Being grateful for the moments in our lives. Moments that will never come again, but will be with us always.

Moments that will never come again, but will be with us always. Being grateful for the moments in our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Many of the most deeply spiritual moments of my life haven’t happened just in my mind or in my soul. They happened while holding my son in the middle of the night, or watching the water break along the shore, or around my table, watching the people I love feel nourished in all sorts of ways.” Shauna Niequiest

In the garden of life, we have our show stoppers but the background creates the scaffolding around which the show stoppers shine. There is no show-stopping without the background.

Building a good life is all about the background and the scaffolding built on the ordinary in our every day. The show stopper is the ice cream sundae or cheesecake in our diet. A great treat but not something to live on.

We live only for the high points at our peril. Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Romancing The Ordinary tells us women have not five senses but seven. As well as sight, sound, scent, taste, touch she feels we have “knowing” women’s intuition and “wonder” our sense of rapture and reverence. We are encouraged to find what moves us to tears, what feeds our soul, what makes our blood rush, our heart skip a beat and our soul sigh. We are encouraged to look at the unwrapped gifts that come every day.

Life is not made up of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, but of moments. You must experience each one before you can appreciate it.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

We experience the glimpse of the sunrise because we are up early because of a child, the rush to get something done, or writing a blog. The morning hours before the house stirs is one of my favorite times. Sipping black coffee as I write. I used to love it with cream, “that’s another story.”

My dog Lulu woofs a low woof, what does she hear, what interrupts her sleep on the stair? I wonder as I sit here, what will we remember and cherish about this time.

There was a movie I watched about a man who only lived the high points, the rest of his life zipped past as if on fast forward. Of course, he missed his child growing up, his marriage because these are the everyday moments that build a life. We can’t remember them as easily as the highlights. The uneventful of every day builds to the big moments. You can’t just have the highlights, no one can. I don’t think we live life unless we go through the deep, the shallow, the highs, the lows, the important, and the unimportant.

When I smell our garage in the heat of summer, it sometimes reminds me of kittens, because we found our momma cat one day with brand new kittens on a bed of nails in the garage.

Memories bring us back to special moments in the tapestry of our life. Special moments are both big and small; the small ones are often the most poignant. They are the ones that bring tears to our eyes.

Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”  Steve Maraboli

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Maya Angelou

Savor the moments in life that make your heart glow. Chase after and find the moments that will take your breath away. In the end, it is only those milestones on life’s journey that matter. Michael Delaware

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to those who read my book and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

The cycles of life. Decay and renewal, birth and death.

Decay and renewal, birth and death. The cycles of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Tough times never last but tough people do. Robert Schuller

On Friday night we had our first in-person book club meeting since last fall. Four of us got together we had a bit of wine, ate some cheesecake, talked, and laughed. It was a lovely evening sitting on the deck chipmunks and rabbits keeping us company. I don’t have any chipmunks at my place. One evening in my backyard I thought I saw a firefly. I’ve seen them in New York but never here. My son tells me he’s seen them a little North of us.

Life is forever changing. On Wednesday, I leave to see first my brother and his wife, then drive with my youngest sister, her husband, and daughter to Mom’s, another sister, brother, and their families. I feel lucky to be able to make this trip and everyone is weathering this time we are in.

I listened to Tony Robbins yesterday on the “School of Greatness” podcast with Lewis Howes as I tried to finish up jobs before I go. He mentioned a book I want to get called, “The Fourth Turning,” by Neil Howe and William Strauss. I then listened to a podcast by Neil Howe. He tells us our history has cycles he is calling them turnings and the cycles move into each other. Each cycle lasts about a generation. The fourth turning can be likened to winter and after winter comes spring and new growth. Winter is necessary because it renews and regenerates our society. At the end of the fourth turning, society is changed. He believes the last fourth turning was the end of the Second World War. We are in that stage again. What a time my parents lived through growing up in the thirties and then the war but many things did change and they lived in prosperity, peace, and plenty.

Most of us have only lived through prosperity, peace, and plenty, but we can see the distrust of authority and institutions. Living through peace and plenty doesn’t mean everyone has plenty. We have to grab hold of opportunities when they present themselves but sometimes there are fewer opportunities. Sometimes we have to hunker down and get through the storm.

