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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Lessons I Have Learned from the Book, Heart Full of Soul by Taylor Hicks

The lessons I have learned from Taylor Hicks' book --- Heart Full of Soul.

There are a lot of inspirational and useful lessons that are contained inside this great book. The stories of rejection, loss, heartbreak and low moments are in abundance in almost every page. But it also unfailingly encourages determination, love, forgiveness, self-discovery and spirituality that seemed to make Taylor Hicks, the Joel Osteen of the Entertainment industry. He has succeeded in inspiring countless of people through his use of simple but exquisitely well written words.

After reading that book, I pretty much read about my life, by golly almost every single chapter pertains to me! Although I have a different background, different breed, different circumstances in life, but all the same lessons --- "HE WHO HAS NOT TASTED THE BITTER, DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE SWEET."

Taylor Hicks --- is survivor and a great one at it. We all read and heard what he had gone through and we all did a collective, "Ohhhs, ahhhs!" Taylor Hicks opened up his life to us even though we know that he wants to keep some things in his life, private (or whatever's left of it.) Aside from satisfying the Soul Patrol's need to know everything about him, he is hoping for us to take lessons from his stories and get inspired by them.

So, what could I write or talk about that had not been discussed by others before? I am going to try not to divulge too much into Taylor's triumph over his life since we all have read it (I hope, if not go buy the book, and we felt that we somehow, already know. Forgive me if I talk about the life lessons I have learned from Taylor Hicks' story. All I know is if Taylor Hicks is willing to share his ups and downs, I can share a little about mine, and the lessons I have learned and maybe, just maybe, my own journey can teach someone something about themselves. I'm sure you'll find that my life has similarities with yours.

When I was younger, I had often mistakenly thought that when you are rich, you are happy and that's what drives people everyday. Or better yet, when almost all people know your name that you will never feel ignored. And that if you are rich and famous, you are invulnerable to all the pain and miseries of life. But it's pretty obvious that you have to be able to endure all of life's trials and survive them in order to face another surge that will continously come for as long as you are still living.

We all learned that we need to pursue our dreams, and that we can't give up, or there are a million "Nos" to one single "Yes." Tell me how many times in your life did this happen to you? How many times did you have to deal with everyday frustrations? How many hours did you spend standing in line waiting for something and not getting what you want? How many times have you wished that you have it all? How many times did you want your life to be close to perfect? How many times did you question God for your ordinary existence?

I know that for me, these things happen several times in one day. My everyday living seems to be always about forgiving myself --- for letting out a cuss word when my one year old child attempts to flush a DVD down the toilet and runs away amused. Or when I feel frustrated at everybody including myself because I choose to skip doing dishes for the night so I can host a cellcert. Ahh, those important things that only a Soul Patroller can understand! On a serious note, I have also learned not to give up so fast on MYSELF, to try and try harder until I succeed, that there is no word like "can't." I take that lesson so close to my heart because it is so much better than living without a dream. Just because I am happily married (some days) with beautiful (but not so perfect) children doesn't mean, I cannot dream. I also learned that when you treat people the way you want to be treated, it is a better world. The Golden rule, what a rule! Remember everyone of us has six degrees of separation, just ask Kevin Bacon. And it's important to treat each other right, because you'll never know who knows whom.

A lot can happen in one's life everyday. Our lives are borrowed, and we should make the most of it and do what you love. It is so sad to hear about people's tragedies everyday, and when I examine my own self, I think about what I'm lacking in certain areas of my life. Yes, I get too busy looking for something I DON'T have and totally miss what I DO have. Most of the time, I think of material things, but I realized that it's not that important anymore when you find one of your family members is just want them to feel better. Money is helpful, but it does not keep you from being sick! I also know that when you learn to accept what you cannot change you are better off. If you can't change people or situations, changing your way of thinking is a great alternative, and more peaceful if I may add. Also, recognizing that there is a bigger entity than us, even bigger than Taylor Hicks, something beyond our own understanding that has given us the oppurtunities to live is worth the mention.

