Archive | December 2013

Happy Christmas

I’m happy this Christmas.

Really, truly, and peacefully happy. Not because there is a BIG box under the tree with my name on it. And not because I’m finally done my Christmas shopping.

I’m just happy.

I’ve had horrible and sad Christmases when I’ve lost loved ones either to uncertainty, death or to themselves. And they were so difficult that I don’t even know how I made it through. But for the first time, in many years, all finally seems right with the world.

I’m not happy because everything is perfect. It’s happiness that acknowledges that it’s not, but that life remains worthwhile. It’s happiness you can only know after you’ve been through a valley. A deep, dark, endless valley.

I won’t freak out this year when things don’t happen “on time” or exactly as planned. Because I have the most wonderful people in my life and I am a fortunate person. I’ve made it through some of the valleys. So I’m going to gather my strength, count my blessings, and love my precious ones like there is no tomorrow.

Because it is certain in life, that there will be more valleys. But for now I am going to enjoy the beauty of Christmas.

I hope that you will too. And that it will be beautiful, magical, and full of love.

seraphic flow

Beautiful ❤️

∙ tenderheartmusings ∙

pour yourself
in me
till I am brimming
with you

flood in
a little more
till I overflow
with what a lifetime
can’t contain

as you slowly
trickle down my being
keep flowing in
till all I can feel
is you

when less
has been spoken
more has been heard,
take two steps closer
and revive me
with your touch

without a sound
awaken me
with your whisper
and remind me
what I have forgotten
remind me of you

with a paint brush then
consume me
in your painting
till I am one
with your colours
guiding me
with brushstrokes
take me home

pour
your
soul
into mine

overwhelm me

…..
art by Pery Burge : http://www.chronoscapes.comh

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Don’t Bother to Self-Reflect

LeaderNosh

Self-Reflection is Not Self-Loathing

Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol, said:

Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

Self-reflection yields self-awareness and understanding, which yields growth. But if all you do when self-reflecting is focus on the negative, then don’t bother.

Dwell not on the negative.  Instead, appreciate the positive.  Cut yourself some slack.

Read my latest post at LeadChangeGroup.com for some advice on how to take some time out over this holiday season for renewing self-reflection:

Where Did You Lead in 2013?

Here’s an excerpt:

Find your favorite quiet spot in the office, your house, your backyard, your neighborhood coffee shop and ask yourself these three questions about 2013:

  1. What went according to plan?
  2. What were the disappointments?
  3. What were the nice surprises?

Once you have your perspectives about this…

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Who I am…

I’ve been struggling to find time to write, lately.

The holidays are upon us and everyone is so busy. The end of the year brings other challenges with work and life, and everything in between. I’ve decked the halls, trimmed the tree, and started my Christmas shopping. And this year, I’m even managing to make peace with some of my demons which has been a feat of Herculean proportions.

It hardly seems as though there is time for much else.

I’ve got two books sitting, waiting, and wondering if I’m ever going to back to them. I’ve got characters with unfinished business, lovers who are wondering if they will ever kiss again, and a little girl trapped in a well with a talking serpent-like creature. All of these plots and ideas for character development are swimming around in my head, and there is no time to attend to any of it.

The frustrating part, is that as I go about my daily life, the writing calls to me. I’ve learned to ignore it, but only temporarily. Part of me fears that it will stop calling me, one day. I fear that I will lose the pull as I once did when I became “too consumed by life” to simply just write.

I know that if I would have continued writing throughout the years, and not stopped, that I would have maintained a better sense of myself. I would have remembered what was important in my life because writing balances me out. It reflects the words into my heart like a mirror, reminding me of who I am, and what I want to be. Perhaps if I had continued to write, the lessons that I had to learn, wouldn’t have been so hard because I wouldn’t have forgotten how to prioritize or who I was to begin with. Instead, I abandoned what I loved and lost a piece of myself in the process…

Part of me is afraid that I will get too caught up in life and I will stop writing again. It’s easy to forgo your passion when there is laundry to do, dinner to cook, homework to oversee, and a full time career. I have a family to love, a house to run, and a wonderfully challenging career. Yet, I still have numerous characters calling out to me, plots to both create and finish, and fictional lovers to reunite.

