Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where do You Bloom the Most?

I was sitting outside on my back deck recently and noticed this big pot of flowers.  I had planted some begonias in a big pot and it had been sitting on my front porch so far all year. It was doing alright... a handful of blooms, about half full of foliage. But about half the pot was empty. Nothing was growing there.

Then one day it hit me that maybe the flowers would prefer more shade than they get on my front porch. So I moved them to the back deck, where they are in shade most of the day. And you know what? They really took off!

Now the entire pot is filled with green foliage and there are many blooms!

I realized people are the same way. You may do "alright" in one location, at one job, in one relationship... but you may really bloom if given the best conditions for you and your individual spirit.

It's definitely true for me. I recently switched from full-time to part-time at my traditional job. And my boss even told me that the part-time position will likely be temporary, as long as they're as busy as they are now, because they don't usually carry part-time positions.

But anyway, when I was working full-time, I was doing alright. I fulfilled my obligations at my job. I worked on my novels when I could. It "worked," but at the same time I knew I wasn't being as good as I could be. I wasn't blooming as much as was possible for me to bloom.

I was short-changing my traditional job because I didn't want to be there and didn't want to be spending my time doing that. And I was short-changing my novel writing because I couldn't give it as much time as I wanted to.

Little by little I grew increasingly unhappy and discontent. I knew I had to make a change. I felt bad because I'd only had my job for about four and a half months. But still, I knew what I needed to do. And I found the courage to do it.

I went into my boss's office one day and we had a long talk. I explained how I wasn't happy and I needed to make a change. And even though the company basically never has part-time positions, she offered to let me stay on part-time, as long as they could financially support the position.

So see, sometimes things that "never" happen, DO happen. You might not expect a certain thing to go your way, or to unfold as you'd like, but you might just be surprised.

The reason I decided to stay on part-time is for the stable paycheck (albeit a small one), while I'm still building up my novel base and readership.

But now I am much happier and I'm blooming! I've noticed that story ideas for novels are overflowing in my brain right now. When I sit down to work on my current book, I can easily write 5,000 words or more in a day, if given the time. And more importantly, I feel on the right track.

How are you blooming in your life? Are the buds and flowers overflowing? Are you living up to your potential? If not, where could you make a change, however small?

Pay attention to the conditions of your life. They make a HUGE difference in the to which you soar.

May you soar to great heights and reach your highest potential!

In Peace and Love,

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Universe Knows You Deserve Love

At a seminar about positivity, the Universe, and Love, the seminar leader said this:

"If you don't believe you deserve Love, at least believe that the Universe believes you deserve Love."

Or something to that effect.

Many of us, at times, don't believe we're worthy of love, success, happiness... fill in the blank.  I certainly fall into that group.

I've noticed something interesting lately.  I am getting married in one week.  I'm very excited about it and looking forward not just to the wedding, but being married.  I have no doubts about that.  What I do doubt is whether I'm worthy of that kind of love.

It's tough to admit and I feel a certain sense of shame even in admitting I feel that way.  My hope is that this post will touch someone else, and others can relate.

When we feel unworthy of something, I think it's a natural inclination to hide.  To not tell others we feel unworthy.  There can be shame in admitting you feel unworthy, when logically, you know better.
But these feelings of unworthiness aren't born out of logic.

For years I've struggled with feelings of worthiness, in different areas of life.  I see now, looking back, that it was quite possibly those feelings that stifled my success, but at the time I didn't realize that.

Interestingly to me, these feelings seem to be coming to the surface a lot more now, the closer I get to my wedding day.

You see, in order to receive from the Universe what we desire, we have to believe we will get it.  And if we ultimately don't believe we deserve something, it can be hard to believe we'll get it anyway.

I think this holds a lot of people back -- in relationships, with money, in any aspect of life.  In order to get what you desire, start with changing your belief about deserving it.

Back to the opening quote.  It really hit home with me.  It's easy for me to look at other people, my pets, all living things really, and know they deserve to be loved and deserve all that is good in life.  They deserve it just because they're here.  But what about me?

Why am I different?  Why do I have such a hard time believing I deserve great love, great wealth, and an abundance of all that is good in life?  I could come up with lots of theories to answer that question, but really it doesn't matter why.

Instead of belaboring the point of, "Do I deserve Love, wealth, etc.," point out to myself that the Universe knows I deserve Love, wealth, etc.

For some reason, putting it outside of myself makes it easier to accept.  While it can be hard to believe something about myself, it's easier to believe in something that someone else (especially the Universe) knows/thinks/believes.

I encourage you to look at your own life.  What areas of your life do you feel unworthy?  If that's not clear, what areas of your life do you not have what you want?  That is likely an area where you feel unworthy, but may not identify it as feelings of unworthiness.

In Peace and Love,


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Visualization in Action

I was looking through my journal entries from 4-5 months ago recently.  I had forgotten about this, but it was a powerful reminder of the power of visualization.

Four months ago I was unemployed and applying for jobs.  My savings was nearly gone and the only way I knew to get an income was to get a job.  So I applied for many.

While looking and applying, and perhaps even slightly before that, I was at an event in a building, and from where we were seated at the tables on the main floor, you could see the offices on the second floor - their windows overlooked where we were.  I distinctly remember looking at one office, a rather large one.  I could see the desk and chair.  I could see a large poster or picture hung on the wall.

I don't know why, but that appealed to me.  I wanted an office like that.  I wrote about it in my journal.  I wrote that for some reason, I felt that I wanted to work in an office.  I wanted my own desk and window.  I wanted to hang my posters and pictures on the walls.  I could see myself in an office like that.

Yet, I had never worked in an office before.  I've worked in schools, and a variety of retail shops, but never an office.  And never a multi-floor office.

In my journal I also wrote that I felt like I was too late.  I wanted this experience of working in an office, with my own desk, window, etc, but I felt like I was too old to get in that game.  I felt like the people who had those cool offices had started out in an entry level position, and worked their way up to that office.

But wouldn't you figure... the job I got (I got hired at the end of February and started March 3rd)... I got my own office, with a desk and a window!

I got what I had visualized and desired.  I got it.  That is the power of visualization and of setting your intentions and desires.

I remembered that this has occurred for me throughout my life.  I usually didn't know how it would happen, and often I didn't really expect it to happen, but many things that I desired did come to pass for me.

From wanting a little, fluffy dog, but already having two big dogs and not really looking to adopt... I found my little Betty at the humane society and adopted her!  To various relationships I've called into my life.

In college, I wanted a fairly casual, yet deep relationship.  I remember writing in my journal that I knew I wasn't ready for anything too serious, but I wanted a relationship.  That's exactly what I got.  Four years ago I felt ready for that marriage-bound relationship finally, and a few months after I started saying affirmations for that, I met the man I will be marrying in just over a month.

Shifting to jobs, when I was teaching, I knew I didn't want to be a teacher, but I didn't know what else I would want to do.  By chance, I saw a sign language interpreter at my sister's basketball game.  That experience stuck with me, and I never forgot it.  After I decided to quit my teaching job, I found a very good ASL program just a few miles from my house!  I enrolled, making it in just a couple weeks before the deadline for that semester.  The timing was perfect.

Then, when I finished that program, I desired a job as an interpreter.  Though I wasn't sure my skills were good enough, and I didn't know how to go about getting a job in that field.  In a chance encounter, I ran into a woman I knew from one of my sign language classes (we just had 1 class together and were not more than acquaintances).  She was working as an interpreter for a school district and knew they were hiring.  She told me she would put in a good word for me.  I applied for the job, and got it.

See, the Universe takes care of us.  If we are clear about our intentions and desires, the Universe has the power to conspire and bring together events and people to help us.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What's Your Target?

I read an article by Dr. Phil in O magazine a couple days ago.  It's actually from the May 2014 magazine, so if you subscribe, you can find it there.

