What are you reading? Top 5 from 2020

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Assuming you agree 2020 proved to be a year like no other—at least in our lifetime—you might find yourself in one of two camps: during the past 12 months, you read more than ever (whether to escape reality or to preserve your mental health or all of the above); or, you remained unable to read anything other than your pervading news feeds (understandable). Regardless of which camp you reside, if one of your New Year’s goals includes reading [more], check out my Top 5 from 2020:

  1. Greg Olsen’s “Lying Next to Me“—for fans of suspense
  2. Gay Hendricks’ “The Big Leap”—addresses limiting beliefs & finding your “zone of genius”
  3. Scott Allan’s “Do it Scared”—shares techniques to charge forward with confidence
  4. Alice Feeney’s “Sometimes I Lie”—takes readers on a psychological thrill ride (eked into 2021)
  5. Tina Radcliffe’s “Finding the Road Home“—for lovers of stories with heart, humor & faith

What book did you read last year and recommend?

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When you fail, because you will

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When you fail

The blues of mental and physical wear and tear
are not as devastating as the yellows
of the quitter. ~ James J. Walker

The next morning, I reeled from the previous evening’s confrontation with a homeowner in my community. Although he did not attack me, personally, he questioned the integrity of the association BOD on which I serve. He pushed my buttons; I sunk to his level with my response. Twelve hours later, I struggled to lift my ego off the floor. I allowed one person’s attitude to steal my peace and rob my sparkle. When I see this homeowner next, I plan to apologize. But, until then, I need to accept 1) I’m human and 2) this isn’t the last time I’ll fail. And maybe it really isn’t failure but, rather, an opportunity to address my own flawed heart. A heart that is resilient—that breaks a million times—its scar tissue a reminder that I am not a quitter.

Do you believe in failure, or opportunities?

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Holy crap says it all

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Holy crap says it all

 

Holy crap is my new favorite catch phrase: A friend in Minnesota texts me a picture of a snow storm (I live in Arizona): holy crap. We’re already more than 11/12 into the New Year: holy crap. Yes, I’m over a half century young: holy crap! Tick tock tick tock. I ran across a noteworthy older lady while traveling in January. She didn’t know me from Adam, yet shuffled right up into my space and proceeded to spew out my life story in a nutshell. She wrapped up the message in a neat bow when she informed me I’m a beautiful woman, but wound so tight that I’m not living. Holy crap. Okay, everything said lady gushed forth rang volumes of truth. Maybe when a complete stranger sees that which you daily turn a blind eye to, it’s time to bite the bullet and eradicate each cliché and excuse to do the thing your heart implores of you. Holy crap.

What ‘catch phrase’ seems to capture your reality?

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You own your breath

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You own your breath

[Image credit: federico stevanin]

You have a lot of decisions that demand your attention, for every day and for your future.
There’s a lot of pressure for you to make the right decision.
Only one person has the right answer … you. Those decisions need to be made by your heart.
At some point no one will be pushing you.
You must take full responsibilities for the decisions in your life.
~ Garth Stein, at a high school commencement

One of my Facebook friends posted a quote on her status that says if you own your breath, you own your peace.  Similarly, you are the one person who owns the right to decide what is best for your life.  No one can tell you which path to take, which decision to make or if you will succeed or fail.  Because that is all a part of the journey.  So listen to your heart.  Take your time.  You only have one shot at Someday.

Have you made the best decisions for your life?

The path toward peace

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[Image credit: digitalart]

When we follow our hearts, when we choose not to settle, it’s funny isn’t it?
A weight lifts. The sun shines a little brighter and for a brief moment at least,
we find a little peace. ~ Grey’s Anatomy

This quote speaks to me in the places where I’m afraid to follow my heart.  When reality laughs at the tiny voice that encourages me to step out of my comfort zone, throw caution to the wind and every other cliché in the book.  It’s that louder voice echoing of past failures, what-ifs and all things that go bump in the night (in honor of Halloween).  The one that settles as a familiar weight upon my shoulders, and casts a shadow to keep the sun from shining brightly.  But slowly, in the little things, I’m practicing.  And maybe I’ll discover it’s really about listening to the head, rather than the heart, which leads to that little slice of peace.

Do you follow your head or your heart to peace?

Time heals

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[Image credit: cbenjasuwan]

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
~ Hippocrates

Personally, I believe that time provides a buffer, a safeguard or defense, to help prevent the heart from breaking into a thousand little pieces each time we experience some sort of loss in our lives.  And many of us also undergo the seven steps of grief which, of course, affect everyone differently.  Speaking for myself, I think it would be nice to remove the middle-man of time and speed up the entire healing process.  Maybe it’s possible to help it along by heeding Hippocrates’ words and providing the opportunity — filling our waking hours with our favorite pastime, a new passion and/or the company of friends or family — in order to make the step-by-step transition easier.  Eventually we may get to that place where the wounds become less visible, perhaps leaving only a few battle scars on the surface of our hearts.  I’ll let you know how that goes for me … in time.

Have you given yourself the opportunity for healing?