Are You Inspired? 5 ways You Can Tell.

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You doubt yourself.

You feel lazy.

You want to give up.

Yet something inside you stays lit, the flame that has not gone out completely.  You may wonder if you are doing the attracting and manifesting thing right,  or effort-ing enough to make your dreams and goals a reality.

Here are 5 ways to tell if you are inspired to do what it takes, or if you should just join Cinderella in her chimney sweeping until prince charming knocks on the door with the other slipper.

1) You don’t feel the need to tell everyone around you what you are doing. You find satisfaction in the doing of whatever it is that is getting you closer to your goals and dreams. There are the talkers and the doers. You are a doer.

2) You will do anything it takes. ANYTHING. (well as long as it’s legal and aligned with your moral and ethical values).

Do or do not. There is no try. —Yoda

3) You take inspired action.  Things happen. Plans don’t alway work out the way you want them to, but when you get an idea, or a sign that you should be doing something, and it feels good, you go for it.

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. —Jimmy Dean

4) You find yourself doing a balancing act between ‘if you dream it it will come’ and ‘taking the bull by the horns’.

5) You are grateful for what you do have, for what you are doing.  Eckhart Tolle says that the only way out of suffering is by first accepting it.  

And as Oprah Winfrey says,

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. 

So are you able to look around at your life and feel true gratitude for what you do have without letting the ‘but I want more’ sneak it’s way into your gratitude practice?

Here are 11 incredible women and some tips on how they stay inspired.

Check out their websites and links and see what these inspired women are up to. 

SAFEWOMEN

1) As a woman in a leadership position I not only need to stay inspired it is my job to inspire others. Because of this, it is of utmost importance that I keep creativity flowing around me and through me at all times. It is important for me to stay vigilant in regards to the info and data that I allow into my vicinity.

One of the first things I have done to make sure that my inspirational juices continue to flow is to have a home that is full of art and reminders of people, places and things that inspire me.

I spend my time with women and men who inspire me.  Of course, I totally understand that you can’t choose your family. However, you can choose who you spend your time with.

To stay inspired and able to keep in the flow of all things, I do everything I can to guard what my mind is exposed to. I read books that fascinate me and push my growth versus novels that are, for me, like eating junk food. (read more on her websites below)

Cindy Anne~Master Sensualist

Inspiring Women to explore their most intimate selves.

www.agirlsroom.com   www.cindyanne.com

2) I have commitments to show up for people other than myself that I am unwilling to cancel. In my every day, even if I wake up uninspired, before I get on a client call, I read their emails, look at my file on them and in “losing myself’ to being of service to them, before you know it, I feel inspired.

I truly believe in Picasso’s saying:

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working”.

I don’t wait for it, I do my work and inspiration inevitably follows.

Marija Parente

https://www.facebook.com/ParenteCoaching/

3) I take inspiration from people who manage to be both successful and kind. Whenever I feel stuck I watch video interviews with people who overcame all odds and fought for their success. Then I go back to whatever my obstacle is at the moment and see it as something I have already overcome.

Leah Gottfried is the founder of Dignity Entertainment and a filmmaker currently directing the hit web series “Soon By You”.

4) I stay inspired with everyday rituals that point me in a direction I desire to go, such as starting my day with gratitudes and ending my day with gratitudes.

I choose my friends by who I enjoy and are assured that they are people that cherish me and light up when they see me I do the same with them.

I practice moving a step in the directions of my desires every day, so forward is the direction I feel I am going even if it is a micro step.

I move my body mostly in community because it keeps me inspired and it makes me feel alive. 

I eat 15 to 20 oz of vegetables everyday to let the sunshine in.

Most of all, to stay inspired I take some time every day for solitude

Laura Jacobs

5) I keep myself inspired in many ways.  I set expectations of myself daily, weekly and yearly. If you set expectations of yourself then you’re more likely to reach it and not just go along by winging it.

After my first year at Gebroe Hammer my boss asked me if I was proud of my sales. When I said I was, he said he expected me to double it the next year. That was the most powerful thing – that he had expectations of me. Now I have those expectations of myself.

I often think about a scenario – if the company I work for would be picking the top three sales people-

Would I be one of them?

I am inspired to maintain the success I have at the top. Do you want to be a failure or a success? It’s a decision. Do you ant to coast through and be mediocre or be successful? I want to get there, and anyone or anything in my way, move out of my way.

I am inspired by an obligation to provide for my family, and not in a mediocre way but to give them the best life possible. My nature is to do whatever I do well. You have to inspire yourself by having a clear path, and then work towards that path and not flounder.

3-4 years ago I could never have predicted that I would be as successful as I am, and what inspired me is that I see that I did it and it could be done. The possibility is there, I just have to work for it. It’s no longer a pipe dream, its attainable.

When I have a hard day or moment, I know it will pass because I have done it.