Dr. Phil says we "have to name it to claim it."  He discusses how so many people just want to "be happy," yet they haven't defined what that means to them.  What will MAKE them happy?

To quote Dr. Phil: "You've got to have a goal in mind, or you will never have the opportunity to claim it.  Once you have an idea of your true priorities, you can catch yourself before you do anything that doesn't move you toward that target. And that's a key word here -- target.  If you don't have one, then you're like an unguided missile, and who knows where you're going to land."

Have you ever felt like that?  Asked yourself the question, "How'd I end up here?"  Well, it's because you weren't focused on your target, or likely didn't have a target at all.

First step: Define WHAT you want for yourself in your life.  What is important to YOU?  What lights you up, drives you, or makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?

I firmly believe that we're all here for a reason; a purpose.  Each of us has a message to share.  And until we figure out what that is, and find a way to share it that is in line with our true selves, we'll go on feeling unfulfilled.

I believe that is why I have bounced from one job to the next... I've been continuously searching for how to fulfill my purpose in life.  I've been trying to figure out my unique message, and how to share it.  So I followed interests, which led me into a variety of jobs and industries, only to feel that familiar feeling of unfulfillment once I'm there a few weeks or months.

But I beleive that's part of the process.  Sure, some people "get lucky" and tune into their personal message at a young age and hop right on that train.  But others (like me), bounce around a while until they find it.

I think the key is, if you're feeling unfulfilled or unhappy with some aspect of your life, then there is more for you.  Keep looking.  Stay open.  Be willing to make changes.

As Dr. Phil encourages too: "The most you will ever get is what you ask for - so be bold enough to reach for what's truly important to you.  You deserve more, and you can have more, but first you have to name it to claim it."

"The most you'll ever get is what you ask for." 

I think that's a very important concept to understand.  If you're content with less, with "settling," then by all means, stay where you're at.  But if you're feeling that urge deep inside... that urge to do more, be more, that something isn't quite right... listen to that and respect it.  That's your Spirit guiding you.

And remember, you don't have to make major changes right away.  Take little steps if that's more comfortable for you.  And honestly, that may be the wiser course of action too.  But take steps.  Don't give up on yourself.  You have passions and dreams inside of you for a reason!

Take some time to narrow down what's really important to you... focus your target... and let that be your yardstick to help you make choices moving forward.  If something is a step towards your target (dream), take it!  If it's not, let it go and move on.  

I'd love to hear what your target(s) is/are!  Listening to other people's dreams and life paths is so interesting to me, as is helping in any way I can. Feel free to leave a comment below, or find me on Facebook (Sarah Noel), or Twitter (SarahNoelAuthor).  I'm working on creating a Facebook page dedicated solely to "Be You. Live Your Dream!"  I'll let you know when that's up.

In peace and love,


Friday, June 13, 2014

Melt-Downs are Big Indicators

I had my first melt-down at my new job today.  I still say "new" even though I've been there over 3 months at this point.

Fortunately I was alone in my office, with the door closed, and no one knew about it.  But I knew.

This isn't unusual for me.  The longer I continue down a path that it's my spiritual path, a melt-down is eminent.  It's only a matter of time.  I'm just a little surprised, still, at how short of a time I needed this time for the melt-down to occur.

When we're doing things that are 100% aligned with our true Self, our Spirit, our destiny...whatever you want to call it... life is great.  We feel happy and at peace.

And when we do things that are out of line with our purpose or our mission in this life, we feel that too.

Usually that presents itself in the form of anger or sadness.  Sometimes it's a complete melt-down/tantrum.  Other times it's a slow-building sadness, depression, or general malaise or apathy for life.

Think about yourself.  How do you feel after you've been doing something for some period of time that isn't what you want to be doing?  Do you find that your fuse is shorter?  That you're more easily prone to angry outbursts?  Or do you, like me, feel like you could burst into tears at any given moment, with the slightest trigger (or sometimes no trigger at all)?

That's how I've always known, for sure, that I'm off track.  The tears are my guide.  My tell-tale sign.

There are things that come up in the course of life that aren't ideal.  That's to be expected.  There are aspects of life that you'll have to deal with that are unpleasant, unwanted, and a huge pain.  And sure, sometimes those things can cause temporary sadness or anger as well.  But that's not what I'm talking about.

The key word there is temporary.

Say you get in a car accident - a minor fender bender.  It's the last thing you want to happen.  It's a huge pain.  It likely disrupts not only your day, but your week, or even longer, depending on how long it takes to get the repairs done, and deal with insurance.  But then it's over.

Compare that to a relationship or a job.  Those are day in-day out parts of our lives. When we're not in the right relationship or the right line of work, it will eat away at us over time.  It won't go away.  The feelings aren't temporary.

That's how you know.  That's how I've always known, without a doubt, that a change needed to be made.  When the sadness doesn't go away (at least surrounding the aspect of my life that's out of line... in other parts of my life I will likely be very happy).

I hit that point today in my job.  I know.  No doubt left.  I am not built to work a traditional job.  I'm a writer.  That's when I've been truly happy and at peace with what I'm doing for a living -- when I was writing.

I had this same revelation when I realized teaching wasn't for me.  I had finally found the most ideal possible teaching situation (for me anyway).  And yet, the feeling that there was something else I was meant to do just wouldn't leave me.  I was not happy and there was no getting around it.

I'm at that place with my current job.  It's the most ideal possible job (again, for me).  Yet, I can't shake that feeling that I'm meant for something more.  That this just isn't it.  

Have you felt that way in your life?  What did you do about it?  What did it take for you to realize you needed to make a change?  Have you made that change yet?

I am grateful for my melt-down today because it left no doubt.  When I finally do leave my job I'll be able to do it knowing it's the right decision.  That I gave it a shot, and it's just not for me.

When I leave my job is still to be determined.  The fact is, I still need the paycheck.  And I am grateful for the steady paycheck my job provides.  My intention is to remain at this job until I have secured another source of income to replace it.

When that will happen, I have no idea.  I'm hoping sooner rather than later, but I am practicing faith in the Universe.  Remember, everything that occurs in our lives is for us.

I have learned a great deal at my job already, in just 3 short months.  And apparently I still have more to learn.  I believe when we've learned the lesson, life graduates us to the next lesson.

Before I conclude this post, I want to make another point.  Even when we find ourselves in situations we'd rather not be in, remember we got into them in the first place, for a reason.  We had something to learn.  The Universe had something to show us or teach us.

I believe I needed to learn, once and for all, that working a traditional job isn't for me.  I had thought that before, but then I had my doubts.  And I found myself wanting a traditional job again.

So I got one.  How's that for the Universe providing for us?  If I could have hand picked all the aspects of a job that I consider ideal, put them together, and come up with a single job that contained them all, I would have ended up with the job I have now.  The Universe gave me exactly what I wanted.

And I learned the lesson.

That's what life's all about.  Taking things one step at a time.  Learning the lessons as they come up.  And continuing to learn and grow into the person we're ultimately here to be.

As long as we remain open.  As long as we continue to learn.  As long as we return to love, and focus on all that is Love in our lives... We will be just fine.

Let the melt-downs be the indicators in your life that they're intended to be.  Don't beat yourself up for them. Accept them.  Allow them.  Use them.

Melt-downs are just a sign pointing us where we need to go.

Stay Open and Live in Love.

In Peace and Love,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Follow the Energy, One Step at a Time

I read a short article/story today on Henri Juntilla's blog that fits nicely with what I've been thinking and feeling lately.  I'm not sure if the story was true or not, but the message is still the same, regardless.

A man in his early 30s was unhappy in his corporate job. Despite never feeling like he fit into the traditional working world, there he found himself.  He made good money and had a secure position. But he wasn't happy. He felt like his soul was dying.

One night, unable to sleep, he decided to organize his closet (an activity he found soothing). He came across an old notebook that he had written thoughts and dreams in many years ago. He began writing in that notebook again.

