Are You Ready To Show Up Today?


Are you ready to show up today? I’m talking about being true to you. Do you listen to what your heart tells you to do, or what your mind tells you to do, or do you let others tell you what you should do? Are you willing to make a shift in your life and experience just a little bit of what it feels like to be free?

I’ve been going through a bit of a shift and I wanted to share this with you because I love you and I want you to love yourself. Heck, I want to love myself. I mean, I suppose I do love myself but I don’t feel it enough or see it enough to KNOW that I love me. Do ya feel me? I want to romance myself, appreciate myself, forgive myself, feel whatever it is I’m feeling and say that’s okay, I love it. So try and do something with me today, if you are up for it (it won’t be too strenuous, I promise) –

First, stop listening to anybody but your heart. I mean, this is your one life (unless we really are sent back into new lives – haven’t gotten the memo on that one, yet) and you are sent here with a purpose, or several actually.

I don’t know what all my purposes are, yet, and I’m learning to be okay with that. It’s an evolving process. It’s a journey. For each of us. But I can tell you some of our collective purposes – some things we are each/all sent here for:

(1) to love. Meaning to love others, to serve others (this can show up in many different ways for each person – each has to feel this in our gut), to be a safe haven for others, to be welcoming, forgiving, compassionate humans, to be gentle, to sometimes be fierce (when the occasion arises) and to believe in and have faith in other humans. It also means to love my self. All the quirky, angry, broken, mending, confusing, tragic, silly, funny, goofy, smart, not so smart, creative, blocked, beautiful hot mess that I am.

(2) to let life flow. Meaning to feel what I’m feeling and be okay with it, not to force things, to feel it and love it, because it’s moving me on to the next step, the next thing, but I have to feel the thing first. Feel it, be in that space, and then move on to the next thing. Do not stagnate. Do not try to fix it. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay that I don’t have all the answers. It’s okay if I’m confused and lost. I am opening myself for what is to come next. I am open to love myself and you and the thing that’s happening now, and opening myself to life and the next step in my journey. In its time. I will not force it. I am making room for something bigger than myself and something better that I could not have planned (and I am a huge planner but I’m not planning this). Sometimes I have to experience sadness, loss, anger, and hard times, because something else is trying to emerge – something better that I cannot even begin to imagine.

(3) stop looking for approval or acceptance externally. Meaning you are not here to live for others. You are here to live authentically as you. Stop seeking approval from others. Start being okay with yourself, how you look, how you feel about things, what you do. If you don’t feel that person is really your friend and they do not align with your best self, it’s time to cut ties. It might hurt but you know in your gut it’s the right thing. Just do it and move on. If it’s a relationship that can be healed or forgiven, then work on it, if it’s for your best. If it’s not good for you, say goodbye.

Even if your parents are beating you down with what you should do and what you should be, it’s time to ignore and listen to your own heart. You were not sent to live for them. You were sent to be authentically you. Start listening to what you are passionate about and go with it. Open yourself to creativity. It’s time to start living our truth and passions and then we can give more of our love and connectivity and align with others that are up there with us. As long as we stay beaten down, we will only align with those beaten down. Make sense? We attract like minds and vibrations. Ask yourself how you want to live. Do you want to be better? Do better? Feel happy and free? Open yourself to it. It’s scary, I know. But until you make space for it, it will not show up. You already have everything inside you that you need for your best life. Just open your heart and breathe yourself into it.

So the mission, if you choose to accept it – step out of your mind today, don’t have a plan (I don’t mean skip out on your already set plans if you need to keep those plans), just be okay with what is, and what’s to come, and be open to your heart and to what your heart tells you, and be open to others, smile and engage with others, be connected with them and offer love from every cell in your being, offer love to yourself and to them, do not force anything, be okay with what you feel today, feel it, then if it needs to be released, let it go. Cry if you need to. (If you can’t tell, I’ve been listening to Kyle Cease a lot lately and he’s really opening my eyes to my heart.)

Crying is the same as letting go. It’s very important to cry. Find some time to be still and silent, quiet your busy mind. Remember, the mind usually lies to us, because the mind is ego. The heart is what needs to be feeding us. So feel with your heart today. If you get a wild hair to do or say something, do it or say it (as long as it’s legal and does not infringe on someone else’s rights/will). Step out on faith. Talk to the stranger even if you’re nervous. Don’t spew stupidity. Be real (but be kind). If you want to speak to someone, start with a compliment, or just say “I want to say something to you but I feel a little nervous.” What would happen? Being authentic is the best place to start from.