I also stay inspired by going to see a client that is nice and complementary towards me and it gives me some momentum back.

Debbie Pomerantz

Real Estate Professional, Gebroe Hammer

6) I stay inspired by getting into a sensual state of gratitude first – by “sensual” I mean the heightened awareness of my senses. I focus on my breath and how it feels on my lips and in my lungs.

Then I look at the colors around me. I try to hear the insect wings, taste and feel the smells in the air. 

Then I get curious about my surroundings and ask a metaphorical question that is inspiring.

The leaves on that tree seem to be dancing, but are they dancing for me?

Simple can be rewarding!

Coltrane Lord

The Art & Science of Feminine Expression

www.lordcoltrane.com

7) Surround yourself with positive people. It’s so easy to get sucked into others negativity, and you truly become like one of the 5 people you are closest to.

Rita Litchfield is the mother of 11 children and many grandchildren.

She is a Hypnotist and runs a business creating one of a kind handmade felted handbags.

8) I stay inspired knowing that everything I do is a link in a very long chain.  The stronger my link is, the easier it is for more empowered women to climb up after me and advance to greatness.

Nancy Redd

“I talk for my living & I write for my soul; I learn by listening & I lead by example.”

Host of @So_MeTV on @FOXtv

9) I always have one of my mentors/teachers in the loop… I love to learn.

I stay inspired by working from home and having adventurous and luxurious work/play dates. 

I also go to a 5 star hotel  for a scheduled period of time (2 hours) to finish a project that I’m feeling resistant to and for business and brunch dates.

I’m inspired by the ocean. By being playful.  Sidewalk chalk with my 3 year old friend.  Bubbles.  Surprises to and from my partner.

Love. Joy. Beauty.

Amber Valentyne

ambervalentyne.com

10) I stay inspired by following people who inspire me; folks I aspire to be like. Following dreamers who made it and are showing others how to make it too.

Katherine Hiraldo

I’m a writer and author and teach entrepreneurs how to connect with their clients, through blogging.

KATHERINEHIRALDO.COM

11) I am inspired from what turns me on in life. I am inspired by being myself, unapologetically!

Owner & Operator
Gina Fata Coaching
MA Exercise Physiology

So what is it that inspires you? What do you want to accomplish?

Do you want to travel? Have an epic relationship? Start your own business? Make your current work satisfying to the point of waiting for the weekend to be over? Start a blog?

There are those that look around for inspiration everywhere and take the necessary actions, and those that don’t. Those filled with excuses, regrets, and totally legitimate reasons for shelving their dreams and goals.

Do the impossible. When you are at a dead end, turn around or jump over or climb behind whatever is blocking you. Choose another path. As yet another person that may have good advice. Read another book, watch another inspirational speech by Tony Robbins or whoever inspires you.

The end is not the end. That is the secret that those that stay inspired remember. There is always a way.

What is it that you want inspiration for?

Put it out here in the comments or send me an email.

As Winston Churchill says,

“Never, Never never give up”.

What To Do When You Absolutely, Positively, Must Follow Your Passion

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Who do you listen to?

Those that say to follow your passion and the money will follow, or the opposing view telling you to face reality?

Many of you may not care less. You may be content with aspects of your life, such as your career choice, social status, motherhood, baking cakes, community service, etc.

This dance isn’t for everyone.    SAFEWOMEN

It’s for you if you feel the burning desire to follow your dream, the ‘can’t- sleep-can’t-eat’ kind of fire that burns inside your soul. If it’s all you think about.

Perhaps you’re one of the lucky few that know exactly what it is you are meant to do. Maybe you’re doing it. Or if you don’t yet know what that is, you could be too scared to sit down and think about it and figure it out.

You might think that following your passion is only for certain kinds of people:

You know who I mean, it’s those lucky few, born to parents that encouraged them, or the ones that grew up and put their lives in order and saved enough money so they can quit their jobs and really go for it.

And let’s not forget about the dreamers that slept in their cars while pursuing their passion.

Many of you dream of your art and creativity and have to 9-5 it, care for kids, and make time to find or nourish relationships. You have to deal with life as it comes every day, and by nighttime you realize that another day passed without you doing anything towards your dreams and passions.

Then the day comes – when there’s a rumbling inside, when you absolutely, positively, must follow your passion.

Where do you start?

A good place to start is by looking at those that have done it, and can tell you a bit about their own process and journey. There are examples all around us if we choose to see it, of people doing incredibly challenging things in order to follow their dreams.

When Leah Gottfried, founder of Dignity Entertainment and the Soon by You web series was in the 3rd grade, her teacher had the class do a project on what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Leah chose, “an actress”, to which her teacher promptly crossed it out and said,

“You can’t be that”.

This usually leads artists and creatives to shamefully shelve that ridiculous dream and go for something others think is realistic.