So who says that I can’t do all of it?

After all, I’m a Wife and Mother, and a vicious multi-tasker. I brush my teeth and read a book at the same time. I kiss my children while I pack their lunches. I Facebook while I stand in the deli line. Most importantly, I know when to STOP multi-tasking and just “Be” in the moment. I’m creative, fearless, tireless, and loving.

The beauty of writing, as an Indie Author, is that I can do it on my own schedule. I don’t have to give up telling a story because life is too busy. I love that I can still be passionate about my family, my career, and writing. I love that I can stay in touch with who I am and also, what I love to do.

Even though I’m having a hard time finding the time to to write, the characters and stories are swimming around in my head. They are growing and evolving, and thankfully my children aren’t starving because I did manage to feed them tonight! I know that there will continue to be days when I feel that I didn’t do enough, or that I’m not enough. I don’t expect that will ever change because there just aren’t enough hours to do it ALL, every day.

I know that being a Wife and Mother means that I can’t always be a writer, and that having a career means that I can’t always do everything. But I think that I am better at recognizing what matters, because I don’t let the moments pass me by. I see them and I recognize them in a way that I never did before. And when I’m lucky, the Wife and Mother in me gets to write the love for her family into her book, and the creativeness within, give me success in my career.

For the first time in my life, I realize that I don’t have to sacrifice being one thing to be another. If I am thankful for the gift of getting to do all of these things, I can do them.

Then I can truly embrace who I am.

Holiday Reflection

The Holidays have always been a strange time of the year for me.

Some years they’ve made me happy and other’s they’ve made me sad. Every year, they cause me to reminisce about the past, both the bad times and the good. They make me want to be a better person. And they remind me that in a few short months, I’ll be another year older.

And getting another year older depresses the heck out of me, these days.

As I watch my boys, who were babies just yesterday and young men tomorrow, I realize that the immortality of my youth had faded away. Perhaps I am the last to realize this about myself, but I wish that I would have savored my youth just a little bit more. It’s not that I didn’t travel or do crazy things. It’s not that I didn’t have fun or that I have a lot of regrets.

I just didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have.

I didn’t bask in it every day. I was so busy getting somewhere in life and doing “something important” that I didn’t realize “Hey, I’m only 23,24, 25 etc.” or “I can eat whatever I want and not gain an ounce” or “Five hours sleep is more than enough!”

I was foolishly just living and not appreciating, not reveling.

I suppose I’m doing that now. Only it’s different. Only now, it’s not about me. Because I’m much older than 24, I can’t eat whatever I want, and I need at least six hours of sleep to even think about getting out of bed. Now I value my life through the lives of my children. And I’m watching them grow entirely too fast. Which means that I am also growing older, which I’m not ready for.

I want to grab the robes of Father Time and bring him to a screeching halt so that we can slow things down just a little bit. I’m not ready for my boys to be young men, and I’m not ready to be old, yet. After all, there is still so much that I want to do. Still so much that I need to do.

So I find myself reveling, now before it’s too late. I do it in the every day. I do it in the small moments, in the things that I used to walk right by. I find that I am more selfish in my priorities because I know that the time that I have is limited, and I know that my children won’t always be as in love with me as they are now.

I wish that I could slow things down and make life go just a little slower. But since I can’t, I’ll have to settle for squeezing every bit of joy that I can from the time that I have with the ones that I love. I’ll have to settle for trying to be patient, forgiving, and loving. And I’ll have to settle for seeing the small moments, the little miracles, hearing the tiny whispers, and appreciating every single bit of happiness. I’ll have to recognize my weaknesses and accept my failures, and move on because that is the best I can do.

At the age of 19, my incredible niece is a cancer survivor. I believe her life is special and that there is so much waiting for her. She has stared into the darkness and come out alive. I imagine that she is destined for something amazing and beautiful.