Emulate Benjamin Mee when, guys, you see that woman that you just KNOW is your soul mate and say to them, “Why would an amazing woman like you even talk to someone like me?” Or speak from your soul – say something that’s just you. There’s no better place to start from. You could potentially be speaking to your future wife here. I mean, be real. Everything sparks from that first sentence. No pressure.  😀

If you feel something in your gut, please don’t ignore it. Maybe that’s the thing that’s trying to get through. Go with your heart.

That’s what I’m doing today. Let me know how it goes? If you want to share, I know we’d all love to hear your story, because we are all connected and we learn and grow from each other’s stories, not just our own. If you’re scared, share that too. Be real.

I love you. Now go out there and have the most awesome, inspired, magical day that you’ve ever had!!!

Carol xoxo

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Do You Believe We Should Write/Share What We Cannot Say?

Jacques

“What cannot be said above all must not be silenced but written.”
Jacques Derrida

__________

What do you think of this statement?  I know many things that cannot be spoken.  Maybe certain things about my childhood.  Maybe traumatic moments that bring back nightmares.  Some of these things would be hurtful to people – people I’ve forgiven.  Sometimes, I think what a great story these truths would make.  I’ve written many of them down and when I go back and read them, I laugh out loud and snort and get so tickled I can’t stop myself.  At others, I bawl like I’ve never cried before, as though I’ve lost my one true love, or as though I cry for another child that’s so hurt and so far away that I can’t get to her.  That’s how I see my childhood now.  I’m so far away from it.  For me, once I reached (or rather grabbed onto for dear life) forgiveness, I became somewhat removed from my childhood, like I wasn’t that little girl anymore, unloved, thrown away like last week’s forgotten left overs.  It doesn’t hurt me like it used to.

I had forgiven one who hurt me.  I had forgiven and befriended.  I learned how to understand how this person was raised and understand that all people are not the same, that some are unable to give what another needs.  Some people are weak and afraid and don’t even know themselves, who they are, nor who they want to be.  It takes great courage to change and grow into a taller person, into yourself, seeking more, looking for better, wanting to heal, wanting to make amends.

It takes less courage to forgive the person who hurt you.  At least, it didn’t take that much for me.  It just took me 39 or 40 years to learn how.  Once I got a handle on it, it was easy.  So easy, that I didn’t even realize I had done it until after a conversation.  I realized somewhere in the middle of a 20 minute civil conversation with a tragic heart thief that I had forgiven him and it wasn’t even my intention.  Or was it?  Whatever it was, it became so easy after that.  I was forgiving all over the place.

Then, I forgave the one who hurt me the most in my life, who warped me and wrecked my mind, who stole any chance of ever trusting another human, perhaps as long as I shall live (we’ll see).  Once I began to try to understand this person’s horrific childhood (100% worse than mine, not that that even matters – it’s not a contest), and how this person was never shown love or respect, adoration or celebration, kindness or sympathy, a shoulder to cry on nor an ear to listen, I realized I could not withhold forgiveness.  Everyone suffers.  There are different levels of suffering.  There are different layers in people and on these many varied layers, there may not be even an ounce of love to take or give, they may lack understanding, lack forgiveness themselves, or even utter ever a kind word to another, but they still need (maybe even deserve) our forgiveness.

I’m not going to turn this into a religious thing, as I’m not a religious person, although I’m tight with the Dudes Upstairs.  Yeah, God and Jesus – they’re my family.  But I have to speak on these Guys.  I think of what God did for us by sending Jesus and why he sent him.  I think of Jesus and why he came and what he did for each of us.  He did it of his own free will.  He could have caved.  He could have been weak and given up on us.  I can’t tell you that I would have done what he did for all of us.  Sometimes, I think we are all worthless, we don’t deserve what Jesus did for us.  When I think of all the rapists, child killers, demons that walk this earth that should be blown to bits (and I’d like to blow away several of these myself), I think we don’t deserve Jesus, we don’t deserve forgiveness or love or any of it.

But then I look into the eyes of my child.  These eyes are windows to the soul of the one I most prayed for since I was 2 years old.  This child was the answer to a lifelong prayer, with every quality I prayed for and more great qualities I never thought to pray for.  When I see what a gift I was given, I saw, personally, and in my face, how much God and Jesus truly love me (and love and adore each of us).  Later, I began to see how much each of us deserves to have a love like that in each of our lives.  We all do deserve love.  We all deserve forgiveness.  It is not something we have ever or will ever earn (or can we?) but we deserve it, because to live without love and without forgiveness is not a life I would consider worth living.  I used to feel hate/unlove for myself and didn’t want to live.  Thank you, Father, for helping me to see things differently before I did something stupid and selfish.

