Don’t worry and be happy. Making the best of where we are, enjoying the good things in life as they come.

Making the best of where we are, enjoying the good things in life as they come. Don't worry and be happy.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Happiness is a direction, not a place. Sydney J. Harris

Another season is officially here. Whether we had an eventful or uneventful season it is just a memory.  Another season presents itself for us to make the most of, enjoy, make memories, and experience life. I have to make plans to get out and enjoy nature with those I love.

As I bring my current project to a close my husband looks at me, “Then what?”

“I start another one,” I cheerfully reply. I do need to understand my immersion in my projects may seem like I am excluding others. I’ve missed a few lunches to get more painting in. When I set my goals a couple of weeks ago I cut down what I thought I could accomplish because in the midst of writing and art there are other aspects of life to enjoy, relationships to nurture, and experiences to be had.

All work and no play make us dull girls. We have to watch once we have an accomplishment that makes us feel good under our belt, we don’t just chase after that feeling again to the detriment of other parts of our lives.

How much time spent doing our own thing is too much? How much is too little? Sometimes I think I’m a slow learner and maybe this comes from being self-taught through books. I have so many books on art that tell me to paint a series. I’ve always struggled with what a series would be about, now I have a subject, a dog, and his family to paint over and over again, as new adventures arise.

The same goes with “Showing and not telling” in my writing. I received an email from Jerry Jenkins, yes, that Jerry Jenkins, the author of the “Left Behind” series. I signed up for his newsletter and he sends me emails with my name at the top. I know the same email goes to thousands if not hundreds of thousands or even more writers but still my name is at the top and he gives good advice.  He’s offering a course. I don’t have time right now, or is that an excuse. Regardless, I’m passing up the opportunity to take his course because I have to get my own writing out.

Through the internet, we can have mentors we will never meet, who give us advice. We can read books from people long dead. We can read the books of wisdom from every culture and religion. We don’t have time to read everything. The opportunities to create a life we love have never been easier. Relationships with real people have never been harder. It is as easy to get into the negative side of the internet as the positive. The negative side may suck us in as we start to think about the negativity, the wrongs that have been done, the greed, the ignorance, and how badly people have treated other people throughout the world and in our own countries.

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them. Steve Marboli

I don’t think we should wear the wrongs done by our group or the injustices done to our group as if they are our own. We can’t atone for what was done; we can’t make right what was wrong. We all need to build a life where we are, with what we have, and make the best of it. We need to love those close to us and realize they are not perfect, we are not perfect, but we are here.

We sometimes think life would be so much better when… When we find someone to love, when we have a baby, when we start a business, when we retire, when we win millions… No matter what happens in our life, in about six months that is now our reality we take for granted, and we will be no happier than we were before, the author of “Stumbling on Happiness” tells us.

That’s a sobering thought. If everything we can dream of won’t make us happier than we are now, then don’t we need to be happy where we are and if we get what we want, be happy then as well?

Mom always tells me, “There’s no point worrying.” What will be, will be. Can we live with the realities of life making the best of where we are? Can we live by the motto “Don’t worry and be happy?”

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo

Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur every day than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom. Benjamin Franklin

A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness. Bernard de Fontenelle

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 books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the purchase through the Amazon affiliate program.

Deadlines and motivation. Finishing what we started.

Finishing what we started. Deadlines and motivation.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The artist has one function – to affirm and glorify life. W. Edward Brown

How often have we seen revised books with chapters, not in the original? The author thought of something that should have been included. I received the proof of my children’s book. I knew when I ordered it that it wouldn’t be published the way it was, but I wanted to see how the colors would look, the type, the background, etc. Extra pages were added so I have more to work with than I thought I did. Deadlines motivate us. How often have we waited until the last minute but we get done what we need to do? Some things can only be done last minute and sometimes we think we are done when we have only just begun.

It is stamped not for resale. I’ve noticed other authors objecting to this but I love it. I hope to get another author’s proof before final publication, but I am running out of time.

