
Cherish your friends, and choose them wisely! If your friend is preventing you from escalating in life, make a change. Find friends who lift you up and support you! Help each other surpass goals, and comfort one another if times are tough.
Time is limited, so cherish your friends!
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to do something nice for your friend and make sure they know that you cherish them.
By Kaci Hollingsworth
BEWARE OF THE PEDESTAL!!! It is a deceptive position. When you place people high on a pedestal, or even yourself, there is a risk of plummeting into a pit of self-loathing and unhappiness.
Of course we all have people we admire! It could be a celebrity, a family member, or even a peer, and that's totally fine. However, we shouldn't place these people on a pedestal. Yes, they may be great, but they are not perfect.
I've been down the pedestal path. Although at first it was an innocent friendship. I was the new kid in town, and she kindly welcomed me. As we grew older, we took separate roads. She branched out with the popular crowd, and I stood behind with my mouth shut. As I saw her life grow and prosper, I assumed she was perfect. I compared myself to her and when things did not line up, I would get upset with myself. It was unnecessary jealousy and self-depreciation. I was so foolishly bothered by the situation that I attempted to avoid her. The farther I tried to run, the closer God brought her to me. After she followed me on Instagram, I apprehensively followed back not wanting to seem rude or as if I was distancing myself.
Through all of this, she had been nothing but nice to me. Eventually I told my older sister about my situation, and she gave me a stern, tear-provoking, and beyond honest talk. I walked out of her room with three questions on my mind. Who was I to place my friend on a pedestal? Who was I to think myself any less of what God created me to be? Why was I about to let jealousy ruin my friendship? I somehow managed to be oblivious to her imperfections and my own good qualities when in truth, we both have amazing talent, and we both make mistakes.
On the other hand, if you've been placed on a pedestal, step down. Understand that you had to go through some difficult things to reach your success. We are not perfect, but we can do great things.
So my fellow teens, please avoid the pedestal path. Do not place anyone on a pedestal! Do not allow yourself to be placed on a pedestal! They cause complications for people on both ends.
Sending out positive vibes, I hope that you have a wonderful and progressive week. You are more than capable of conquering your adversities and fulfilling your aspirations. Stay positive, you lovely humans!
By Kaci Hollingsworth