When it comes to the past, I’ll say this: Don’t forget about it. Learn from it. If you feel compelled to wallow or to beat yourself up about decisions you made in the past—or things that you endured—this advice holds true for you, too. We can be hard on ourselves. But the past is our teacher, and for that it’s valuable. The present is ours to treasure. And the future will come—ideally.
Looking at this photo, I can still remember how this day truly felt as I sat high on top of these landmark towers in Valencia, Spain. It was a peaceful yet brilliant series of moments. Sunny. Clear. Anything felt possible. I was in the present moment, and yet able to look back on what I’d learned.
It was a fitting place to reflect. These towers began to be constructed in 1392 and were used as both “a defensive feature of the city and also as a triumphal arch,” according to VisitValencia.com. Think about that. They’ve stayed strong for hundreds of years, through some difficult times. And somehow continued to be triumphant.
We can be the same way. Minus a few centuries. 😉
These days, I’m grateful for my growth. I can remember the high points—so wonderful when they come—and the lows. These things work together for our good.
I’ll share more from this time in Spain, and am looking forward to writing and teaching more on wellness and success in the coming weeks. Are you looking for growth or coaching support in these areas? Feel free to email me.
Wishing you well for now. And glad to have hope and faith.
Sometimes I think we can be afraid to say what we really want. Maybe some of us don’t want to admit what we really desire. Maybe we think we can’t have it. Maybe we don’t even consciously know what we crave!
So will you join me in saying what you want? Even just quietly to yourself? The point is to get comfortable with your goals—whether they relate to your career, relationships, investing, or whatever—and to believe they are possible. Tell me what you think? Or feel free to comment on Instagram.
As this month comes to a close, I’m reminded of what I’ve learned. The new things I’ve tried. The myriad opportunities that are here now and ahead.
I’ve accomplished a lot, and you probably have, too. So you also probably realize that success isn’t immediate. The best ideas can start with a seed that then grows and matures. And growth—through life’s storms and during the sunny days—is what matters.
So as long as you’re moving, learning, being challenged, please keep going. It’s actually good when life isn’t simple. It’s good when we face challenges. The things we’ve beaten can prepare us for the next round of the fight.
These things can prepare us for big victories.
So, like the sunflowers of summer–and those that will sprout this fall (I can’t wait to see those!)–let yourself grow.
Look to the light. Start that new venture, pitch that story, write that book, have that key conversation. Do the things you’ve been wanting to do.
Experience it all. And let yourself live.
For more views of these gorgeous flowers and my latest musings on writing and life, please visit me on Instagram.
And if you need a hand with your writing projects or career goals, see this page or this one for details on how I can help.
The clouds came in quickly. One minute the sky was bright and sunny. Then, suddenly, grayish black. With fat raindrops beginning to fall. I didn’t have my umbrella. So I waited inside. And it passed. The storm, that is. It passed…like they always do. That’s the part to remember.
When we’re in the middle of difficult situations, it can be hard to see past the rain, and the distractions, and the stress. When it comes to writing, for instance, rejections are part of the game. Having to learn new skills and processes, and frustration with that learning curve, can be, too.
But we have to know that these things can’t last forever. That we’ll get better. And that we can withstand the hard times to get to the good ones. Nothing worth having comes without some struggle.
Adjusting our mindsets can help during turbulent times. And actually, speaking of mindset, we can notice beauty (like in this street shot I captured) even when the bleakest clouds come in. Have you been surprised by a storm? Remember that it won’t last forever. Be calm in the moment. And realistically (all metaphors aside), carry an umbrella to be prepared. Mine is now securely back in my bag. ☺️
And if you want help with the storms that can accompany getting your writing or communications career going—whether it comes to pitching yourself or just having the confidence to start—please let me know. I have advice for that, too. ✨
I’ve been feeling free. Light. Accomplished. And extra independent. Things I’ve been wanting and working toward are happening. It feels great to see things that I’ve imagined actually come to pass in real life.
And that is the key, in part. The thought. The willingness to believe that good things are coming and that I am—and we are—worthy of them.
Our thoughts matter and can affect our bodies, our lives, and our experiences. This concept shows up in science, in the law of attraction, and even in faith-based teachings.
So if you want to feel free—or more successful, content, or relaxed—a big way to shift is within your mind.
