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Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Tuesday Morning Coffee: getting your groove on or back or sideways or however a groove works – haw!

When Angie’s nekkid husband comes in (but we didn’t get to see him – lawd!) and Ann says she flaps around her house like a bird – well dang — and I receive texts that Ann interprets as inappropriate (because they usually are – teehee). But we do manage to stay on topic, a little anyway.

And yes, I have neglected my blog and for that I offer up only discombobulated grunts. One day my life will fall back into place, but won’t that be boring? haw! My life, right now, is all about exploration and discovery and wild rides and meeting new people and seeing new (and old) places and experiencing things I’ve never experienced because I’ve been afraid or busy or made excuses or was hiding — now, well, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAWWWWWWWWWWW! watch out, Kat (or watch out, World – maybe I should say!). All many of these experiences will go into my new novel. Yeah. WHUPOW!

Advice from “Big Sis” Kat Magendie . . . .

156The farthest thing from a young woman’s mind is that time far off into the future when she will be considered “Middle Aged And Menopausal.” Who has time to think about that when your toddler is crying and your eight-year-old just threw up all the pizza, cake, and, I’m not kidding—sushi (sushi?)—he had at a birthday party where the parents spent more to please Bobby or Suzy than what you spend on two-weeks of groceries? Or your boss has asked you to work late and on the weekend—again. Or you’ve over-extended your obligations to (fill in obligation blank here)—again.

Listen: how you treat yourself and how you ask to be treated by those around you will forever affect the person you will become. Who are you?—I mean, the real you, the Woman You, the one you must face in the mirror from now until, well, until you can no longer look into a mirror, or perhaps not care to (look anyway, for you are beautiful!)? For one day in your future you will gaze at yourself (even if through others eyes) and see the woman you have become from the experiences you have now. As your big sister, I want to tell you to care for yourself. To think in terms of gratitude, and health, and well-being—one decision at a time—in what you eat, drink, behave, grow, and how you perceive the world and react to it (or how you expect it to react to you).

Hair Dryer Antics Update & Oregon here I come. . .Consider the benefits you will receive right away, yes, but also think about two years from now, five, ten, twenty—your body and mind will become healthier and stronger so that you will have more energy for your busy life, and further, when you reach My Age, you will have fared better with such a healthy physical and mental base. You will be well-prepared for the Next Stage, even if that next stage is “simply” to be as good a grandmother as you are a mother. Your future you will thank you. Trust your big sister—she knows.

 

Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Finally, when is the last time you patted yourself on the back for a life well-done? Have you been perfect? I bet not. Has every day been a gloriously sunshine-filled day of joy and happiness? Probably not. Have you lost your temper, been in a foul mood, screamed at your kids/husband/co-worker/the person in line at the grocery who has fifteen items instead of ten in the ten-item line? Maybe. But if you did not do these things on occasion, I’d wonder what you were trying to prove. We’re all human, and we all need to give ourselves a little break now and then to consider just how hard it is to Be Humanly Human. You have permission to love yourself, to have gratitude for your days, to love yourself enough to care what happens to you now and then later and for the rest of your life.

 

 

The Lightning Charmer cover1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_n*note: My friends – The Lightning Charmer $1.99 sale has been extended for a couple more days on Amazon Kindle. It’s been steadily moving up the charts – all because of all of you! Thank you! I am grateful for every single sale. Y’all are awesome! And if you haven’t yet checked out Lightning Charmer, I hope you will.*

Work-out Writer: Do you give up if results don’t come to you quickly? Well, dang it, stop it!

121Samplings of today’s work-out soundtrack: Everybody Talks, Neon Trees; What Does Tomorrow Bring (Extended Mix), Starkillers & Richard Beynon; Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself), Ne-Yo; Hey (Nah Neh Nah), Milk & Sugar & Vaya Con Dios; Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), Kelly Clarkson

But I don't wanna! Well do it anyway! Huhn.

But I don’t wanna! Well do it anyway! Huhn.

Fitness does not happen over-night. Yeah, yeah, you say, I know that. *eye-roll* DUH, Kathryn.  Well then, smart-ass, why do I see people giving up so easily when they don’t see the results they want after just a few workouts/meal plan changes? Over and over again I see this happen. People want results and they want them in a hurry. Well, guess what? All those layers of bad habits crept up on you a little at a time, so the changing will have to come with time and work and sacrifice/discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Is that in your head yet? Time  . . .  Work . . . Sacrifice/Discipline.

Yeah, I'm sexy and I know it . . .

Yeah, I’m sexy and I know it . . .

You start with what you have and you work to make that the best you are able to with time, work, sacrifice/discipline: best heart/lung–cardio—condition, best muscular/skeletal condition, best endurance, best strength, best whatever it is you want—or all of the above. This isn’t about turning yourself into someone you see in Hollowweird. This isn’t about looking like, or working out like, your best friend-brother-sister-neighbor-someone you see at the gym; this is about doing and being the best YOU. And it is about not giving up and giving in when the going is difficult, or when the results you desire do not come to you as quickly as you imagined. For those who stay the course, they are rewarded–this I can guarantee.

But what's on the other side of this sign? Another path - yup.

But what’s on the other side of this sign? Another path – yup.