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King Jr.

What comes after good times? Bad times and what comes after bad times? Good times! Spring follows winter and when we are in winter we need to know that spring is coming. I think we have some people thinking we have winter coming in society but it will never be spring again. We need to know, this too shall pass. We face winter in our relationships but if we get through to spring we may be happier than if we bailed in the middle of winter.

Jim Rohn says, “Don’t ask for life to be easier, ask for yourself to be better.” I prefer to think that we go in seasons and cycles than the people thinking the end is near. There is a point in persevering, doing the best you can with what you have, and planning for a better tomorrow. Spring is coming, what seeds will we plant, in fall what harvest will we reap? If we sowed in the spring and harvested in the fall, then the winter won’t be so hard.

Some people get to start the spring of their life in the winter of society. This is what makes “The Greatest Generation.” The generation that overcomes the most will grow the most. We may be seeing another, “Greatest Generation” in the making. Good times create soft people, and hard times create strong people. Can we make the best of where we are? We didn’t get to choose the generation we would be part of. We get to deal with the hand we are dealt and make the best of it.

Change is the constant we always need to deal with. We may be in the best time of our life and wish it wouldn’t change, or in the worst time of our life hoping it will. Some of life we have control of but much of it is the wheel of fortune and dealing with what comes. If we recognize that is the case it might be easier to deal with it.

If this is a winter cycle of history, we have lessons to learn, changes to make, renewal, and spring is coming. What if the best is yet to come? If Neil Howe and William Strauss are right many of us grew up in spring and summer where life was idyllic and opportunities seemed endless even if we didn’t take advantage of them. I’ve always felt I was trying to catch up to those just a little older than me. They seemed to get to the opportunities first which means I didn’t see the opportunities staring me in the face.

Renewal and decay are part of life. We live with cycles small and big. Wherever we are, we must do our best to make the best of it. Sometimes, all we can do is get through to spring, but spring is coming and we must be ready to take advantage. We may find ourselves in the fall of our own life, in the winter of a generational cycle and if you look into it there are cycles within cycles.

If this theory is correct, if we live five generations we will die in the cycle we were born in. This means for me if I am lucky born in spring, die in spring. Can it get better than that?

When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t. Thomas Edison

Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. A.A. Milne

When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They’re sent to promote, increase and strengthen you. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you for reading my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Being grateful for what we have. Being okay with who we are. We are not everyone’s cup of tea and we need to be okay with that.

Being okay with who we are. We are not everyone's cup of tea and we need to be okay with that. Being grateful for what we have.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You cannot be all things to all people. Be unique. Be different. Give to others what you want yourself, and do what you were made to do. Robert Kiyosaki

We can’t be everything to everybody, and we have to be okay with that. Last night the group from the Border Crossings Course I took met to discuss our next steps. How will we use what we learned and take it out into the community? Some of the people are from groups whose focus is helping people with challenges of various sorts.

As a writer what is my focus? Is my focus only on developing the widest readership possible? Who am I writing for? I tried to articulate my vision as much as I have developed. I am trying to encourage people to use creativity in their lives and creativity feeds our soul. Making a good soup is as creative as painting.

I said the most creative, satisfying, and important thing I’ve done in my life is motherhood. How does that make people reading feel who are not mothers, will never be mothers, or had motherhood thrust upon them in brutal ways?

Yesterday I went to get my hair done by my hairdresser that I haven’t been to since the start of covid. I knew how his business had been, “closed down.” He asked about mine and I told him we’ve done okay. “I’m happy for you,” he said. I believe he meant it because if things aren’t going okay for people they won’t come in and get their hair done. Businesses need other businesses to do well so they can sell their product or provide their service. The better everyone in a community does the better the community does.

