Tag Archives: encouragement

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.

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!

 

Small Business Saturday

30 Nov

It’s Small Business Saturday, and while I have a new small business, I began to think of what that really means.

I chose a course which seems to be the road less traveled…publishing my own book. In this day of conglomerates and powerhouses, it was certainly a path of choice. It spoke to my heart…a semblance of foundation…little bricks mortared in strength.

So, not just today, but often, support your local shops, stores, and services.

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!

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.

List, Lists, Listing, Listings

27 Feb

Lists

I inherited this from my mom…keeping a list.  I constantly make them. In high school, instead of doodle, I’d make a list…a list of states, a list of state capitols, a list of professional football teams.

Currently, I have a…

Wish List
To Do List
Bucket List
Grocery List
Things I am Grateful For List
List of Ex-Boyfriends
List of must haves for a current boyfriend (precisely why I have a List of Ex-Boyfriends)

And I have another list…a list of ABC’s…positive words describing who I am.  The operative word is positive.  It’s easy to list all the negatives but sometimes it takes more effort to realize the good we have in all of us.

Analytical
Bright
Classy
Determined
Encouraging
Faithful
Graceful
Hopeful
Inspiring
Joyful
Kindhearted
Loving
Meaningful
Notable
Optimistic
Playful
Quiet
Ready
Strong
Trustworthy
Unique
Veracious
Writer
X-cited
Yearning
Zealous

Do it…make your own ABC list…positives only!

The Colors in My Closet

30 Jan

The Colors in My Closet

Neurotically placed by their color they hung.  The hues of purple, meticulously grouped by size, shape, and season.  Then others…green, yellow, white, black, and red.  These were my clothes, all lined perfectly as I entered my closet.

As I aged, I no longer saw them the same. Ample light could not distinguish the differences.  They all blended together unseen.  Those beautiful lost clothes in my closet that never got worn.

One day, with no time to sort those freshly cleaned, I hastily placed them mingled.  It was then I realized I could see each more clearly.  Out of my usual, I repositioned them all.  Those beautiful lost clothes now became new.  Each unique and diverse, my wardrobe had expanded.

Perhaps our life is similar.  Perhaps our uniqueness and diversity should stand out rather than blend.

How are the colors in your closet?

Texas Two Step

23 Jan

Two steps forward, one step back.

Growth doesn’t always make a straight and narrow path.  Often it is met with resistance.  A negative thought, a naysayers comment, a minor snafu can set you back.  Leaving a job without my future laid out for me…originally exciting, initially uplifting, then panic ensues.  I have to remember the confidence that allowed me to make that leap.  And that confidence was born of faith.

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn.  They say you are closest to your victory when you face the greatest opposition.  They say the devil works hardest when God’s the closest.

Do I believe?  I have to!  Why should that faith I so boldly wrote about a few weeks ago be any less today?  Because I know…two steps forward, one step back is progress.  And with that, I’ll continue my dance.

Black Shoes Brown Shoes

20 Jan

I walked in, head high, shoulders back, and impeccably groomed.  My attitude, my smile, and my confidence were in sync with the physical presence and I was ready!  Summoned by a recent job search, this was my first interview since I left my long-time job.

As I interacted and moved about the office to handle necessary paperwork, I felt an incredible confidence.  I eventually took a spot in an adjacent office awaiting my interviewer.  As I shifted my legs for a more comfortable position…there they were.  BROWN shoes!  I was mortified.

Brown shoes are fine if your attire calls for brown shoes.  But noooo…my attire called for BLACK shoes.

Okay, so now what?  Flustered, red in the face, and so disappointed in myself, I tried to make the best.  I couldn’t let a pair of shoes negate all the good I had in me.  So began the self talk.  “Cindy, they’re just shoes.  They are a minor glitch in your presence.  You have more to offer than the color of your shoes.”

I repositioned my feet, strategically positioned my purse, and shifted the negative thoughts.  I sailed through the interview with composure and pride and upon arrival to my car; those shoes came off with a chuckle.  The way I see it…if I don’t get a job based solely on the color of my shoes, then I probably don’t want the job anyway.  And…I’m good with that.

Two Chairs

16 Jan

I had two chairs on my patio.  I noticed when I sat in one chair; I dwelled on the negative. I contemplated all the ills this world has dealt.  My pity consumed me and I was dark and weak.

In the other, I thought of the positive.  I thought of the opportunities waiting and saw grace in the small and large.  I was confident, strong, and content.

It was my choice…and I began to sit in the positive chair regularly.  My outlook became enthusiastic and my demeanor joyful.

And then…a freak accident.  The negative chair burned.  No option but to toss it away.  So along with the chair, I tossed my dark and weak self.  Only the positive remains.

Coincidence?  I think not.

Toss the Negative!

Toss the Negative!

Firsts!

9 Jan

Just as we record our firsts as children, we should record them as adults.  That wasn’t clear to me, until as a fifty-something, I realized how many new things I was experiencing…

First dog “New Love” – May 2012

First blood donation – June 2012

First major life epiphany “Born to Write?” – July 2012

First submission for publishing – August 2012

First time to read a blog – September 2012

First poem “Dear Daughter” – October 2012

First major leap of faith “Leap of Courage” – December 2012

First tweet! – January 2013

And as I reflect over those firsts, I see a new batch just yearning for record.  I have never, but I will…

…be officially published

…eat at the Beehive

…explore Big Bend National Park

…work the front line of a natural disaster

…attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival

…participate in a charity walk

…write the lyrics to a song

…zip line!

What will be your next first?

Nevertheless

6 Jan

In the wee morning hours, with a broken heart, an empty bed, and the light of my television, I wrote. Reveling in the aftermath of a break-up, I searched for closure. The significance of the man is no longer, but the importance of this writing still lingers.  One of his last words to me, “nevertheless”, prompted me to reveal my thoughts on paper. It was then I knew I could use words for healing. 

As is, unedited and imperfect, I present my first writing.   Who could know that five years later, I would begin a public endeavor doing just that.  I thank him.

“Nevertheless”

Life, with its twists and turns, does not always present itself to our liking…

I know that people come in and out of our lives for a reason. For those that choose to stay, I cherish. For those that walk away…there is a reason, although sometimes I do not understand. I do know that a diamond in our possession is a precious stone. In someone else’s it is just a thing of envy. Being envious of something just brings ourselves discontent. Instead we should choose to be grateful for those things that are around us and let go of the things that slip through our grasp.

I know I am responsible for some of the things that slip through my fingers, others I am not – they are beyond my control. I realize that in some moments of personal anguish, I speak or act hastily, thereby hurting the people I love most and pushing them away. I wish I could have the moments back when I was wrong, but at forty-six, I am still learning the whys and how comes and strive to fix the things that matter most. Sometimes I have a resolution, other times I do not. I will forever be a work in progress and I make no apologies for that, rather I feel proud of the small accomplishments I continually make and strive for.

Sometimes you just have to let go to release your pain and move ahead. In the aftermath of a divorce, someone told a story of a woman falling off a cliff that in desperation clung to a small branch to hold for dear life. In the darkness, she knew only to cling to that, but in the light of day realized that had she not struggled so and let go, there was a ledge just beneath her feet that would have caught her fall. I am releasing my grasp. It only causes pain and stagnation. I know that I will fall, but the duration of the fall will be shorter than I expect.

I will never say good-bye to my past; instead use it as a tool for learning. I do have a future. I know not what it brings, only that it will provide me joy and sorrow. Joy to be savored and sorrow for lessons learned.

Find a path and enjoy your journey. It may not be the journey you chose, but it is still your journey with yet more twists and turns.

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