Sometimes it does seem as if nothing is happening to our bodies even when we work hard. Folks, I promise you that things ARE happening! You must be patient, you must keep working towards your goals, you must not give up and give in! You must show your body/mind that you mean business so it will be open to change instead of trying for homeostasis, the status quo. For example, I’d often hear clients lament: “I’ve been working out and eating better for two weeks and I look the same! I’m so frustrated I just want to give up!” Well, keep going, I’d tell them. Do Not Stop. Because the reward does come. Our bodies work in mysterious and wondrous ways, and not always in the way we expect them to. But please believe me when I say: if you are truly working out and eating healthfully; if you are truly making healthful changes to your life-style, then it WILL show, the change will come, guaranteed. It is science, biology–we are beautiful biological machines.

I have my eye on you . . .

I have my eye on you . . .

Don’t work out and eat healthfully for someone else. Yes, this may motivate you in the beginning, but you will feel resentment flash up and ponk you on your head until you are dizzy and pissed off. You must do this for you. Aren’t you worth it? Hmmm? Of course you are! Although I will add that becoming healthy for your children’s/grandchildren’s sake is something to consider. Besides, do you want your children/grandchildren to have to look after your old tired unhealthy ass because you didn’t take care of yourself? *giving you the personal trainer evil-eye*

DSC_0023

follow the road and see where it takes you

So, there you are where you are, whatever the case may be. You find a reasonable starting goal and you work towards it, and when that goal is achieved, you find another one, and another one, and you keep building on those goals. The results will come, but they come at a price, and that price is hard work and time and sacrifice/discipline. Stop expecting change to come so quickly; stop expecting the “end result” to come without the work, for when you do not allow yourself to climb up the fitness ladder a rung at a time, you set yourself up for Half-Ass. Isn’t Kick-Ass better than Half-Ass? I think so.

And you writers out there — near-bouts every work-out post I write has a message for writers in it–as does this one.

It’s the same concept with your manuscript. A good novel/story does not come from rushing through it with the desire to “get it out there as quickly as possible.” That “shitty rough draft” deserves time and work and sacrifice/discipline. Start with what you have and build on that. Write it, and then edit edit edit, until you have a Kick-Ass story/novel, instead of a Half-Ass story/novel. What’s your rush? Slow down. Don’t expect the end result–something you’ll be proud to have your name on–to come to you easily and quickly. Give it the attention it deserves. One rung at a time.

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DSC_0051Work-out tip of the day: If you aren’t listening to music while you work out – please do try it! The tempo keeps you going, the music distracts you, it puts you in a great mood, and motivates you to work harder.  There are iPods and iPod Shuffles (the small iPod Nano), and if you do not want to invest in that, there are all kinds of MP3 players out there. Load ‘em up with energetic music and Have Fun!

Professor Dawg says, "Woof!" - that means, write it all good and all, y'allses

Professor Dawg says, “Woof!” – that means, write it all good and all, y’allses

Writing tip of the day: Do you really need to write “started to” . . . ? It started to rain; she started to cry; he started to run—you could just have the action itself: It rained; she cried; he ran.

Later y’all.

Work-out Writer: Muh-muh-muh-muh-my Persona(s)–The Bionic (writer) Woman

finding strength

finding strength

Three times a week I put on my work-out clothes, take my gym bag of goodies, and head out to Waynesville Recreation Center, whereupon I put on my running shoes, climb upon a treadmill, and work my ass off—running, skipping, jumping, flailing, hopping, and jitterying about. The music is blaring in my ears (which is a joy, for I don’t have a chance to listen to music as much as I’d like). I am facing forward, seemingly in my own world as I do what gives me great pleasure—

dsc09814I thought I was an island of me, until people began to approach me. GMR calls them my “fans” and it makes me laugh, the sorta-kinda-irony of it being I am more well-known in that gym than I am as an author here in my little town, or at least it seems that way. Even outside the gym, I am stopped and told, “Hey! You’re that woman in the gym! The one on the treadmill!” I don’t mind. What makes me happy about it are the things they tell me—that I’m a bionic woman, superwoman, that I have so much energy, that I am—and this one really makes me happy—an inspiration to them to work harder. When I am gone away from the gym when I travel, they seem to miss me, asking about me, asking where I’ve been. I feel missed. I feel thought about. I feel substantial. When I’ve worked extra extra hard, they notice: “You sure tore it up today! That treadmill must be broken!” I grin at them and say, “I sure did, didn’t I?” What they don’t know is how they are inspiring me to work harder–because they notice, because they see me, because I don’t want to let them down. I want to be the person they think I am. I want to be better and better and better.

DSC_0022Far as I know, none of them know I am an author. They all know me as “that bionic woman on the treadmill.” It’s a persona I have come to love.  Those who see me on that treadmill, and then on the matt-work afterwards, see my dedication, my passion, my energy, my love for what I do. They see how hard I work, how I kick-ass and then give a little more, and then more, until I have no more to give, and then I try to push just a tiny bit more. They see me sweat, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of the workout. They see all of this because it is right there in front of them.

DSC_0174If only my readers could see me as I create—see the outside and the inside of me, the workings of me. For my writing is manifested in the same kind of way—through energy and love and passion and hard work and kicking ass and then giving just a little more and a little more until I am exhausted but happy, happy danged ole happy, and then I push a tiny bit more. They could see me staring ahead at my screen, fingers flying over the keyboard, my brain filled with activity—tensing and releasing as my synaptic firing flings words and characters and setting onto the page. All for you.  But you cannot see that, my dear readers. Unlike my “fans” at the gym, I sit alone, out of your sight, working so very hard for you. What you do not know, just as the “gym-fans” do not, is that you are also inspiring me to work harder–because I don’t want to let you all down. I want to be the person you think I am, and more. I want to be better and better and better. I want to give you joy when you read my offerings. I want to make you think, and laugh, and cry, and wonder, and wander, DSC_0175and I want you to ask for more from me and of me–because I have more to give, so much more.

