She Sent A Gift

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A young woman sent a gift to one of her girlfriends.  It wasn’t elaborate or expensive or elegant. It was just an item that caught her eye when she was shopping for something else.  The small item was almost an afterthought.  She dropped it into her large shopping bag where it fell to the bottom and was hidden in the crease.

In the glee of unpacking her newly purchased treasures, she forgot about the tiny item and absentmindedly threw it away along with the used shopping bag. She didn’t think about it again until she was getting ready for bed that evening and was reviewing the days’ activities.  She jumped up from her chair and ran to retrieve the bag from the trash.  Unfolding the crumpled bag and digging through the multiple creases she finally spied the article, unharmed.

Examining the present again, she realized that it was indeed the perfect gift for her friend.  Maybe it wasn’t just an accident that she found this item?  Did something tell her to buy the present?  Could she be motivated by something she didn’t understand?  Whatever she was feeling by just looking at the present motivated her decision to give the present to her girlfriend the very next day.

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Springtime Activities

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We have all been there.  Enjoying the full wonders of nature as the earth, temperature, wind and solar system all cooperate to present the ideal environment for us to enjoy the full benefits of nature.  We shed our heavy coats, get rid of our wool scarves, hide our gloves, put away our snow boots and leave our insulated pants and socks in the drawer.

Our energy level seems to rise to a fever pitch – mimicking the bursting sap of nature.  There’s something about smelling, seeing and experiencing the kaleidoscope colors and scattering scents of nature blooming that inspire us to do the same.  We imitate nature and therefore gain energy from being part of the process.

The holidays of the season – Easter, Arbor Day, Mother’s Day, etc., even seem to be “light” holidays.  The colors that we chose to celebrate these days are generally pink and yellow and green and blue.  We all feel healthier because the environment around us appears healthy.

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So, to stay within the spirit of the holiday season, I’m wishing everyone a very Happy Springtime. Enjoy.

Define Yourself

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When you meet someone their first impression is formed within 3-5 seconds.  It’s up to you to determine what molds that impression.  Defining yourself is the mark that remains after your first meeting is concluded. What activities do you perform on a regular basis to define yourself?  What does someone else see in the first 3-5 seconds of meeting you?

Obviously, if you are devoting your time and energy toward positive activities, then the impression will be favorable.  Just the opposite is true – negative past times will equal negative results. So, the old idea seems to apply in this matter.  If you’re not spending time defining yourself then the first impression that your project will be nondescript or even negative.  You are not memorable.

However, time spent eating a healthy diet, engaging in appropriate exercise, staying well hydrated, concentrating on wearing a clean, professional wardrobe, engaging in good personal grooming habits, expressing yourself in social activities and challenging yourself to expand your personal vocabulary will lean toward forming a positive definition of a first impression.

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Defining yourself also extends to the area of personal integrity.  Only you know what decisions you have made about your inner self – your moral core.  How far are you willing to go if a friend asks you to do a favor that might be in the legal “gray” area?  How difficult would it be for you to keep a secret?  Especially when that secret would be so very easy to share. Would you cheat on a report at work if you thought that your paycheck would be greater?  Would you betray a friend if it meant a promotion for you? Would you steal something and then deny that you did?  Would you shoplift from a store if you wouldn’t get caught?  Would you leave the scene of an accident that you had caused?

Only you can answer these questions.  The answers define you.

Networking

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Attending my Local Author Showcase proved to be an excellent networking opportunity.  I was among a multitude of local authors invited to this professional “meet and greet” affair.  The guest speaker was Robyn Carr who offered valuable insights into successful writing, editing, publishing, and marketing.  It was quickly obvious that the networking among the assembled talent at this presentation resembled the activity within an active beehive.

The local library that sponsored this public event was funded by state, national and federal sources.  This fact made the event even more successful since it attracted a wide range of sponsors and area businesses. A major university was well represented and offered instruction in the areas of book preservation, paper restoration, and document storage – all areas helpful to authors.  Staff members at the library enlisted local volunteers to assist them with author check-in procedures, public information areas and seating for the guest author presentation.  It was obvious that this event encouraged total community involvement.

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I was instantly reminded of the networking process that occurs with an “indie” author when a manuscript is ready for publication.  A collection of specialties are needed to move the written work into a finished book – especially for an independent writer.  As we have all found out, sometimes the writing of the work is the easy part.  Then comes the editing – then re-editing, and then editing again and once more.  Format is important. Don’t forget the layout and the cover, back, and spine.  Of course, one must always consider the ISBN and all of those options.  Publisher and publishing can be a convoluted maze all unto itself.  So, by the time that a book finally returns back to the hands of the author as a finished product, the networking that has occurred reaches unbelievable proportions.

However, and this is important, without networking this busy beehive of activity would not and could not occur.  It takes a variety of skilled professionals to bring a book into the view of the public.  Next time you’re at a function and you meet a fellow author, extend your hand and offer a friendly greeting.  Be proud of your networking skills.