So by putting all these lessons together, by living through the mistakes (over and over again..) and learning, I have a great understanding that all of this only boils down to one most important thing: taking care of one's SOUL. Feed your SOUL. The soul drives our minds and bodies. It drives us to do better things for ourselves, it drives us to do good for others, it drives us to attempt to leave a remarkable achievement in our lives. How then do we take care of our souls? That is completely up to you. I have mentioned mine on the above paragraph.

We may never become famous like Taylor Hicks, but I am convinced that my mark is how I have chosen to live and love ---- and how my experiences in life, good, bad ugly, have molded me. I can honestly say that I am living such a sweet life, (oh what a neat life... Paul Davis' Sweet Life ) because I have gone through the wringer, and I feel like I have survived it. I know there are more trials and tribulations to come and I am ready for them, at least I can say that for now.

So it is with great pride for me to say that I have a HEART FULL OF SOUL that will keep on keeping on. And that right there is my own story, not Taylor Hicks', but mine.

And with that thought, I will leave you with these song lyrics:

Van Morrison's There'll Be Days Like This

When it's not always raining there'll be days like this
When there's no one complaining there'll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there'll be days like this

When you don't need to worry there'll be days like this
When no one's in a hurry there'll be days like this
When you don't get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
Oh my mama told me there'll be days like this

When you don't need an answer there'll be days like this
When you don't meet a chancer there'll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
Then I must remember there'll be days like this

When everyone is up front and they're not playing tricks
When you don't have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
When it's nobody's business the way that you wanna live
I just have to remember there'll be days like this

When no one steps on my dreams there'll be days like this
When people understand what I mean there'll be days like this
When you ring out the changes of how everything is
Well my mama told me there'll be days like this.

Written by:

Claire (Webchic00)

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DidNotExpectThat said...

I love the quote:

That has really been an inspiration to me and is what I needed to hold near to my heart today. Thanks for pointing that out and for making me realize that we often miss what we do have because we are focusing on what we do not have!

Anonymous said...

Very insirational and touching Claire.
I wholeheartedly agree that we need to live our lives the way God intended--to enjoy the little things, appreciate the big things and cherish all things.
Taylor truly is someone with a kind soul and true heart, he exhudes honesty & sincerity and is so very appreciative of all he's been blessed with.
He's gone through quite a bit in his life and stands tall from having learned some valuable lessons.
I'm honored to be a fan of his and blessed to have you as a friend of mine.

I love you girl, Sherry

maryann1 said...

I like your comparison. "Taylor is the Joel Osteen of the Entertainment Industry". A very good comparison. Joel always thinks positive and doesn't focus on the negative. So does Taylor. I have heard Joel say in a sermon a few months ago, that if you try something and fail, keep trying and continue doing that until it works. That is exactly what Taylor has done with his life. He kept trying and didn't let life's little failures and setbacks discourage him from what he wanted and who he wanted to be.

Money and fame don't buy you happiness, it is what you are on the inside that helps get you thru the obstacles of life.

Thank you for inspirational words.

mary ann

DJinKC said...

Great Blog thank you!! Glad you have found your "Heart full of Soul"! After the last year and half, I've found that many Soul Patrol have just that...Hearts Full of Soul"!! Maybe that's what drew us to Taylor, looking beyond the performances and seeing the Soul!
We will each have more disappointments/sorrows/tribulations in the future. Now we have Hold on to your Love, The Deal, The Fall, The Right Place, etc, to smooth our Souls!
Taylor has bought back the music that touches my Soul and I'm grateful. It's All Good!!