For example, taking time to think kind thoughts about yourself has psychological and physical benefits, suggests 2019 research from the University of Exeter. In the small study, participants who listened to an audio recording that encouraged them to be kind to themselves reported feeling more self-compassion and connection with others. These participants also had a physical response consistent with relaxation and safety, including a drop in heart rate and a lower sweat response. Meanwhile, those who heard an audio inducing “a critical inner voice” had a higher heart rate and higher sweat response, consistent with feelings of distress.
So this July, and beyond, remember: If you have a dream in your heart, think of it positively in your mind. Believe in yourself, put in the work, and have faith. Think of the thing as already yours. You might be surprised to see the good things that can follow.
So do you believe in yourself? Want some encouragement? Maybe I can help–especially if you have questions about moving up in your career (including full-time or freelance work in writing, communications, or editing) or how to shift your general mindset. Drop me a comment or email me!
I’ve been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade. (Where did the time go?!) And I wrote for fun for many years before that.
One question that comes up when it comes to writing and creativity is this: Where do you get ideas? Whether we’re writing on deadline or writing just for fun, our ideas have to come from somewhere. And, in my experience, ideas for stories can come from all around us.
Recently I went to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to see a ballet. There, I ran into this exhibit of worldwide photos of hope and resilience (see above). It was another example of how surprises can pop up anywhere and at any time–and how we should be open to them. But it also reminded me that inspiration for writing, other creative pursuits, and even life plans can come from all around us. In fact, I think it’s really cool that we can soak up creativity even in our hometowns—without trying hard or traveling far.
(Side note: If you haven’t been to the Kennedy Center, do check it out when in DC—for everything from opera to ballet. This free exhibit via the National Geographic Photo Camp features photos from at-risk and refugee youth and runs through June 20, 2019.)
So here’s the takeaway: Story ideas and life inspiration can come from anywhere. And they can come by surprise. If you’re looking for ideas for your next piece of writing, look around you. Explore your hometown. Travel. Read something you typically wouldn’t. Start a new conversation.
You can find plenty of inspiration if you pay attention.
We’ve just had our first snow of 2019 in DC, so I had to go out and play around. It was incredibly nice to venture out into the fresh snow as it fell. I laughed a lot and was glad I didn’t stay inside.
So, when is the last time you acted like a kid and played in the snow, or sand, or grass? (Whatever is seasonal in your part of the world!) As grown-ups (ahem), sometimes we can get caught up in the monotonous, day-to-day tasks of life. But playing is actually good for us, even when we’re older.
This month, I thought about booking a flight out of town. The travel bug almost bit me again. But then I thought about the fact that I live in the nation’s capital. And there are tons of things to do here—many of them free—and I can keep myself busy at home. Every. Single. Day. And save my money for another big trip abroad. (More on that later.)
The good thing about the destinations I visited this December? They’re also good bets year-round. Though, as you’d probably guess, the events and décor will vary.
For instance, in mid-December I dropped by an ice sculpture exhibit at CityCenterDC. This complex of 10 acres in downtown DC includes a plaza, luxe shopping, restaurants, pedestrian walkways, and a hotel, along with living spaces for those who want to make a home there.
We had to wait in line to get into the event tent, but the reward was seeing sculptures that rose up to 12 feet tall and that were carved from 50,000 pounds of ice. The exhibit has since departed, but it’s an example of the cool events that sweep into this space. (Literally and figuratively cool, in this case.) Not seeking any event in particular? The shopping and dining options are worth a stop, too.
The Warner Theatre
I also bought a ticket to The Nutcracker ballet at DC’s Warner Theatre, which first opened in 1924. The theater design is lovely and intricate, and the location is metro accessible. So convenient. If you want to visit at other times of year, check out the events calendar, which includes everything from comedy to concerts.
The Willard InterContinental Hotel
As Christmas approached, I decided that I wanted to have a grand décor experience. So I ventured over to The Willard InterContinental hotel, which is just blocks from The White House and also accessible via metro. Since 1818, this hotel has welcomed U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries, and celebrities. But my focus was on the decorations—including the super tall, decked out tree in the lobby.
This year’s décor also included a gingerbread display that weighed almost 400 pounds and contained more than 100 LED lights, 306 pieces of gingerbread, and 30 pounds of fondant for the runway. The hotel’s pastry team is serious.