Category Archives: Inspiration

No shame in being me!

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I have been feeling pretty good lately. I admit that there is an underlying anxiety about
“stuff” sometimes but then I remind myself that there are things I can’t really control and
losing peace of mind over them is helping no one.

My emails this morning included a TEDx presentation from one of the “life coaches” that I
follow and whose newsletters I subscribe to.  I really enjoy watching her, she is young and is
passionate about her career and about connecting with people. I identify with her because if
I were younger I might actually look into a similar path for myself. Alas, at 61, frankly, the list
of things I will really be able to do before I’m 100 is getting shorter and shorter which is okay
with me.

I bring up the TEDx talk because about 10 years ago, I decided that I wanted to one day give
a TEDx presentation. I was so full of energy and I was involved in an organization in our small
town that was becoming somewhat successful at getting things done in the community. I felt
that I had the passion and the talking skills necessary to stand up in front of an audience and
energize them to feel the way I did: that the world was a friendly and wonderful place and that
we all had an obligation to be active participants in our lives. I felt I could really transmit the
message and that we would all benefit. Plus I thought it would be lots of fun.

My colleague (and up to that time, a person I thought was my close friend) mocked me and
essentially questioned not only my talent but my thinking that anything I could possibly put
forward would interest an audience. I remember being disappointed about the reaction but
I was so naive (embarrassingly naive, in fact) that I quickly decided that my “friend” had my
best interests at heart and probably knew best. A couple of years after that incident, our
friendship was permanently severed and it took me a few years to get back my early confidence.

Several years passed.  I was left to lead an organization that I didn’t want to be a part of at first
but was committed to finishing out my tenure at. I worked tirelessly and pro-bono because I
had pride and a reputation to protect. I did more than anyone but was humble when people
praised me. Looking back today, I can actually point out the many areas in our small town that
improved as a result of my personal attention. Rarely do I point these things out. However, today
when I watched the TEDx talk that the life coach shared with us, it took me back! And we all
know what happens in the world of Youtube! Suddenly you find yourself in that unavoidable
“rabbit hole” that brought me to a couple of other talks that had fat/body acceptance/living life
NOW rather than waiting to lose weight…that really, really motivated me.

In 2015, I was asked to give a motivational speech about bilingualism. I prepared my talk with
the usual energy I bring to everything and I was wonderfully fulfilled that it went exactly the way
I had hoped. I think of that speech as my TEDx talk and look forward to another opportunity to
be myself. At 61, I think I have earned the right to do so!

Here is the link to one of the talks I listened to today. Enjoy.

Bing.com image

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Reading helps with writing!

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I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I knew that writing was important
because every morning when I was a child, my parents kept asking about whether or not the
newspaper had been delivered. I began at about age 4 to look out the window and when I
saw the paper delivery person arrive, I would announce this news to the family. I can
remember that my parents couldn’t wait to get their hands on the source of news! That’s
why I knew that telling stuff in writing was a good thing.

Fast forward almost 60 years and I can definitely say that I have been writing one way or
another all of my life. When I was in my 20’s, I wrote a short story (humor) and sent it off
to an agent who proceeded to tell me that it was good but that in its current presentation,
it would not be bought by anyone. So for a fee of only (whatever it was at the time, I can’t
remember), they would edit and submit it to several publishers. I sent in my money but got
nothing but rejection letter after rejection letter. I gave up and don’t know what I did
with the story which was a loose version of an autobiographical incident that took place in
my own life. The agents, of course, strongly suggested that for an additional fee they might
be able to revamp the story and make it ‘sellable’. I was not so sure.

In the last 10 years, I have written and published a local on line magazine which I stopped
working on in March. In a way, it was a pity to end it because there were some very worthy
journalists who contributed each month, but it had become a heavy responsibility and I found
I had no time to write or develop the themes that have been dancing in my head for years.
Now I have a little bit of spare hours each day but I find that I can distract myself with
all manner of occupations before I eventually find my tush on the chair. I try to look at
this situation objectively instead of taking aim at myself and my writing habits.