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

Because I love it. I am passionate about the writing, my books, my words, the language, just as I am about being fit and healthy and strong. I want to make you happy. I want to make you proud of me. I want to inspire you. I want to be known as the Bionic Woman of writing. I want you to miss me when I am not around.

When you pick up one of my books and read, imagine me—metaphorical sweat dripping, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of my workout. The passion. The love.

For you.

Our minds are wonderlands

Our minds are wonderlands

The work-out persona and the writer persona are so very much the same.worker

Oprah says, “Don’t Be Attached to the Outcome . . . .” AHA! What about you and your “Goals?” . . .

$T2eC16ZHJHYE9nzpebcPBQwlkrIDOQ~~60_57When you have done everything that you can do, surrender. Give yourself up to the power and energy that’s greater than yourself  . . . and then don’t be attached to the outcome.”

When I read this last night in the January issue of O (Oprah) Magazine, I had one of her “Aha!” moments. For “attaching myself to the outcome” was exactly the thing I’ve always done. I’ve always been goal-oriented, driven, conscientious, competitive—nothing wrong with those traits, but when “attaching myself to the outcome” of my work, I create a never-ending river of rapids where, despite what I believe, I am not in control, and in fact outside forces and circumstance are completely in control of me as I hurtle from rock to rock, place to place, every so often my head above water, but so often I’m barely able to catch my breath.

In my life as a published author, this manifests itself as: I write the best books I know how with sincere love and hope and a whole lot of hard work and sacrifice. Where I attach myself to the outcome is when I angst and worry and make myself half-sick (or wholly sick) that I’m not achieving some “Desired Outcome” such as a literary prize, or a best seller list, or a review in some Big Magazine, or high on some ranking, etc etc etc—those are things for which I really have little control, so I’m tumbling willy nilly 084down those rapids, trying to grab onto slippery rocks (and banging myself up in the process), or grabbing at things just out of my reach. I attach my self worth to some outcome, instead of to what I have already achieved. I do not live in the Right Now where I see each step I make, each tiny,  or large, goal that I achieve in that moment as a success, as a part of my journey–I have not been paying attention, living my life for the moment. Everything has been about attaching myself to the OUTCOME–some faraway thing I’m hurtling towards.

What Oprah said so resonated with me, I felt my innards relax, gave myself permission to let go. It helps that I was ready for this statement, because already I’d been letting some things go, already assessing my life as an author, a woman, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend. How many moments have I lost because I did not pay attention to the Right Now and instead kept looking so very far ahead? Well, actually, that’s still never-ending-circle thinking! Instead, I think, “Right now, I’m feeling happy to share this AHA moment with you.”

valerie-bertinelli-1-290x218What about how goal-oriented we are when it comes to fitness and healthand our weight? I mean, it’s all goal-oriented in the weight-loss field isn’t it? Actor Before; Actor After—everyone sees the outcome of the actor’s work on Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, and let the games begin as you look at the “After” and say, “I want that! That’s what I want!” All the betweens for this person are unknown or forgotten.

But what if you didn’t attach yourself to the outcome? What if you didn’t attach some self-worth to the end-goal? What if you said to yourself, “Right now, this moment, I can’t control some future outcome—I don’t know what the future will bring. However! I can control the Right Now.” What if you lowered the FUTURE stakes by concentrating on the RIGHT NOW stakes.

When you say, for example, “I want to be healthy, in shape, and lose fifty pounds,” you are thinking of OUTCOME—the End Goal, some Thing that is off into the future. What if

Rainbows are right now; pots of gold are some goal where you miss the rainbow in the searching

Rainbows are right now; pots of gold are some goal where you miss the rainbow in the searching

you changed that to say, “Right now, I am going to go to the gym.” You go to the gym. At the gym you say, “Right now, I am going to jump on the treadmill and walk/run/walk-run.” Then you do it. You step off the treadmill and say, “I feel pretty good. Right now, I’m going to do some yoga/pilates/weights/stretching.” And you do it. You go home and you feel great, so Right Now you eat a sensible meal with some protein and carb. You say, “Right now, I’m going to eat an apple for dessert.” Who wants to think, “I can never have dessert again!” Bleah! BORING! UNREALISTIC! But, “Right now, I’m going to eat an apple for dessert,” is manageable, right?

Each thing you do, you do In The Moment, not thinking of outcomes, not basing your worth on some future goal, but on each goal no matter how small it may seem. You celebrate every small thing, or large thing, that you do and live in the RIGHT NOW.

Perhaps when you tell yourself, “Right now I’m going to go for a walk;” “Right now I’m not going to eat that candy bar;” “Right now I’m going to go to the gym and work out;” “Right now I’m happy because I lost a pound;” “Right now I’m happy because I was able to walk up the stairs without gasping for air;” “Right now I feel really great because I played catch with my kids/grandkids;” “Right now I look kick-ass in these jeans that I am able to now button,” you give yourself permission to live your life as it unfolds, in incremental joys, instead of always looking ahead and feeling frustrated because you Aren’t There Yet.

