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Archive for the ‘gratitude’ Category

Find your power–don’t give it away

ipod photos 081I remember days when I felt I had no voice. When what I thought and what I did were separate entities. I could write a very long blog post about the instances where I felt I had no power, but I do not need specifics here–and most are my own private life-stuff. Most all of us at one time or another has felt powerless against some force that has pushed its will upon us. I also know there were times I felt powerless when I really was not. I either was too afraid, or too naïve, or so used to how things were rather than how they could be that I did not make a change; I did not find my Voice, or my Power.

I so very often gave away my power to someone else. I don’t mean physical power, though I like being muscular and strong and able to take physical care of myself. I mean standing up tall and strong in how you live your life, how you expect others to treat you, and how you treat others. Power does not mean bullying or aggression or mean-spirited natures. Power means standing up for your beliefs; standing up for what you know is right for you despite when someone or some situation may be forcing their/its will upon you for their/its own good and not yours–however, Power is also compromise: you must find the difference between compromise and giving away your power by tapping into your gut and your heart, by having conversations with those involved, by listening just as much as you want to be heard.

Power is not letting past experiences define your Now Reality. Power is not forgetting what someone has done to you, but letting go of what they have done to you and saying, “This person no longer has control over my thoughts. I will not give this person one more minute of my time. They no longer deserve my time. It is no longer any of my business what they think or do or be.” Power is sometimes doing the difficult thing or saying the difficult thing because doing or saying that thing will take you places you never thought you could go–whether metaphorically or spiritually or physically or metaphysically. Power may mean Big Change, and that’s scary. Once we decide to take back our power, it often means we have to make a change, and that can hold us back. I so know this, and so do you.

ipod photos 213Power is when you feel strong and capable and in control of your life instead of the chaos of life and situations and people having “control” of you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It doesn’t mean you don’t have anxiety. It doesn’t mean you don’t feel sad or grief or loss. It means you step forward even though you are afraid of the dark space ahead–what if there’s a cliff there? What if I free-fall? Then maybe you sprout some wings and fly. Or maybe you fall on your face and it hurts like hell. There’s risks in taking back your power, your life. I won’t lie. There will be stumbles and mistakes. But how do you know until you try what takes you somewhere you always needed to go?

The more power you take back the more control you feel, and the less anxiety and chaos reigns. I’m all about Chaos–my peaheaded brain flippity flops and zippity zaps all over creation. I’m jittery and wild. I can be impulsive. But don’t let all that fool you–I am strong. I am capable. I know my power. Do I sometimes falter? Yeah, you better believe it–because I’m also human. And so are you. Find the quiet places and figure out just where you need to take back your power and why and how, and just where you need to step back and let things “be” for a while. Your gut will know. You know.

One day, I had a conversation with someone, who said, “I really want to say something, but I’m afraid of the consequences.” I looked at her: this woman who is smart, capable, beautiful, and I wanted to tell her, “You have more power than you think.” But I hesitated. What if I convinced her to speak up and the consequences she was afraid of happened? What good would her power be to her then? Of course, if the situation she is in warrants such care, such fear of reprisal, wouldn’t she be better off out of the situation? So I told her, “You have more power than you think.” And then I shut up. It’s not for me to decide what she must do or say. That is her journey.

10274015_10152437219614176_2351572946895967498_nIf I speak up or if I leave a situation I am unhappy in or if I decide to do this or not to do that or if I do not put up with bullshit or if I do put up with bullshit because at the end of that bullshit is something worth the effort, and as a result negative consequences rain down on my peahead, my power will feel intact because I’m facing my fears; I’m doing what’s best for me or for mine. I’m taking my lumps, too. This does not mean I go about callously disregarding feelings and tossing people and situations to the curb at every turn. It means I dig deep and figure out what I need to do to keep my power so I feel less helpless and choatic. So that I feel strong and sure I am doing or saying the right thing even if my knees are quaking and I’m scared witless. People confuse “courage” with someone doing something they are not afraid to do—courage is taking action even though one is afraid.

Looking into this woman’s eyes, I could see that she was not ready to perceive her power in that way. She will see the outcome as disastrous. One learns that there is always something else. There is always another. There is always the next thing. There are some situations that are just not worth the anxiety, or the discomfort, or the sad, or the anger, or the fear, or the stress. For too many years of my life I waited—waited for the right time, the right place, the right mindset. I don’t want to say I “wasted” my time, but I wasted my power!

