Posted in General, lists

5 reasons to write a blog

It came to my attention today that there may be a private blog, with the same name as mine and it made me think why anyone would want to write a blog in the first place. Why do I write a blog? I have been told that I should just keep a journal, keep my thoughts or feelings for my eyes only. That I have no voice and no need to shout my voice if I did have one. That blogging is a waste of my time and others.

What I find amusing about these statements is that when one writes, there is no obligation that anyone will read the written words. I have no way of knowing who (unless someone likes, comments or follows) actually reads what I have chosen to share with the world. There is no calculating the return on the investment of my time as I am not writing with a specific intent. And those that do read or follow, have no obligation to do so. Blogging is a shared experience, where we come together because we want to.

I started this blog as I love to write. I have always wanted to write and found excuses not to. And I can’t seem to keep a journal at all! But this forum, this avenue of creating, of connecting with other readers throughout the world is amazingly satisfying. It has light a fire in me to keep writing. To finally stop saying “I want to be a writer” and actually becoming one.

If you are thinking about creating a blog; here are 5 reasons why it’s a good idea:

  1. Blogging allows you to be creative. Not just with your words, themes or stories, but also with the look and layout of your blog. There are so many ways you can design your blog, limitless really.
  2. If you decide to let it, blogging can harness your creativity into an area that you are passionate about. I enjoy sharing, talking, spending time with my girlfriends, we all share the struggles and triumphs of motherhood, relationships, work, etc. This constant conversation shows me how valuable our time and energy is and how often we do not treat ourselves as valuable. I find this interesting and it is something I am passionate about changing. I want each woman I know; my daughter to know, how important she is in this world. And how we need to live this truth. By blogging out my thoughts, I have been able to find what I am passionate about and start to pursue that more.
  3. If you are serious about building a blog, it can help you create structure and direction for your writing. Knowing that I have followers, that my blog is read regularly, pushes me to have a somewhat of a writing schedule. To create more content, more often. In a way, this blog forces me to continue pursuing my passion to write. To have no excuses. Write consistently.
  4. Blogging connects you to a community of writers and other creative people. This is one of the things I enjoy the most; the global synergy that blogging has created. Reading other blogs, chatting with people from all over the world; getting to understand other cultures from areas that I may never travel to. The blogging community is an amazing melting pot of so many creative people that it blows my mind. It makes me want to learn more, create more and connect more.
  5. If you want to build an income, if you want a hobby, if you want to share your thoughts and ideas; blogging allows all these opportunities. There are really no limits it seems with what you can blog about. If you have something to share, share it. If you have an idea, let others know about it. If you create beautiful pictures or have fabulous tips, or have traveled somewhere new, etc, and you like to share with others, not just the folks at home; blog.

Go ahead, start now! And don’t hide it. Don’t steal another person’s name. Don’t create under a false pretense. Just create. Create because you have to. Because something inside of you says this will fulfill you. This will open a door for you. Just let the words flow. Follow your bliss as they say.

I am still loving this blogging adventure. Through the good and the bad. Let the words keep coming. Enjoy.

Posted in General

Connected Shelters

The sun is shining here in the northwest today.  The air is crisp but not too cold.  A perfect day for a run.  A mellow day at home,  working on chores,  writing,  relaxing.  A good kind of day.

But as the world often does,  it smacks us with pain and sorrow when we least expect it.  I received news this afternoon from a friend of a tragedy in their world.  And my heart breaks.

I am struck with the way we are connected when we love and care for others.  That once someone truly has a piece of our hearts,  we can’t fully ever get it back and there’s a bond that even time and distance doesn’t fully sever.

Now we don’t have to act upon this bond.  Sometimes we let that piece go,  forgetting we ever gave it away.  When the universe shows us the link,  we don’t have to answer the call.

But sometimes I think the universe reminds us were all connected.  I had sent a message to this friend earlier today,  asking if something was up.  Having no way to know,  that yes,  indeed, something was going on.   These are the moments when I’m shown that when you decide folks are a part of your tribe,  it’s possibly binding.  That perhaps there was a reason I felt the need to contact this friend; today.

As I grieve for my friend and wish to send positive thoughts, I heard this song:
Brother by Need to Breathe.  This song resonated with me as I think of the ties that bind us.  The ways we remain connected.   And I thought I would share the chorus:

Brother let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

I have heard this song many times before, but today it hit me a little differently as I was thinking about how we are to be shelters for one another.  We are to carry each other’s burdens and share the load.  We are not designed to live this life in a bubble alone, we need others. We need brothers. Sisters.  Sometimes we need to lean on one another.