Stay in the moment(s) you are in. Enjoy your life RIGHT NOW. Celebrate every little, and big, moment in this Right Now.

How do you think that would feel? To live in the Right Now? Not to attach your happiness, your self-worth, your life on some outcome, but to let go of that and live your live in the moments? Why not give it a try?

DSC_0109 Right now, I am going to watch the rain fall on the smoky mountains and the birds flocking to the feeders.

The Work-Out Writer . . .

DSC_0015Work-out: In my personal trainer days, I used to tell clients to “listen to their bodies” to let them know how much they could do. I now recognize how this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our bodies/minds want to fool us, because it is Hard and we don’t always like Hard. If we give up because something is difficult, then nothing great is ever accomplished. Something pushing through the hard stuff rejuvenates, takes us places we never thought we’d go. We become stronger with every hurtle we sail over–even if we smash into a few hurtles along the way and break a leg–haw! Okay, maybe we don’t wanna do that, but I certainly have sported quite a danged few bruises–my badges of Badness, yeah!

On the flipside of that: if you are over-working hoping for an over-night miracle, stop the hell doing that. Along with our hard work comes a dose of reality: it takes time to develop a strong and healthy body, especially if we’ve been sitting on our asses waiting for it to magically happen for us. Lawd y’all, and please stop listening to those infomercials–they lie. I know! Hard to believe our faithful televisions sometimes spout lies! Whadya know . . . huhn.

Writers: Working hard and not expecting an “over-night success” applies to our writing lives, as well. Sure does, uh huh! You can talk about it, or whine about it, or hope about it, or you can sit your ass down and do it. Ain’t no magic.

dsc09606Work-out: Sometimes we want some chocolate(or pick your “poison”), dammit. Sometimes we wanna sit on our asses and do nothing but eat crap and feel depressed and not do a danged ole thing. Some days everything feels sucky. “I can’t run a maratttthooonnnn.” “I’m tired of not eating what I waaaant toooooo any time I want tooo.”  Well, y’allses, when we sit on our asses and gobble down an entire box of chocolates or ten ton plate of pasta or Big Mac and fries and shake and fried apple pie, feeling sorry for ourselves and the state of Everything, welp, what happens is we feel even worse than before—inside and out. Our bodies will be bloated and sick from Crap Overload.

Better to treat ourselves to just a few pieces of that chocolate(or whatever), savoring every bite and feeling happy. Better to eat 80-90 percent Well/Healthy, and 10-20 percent Crap. Yeah, that’s easier to swallow, right? If you know you can eat, say, 10% to 20% or so of crap, the rest of the 80% to 90% is not so hard to swallow, right? riiiggghht. Cause it’s going to take you to a better body and mind and heart and guts and veins and lungs and heretoforwith so let it be written so let it be done.

Writers: Received another rejection? Feeling like shit? Well, you gonna lie back and let that suck you into the dark abyss of depression/over-eating/over-drinking, or you gonna get back up and try again? Try 10-20% whining and crying and then get back to the 80-90% work.

Work-out: It’s fruitless and stupid to compare ourselves to Any One Out There: say that loud and say it again and again and again and ever more again: Don’t compare yourself to others. Carve your own path. And, geez, you don’t know who is comparing themselves to You and wishing they had what you had: just say’n’!

Writer: Above, redux. Yeah.

156Work-out: Getting in shape/staying in shape and eating healthfully isn’t always easy, but once there, the feeling is like no other. A strong healthy body will take you into the minutes, days, months, years of your lives, and not in some half-assed way, but in Kick Ass way! Don’t you want to be in this life for the long-haul, and not just “in” this life, but fully immersed?  Then do it. Excuses are just that, and they’re boring and fruitless, and get you No Where. You ain’t foolin’ no one but yourself—nuh uh. Find your truths and learn to ignore your sneaky excuses/justifications–and they can be sneaky.

Writer: This business isn’t always easy, but ask yourself: Is this what I really want to do? Am I ready to be in this for the long-haul? Do I love writing more than my right arm? Am I ready to sacrifice? Can I handle the rejection without breaking up and breaking down? Sometimes this is the easiest best job in the entire danged ole world, and other times it sucks like a big fat suckity sucky britches—but I for one know I love it more than my right arm and have, and will, sacrifice for it.

Work-out: At the end of a grueling work-out session, find time to stretch those muscles, and then just as important as the work-out and the stretch comes the quiet moment of reflection. Time and distance from wants and needs will lift us away as we respect our bodies, minds, hearts.

kat on pierWriter: When the writing day is done, find a moment to reflect on this writing life. Calm the voices, the rejections, the expectations, the harried hurry and the long-ass frustrating waits, and remember just why you love this life so much. The raw beginnings of it, when it was just you and a white space of whatever in the world you wanted to say to anyone who would listen, even if it was only your own ears. Find that joy in quiet reflection.

dsc09608Work-out: Night comes. Time to rest the body. Rest is as important as movement. A good night’s sleep prepares you for the next day’s challenge. Let go and sleep sleep. Be grateful for the body that carries you from day to day. Keep it healthy and strong and then give it rest.

Writer: Ditto!

Finally, give yourself a big ole break, okay? Really, there isn’t a one of us who can tell you how to do this work-out life or this writing life and why and how much and for how long—only you have that power within you. Relax. It’ll all be okay. Your journey will not be mine and mine will not be hers his yours. Calm. Calm.

Namaste.