I wanted to pass my power on to this woman, to tell her to stand up for herself, to give her the eyes to see inward to the power she possesses, but I could not. She must find it for herself.

We have a choice to say in some instances where we feel strongly enough, “Sorry you don’t see it my way. But, I’m standing firm.” And then, if we have to, we walk away, and in some instances, we will walk away with a big fat grin, swinging our arms to the tune of some powerful anthem we once heard.

WHUPOW, y’all!

Finding peace in a yoga pose . . . .

072Once I step onto my yoga matt, I leave everything else behind but the moment. There are no racing thoughts, no worries about what I have to do next, for I must concentrate on breath, on maintaining internal silence, Antar mouna. I am careful not to overextend, such as in forward and backwards bends, or to take my body too far into the pose in those areas where I am not as flexible; I must respect my body’s abilities and its limitations. My eyes look inward as I concentrate on a spot or object, Bahiranga tratakanot. I stand in Mountain Pose, Tadasana—feet together, hands at my sides. I bring my hands to prayer position, then raise my arms up to the sky, feeling a gentle stretch, my balance, my focus, and from there, I fold and move into the sun salutation, Surya-namaskar.

If my back is bad and legs are in Extra Pain Mode, I will let yoga take me only to where I feel safe, as in a gentle cat and dog stretch, or perhaps hold downward facing dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana, a bit longer. It is just me and my matt and my heart; there is no one to tell me how much or how little I must do. I like that. I feel the freedom of making the yoga my own. Perhaps that is what is intended, but if not, I can only ask forgiveness for my ignorance.

038No matter which yoga poses I do, I always include child’s pose at the end. It is hard to feel anything but peace and serenity when folded into a facing-down fetal position. My face is hidden from the world, my body tucked tight, yet my spine is vulnerable to the sky and anyone who may come near me. It is at once both a trusting pose, while a very private and protective one. I breathe in and out, slowly and evenly. I stay that way until I can face the world again. Then I curl up and sit into half-lotus pose, ardha padma-asana, bring my hands to prayer position, then lower my head, close my eyes, and sometimes, if I’m feeling extra meditative, which is very difficult for jittery jittery me who is rarely rarely still and rarely rarely meditative, I may whisper, Namaste, which is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another, or when alone, my own acknowledgement of my heart. How can I feel anything but contentment, peace, and gratitude when in this beautiful pose? I cannot.


Namaste, y’all . .  . .

Kick ass today and be wild and wonderful and amazing . . . .

No post today – I’ll be back tomorrow with something. And no “touty plug of the day.” Just a message to go out and be amazing; be wonderful; be wild; be free; be kickass; be the strong woman – or man! – that you know you are (there are not good images/quotey thangs out there for strong wild kickass menimages (1) images (2), and that’s a shame). Pull out your inner positive light and let it shine shine shine. See y’all later.


ipod photos 213ipod photos 081ipod photos 093ipod photos 082download (1) download images

Monday Classroom: grammar tidbits

Just Do It

Grammar really isn’t difficult. Yes, I laughed a little when I wrote that. I can remember the days when certain “grammar rules” made little sense to me. I struggled and stumbled and cursed the comma. But then, for whatever reason in the universe, my pea-headed brain had some kind of Oh! AHA! moment and the grammar rules began to make (im)perfect sense to me (though I break them many times, but I do it with purpose). I’m sure it was an insidious inky thing spreading out and snapping through the mysterious regions of my brain–helped by my work as an editor (and then Publishing Editor with Angie Ledbetter) at the Rose & Thorn Journal (a fine fine literary journal that we both grieved shutting down–the archives are still there, should you wish to peruse and enjoy!). I had to find ways to help my brain make sense of it all by using my own little “memory tics;” or, just accept what is, is, and forever more may be.

So, my fine beautiful lovelies: some tidbits for your grammar angstesess:


An apple a day may be a cliche, but it is solid advice--it just may keep the doc away, uh huh

Simply put: think of fewer as “counting things” and less as “time and space and things you don’t count.”

I ate fewer apples (three) today because I had less time (about an hour) to chew.

There are fewer dogs (twelve) in the dog park so there’s way less barking (who knows how many dogs are barking; I just hear noise).

Take fewer cookies (three) so you’ll spend less time on the treadmill (get on that treadmill anyway – no matter how many cookies you’ve eaten, or not eaten!).

Fewer coins (ten) means less money (you are probably broke if you are a writer) to spend.

Most Important/Most Importantly

It’s important. Period. Most important, it’s important not importantly. Because I said so. Because I consulted the Most High Poombahs of Grammar and they said so. Most important, I said so.