May you hug your loved ones a little tighter this evening.  May you be a fortress in a storm for those that need you to be.  And may we show love to each other, every day.

Posted in vocabulary

Friday’s Word (8)

Today’s word is a word that I love, that I do not think I use often enough nor experience as much as I would like.  But this year I see this happening more and more.  One way to have more in your life is to, “pick the weeds, but keep the flowers”; to borrow a line from a song I like.  I am already filling my life up with the flowers!  I hope that you all experience more of this as well.


Posted in General

What’s love got to do with it…

Taking a shower this morning,  I was struck with ideas of what I want to blog about.  Aren’t we often hit in the oddest places with ideas, when we can’t write them down?  I need a voice recorder in there.  Haha.

One of the things I was struck by, is how little we love ourselves.  How we settle and accept what others tell us love is.  And how destructive that can be.  How not loving ourselves allows abuse in.  That when we don’t practice self-love, we allow all sorts of other things to replace it or feed what we think love is supposed to feel like.  We eat too much, drink too much, perhaps use other drugs.  We may be addicted to exercise in a negative way.  Wanting to fill up those places that need love, but not recognizing that we need that love from ourselves first.

In the last few months I’ve studied love.  I’ve studied abuse.  And I’ve come to see how I was set up to accept someone else’s version of “love” when what I needed was to find my own version.  What I needed was to see that I couldn’t love another person fully, without first loving myself.  And by not creating an environment within me that was loving, I was vulnerable to accepting less.  I was vulnerable to a predator and allowing their version of “love” that was actually abuse.

So how do we love ourselves?  How do we create these feelings of love?  How do we set ourselves up to accept and give love?  How do we recognize that love has everything to do with how we run our lives?  Self-love specifically!

I am more spiritual than religious these days, but I couldn’t help but think of the 1st Corinthians 13 passage from the Bible that explains what love is.  No matter what, this is always my go-to when defining love.  So I thought about how am I measuring up these days, using this list, in how I love myself.  Am I on the right track?  Am I setting myself to still be vulnerable to others definitions and possible harm?  Or have I finally started to make progress in self-love?  In self-acceptance?

Let’s take stock: (I have condensed this passage for my purposes of this post)

  1. Love is patient—ah, patience.  How this is a tough one for me.  I struggle with wanting to see immediate results, but if I evaluate honestly the last few months, yes I am learning to be patient with myself.  To let go of the idea that I need to be anywhere other than where I am right now.  I am learning that each day is an opportunity to grow and I am changing.  I am more patient with myself when things do not go the way I may have planned.  I am learning to let go more.
  2. Love is kind—when applying this to self-love, I frame this in how I talk to myself.  Are the words I use kind?  Are they uplifting?  Are they motivating me to be the best me I can be?  I would say that in the first month or so of healing, no they were not.  But now a few months later, I am learning to speak kindly.  To change my thoughts if they try to tell me I am not enough, or not good enough.  Learning to speak kindly to oneself, creates a habit that helps us speak kindly to others.
  3. Love is not proud or boastful—there is a fine line between arrogant and confident.  You should be confident in yourself.  That is not being proud in a boastful way, but being proud of who you are.  Of what you bring to the table in interactions with others.  In what you can accomplish.  Being confident to know that you are creating the best version or yourself, that you are living your best life.  That is not boastful, that is saying you love yourself enough to create the best life for you.  It is ok to know that you are awesome!  Say it, I am awesome!  I recall years ago when I was pregnant with my second child, I was in this class, they made us repeat a mantra every day in the mirror.  It was ALL about self-love, about recognizing our brilliance and it was HARD to do.  I have begun to do this again.  To accept that knowing my value is not boastful or proud, but non-negotiable.  The only way I can demand someone to treat me as worthy is if I believe I am.
  4. Love is not rude or easily angered—Again I think this applies to how we speak to ourselves.  How do you react when you fail?  When you forgot something that was important?  When you do something that you wish you hadn’t?  Do you call yourself names?  Do you say “I am so dumb, lazy, stupid, ashamed, etc?”   I think we are often in robot mode with our reactions to our own mistakes or shortcomings that this can be tough to even notice.  But if we talk rudely to ourselves, I imagine it’s more robotic to talk rudely to others.  I am learning to first notice my word choices with myself.  And secondly to change them.  To reframe them in a more positive way that helps me show myself love and creates a learning opportunity to change how I think and speak. When I forget something instead of my instant thought to be, oh you are so dumb, I am saying different things such as next time I will write that down.  I will create a list and look at it so I do not forget important things.  Changing our reactions, even in our own minds takes practice.
  5. Love keeps no record of wrongs—ooohhh, this is a big one.  We like to keep a record.  To keep score.  I am not too sure why we enjoy this as humans, perhaps I will study this more, but we seem to strangely enjoy ( I only say enjoy because ultimately we get something out of it) having a list for ourselves or others of the wrongs committed.  All of us can draw on the times that we said something we regret or did something we wish we could change.  But in learning to love ourselves, we must learn to let go of these lists.  When I inevitably recall some of the moments of this last year, last week or an hour ago, moments that I wish I had responded differently, instead of keeping score with myself and speaking unkind, I am starting to see them as learning, teaching moments.  Asking myself, if that was right now, today, how would I respond?  What can I do differently?  I also love the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins, I highly recommend trying it out; it helps with learning to be less reactionary.
  6. Love delights in the truth—this one is easy for me as a truth seeker.  At least about others.  I greatly seek to avoid those that have a character of a liar.  Those that enjoy living in the dark versus the light.  But applying this to ourselves can be a bit tough.  Do we tell ourselves the truth or do we sugar coat it because if we are honest, we may have to make some changes?  I had to search within me recently to see that I kept saying I want to get into shape, that I want to be fit, but I was not doing anything about it.  I wasn’t being fully honest.  The truth was, I wanted it to be easy.  I didn’t want to actually work out.  I didn’t “feel” like it.  Once I was honest with myself, I was able to get past the obstacle and seek what I truly want. I do want to be fit, so I have to accept that it is work….just like anything else worthwhile.  So I set a daily goal, an attainable goal that is and started working out.  Start small, but just start.
  7. Love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres—yes it does.  And this is often hard to apply to ourselves in a positive way.  I know I have many times thought I was loving myself by building a wall to others.  That I was protecting myself from getting hurt.  But in reality, I was not being vulnerable or open to allowing love in.  This is not a way to show myself self-care and love.  We are all built to connect with others.  When I trust myself, when I know how to love myself, I can be open to others.  I can be vulnerable and let love in.  Knowing how to love myself, allows me to hope that I can recognize when another is truly loving, allows me to keep pushing through tough moments and creates a better me.