Not Leah.

She upped her game by asking her mother to sign her up for professional acting classes, promising to thank her in her Oscar acceptance speech. She kept asking relentlessly, until she got the acting lessons she desired.

While making sure her dream never died, she did all kinds of things to make it happen.

There is inspiration all around for the hungry.

Wayne Dyer, author and speaker said that if you have a dream you want really badly and you are not moving towards it, you need to ask yourself,

“What am I NOT willing to do to live my dream, my passion?”

A young woman recently competed on the last season of American Idol, and she shared the beginning of her journey and her path to winning second place of the entire season.

She tells of how she took her little baby, under a year old and strapped him into a car seat, left a bad marriage, and decided to audition for a spot on the show.

The timing seems ridiculous, as our excuses usually include children, divorces, money, yet not for her. She felt that this was HER time and she let NOTHING stop her. NOTHING.

Did she go to the nearest audition?

NO. La’Porsha Renae drove 28 hours to get to the first stop on the audition tour. She said that she went to the first stop because she was going to follow the audition bus to every city as they went to across the US and audition over and over until they said yes to her.

28 hours. In a car. With a baby. Willing to follow the judges from city to city to city.

She truly muscled her way to the top and kicked the obstacles to the curb, and made it to the top.

There is no one easy answer to how to follow your dreams and passions.

I asked Leah Gottfried how she did it.

She comes from a strict religious background that had no allowance for a girl with a dream of Hollywood. Yet she went on to get cast in commercials for Yamaha, Time Warner, and many more, all while keeping her values.

In college, Yeshiva University, there was no film program so she created a new major with the advising professor. She was the first student of the college 40+ year old college to graduate majoring in film.

She recognized that there were other students with creative dreams like hers, so she created and became the president of the first Film Club at YU.

She started her own production company while still in college, and recently wrote, directed, produced and starred in a brand new web series that is a huge hit.

Best of all, she stayed true to her religious roots and the Soon By You series portrays what it’s like to be dating in Orthodox Jewish circles in a comedic and true to life fashion.

EF: So how did you keep your passion alive when in an environment that specifically told you NO, and in the entertainment industry which is already hard enough to break into?

Leah: As a kid I used my imagination a lot. Even when I was in class, in a situation I felt stifled in, I would doodle pictures of me on the red carpet, winning an Oscar.

I would have my friends down the block come over on weekends and I would direct them in videos because I had to.

It wasn’t a choice. I felt like if I didn’t do this I didn’t exist. It was like breathing.

EF: What advice do you have for people your age, 25, and even older? What could they do to live their passion and art?

Leah: First find support. Either a mentor that is succeeding in what you do or friends, peers, that are following their dreams. People that are positive about the arts. Wherever you are, if you want to write or create, just do it. Whatever you want to do start doing it now. Don’t wait until you have everything lined up.

Do it whenever you feel the urge and the passion. Find outlets for your art somehow. You have to. Even if it’s once a week, join a group, start small, but you absolutely have to make time for it like you make time for eating.

What’s the point of living if you’re not doing what you feel like you were born to do?

I’m a big believer in going after what you love and the money will follow even if that sounds cliche.

There are a lot of ways to make money doing what you love. You have to find a way. It’s your duty when you have a gift to share it with the world.

Conclusion: Stifling it and ignoring it is the worst thing you can do.

Thank you, Leah!

How to Get Started on Your Passion:

Do what navy seals do. Positive self talk is one of the primary tools navy seals are known to rely on when in dangerous and trying situations. So talk your way to your dream. Tell yourself all the things you know are true about your desire, your talent and you passions and goals, and that you can do it.

Find a mentor or coach. If you cannot afford one, there are so many that offer a free initial call with you and sometimes that’s all it takes to get you jump started. Once you are well on your way you can always circle back to them and hire them if you liked their coaching style. Or have a friend or someone that has some success be your starting mentor.

Head over and watch some inspiring YouTube videos about artists and creatives that made it to the top of their field. Choose people that are doing the thing YOU want to do. So many of them share their journey and they ups and downs they went through, and how they stayed on their path.

Head over to a museum, to see something incredible and know that the artist that created it most likely had to break through huge barriers of their own.

Head to a park, be inspired by nature. Find inspiration everywhere you go.

Be inspired by those NOT following their passions. When you see people trudging along, with no hope or belief that they can achieve their dreams, use that to fuel your own, that you will NOT be like that.

When it doubt, listen to Queen, or another artist belt out a piece of music that breaks your heart. A broken heart is a great way to find inspiration and drive.

When will YOU go for it?

Check out this quirky and funny web series created by Leah at Dignity Entertainment

SAFEWOMEN

click for up to $50 in FREE Lyft rides Use Code SAFEWOMEN

 

If She Can Write A Book Why Can’t I?