Why do I mention this? We all come from families and we are from a long unbroken chain. Even if we don’t become parents ourselves, parents have kept society going. Everyone does not need to reproduce, not everyone can, and maybe not everyone should. We may not get everything we want from life. We may have sorrows and crosses to bear that are almost impossible, and yet if this is our life we must bear it to go forward.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

If I distill what I am trying to say down to the finest point I think I am writing about gratitude. I believe gratitude for what we have can help us to be better, do better, and get better. This is what I have to learn, practice, remember and so I write about it. Dealing with what life throws at us without bitterness. When people question us, confront us, or are offensive to us trying to be nondefensive is a good practice but a hard one. Becoming unoffendable is a goal, something I aspire to but it is also hard to remember at the moment.

I wrote out a mission statement when I started this blog:

To live life to the fullest with a grateful heart, and a positive attitude. To thrive with love, compassion, humor, and style while giving everything I have to those I love and the environment around me, and make it a better place for all. To write and speak the truth as I know it. To learn and grow, living my values with passion and purpose. To make sense of the world, relationships, creative energy, what we love, and what we fear. To be a catalyst to help others go ah-ha I’ve thought that too. To set goals and make things happen.

The questions we were asked last night are good ones. Why/who, what, and how. When we know why we know what we should focus on and what we shouldn’t focus on. As I focus on these questions I will see where I may be missing the mark and where I am hitting it.

Knowing who our ideal reader is and focusing on giving that reader the best experience possible is the goal. Figuring out who they are and what they want is hard. We cannot write for every reader, even if we think that would give us the widest reach. Some say the narrower we make our focus the better.

If I had to categorize who I think I am writing for I think I am writing for women and men, but mostly women who have lived a life, and now have time they might not know what to do with. They have choices but feel stuck. They have opportunities but might not recognize them. They may feel is this all there is? They are searching for something, an epiphany that will tell them what to do in the next act of their life. They are like me searching, cherry-picking from a multitude of beliefs, to find meaning, purpose, and see the beauty in the everyday. They know gratitude, saving ten percent of what they earn, and loving unconditionally is what they should do but it is hard, and we are human.

Will everyone who stumbles across my blog love it? Will it resonate with everyone? Of course not, and I have to be okay with that. I hope everyone that reads my blog will take what they like, what works for them, and leave the rest. Over time I hope I will improve as a writer, and as a person as I share the journey I am on. Good luck on each of your journeys, and may we keep each other company along the way.

Somebody didn’t wake up today, but you did. That’s enough reason to stop complaining, and that’s enough to be thankful for. Never let your troubles blind you to your daily blessings. Trent Shelton

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. Eckhart Tolle

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate

Our life is calling. What are our choices, what are our dreams, what are our plans?

What are our choices, what are our dreams, what are our plans? Our life is calling.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world. Oprah Winfrey

Last Friday we watched our first online wedding. My daughter and I dropped my son off at the Bride’s house. His fiancé is the Bride’s sister. We popped in for a moment said hi to everyone and got to see the Bride in her dress. Everyone’s makeup and hair looked amazing and I started rethinking my decision not to have my hair and makeup done the day of my son’s wedding.

Speaking to my son’s fiancé yesterday, I said, “Your mom looked amazing.”

“She didn’t like the hair and makeup and went home and redid it herself.” That is my big fear too. I won’t like what they’ve done and will try to redo it to my satisfaction.

I’m not sure what the etiquette is for popping into the bride’s house to say hi. Popping back out wasn’t so easy. You have to have something to eat. You have to wait to see the dress. We did both.

It is lovely to see the hope and joy on a couple’s face as they take their vows. So many couples have postponed weddings; some are going ahead with the wedding but postponing the reception. We need couples willing to take a chance on each other to become the next generation of mothers, fathers, and builders of society.

Time is flying by and we notice it by the stages our children are going through more than through our own. We think there will be time for all the things we want to do, the places we want to go, the things we want to see and accomplish. Our mortality is staring us in the face.

If your life is cloudy and you’re far off course, you may have to go on faith for a while, but eventually you’ll learn that every time you trust your internal navigation system, you end up closer to your right life. Martha Beck

It’s time for difficult conversations as we realize the choices are up to us. What do we still want to see, do, and be? Do both members of a couple want the same out of the next stage of their life? Is this why we see so many grey divorces? There is only so much time even if we get the maximum.