But wait! There’s more! There is quite a controversy on the “important/importantly” debate. I will stick to my “most important” and continue to correct people in my head – hahahaha!


Do we really need to discuss this? Yes. Because even people I dearly love still use “your” as “you’re.” Your is possessive: Your (possessive – you own the pants) pants are falling down so you’re (you are) going to trip on them. You’re is the contraction of “You are.”

You’re (you are) so cute when your (possessive) pants fall down. You can only use “you’re” as You Are and nothing else–if you write “you’re” you are saying “you are” and if you write “your” you are saying that person owns the thing that it is attached to it.

Your (the person the lips are attached to) lips are kissable; you’re (you are) sexy.


010-001Often, writers write the it’s/its incorrectly by accident. I scour my manuscript with a fine-toothed eye to catch any it’s/its -ses I may have missed just by a slip of the finger — or! Word sometimes plays tricks that I must watch out for.

It’s: contraction of it is.  Note that “it’s” can be a contraction for “it has” as well: It’s been nice but I gotta go –it has been nice but I gotta go. That’s it. That’s the use of it’s: it is or it has. Nothing else.

Its: a possessor that is neutral. Consider that his and her is a “possessor” – his legs are strong but her thighs can crack a walnut.  Think of its replacing his or her as in the case of the example below: the dog and the dog’s house.

It’s (it is) chilly outside and the dog shivers in its (possessor) dog house. (So I let the dog in my house–okay, I had to add this because I kept feeling sorry for this imaginary dog. Haw!)

The swan knows it’s beautiful in its watery kingdom at the lake.

Starbucks is a huge corporation and its coffees are over-priced. See that Starbucks “owns” the coffees but we don’t call Starbucks a “his or her” – still, it “possesses” the coffees it sells, so: It’s (it is) my opinion that Starbucks and its (neutral possessor) coffees are sometimes delicious and sometimes burnt-tasting.

Now, I hope I didn’t create any typos or make an embarrassing grammatical mistake while typing this out. If so, call me on it and I’ll fix ‘er up.

That’s it for today. Take those in your mouth until you’re sure you can swallow them down in your tummy. Most important, it’s widely known that grammar is its own worst enemy but dang if it’s not beautiful in its complexity. You’re going to muddle over this until your head explodes. You’ll have fewer brain cells and less synaptic activity once you have considered all of the above. Teehee.

DSC_0174Later, y’all (spelled “Y’all and not Ya’ll” – you all – y’all, y’all!) Go Write!

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nThe Lightning Charmer coverTouty plug of the day: The Lightning Charmer – wish my publishers (and I suppose me to some extent) luck, for TLC’s cover is a finalist in the EPIC Ariana Awards for book cover art. Winners announced in March.

The Work-out Writer: no more whining!

balance, strength, energy


I used to tell my clients I trained to “listen to their bodies” to let them know how much they could do or when to pull back so there wasn’t over-use or injury. And that is mostly true, all y’allses beauties out there. However, I also recognize how this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our bodies/minds want to fool us, because what we are doing may be Haaaaaaard, and why oh why would our brains want to do the Hard Thing when it can at times easily convince us to do the Easy Thing? Even if the Easy Thing isn’t as good for us. Sometimes we must re-wire our thought processes.

Folks, there are times we must push through when our bodies/minds tell us it wants to slow down or stop—not to the point of exhaustion or dangerous over-working, but to the point of Kicking Our Asses and doing the Hard Thing—and not “once in a while” but “several times a week.” (Though, you must always consult a doctor before beginning a workout program!)

And you can see Monday Classroom archives as well if ye's wants a boost to rememborate sumpin. Write write write! write with abandon; edit with a keen critical eye!

 Write write write! Write with abandon!


Some days I just ain’t feelin’ it, you know? Well, Kat, suck it up. Sit your arse down in the chair, fingers to keys, and write. Timed writing isn’t going to do it for me. If I watch the clock, then just as with my aerobics workout, I’ll be ever aware of that clock ticking: 15 minutes of writing? Okay – tic toc tic toc tic toc. *Yawn!* The work also isn’t going to be done by my whining about how haaarrrrd it is to be a wrriiiiiitteer.

Stop whining! It’s time to re-wire our “minds/bodies” from telling us we caaaaann’t to that of I can do this!–we have to, at the least, give it a try, right? Books aren’t written by rolling our eyes and sighing. Royalties aren’t paid to writers who aren’t producing books. The work is done by doing the work.