(Portions of this post were posted in another post when I posted about a post about a post similar to this post when I posted while not feeling kickass because GMR gave me his germs and for once I didn’t fight then off, so this post is sorta like another post, which posted the post of posty posted post, most post-like. And do you know how hard it is for me to admit I caught some flu-like illness from GMR? Me? Mrs. McToughass Britches? Yeah, I’m pissed, and humbled, and all ARGHY, and achy! Even the kickass are knocked back sometimes. Post ya later!)

Layer the paint. Snap the images. Taste taste taste. Work your asses off.

It only seems I was relaxing one earlier summer – but the work is always there . . . I am most always working- see the unfinished manuscript? That was done and then another began . . . on it goes

I am an impatient person. Now that I have that out of the way, I will also tell you that despite that fact, I understand that I must often corral this impatience, especially when it comes to Goals and Dreams and Desires.

All y’allses, I would lay bet that most all of the time when you hear of “Over-night Successes” those successes were fashioned from much hard work. Take the musical group The Black Keys for example. They slogged along ten years before bursting out of the gate. It would seem they obtained their “fame” in a blazing flash of light, when instead, if you’ll excuse the cliche, they’d been burning that candle at both ends.

A photographer may take hundreds and hundreds of shots just to find that one perfect “money” shot. The photographer, unless very lucky at that moment, doesn’t sit and wait for the perfect shot and then *click* – there you go, la tee dah. No, the photographer hunts and looks and snaps and snaps and snaps that shutter countless times, over and over and over, and then within all those moments the photograph finds The One Great Moment that snatches up his/her breath and the world stops spinning until the breath is released. There. There. That’s it.

A painting may have layers upon layers of paint, as the artist searches for the image he/she has dreamed, desired, lost sleep/weight/friends and family over. The one that finally has the artist putting down the brush. And even then, the artist may eye the

I took shot after shot after shot of the Blue Moon and still couldn’t get what was in “my inner eye*

painting with imagination and doubt. But rarely will the artist slap some paint on the canvas and call it a day.

I used to think if I were a good cook, it would mean that my instincts would be so keen that I should be able to throw things in the pot and magically they would taste good. It wasn’t until years later I learned how the greatest of chefs actually TASTE their food – taste the ingredients, taste along the way, taste at completion. KABOING! Why, who knew? One must taste the elements, taste along the way, and then taste the finished product to make sure it turns out how it should be: Tasty.

Read the above and insert words to make it about writing. Yup, in my early writing life, I used to think that if I were a Great Writer, or even a Good One, whatever I slapped onto the page must be genius right then and there. That re-writes meant I was not a Good Writer. Rewrites and revisions meant I lacked. Oh dear lawd in the highest of clouds! How wrong wrong wrong that was, and is, and forevermore shall be! Rewrites and revisions are the heart of writing. I can’t tell you how many times I go through my novels, time after time, layering that paint, snapping image after image, tasting tasting tasting TASTING, until I have it as Right as I can right it.

Giving up? No. Not an option. However, there is the: maybe I need to try a different path; one that doesn’t take me to a *see sign*

Take all that above and insert words to make this about many goals: weight loss and/or becoming fit, that big promotion at work, the Dream you’ve been Dreaming. Sure, there are always exceptions to some of these, and some people find Luck propels them just where they wanted to be with the snap of a finger (though I’d wonder still how many years they’d spent working towards their goal before Luck slapped them upside their heads). But, y’allses, nothing comes without the hard work – or maybe I should say:

Nothing STAYS without the hard work

Enter the magical gate, walk the magical path – then work your ass off.

Layer the paint. Snap the images. Taste taste taste. Achieve.

Ten kick your ass truths – I ain’t playin’ today y’allses

Sometimes I just feel like kicking ass. When I was a personal trainer, some of my clients called me MB (Mean Bitch). But, my clients loved me because though I could be tough, I was also fair and empathetic and understanding—while kicking their ass. When I edit, I am the same way—fair and empathetic and understanding, while kicking ass. The result, the outcome, of the ass-kicking over-rides the actual ass-kicking every time. Yeah.

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1. One or the other is often true for many relationships: The love you give isn’t always returned with equal measure. The love you receive is not always the love you return. Love isn’t always a balanced world. Once we let go of the idea of complete balance in a relationship, there’s freedom and happiness to be found.

2. You can put your entire heart, blood, sweat, tears into your work and still are rejected. Sometimes it really is not “the other guys,” sometimes it really is all about how your work is not ready.

3. You read the above and it makes you mad. You say, “I’ll show her! I’ll show them all!” and sometimes you do! Yes! And sometimes it still is that the work is not ready. And sometimes, it is only that you just have not found the right person/place/thing. Such is the sucky part of the writing business (or whatever business). Welcome aboard the crazy train! If you want it bad enough, you’ll figure out what you need to do or to change or start over.

step up and see what’s around that corner

4. If you aren’t having sex with your partner as often as you used to, maybe it’s time to *gasp* find out why by asking. Maybe it has nothing to do with “I like sex better because . . .” or “I have a higher sex drive because . . .” maybe it’s something worth digging out and examining. Are you groaning “Noooo! Not the talk thing!”? Well, then, keeping enjoying those really awesome showers!

5. You can call yourself a Writer anytime you want to! Who’s the “you aren’t qualified to do that” police? No one’s going to come to your house and stand over your shoulder to see if you “deserve” some title. And it’s just a title. If you never actually, seriously, write, what’s the point? Can’t throw a dime without hitting a writer these days, so why not be one who writes with passion and with purpose? Own it, y’all!

