Reconnecting

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In many of my posts I mention how I am a work in progress.  I am on a constant journey toward becoming the best and happiest person I can be.  Part of that process is reconnecting with things that make me happy.  Years ago I began restoring furniture.  I would find an old ratty, damaged piece and make it look brand new again.  Sometimes I would re-purpose it into something entirely different, or I would simply restore it.  I had such pride in the finished product and looked forward to my next project.  The whole process was invigorating.  I would search antique markets, thrift stores, and yard sales for the perfect piece, then I would plan what I would do with it.  I took pleasure in selecting my tools, paint, fixture, and various accouterments to make the piece complete.  I really threw myself into it.  I would spend hours making it just right and I loved every minute of it.  Some of the items I would give away as gifts and some I would keep for myself.  Nonetheless, I felt a sense of accomplishment with the finished product.  It was not only the act of creating something, but the entire experience.  I used my time for something that fed my soul.

 

As I have mentioned in other posts, I went through a very challenging period a few years ago.  I really disconnected at that time.  I disconnected from my passions, friends, and myself.  I stopped doing many of the things that made me happy.  I stopped communicating and spending time with my friends because I was embarrassed by who I had become.  I had become overweight, sad, and just not a pleasant person to be around.  I had lost all motivation to live.  I was merely existing.

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Thankfully, I made it through that challenging period and I am continuing to reconnect with the things and the people I love.  Recently, I reconnected with a very good friend who shares my interest in restoring furniture.  Just seeing some of the things he’s done made me want to get back into restoring furniture too.  I had collected several pieces that were just quietly waiting in my shed in the hopes they would eventually see the light of day.  A couple of weeks ago, I pulled out an old vanity that belonged to my great-great aunt.  It was in okay condition, but required a lot of work.  I gratefully welcomed the challenge.  It wasn’t my best work as I have been out of practice for a while, but I was still very proud of it.  There are a few more things I need to do to it, but I was so thrilled by the way it turned out I couldn’t wait to take a picture of the almost finished product.

Before vanityafter vanity

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Reconnecting with my hobby and my friend have had amazing results on my soul. Renewing the friendship has led me to reestablish other relationships and connect to the part of me that was truly living life.

I would like to challenge all of us to reconnect to some of the good people and things we may have disconnected from.  As we reconnect, we may find even more food for our souls.

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The Things We Do to Promote the Books We Write

Becoming a professional author can require writers to do strange and unnatural things. These acts against nature can include, but are not limited to: stepping away from the computer screen, leaving…

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Avoid These 5 Traps that Can Destroy Your Good Habits. | Gretchen Rubin

Every Wednesday is List Day, or Tip Day, or Quiz Day. Today: Avoid these five habit traps — they can destroy your good habits. When we’re trying to maste

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Know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em.

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Life is confusing.  That’s just how it is.  Many people say that life is hard, but it is mostly making decisions  that give us difficulty.  We have tons of decisions to make: who to make friends with, which college to go to, how to spend our money, etc.  There is no way to get around it.  Even young children need to make decisions that will greatly impact their little lives.

In life we are given guides.  With choosing a guide comes another very important decision. We may have parents, mentors, clergy, or some spiritual adviser to help shape our thoughts and aid us in making decisions, but we must chose which one works for us.  Sometimes those choices are made for us.  Sometimes one way is all we know and it is not until we are exposed to something else that we begin to question the path laid out for us.

Like many of us I was lead to think a certain way, act a certain way, and do certain things.  It was not until I became older that I began to question many of my decisions.  Sometimes I went against what felt right to me in order to follow a path that was chosen for me.  I chose my first college major based on what I was told to do.  I knew it was not what I wanted for my life, but I was convinced it was the right thing because I was being counseled by someone I loved and trusted and someone I knew loved me.  Although I was a great student in high school, my first year of college was terrible.  I never missed class or failed to turn in an assignment but what was lacking was a true commitment.  I was just going through the motions.  It was a very passionless academic experience.  I had always loved reading and writing and always had a passion deep inside to become a writer or to live my life with writing being a major part of it, but instead I was told it would be best for me to go to law school and become a attorney.  I loved discussing things so naturally it made sense to those advising me to become an attorney.  I love a good argument so it was decided that an attorney I would be.  When I would express my desire to write for a living I was told I would be poor and unemployable.