I’m swapping out five paintings and adding two so I am busily painting and composing paintings in my head. The more I’m thinking about it the more ideas are coming. Finishing a project is exciting and nerve-racking. It is tempting to think things can be better than they are. When you actually see something complete it is what it is and you have to accept the quality produced.

Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams

When my daughter told me, “You need more pictures, Mom.” She was totally right and some of the best ones are coming from this last-minute push to get everything done. “You don’t need to rush,” she tells me.

“I have to meet this deadline,” I tell her. No one is taking me out to the bush to shoot me if I don’t, it’s true, but I am committed. Working furiously to complete something is not the same as working furiously and continuing to move the deadline so you don’t actually get the feeling of accomplishment for finishing it.

“But, don’t you want it to be the best it can be?” That’s a tough question to answer because I do want it to be the best it can be. I also know I could always make something better. Instead of making this the best it could possibly be by repainting every picture and rethinking every word, forever. I will put it out and it will be what it will be. I will write another one using what I learned and maybe it will be better. We can rework things so much that even if they are technically better they lose some of the sparks they initially had.

There comes a time when we have to let things go. We’ve kept them to ourselves long enough. This story has been with me since our beloved dog died in 2012 and I wrote a little story about him and put it on my bookshelf where it sat for years. What is being published and what I initially wrote have gone through many iterations. The first one was sad because, in the end, he died. Instead of putting fifteen years into one book, I’m putting snippets of his life into each book.  When I found the “Pete the Cat” series based on a real cat I began to imagine something bigger than I’d originally thought. 

We don’t know where something will go when we start it. It can’t become anything until we finally release it into the world. When that deadline is approaching does it give us motivation and ramp up our productivity?

Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end of the day. Winston Churchill

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art. Leonardo da Vinci

Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art is “to fit together” and we all do this every day. Not all of us are painters but we are all artists. Each time we fit things together we are creating – whether it is to make a loaf of bread, a child, a day. Corita Kent

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 books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the item through the Amazon affiliate program.

Faith in ourselves, faith in life. Without faith can we have a vision?

Without faith can we have a vision? Faith in ourselves, faith in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Have enough courage to start and enough heart to finish. Jessica N.S. Yourko

I found an interesting blog post on The Bob Angle he was asking the question do writers who believe in God write better novels? I’ve never thought about this but I do think faith gives a writer something deeper to delve into as they probe the human psyche for their stories.

How much does faith play a role in our lives? We need to have faith in other people because in the early years of our life we depend on others so much. We have all found at one time or other people have failed us, and we have failed others. It is the human condition to want to do better, be better, and falling short. When we have faith in a higher power that does not let us down, that gives us strength and it seems this will help us even if somehow we find we are mistaken and there is no higher power.

When we feel we get inspiration from something outside ourselves, that we don’t know where it comes from, but it is there, we tap into something greater than ourselves. We don’t question we accept the gift. Many people call this their muse. If we don’t do our part of sitting down and writing the muse doesn’t do their part of showing up. One of the mistakes I’ve heard writers make is waiting for inspiration.

I know for myself that would be a mistake. Showing up is when inspiration happens. Going for a walk in the midst of a creative project an epiphany may happen but would it happen if we weren’t already in the middle of a project? Our brains work continuously but they need to be working on something.

I wonder how many artists or writers knew exactly what they were creating when they started. By starting they put something in motion and if they continue and bring it to completion they have something. All of life is like this. Starting is the first step, we have to get through the hard slogging of middles, and finally, we reach the finish line.

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. Martin Luther King Jr.

Depending on the scope of what we have taken on it may take minutes, days, weeks, months, or years to complete. Some projects will test our determination and perseverance. We are not the same person at the end of a project – especially a long one that we were at the beginning. We learn things along the way. We are not the same person when we give our teenagers the car keys, we were cradling them as newborns. They have grown and developed and so have we.

We don’t think our children are ready to go out into the world and we may not think our writing or any other project of ours is either, but there comes a point when that is the next step. We have to have faith we’ve done our best, done enough, and let it go.