Last week I had to renew a 600 page book at the library because I was not able to finish
reading it in the 3 weeks they loaned it to me for. The story is fascinating and it moves
fast but I rarely take the time to read during the day, saving it for bedtime when I know
that as soon as I put head to pillow, I fall asleep! Today, I will try to visit the recliner
I purchased a month ago (but used only 5 times so far) and read for an hour to advance in
the story. I find that when I am reading, I can actually work out some of the details that
are holding me back in my own stories.

Reading helps my writing because I can experience for myself the way another author
transports readers from one place to another. I am hoping to write more frequently
and more easily about universal things that interest all of us. It is true that every story
has been told. It is equally true that we can all tell the same story in a different manner.
Just ask any family with lots of siblings and they will each remember the same incident
in a different way.

I came across that lovely sentence by Steven Aitchison quite by accident. One click
usually leads to many clicks and hours wasted spent searching one thing or another,
but in this case, it was a good find.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy musing!

bing.com free to use image

A new beginning begins with a promise…

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Call me old fashioned…I am! I love, love, love the idea behind weddings.
I think the commitment to work on a marriage after the glitter of the wedding
festivities is just a memory is a very sexy thing. In this modern world of
alternative ways to live ones life, I find that marriage is still something
that most young and old people strive to succeed at. Perhaps this is why despite
a failure or two, people continue to remarry. I am one of those people and have
so far succeeded in marriage #2! I am thankful I found “the one” and I am more
than confident, he feels the same way.

I recently attended a wedding that was more than 18 months in planning. Everything
was original, from the bridal party configuration to the wedding favors. Everyone
was happy; both families rejoicing in their children’s union and hoping for wonderful
things in the future. It was exactly what a wedding should be: the joining of two
completely different cultures with one single goal, to go forth in love and health.

May the happy couple and their families continue to be blessed.

Image of wedding cake: Bing.com public domain image

Up here in the country!

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My desire to write has brought me at last to a place that is quiet and bereft
of distractions. I have been awake since 8 a.m. and it is only now (5:06 p.m.) that
I have actually stopped doing the busy work (checking emails, deciding what to have
for breakfast and lunch, taking out the pet in my care, etc.) and actually sat down
to write.

It is true what I heard not long ago, writing is an invisible job. No one knows you
are actually creating anything until it comes out and often it takes years before a
story is properly structured and can be read as a book.

Wish me lucK in this endeavour. I have left all my notes with my protagonist’s angst
safely stored in a place I cannot access it right now. What is that all about?

image: bing.com public domain image

Mental voyages

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daydreaming

Every morning after I wake up and begin my morning routine of breakfast, making the
bed, going to the pool to do my daily laps, I say my verses (prayers, if you will)
and trust that the day will unfold slowly and without distractions so that I can sit
in front of my computer and work on my writing. With very few exceptions, by the
time I actually am ready to face the day – that is showered, dressed and ready to
go out should it be necessary – I have lost the inspiration and the words that seem
to have come so easily while I was swimming! I wish I had a waterproof gadget that
could record the wildly complete and good paragraphs that vanish into thin air as
soon as I touch real life!

On Sunday mornings, I usually devote a good 3 to 4 hours writing my “inspiration” blog
that reaches about 200-300 people in my community. Although I don’t always feel the
inspiration, I think of that Sunday blog as my “job”, a self-assigned task that I have
committed to and have written for about 9 years. I use those 3 to 4 hours reading other
blogs, answering or reading new emails, listening to all kinds of music before I actually
write my first sentence. But in all the years I have done the blog, I have not failed a
single Sunday, a fact that actually surprises me and touches a bit on the kind of personality
I have. I am nothing if not responsible and I know that there are people who actually wait
until they have received and read my Sunday message before they actually begin their day.
I know this because people have often written to tell me or they stop me in the street to
share this important fact. I suppose that my writing for myself (or my book) does not carry
the same urgency I feel about the Sunday blog. I think it is time to change that and make
it a daily part of my routine. I suppose that is why I am writing here today…just to get
into the habit of writing more often. In my mind I have no writer’s block, it happens just
as I sit to actually write…

image from Bing.com public domain

What a difference a day makes…

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large-Cute-Fat-Round-Bird-166.6-16989

Large, cute, fat round bird is the description of that clip art beginning this post!
It is definitely cute as am I except that I am a small, cute, fat round woman! I can’t
believe that I can actually write that and accept it as being the objective reality right
now of my physical manifestation. The inside of me feels exactly the same at this age and
weight as it did 40 years ago when I was normal weight and very young! Wow, it is so
refreshing to feel at peace with this, a new normal I hope to pursue.

