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Your Little could be Someone’s BIG

11 Sep

Oh the Amazon eBook rankings! The Evolution of a Stir went from placement of 1,000,000 to 100,000 from just ONE sale (a big thanks to Brian and Sharon Jones). Of course I’ve watched the rankings on and off since the release of my book, but this morning a huge reminder of what one person’s small action means to another. I am so grateful for one sale, however you can imagine what snowball effect one more could have. For those that don’t understand, rankings drive sales by boosting a book’s appearance. The more exposure, the more opportunity. Simple for a reader, significant for an author.

And about that book. A reader and fellow blogger’s recent prompt…
“Imagine yourself doing what you love…being unique, being you”. That simple comment, another reminder of what stirs me most and why I wrote about it. (Thank you Traveling Tortuga!)

Whether it’s buying an eBook, or offering a stranger a smile, your seemingly small gesture could impact another in a grand way.

So click here to buy The Evolution of a Stir now…it’s only 99¢! Then go smile at a stranger!

P.S. Brian Jones has a book too! Indian Paintbrush by B. K. Jones is available here.

Love Lessons

10 Mar

it's a...MAY YOUR SOUL STIR Monday! A

He was skittish and detached. A stand in the doorway, a hint of departure, a trivial unaccustomed noise; all invoked violent fits of barking.

As my daughter returned for a temporary stay, he was welcomed as well. Dogs are special creatures, this one no different, with personality and feelings and fears. Not unlike that of humans, his haunts of a past life, characterized his manners.

He was a rescue dog, in every sense of the word. In a congested parking lot, soaked from the rain and soiled from his own feces, he was saved. Blessed with a new life, he still suffered old wounds. He needed time and he needed love.

Eventually he warmed up, coming next to me for closeness. The barking fits, diminished. The wary, reduced.

He’s taught me a lot about myself, about my daughter, and about others. But the thing I’ve learned most…if we all received the offerings of love, patience, and compassion shown this animal; we could heal too.

 

Seasonal Maintenance

3 Mar

it's a...MAY YOUR SOUL STIR Monday!

Have you noticed all the new weeds? I have. They are cropping up, in the yard, in the rock garden, in the flower pots…a coming sign of spring.

Not only a sign of spring, but a sure sign of more work, more maintenance to be done. It seems that weeds fester most in the spring and in the fall, the seasons of change. In preparation for a carefree summer or a dreary winter, they make their appearance.

Our lives require maintenance as well. To prepare us for hibernation…and to prepare us for growth.

Little Boy Borrowed

24 Feb

it's a...MAY YOUR SOUL STIR Monday! F

He was restless and bored, rapidly getting into mischief. A toothbrush here, a pair of socks there; all toys to a little boy displaced by a tornado.

In a Red Cross shelter, others were restless and bored too, but this boy needed attention…and a diversion. As a volunteer I felt it my obligation to provide just that.

With a well-chosen puzzle, I gathered him for some fun. Sitting on the floor with a coffee table as our headquarters, we undertook the mission. Between mini bouts of frustration, and mini stints of celebration, we completed the challenge.

But that wasn’t enough. He needed more and so did I. A ping-pong paddle and a giant ping-pong ball became our next contest. Working with him ever so patiently, I taught him how to push the ball towards me from different positions. This new game kept our devotion for a long while; with the exception of a moment.

The moment I looked up to see tears lingering in his mother’s eyes. She was sitting quietly by, watching as her son interacted in play. In response to my inquiry, her answer “He’s autistic. He goes to a therapist, but he’s done more in these few minutes then he has in all those months.”

As we walked away, she uttered few words of appreciation. Crying while expressing because he’s different, he is often ignored or ridiculed, and the kindness was priceless.

Later that night, I cried too.

As the Stir Turns

9 Feb

mayyoursoulstir.com

Feeling a little down and troubled, I revisited The Evolution of a Stir. Since putting it all together and releasing it, I’ve not really read it and taken it in. There’s a lot of wisdom in those words, exactly what I needed today; a reminder of my dreams and desires, and a push to keep going.

As my baby steps take me to the end of this day, I prepare for my slumber. Now I lay me down to sleep…with fortitude, a wish, and a prayer. ~ The Evolution of a Stir

Goodbyes and Hellos

31 Dec

Hello 2014I bid 2013 a spirited farewell. It’s been a series of failures on a path to accomplishments. The lows and the highs bring new light to 2014 and I’m eager to embark even new trails.