The man continued to work his corporate job, but also continued to write in his notebook, as well as on a blog he started. In little ways he did things that brought him joy and peace (his writing).  Henri called it "following the bread crumbs."

Henri also reminded us that we don't have to know our passion right this minute. We don't have to figure out our life's dream before we take a single step.

If you're unhappy with an area of your life right now, just do something.  That's it.  Something.  One little thing that is in the direction of where you might want to go.  You don't have to have it ALL figured out.  Just take a step.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step."  

After I wrote the post from yesterday, I still felt in a funk.  I had orignally sat down to work on my latest fiction novel, but decided to check out that writer's forum first.  After reading the negativity I found there, my desire to write my novel was gone.

I sat, somewhat stunned, unsure of what to do.  Then I suddenly felt the urge to work on a non-fiction book I started several months ago, but haven't touched since.  So I pulled up the file and started working on it again.  My excitement was back!  Just like that.

That's often how it is.  Excitement that we felt just moments before can suddenly vanish.  But many people stay in that place of disappointment and not knowing what to do, instead of taking another step, perhaps in a different direction.

Wayne Dyer says it too: "Follow the energy."  

Our energy is our Spirit guiding us.  Our passion.  We're all made up of energy... of Love.  Pay attention to when you feel, and don't feel, energy (aka Love) in your life.  Where you do feel the energy and interest... follow it!  Do whatever it is you feel energized to do.  And where you feel no energy, look at how you can make a change in that area.

In peace and love,

Monday, June 9, 2014

How to Get Past the Envy

Let me start off by admitting that I do not have the answer to the question that is the title of this blog: "How to get past the envy?"  It's an on-going question in my own mind, so I figured I would blog about it, as that has always helped to provide clarity and guidance.

It's ironic because I just wrote a week or so ago about being genuinely happy for others' success.  That by being happy for them, and sending out happiness, you are guaranteeing that you will receive happiness and success in return.

That's a fantastic concept, idea, and theory.  And I do believe in the merit of it.  But that doesn't make it easy.

Just now I was perusing a writer's forum, looking for marketing advice for novelists.  While I did not find any great marketing gems, I did find a good dose of negativity, mixed in with others proclaiming the success of their novels (aka: selling thousands of copies each month!).

I have to admit, after the short few minutes I spent in that forum, I was feeling down.  I probably will not return to that forum for a very long time, if ever again because of that.

When I read the posts from authors sharing their own successes, I would love to say that I felt nothing but heartfelt happiness for each one of them.  However, that's not the case.  I felt happy for them after I reminded myself that that was what I was supposed to feel, but my first feeling was envy.

Thoughts such as, "Why aren't my books selling like theirs?" "What am I doing wrong?" "Maybe I'm not cut out to be a novelist after all." "What if I never make it?" ran amok through my head.

The truth is, I want sales like they claim to have (thousands each and every month).  That is my goal.  That would enable me to live off my writing.  So to read of others achieving that goal, made me more envious of them, than happy for their success.

I am happy for other writers' success though.  I am.  (Do you believe it yet, because I'm not sure I do.)

For me, this is one of the hardest parts of life.  Dealing with not getting what you want, while others get what you want, and maintaining the good spirits and positivity to keep pushing onward anyway.

I know I'm not alone here.  I have a teacher friend who is looking for a new position in a new school district.  She's very qualified and a great teacher.  Yet, she continues to get turned down for positions that she applies for, and other (seemingly not as qualified) applicants get hired.

I have no doubt no matter what your profession or what it is you're going for, disappointment isn't a foreign concept.  Watching others succeed while you continue to flounder, struggle, and "find your way" is a common facet of life.

One of my favorite types of stories are stories of how now-successful people made it - especially when the story includes the early times of struggle and rejection.  I identify with those stories.  I'm still in the early times of struggle, so reading how they "made it out" and achieved the success they were aiming for, is very inspiring for me.

If you want something bad enough, you're not going to give up on it.  And if you don't give up, chances are, it'll happen for you eventually.

A couple tidbits of stories I read recently:  Morgan Freeman didn't achieve success as an actor until he was in his 50s!  Scottie Pippen only made his college basketball team as an equipment manager!  Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.  Sidney Poitier was told at one of his first auditions that he should stick with washing dishes.  Wayne Dyer was told that he didn't have potential as a speaker or author.
There are so many stories like that.  The reason is, it's such a common human experience.

Sure, there are those people for whom success seems to just fall into their laps.  Who hit a home run their first time up to bat.  But if you have noticed, those types of people don't seem to make it long-term.  They might hit it big right out of the gate, but they tend to self-destruct.  There are plenty of those stories as well.

I think the point to remember is everything happens for a reason.  That is something I have always believed.  We are where we are at this moment because it's where we're supposed to be at this moment.

If you have a dream, a desire, within you, then it is possible for you to achieve.  You wouldn't have the desire if it weren't within the realm of possibilities for your life.

These are the things I also have to remind myself.

So to circle back to the title of this post: How to get past the envy?  Just keep on movin'.  Recognize that envy just came up in you, let it go right on out of you, and return to the state of peace, happiness, and love.  Even if you have to remind yourself to return to that state!

That's how we all learn.  Through making mistakes (such as feeling envious), and continuing to practice whatever it is (thinking happy thoughts and wishing others well, sincerely).

And whatever your dream is.... Keep moving towards it.  Some days huge leaps are made, other days it's all we can muster to take a tiny step.  But keep steppin'!  Each step you take, each action you do, brings you that much closer to your dreams.

So keep an open heart.  Keep an open mind.  Be grateful for where you are right now.  And keep moving in the direction of your dreams.

In peace and love,

Friday, June 6, 2014

Do It YOUR Way

One of the things I'm learning from the book, "The Power," by Rhonda Byrne, is that our lives can go any number of ways.  Things can unfold in countless different scenarios.  How things go are due, in large part, to how we think they'll go, and our belief about life and everything in it.

One take-away from this is to not take someone else's reality as your own...if it's not what you desire or see for yourself.

There are people all over the place telling you what to do and how to do it.  Most of them are doing so with the best of intentions.  They genuinely want to help others by sharing what they've learned along their path.  And that's great.  We certainly can learn a lot from other people.  As they say, You don't need to reinvent the wheel.

But, be careful of assuming how things went for someone else is how they'll go for you.

I'm a writer.  My dream is to make a living through my writing, and even more specifically, through my fiction novels.  That is my dream and my goal.

I enjoy hearing other people's "how I made it" stories.  But how Stephen King "made it," or how Jodi Picoult "made it," or how any other successful novelist "made it" could be (and likely will be) different from how I "make it."

I know part of what launched Nicholas Sparks's career is when a producer bought the rights to make his novel, "The Notebook," into a movie.  Nicholas was also using an agent in that process.  I also read that Hugh Howey launched his series, "Wool," with a few short stories that he priced very cheaply on Amazon, for kindle.  People bought them, loved them, and demanded more.  Sales took off.

Just those two successful writers alone may have different advice to aspiring writers.  One may advocate for finding a good agent, the other may push for self-publishing and pricing low, so more readers can afford to buy your books.

The same can be true for you, in whatever career path you're in, or want to be in.

Each of us has to tune into our own guides.  I believe it was Liz DiAlto who wrote a recent article about spirit guides on  Every one of us has our own unique guide.  Whether you believe in angels and spirit guides as such doesn't matter.  We all have our inner intuition.  That is, or should be, our ultimate guide.

Other animals follow their intuition every second of their lives.  It leads them to water, shelter, food, and keeps them safe from danger.  But humans have developed a bad habit of ignoring our inner voice, in favor of thoughtful reason and analyzing.

Analyzing and reason have their place, certainly.  But I believe we need to tune more into our intuition, and use that as our guide more often.  Even if our reasoning mind may not understand right away.