If you don’t feel love for yourself or cannot forgive yourself, please know you are worth loving and you are worth forgiving.  You truly are.  You are special and unique and this world needs you and your gifts and talents, even if you don’t think you have anything to offer.  You do.  Every person out there that has hurt you also deserves to feel love and to be forgiven, and you don’t even have to tell them if you don’t want to.  Let me tell you, once you forgive someone, it feels so amazing, it frees you, frees your soul.  You then learn how to forgive yourself for your own stupidity and weakness and you begin to pull yourself out of the darkness.  It’s an awesome feeling and I want that for you.

Have you forgiven yourself lately?  Have you learned to love yourself?  What about forgiven others?  Do you realize everyone deserves to feel love?

Back to the original statement above, do you think the words we cannot even begin to say should be written?  I’ve written much of my unspoken stuff down but I will probably burn it, because I don’t want to hurt anyone with the past.  We are not our past.  We build from the past.  We learn from the past.  We move on from the past.  But we are not our past and we do not deserve to relive it nor cause others to relive it.  Do you agree?  I know the original statement means more than just this.  It means many different things to different people, but this is what came to the front of my mind when I read it.

What are your thoughts?

What If…

salman

“Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers.”   ~ Salman Rushdie

__________

How great would it be if we all lived this way?  To be so free – to live with abandon.  Why do we not all do this?  Why do we not live more for today instead of procrastinating, putting everything off till tomorrow – tomorrow, when I have more money and more free time – tomorrow, after I finish all the more important stuff I have to do today – tomorrow, when my kid is grown and off to college and I have more time for me.  Tomorrow never comes.  Have you begun to realize this?

Aren’t you worth taking a risk?  A leap?  What if?  What if you did that thing and you succeed?  You’ll be rich.  You’ll be famous.  Well, maybe not.  But maybe.  At least you will have done it and you’ll have the happiness of accomplishing that thing and reaching success.  And then you can keep doing that thing, because you’re successful, or keep doing that and other stuff.  Who knows?  You might succeed at more.

What if you fail?  Well, at least you tried.  And trying makes you more successful than not lifting a finger.  You would no longer need to ask, ‘what if?’  Maybe that thing wasn’t meant for you.  Or maybe you need to keep trying or try harder, depending on how much you want it.  Jack Canfield tried – what? – 140 times before he got published?

What if you don’t try?   …

You’ll never know.

Don’t you want to know?

Time is going by in a blink!  Take a risk.  Step up.  Get it done.  Get it out there.  Do that thing that is soooo in your heart to do.  You’re gonna be glad you did.  And maybe you’ll get it done before you’re 101. I’m just sayin’.  Ya ain’t gettin’ no younger.  Remember, tomorrow never comes.  Put in the work today.  15 minutes gets you closer than none.

What are you afraid of?

 

When Did You Know You Wanted to be a Writer?

 

a1

“I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t know what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.”
P.G. Wodehouse

__________

From as far back as I can remember, I was a storyteller.  Before I learned to write, I told stories to my dolls and stuffed animals.  I made up songs and sang to them.  They were always entertained, as was I.  These were private stores between just me and my dolls, as I never trusted anyone enough to share my stories/songs with them.

My bio-father heard me in my room talking once and walked down the hall to ask me, “Who are you talking to?”  He sat down on my bed and I felt his eyes burning into my head.

I was deathly afraid of him, as he was never a kind man, to put it nicely.  This was the one and only time in my life he ever showed any interest in me or what I was doing.  “My dolls,” I said with a whisper, because my fear always stole my voice, as I stared at the floor.

“Will you tell me what you were saying?  Were you singing?”

I just sat there, speechless.  Hairs stood on end on the back of my neck and my skin already hurt as I braced myself for what most likely would come next.  He got up from the bed, cussed me, and not too loudly, for once, as he walked away.  Thank GOD!  That was on a good day.

We’d visit my grandparents who lived a state away (where I live now) and they had this awesome magical antique typewriter.  Of course, I didn’t know my letters, yet, but when I henpecked those keys, a magical world opened up to me.  I realized, one day, I’d be able to write down my stories through a treasure like this.  The sound those keys made was sheer bliss.  I cannot even describe how beautiful and melodic the music those keys played.  Still, it’s one of the most angelic musical instruments I’ve ever heard singing in my ears.  I realize it’s not classified as a musical instrument but it should be.