I’ve been quite busy these days, helping my customers navigate the different processes
that allow them to remain permanent residents in the country. It is always fun to meet
new people who have other concerns on their mind besides whether or not I look the part
I am about to play in their lives (competent consultant!). It’s an incredible rush when
someone hugs me at the end of a complicated translation ordeal and tells me the words that
I have always responded to (more than money!) “I/We could not have done this without you!”
Although I know they could have (it would have taken longer, not been as much fun, etc.),
it is always nice to be acknowledged and recognized for having expertise in something.
From now on, I will stop pretending that my skills just came with me when my parents
“ordered” me from the stork. My skills are a result of my dedication, ability and desire
to help people. It’s been a great week!

…give me one more day

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Natalie cole

Natalie Cole died in the first hours of 2016.  Nothing could have made me sadder and
as I read the news I thought of all the things I say to myself when I feel I am not
perfect…little realizing how much rejection hurts.

Geneen Roth reminded me the other day (on a recording from a workshop I “attended”
five years ago) that it is vital to be grateful for every single moment we are granted
to breathe and live and have the opportunity to change our life. She says something like
what would the people who died today give for one more minute or one more day on earth?
Rest in peace Natalie, may you be reunited with all those you love up in heaven.

image of Natalie Cole, Bing.com

A Chanteuse!

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singer

As I write my regular Sunday blog, I usually listen to music for meditation or
other relaxing, inspiring music. After I finish my writing, I browse the You Tube
channel for other kinds of music and let someone’s playlist go on for a while. Today
I happened to begin with Richard Marx and then the playlist segued to the gorgeous
voice of Whitney Houston. I felt at once exhilarated by what her voice was like and
incredibly saddened by what became of her. I could actually hear the deterioration
of her voice as the years went by and I am overcome by grief for the years her
destructive addictions robbed from her precious life…and her daughter.

When I was a child, I loved to sing, fancied myself a future chanteuse! My mom was
never fond of this idea saying singing was fine as a hobby but not something worth
entertaining as a career. Like the obedient child I was, I put the idea away but
continued to sing every chance I got. I married a controlling man many years my
senior when I was just 20. He didn’t like any singing and scolded me any time I
sang so I soon stopped and realized just some months ago that I have gotten completely
out of the habit of singing and that my voice (never anything special) is no longer
even what it once was. But I still can carry a tune and I think I should begin to
sing once again, even if only in the shower!

First day of Christmas

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Partridge

It’s the first day of Christmas! From where I sit, I can hear a radio playing and
a bird singing but the rest of the atmosphere is hushed and it doesn’t seem a bit
like the Christmases of the past. It has been a difficult year for me on many levels
but I have never been the kind of person to dwell on things so I guess this year will
be no different.

I look forward to 2016 with an optimism not matched by recent years. I anticipate many
new and exciting adventures and I am open to meeting new people and finally letting go
of others whose interests and leanings no longer reflect the person I am today.

For today, may I enjoy a day free of bad habits and in good health and good cheer.

A Merry Christmas

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xmas tree

I live in a tropical country where Christmas is celebrated in the ‘summer’.
Christmas carols in Latin American tropical countries are joyful, happy,
songs in stark contrast to the solemn traditional carols of the U.S. where
I spent most of my youth.

As I sit in my living room and look at the beautifully decorated Christmas
tree, I am conscious that today does not feel like Christmases of the past.
Perhaps it is because my children are not all here; our daughter is here but
she is heading to the beach in a few hours and our sons are still in the U.S.
and while one will arrive between now and the New Year, one son will remain
where he has been for the last few months.

My parents stopped putting up a Christmas tree after we were all gone from home
and I never thought the same would happen to us but I notice that every year
I take out less and less decorations because dismantling and putting things
aways is honestly a bit of a chore.

The real reason for celebrating Christmas (the birth of Jesus and the optimism
with which his arrival was met by people who lived at that time) will never change
whether I decorate or not and this makes me feel some comfort, at least some
traditions will never change.