How are you measuring up on the loving yourself scale?  Does this type of list help you see any areas that could use improvement?   If we are loving ourselves first, then we are better equipped at loving those around us.  Just going through this has me seeing even more ways I can improve and continue to grow.

I hope that you are loving yourself today.  Let’s keep moving forward.

Posted in vocabulary

Friday’s Word (7)

I love vocabulary days, searching for new words or just finding words I enjoy the sound of.  This week has been all about making a reading list to work through during 2018.  This made me start to think of libraries and how much I love books.  And how often we seek truth in books, so this seemed a fitting picture.  Enjoy today’s word.

Posted in goals

New Year’s Resolutions—or not!

Happy New Year!  Welcome, 2018!  It’s the 2nd day of the new year, did you get up early today?  Hit the gym?  Start a new program?  Write? Read?  Start a new diet?   If you are like the majority, you are working hard today to start something new, to change your life.

I am not mocking this. I love the beginning of a new year, what feels new and fresh and a great opportunity for change.  For years I have done the same thing.  Every New Years Day it was all about setting family and personal goals.  Some years I achieved many of them, more often than not I haven’t.   I might hit a few, make it further than the average of January 15th before giving up, plain forgetting or losing focus.  Letting the distractions of raising a family and having a job get in the way of what I tell myself I want to accomplish.

This year, I decided was going to be different.  Back in November I started to research and listen and seek new ways of reaching goals.  Ways of making lasting changes rather than just words and never following through.  I also decided that I would not wait until January 1 to start some of these things.  That when I really want to change, I need to act NOW!  Some things I gave myself a deadline of December 31, that January 1 would be a jumping off point, but not a resolution!

I like new.  I like to move, to change my environment.  I was once told I would make a good military wife because I enjoy new places, learning a new area, meeting new people, that I am very adaptable.  I have never minded moving.  There is excitement in change.  But I have also realized that I like the changes that I control.  Surprises, unexpected changes that I am not the one driving, these are not so much to my liking.  I imagine this may be the truth for many of us.

But setting goals and accomplishing them, these are in my control.  Changing my own ways of thinking, my daily actions, my personal beliefs that I tell myself about myself, my body, my finances, etc; all of these are within my control.  We often set resolutions that we allow others; our children, spouses, families, friends, time, etc to distract and pull us away from.  I think it is possible to accomplish anything we wish!  But to do that we have to change our mindset.