I was a writer that held onto my writing and now I wonder why. We often hold onto things because we are comfortable where we are, what if life changes so much we don’t recognize it. When our children leave home what will home be like without them? Writers mourn the loss of their characters when they put their stories out into the world. They had a close intimate connection with those characters they feel they lose when they call the story finished. It might be why we like a series. We can put a book out and we can keep the relationship going with our characters. If the audience likes our characters they may be waiting for the next book.

What faith in a higher power may give us more than anything else is the belief that we are unconditionally loved. When we feel loved we feel powerful. This gives us the courage to give our best to the world, deal with the setbacks, challenges, and whatever life throws at us.  

Courage comes from a heart that is convinced it is loved. Beth Moore

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Steve Jobs

Once you choose hope, anything is possible. 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 to those who read my books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Starting and finishing. Creating habits and moving in the direction of our dreams.

Creating habits and moving in the direction of our dreams. Starting and finishing.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The bookends of success are starting and finishing. Decisions help us start; discipline helps us finish. John C. Maxwell

Have you ever thought you have finished something and found you just started? We get people in our office doing a complete renovation and addition who say, “We were just going to renovate the bathroom.”

Some people start a weight loss and fitness journey that changes everything about their life. Starting something puts us on a path that may not lead where we thought it would. This works in negative and positive ways.

There is truth to the “Bet you can’t eat just one” potato chip line. There are people who start their fitness routine promising to do one push-up per day. When they are already on the floor they often do more than one. When we need an hour and a half for a fitness routine we might wonder when we will fit that in. One push-up, we can do after we brush our teeth before we get dressed. Even if we only do one push-up a day it is still 365 push-ups we wouldn’t have done.

In many areas of our life, we can make small changes and small changes lead to big things. The Fly Lady tells us to clean up our clutter in fifteen minutes. Set the timer and do what you can in fifteen minutes. She has us do it in a different area of the house every day. The idea is to develop a daily habit, that doesn’t take too long, fits into our lives, and makes things better.

Good habits make it so we don’t get up in the morning and wonder what we’ll do first. We automatically reach for the toothbrush. We could also do that push-up or a downward dog before we get ready for the rest of the day. A routine lets us not have to think about what we are doing next.

We don’t want our life so regimented we have no free time and we don’t want so much free time we have no routine. If we want to change our lives in a big or small way it will usually come in the form of a habit we develop or eliminate. Trying to change too much at once for some people might be hard other people might want to make a big change all at once instead of incremental small changes.

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. Tony Robbins

We live our life by what we do daily. When we want to change things it may help if we have something that triggers our new action. When I started writing I did it after I put the kids to bed. The “kids” of course grow up so that only worked in the early years. Now I write in the morning.

My leg is bothering me, I don’t know why. “Last night my kids said, “You haven’t been to the gym in a year and a half. Maybe that’s the problem.” It might be too much sitting. I’ve spent even more time sitting as I’ve gotten my children’s book ready for publication, and I have until the end of September to submit the final edition. But, I need to find more time for exercise. I think that is what my leg is telling me.

Having a deadline is helpful. Without a deadline, I aimlessly drift along. With a deadline, I accomplish more than I thought I could. Sometimes we set impossible deadlines because we want to cram more into a year than is possible. If we take a longer view we’ll find Bill Gates is right. We overestimate what we can accomplish in one year and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten years. Is this why we are told to have five-year, ten-year, and even longer goals?

Is there something we want to start? Is there something we need to finish? Are we a new habit away from moving in the direction of our dreams?

Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most. Abraham Lincoln

First, forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you are inspired or not. Octavia Butler

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of success is found in your daily routine. John C. Maxwell

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 books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Choosing beggars makes givers withhold their gifts. If we must beg don’t we need to accept what is offered?

If we must beg don't we need to accept what is offered? Choosing beggars makes givers withhold their gifts.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Writers are nothing but beggars with a good line. Charles Bukowski

Are we choosing beggars or do we meet them regularly? One of the ways to be unhappy in life is to expect other people to react in certain ways, be grateful, understanding, thoughtful, kind, respectful, and reasonable. The less we expect of others the less they will disappoint us. When we expect more of ourselves and less from others it works but when we expect more from others and less from ourselves, it does not.