As I say prayers for me, I say prayers for you. May your goodbyes bring you a wealth of hellos.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A Night Before Christmas

23 Dec

Twas a night before Christmas
And I just had to believe,
That Santa was listening,
And would soon bring reprieve.

From the hungry, the lonely,
And the grieving ones too.
To the liars, and cheaters,
That they would find truth.

As we hustle and bustle,
It would help us to know,
That our life is to cherish,
And our pace would soon slow.

With bright lights and candles,
We’ve embellished our homes,
The stairwells, the mantles,
And the roofs high and low.

For the season of magic,
And all things we adorn,
Is celebrating the night
Of when Jesus was born.

MERRY CHRISTMAS Y’ALL!

Learning to Grow

9 Dec

Excel spreadsheets. That I knew. Word documents. Not so much.

I could use bold, cut, paste, and even highlight, but now I was a writer and it was time to know more. My dream of publishing a book required more knowledge and a massive list of to-dos.

But the things I had begun to list…most of them, foreign. Copyright, trademark, ISBN, bar code, cover design, formatting, marketing. What’s a domain? And how do I get one? What does print ready really mean? What’s the difference between publisher and printer? Library of Congress? Books in Print? Really? REALLY?

So, wide-eyed and curious beget an expedition to learn. If I didn’t know it, I looked it up. Thank goodness for Google, website forums, and help menus! I read and read. I played and maneuvered and practiced; until I felt it was enough. I borrowed my well-read daughter to edit and I contracted a home town book binder to print. With a near nothing budget, I proceeded.

And I did it. And I’m proud.

My first book delivered and my first book is worthy. It may never make it to a brick and mortar bookstore, but it’s worthy. It’s my building block and foundation for more.

How about you? What is that aspiration you’ve yet to conquer? If you’ve read my book “I opened to voices that said yes and rebelled to those that said no” you’ll understand how I got here. And those voices can help you learn to grow too!

Visit the Bookstore to read The Evolution of a Stir!

 

And So It Begins!

17 Nov

A writer. Who would’ve believed? I surely never did.

A blog. When thoughts transformed into words, an opening began.

A dream. A series of books…life lessons from my heart, eventually to include other writer’s stories as well.

A book. My first! The beginning of a dream come true.

I proudly and enthusiastically present…

The Evolution of a Stir - Front Cover

It tells of my journey…a series of revelations that began a process of change. Each a short story, each a life lesson, each prodding me forward.

With a limited number of print books available*, get yours now! One of those life lessons may speak just to you!

Click here for more information and purchase!

 

No “Thriller”

31 Oct

As the other moms danced, steps in unison, costumes masking their identities, I watched. An explosion of appreciation engulfed the gym.  The excitement permeated on the faces of those in applause.  I was one of those applauding but my place should have been among the entertainers.  I should have been a breathless participate.

In a pep rally tribute to our football senior sons, a dance routine was choreographed and rehearsed to “Thriller”.  Because of a forced move to another city, I was unable to attend practices.  Joining in other ways, attempts were made to persuade me to learn on my own, but my confidence was lacking.  Horribly afraid of making a mistake or looking silly, I passed.

I avoided the possible failure of my dancing talents, which I am normally apt.  I avoided missteps and broken rhythm.  I also avoided the thrill of reward.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN…with no regrets!

Tuned In

29 Sep

The beginning of a recent drive, a song resounded from the radio. As I sang along, I absorbed each and every word. And oh how timely. “I can see clearly now the rain is gone”.

As some of you know, I was unemployed for several months. My own doing, a resignation brought on by discontent and the desire for something better. The hope of something better was far higher than my reality. Riding a roller coaster of emotions…from fear, anger, and doubt…to peace, resolve, and drive; I stayed dazed with confusion.

Stepping out of the boat, one of my hopes was that a miraculous door would open. I have certainly knocked on enough to qualify, but the break wasn’t forthcoming.

A recent occurrence, I now have steady income…a job in accounting, but it’s a means not an opportunity. I have come to realize it’s not others that will provide those…it is me. I have my miracle and I had it all along. It’s inside me…the beautiful peace that comes from realizing my own potential.

I’m no longer knocking on doors; I’m going through them.

“It’s gonna be a bright…bright sunshiny day.”

Stay tuned…

Either Or

25 Aug

They had it narrowed down to two. I was one of them. My references were checked. I had a second interview. This was a fifty/fifty shot, the best chances thus far.

I was ready. Decisions prematurely made…no book, no blog. No attempts in social media to market my writing. I would let go what I’d built over the last year. Ready to ditch it all for steady employment…the eight to five, live for the weekend kind of income. It’s what I know. It’s my comfort zone.

