When the wind gets knocked out of your sails

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Wind in your sails

 

So, do it. Decide.
Is this the life you want to live?
Is this the person you want to love?
Is this the best you can be?
Can you be stronger?
Kinder? More compassionate?
Decide.
Breathe in.
Breathe out and decide.
~ Meredith Grey

You’re going along feeling ‘on point,’ looking good, making progress and then someone says something that knocks you down a peg or four. When it comes from a close friend or relative, it’s a double whammy. Those feelings of I’m not good enough, I’m unforgivable, I can’t do anything right return with a vengeance. But you take a deliberate look at yourself and realize that, although there’s room for improvement, you like the person you’re becoming. So you resolve to shed that which holds you back and remind yourself not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Then check out my latest guest blog post to begin pursuing your passion regret free today. And breathe.

How do you add wind back into your sails?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How to boost your confidence today

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Boost your confidence

A couple months ago I was invited to byline a guest blog post for my alma mater’s literary publication. Although I’ve contributed pieces in the past that have garnered positive feedback, I agonized over this particular post for weeks. I even consulted my big sister, a freelance editor, for her expertise. While I pen my own blog, there’s something unnerving about putting myself out there where former professors and peers and other literary critics might take a peek. Perhaps it’s because my prose has been limited to on-the-job copy edits and interviews—or lack of balance in other areas of my life—but confidence in my writing ability has plummeted. Let’s be honest: No (wo)man is an island, but we must first be our biggest advocate. When I approach my day wearing a smile (even a manufactured one) and slip on a positive attitude (along with my sassiest heels), the world sees what I want it to see. And I begin to, as well.

What boosts your confidence?

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Shhh… nobody is watching

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Shhh

A couple of days ago, a transaction at a local home improvement store—worthy of a mere minute or two—took long enough for several patrons behind me to lose their patience and switch lanes. Although the cashier explained to me I was in the wrong (then did not apologize when, in fact, she discovered I was right), I remained calm, respectful. Gracious. I’d like to think I was practicing my yoga breath outside of the hot room. Not too long afterward, I bumped into a gentleman at the grocery store who had witnessed the earlier checkout debacle and we laughed over the situation. But later that evening, I wondered, what if I had handled myself differently with the cashier—lost my composure? I think many times we can feel our frustration or anger is justified. Yet kindness, rather than a harsh response, most always does more to pacify. Ripples, my friends. Even when nobody is watching.

Are you quick with a hot temper or a cool demeanor?

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A different kind of super power

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Super hero powers

With a packed social calendar, this past week I contemplated: if I could possess a super power, what would it be? Without a doubt, I would choose to be in two (or three!) places at once. I’m not sure such a super power exists, but the costume would comprise a tiara and a handful of sparkles scattered in my wake (of course). Lately, I find myself in situations where I am unable to attend one event because I have already committed to participate in another. For example, in a couple of weeks I travel 1,700 miles to my hometown to celebrate with family; however, I will miss two functions ‘back home’ involving my extended family of yoga practitioners. Even yesterday I missed out on a gathering to attend worship service. It’s at times like these when we don’t necessarily choose the better option but, rather, do the ‘right thing…’ because oftentimes juggling our commitments requires balance. Perhaps this is a super power in itself.

What’s your super power?

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When you feel like you’re getting nowhere

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When you feel like giving up

 

A couple of weeks ago, I submitted a 2,000-word story to a writers’ contest but can’t stop replaying the prose in my mind, knowing I could have done X, Y or Z to create a more compelling argument for why I should win the New York trip to study under a top-selling novelist. Then there’s a guest blog post I committed to writing, due in less than a month, yet I’m not sure I’m on the right track. During a recent yoga practice, I experienced one of those light bulb moments when I realized that, even after nearly four years since stepping foot into the hot room, I continue to learn something new—about yoga, about writing, about myself: Practice is simply the art of repetition—a habit or routine we adopt. And, whatever it is we’re practicing might not ‘click’ until we’re ready to move to the next level. So I keep writing, studying the craft and, most importantly: breathing.

What do you commit to regular practice?

Image courtesy of holohololand at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Bad news comes in threes… right?

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bad things in threes

This past week my washer died. It didn’t come as a shock because the dryer met its demise mid-to-late last year. But there were no warning signs… one night, mid-wash, a pile of towels ended up a soggy mess when the water didn’t drain. When I arrived home at lunchtime the next day, a trail of rust marked the side of the water heater. Upon closer examination, it was a fresh rivulet of colored water. I don’t have to be an expert to know that’s not a good sign. With temperatures expected to top 115 degrees over the weekend, my heart dropped when I received a text that evening from my family (while I shopped for a new washer) indicating our 18-year-old AC stopped running. Life is fun that way, isn’t it? Unpredictable, packed with surprises. But I still look for (and find) a simple pleasure every day—something that strikes my fancy, makes me smile or fills me with gratitude.

How do you approach life’s unexpected hiccup(s)?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

What my first iPhone taught me

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What my iPhone taught me

Last month I became a first-time iPhone owner. I resisted the lure for years and, when I finally decided to make the switch, my adult daughter met me at the store ‘for support.’ Since that evening, ‘B.A.’ has demonstrated infinite patience with my questions, user errors and FaceTime practice. At the beginning, she offered to review various settings with me, yet graciously allowed me to test the waters on my own. And she was notably impressed after I posted my first screenshot on Facebook. In the midst of my burgeoning tech savvy, however, I’ve learned it’s more rewarding to engage in everyday life, each moment—even the teaching kind (thanks B.A.!)—as it unfolds, without worrying about checking in on social media each time I go somewhere, or orchestrating the perfect selfie or posting photos of every meal I cook. Technology means well, keeps us connected. But real people, in real time, can never be upgraded or replaced.

How does technology impact your life?

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