This person (me about a year ago) felt like shit. Wasn' t writing, wasn't taking care of herself

This person (me a few years ago) felt like crap-a-doodle-doo-doo. Wasn’ t writing, wasn’t taking care of herself

I used to crave junk and loads of chocolate. (Honestly, I still do crave it. And, I’m a Sweet-a-holic.) There were days I wanted to sit on my ass and do nothing but eat chocolate and feel depressed and not do a danged ole thing. Some days are sucky and I could fall into that trap again if I weren’t careful. But if I were to sit on my ass and gobble down an entire box of chocolates, feeling sorry for myself and the state of Everything, well, dangity it all to dangtown, but I’d feel even worse. My body would be bloated and sick from Chocolate-Junk-Sitting on my Arse Overload. Sluggish, tired, cranky, like in this pic from a few years ago–I was being silly, but there was truth behind this photo .

The more I work out, the healthier I eat, the better I feel, and the more I want to do those things to continue to feel better. Then when I do treat myself, it tastes/feels even better than it ever did before.


Sometimes I want to sit on my ass and do nothing but feel depressed and not write a danged ole thing and eat junk and drink vodka. Some days are sucky. Well, guess what? If thousands of us sat our asses on the couch and did nothing because life is haaarrrrdd, who’d write the books?; who’d deliver the mail?; who’d bake the bread?; who’d teach the kids?

This book/writing 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? Am I ready to sacrifice? Can I handle rejection? Scrutiny both good and bad and in between? If not, then what do you want to do? Reorganize your thought-processes.

Sometimes being a published author (or an unpublished one) is the easiest best job in the entire danged ole world, and other times it sucks like a big fat suckity suck black-hole sucker—but I love it more than my right arm. Get back to work. Whatever that “work” is for you–if writing novels isn’t truly what you love but you’ve been slogging through it, then maybe there is something else in this business you will enjoy more? Or maybe you’ll discover a direction/road you never considered.




At the end of a grueling work-out, 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 and wants and needs lift away as we respect our bodies, minds, hearts. The old saying “you only have one body, one life” is true (reincarnation doesn’t count – because you’ll be someone/something else, right? so no excuses!). We have this one chance to make the best of our lives. To honor our bodies. To give ourselves the gift of good health and well-being. What will you do with yours?


step up and see what's around that corner

step up and see what’s around that corner

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 writing life so much. Recall 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. Time is going to pass anyway. A year will pass, and a year from now, where will you be? Will you have written a year’s worth of words? Or will you have angsted yourself to a wordless mass of messy nothing-on-the-page-ness. Time will pass no matter what we are doing with it; make the best of it by stretching your writing muscles.


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. Your body/mind deserves and needs this rest. Requires it. Be grateful for the body you have instead of fighting against it. Why would you dislike your beautiful self? Our bodies are a work of art; a gorgeous scientific biological wonder!


When laying your head upon your pillow, remember to give gratitude for what you have accomplished. This business is so much about looking ahead to what we “should” accomplish, or what may come, or what we hope will come, that we must remember what we did achieve. Hold on to it, let it come with us into our dreams. “You Did This! Good for You!” Sleep. Dream. Going to sleep with a heart of gratitude will ready you for the next day’s challenge.

dsc09813-1Namaste, y’allses.




(post taken from a previous post. soon I’ll be writing original posts again, but this is a start to getting back to blogging regularly!)

Hurtling forward . . . .

018This is a repeat of a post from March of 2007  – How damned appropriate that I stumbled on it now, when just about everything in my life is rushing forward so fast that many things will be left behind. It’s so apt, I had to re-post it . . . .
Ever have that feeling that perhaps things are moving faster than you are, but then, at the same time, you realize it is you who is moving faster than those around you, some those, not all those.
And particles whiz by your head as you hurtle, and you become afraid . . . and there are those who will chide your fear, but do not worry, for maybe they are ahead of you, but at least you are moving . . . moving . . . moving.
Left behind are ones who will miss you, and for once, you can’t worry about that, for there are shiny things ahead, shiny new things . . . and maybe they will be sharp and give you pain, but how do you know, until you hurtle there?
185Ever have that feeling that things will never be the same again, that some action or thought or being will forever alter everything you tried to hold tight to yourself, until you give in and let go. And you feel excitement mixed with a scattered horror?
Ever have those feelings?
DSC_0089I’ll be back soon with another post from my “list,” below, from my “never say never” post.
  • What not to do when you are alone and vulnerable
  • When you are the one you says, “I want a separation”
  • When you have said you “never” have writer’s block and suddenly you cannot write
  • When you have to leave a place/an ideal/a way of life that you thought was “forever” because you said “never will I leave this place/ideal/way of life
  • When disappointment in people attacks—when you realize the people you thought would call never do, and the ones you never thought would reach out to you do.
  • When the word “lonely” expands beyond and above what you ever thought it could be
  • When you think you cannot, absolutely cannot, face something—but then you do
  • What happens next?
  • At my age! . . . the prospects of dating and all that jazz (and being called a cougar—? Um, what?)
  • Etc.