I’m out of my comfort zone now…the furthest I’ve ever been…financially, mentally, spiritually. I claim that in the most positive way and I credit the cathartic process from writing. Never naïve enough to believe my words could truly make a living, but it has been the one thing I ponder. Could a passion that makes your heart pound actually provide that source?

The logical approach…get a job and keep writing, but for some reason I can’t get the two worlds to mesh. Every time, when on the verge of getting a job in my old world, I’m certain to give up writing and the pursuit of publishing. It just feels simpler that way. My head, as well as my heart, just can’t get them to go together.

And every time, with each rejection, for just a minute it knocks me down, then it pushes me…to writing. It pushes me to think about going all in…really pursue it…as if my financial, mental, and spiritual life depends on it.

The fifty/fifty shot didn’t come through. The all too familiar snub…once again a facilitator.

Perhaps that’s exactly what it’s meant to be, because maybe, just maybe…I’m meant to write.

Ifs, Ands, or Buts

30 Jun

As I slapped my hand on the steering wheel…another sigh escaped from my lungs. Dang it! Once again…my thoughts jumbled with the “other” choices.

My temporary job was located clear across the city. Determined to avoid the idiots, the hurried, and the cluster of the freeway, I chose a different route. Necessary to go through parts of town I’d never known, I tried many options. Always trying to best my last drive, I’d contemplate the ‘what ifs’.  If the light hadn’t been red. If there wasn’t any construction. If only that accident hadn’t happened.  A constant nag of betterment resounded in my head. Over and over I questioned my route. I wanted a clear shot, but that never happened.

And so with my writing. If only I didn’t have to market. If only I knew more about publishing. If only. If only. If only. But if I want to get somewhere, I have to keep driving. While still avoiding the fast lanes, my own path calls. I may encounter wrecks, red lights, and detours, but I’ll get there.

And those various city routes…never mind the challenges…I made my destination every time!

~ ~ ~

Update: The project alluded to in The Party’s Over

I’m in the process of editing and designing an eBook…
“The Evolution of a Stir”
…the first in a MAY YOUR SOUL STIR series.
Coming to an electronic shelf near you!

SELL SELL SELL

1 May

I have a friend on Facebook…his usual post “SELL, SELL, SELL”.

There is a difference between my friend and me.  He is a salesman.  I am not.  I’ve always shied away from any type of peddling.  Of the opinion that salesman were vile creatures looking to sell snake oil, I wanted no part of that.  Perhaps my view has changed.

Before beginning this blog, an epiphany to write became the catalyst.  A story in itself, one of healing and spiritual awakening, I imagined this could somehow blossom into more.  Through hours of varied research, I’ve learned in lieu of a bestselling novel, to make a living you must supplement with speaking engagements, newsletters, or some type of innovative promo.  Just as marketing is not my forte, neither is speaking.   I began writing as often my words flow better on paper than from my tongue.

With articles submitted for publishing, I realize that path is a difficult one.  A story is stirred from my heart, not my pocketbook.  Substantial attempts to promote are not in my nature, as neither is writing on demand, but

My writing has a purpose.  Still unclear exactly why, this I know…it has its place.  I’m trying to discern…where I fit, where I don’t.  I do have a gift for seeing a story in the mundane and the inordinate.   I am confident my words are worthy…the context, the message, the delivery.

Although I may not be a salesman, I do have something to offer.  But rather than snake oil, I sell bits of inspiration.  I hope you’re looking to buy!

Fighting Lizards

14 Apr

There’s this lizard…and it’s BIG!  It lives in the flowerbeds around my patio.

While I watched it from a distance, I just couldn’t force myself to face my fear and jump in.  Jump into the flowerbed, that is.  The weeds needed pulled, the shrubs needed trimmed, the mulch needed replaced.  But I was scared…so I let that lizard, and his rowdy friends, keep me from beautifying my garden.

Today…round 1, weeds…and I won.   I was tentative but knew it had to be done.  At first I tiptoed quietly peering into every crevice.  Then a bit relaxed, almost forgetting the enemy’s presence.  And finally…the feeling I did it… in spite of this fear, whether rational or not…I did it.  I flexed my muscles, patted myself on the back, and knew I could conquer more.

Perhaps fears are keeping us from tending our life garden.  Imaginably our fears are big creepy lizards, or evil venomous snakes.  But we should face them, one weed at a time.  If we fight, we may find that gargantuan thing we feared so much was really not so big after all.