I think that's a hang-up for a lot of us.  Intuitively, we can know what to do in an instant.  But once we get our minds involved, it gets muddy.  We become uncertain and unclear.  Then we try to think ourselves out the doubt and into clarity... when we came from a place of clarity to begin with.

This is what I'm trying to do in regards to my career as an author.  I'm still listening to webinars, reading articles, and open to suggestions and input.  But I'm trying to listen to my inner voice above all others.  Do what feels right for me, whether someone else thinks that's the way to go or not.

It's not easy.  But the reason it's not easy is because we are absolutely inundated with input from outside sources.  And everyone claims to have the proven "keys to success."

So my encouragement to you (and myself) is this:  Listen to YOU more.  Tune into YOUR inner voice, inner knowing.  Do what feels right to you.  Find your path.  Do it YOUR way.

You have every bit of likelihood of succeeding doing it your way as following someone else's advice. Believe in yourself.  Trust your inner spirit to guide you towards your own success and happiness.

In peace and love,

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Be Happy for Others

The section of "The Power," by Rhonda Byrne that I read last night was especially eye-opening for me.  Every time we think a negative thought, it brings more negativity to us.  No matter what the thought is.

We, or I should say I, can be very judgmental.  I see someone wearing something cut too low, too short, too tight...and I judge.  I judge other drivers all the time when I'm on the road behind them.  I judge the decisions others make.

They say we judge others more severely in areas where we feel most insecure.  In some ways, I see truth to that, other times, I'm not so sure.  But that's besides the point today.

Each time we make a judgement, what we're doing is sending out negative energy.  Because those judgements are most often negative in nature.  We're essentially saying, or thinking to ourselves, that someone else isn't good enough, in whatever it is we're judging them for.

How many times do we feel not good enough in our lives?  It could be due largely to all the "you're not good enough" vibes we're sending out all the time!  What we give out, we get back!

I know for me, not feeling good enough is huge.  I wrestle with it nearly every day in some aspect of my life.  I've slowly been making progress, but I foresee even greater progress now that I know more about it, and about the laws of the Universe.  

Let's talk about this topic a little more.  I'll share some examples from the book that really hit home for me.

Have you ever been single, but not really wanted to be single, and so every time you saw a happy couple you made some sort of complaining or negative-based remark, or thought the thought to yourself?  What you're doing there is projecting the thought that you don't like happy couples.  That you don't want to be a happy couple.  Even though it's what you say you want, your thoughts and feelings don't support it, because you're not supporting and happy for other happy couples.

The key is to be happy for other happy couples, which will send out positive vibes, and the right kind of frequency to attract happy coupledom into your own life.

You see, and here's something I didn't realize, when you're spending so much time thinking how much you want to be in a relationship, and then you see other people in relationships, that IS the Universe sending you your desires.  It is showing you what you, too, can have.  If you only remain in a place of Love on the subject.  If you love seeing happy couples. If you love hearing stories of how other people met.  Drop the jealousy, envy, and doubt... Love!

"When you feel good about anything any person has, you are bringing it to you." (p. 101, "The Power")

How many times have you been obsessed with a certain car, and then you seem to see it everywhere? That happened to me a few months ago when I was considering getting a new car.  There were a couple models in particular I liked, and I saw them all the time!

What that is, is the Universe giving me the car of my dreams/thoughts.  It's showing it to me, saying, "You can have this too."  All you/I have to do is Love the car, Love that other people have it, and know and believe that you/I can have it too.

Of course sometimes that's easier said than done.  But that's the key.  Be happy for other people when they have whatever it is you're wishing for your own self.  Don't be jealous, envious, judgmental.  Those thoughts say to the Universe, sure, I might like and want whatever this is, but I don't believe I'll ever have it.  So you feel negative, and send out negative thoughts...thereby keeping the object of your desire from yourself, when the Universe is trying really hard to give it to you!

So Key #1:  Be happy for others, especially when they have or are something you desire for yourself.

And Key #2:  When you encounter people that are or have something you genuinely do not like, still do not send out negative thoughts and judgments.  Instead, "turn away" from it, ignore it basically, and remain neutral.  

Avoid at all costs sending out any negativity.  Negativity attracts negativity, and you will get it back, someway, sometime, somehow.

Remember, before you start stressing out and think, "I can't have another negative thought!" and then berate yourself when a negative thought or judgment does cross your mind... Stay in Love.  Start with yourself.  We're human.  We're not perfect.  We will still have negative thoughts, feelings, and judgments from time to time.  Let it be.  And just let it go.

When you feel negativity spreading over yourself, and you catch it (whenever you catch it), just think "Love."  Douse yourself in Love.  Be kind to You.  Be gentle.  And return to Love.

This chapter of the book got me to excited.  It was definitely an "a-ha" moment for me.  I hadn't made the connection between how I feel about other people, especially when they have or are something I desire for myself... and myself getting, or not getting, whatever it is.

But now I'm excited to go out into the world.  I will now be genuinely happy for people when they win the lottery, go on amazing trips, and have really cool houses.  At least I'll be working on that.

It all starts Today.  And it all is Love.

In peace and love,

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Where's the Love

I'm reading a new book now:  "The Power," by Rhonda Byrne.  It's the follow-up book to "The Secret."  If you have not read it yet, all I can say it Read It!

I'm familiar with "The Secret," though it had been a while since I read the book.  And I'm finding "The Power" incredibly powerful!

If you're not familiar, the brief summary of the concept presented in the book is that we create our lives through not just our thoughts, but the feelings behind our thoughts.  And it's all grounded in Love.

So we can think a certain thought, over and over and over, but if we don't have feeling behind it, it doesn't do much good.  Yet, if we can muster a passionate feeling to support our words and thoughts, then watch out!

I've seen it happen both ways.  I'm a big believer in affirmations.  I have said affirmations that while at first it felt a little awkward and I wasn't sure I'd get whatever it was I was affirming, the more I said it, the more I believed it, and it came to pass!

An example of this is in my relationships.  Four years ago when I was single, I felt ready for "the" big relationship of my life.  I was dating, though not much, and had no one I was seriously interested in.  But I started saying the affirmation, thanking the Universe for my long-term, loving relationship.  I said the affirmation countless times, over a few months.  Then I met my now-fiance!  Would I have met him had I not been saying the affirmations?  Who knows.  But I believe it certainly helped.  I believed it "called" him into my life.

An example of it not working for me was when I said an affirmation about being a successful writer.  This was about a year ago.  I was struggling at the time and desperately wanted to "make it" as a writer, yet I didn't know how, when, or if that would happen.  I had major doubts.  But I dove into the affirmations anyway.  Unlike the affirmations I said regarding relationship, this time I never really felt it.  It always felt like a stretch, and always felt more like it wouldn't happen, than like it would happen.  And guess what?  It didn't happen.

My writing "career" took a nose-dive, causing me to look for other employment, and leading me to where I am today... working a full-time job, and trying to get back on the writing track.  I had no positive feeling behind the affirming words I was saying about becoming a successful writer.  I tried... but I couldn't seem to make myself believe it would happen.

This time it's different though.  For one, I don't feel the desperation I felt before.  My bills are paid, thanks to my steady job.  And two, I have more belief that I am meant to be a writer... and make a good living at it!

So ok... you have the thoughts and affirmations, and you have the positive feelings behind it.  How do you increase it?  How do you give those thoughts and feelings power?


That's the predominant message in the book, "The Power."  Anything we send love to, will increase and grow.

When we feel uncertain, scared, anxious, frustrated, etc, all that is is a lack of love.  And the answer to overcoming those feelings that we all feel from time to time is an influx of love.

As Rhonda Byrne instructs in the book, we can't take away our negative feelings.  They'll always pop up from time to time and that's not the problem.  When we feel anything less than good, happy, and joy, all we need to do is send a surge of love into ourselves, or into that area of our lives.