For our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, we were talking about going to England and seeing parts of Europe. My friend and I were joking I was planning on backpacking across Europe after school and I haven’t made it over there yet. Something always comes up. It was, I’d like to do, but obviously, it wasn’t a priority, or I would have made it happen.

We need to be careful about letting too much of our life be, we’ll get to that someday. We run out of some days and next years. Things we thought we would accomplish aren’t accomplished. Life is a feat of management and those who manage the best do the best. There is also a lot of luck involved in many of our lives but it is also true that the harder we work the luckier we get. We can’t be waiting for our ships to come in when we didn’t put any ships out to sea.

It is always a good time to take stock of our lives but when we see new couples taking the vows to start theirs, is a time to look at our own life. How can we tweak our life, or do we need to set a new course? Is it time for a life renovation? Is it time to build something new while we still can? Bring a dream to fruition, learn something we’ve always wanted to learn, do something we’ve always wanted to do, or become someone we’ve always wanted to become? Our life is calling, will we answer?

At the end of the day all that really matters is that your loved ones are well, you’ve done your best, and that you’re thankful for all you have. Unknown

I’ve come to understand one’s calling as a combination of desire, passion, and ability. Unknown

Be the kind of person who dares to face life’s challenges and overcome them rather than dodging them. Roy T. Bennett

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to those who read my book. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Seize every second. Savor the beauty and bounty of life.

Savor the beauty and bounty of life. Seize every second.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Wayne Dyer

Can’t we all find something else to do when we know what we should do? My son asked me how much time was I wasting on creating a cover for the novel I’m editing? “You’re a writer, not a cover designer,” he says. “You could outsource that to people and some of them will do a lot for an opportunity to showcase their work.”

I know he has a point and I need to wrestle with the fact I might be cheap and a control freak. I have a lot to get done and one thing that is working for me is setting little deadlines. I’m going out to visit Mom and I want to have this round of editing done so I can give my novel to beta readers. I also want to have a concept of my children’s book complete.

A big goal is great, taking that big goal, breaking it down into small goals, and meeting the small goals means we will meet the big goal. Even if we don’t quite meet that goal we will be closer. We each need to find systems that work to help us make and meet our goals. First, we have to decide on what our goal is. Something I wrestled with for years. Why couldn’t I just say this is what I want to do and get on with doing it? It seems I could, and I have, but it took me a long time.

We might beat ourselves up because we aren’t a big success yet. We may have things we long to do but can’t get started because what if we fail? What is a failure, if not a learning experience? When I look at the information on writers, most writers don’t start getting much of a readership until they have a few books published. Most writers need a day job or a spouse that can support them. It may seem to some that they should be able to make a living from their writing, art, or music and they are selling out by not putting all of their energy into their music, art, or writing.

I think having a well-rounded life and our music, art, writing, or whatever creative endeavor feeds our soul is a laudable goal. We are teaching our children they can go after their dreams. Being the tortured soul for my art has never appealed to me. I love having a family, a house to bring them up in, security, choices, and my art and writing.

Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go. Unknown

In many ways, I might have it all. Not fame, not fortune, but a genuine great life. A reallionaire, with a well-rounded life, opportunities, and choices. Isn’t that what we want? Isn’t that what a rich life is? At my age, I still have mountains to climb, pinnacles to reach, and hopefully grandchildren to love.

When we are surrounded by the love of family, enjoy the work that we do, and the people we interact with. If we love where we live and can see and do the things we set out to see and do. What would we trade for a few more zeroes in our bank balance even if we are working hard to get those zeroes?

Working towards our goals is one of the joys in life. Always having a goal to work toward keeps us motivated and alive. Knowing we have done what we needed to do to take care of our families, and give opportunities to our children is also what makes us proud of our life. If we can make the best of each season of our lives, the best for us and those we love it seems to me that is a successful life.

We may think we are just a cog in a wheel. Cogs are important and everything breaks down when we don’t do our part in our family, community, country, and world. Jordan Peterson tells us to pick up a load, and when we pick it up to carry it. When we got married we picked up a load, when we had children we picked up a load. Children are our most important load and when we get them to adulthood we can take that load off our back. This may free us to pursue dreams and ambitions we set aside during the heavy lifting years of parenthood.