After my first year of college I quit.  Being on academic probation truly helped me. I was able to petition to go back, but I used academic probation to prove the case that I was not yet ready for college.  In truth, I was, but I was not ready to go down a path that I knew would not suit me.  I folded and I walked away.  The dealing was done.  The summer I decided to leave college, I secured a full-time job.  I was making money and I was able to write as a hobby.  I was never so happy in my life.  I was able to make money and write, but there was something inside of me that wanted something more.

After working for a few years, I decided to continue may college career.  I then changed my major to Communications.  I still wanted to be an English major, but still heavily under the influence of old advice, I felt Communications seemed a more marketable choice.  I took a couple of classes in public speaking and an anthropology class.  I loved the anthropology class.  During that time I was reading a series by Anne Rice.  I was in awe of her ability to come up with such fascinating characters and felt that she must be blessed with some unique ability. As I began to study anthropology, I began to see some similarities to what I was reading in the Anne Rice series.  I mentioned those similarities to my professor and how I was amazed at how Anne Rice was able to craft such work loosely based off of the primal horde theory.  My professor then told me that I too have access to those same resources.  I knew right then that what I had always felt  in my gut was right.  I now had confirmation that I was the best person to determine what was best for me.  That was my last semester as a Communications major.  I had to walk away.

It was another 10 years of doing what I felt I was supposed to do before I went back to college as an English major. I continued on my job, got married, and had a child.  A few months after my son was born I quit my job to be a full-time mother.  This decision was one that was extremely easy to make.  There were plenty of loved ones who said I would be making a mistake by quitting a good job that I was able secure without a college degree and had had several promotions.  People told me that I would never have that opportunity again.  I didn’t care.  The job I has was not the path I wanted to continue on anyway, but I was sure I wanted to be the best mother I could to my son.  I quit my job.  I knew when to walk away.

When my son began school.  I was left at home with nothing to do but clean my house and cook.  I began writing.  I had a few articles published and I felt like I was on the start of living my life the way I wanted, but something was still missing.  I wanted that degree.  With my son in school I had the time to go back and get it.  I held on to my dream.  I went down several different paths before I reached my goal, but I held on to what I knew was best for me.  I won’t say that those different paths were the wrong ones, but what is most important was knowing that I must hold on to my dream.  Those other paths led to lasting friendships, connections, and experiences that have shaped the person I have become.

What I would like all of us to gain from this is there may be somethings you need to let go of and there may be some things you need to do in order to get to where you need to be.  Don’t regret any decision you’ve made, but never let go of your dreams.

 

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Ten Things I love About Me!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I love to toot my own horn.  I also like to encourage the toots of others.  I think is its very important to find things about yourself that you love and compliment yourself on them often.  You should also not shy away from complimenting others.  I have a proposition for all who read this post.  Find at least 10 things you like about yourself and then find at least 10 people and compliment them on something.

iBourgie’s Ten Things She Likes About Herself

  1. I am a voracious reader. I have always had a love for reading.  I will read absolutely anything.  In addition to any genre of fiction, I love reading medical journals, magazine articles, textbooks, etc.  Although I am an introvert, I have been able to use my love of reading to find something to talk about when I begin to feel awkward in social situations.
  2. My legs.  No matter how much weight I lose or gain my calves always stay in shape.  I got them from my grandmother.  lol
  3. I am very silly.  Most people are shocked by my sense of humor.  Who says introverts aren’t funny?  Once you get to know me, I will have you in stitches.
  4. My smile.  It is huge and I can’t help it.  I have a big mouth and I love it.  I love it even more because I used to try to hide it and have grown to love it.
  5. I am generous.  I genuinely love giving.  Nothing make me happier than being able to do something for someone else.
  6. I don’t take myself too seriously.  I make mistakes and that’s fine.  So does everybody else.  There is no need to dwell on them.  I learn from them.
  7. I am forgiving.  Without forgiveness, you are stagnant.  I forgive others and I forgive myself.
  8. I know when enough is enough.  I know my limits and I will not push myself past them, nor will I allow anyone else to.
  9. I can take  criticism.  Being able to take constructive criticism is the only way you can get better at anything.  Not only can I take it, I ask for it.
  10. I have a great son! I can’t take all of the credit for it, but I had something to do with it. I am so proud of him.