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I met a beautiful woman dressed in red.

She was a stylist and talked fashion, which is not my language.  I talk writing.

I have 5 of the same black t-shirts and 3 pairs of jeans that I wear daily.

“Like Obama and Zuckerberg”,  I say.

“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” FC 

Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs did the same thing.

Zuckerberg said he drew the always-wear-the-same thing philosophy from Obama and a certain other tech executive, Steve Jobs. Jobs wore blue jeans and a black turtleneck nearly every single day.  It provided him a signature style and daily convenience.

A writer, in my mind, is someone that wants to conserve all their creative and mental energy for their writing so eliminating style sounds like a great idea to me. Only I realized after talking to Alexandra, this may not be true at all. Maybe a writer could pay attention to style AND writing? 

alexandra

When I met Alexandra, she looked beautifully styled but what I really noticed was the book she held in her hand.

“This is the book I wrote for my business. I’m in the middle of my second one”.

I wondered immediately how a stylist with impeccable taste and a fashion business has time and creative energy to dress up, run her company and do what so many have a hard time doing.

Write a book. 

Me in my black daily t-shirts. Everyone around me is sick of my ‘signature style’ and ‘daily convenience’ look so that I could have more mental energy for my writing. 

I decided to ask her how she did it, and she was thrilled to share her secrets with me.

It’s all recorded, and very inspirational. Here is the interview below. Feel free to listen and let me know what resonates with you and share it with your friends that want to write and complete their books.

If she could write and finish a book looking stunning in full fashion, you could probably too.

I can’t see myself in a red dress, but I would like to finish that romance novel I secretly started, and up my fashion sense just a little bit.

What book do you have in you? Is it a book for your business? A how-to book? A novel? Memoir? 

Take inspiration here and go for it. No matter what your style.

You can get instant access to  the recording of the interview I did with Alexandra by entering your name on the form below. Don’t worry, I don’t share this with anyone and you will get one or two posts a month from me. Enjoy.

If you want to write your own ebook look out for an email about this course opening soon!

The REAL Reason Why You Can’t Write

betseypic

The Real Reason Why You Can't WriteYou’re dying to be a successful writer.

In fact, you spend most of your time thinking about writing and imagining where it might take you. You think about what to write, where to write, and which tools to use. You even block out time in your calendar to write.

And at the end of every day, you still haven’t written a single word.

Why can’t you make this work? Why can’t you just sit down and write? You want to, you have a unique voice, and you have ideas you want to write about. Keeping it all inside of you nearly hurts.

You know a lot about writing already – tons, in fact. You know where to find writing tools, ways to overcome writer’s block, information on finding writing work, and which websites offer writing classes on how to become a better writer.

It’s all at your fingertips.

So what’s missing? Why can’t you seem to write as freely, as much, and as easily as all the other writers?

There’s a secret about writing that no one told you.

This secret will get you in the chair, in front of your screen, writing away. Coaches,mentors and therapists use this secret all the time, helping their clients start anything they desire.

Actually, you already own this secret. It’s hidden inside you.

It’s your very own belief system.

Your beliefs about you and your writing are holding you back.

Many motivational leaders in spiritual, financial and self-help fields say that in order to achieve your goals, be they financial, spiritual or relationship related, you need to become aware of your beliefs – and then transcend the old belief system you’ve adopted.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you believe about yourself as a writer? Have you ever considered what you believe about the work you produce?

Your beliefs run the show, usually subconsciously. And if they’re limiting or negative beliefs, they’ll stop that show dead in its tracks.

You believe certain theories about why you suffer from wanting desperately to write but are unable to. Each writer has their own belief system. Maybe you believe you aren’t a good writer, or that your work isn’t “epic” enough, or that you’re too slow. Whatever.

Once you take time to figure out your beliefs about you as a writer, and about writing itself, you can begin to see where you hold yourself back from actually writing in the first place.

Can it be this simple?

Yes. Simple… but not easy.

Lucky for you, a step-by-step system exists to replace negative beliefs with better ones, and once you try it, you’ll eliminate your delaying tactics and procrastination for good.

You’ll be one of those writers you see in Starbucks, eyes glued to the page, typing away furiously while sipping steaming-hot coffee.

Step 1: Identify your limiting beliefs

Find a calm space where you can sit quietly. Take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself the following questions, listening to your intuition for the answers:

What are some of the beliefs that prevent you from writing?

For some writers, the answers jump out. For others, they need to make several attempts or spend time thinking about the answer. A few general limiting beliefs might include some or any of the following:

  • I don’t have time to…
  • I’m not smart enough to…
  • I’m too busy to…
  • I could never be successful at…
  • I’m afraid if I’m successful then…
  • I don’t have enough money to…
  • My mother/father/spouse/partner/friend says that I should…

These are just some examples to help you uncover your personal limiting beliefs. Yours may be related to your writing, or to success, or to failure, or to something else entirely.