This is when we may become creative and aspire to new things. Our third act may look completely different as we are no longer fettered by responsibility. We’ve earned the freedom to live life on our own terms. Do our own thing. Could it be that even at this age it is possible to believe the best is yet to come?

They say grandchildren are more fun than our own children. Creativity feeds our soul and we now have time to be creative. We now have time to join groups of like-minded people. We now have time to read books. The later years in a marriage are said to be some of the most satisfying. Some of the happiest people in the world are older.

Life is great in every decade. We have to make the most of where we are, enjoy the moments, and savor the beauty and bounty of life.

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. Eckhart Tolle

The universe provides abundantly when you’re in a state of gratitude. Wayne Dyer

I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. Oprah Winfrey

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to those that read my book. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Creativity is finding the small joys in life. Are we always looking for the presence of wonder?

Are we always looking for the presence of wonder? Creativity is finding the small joys in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live. Auguste Rodin

On Saturday morning, in my writer’s group, we had an editing workshop and critique session. I put the first chapter of my second novel Secrets and Sorrow up for critique for a second time. I used the critique the first time to make it stronger and I will use this second critique to make it stronger still.

We haven’t done much critiquing in our writer’s group. It is a sensitive subject because we must be gentle and yet if we are going to get anything out of it as writers we need things pointed out that isn’t working or could work better.

One of the things pointed out to me is my use of the rhetorical question to engage readers and ramp up tension may not be working so well. Our session was too short to get too deep into things but after our meeting, I found a blog “Kid Lit” by Mary Kole addressing this same question. The answer it seems is that the question is not a bad thing but it doesn’t go far enough. The question gives us an opportunity to deepen the story and instead of leaving the question hanging we can answer it or at least examine it a little further.

An example she gave is. Could he trust her?

How to deepen this might become. He wanted to trust her, but he didn’t. Not right now. She’d have to earn it.

The power of writing groups and beta readers is they point things out to us we don’t see. When my writing group read my first novel, one of them pointed out I had too many dogs in it. I eliminated a few dogs.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. Vincent Van Gogh

This time around I am working on a tighter timeline. I had no timeline for my first novel and it ambled along year after year. I’ve set goals and timelines this time, and I am coming up against a year of working on it. I’m realizing having it ready for publication on September 5th is a stretch goal, but I am planning to have it pre-released by that date.

In order to pre-release, I need a cover so I worked on one last night. Putting people on the cover sells more books is my understanding and so I want a person on my cover. Last night I found a perfect photograph by Philip Oursel on Unsplash. What the cover will finally look like I don’t know, but I am pleased with the concept I came up with last night.

I didn’t know when I sat down after watching the last game of the Euro Cup that I would have a concept for a cover. We often don’t know what we will end up with when we sit down to do something. I only sat down to see if I could find some free photos of girls and horses. Then I thought will that photo work with the sunset photo I am thinking of using for my cover? What if I use the same fonts and color of text on this cover? By the end of the evening, I had created something I hadn’t sat down to create, but when I found the photo I had to see if I could make it work.

We don’t know what we can do unless we try and do it. Sometimes we end up with more than we expected sometimes we learned what won’t work. Either way, it is knowledge gained that moves us toward our goal. There are so many tools available to us now, not many years ago it would have been impossible to come up with a concept so easily. With the click of a button, we can make a photo more or less transparent. We can layer images to create a mood. We can remove backgrounds which I didn’t do but may end up doing. Perhaps this concept will not be the cover at all, but I have a starting place.

When we create something it feeds our soul. It might be a great dinner, a new dessert, or everyone’s favorite. We might use our creativity to create order out of chaos, create a flower arrangement that wilts in days, or a garden that lasts all summer. Sue Patton Thoele tells us, “Creativity of all kinds focuses your mind, engages your imagination, and feeds your soul.”

Is there something we long to do but haven’t gotten around to yet? Being creative is learning to play, have fun, and enjoy the fullness of life. Are we finding ways to be creative and feed our souls? Are we listening to the still small voice that tells us, try this?

Make the most beautiful thing you can. Try to do this every day. That’s it. Laurie Anderson

The artist never entirely knows – We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. Agnes de Mille

When I say artist I mean the one who is building things… some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen. Jackson Pollock  

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you for reading my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale.