Stop! Five “don’ts” when you are feeling vulnerable (and five “do’s”):

All righty then. From the list in the “never say never” post below:

  1. writer's blodkaDon’t drink too much. Okay, allow yourself that one night where you slug down some vodka and dance around the living room to techno trance (for the first 30 minutes) before feeling  sorry for yourself and throwing a mug against a tree and railing against your fates and . . .  and then just don’t . . . don’t allow yourself to drink yourself into a stupor where you curl into a ball in a chair and sob and fall asleep and wake up with your mouth dry and your pea-headed brain full of cotton and then unsteadily climb into your bed where you wake the next day feeling like crap on a stick that’s been beaten against a tree. Don’t. Find another way to cope. For that alcohol habit is not one you want to find yourself embedded in. No scenario has you drinking too much and then going, “Sure am glad I did that! I feel great now! All my problems are SOLVED!” Yeah  . . . no. And especially do not drink and text . . . .
  2. Don’t text whiny self-indulgent messages to anyone but your most trusted BFF (or post Facebook updates). No one wants to read that shit. No one wants to see your dark depressed underbelly. Believe me dangity do, that if you DO text/message/FB update with your whiny ramblings, you will forever regret it. Yes you will. YES YOU WILL! Do whatever is necessary not to bare your darkened squishy brain ramblings to anyone other than that trusted bestie. Later, when you are back to your strong kickass self, you will rather that you had not let people see a side of you that you’d have rather not—you will forever wonder if they now see you differently and not in a completely positive self-respecting I know my worth way. Remember, once again: NO ONE wants to read that shit—not even your BFF, but the contract of BFF’dom says they have to, so they have to suck it up. Only them, and you’d do the same for your BFF.
  3. well, sheee'it

    well, sheee’it

    Don’t further isolate yourself by further isolating yourself. Give yourself a little time–a week? two? three? four? oh oh-five? six? oops . . . seven? erk . . .  to push all the nasties out of your system, and then it’s time to stop wallowing. Get out with friends. Go for a drive. Invite someone(s) over. Workout. Smile at people. Talk to people. Be aware of your surroundings and remember where you once found joy. Remember that things are not all BAD, just different, and if there is some BAD, then remember it will not last forever unless you give the bad POWER—don’t give away your power. Find excitement in that different—isn’t this what you wanted? *Did you think this would be easy?*

  4. However, pertaining to Number 3, don’t spend time with people you don’t give a rat’s big ole ass about or who don’t give a rat’s big old heiny about you, just so you won’t feel alone. Self-Worth! Say it to yourself, in your head and then aloud: I know my worth! I am worthy! Look about your psyche-house until you find your self-worth and self-respect – are they under the bed, all dusty and rusty? Pull them out, dust them off, and let them back onto your life. Say it with me: I am worthy; I know my worth. You do not NEED people or company or that “friend” or that man or that woman or that crowd—be with the ones who give you joy, or are fun to be with/around, or you complement each other’s psyches or whatever. “I am worthy; I know my worth.”
  5. *I Kiss You*

    *I Kiss You*

    Beating yourself up? Don’t. Stop it. Yes, even if you’ve done the above. Give yourself a big fat break for being human. Beating yourself up will only make things worse. Even if you are the one who made the decision to dive into dark terrifying unknowns, who cut ties, who said, “I do not want this anymore,” why are you punishing yourself?  Why are you saying, “Oh well, this is what I get. This is what I deserve for shaking things up.” Nope. Not reality. Be your own BFF for a while. Use this quiet solitude time to discover just what kinds of guts you have. Recognize how you are doing exactly what you wanted and needed and considered for quite some time—and did you really think it was going to be easy? Hell no! Not much worth doing and having and obtaining ever comes “Easy.” Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Give yourself some credit for Going For It, whatever that is, despite the initial feelings of grief and terror and stark-raving-madness.