Write down your list of limiting beliefs – the negative thoughts and emotions that come to you when you think of writing, or yourself as a writer.

If it’s difficult to come up with the honest answers about what’s holding you back, you can work with a mentor or coach to do some soul-searching and self-discovery. It’s well worth the effort so you can begin getting words on the page.

Step 2: Flip your limiting beliefs

Now that you have a list of limiting beliefs, write the opposite of each belief on a new sheet of paper. Turn your negative beliefs and thoughts into positive ones.

For example:

Old Belief: My parents said I can’t make money as a writer and that I should get a real job.

New Belief: Writing is a real career that can earn money, and many people have been successful. I can be successful in this career too.

Old Belief: I have to wait for my life to be perfect and balanced. Then I’ll be able to write.

New Belief: I can write any time I choose, and I don’t have to wait for any silly criteria – I can begin writing today, and I will.

Step 3: Pick 3 new beliefs

From the new beliefs you created, pick 3. Post them somewhere you’ll see them every day, often. (Post ONLY the new beliefs – the old ones are gone!)

Spend 2 to 3 minutes a day reading your new positive beliefs, and infuse this visualization with positive energy. By reading your new beliefs frequently, and believing in them, you’ll gradually come to create change around your writing.

Slowly these new beliefs will become your reality and truth.

Step 4: Grow into your new beliefs

This may not be an instant transformation; rather, you’ll grow into it. Help that growth occur by creating a specific action plan that helps you live your new beliefs.

Perhaps you need to get assistance with some of your tasks so you’ll have time to write. Maybe you’ll have to read daily material around a specific feeling or belief you’ve newly adopted. You might need to get help from a coach, or someone who’ll assist you in changing old writing habits.

Stay around positive people who are self-growth oriented. Their encouragement will help wear down those negative beliefs until they’re completely gone.

How New Beliefs Can Transform Your Writing Life

By bringing your limiting beliefs to the surface and reversing them into positive ones, you can transform your writing, and your life as a writer.

One of my main beliefs that caused me to delay writing was that everything else has to be done first. With children and coaching clients, this meant I left writing to the last item of the day, and I barely wrote because of it.

My limiting belief was completely blocking me from writing.

My new belief became: I can write first thing every day before everything else. I didn’t know how this could ever happen, but I started waking up a little earlier, or sometimes just wrote for 10 minutes, first thing in the morning.

Slowly I figured out how to rearrange my schedule so that writing is my first activity of the morning on most days.

Granted, writing may still be challenging for you at times. Finding the right words sometimes feels like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Writer’s block might still show up. But more often than not, you’ll be writing.

And when you aren’t, you’ll know how to get back to it quickly.

Which limiting beliefs will you change?  What’s holding you back from writing? And where do you want your new writing beliefs to take you?

(this post was written for Menwithpens.com and appeared on their site)

How to Survive Unendurable Heartbreak

humpty“No matter what happens we are always

on the adventure.

Sometimes the heartbreak is unendurable

and you’re in a hole.

That’s just where it starts to get interesting.

Rupture is the beginning –

it’s a passage in your unfolding”.  

Mama Gena

Things need to fall apart before you can put them back together the way YOU want to.

Because as of now, you may be put together by those who raised you, society around you, media, and choices you made to navigate everyone elses’ ideas.

There are numerous times when you experience unendurable heartbreak in your life and it feels like the end.  If only you could remember that this is the real starting point. Rupturing and falling apart gives you the place to put yourself back together the way YOU want.  There are choices you need to make now – people to invite in or kick out of your life, places to go, things to do.

You realize that every single doorknob and cabinet handle of your life is yours to choose.

Should this be easy? Who knows. It’s not. It’s unimaginably hard. 

What makes it possible to bear is if you keep in mind that this is where it starts to get interesting. This is the begining of a journey, not the end. From this perspective it becomes curiously exciting even though your tears are flowing and fears and growing larger.

One life. That’s it. That’s what we get. So allow yourself to unfold and fall apart so you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The fairy tale was right. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put him back together again. 

But the woman can.  They should’ve called a woman.

photo credit flickr.com/photos/62126383@N00/1156524119″>Humpty Dumpty_3037</a> 

How To Make Writing Easy

girl writing in journal

 

Does this woman look like she is working hard? Or thinking about how to make money writing or become famous fast?

Not to me.

On her finger is a gorgeous diamond ring, cradled in her fingers a red leather journal and her body seems relaxed. She writes.

The everyday woman.  That’s all I really want to be. So how did I get tangled up in so many other things that drag me away from putting on a pretty ring, a gingham blouse and writing in a red journal?