Holiday Wishes

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The key seems to be finding just the right greeting for just the right person or occasion.  Happiness, friendship, peace, good will, joy, giving, blessings, gifts and tradition are just a few of the more popular words that tend to be associated with well-wishing at this time of year.

Instead of trying to sort through and match up all of these glittery, joyful sentiments, I decided to send all of them out to everyone for my HOLIDAY WISHES!!!

Energy

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I was relaxing on the shore of a beautiful tropical beach.  The serene scene offered soothing moments of rejuvenation.  The warm sun and the flow of the waves brought a feeling of muscle relaxation and mental freedom.

Into this milieu rushed a barking, energetic Jack Russell terrier followed closely by its’ owner.  The owner was dutifully carrying a bundle of beach-appropriate packages.  As I was observing peace-intruding couple, I was expecting to see the dog owner unpack a variety of sun loving toys: beach shoes, hats, towels, cold drinks, surf board, flippers, snorkel, etc.

Even though the owner was dressed in appropriate swimwear, what I saw was amazing. She unpacked a large, 5 gallon, plastic bucket filled with brightly colored tennis balls and a tennis racket. The Jack Russell terrier’s energy level instantly elevated.  The tiny dog ran unabashed straight into the ocean.  The animal had no concern for consequences.  This reaction was obviously triggered by the owner’s actions. The tiny canine was whipped around by the ebb and flow of the waves yet remained staunch in his resolve.  The dog turned back toward the direction of its’ owner and waited while being tossed about by the current.

The owner ceremoniously lifted the tennis racket into the air, picked up a handful of tennis balls and, with gusto, began smacking them into the ocean waves toward the direction of the transfixed terrier.

Without regard for life or limb, the tiny dog dove into the waves. After a few anxious moments, the canine surfaced holding three of the fluorescent tennis balls wedged into and bulging from, his small mouth.  He enthusiastically ran onto the shore to return the projectiles.  After laying the retrieved tennis balls at her feet, the terrier immediately ran back into the ocean to repeat the exercise.

I walked over to the owner and remarked about the unique form of exercise that she had devised for her dog.  “Believe me, I have tried everything else and this is the best way to tire him out. He loves it.”  My first thought was that everyone should be so lucky as to find a specific exercise that they love to do every day that totally tires them out.  One that they do with energy and dedication that fills them with joy and abandonment.

Find your EXERCISE and use your ENERGY!

 

 

Recovery

2518 South 12th St - Springfield, ILWhenever we are not at our best we need to recover.  Sometimes it’s because we are ill or we have been a little sad or we have were physically injured. This process can be from a perceived or actual problem.  It is a time of replenishment and redemption and rescue.  Our body and our mind need to quiet – to be still.

This is a difficult process in our society, especially today.  Our society is geared toward achieving, doing, producing and showing results in our endeavors.  That normally means that we are in motion, we are using our energy to make something happen.  If we are not constantly showing others that we are being a productive member of society then we may become less productive – possibly invisible in society.

However, recovery demands that we relax, we stop, we slowly breath – we heal.  This, of course, produces mental anxiety.  We are surrounded by bodies that are in constant motion and every fiber in our body is telling us to do just the opposite.  Even if we do isolate ourselves from this fray of perpetually moving objects, our inclination is to quickly jump back into the whirlwind of motion.  Again, our internal mental voice tells us – wait you’re not ready, producing more anxiety.

Obviously,  the recovery process contains it’s own brand of stress.  The key is to not “bow” to this idea and elevate this idea to “distress.”  So, if you are in need of some form of recovery – take the time to do just that, recover.  Resist the urge to jump back into the whirlwind too soon and understand that stress will always be part of the process – but you can handle it because you are recovering.

April Reflections

New Year resolutions may be testing our limits right about this time of year.  Sure we started out with the best intentions.  Energy levels high, resolve resolute, motivation staunch and we’re positive that this year all of our stated goals will be reached.   So, a few months has tested our intentions.

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Nature seems to have kept its’ promise – flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, weeds are popping out in the most unwanted places, birds and bees are busy with the reproduction of their species so are we, us humans, keeping to our task and fulfilling our resolutions?

Are we hitting those resolutions hard like we said that we would?  Are we spending more quality time with our family? Are we shedding those unwanted pounds?  Are we better at balancing our financial affairs? Are we making sure that our daily outlook is more positive?  We probably can answer “yes” and “no.”  Humans often forget about the emotional factor – the part that makes us human.  Of course, we have the best intentions when making a promise to ourselves to make our lives better.  No one intentionally wants to have a horrible life or a life filled with failure or sadness.  However,  sometimes that little entity of “emotion” seems to always enter the picture.  Some days we are tired, or sad, or confused, or too busy, or over-whelmed, or irritated or just too lazy to “stick to the path.”

That is when our resolve is most important.  Give yourself a present as we approach this last week of April, look at your new year’s resolutions and reeve up your resolve…