Not happy with your job?  (I've been there... quite recently in fact.)
Focus on the love you feel for your job.  Love that you have a steady income.  Love that you can pay your bills.

Not happy with a person in your life?
Focus on the love you can and do feel for them.

In relationships, it's easy to let our egos take over and want what we want.  We want to be loved.  We want to be taken care of and cherished.  We want the other person to do all this for us.  But what are we doing for them?

By sitting back and wanting to receive before we give, it won't work.  In order to receive what you want, give love first.

None of this is new.  I suspect most of you have heard this same message from at least one other source.  Wayne Dyer professes it in many of his books and talks.  Sometimes, though, we have to hear something multiple times for it to sink in and have power over us.  I know I've heard how important it is to give in order to receive, and to think positive, and all sorts of that type of message.  And I've tried to do it, with periodic success in the past.  But this time, for whatever reason, it feels different for me.

And that's my hope with this blog.  Even if you've heard these concepts before, I'm hoping that at some point, whether it's today, tomorrow, or next month, it'll feel different for you too.  It'll finally click, in entirety, and you'll be able to soar in your life and create the life of your dreams!

Step 1: Focus on the Love.

Stay tuned for further blog posts on this topic, as I continue to read and study, "The Power."  I'm excited!

In peace and love,


Paying the Bills

Bills.  We've all got 'em.  And if we want to continue living the way we're accustomed to, we've gotta pay 'em.  That's the "new" mindset I'm taking on in regards to my current job.

It's certainly nothing new.  People have been "working to pay the bills" for centuries.  But for me it is new because I haven't believed in living this way.  Until now.  And even now, I'm still on the fence about it.

I would love it if I made ample income through the sales of my fiction novels.  That is the ultimate dream and goal.  But, the reality is, I am not at that point yet.

This was a hard pill to swallow when I realized I wasn't "making it" through book sales alone and I needed to find another job to bring in some money.  I felt embarrassed.  I had been telling people for over two years, "I'm a writer now!"  It had taken a while to get used to announcing that, and now that I had, I could no longer claim that that was my sole profession.

But I'm coming to two realizations about that.
1) I can still say, "I'm a writer."  I can still proclaim that as my profession.  It's still true... and no one needs to know it's not my primary source of income.  After all, is income alone the sole decider of what is one's professional title?  I think not.
2) There's no shame in working a "regular job" while pursuing your dream at the same time.

I always thought, at least to some degree, that people who pursued their passions on the side weren't that passionate about it.  If they were, they'd jump in with both feet.  Dive in head first.  Really go for it.

I see things differently now.  I see that sometimes our life circumstances dictate the choices we make.

So that's the "new" mindset I am approaching my job with these days.  Instead of thinking, "I have to go to work now," I think about it as, "I'm going to pay the bills now."  My work is still my writing.  

Job = paying the bills (temporarily... as long as it's necessary)
Work = my life's work, passion, heart's interest (for me, writing)

It's a small delineation, but, surprise surprise, for the writer in me, word choice makes a difference.

I have also given myself permission to just do my job.  By that I mean, I am working on accepting that it's just a job, and its purpose is to pay the bills.  It's not my passion.  It's not my Spirit's and Heart's desire.  So I needn't give it the time and heart space as if it were.

When I first started my job I devoted a lot of time, energy, and attention to it.  I worked well over the required amount of hours each week.  I directed countless thoughts towards job-related things.  It was new, it was exciting, I was happy with that.

Until I wasn't.  As I've mentioned in previous posts recently, it didn't take too long for my true Spirit to surface and realize, yet again, that this job was not my passion and dream.  Yet I still wasn't at the financial point that I could quit the job and live off my writing.  That simply isn't feasible right now.

So I've come to an understanding.  I can and will devote the necessary amount of time, energy, and attention to performing the tasks of my job sufficiently.  I still take pride in what I do and always want to do and be the best I can be.  But I'm cutting myself some slack.  I'm learning how to do my job, but not make my life revolve around my job.

It's a learning process for me.  I'm used to giving all of myself to whatever pursuit I'm currently pursuing.  That is natural for me.  But I notice I am finding more peace in my current situation, the more I give less of myself to my job, in order to have more of myself to give to my dream.

It's not ideal.  But it's workable.  I'm still hopeful that it'll be temporary (hey, all of life is temporary). I have no idea how long I'll need to continue at this job, or any job, until I've built up sufficient readership and following as a writer.  That may never happen.  But I choose to believe that it will.

I don't believe we would have the desires, passions, and dreams that we have if it weren't possible for us.

What desires, passions, and dreams do you have?  Are you pursuing them?  If not, why not?  And if not, is there a way you can pursue them, even on a small scale right now?

Every step counts.  Every action is important.  Everything you do now sets up your future.

I am setting up my financial future at the moment by doing my job.  And I am setting up my dream future by continuing to write and looking for ways to grow that business.

Continue to grow!

In peace and love,

Monday, May 26, 2014

Are you Stepping Boldly?

I got the following email from today:

"Always, it's the one with a certain and definite dream, who boldly steps into the uncertain and indefinite, who goes the farthest and throws the best after-parties."

Are you stepping boldly into the uncertain and indefinite?

I feel I have the first part.  I have a certain and definite dream to make a living as a fiction novelist.  And the second part, to step boldly into the uncertain and indefinite... I feel I did that too, it just didn't work out.

When I quit my last full-time job as an educational interpreter, that was a pretty bold step.  I took the leap of faith.  I stepped out on that limb.  I focused on writing full-time, and self-published 3 full-length novels, and one novella.  Yet, I didn't see the monetary reward of doing that, and that's the hard part.

Sometimes dreams take a little longer to come to fruition though.  Think about the professional athletes who spend all those years through their childhood, into high school, college, and sometimes beyond, before getting chosen by a professional team and before they can make any money through doing the sport they love.

Think about the stories of authors, dancers, and actors who didn't "make it" until they were later on in life.  Morgan Freeman, I think I read, was in his 50s before "making it" as an actor.  And he's an exceptional actor!  Stephen King has MANY books out there that didn't take off, until the ones that did.

Stories like this abound.  Perhaps the only way to truly know if you want something is for it not to come easy.  For you to try and "fail" on multiple accounts, but to stick with it.

When I started my current traditional job as a job coach, I thought I might be done with writing.  For a period of time I wondered if I had written the books I was meant to write, and it just wasn't meant to be for me... that I was meant to stick to working a traditional job, with the steady paycheck and nice benefits.

But seeing as how I've only been in that job 3 months and I'm already getting that spiritual urge to "run," I don't know that sticking with traditional employment is for me after all.

I say "spiritual urge to run" because it truly feels spiritual.  It's coming from deep within me.  My job is secure.  It's comfortable.  It's a good job.  But my spirit is still calling out.  My spirit feels discontent.

This reminds me of part of the book I'm still reading by Robin Roberts, "Everybody's Got Something."  I can't find the page to quote it exactly right now, but the gist is this:

Many of us don't like to hurt others' feelings, disappoint people, or come across as rude.  So we often make choices that take that into account.  But when it comes to our LIFE, you've gotta drop the fear.  Do what you need to do.

Of course that still doesn't mean to be purposely mean, hurtful, or inconsiderate.  But it's your life; it's in your hands alone; and the outcome is up to you (to a large extent).

In Robin's case, she was talking about a time in the course of her treatment, when she wanted to make a change, but didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  Hers really WAS a potential life or death situation.  Most of our dilemmas aren't so dire, at least not in that sense.  But your life is just as important.

Think about your dreams.  Are you taking bold and consistent action towards them?  That doesn't mean you have to drop everything and dive head-first into the water that is your dream.  But make your way there.