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)4.8 out of 5 stars 7 ratings


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The moment of epiphany when you know things will never be the same again.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I always liked those moments of epiphany, when you have the next destination. Brad Pitt

Do epiphanies happen in your life? Is there a moment that turned your life around? Mine happened October 9th of 2000 when my husband brought home an old laptop and I put it on the kitchen table and started to write. I’d started writing at various times before. I’d always wanted to write and felt compelled to write. But, that time I turned writing into a habit and after I put the kids to bed was my time to write. I would bring the laptop out and put it on the kitchen table. I wrote down the time I started and the time I finished and how many words I wrote, and I haven’t quit writing since.

There have been times when computers quit, my files were held for ransom (thank goodness for backups). I have had years that I look back on and wonder what did I write, but the habit and the reality of being a writer occurred on October 9th, 2000.

Our lives can change in an instant. When I finished grade 12 I was driving in my car with a girlfriend when a lightning bolt flashed in my head I was going to Toronto. I’m reading a book, “The Holy Shit Moment” by James Fell. He says he can teach us how to harness the power of epiphany – those moments of sudden insight that can happen at any time.

I am open to these moments but I wonder do we get them in negative ways as well. If we have an epiphany about a person that is not positive, even if what we think we know is not true, can we see that person in a positive light again? Would that make the relationship unredeemable?

Could it be reckless to end marriages and change jobs even when a change in our lives needs to happen – should it always be a drastic change? The secret to a long marriage is time and I wonder if some people looking back wish they’d handled their epiphanies differently, made changes to improve their lives but kept their marriage.

Believe in your epiphanies. Believe in yourself. Take action, and watch the world conspire to support you. Elise Ballard

There are four elements to epiphanies, listening, belief, action, and serendipity. To listen we have to be open to the message. We need to believe the epiphany and what it means to us. Of course, nothing happens if we don’t take action and set everything in motion. Serendipity is when the second step is revealed, then the third step, and finally the fourth step and things keep falling into place.

There are times in our lives when we may feel we are on the right track, doing the right thing. Other times we are drifting, waiting, and we might not even know what we are waiting for. Perhaps we are waiting for an epiphany, a tap on the shoulder, a lightning bolt, or a book that speaks to us, someone that says something that changes the way we look at things. Something that will happen that opens up our eyes to a new path, opportunity, or way of being.

At this stage in life, I am open to epiphanies but not ones that turn my whole world upside down. I am committed to commitments I have made and within the confines of those commitments am open to opportunity, adventure, and excitement.

The world does not have tidy endings. The world does not have neat connections. It is not filled with epiphanies that work perfectly at the moment that you need them. Dennis Lehane

Don’t ever put your happiness in someone else’s hands. They’ll drop it. They’ll drop it every time. Christopher Barzak

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. Friedrich Nietzsche

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The Holy Sh*t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant Paperback

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

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Serendipity, luck, chance, or destiny? Finding something good without looking for it is a blessing in our life.

Finding something good without looking for it is a blessing in our lives. Serendipity is it luck, chance, or destiny?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for. Lawrence Block

What a lovely weekend it has been. On Canada Day I went walking with a friend and the plan was for my husband to join us on a patio. When I called him it was just starting to rain so he declined. We stood under an alcove as a deluge of rain forced the patrons off the patio to find cover. The rain didn’t last long and we walked to a bakery and bought croissants and lemon blueberry scones to fuel our adventure.

We took pictures beside a large moose statue surrounded by wolves. We walked by the water and looked at beautiful gardens. We had a lovely day and if the rain hadn’t come down in torrents we would have enjoyed a late lunch on a patio.

As we were walking we saw a little Scottish terrier. He was friendly and came up to me and I petted him. I haven’t petted a Scotty since ours died. He lived to be fifteen and was our first family dog. I’m working on a children’s book “When Can We Get A Puppy?” and in it stars Krypto our Scotty.

Reading about how children’s storybooks come to be is interesting. The illustrator of Goodnight Moon said he couldn’t draw people as well as he could draw bunnies, so that is why the character is a bunny. Pete the Cat is based on a cat owned by the original creator and illustrator James Dean.