Many things. If I had to list them I wouldn’t know where to begin or end, so I don’t thing it’s in my pleasure to begin a thought process like that. What I do want to do is go back to the basics.

Writing. Every day. Whatever I want.

Seeing something, being inspired, and writing about it. Enjoying the writing journey. I can always keep my goal oriented projects going, yet when I write just for me I feel smug and self satisfied.

As if to say “this is what I think and I’m saying it out loud”.

How many times are we shut down, either by others or in the desire to fit in and be politically or socially correct? Not wanting to say something that will hurt someone?

Well, here on the page you have complete freedom. Write whatever you want. You don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to and if you do then go ahead. Somehow I feel like if someone heads over to my blog that has my own name as the URL its just too bad on them if they don’t like or agree with anything here.

Because Its Mine. And I am one hell of a greedy bitch when it comes to my writing.

How to Write Even if You Have Writers Block

redbridge

“Golden bridge, silver bridge or diamond bridge; it doesn’t matter! As long as the bridge takes you across the other side, it is a good bridge!”  

Mehmet Murat ildan  

The other side. That’s it. Just get to the other side.

What about enjoying the journey? 

Two schools of thought here. One says if it gets what you need, it served its purpose. The other thought is that the journey is the most important. The view from the bridge. How stable is the bridge? 

Like writing.

Some writing you enjoy just because. You love putting words together, writing sentences that turn into paragraphs, chapters, stories. The feeling is exhilerating regardless if anyone reads it. The wooden bridge. 

Then there is the writing that you want to share or what’s the point? You want people to read your writing and feel something. You want to change peoples life experience because you wrote. That’s the golden and diamond bridge.

Which bridge is your favorite? Is the wooden bridge, writing for yourself, the safe bridge?

Is the writing you do to share, sell and inspire and entertain and inform others the “real” one? 

I like to think it’s good to do some of both. In order to avoid writers block I choose a daily image and just write what comes to mind. That’s my wooden bridge. I can write anything and so I am not blocked. No judgement. So self sabatoge. No one cares about that writing but me. I am writing and that’s all that matters.

Then there are the stories I write that are exhilerating, tortorous, exciting, demanding, painful, tearful, wonderful. Those are for you, and those are the diamond and golden bridges.

Like my kids, I love both equally.

The Frida Kahlo Pumpkin

pumpkin prompt 1

“Take A Lover Who Looks at You Like Maybe You Are Magic”

Frida Kahlo

Did anyone ever look at you like maybe you were magic?

Until this pumpkin person up above, I mean. Just something to think about.

This was supposed to be a fall/pumpkin blog post about the changing of leaves and why pumpkin spice coffee is so popular.  Yet, somehow when you give a writer an image you just never know what will happen.

Fall, changing of the seasons, Halloween, and boots. Add love to the mix and take a deep breath in and allow the season to embrace you and gently carry you away from the summer and towards the winter.

What better way to move along past September then to do some contemplative writing?

Open your laptop, notebook or pull a paper napkin off the nearest table and breath in, breath out, and write down whatever is on your mind.

Spicy lattes and love. That’s a combination I could live with.

pic credit:craftster.org

31 Things To Stop Doing (so you will start writing)

stop

Yesterday I wanted to give up.

The flow I was in with my writing had become a battle and I started feeling  like a fraud.

Who was I to coach others on writing when my fingers were stuck in cement? I wasn’t finishing my writing projects and my blog was felt like a rock in my shoe I was just too lazy to shake out.

Until I remembered why I want to write. I want to write because I do it well, it stops the insanity in my head for a while, and brings me some peace and clarity.  Like most writers, I also write for the dream of seeing my name on the NY TIMES Bestsellers list one day. Oh, and money – for the money, JK Rowling style.

A favorite actor of mine said,

“The only good reason to have money is this: so that you can tell any SOB in the world to go to hell”. Humphrey Bogart

I must confess that one of the reasons behind my perseverance in writing is because while I love writing for the journey, I have some people I would love to tell where to go. In my fantasies, my writing will bring me monetary success so that I can do that.

Y’know like “ F** off, my book is on the New York Times Best Seller List”.

Wow – that was not what this post was supposed to be about.

I was going to make this post about how I lost my obsession with writing when I slipped on the ice this winter, and fractured my elbow and tore ligaments in my shoulder.

I developed some unhealthy habits because I could not write, and when I don’t write I go a little nuts.

Without writing here’s what I did –

I spent my time:

  • Addicted to the iPhone
  • Laying on the couch popping pain meds non-stop
  • Watching too much on Netflix
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Telling myself the kids need me. All. The. Time. (they don’t)
  • Cooking for the family. I mean, thinking about it. (I don’t like to cook)
  • Bemoaning that my writing arm was in a sling and I was in so much pain.

Then slowly I started healing. Yet, I still was not writing. My bad habits had taken hold of me.