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder if each year that passes by makes me appreciate life more. I don't consider myself old (not yet, lol) but I have seen my share of dispair and hurt. As the years go by I see more clearly why I need and all of us need to appreciate what we have. Not only what we have now, but what we have been blessed with in the past and what we will hopefully be blessed with in the future. What you wrote Claire is so very true. It is so important to "stop and smell the roses." When you can, "live in the moment" Enjoy yourself, none of us know what tomorrow holds, but we can be so very greatful for what we have today. Taylor's story has touched us all because we can relate to it in so many ways!
Thank you for the blog Claire, I really enjoyed reading it.

Taylor's Angels said...

We all have different lives and yet we are intertwined. My life is connected to yours and yours to mine. Relationships are important because we all need each other, this is what God has meant for us to do.... to love one another. A lesson from someone's life is usually what opens our eyes, and this lesson happens to be from Taylor Hicks..... a young boy from Alabama! God bless him!


RagsQueen said...

So true! It really does take the bad to truly appreciate the good things in life! Humility and a thankful heart go a long way in life. Living with a Heart Full of Soul, and a Soul Full of Heart, is the only way to go! Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...


Your blog is wonderful, and says what a lot of us have been saying, feeling, or have realized on this wonderful journey Taylor has taken us on....together!

The Soul does indeed drive the mind and the body, and leads us to do those wonderful things for others, which comes back to us ten-fold. The friends I have made thru Taylor and TOSP have made all the difference in my life, and I hope into the lives of others that I have touched along the way ~ THAT is the lifeblood that keeps you going...
Thank you for your blog, wonderful spirit, beautiful heart, and for being true to yourself and to others. I am proud to call you my friend, and my Soul Sister.

Love you bunches ~ Lori lbbradshaw

Anonymous said...


Life brings us all these trials that make us stronger in the end. You are right though, the grass always does seem greener on the other side. But you know what? Count your blessings... enjoy the moment! We only have one shot and we need to make the most out of everyday. Live each day like its your last. Its very true that we live looking to the future and not appreciating what is now.
Thank you for your inspirational words....


KarinP said...

Claire, I appreciate your honesty and sincerity about your feelings. I really did laugh when you mentioned that as you read each chapter, you felt that you were reading about your own life. I laughed because I had the same feelings as I read the book too.

I did not, however, have to read the book to know early on that Taylor's life had not been an easy one. I always sensed through his eyes that there were many life lessons on the inside.

This is what I have found so intriguing about the entire "Soul Patrol" kinship. It seems to me that many members can relate to some of the "life" experiences Taylor had. I know I can and unfortunately, when you live through those things, it always leaves a mark on the psyche which I think it life-long. You can, if you work hard, try to learn to live with it; understand it and do your very best to ensure that our loved ones don't have to experience that kind of pain. You can't change the past but you can change the future.

I am sure everyone has thought that the grass was greener somewhere else but it usually isn't. Material things can make life easier but not necessarily better. We are responsible for our own happiness and sometimes it can be difficult to see what is right in front of us.

It is so true - make the best of every moment. None of us is promised the next minute actually. Lately, I have been reminded with the sudden passings of three friends that it is the "moment" that counts.

Taylor has brought music and soul back to us and we are forever grateful for that. Life is definitely a highway and it has its bumps along the way. In the end, what is important is how we survive the bumps and come to an understanding about how we can become better at playing this game of life. You don't have to make national headlines to make a lasting impression on anyone. It is the lasting imprint you make on your friends' and family's hearts and souls that really matters.

I am not so sure that we would not have taken the time to really stop, look and listen without Taylor's encouragement. He is the "common" link who binds this "family" together.

The one thing I have learned is to linger when I am in a "moment" and to look beneath the surface because I find so much more there including the answers to some of the nagging questions I have.

Thanks for the insightful blog. I really enjoyed reading it.

Gr8fulheart said...

WOW ~ Can I ever relate! We all face trials in our lives but it's 'How' we come away from them that makes the difference. Through the rain that falls; beauty springs forth in the form of endless blessings. Taylor has one of them! What more can be said except for 'AMEN'!