If you look close (center of picture) you can see…the lizard that turned out to be not so big after all.

If you look really REALLY close (center of picture) you can see…the lizard that turned out not so big after all.

Smell the Roses, Stir the Soul

27 Mar

Food everywhere!  Green apple bread, chocolate chip cake, potato salad, lasagna, ribs, chicken casserole, and on and on and on.  Temporarily assisting my parents for a couple of weeks, I was surrounded by the neighborly efforts of small town America.

While very grateful for the gifts of love, my ever-expanding stomach felt the desperate need to walk.  It took a few days to get that message to my feet, but at last we were moving.

Walking the very route in and out of the neighborhood normally by car, I was astonished at what I now saw.  I noticed the varied landscaping gracing the front lawns…placements of flower pots, bird feeders, and other lawn embellishment formerly overlooked.   I spotted a skillfully arched bridge…a unique wooden pathway to retrieve mail.  I distinguished the bend of a tree…an ever graceful reach towards the sky.

We see things differently when we stroll…a slower pace presents a beauty unknown to those that buzz fervently through life.  Slowing down is crucial.  Our soul demands splendor so take care to oblige.  If stopping to smell the roses doesn’t fit into your day, perhaps a brisk walk instead.

The View Beyond

20 Mar

Looking out the window from my desk strategically placed for the view, I realize…this too shall change.  The leaves soon to bud, impeding my view to the sky.  As anxious as I am for spring, I dread the confinement the new leaves offer.

In my journey of self-discovery, I observed countless settings in which I felt trapped.  I felt a physical strangulation, like hands around my neck choking the breath from me.

It’s odd how the mundane condition of our day brings about the complex condition of our mind.  Then I ponder…perhaps it’s not odd at all, perhaps just a way to remind us of what we, as individuals, need.  I need a window.  I need a view.  I need a horizon.

There is something about the expanse and limitless the blue sky provides…a window to opportunity, to love, and to acceptance.  The frankness in the beauty represents that for me.

Notwithstanding the obstruction, this I know…the sky with its infinite possibilities lies always just beyond the leaves.

Child’s Play

13 Mar

It was the 4th of July.  On the last leg of a much-needed road trip, I took a route to avoid the busy of the interstate. As I traveled alone through small towns of the panhandle, I saw groups gathering for celebration of our independence.  I found myself yearning to belong, some way to take in the atmosphere of the holiday spirit.

Unlike the other towns, this particular’s park was noticeably empty.  Vacant and mute, the motionless swing provided no children with laughter.  It summoned me there as I gazed in passing.  I had to go back.  It was time to play.

Walking across that park, I contemplated what passersby could think.  As I began to swing, I no longer cared.  With each stretch towards the sky, it took me to new heights of alive.  The methodic swaying, once a forgotten joy was now moments of freedom and fun.  My body of middle age had the heart of a child…and that park was empty no more.

Never mind those passersby.  Never mind the naysayers.  As adults, we should never pass the opportunity to reach for the sky.

Dog Days

6 Mar

Sitting across the living room, playing lovingly with his dog, I asked my son “how long will he live?”  Of course his answer was a mere smallness compared to the life we expect of ourselves.  Seeing the adoration and love they offer one another, I questioned how he would deal with the eventual hurt.  His answer “I would rather have a few great years with him, then none without.  All the love is worth all the loss”.

Realizing now I was looking for the heartache, anticipating the inevitable.  Is that how I approach emotional involvement?  Rather than see the beauty in the gift, I see the trauma in the loss?  What a dismal view!

I have come a long way…in wisdom, in perspective, in outlook; but perhaps the void of love in my life is a perfect way to avoid pain.  Have I done this to myself?  Have I shirked the possibility anticipating a negative outcome?

It seems I have some reflecting to do, after all…pain is a price, but love is priceless.

A Love Story

13 Feb

A Love StoryThey walked hand in hand…gently strolling along the sidewalk, their body language a bit perplexing. Admiring as though I was watching a play, I sat at a stop light in my car. They continued their stroll in silence, yet an aura of love encircled them.  Unsure whether to smile or cry, I did both.

Their destination…the front entrance of an Alzheimer’s facility.  It was clear then, the sweet awkwardness.

In that small glimpse into their life, I somehow felt I knew them.  In that moment, I saw the graceful courtship in the midst of a dreadful disease.  In that brief invitation into their world, I saw something special.

I continued my thoughts of them throughout the day, full knowing they were challenged, yet in that moment their life was good.  I wish them more of those moments.

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