What does food mean to you? You may be surprised at the answer. I was.

6. No, you can’t lose weight/get in shape with that pill they just touted on that television commercial. You stand up from the couch. You decide not to eat another helping even when you’ve had enough, just because it tastes good. You make choices, one at a time, that move you towards your goal. You move your ass and you step away from the table. You can forgive yourself when you are off-track, but you don’t give yourself permission to whine about how it’s just soooo haarrd—of course it’s hard! And it may suck, but how come so many of us have become allergic to hard work/determination/movement? Humans thrive on discovery and movement and delight and wonder–sitting on our couches with a tater-chip bag watching everyone else do these things, well, what kinda life is that?

7. There really is no magic in life and work. There is hard work and determination. Do people sometimes seem to have magic around them where things come to them as if on a sparkly wand of good timing and good luck and good genes? Yeah, but either they really are an anomaly, or maybe just maybe we don’t know their backstory of hard work and determination.

It’s easy to be sucked down – but then again, I wonder what’s in that hole?

8. We spend a lot of time reading advice on social networking because we are either looking for guidance, or we are looking for someone with a shared experience who “made it” and that may mean we can make it too, or we are looking for an excuse for why things haven’t worked out for us because lookee there someone else had the same thing happen to them so all is lost, or we keep hoping we’ll hear what we want to, or we sincerely want to be the best goddammed writer/person/mother/father/chef/accountant/whatever-whomever we can be. So take the advice that sings to you in harmony and discard the advice that is discordant to your life—you’ll need to figure out if you are avoiding truths or embracing reality.

9. The easiest thing to do is to ignore the hard thing. It’ll keep coming back to haunt you until you deal with it. And sometimes it sucks mightily to deal with it. But sometimes that ghost when faced by strong determined you turns out to be a puny little bastard after all.

just under the surface there may be wondrous things to find

10. Excuses are weak. Failures at least mean you tried. Excuses just sound whiny. Failure is often a misunderstood word. Failure often means you went for it and it just didn’t work out. Respect the trying. Each failure means you are living and doing and working and trying. Excuses are boring—no one wants to hear it. Failure is interesting; it brings about conversation—what did you do? And what happened? Wow, yeah, that’s happened to me! How can we change that? Okay . . . let’s try this instead.

Now, if I pissed you off—good! Go prove me wrong and kick some ass. If I made you go YEAH I’m with you! Good, keep kicking ass! Today is another day. Make it count. Get up. Get out. Get over it. Get busy. Get real. I really do want to see you happy and successful—whatever those words mean to you in the life you choose and want to live.

I *heart* YOU! *muwah*

I am your personal trainer: Our bodies love to mess with our heads – let’s have an honest talk with our bodies, y’all

Sometimes our bodies “lie” to us > so let’s have a frank discussion with our bodies/minds!

I used to tell clients to “listen to their bodies” to let them know how hard to work, and when to pull back. That advice is mostly true, all y’allses beauties out there. However, I also recognize how this isn’t always the case. And why?

Welp, our bodies don’t always like it when thangs become a little Haaaaaaard. I mean, why oh why would our bodies/minds want to do the Hard thang when it can easily convince us to do the Easy thang?

Folkses, we can re-wire our bodies/minds to accept challenges and accomplish more than we ever thought we could. (Of course, as I always tell you: consult your physician before beginning an exercise routine and honor any limitations that you really do have.)

When I was in Oregon last summer, I jogged with my son. It surprised me how much trouble I was having, because I

Running on the beach – wheeeee – ungh – ungh -ungh – lawd

thought I’d been doing The Difficult Running Workout on the treadmill. I pictured outrunning him, fists raised in a “Yeeehawwww!” Yeah, I’m competitive like that—teeheehee.

Instead, I returned home with my competitive tail twixt my laigs, and when I next climbed upon the treadmill for my run I had an Aha! moment. I’d been doing the same half-assed running workout for months. I’d told myself, “Well, I’m running and running is a good workout.” Right? Riiii-wait—hold up . . . I hadn’t been pushing myself beyond what I’d become comfortable with.

If you aren’t finding results–and results could mean some weight/inches lost, or better endurance, or stronger body/heart, whatever your goal is (and you do not have a goal? well, I’m goal-oriented and thus need some kind of goal–being a Kick Ass Strong Powerful Woman is my goal!).

What to try: I revamped my own workouts to try interval training. When in the high-energy phase of the aerobics-dance treadmill work, I am sweating, breathing hard, and my heart rate rises (I have a heart rate monitor–Polar is my brand–and you may want to invest in one, as well)—this feels like work and it should. Then during the “easier” recovery phase, I catch my breath, check my posture, pull down my heart-rate. Up down, up down–this has been an effective workout for me. Interval training keeps me alert, interested, and motivated, where as straight running would often bore me and thus I didn’t work as hard.

Our bodies will adjust to the idea we aren’t going to let it get by with its slacker ways. The endorphins are yippie yai kai-yaying all over the place. It’s exhilarating and stress-relieving, and we feel a sense of accomplishment.