We can let life just fly by or we can embrace each moment. The Holidays remind me of that because they are a constant. They have always been the barometer I used to measure how much value my life had.

But now, they are the barometer I use to measure how much I value my life.

My husband has instilled in me a love of Charles Dickens, “Christmas Carol.” We watch it dozens of times over the holidays because it often hits close to home. It reminds us that we only have one chance at this life and that it is ours to cherish or to lose.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“Because I Love You…” Giveaway

I’m hosting my first big giveaway as a way to show appreciation for all of the wonderful people who visit me on a regular basis. ❤

A year ago, I was in a very different place in my life and wasn't even sure if I would finish my first novel. Now, I've self-published two books with a third one in process. I know that I would have never been able to complete them without family, friends, and new friends who have given me so much support and encouragement.

So please click on the link and join in on the giveaway! And Thank You for all that you have given me just from being supportive and kind!!

"When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others."
~Dalai Lama

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Thankful for This Life

I purposely didn’t post a blog on Thanksgiving about how thankful I was. Not because I thought I was above doing it. It’s because I wanted to give the concept of thankfulness a little more thought. I wanted to write something that didn’t sound trite and recycled. I wanted to express exactly how thankful I am.

The truth is, I AM extremely thankful for this life that I’ve been given, more than I can share.

So much so, that it sometimes feel more like fear or painful awareness than Thankfulness. I’ve been through some things in my life that I will never write about because they are just too horrible to revisit, and some things that I will never remember, that are probably equally so. For me to share my true thankfulness, I would have to share my entire life, which I won’t do. I believe that some things are meant to remain locked up deep inside, private and painful, to remind you of how fortunate you are to get to live.

The parts I share, through my writing, I only share because I know just how thankful I deserve to be.

My life has been a fabric of different thread, weaving in and out, bright and colorful, sometimes shameful, and often outright ugly. But each thread has meaning. Without one, there couldn’t be another, or another, or another, and then I would be nothing. Colorless, meaningless, without one stitch of gratitude within me. There have been many times that I have wished for that. But I realize that without it, I would cease to be what makes me who I am.

But life is hard. And there are moments when I want to pull my hair out and scream because I wish it was more. And then there are other times that I want to sit comatose, staring out of a window, because I wish it was less. More often, I feel that the true secret may be, just accepting what IS, which is something that I struggle with every single day. As a well-known, and well documented “control freak,” accepting that there are things outside of my control, has been the most brutal lesson of my entire life. It is the lesson that I believe is the key to understanding gratitude in its truest form.

I don’t think that I am there yet.

I still struggle too much with my life, with my path, with the threads that make me who I am. I look far too often at the road I’ve travelled instead of at the road ahead. And I’m still entirely too haunted, angry, and sad on a regular basis to live out this guise of thankfulness fully and truthfully every day.

But I’m trying.

I know where I need to go. I can see it, touch it, taste it. And some days I even achieve it, if not for the briefest of moments. Just sitting back, accepting, and appreciating what my life IS while acknowledging the path that I’ve taken to get there is truly being thankful. It’s not wishing that the thread were a different color, or woven a different way. It’s looking at the tapestry as a whole and understanding that true beauty is in the richness of each individual stitch. It’s loving each thread and not wishing that one had been different, or placed somewhere else.

I look forward to the day that I can look at my life that way, every day. I know in my mind that I have gotten here by decisions that I’ve made, and decisions that were made for me. I know that I am not a victim and that I choose how I view my life. And when it’s all said and done, that how I choose to view my life which will determine how I feel about it in the end.

With each passing day, it gets a little easier. And when I look into the eyes of my sweet, innocent, amazing children, is when I am the closest to feeling gratitude and life makes more sense. In the deepest place in my heart, I feel the glow of thankfulness and happiness every day. But I wanted to be honest so it didn’t sound as though I walk around on cloud nine, every day of my life.

Life is difficult, and we have to seek out the beauty that finds its way through the pain. And when we can do so, we can truly be more thankful.