I miss that old Royal.  I don’t know what ever happened to it.  Mama says we (my brother and I) ruined it by clicking too many of the keys together and they stuck.  I have no memory of ever doing this.  I loved that typewriter!  The instrument was broken and had to be thrown out like garbage.  If it were me, I would have buried it like the beloved friend it was.  I would have held a funeral service and told it how it would be missed, how much I desperately loved it.  I would have wept.

I finally learned how to write and make words and it opened another magical portal in my world.  But, my imagination, of course, grew leaps and bounds as I grew older and I’m afraid I was always in trouble at school for daydreaming.  Every single one of my report cards carries the words, “Carol is a bright girl, filled with a great imagination.  She just needs to stop daydreaming and participate in class.”  Yes, I was never really in class.  I was creating worlds.  I was a super hero, saving kids from certain doom, slaying dragons and battling scary harry monsters that lurked in the night.  It was my escape, you see.  It was the one place I was safe.  Safe from the wretched nearly murderous fingers of my bio-father.  Safe from the bruises.  Safe from the sleepy boredom of those monotone teachers who lacked inspiration, though I can offer up one or two that were inspired and fueled my imagination.  Even encouraged me, believe it or not.

The imagination is an awesome thing, isn’t it?  You can fly.  You can perform magic.  You can create worlds, languages, characters, creatures and situations.  The only limit is your own imagination, if you put limits on it.

So tell me, when did you become a writer and/or imagineer?

Animal Crackers in Your Soup, or Nah?

mark

“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” ― Mark Twain

__________

Don’t you totally agree?  Information left out leaves more room for the imagination to fly off in many varied directions.  Ultimately, even the sky isn’t the limit.

As a writer, do you find it hard to leave stuff out?  Do you feel you have to tell the reader every single thing you’re thinking or the characters are thinking?  Are you afraid they’ll miss something?

We should give readers (imagineers) more credit.  I don’t know about you, but I love to read a novel where much of the details and backstories are left out.  For one thing, it leaves more room for another number in the series but it’s good to let the reader think and imagine for herself/himself.  For another, too many details and too much backstory and you can lose the reader in less than a minute and that’s never good.

I don’t know why Shirley Temple’s song, “Animal Crackers in my Soup” came to mind when writing this.  I suppose because I saw the commercial advertising her greatest hits a while back and the song stuck in my head — it’s a bit catchy, isn’t it?  And no, I don’t think I’d like animal crackers in my soup.  I think it’s a bit much.  I’d like to taste my soup.  I think it’s better with leaving a bit of the additives out.

Maybe just a little cheese.

‘Get Out of Your Own Way’-sort-of quotes

get inspired

If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.

There is no elevator to success.  You have to take the stairs.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Old ways won’t open new doors.

Get out of your own way.  (my personal favorite)

Don’t be pushed by your problems.  Be led by your dreams.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

Constantly challenge yourself.

 

Of these, which is the most inspiring to you?

Have an inspired day, you guys!

xoxo

– Carol

 

Aren’t Writing the First Words of a Story Delicious?

beatrix

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
Beatrix Potter

__________

Oh, isn’t this the truth?  Beginning a new story is intoxicating.  It’s the start of a grand adventure.  The wonder and awe shouldn’t stop there, though.

If you’re a quarter of the way through the thing and you feel it’s needing a little spice, you can do anything!  Create a perplexing twist.  Kill off one of the main characters or just maim them, or give them a life-threatening disease, put them in a coma, have them come up missing, turn them into a vampire (I could go on).  And I’m not talking about one of the characters you don’t like.  Sure, they might deserve it but it’ll be more heart-wrenching to kill off a beloved character.  You can make the reader cry.

You can create change for more than just one of the main characters — also the supporting cast, or the town, realm/world — there’s a war ensuing, there’s been an explosion, a fire, a rabid beast or Bigfoot is on the loose, the portal to another dimension known as the Bermuda Triangle just moved it’s location INTO YOUR TOWN — I mean, really, the list of what could happen is endless — endless as your colorful and vivid and wonderful imagination.

You can bring someone or something new in.  You can change the direction of a chapter or the entire story.  What you started thinking is the story may end up something completely different.

Some plan it out, organize for structure, have all their ducks set in a row, crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s.  Some fly by the seat of their pants and just go with the flow, making it up as they go.  Some know the ending.  Some have no idea what the end will bring or when it may come nor what may happen on the way there.

For you writers out there, I have two questions for you today:

 

What way do you write best — lead by plot, character-driven or narrative point of view?

When you start your story, do you already know how it will end or do you like to be surprised and find your way there?