I saw an interview years ago with Po Bronson on the Oprah show after the release of his best-selling book, "What Should I Do With My Life."  If you haven't read it, I also highly recommend it.  To give you a brief summary, Po had a high-profile, very high-paying job.  But he wasn't satisfied with his life.  He was discontent and unhappy.  He made the choice to walk away from his job and be an author full-time.  In his interview with Oprah he said it like this (paraphrasing): "I wasn't going to choose money and then my dream.  Instead, I chose to work my way there, little by little."

Also remember (as I am now) that we don't know HOW things will work out.  And it's not even important that we do.  What's important is to focus on what you desire.  Focus on the end result.  HOW you get there... leave that up to the Universe.

In peace and love,

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beware the "Mind Threat"

Have you ever felt that instant surge of fear, anxiety, or nervousness that accompanies a perceived threat?  But you may not have been able to identify any actual threat, or reason why you're feeling that way?

This happened to me yesterday.  In fact, it's been happening a long time.  It probably happens to all of us throughout our lives.  Someone said something that it instantly triggered my fear response.

For me, at least at that moment, that internal reaction was one of not feeling good enough, not feeling loved, and fear of abandonment.

My ego mind was saying, "This is not good," "I need to do something about this," "I need to control this situation."  

And a year ago I probably would have gone to "that place" and made an even bigger issue out of something really very small.  But fortunately I've learned and grown a lot in the past year and was able to remind myself to just sit with it.  Let myself feel the disturbance, as Michael Singer might suggest.  Keep my heart open and let the fear pass right on out.

We're never going to be 100% free of fear.  There will always be things, little and big, that pop up in our lives that elicit that immediate fear response.  Sometimes they will be warranted, but other times it will just be our ego taking over and running out of habit.  That is the precise time to let go of old fear-inducing habits and grow.

But back to the title of this post: "The Mind Threat."  I realized yesterday as I was letting my fear pass through that there was no actual threat.  It was in my mind.

Someone had said something and with just a single sentence, really a single word, my habitual fear response tied to that word was sparked.

Just because our fear response is set off, it doesn't necessarily mean there's something to be afraid of. It's important to remember that.  That's why I call it the "mind threat."  It's a threat that exists solely in our minds.  Created by our past experiences and our egos.

What mind threats do you have?  

Sometimes we may not even know what our mind threats are until something sets them off.  Our minds are like a mine field.  But when something does trigger a mind threat, just be aware of it.  See what's going on.  Sit with it.  Just let it be.

That's how it will work its way out of your system.  Notice it, but notice it for what it is.  Not for what it isn't.

It isn't a real threat (first you must decide this, of course).
It isn't something you need to control.
It isn't something you need to push down, ignore, or stifle.

It's a part of you that you've been carrying around.
A part that doesn't serve your best interest or highest good.
A part that it's ok to let go of.  

Knowing the difference between mind threats and actual threats is important.  It's an ability you need to hone and grow.  How do you know the difference?

First, get quiet, get still, and let it be.  Don't immediately seek to do anything.

Sometimes it will be clear that it's a mind threat and not an actual threat within a few minutes.  Other times it might take a couple of days.  It depends how deep the issue runs for you.

If it's not something that genuinely requires immediate attention and action, just let it be for a while.  Don't fight it.  Don't do much of anything.  Give it time.

During this time relax your mind.  Relax your heart.  This will also help you to determine if this perceived threat is something that needs addressing, or something that's a mind threat.

It takes time and practice to get good at this.  Each perceived threat is an opportunity to improve and grow.  And what matters is that we all make an effort to improve and grow.

In peace and love,

Monday, May 19, 2014

What's Your Mess?

I'm reading a new book right now - "Everybody's Got Something," by Robin Roberts.  I'm only a few chapters in, but it's very interesting and if you're looking for a motivational, inspirational book, I recommend this one!

One line (so far) really jumped out at me from the book.  "Make your mess your message."  Robin writes that that was something her mother used to say.

I think that's a profound way to live one's life.  We all have "something."  Whether we were abused as children (or adults), lived through foster homes, survived growing up with an alcoholic parent, had a spouse that left us, find out that we can't bear children... whatever that "something" is, we all have it.  And instead of brushing it aside or trying to push it down or ignore it, why not make it your message?

I'm sure you've seen people whose lives are changed and shaped by a certain circumstance in their life.  For example, parents whose child has a rare illness or disease make it their life's purpose and mission to raise money to try to find a cure.  If they hadn't had the child they had, they likely never would have jumped into that cause.

I remember a convocation I attended when I was teaching.  It was a guy who was born without arms or legs.  That was his "mess" in his life.  But he made it his message by touring the country and showing young people that they can do whatever they want in their lives, no matter what perceived limitations they may have to deal with along the way.

Your "mess" may not be as extensive as being born without limbs, or surviving an abusive childhood.  Mine isn't.  Mine, I believe, is that I've held such a wide variety of jobs in a variety of industries.  More than anything else, it seems that's what makes me different from other people I meet.

When I meet someone new and we're having that common conversation of what you do for a living, my story inevitably includes a variety of things, or a comment about how "now" I am ______, but I "used to" ______.  I've never had a simple answer to "What do you do?"

And when I tell people my story, briefly in that early conversation, the typical response I get is one of surprise or "Oh, I could never do that."  Meaning, they could never switch jobs like I have, or switch career fields.  Even if they're unhappy in what they're currently doing or have done in the past.

It's baffling to me, and I suspect some of my readers are more like me in that you DO understand how to "jump ship" and try something totally new and different.  In fact, I know some of you have done just that.  But the vast majority of the people in the world don't seem to be like that.  They seem to get into a career or go down a job path, and stick with it.  Through good times and bad.  They just stay on the path they're on, or perhaps shift it very slightly.

Anyway... when I read that line in Robin Roberts' book, that's what came to mind for me.  My "mess" is never having settled into a steady career path, and always feeling the desire and urge to do something new and different.  Ever since college, I envied people who seemed to really fit into their chosen career path.  They loved it.  They were passionate about it.  They got into it and stuck with it for the long-term.  I've never felt that way.  I've had many "false starts."  Many careers and jobs along the way that I thought were "my path."  Only to have that familiar urge to move on return a few weeks, months, or years later.

I'm realizing now that that is probably my message.  My message that if I can do it, you can too.  That you don't have to feel stuck in any job or career path.  If you want to do something different, you can!  That was part of my impetus when I started this blog.  Because I wanted to share that message with as many people as I could.

I'm still working on how to hone it even more, and how to get my message out to even more people.  But life is a work in progress.  For everyone.

What's your "mess?"  What is it about your life that is unique or challenging?  The challenges are here to teach us something.  And maybe part of what they're here to teach us is that it's our job to teach others, and help others who are going through the same thing.  

So I'll ask again... What's your "mess?"  How can you make it your message?

In peace and love,


Thursday, May 15, 2014

"I Want To" vs. "I Should"

Do you often struggle with what you WANT to do versus what you feel you SHOULD do?  I think it's certainly a normal part of life.  And unfortunately, it seems, our "wants" don't always match up to our "shoulds."

This has been a point of struggle for me in recent years.  I still don't have the answer.  I'm still trying to balance following my heart, my passion, and my interests... and being "smart" and responsible.

For example:  I WANT to be a full-time fiction writer.  And I SHOULD work a full-time job with a steady paycheck.

I'm still hoping that one day those two will merge.  One day my fiction writing WILL provide the steady, abundant paycheck I need to live on.  But the present reality is, it doesn't.

What dreams, desires, goals, or wants do you have for yourself that currently conflict with your shoulds?  How are you dealing with that?

I believe in the power of our thoughts.  I believe that what we think, eventually comes to pass, in one way or another.  That's why I'm so reticent to "resign" myself to thinking, "Oh, I just have to work a steady job for that steady paycheck."  I know there are other ways to make a living than working a steady, traditional job.  So I continue to work on my thoughts and beliefs around that matter.

Likewise, HOW we think about something can make all the difference.