I was:

  • B**tching about money. Again.
  • Rolling around in the ‘not enough’ swamp.

There was not enough:

  • time.
  • money.
  • love.
  • help.
  • boots. (I love boots.)

I decided to quit thinking about writing and just give up and sit in the kitchen watching the eggs boil.

The eggs boiled and I realized that everything takes time. 20 min for eggs to boil. A lifetime to work through everything else. It takes time to come back to the writing page after having been gone for a while.

I went to what I call the center of my soul:  my bookshelf.  I pulled out a book by Steven Chandler on Time Management called “Time Warrior”, and a book by Steven Pressfield called “Turning Pro”.

I went to the swimming pool, sat at the end of the diving board and poked around the time management book. A few pokes was all it took for me to take on the energy of the book, the urgency to get focused and be responsible for my time.

I made the decision to read Turning Pro from cover to cover without budging.  I did, right then and there while sitting on the diving board. Drenched in sweat and sunburned, I felt alive again.

I was back in the game of doing what I love: Writing and inspiring others to write.

Here are 31 things to stop doing so you will start writing.

STOP Doing these 31 things:

1) Stop waiting for the perfect time. The perfect time is now. Right now.

2) Stop waiting to have more money. Writing when you’re hungry has a lot of power, and while I wouldn’t choose it, if it happens, use your hunger in your writing.

3) Stop wanting to be successful in your current business/career first. One thing has nothing to do with the other. You can write while you’re working:  Evenings, lunch hour, early morning, weekends.

4) Stop wanting permission from someone. Skip this. Just give yourself permission – that’s all that really matters.

5) Stop being afraid of your power.  You may not realize it, yet acknowledging that you are a powerful person that can be powerful with your words is scary. You are powerful. It’s OK to take that in.

6) Stop distracting yourself. The world is full of distractions for everyone. People that are successful are able to ignore distractions and focus. Just start with short periods of time. Can you sit, writing, undistracted for five minutes?

7) Stop hiding from your demons. They’re everywhere: In your dreams, your thoughts, your past. Bring them with you to the page and write to them. Let them sit alongside you as you write them a goodbye letter. If they revisit, do it again.

8) Stop pursuing a shadow career (where you are the support for another that is going for their dreams) while ignoring your writing. No matter what your career is right now, make the time to write.

9) Stop chasing many dreams and goals. It may feel free when you don’t lock yourself down to one thing, but you are trapped in scattered energy. Choose your one thing, one topic, and go for it. That is true freedom.

10) Stop thinking that some people are born as professional writers. They had to work at it. HARD. So do you. You work at it, you fail, you crash and burn. Then you really have something to say.

12) Stop your addictions to______. I know you can’t stop completely but you can stop long enough to get some writing out.

(It can be an addiction to a substance, to failure, to love, to a person, care-taking, money, shopping, sex, distraction, drama, traveling, negative thinking…fill in the blank.)

13) Stop trying to change bad habits.  My trick is to  just start a good habit. It will cancel out some of the bad ones. 

14) Stop saying  “I’m so busy”. Of course you take care of stuff, but you don’t have to make being busy your go to motto. Instead of saying “I am busy” say “I am a writer” as often as you can.

15) Stop creating drama in your life, or getting sucked into someone else’s drama. Deal with your own internal stuff and stay out of other peoples stuff.  They will figure it out without you, leaving you the time and energy to focus on your writing.

16) Stop giving up on your dream of writing.

As Churchill said, “Never never never give up”. 

17) Stop letting your fears hold you back because there is no end to your fears. Allow yourself to feel the fear and do it anyway.

18) Stop procrastinating. Write like there’s no tomorrow. There may not be, and your story and writing may be hidden from the world forever.

19) Stop avoiding a simple life. Life gets simple when you have one track you’re on. Make that one track your writing.

Be regular and orderly in your life so you may be violent and original in your work. Gustave Flaubert

20) Stop ignoring the secret dream or passion you have. Dreams that are ignored tend to become quite rowdy and show up in your life to get your attention in unconventional ways.

21) Stop clinging to your unproductive friends and turn to those people that are committed to their craft. You don’t have to give up your unproductive friends completely but remember that you become like the 5 people closest to you.

22) Stop punishing yourself in your mind if you don’t know what you want. Stay open to the world around you and keep asking questions of yourself and the answers will come.

23) Stop thinking about regrets of the past and stop obsessing about the future. Read some Eckhart Tolle and be in the moment. That’s where creation is, right in the laser focused, present moment.

24) Stop waiting to be inspired and just write something. Anything. You can throw it out.

25) Stop obsessing about what ‘other’ people, other gurus or know it all’s are doing. You have enough inside you so be your own guru.

26) Stop trying to be great and just be ordinary. Once you’re getting ‘ordinary’ done, you can work on being great. One step at a time.

