Unpacking the ‘feels:’ shedding the old for the new

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Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash.

A couple months ago, I announced my “retirement” (I use that term loosely!) and spent five weeks preparing for my replacement. During that time, I also entertained out-of-town family, my husband and I sold our home and…[read more]

When you achieve happy-ever-after: what comes next?

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Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

The less time you spend dreaming up a world of happily ever after, the more time you’ll have to actually live… ~ Abby McDonald

When you achieve a dream or a goal, do you ever consider what comes next? Predictably, in fairytales and modern-day romances, the two love interests ride off into the sunset. Yet what about the “ever-after” part…[read more]

Strength in the tongue: speaking life into our dreams

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

Once upon a time, a middle-aged wife and mother dreamed of being a princess. But not just any princess: one who often swapped out miles of tulle and a tiara for horse duds and Stetson. Plus, she teaches yoga and guides nature hikes on the side. Yet her biggest aspiration always entailed…[read more]

Don’t sweat ‘the gap’

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The gap

You could say I’m a fangirl of motivational quotes. Over my desk hang several popular missives, including one that states: Dream bigger. And don’t forget the ever-popular: Do something your future self will thank you for. I notice, however, that nobody spends much time extoling “the gap”—which I talk about in my post “Gain vs. gap: realigning our focus.” A while back, I mentioned to a writer friend my excitement about a second short story of mine scheduled for publication in a national magazine—a dream come true! When I recounted the time lapse between subsequent submissions, she said, Don’t sweat the gap. Although I’ve drafted a few short stories since that conversation, for myriad reasons they remain tucked out of sight. But, instead of worrying I might miss the next opportunity, I’m utilizing the gap to hone my craft in the hopes I will be better prepared to step into bigger dreams…when the time is “write.”

How do you cope with “the gaps” in your life?

Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash.

Let’s play: Can you describe your life in a six-word sentence?

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I love these types of questions. As someone whose day job and part-time gig (aka the writer’s life) revolves around all things words—such as word counts, both minimum and maximum—I often play little games with myself; e.g., have you ever counted the number of words in any of the blog posts I’ve written over the past several years? Spoiler alert: 168. Even creating a story with 750-800 words stretches me in different ways than writing a 60,000-word manuscript. And that’s because it requires concise word choices sans the “fluff.” In the Bucket List Journey, which I embarked on at the beginning of 2021, one of the 365 questions includes a challenge to identify six words that condense the finite essence of our lives. Non-writers might also enjoy playing along. For me—within the framework of this moment—the six-word sentence that best illustrates a snapshot of my journey can be summed up as Living the life of my dreams.

What six words describe your life today?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash.

Imposter syndrome: 3 tips to flip the script

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In the Bucket List Journey, the author asks: “If you had to teach something, what would you teach?” I’ve considered this question often, first upon graduating from ASU as a non-traditional (aka middle-aged) student, followed by earning extra cash as a substitute teacher, while interning and job hunting. And, lately, as I’ve considered ways to expand my reach as a writer. One topic that I struggle with on a regular basis—imposter syndrome, or self-doubt and insecurity—informs my answer to the question. I would teach others how to break through a mindset of limiting beliefs. My limiting beliefs revolve around #allthings writing. Maybe you wonder if you’re cut out to homeschool your children, manage a team of employees or return to school in your 50s. If so, I encourage you to 1) acknowledge your thoughts, 2) put them into perspective and 3) reframe them by focusing on your accomplishments, reflecting on your growth and realizing that your. Dreams. Matter.

How does imposter syndrome show up for you?

Taming the monkeys: Part VI, the glue + tip #2

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Words we speak about an experience become the experience.
~ Derek Hough

In my post, “…Part V and thinking SMART,” I review nighttime routines and working smarter. Plus, I promise to reveal the glue that holds it all together: consistency. If you’re not seeing results, crushing your goals or manifesting your dreams, try sticking to a consistent habit, goal or practice until 1) either change occurs or 2) you need to try something new. Oh, and tip #2 that KM gave me at the start of my 45-day challenge? Quit complaining. The hard truth: complaining attracts negativity and misfortune. Don’t believe me? Try this at home (aka everywhere): Wear a rubber band on your wrist, snap it each time you complain and then switch wrists. But attempt to keep it on the same wrist for 21 days and watch what happens. Bonus: incorporate five minutes of focused gratitude into your morning routine. Check out these other resources: James R. Doty, simplemind.eu/how-to-mind-map/examples/goals, zapier.com/blog/smart-goals/.

Are you ready to attract abundance?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Work smarter, not harder: but do *something*

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Twenty-one days ago, I pressed the reset button to rewire a few errant thought patterns and get back on track toward the vision I created for myself in February (see “Take your dreams to the next level…”). This included five action items to accomplish each day for three weeks. One reset task comprised writing for at least 21 minutes daily. Some days the time flew by; others it crawled, the latter of which forced me to discover new ways to stimulate my enthusiasm. A daily writing prompt often became the catalyst to unblock my creativity; another day I drafted a blog post. And another I played around with story ideas. More and more I’m finding that there isn’t one “right” way to live the good life. But [doing] something is better than nothing. And because it’s common for life and its myriad demands to pull us away from our goals, we should work smarter—not harder—to be good stewards of our time.

How do you work smarter?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Take your dreams to the next level: establishing a vision

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Earlier this month, I attended a vision board workshop with six other women and our host/facilitator. The session began with meditation and “smudging”—the burning of sage to clear negative energy that might keep us stuck or stagnant—to jump start our individual intentions for growth or change or whatever we desire to manifest during the year. Then the eight of us proceeded to converse and flip through magazines for pictures that resonated with the words and images we conjured up. Complemented by red wine and sparkling water and margherita pizza, visions were borne. Today, my vision board hangs on a wall in my hallway at home where I see it daily. Although I can joke and say that my new year begins Feb. 1, the truth is: each day is a new opportunity to do something our future selves will thank us for. I seized my dreams and created a vision (board). Now it’s time to crush each and every one.

How do you manifest your vision?

The only guarantee in life

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If you spend too much time
thinking about a thing,
you’ll never get it done. ~ Bruce Lee

In my recent post—“Are you ready to do the thing?”—I talk about the one thing we’ve always dreamed of but have never done. For each of us, that thing probably looks different. Yet no matter how many good intentions we entertain, it won’t happen unless we make it happen. Or until we’ve run out of time. This, for me, is the catalyst. Because if I imagine a future in which I never did “the thing,” I could never forgive myself. I’m at a point where I’ve exposed my fears—of failure, of wasting time, of not being good enough (you name it, I’ve thought it)—and simply run out of excuses. And here’s the bottom line: There are no guarantees. We will never know if we’re good enough, or if we’ll fail. But there is one certainty: we won’t know unless we try.

What are you waiting for?

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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