I "should" just keep working at my job, bringing in the steady paycheck, enjoying the benefits.
I WANT to continue working at my job so I CAN bring in the steady paycheck and pay all my bills!

Call me crazy, but I like having a house to live in.  I like having a car to drive.  I like cable television, cell phones, and internet.  I also like to eat, and I like to provide for my animals.  These LIKES require money to fund them.  And I LIKE making money.  My money SOURCE right now is my traditional job.  I'm grateful for it.  I'm thankful I HAVE a job that allows me to have these things I like and want.

It wasn't too long ago that that wasn't the case.  Just 3 months ago I didn't have a job.  I was on the tail end of my "copywriting career," if you could call it that.  It never got off the ground, really.  I made a go of it, it didn't work out, and that's just how it is.  I was nearly out of savings and had no clue what I would do for money after I ran out.  Then came this job.

I was ecstatic when I got it.  I wrote a post on that too.  I have noticed myself, though, slipping back into the "have to" of my job.  I "have to" go to work.  I "have to" do ______.

Remember though, it's all about HOW we think about stuff and the words we use.  Words carry feeling behind them.

I "have to" go to work can become "I WANT to go to work because I LIKE receiving the paycheck every other Friday, and I LIKE watching my savings go UP instead of down!"

I'm still going to piggy-back on my post yesterday and say that I believe we should all continue following our hearts and pursuing our passions.  Giving up on your passions, stopping chasing your dreams, that's virtually the end of LIFE if you ask me.  At least the end of the fun part of life!

So don't give up your dreams.  Don't stop pursuing what you ultimately would LOVE to do with and in your life.  But also practice being grateful for what you have and where you are RIGHT NOW.

It's all a stepping stone.  Your place in life as you read this isn't (most likely) your final spot.  It's not the end of the road, the last stop on the train.  The road goes on.  Farther than the eye can see. The train has more stops.  Just hang on.  Keep going.

Appreciate your present station in life, and USE it to get to the next station.

Enjoy the ride!  WANT to live your life to the fullest and WANT to be your best self, wherever you are!

Peace and love to you.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting back to Balance

I have been feeling way out of balance for a while now.  I'm working my way back.  And writing this post is one of the first steps.  

When I started my new job almost 3 months ago now, I was ecstatic.  It had been far too long since I had a steady income, or much of an income at all, and I was more than thrilled to have that paycheck coming in again.  I was also excited about the job itself.  What it entails is right up my alley in many ways.  So, as I often do, I dove in, head first.   

I've spent the last 3 months totally immersed in my new job.  There has been a lot to learn.  Now that I'm getting the hang of it, I'm starting to feel more and more overwhelmed.  

It seems it should be the opposite.  Once I got the hang of the new job, I should feel less overwhelmed.  But I'm not.  I finally think I figured it out.  

The reason is this:  When I started, it felt right, and necessary, to devote a large chunk of my time and energy to learning the new job and getting as proficient at it as I could, as quickly as I could.  I didn't mind, and even enjoyed, working extra hours and going the extra mile.  I was learning.  It was new and exciting.  

Now it's not new, and not as exciting, and I noticed that I was still caught in the pattern I had established from day 1:  work, work, work; give, give, give.  I'm already feeling burned out, and it hasn't even been a full 3 months!  

Time to step back, remember my priorities, and establish some boundaries.  

Have you gone so far down a certain path, to the detriment of other parts of your life?  Have you let one area of your life take too much of your time and energy, to the point where there's nothing left for your other priorities?  

That's precisely what I've done.  I miss walking my dogs more regularly.  I miss social time with friends.  And I miss writing.  I miss this blog.  That's why this is part of my first step back to balance. I haven't figured out yet when I'll write my posts... in the morning, evening, or on my lunch break (like right now).  But hopefully I will be able to refocus and re-establish my priorities and direction I want my life to go.  

I like my job, generally speaking.  It's a great job.  But I don't feel that it's my "life's work," if you will.  I don't feel that it's the "end all, be all" for me.  But I DO feel that it could be a good supplement to my life.  A part of my life.  

Now it's just a matter of defining that "part" more clearly, and re-building up other parts that I let slide.  

I think balance is one of the hardest parts of adulthood.  I remember many times growing up when my mom would not open the mail for days, or would get frustrated and overwhelmed at what didn't seem like a big deal to me.  Now I get it.  The older we get, the more parts of our lives we have going on.  It's easy for one part to dominate, whether we intend for that to happen or not.  

In our attempt to "do it all," and stay on top of it all, sometimes things slip.  Sometimes mail goes unopened.  Sometimes calls don't get returned.  Sometimes we lose touch with friends.  It happens. What I used to see as irresponsibility, as a naive, innocent child, I see as LIFE.  

Life is busy.  Life can get chaotic.  Life is full of choices, one after another, sometimes hitting us in the face so quickly we don't know what to do.  I've been there....and not too long ago.  Luckily I feel that I'm on the upswing now.  

Want a tip?  Relax.  

I noticed I felt the most frustrated and overwhelmed when I was trying to do it all, and do it all perfectly.  Make no mistakes.  Miss nothing.  

Well, I've made mistakes.  I've missed stuff.  But you know what?  It's ok.  The world will not end.  The sky will not fall.  

Just relax and do your best.  Not the best you think others want you to do/be.  But YOUR best.  

It's your life, remember?  Sometimes it's easy to forget that.  I know for me, I can easily slip into feeling like I'm living FOR someone else.  For my dogs, for my family, for my clients at work.  But no.  I'm living FOR ME.  As are you.  

When I realized this the other day, I felt a shift inside.  Work, family, friends, other life obligations, can put as many pressures and demands on you as they want.  But it all boils down to YOU.  What do YOU want to do?  How are YOU going to live your life?  

Are you living your life the way you want?  At least as much as you possibly can right now, given your current circumstances?  If not, what small changes can you make to get more to YOUR personal balance point?  

For me that means taking time to write this blog, even if it's during my lunch break at work.  

How are you working at getting back to balance in your life?  Or how have you FOUND balance in your life?  I'd love to hear anything you'd like to share!  

*And hopefully you'll be seeing more frequent and regular posts from now on!  ;) 

Thank you for reading!  Remember, this is the ONLY May 14, 2014 that you will ever have.  How are you doing to use it?  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Are We All Crazy?

I just watched the pilot episode of "The Black Box," a new drama TV show on, I think it's ABC.  Have you seen it?  I found it superbly interesting and thought-provoking.  The main thought it stirred up in me is, "Are we all crazy?"

At least a little crazy?

Do we all have thoughts that are outside the "norm?"  Whatever that norm is for us - where we live, with the people and circumstances that surround us?

I'm pretty sure the answer to these questions is yes.  So why do we all try so hard to hide our crazy?  Why do we try so hard to "blend in" and fit the mold?  To be who and what others expect us to be?

Because we want to fit in.  We want to be accepted.  And we all want to meet and know people who are like us.  So we make an effort to be like other people, or to find common connections.

Fine.  That's all good.  But at what point does that trying to fit in stifle our inner genius?  Stifle our true spirit?  Stifle the greatness we are capable of becoming?

I don't have the answer to that question.  It's a fine line though.  Do you toe the line?  Or are you so far back from the line you can barely see it?  Are you afraid of the line?  And what's on the other side?

I am.  Afraid of what's on the other side, that is.  It's unknown.  Unpredictable.  Will making a certain choice make our life better or worse?   

Life is certainly not a clear cut path.

Today I also read the latest article/blog post by Henri Junttila.  I highly recommend it.  Henri has some great insights on life.  He has a gift, for sure.

But anyway, in his most recent article, he touches on several aspects of life, and building the life you want.  One of which is that life isn't a straight shot.  It's full of twists and turns.  That's nature.  It's us humans who try to force everything into straight, clearly defined paths.  Boxes.  Boundaries.  Rules.  Restrictions.

