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Showing posts from January, 2012

Acting As If: A Plan for Change or Self-Delusion

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Several years ago I was watching Oprah and one of her guests (I can't remember which one for sure, so I won't give a name) said that if you want your life to be a certain way you should behave as if your life already was that way. I was intrigued by the idea, but a little part of me thought it sounded more than a tad unrealistic. At the time, I'd never heard of the idea. Of course, now it's part of the common vernacular.

So, I started thinking about it. I could see how acting as if could lead one to take action to change one's life. For example, if one wanted a promotion, one might start dressing for the job, taking initiative to learn the requirements for the job, practice the skills necessary for the job, and take initiative to show one has the skills and knowledge to do the job. Perhaps that would even attract the attention of the person with the power to give the promotion. Maybe one would even get the promotion.

But, me having a writer's mind, also had to …

The Power of Gratitude

This morning I grabbed a pillow from my couch, tossed it on the bamboo floor, picked up the remote, and turned on the fireplace that hardly ever gets used. I stared into the flames for a moment and knew what the impulse was telling me. I sat cross legged on the pillow, placed my upturned hands on my knees and touched my index finger to my thumbs. I took a deep breath. I thought "Gratitude! Gratitude! Gratitude!"

Last year I did two to six minute gratitude meditations every morning. Sometimes I did them before I even got out of bed. Other times I did them sitting at my computer, petting Meme, and just breathing. Still other times I actually meditated on gratitude as I did some rote chore I'd done a million times. Sometimes I just found a quiet place to sit and sat. On a couple of mornings, my feelings of gratitude appeared without a conscious meditation. Each morning (okay sometimes it was afternoon) I posted one thing from that gratitude meditation as my Facebook status.…

What If I Could Never Write Again?

"He could keep on living and still be dead." - A Gifted Mind

This statement made by the wife of a patient whose brain tumor had heightened his artistic ability on A Gifted Mind hit me hard. It's how I feel about writing. I would go through pretty much anything to write. If someone told me I could never write another word, I would feel as if I died. I know this about myself. One of my greatest fears is never being able to write another word.

I used to fear I didn't have enough talent, but I'm over that. I'm confident in my talent now. While I wish every word I wrote could be brilliant, I'm okay with knowing that that is an unrealistic goal. I can only write as well as I can write on any given day and trust that my best will be good enough.

I used to fear I would run out of ideas, but I no longer fear that either. On days when the ideas don't come my way, I feel confident it's just my brain's way of taking a rest, so it can give me something bet…

Standing Tall in Truth

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I planned to write about equality today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but instead I'm going to write about truth. Or, to be more specific, I'm going to write about the truth contained in each of us.

Martin Luther King Jr. never shied away from speaking the truth as he saw it. He never questioned whether or not others would agree with the truth as he saw it. He stood up confidently and spoke. He didn't shy away from acclaim when it was given him. He was a strong man. He knew the truth of who he was, who he wanted to be, and what he wanted for the world.

When I researched Martin Luther King Jr. while writing my novel, All She Ever Wanted, I was surprised to find that he often struggled with his own personal doubts, insecurities, and faults in private. This discovery gave me hope. It reminded me that greatness isn't perfection. In history, we often like to put a veil of perfection on those who do great things, and we forget that being human is what makes their a…

Sorry, Laughter, Strength Stole Your Invitation!!

I thought 2012 was going to be my year focused on laughter... Turns out, my inner strength has decided it's her turn to shine. I thought I let her out last year, but she informed me last night our work isn't finished... Just like my vulnerability popped up the other day when I found myself trying to express something to a friend that I just can't express yet and reminded me that our work isn't quite finished either...

The past few weeks I've been having some revelations that I'm not quite sure what to do with. What I do know about them is they are screaming that if I start denying my strength again, I'm going to regret it!

See I've been tempted to deny my strength again for many of the same reasons I pushed into into a dark corner years ago. I can keep the peace. I can maintain the status quo. Certain people like me better when I'm not so strong. Certain people really don't like it when I live in my strength. Sometimes being strong costs you...

Laughter: Please Stop By For a Cup of Hot Cocoa...

Last month I wrote an email to a friend that got a little too serious. It was unavoidable but not where I wanted to go. I ended it by saying that I thought I might focus on bringing more laughter and fun into my life in 2012...

I now realize that's one of those things that might be easier said than done, but I've never been one to shy away from a challenge!

In 2010, I focused on making myself more vulnerable. While that may sound nuts, it was something I really needed. I learned a lot from it. If you want you can read about the results of my experience making myself more vulnerable. Vulnerability, I Once Considered You a Curse Word.

In 2011, I focused my life on gratitude. I've blogged about that a few times, and I'm working on a book about the experience.

Now that I've decided to focus on laughter in 2012, I've realized something. Laughter can't be forced. It can be invited in. It can be discovered. It can be cherished. It can be searched for. It can be fo…

Good Little Girls, Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Strength

I love the people in my life who help me feel my own strength. I'm not talking about those who make me fight them to demonstrate my own strength though they do serve a purpose as well. For the purposes of this post though we're going to focus on those whose mere presence in your life make you feel, understand, and embrace your inner strength without a moment of shame or the need to downplay it.

In the song What It Feels Like for a Girl, Madonna sings "Strong inside but you don't know it. Good little girls they never show it. When you open up your mouth to speak could you be a little weak." and later "Hurt that's not supposed to show and tears that fall when no one knows. When you're trying hard to be your best, could you be a little less."

I love this song. I'll concede that the video is weird, and the decision to leave out the lyrics wasn't one of her smartest because the lyrics to this song are awesome! They do such an incredible job d…

Change: Embrace It or Be Held Hostage By It

Every year, people make resolutions and vow to change that about their lives which they don't like whether it be behaviors, personality quirks, or lifestyle changes. They make these vows as if somehow when the clock strikes midnight signifying the beginning of new year, they experience a rebirth that allows them to become someone different.

The truth is change happens to us every day of our lives in miniscule ways that add up to major changes. This is part of life. We can choose to embrace change, or we can fight it. When we embrace it, we give ourselves power to use the change we experience to grow toward becoming the individuals we most want to be. When we fight change, we stunt our growth and may even become stagnant in our lives.

The thing about change is that if you change because it's what you want for your own personal wellbeing, it's likely to stick. That's called growth. If you change to please someone else or because it's what's expected, it just isn&…

Year in Gratitude... Complete?

Yesterday completed my year in gratitude. This morning I woke up and started my gratitude meditation without hesitation. It was short but still... I logged on to Facebook and had to restrain myself from typing "is grateful for..." as my first status of the day. I know I can still post a gratitude statement if I so choose, and perhaps I will but I don't have to. And, I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I will continue beginning and ending my day with gratitude, but I likely won't do a daily Facebook gratitude statement. I like what focusing on gratitude brings to my life. It makes me feel better. It brings me in touch with love. It reminds me of my inner power. It shows me what's good in my life and what could use improvement. This leads me to realize what I truly want from life.

Embracing gratitude doesn't dethorn the roses, but it does help one decide which roses are worth risking the thorns.

I begin a new writing project this month as I take my year in …