  1. Do find gratitude—every day. Every morning take a deep breath and consider just what you are grateful for. And throughout the day, remind yourself what you are grateful for! Don’t forget to let out that breath. Ha.
  2. flexibility - yeah, it helps . . . uh huh

    exercise outdoors when you can

    Do get out and breathe in some fresh air; and definitely get some exercise. Your body and your brain will love you for it, and you will feel GREAT. I promise you this. If you have never exercised, then take a simple walk, and then another, and then another, and one after that, and another after that, and feel your body grow strong and your brain feel centered.

  3. Do live in the NOW, not some future. Remind yourself throughout the day to calm the voices in your head, stop for a moment, and BE IN THE NOW. What scents are surrounding you? How does your skin feel when you touch it? How do your lungs feel as you fill them with air? Your feet as they connect to the ground? Find the NOW, the present, this very moment in time, and savor it. The future will come soon enough and it’s rarely exactly how you envisioned it.
  4. Do reach out to your BFF(s) and your family. You can allow yourself a few whiny self-indulgent messages to the BFF (and maybe, MAYBE a trusted close family member), but after that, work with your besties and/or family on solutions to how you can transition from Old Life to New Life. There will have to be some grieving of the old life, even if you were ready to move on.  So . . . .
  5. photoDo allow yourself to grieve. If you don’t, then you are only denying what was once an important part of your life, no matter whether it wasn’t all healthy or perfect or wonderful or enlightened, it was still YOUR LIFE. Grieve the old as you step into the new.


A Whole Sackful of Crazy-let it out a bit of a time, Kat, and they'be be none the wiser -hahahahahahahaahahahhaNow. Go kickass.

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.

Monday Classroom: We should all take a break . . .

Today I am thinking of so many men and women. And, I am thinking about my nephew. Gone 17 years now. He was almost 20 when he was killed in a training accident. He was in the Marines and something went wrong. He loved the Marines, and it did turn his life around. So young. So full of promise.

So many.

Today for Monday Classroom, I want to remind all y’allses beauties out there to take a day here, there, and yonder, to rest, reflect, go out and see the world, give thanks, have gratitude, experience. For when we do these things, our writing is richer, broader, opened up to so much more. We see things we’ve never seen or revisit things we’ve long forgotten or find beauty or find someone or find ourselves.

Memorial Day . . . a day for rest, a day for BBQ, a day for the beach, a day for family, and a day for remembrance . . . then, tomorrow, it’s back to work.



Presenting: Barbara from Serenity Gate…

Hi Y’all (yawwwllllll)….Isn’t that a lovely face? Barbara from Serenity Gate – what a light inside she carries- and look at her sparkling eyes.

Before I brag on Barbara, I guest blogged at J. Kaye’s Book Blog. Had a fun ole time, too. Still having fun – reading comments and answering questions. Teehee. She’s having a contest there, too- for a signed copy of Tender Graces – This is her contest, and the contest rules are outlined there (my apologies to my friends outside of US and Canada who may go there to try to win a copy …dang….!)

Now, there are so many of you who have taken the time to write up a praise blurb, or post about Tender Graces, or write up a review, or email me your thoughts, et-cetera. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. So, I’m going to spend some time bragging and talking up all of you! My first “brag” was on Deb Leblanc.

Today, I want to talk about Barbara at the Serenity Gate.

And I do find peace, inspiration, and joy there. And lovely music. And lyrical poetic musings. Barbara’s blog is a lovely breath of air. There is always something upbeat to read, to feel, to ponder over.
When Barbara won books from my book give-aways, I sent her a bonus book. I never expected anything in return. But one day a package came. Inside was a layer of cloud! Barbara sent me the most beautiful pashima – it is the softest wrap I’ve ever had. Stop by her Fatimas Treasures!
Barbara wrote this about Tender Graces– I am overwhelmed by her words (and Barbara – I saw your review on Amazon reviews – *laughing!* yes – I went by there…but just for a second, only a teeny second!):
I didn’t realize just how gifted she really is until I read her new book! How did I love it? Let me count the ways: 1. Poetic 2. Imaginative 3. Clever 4. Unique 5. Exciting 6. Haunting 7. It made me laugh/it made me cry 8. It’s one I’ll never forget. The story is beautifully written, haunting, profound, and develops the characters in a way that makes the reader feel personally connected. It should be in Oprah’s book club (for the complete post, you can click here)
Thank you, Barbara, for your words, and for your Serenity Gate.
Now, I need to Git to Work (yes GIT!….said like mean old Aunt Ruby!)

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