I came across “Top Ten Reasons It Costs More To Get Your Pet Groomed Than Your Own Haircut.” I won’t put them all down, but  – your hairdresser doesn’t wash, clean, and groom your rear end, says it all. We expect a lot from pet groomers. When we had our Scottie he hated being groomed and the groomer earned every penny of that fee. Cutting his nails – that was a test of determination and persistence.

Sometimes we think we are charged too much for something that didn’t take that much time to do. Knowing what to do is a big part of what we paid for and we sometimes forget that.

Someone on the internet says he tried to give money to a guy begging for money. The guy told him he doesn’t take less than $5.00. That’s choosey, but doesn’t a dollar from five people equal five dollars?

I’ve heard of people offering free stuff and being asked to deliver it.

Beggars can’t be choosey is not new. The term was first recorded in print in 1546 when it appeared in a book of proverbs by John Heywood. Entitled people who are not grateful are not new. This isn’t a sign of our times or something we are doing wrong in the upbringing of our children. We have always had people who are ungrateful and entitled. When we think back to what we think life might have been like in 1546 we think you wouldn’t be a choosey beggar then, but apparently, people were.

Human nature doesn’t change. This is why proverbs from all cultures and religions ring true. We are more alike than we are different regardless of where we grew up, or the circumstances and times of our life.

It is why when we read Tolstoy’s quote, “Happy families are all the same and unhappy ones are unhappy in their own way,” it rings true because we see the commonalities in happy families. People with miserable lives have often created their own kind of misery. It isn’t popular to say that we are responsible for our own lives, but isn’t it true that we can make the best of something or the worst of it regardless of the circumstances?

Don’t be a beggar of love, be a donor of love. Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful. Unknown

Gratitude seems to be the difference. The problem with choosey beggars is they never seem grateful for what they are being offered. Their attitude turns people off and instead of getting, they get less and may become resentful of the attitude they create in the people that would help them.

I need to ask myself, when am I a choosey beggar. When am I not grateful enough for the bounty and blessings in my life? It is easy to see the mistakes and missteps of others, but we often make excuses for our own mistakes and missteps.

Yesterday I asked my daughter to read the children’s book I’m preparing for publication. She was reading what I’ve uploaded to Amazon. I was hoping she would say, “It’s perfect, I love it,” but she didn’t. “You need more pictures. Children love to look at the pictures because they can’t read.” She even told me where she thought I should explain a bit more and what kind of picture I should add.

I took her advice. I added two lines to explain what was happening. Last night I started working on the missing painting and thinking about a second one I can add.  When we ask for people’s input we need to welcome it. She could have told me what I wanted to hear, but that wouldn’t be helpful. I could ignore what she told me but that won’t make my book better. By accepting her advice and acting upon it she will tell me what she thinks in the future. If I ignore what she says, she would probably not bother to try and help me make it better.

It is hard to accept criticism, but it is the only way we can make things better. She also pointed something out to me I should have noticed but didn’t. When we have people in our lives that will give us their honest opinion we should be grateful, and accept their opinion with grace. We may not always think their opinion is correct, but we need to let them know we appreciate their viewpoint and did consider it even if in the end we did not change things.

If we are begging for feedback or other things don’t we need to accept what is offered?

A beggar’s hand is a bottomless basket. Dutch proverb

I would rather be a beggar and single than a queen and married. Elizabeth 1

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King

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 all who read my books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Setting new goals. Putting plans into action, reaching our dreams.

Putting plans into action, reaching new dreams. Setting new goals.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. Unknown

September seems to me to be the time to set new goals. Is September more the time for new starts than January? I wonder if people who start new things in September when school is starting, summer is over, and harvest is coming are more successful at sticking to those changes. I’m beginning to think of what spring bulbs to plant because we have our son’s wedding next spring. We can’t expect a lovely spring garden in the spring if we don’t plan and plant it in the fall. We can’t harvest in the fall if we don’t plant in the spring.