Whenever you feel down, remember the things you like about yourself.

 

Consistency

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I have been in a very intense discussion with a good friend of mine about consistency.  After giving him a speech about how he should not expect certain results without being consistent, I thought about my neglect of this blog.

I started this blog as a personal accountability tool.  I wanted something that would help me organize my thoughts and force me to write something that I felt was in some way meaningful on a regular basis.  With all of my good intentions, I have not followed my own advice.   I am ashamed of myself, but I am persistent.  I will not give up on this blog.  I was not prepared for how much I would enjoy this blog and I was not aware of how this blog kept me on top of many other things in my life.

When I was consistently posting to this site, I was eating better, I was writing every day, I was trying new things and learning from fellow bloggers.  This blog was something that I truly needed in my life. Letting it go made me aware of that. This blog held me accountable.

I recently rejoined the workforce full-time and I have had some challenges adjusting to my new schedule after being a stay-at-home mom for 8 years.  This blog and many other things have taken a hit.  I have also fallen back into some of my poor eating habits, but I am getting it together.  I love my job and I find it very rewarding, but I still need that time to nurture my creativity, mind, and body.  This post is the beginning of my doing.  I will be consistent.

I would like to encourage all of us to make take the first step to consistency.  It does not have to be today, but do it soon.  You may be struggling in your relationships, diet, academics, etc., because you are not taking the time you deserve to make positive steps toward your goals.  I urge you to make a vow to yourself to do!

Embracing Vulnerability

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I believe that when most people think of vulnerability they think of weakness.  I have recently learned that vulnerability is the single thing that can open the doors to so many rewarding possibilities in life.  Can you truly love someone if they are afraid to be vulnerable?  Can you truly be loved if you close of parts of yourself?  By holding back we are blocking our blessings.

I worked with someone who was a habitual liar.  This person lied about big things and small things.  It was truly heartbreaking because this person had such a desire to belong and to be liked, but he was doing himself a disservice.  There was absolutely no chance of anyone getting to know and appreciate him as a person because of his need to hide behind deception.  Ultimately, this person lost his job over something he lied about.  The mistake he made would not have gotten him fired, but the fact that he lied about it did.  Had this person admitted his mistake, he would have gotten help, learned from his mistake, and possibly improved on his overall work performance.  Not only that, he would have established some respect from his fellow workers.

In the past I have been afraid to be vulnerable.  I was often told my many of my acquaintances how I initially seemed unapproachable.  It wasn’t until they got to know me that they began to like me.  I had no idea why anyone would have that perception of me.  I later realized it wasn’t until I was comfortable that I allowed  my guard to come down.  I was not fully appreciated until I was vulnerable.

Vulnerability is power.  When you let go of the fear of exposure and embrace everything about you wonderful things will happen.  It is such a liberating experience.  Imagine having to hide nothing.  Accepting yourself and whatever you may perceive as flaws is true love and you should accept nothing less for yourself.

I would like to challenge all of us to take a good look at ourselves and ask ourselves if there is anything about us that we feel is in any way shameful or embarrassing and own it.  We may want to change it, but it is still a part of us. Until we can make those changes we are still a valuable asset to society.   We need to love ourselves in order to be loved in the way we deserve.   Remember that we are all works in progress, but in order to progress we may need to tear down some walls and allow a little light to shine in.

Paulo Coelho

“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
― Paulo CoelhoEleven Minutes
Criss Jami

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
― Criss Jami