Sometimes the story behind the story is as interesting as the story. The Pete the Cat stories were first published by Harper Collins in 2010.  James Dean and his wife tried to write a children’s book in 2004 but her stories and his art didn’t seem to work.

Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear creeps in. Without serendipity, there are no surprises. Rita Gelman

James Dean met the author of “I Love My White Shoes” when idling at a stoplight with Pete the Cat painted on the door of his old Chevy. His paintings of Pete the Cat were selling for $500.00 at art fairs. A stranger walked up to him and said, “I just recorded a song for you, and I want to send it to you.”

When James Dean got home, “I Love My White Shoes” was waiting in his inbox. James Dean and Eric Litwin self-published that book in 2007. They got a publishing contract with Harper Collins on James’s 51st birthday in 2008. They published three more Pete books and then parted ways. In October of 2013 James and his wife, Kim published their first collaborative book, “Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses.”

Serendipity works in our lives. What if Eric Litwin didn’t tell James Dean he wrote the song, “I Love My White Shoes?” What if James Dean wasn’t painting Pete the Cat paintings and selling them at fairs?

Dr. Seuss wrote “The Cat in the Hat” published in 1957, and “Green Eggs and Ham” published in 1960 on a dare he couldn’t write a book using a limited number of words. His first book, “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” was rejected 27 times. He was walking down the street and ran into an old classmate that worked for Vanguard Press – and that book was published in 1937. He said, “If I’d been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I would be in the dry-cleaning business.” Note the twenty-year time span between his first published book and the ones he is known for.

Is serendipity working in our lives? Many of us are alive because serendipity brought our parents together.

 Crazy as it sounds, I’m a believer in destiny and serendipity, and I have had cosmic experiences all my life. Something told me I was meant for greater stuff. And look, I’ve had a baby! And I’ve written an opera. Rufus Wainwright

Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure – do it well, enjoy it – and then, not now, think about what comes next. Condoleeza Rice

I’m thankful for serendipitous moments in my life, where things could’ve gone the other way. Rick Springfield

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Happy Canada Day!

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson

Today dawns overcast with raindrops glistening on the leaves. I’ve always loved Canada Day. Being Canadian is being part of something, a great experiment, an idea, and a promise.

We cannot see the world through someone else’s eyes. We see through our eyes and everything that has happened in our life colors that vision. I grew up in Saskatchewan with big beautiful skies, glorious sunsets, and wide-open spaces. I rode my horse with the wind in my hair and a song in my heart. It was an idyllic childhood in a large loving family on a farm, in a valley, near a small town. Why was I in such a hurry to leave? I don’t have an answer to that question even though I have been asking it for over forty years. I was compelled to leave that warm wonderful incubator like a freshly hatched chick who didn’t know what adventures or misadventures she might meet, but like the fool in the tarot deck went off to seek adventure.

My quest for adventure didn’t take me far. I never become the world traveler, never back-packed across Europe, or saw the seven wonders. My husband and I have built a wonderful, happy, loving family. We have a business that keeps body and soul together but never affords the rich life we dreamed of when we started. Maybe striving toward a goal is better than reaching it too quickly, or is that what those who don’t reach their goals say? On the farm, my parents always said, “This is next year country.”

The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow.  Sow an act, and reap a habit: Sow a habit, and you reap a character: Sow a character, and you reap a destiny. James Allen

Living in next year country is a great way to live. No matter how good this year is, or how bad, we must prepare to make next year as good or better. We need to get our seeds ready for planting for next year’s crop even if this is the best crop we’ve ever harvested. On a farm there is no resting on one’s laurels and nor is there in the rest of life. We always need a new goal when an old goal is reached.

If we want to pick a watermelon on a hot day we better have thought about that when we were planting our garden. Of course, we are so blessed in most parts of Canada we can go to the supermarket and buy whatever we want without planting anything at all. Even if we don’t literally eat what we sow the law of sowing and reaping is evident in our lives. We do not get to ignore the law of sowing and reaping because we live in the city and not on a farm. Even the thoughts we think are subject to the law of sowing and reaping. Our mind is a garden our thoughts are the seeds, we can plant flowers or we can plant weeds is a cute little saying but if we take it to heart it may help us monitor the flowers and weeds of our thoughts. 