What not to do: This doesn’t mean you work your wittle selvses to the point of exhaustion or dangerous over-working!  I can’t tell you how many times I see people go full out for nothing in their exercise/eating routines to an unrealistic point–they are so ding-dong-dangity INTO IT at first that they Workout right into Burnout. Find that balance. Listening to our bodies is still good advice, as long as we have an honest discussion with ourselves about just what our bodies can tolerate versus “only getting by.” And, as long as we do not try to make change to our bodies too quickly–did we become out of shape and unhealthy over-night? Nope. And change isn’t going to be as apparent over-night,  either–but it is happening and it will.

how much this chawk-lit have I et? Lawd – *urp*

We have cravings because we often give in to them and our bodies know it! They are like whiny spoiled children unless we set boundaries and guidelines.

I used to crave loads of sweets. My body became used to having lots of added sugar. The more I ate sweets and foods with added sugar, the more my body craved it. Well, dangity it all to dangtown, I felt like crap—tired, sluggish, and sometimes cranky—and I didn’t know (admit to myself) why.

What to try: Create a  new habit by doing it and then doing it again, and then again. Our bodies will accept the routine we set for it. If we switch it up, our wondrous bodies respond to change quite well. We should convince our bodies we mean business and that eating in a more healthful manner will make both body and brain work more efficiently. The more we challenge our bodies with motion and with healthier foods, the better we will feel, and the more we’ll want to continue to do these things to continue feeling our best. Cutting back on added sugars and white flour/processed foods is not easy if your body is used to having them any time it throws a tantrum for them, but I promise if you stick to a more healthful diet, your body will respond positively and soon it will be second-nature to step away from the junk food/processed foods/sweets.

Food is not the enemy: say it with me until we all believe it! We can make better choices

What not to do: Constantly depriving ourselves of pleasures can lead to failure. Yes, of course we can treat ourselves

on occasion—what’s life without something gooey and yummy and deliciously sweet (or whatever your crave is)? When we eat it only occasionally, it tastes all the better. It becomes a celebration, something to look forward to. How many times have you mindlessly eaten an entire bag of M&Ms or potato chips (or whatever) and realized you only really truly tasted the first few bites of it—the rest was mindless eating. Think about this next time you stare into the empty bag.

Our bodies tell us to do our workout and then git the hell out o’the gym (or workout room in our house), pronto-presto-zippo.

Hold up, y’all! Stretching our bodies is just as important as the aerobics and strengthening.

Streeeeeeetccch your bodies – it’ll love you for it

What to try: At the end of our workout, it is important to take the time to stretch our muscles and tendons. To lengthen what we have contracted. It is a time for quiet moments of reflection on how beautiful and powerful and wonderful our bodies are. How they carry us through life—and with better posture, too, which is lovely. Time and distance and wants and needs lift away as we respect our bodies, minds, hearts, in poses of stretch and then release and then rest and recovery. Stretch your hamstrings, quads, your hip-flexors, your chest, your spine–your entire body. There are many reputable sites out there to find stretches — and in a later post, I’ll have photos of some you may try. I do a combination of yoga and pilates, along with some of the time-honored stretches.

What not to do: Never stretch to the point of pain. You should feel some tension that then releases into the stretch. Don’t hurry through your stretches but instead be mindful of them–pay attention. How much of our lives is spent hurrying through tasks we see as “boring” or “unnecessary” . . . ? Take these moments and respect them.

Dreaming . . . dreaming . . . dreamy dreaming

Sometimes our bodies tell us we don’t need no stinking sleep.

Quiet that yappity do dah day mind and twitchery body! Lawdy but I can be jittery. And my brain zingity-flops all over creation. I have the worst music-earworms EV-ER! You don’t even want to be in my pea-head. I sometimes find it difficult to quiet my mind and still my body.

What to try: Rest is as important as movement. A good night’s sleep prepares us for the next day’s challenge. There are many things we can do to prepare for sleep. For example, I do not have a TV in my bedroom. The bedroom is for three things: Sleep, Reading, and—now, y’all! I’m not saying the last one, teeheeheehehee *blush*

I have lavender pillow spray that I mist over my bed linens. The room is dark when I am ready to sleep. There is no clutter in my bedroom, so that my bedroom feels like a sanctuary. And just as there is no TV, there are no electronic devices, other than my Kindle. (I do keep my cell close by, in case of emergency, but I do not have a smart phone so there’s no playing on it or checking email or anything of the sort.) Find those rituals you can do each night to prepare your body and mind to think, “It is time to rest and sleep now.” Some people find writing down worries to “release them” works to quiet their minds.

What not to do: Ever hear people bragging about how they do not need sleep and can get by with only a couple of hours—Bull-crapadoodle-doo-doo. We all need sleep; no one is super-human or alter-human. We are not somehow “better than others” if we “survive” on  little sleep.

There are many tips out there for how to relax into sleep—find what works for you, experiment. But know that sleep is an important part of healthful living. Our bodies and minds need restful sleep.

I know something I feel gratitude for . . .

Don’t let setbacks or worries or fears crowd out the power of gratitude. Don’t let body image obsession keep you from seeing yourself as a creation of beauty—a wondrous biological machine.

 As you all read from my last Wednesday’s post, I sometimes struggle with body image and this is often a challenge for me—admitting it to lots of people was a start and put much into perspective–we must be honest with ourselves and our bodies/minds! I am working on seeing myself as the healthy strong woman I am, so that I can continue to practice what I preach to you.

What to try: Remember to have gratitude for what you have accomplished. Having a heart of gratitude allows us to experience life with peace and hope and serenity. Spend a few moments first thing in the morning and last thing at night thinking about what you have to be grateful for. If you think, “nothing,” then something is terribly wrong–are you alive? Well, there you go!