27) Stop dreaming of fame and fortune as the rewards for your work. Know that the journey is the reward in itself.

28) Stop waiting for the perfect space.  Create an orderly corner for yourself and go there every day at the same time, even if its only for five minutes at first.

29) Stop thinking you have to know everything. You don’t. Most people don’t know what they’re doing at first. You can figure if out along the way, so get on your way.

30) Stop letting a bad day or a missed creative session hold you back from writing again tomorrow. Keep going. Athletes play while they’re hurt. You can come back after a flop.

31) Stop thinking it will get better. If this is how it is so be it.

This is your current life. Create anyway.

The One Thing Left To Do:

Make a decision to write no matter what. Cross over into the place where obstacles still exist but excuses do not.

Steven Pressfield, author of the book I read on the diving board says this:

“I didn’t talk to anybody during my year of turning pro. I didn’t hang out. I just worked. I had a book in mind and I had decided I would finish it or kill myself. No tv, radio, music, sports, sex. I didn’t read the newspaper. For breakfast I had liver and eggs. I was like Rocky.” 

You may not be able to check out completely, yet in your own way, with whatever you have going on in your life, you can figure out a way to do a version of what Steven Pressfield did.

Pursue your art.

Decide. Look into the mirror and what do you see?

Make that person you see in the mirror the one that owns their power to take on the decision to say “I am a writer”.  And write no matter what.

Now it’s your turn to reply to this email with your story. What are you up to? What’s happening in your life? What do you want to share with the world?

Would you like to work with me?   I won’t leave you alone. I will email you, text you, call you,  and make sure you’re writing.

$97 is my fee for now for new clients only, until I fill up the few slots I am offering because I am taking a break between writing projects.  (YES I spend most of my time writing.)

What you get is:

  • a half hour session about your writing desires and goals
  • a written, emailed, personalized step by step writing plan based on our conversation 
  • a follow up with me via email one week later

Go for it. You are a writer.


You will receive an email confirmation with my calendar so you can schedule your call.

The Right Way to Think About Writing

COINING 20

Are you authentic?

Authenticity, such a big word yet a rather simplistic definition.  

According to Webster’s Dictionary, authenticity is defined as “the quality of being authentic”. Easy enough one might say; however, why do we all struggle with being genuinely who we are?  If we were to expound on this word a bit, one might come to grips with the magnitude and power it possesses.

Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures; the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself.  

Now, we have arrived at the exact reason this word is so huge as it is rather complex to live out. The inner voices we all possess have cultivated our self-esteem to creep in and say things such as:

-Will they like me for who I am?

-Could it be true that I’m that amazing?

-Do I even really know who I am?

As you can I’m sure relate; the barrage of inquiries could go on and on.

This is where writing comes into picture.  Writing is an avenue where one can experiment with giving the “real you” permission to come out and play. After all, writing is just a compilation of words on paper. Yet, those words are indeed an expression of you. The key is to allow words to flow out of you sans judgment. This is when the magic happens and suddenly the authentic you has began to emerge.

Trust me, the response to the real you will be nothing short of favorable. It will feel awkward, it will be scary and it will seem impossible, but this will make all of the difference.

How will you know if the genuine you has come to the surface?  By putting yourself out there and letting someone read what you write.  Then, truly receive their reaction!  How does it feel to let someone else hold the mirror up and reflect back to you what he or she sees?  Amazing, right? So, you don’t say? 

Well, my friend by being authentically you and through receiving this goodness; you have given the other person a gift.  The treasure of allowing them to also be who they are in the purest form.  You see we get what we give!  Our thoughts, opinions and feelings matter and they serve us well when viewed positively and intended for the highest good of self and others. 

Writing is a way that you can begin to discover the real you.  The key is to accept that you are perfectly imperfect and to have no expectations.  You will be alive; you will feel accomplished and perhaps comfortable in your own skin for the very first time.  Let me be the first to tell you, this whole notion of being implicitly who you are can change everything. 

Years of sacrifice, telling people what they want to hear, being who they want you to be; these were all for naught.  What everyone really wants to see is the uninhibited you in all of your authentic glory.  In turn, they will also be who they steadfastly are as a person. 

Without delay, grab your journal and favorite pen, fire up your laptop or your Smartphone and let those words pour out of you.  In the words of my favorite poet, Robert Frost,

“I took the road less traveled on and that has made all of the difference” as I made the conscious choice to be ME.

More about Joni…

joni

Joni Goodman is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) with over 16 years of learning and development experience in the areas of sales training, mentoring, executive coaching and presentations skills. Joni’s passion lies in consultancy where she thrives on facilitation and the coaching and developing of others through skill based learning in order to make a difference in their lives. Joni is also a published author in “The Book of Road Tested Activities” and “ATDs Trainer’s Toolkit” .www.sololearning.com