So while researching new ways to set “resolutions” and accomplish goals, I found some things that I am doing this year to change the way I tackle the New Year!  To create the life I desire.  And I didn’t wait till Jan 1, sometimes we might want to follow the definition of resolution:  1. the act of resolving or determining upon an action, a course of action, method,  procedure, etc   2. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute, firmness of purpose. 

With the definition of resolution in mind,  here are a few of  things I have been doing and how I am approaching 2018:

  • I found a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, read it and immediately started the daily practice.  I was already doing the Exercise piece, but I implemented the remaining activities.
  • I started working out 5-6 days a week.  Nothing major, mostly walking at least 30 minutes a day,  adding in weights, biking, new activities every few weeks.  Again I started this the day I decided to, back around Thanksgiving.
  • I began reading every day.  Mostly these are personal development books, but there is some mind candy in there as well.  Sometimes we just want some fluff.
  • I chose to pick a word for the year instead of a list of goals or resolutions.   My word for this year is DELIBERATE.  I choose to make deliberate choices with my time, my money, my children, my friends, etc.  I want that what I do lines up with the vision of the life I want to create.  And in becoming deliberate, I don’t allow others or life circumstances to dictate for me, to get me off course.  If I am deliberate then even when the tough moments hit or I don’t “feel” like moving towards the goal, I will already be in the habit of making choices that align with my goals.  I won’t say no to working out just because I am out of town, or on vacation or only have a few minutes.
  • I am back to creating lists.  I grew up in a home where my mom was always making a list.  For EVERYTHING it seemed!  I too used to make lists!  I would create a chore list, often after I had already done a couple of chores, so I would add those to the list, just so I could cross them out and feel a little bit accomplished.  Lol.   I am not sure when or why I stopped the practice of making a list, but I am back to this practice.  For me, I am finding that creating a weekly list of things I want to get done that week is working better for me.  I am able to decide what days and times work best for me to get these items done and can check them off and then evaluate at the end of the week if I completed these and if not and they are important, move them to the next week.  Creating a weekly list has improved my productivity and sense of calm and peace in my home and self.
  • I listen to podcasts, YouTube videos, anything that is in alignment with helping propel me forward rather than keeping me stuck.  This may be a specific area or multiple;  I choose to listen to a topic for a week or however long it takes to change my mindset, my focus and assist in making a change.

How do you start the New Year?  Do you set goals, resolutions, things you hope to accomplish?  Do you have these grand notions of all the changes you can make in one year?  How are you going about doing that?  Do you have a plan or just an idea?  Have you had past success and how did you make the changes you wanted?  I would love to hear what you are doing to make 2018 your best year!

Look for changes as I continue to focus in on my vision for this blog; living out our best selves, our best life. Finding ways to create lives we love as women, mothers, daughters, wives, friends, etc.  I wish you a fabulous first week of 2018!  May this be the year you accomplish those resolutions, or not.  Perhaps you will find a new way to tackle the goals you have!  Find a way to live your BEST LIFE!


Posted in Uncategorized

The end.

This year is rapidly coming to a close.  For some 2017 may have been the Year! Business,  relationships,  career,  perhaps many great things happened in these areas of your life.

For me,  I can not wait to say goodbye to this year and hello to 2018!  2017 was a hard year emotionally and physically for me.  If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I spent a lot of the year moving through and healing from an abusive relationship.  You also know I had back surgery and have been recovering from that as well.  It was a bit tough.

As we are finishing up this last week of the year and heading into the new,  I thought I would finish with sharing the joys of this last year as I’m looking forward positively.  I find it helpful to take a look back, sort through and get ready for the new.

The highlights of 2017:

  • Enjoying living in a house rather than an apartment.
  • Becoming closer to my teenagers. 
  • No more living in daily pain; back surgery a success. 
  • Started a blog.
  • Learned about loss and healing. 
  • Spent time with family that I’d not seen in years. 
  • Traveled to new states with my children. 
  • Able to share the holidays with family, some for the first time.
  • Made new friends, cultivated and grew some others.
  • Began a daily workout routine. 
  • Learned the value of meditation.

As tough as 2017 may have been, there were still many great things that occurred.  I’m a big believer in mindset,  that what we focus on will magnify.  So as the year comes to a close,  I’m encouraging you to take stock of what went right, what were the positives that happened in your life.

I’ll be making some changes to as we begin 2018, look for them.  As always,  I welcome your feedback.

Happy New Year!