What not to do: We often look ahead to what we “should” accomplish, or what may come, or what we hope will come, that we forget to find gratitude in what we have already acheived.

Hold on to it, let it come with us into our dreams: “You Did This! Good for You!”

namaste . . . now go do the day


How does your body “lie” and how will you challenge it? Will you have an honest conversation with yourself today?

Monday Classroom: Iconic Giants & the Firsts – what do you wish your legacy to be?

All up inside my lil ole pea-headed brain, I was thinking about the creative endeavor, about where we’ve been and where we are and where we will go–and where we want to go, or think we want to go until we arrive and then we’re all “Huh? Whaaa?” Right?Riiighhht!  Then, I ponderificated about those who came before, and those who will be remembered for time immortal and beyond (or at least until the sun dies–yes, y’allses, the sun is going to die, but no worries, it’s still some millions of years away – of course, the core is cooling, and the poles could reverse – but don’t sell everything and bunker down–that’s also quite some time a’ways).

I wandered and wondered, who(else) will be most remembered twenty, thirty, forty, one-hundred, two-hundred years from now? Do we, anymore, have the ability to create Classics in literature, music, art, architecture? And I’m not talking about the absurd–the “fashion” that comes and goes and comes and goes and goes and comes and–Lawd! I’m dizzy! He’p me!  Or have the molds been cast and then placed behind thick glass to preserve them and we can only hope to find some spot of our own outside that glass ever-looking in, in an ever-expanding crowd of creativity and mimicry of creativity?

There was a time when writers, artists, architects, dancers, musicians, et cetera, made the rules and made the new, because they trod where no one else had ever been before–or perhaps, even, it was that they were smart enough to say LOOK AT ME first–thangs had to have a beginning, right? riighhht! Someone and something was a First, in the mostest uniqueneses of ways for which we may never see that First Unique again. The first car–well, dang, won’t be another first of those, even if we design the coolest cars on the planet and call them New–they are based on that First Car. And even in that First Car, how much of it was built upon the ideas of others: Firsts Parts–the wheel, an engine–and the parts that made up that engine, seats the people sit on and the materials to make those seats, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! Even our stories have a long long long past–who told the very first story? And it was told again and again and it changed and morphed into more stories, and soon someone painted them on a cave, and then wrote it down, and then someone had the bright idea that, “I bet lots of people would like to hear this story, and to boot, I could make some money off’n it! wheeee doggies!”

It’s difficult now to find the places where no one has been, which is why there are “The Classics,” and why we have those literary (and other creative) giants/icons who are held up as larger than life, their images on cups and t-shirts and postage stamps, their works examples for those who follow or want to buck up against. One glance at an image and most know who they are. One mention of a phrase and one knows who said it, and it is deemed brilliant, never to be touched again by another – er, right?

Yes, y’all, we can create our own paths and someone may say, “Wow!” But are brilliant works and new paths sometimes swallowed by the glut of All That Out There Everywhere? Or are we becoming jaded because there’s just so much so

Don’t hide! Come on out and see the world

much so much SO MUCH SO MUCH SO MUCH SO MUCH — LAWDY BE IN A BUCKET I CAIN’T KEEPS UP!

Just what do you want from this writing/creative life? . . . think about this question and its/your answer a bit. The easy answer may be: I want my book published/on a best seller list/to make a million bucks/to be recognized by my peers/to be famous/to be loved/to be the best/to be the strongest-tallest-prettiest-smartest-richest—now take whatever answer comes to mind and dig a little further: what do you really want from this thing you are doing? Break it down, pull it apart, examine it. Turn it around, on its head, inside out and outside in. Whatever you come up with, that’s what you can work towards–and be prepared to be knocked down, or maybe have that “want” to change, or even–GASP!–to FAIL–whaaa? you may say; but but, If I never give up and try my best, I’ll get what I want, right? Nope, not always! But sheeee-it, no one ever finds out what they’s gonna git by doing nuttin!

Perhaps some of our iconic giants didn’t have to work so hard to be noticed? Perhaps they did their thang and it was deemed brilliant and unique and extree-ordinary and folkses flocked to see this New Thang – to buy it – to touch it – to be a part of it! Ohhhhhhhhhh lawdy! Shoot, I bet the first Band Wagon was so full it near to tipped over! I mean, don’t we’ses love to hop on Band Wagons–beware the Band Wagon, y’allses, for a Band Wagon is not a Cause– and it may not be the best answer to your own question.

Just as civilizations are built and then built upon and built upon again and again, so it is with language and music and art. There was the creating of new ways. And now, we build upon those “ways” — we have “rules” and “before us’ses” we follow because they were called “This is Important: Pay Attention!” and we build on those, and sometimes we throw them out, and sometimes we morph them, and sometimes we break the rules and the norm gently or even ungently. Language, art, the creative endeavor, is a living breathing thing, a malleable thing. Isn’t it? What about we create Our Own History. Our Own Way. Our Own Legacy. Sometimes even Good Enough is enough, right? Right? You tell me.

Who will find their face on a cup? Who will be caricatured on a t-shirt? Who, if anyone, will be our icons and giants in the future before the sun dies or poles reverse?–lawd! Or as we individuals die–what will we pass on to those who look to us?
What is your legacy, or what do you wish your legacy to be? To yourself, your kids, your grandkids, your friends, family, to the world?

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