This Canada Day it seems we are on the brink of getting back to normalcy. That means different things to different sectors, different people, and different businesses.

I’ve sat on a grassy knoll and watched fireworks with my husband, family, and friends beside me. People from everywhere part of the experience of watching fireworks go off celebrating Canada Day. If we were lucky and the line wasn’t too long we would get ice cream. A band would play before the fireworks and we would feel oneness with those around us, experiencing what we were experiencing and watching what we were watching.

This year the local fireworks celebration doesn’t look like it is happening. It was always a crowded event and social distancing is still the order of the day.

Wherever you are, have a wonderful day. If Canada is your home, was your home, or is a home you dream of, it is partly a dream we hold in our hearts for all of us. Canada is a Camelot that we are building, a story we are telling ourselves and a reality we are living. We are not all telling ourselves the same story, we are not all living the same reality, but we are all under the same sky with the same sun, stars, and the same moon and the hope that tomorrow will be better than today or at least not worse.

One of the great joys in life is picking the flowers we’ve planted. When we harvest bitter fruit we need to go forward better.

Happy Canada Day!

You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut. Stephen R. Covey

Words are seeds they do more than blow around they land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day. Unknown

Good or bad you will always reap what you sow – you will always harvest the consequences of your choices. Randy Alcorn

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Thank you to those who read my book. A special thanks to those that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

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Truth and reconciliation! Will the truth set us free?

Will the truth set us free? Truth and reconciliation!

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. James A. Garfield

Truth and reconciliation! Will the truth set us free? As we continue to find gravesites and acknowledge what was done will we finally acknowledge who we are and how we got here?

We need our history to be the truth, as much of it as we know. There have always been wrongs done and much of what is coming to light now has been covered up. If anyone mentioned anything they were shushed. We have other secrets that need to come to light. The National Indian Hospitals are not as well known as the Residential Schools

Are there two sides to every story? Was both good and bad done? We need these stories told. Stories can be told in ways that make them horrific. I had my stomach cut open while I was awake and my baby was taken out (twice), sounds horrific but if I say I had two cesarean section deliveries not so horrific, done for good reason, and two healthy babies the result.

We cannot look at history and judge it only through the eyes of what we now know. We are constantly judging those in power during this pandemic. We don’t all fear the same things, we don’t all think the same practices should be in place. As we come up to another Canada Day some people think we should be so ashamed of Canada we can’t celebrate Canada Day. No country, no people, anywhere in the world has always done the correct, right, and proper thing. We cannot right the wrongs of the past but we can acknowledge them.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

How do we square being part of institutions, countries, religions, organizations, and cultures of people who have not done the right thing? Do we get rid of our beliefs and organizations because they made mistakes, thought, and did wrong things? Or do we go forward better, forgiving and being forgiven?

We can’t be forgiven for what we do not acknowledge. We need to let it all hang out, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We need to tell our stories, we need to heal, forgive, and be forgiven. We will not go forward perfectly. How could a country like Canada built on colonialism, religionism, culturalism, racism, otherism, capitalism, and socialism not have a history we are not proud of? There are always social ills, there always have been. Where does the perfect society exist?

Individuals should tell their stories. Individuals, build their lives and I may be completely wrong to believe that one of the things Canada has tried to do is give equality to the individual.

As we wrestle with the sins of the past, the uncomfortable truths, and injustices that were done can we still be proud of this country we live in warts and all? I for one will celebrate Canada Day not because we are perfect, not because we have always done the right thing, but because we exist, and I can’t think of a better place in the world to live.

As we learn more of the truth of the history of Canada, as we hear people’s stories will the idea behind truth and reconciliation become a reality?

But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie. Khaled Hosseini

The pursuit of truth will set you free; even if you never catch up with it. Clarence Darrow

The truth will not necessarily set you free, but truthfulness will. Ken Wilber

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come again and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Thank you for reading my book. A special thank you to everyone that posts a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)4.8 out of 5 stars 7 ratings


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