We try to make "sense" of everything.  Try to predict the future.  "If I do this, will he/she/the Universe do that?"  We try too hard to make the best choices and best decisions, so to set ourselves up for happiness and peace later.

This alone can drive one crazy.

I think when we try to force ourselves into these boxes and live by the expectations of others, we stifle our own passion.  Our true, inner Spirit.  And it sometimes takes a lifetime for a person to step out of those boxes and let go of trying to be "good enough" for someone else.  To let yourself be YOU, crazy and all.

It is scary though, isn't it?  We still want what we want.  Whether that's a certain career, a solid relationship, children.  Whatever it is, there's the fear in our minds that if we let out too much of the crazy... if we give in to that voice too much... we'll lose whatever it is we want.

We're afraid of wrecking things for ourselves.  Of screwing up.  Of not being in control.

Again, I wish I had the answer to all of this.  A formula for how exactly to behave, in order to achieve everything.

But life is nothing if not a risk.  Sure, some say that's what makes it fun.  Me, I'd rather know the future outcomes of the actions I'm considering taking.

I'm not talking anything specific here, but generally.  I don't like surprises.  I believe we all make the best decisions we can with what we know and have at that present moment.  But sometimes we learn something a month later, a week later, or a minute later, that had we known that when we were making our choice, it would have altered things greatly.

This is what I'm talking about.  Life can flip on a dime.  Here's where I feel inclined to type all the standard responses... "Yes, that's why it's important to live in the moment." .... "Don't worry about the past or future, live now, it's all we have." ... "Appreciate what you have right now, don't take it for granted." ... Etc.

Life is a game, ultimately.  We're all trying to figure out what's the best move to make, what card to play.  We can win big, and we can lose big.  Or we can play it "safe," whatever "safe" means to you.

Clearly I'm in a contemplative mood right now.  I'm telling you, check out "The Black Box," and leave a comment with your thoughts.  I'm eager to hear them!

Another thing that immediately puts me in a contemplative mood is the song, My Immortal, by Evanescence.  I'm listening to it on repeat as I type this post.

But back to the post... I think we all have so many parts of ourselves.  Conflicting desires.  Conflicting standards.  That's what makes me feel "crazy" at times, I don't know about you.  When I want one thing, and another, totally contradictory thing, at the same time.  When I know something isn't "good" or "right," yet I find that I want to do it anyway.

I guess the song, "Choices," by George Jones is true, and it's a universal part of all our lives... "Living and dying with the choices I've made."            

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Conflicting Feelings

Change stirs things up.  For good or bad.  Usually after a change, big or small, there's  re-settling period.  Finding your new way amid the new circumstances around you.  That's where I'm at now.

I started a new job 3 weeks ago.  I'll start by sharing that I truly love it!  I am honestly excited to go to work every day (seriously!) and love what I do.  I'm looking forward to growing in my job and in the business.

Yesterday I got my first paycheck.  I have to admit, I was thrown.  Surprised.  Disappointed.  I knew what my salary would be.  Obviously that was disclosed upon offering me the position.  But apparently I made a mistake in my calculations regarding what my actual paychecks would be, and it was about $200 less than I anticipated.

It wouldn't be an issue if I was already making well over what I need each month to pay the bills and save a little.  But I'm not.  I sat down last night when I got home and ran some quick numbers.  It was sobering.

For March I'm well below what I need to cover expenses.  But, I only have one paycheck for March, so that is ok.  For April, however, I'm just at, or even still slightly below, what I need.  That was the scary part.  Scary and sad.  I love what I do!  I finally found a job that I genuinely enjoy and feel passionate about.  And it doesn't pay enough.

Once my fiance moves in in May, he'll be splitting all shared household bills 50/50.  So that will help a lot.  At that point I will finally have some cushion.  I'll be able to put some money aside each month for savings and for future desires (home improvements, travel, etc.).

But I can't seem to shake the disappointment.


Last night I reminded myself that everything happens for a reason and everything happens for us, not to us.  I guess it's time for faith in the Universe yet again (is it ever not time for faith in the Universe?).

I think what I'm struggling to accept is I thought when I took this job (or got any job) that all my money worries would be over.  I had been struggling financially for several months, as I wasn't bringing in enough with my writing business.  Hence, the return to traditional employment.  And I assumed that getting a decent-paying job would solve everything.

Well, maybe not everything, but that I certainly wouldn't have to worry about not having enough money.

In my previous professional jobs (ASL interpreter, teacher), I made plenty more than I needed.  I was fairly easily able to build up a nice savings cushion.  And I'm making similar to what I did then.  So what's the difference?

I think it's the lesson that every little bit does count.  Previously I not only had my steady paychecks from my job, but I typically did side jobs for my grandma (which she paid me for), and occasionally other odd jobs to supplement my income.  This time around, at least right now, I have none of that supplemental income.  And I'm starting to see that maybe I need supplemental income.  The hard part, for me, is accepting that fact.

Last night I thought of all the people I know who do supplement their full-time job income.  I've known teachers my whole life who tutor on the side, do other odd jobs, or get summer jobs.  I know a plumber who works full-time for a company, but does jobs for people on the side, in his evening and weekend free time to make extra money.

I'm not sure why it makes me feel better to think about other people working a full-time job and doing something part-time or on the side.  Probably because I feel less alone.  Less like a loser who doesn't make enough money in her full-time job.

Yes, I think that's what I'm struggling with.  I'm proud of my job.  I feel professional.  I feel competent.  I help people.  Then I have the conflicting feelings of not being good enough (i.e. not making enough money).  It's this internal conflict of opposing feelings that I'm not sure what to do with.


I do know this, though.  It will work out.  It always does.  I will have enough money.  Someway, somehow.  You don't have to know how it'll work out, you just need to believe and remember that it will.

Continue to follow your heart.  Do what makes you happy.  Do what you feel passionate about and proud to do.  The Universe will take care of the rest.

..... Now I'll put that to the test......  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Job! New Start!

I have a new job!  And I couldn't be more excited about it!!

I will be working as an "Employment Consultant" - matching clients with jobs that fit their interests and abilities.  I really feel like this job is a combination of all the parts that I liked from past jobs, and is very well-suited to my own interests and abilities.  I start on Monday!

I am thrilled to begin my journey down this new path.  However, at times I've slipped into feelings of regret and disappointment.

It's easy to look back and see how you could have handled things differently and better.  Knowing what I know now, there are certainly things I would do differently, if I could go back just a year or two.  At times I've been hard on myself about this.  But it is what it is.  We all have past actions, or non-actions, that we would possibly change if we could.  But we can't... it is what it is... and such is life.  Live and learn.

I'm making a concentrated effort to stay present and focus on the future, not the past.


Another exciting development, apart from my new career, is the return of my joy of writing.

I had mistakenly thought that since I loved writing, I would love to make a living as a writer.  Not all passions can, or should, become our sole source of income.  Feeling the pressure to make a living through writing alone, I felt my passion and joy of writing dwindle.  Before I knew it, I didn't want to write anymore.


Now that I have a new job, I will soon have a steady source of income, I'm also noticing my desire to write slowly return.  New ideas for fiction stories have begun swirling in my head again.  It's a nice feeling.

I'm definitely a believer in action.  How will you know, for sure, if you'll like something, or be good at something, until you do it?  That's been my life philosophy and I believe it's served me well.

I learned many things in the past two and a half years during which time my only job title was "writer."  I learned about myself, as a person.  I learned what kind of writing I actually like to do, and that there are kinds of writing that I don't like.  I learned what it takes to run a business (and that many aspects of that I don't have any interest in doing).

In the past I've taken jobs for granted.  I feel that now I will be much more appreciative of my steady employment.  I've seen the grass on the other side of the fence and it is not greener.  That, I believe, is the most important lesson I've learned through all of this.

Time to embark on a bright, new career path!  Time to remember what I've learned through my past choices, and step forward with confidence and excitement!

The future starts NOW!