There is no reaping without planting and planning what to plant is part of the process. Life is a garden our thoughts are the seeds we can reap flowers or we can reap weeds. Where that quote originated is unknown to me. Is it true just by thinking different thoughts and looking at things in different ways we can change our life? By teaching our children to think different thoughts we can change the trajectory of their life?

If we have more control of our lives than we think we do, what would exercising that control look like? The flowers under the crabapple tree will be there only if I plant them. There are years I thought about planting bulbs and never got around to buying them, and years I bought them and never got around to planting them. Nothing happens if we don’t actually take action. We must implement our plans to create something. If we have no follow-through all the plans in the world will come to naught.

Without visions and written goals, what direction are we going to head? Lailah Gifty Akita

I planned on going for a walk this weekend. I haven’t done it yet. It’s a long weekend so I have an extra day to make it happen.

Setting goals and following through is how we make things happen in our life. With no plans, no goals, or no follow-through nothing happens. If it is true failing to plan is planning to fail. Why have I been so hesitant to make plans in my life to accomplish the things I want to accomplish?

When is that trip to Europe happening my kids ask? It is still in the land of someday, but I am running out of somedays. I need to start making goals and implementing them if things are going to happen.

Write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day. Brian Tracy

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

If you are serious about your goals and you truly desire to achieve your dreams, you must write them down. John Patrick Hickey

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

Setting goals and have a timeline to reach them. When we reach them, set a new goal.

Setting goals and have a timeline to reach them. Set a new goal, when we reach them.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. Andrew Carnegie

Setting goals gives us something to shoot for. Without goals, we are going aimlessly through life.

Parkinson’s Law tells us that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. This term comes from Cyril Northcote Parkinson who wrote a humorous essay for “The Economist” in 1955. In his essay, he shares the story of a woman who has one task to do. She is to send one postcard, and it takes her all day to do it.

Haven’t we all had days like that? We have to find our glasses, we have to find the right card, we may have to go to the store to buy the card. We need a stamp, and we may have to buy that too. We have to walk or drive to the mailbox where we drop it in with a feeling of satisfaction. Chances are if it took all day, we had all day.

If we want to streamline our life and have time for other things we have to pare down the time we are willing to allot to given activities. I’m doing a little video on zoom for Culture Days through the Brampton Library because we can’t do it in person. I’m going to read my children’s story, “When Can We Get A Puppy.” Last night I did several recordings trying to figure out what to say, should I stand or sit. I didn’t think of displaying my book on the screen which is what I will try today. I want this finished today and I need to write a speech I am giving to the Mississauga Writers Group next Saturday, and of course, I have to fit work in.

I know I won’t be satisfied with the video, but I still won’t be satisfied with the 100’th take. The same with my book. I’ve changed a verse this morning as I sat down to write this blog. If I allow myself I can edit, and edit, and edit some more – forever. This is why I love that we can pre-release our books and give a hard publish date.

This is what I’ve done. My goal was to write my second novel by September 5, 2021, and a children’s book. It was a stretch goal in my own mind but the funny thing with goals is they give us something to hit. By pre-releasing my children’s book, “When Can We Get A Puppy” to be published on October 5, 2021, and pre-releasing my second novel, “Secrets and Sorrow” to be published February 5, 2022, I have hit my goal. With a hard publish date it means I have to work hard to get it edited, formatted and uploaded to publish. I am only committed to publishing the e-book by those dates but my goal is to have the e-book and print book published at the same time.

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach. Benjamin E. Mays

By setting small goals of plotting a certain number of chapters per week. I met my first goal of having the first draft done by Christmas which is how I could push myself to meet the second goal. I had hoped to have it edited in that year, but I feel that was too much. Jerry Jenkins tells us we must embrace procrastination because it is part of life, but we shouldn’t let it derail us from our goals.

If my schedule is so tight I can’t go out for coffee with my husband that won’t work. If people drop by and I can’t take time out to visit, that won’t work. My plan was I would go visit Mom in September after I met my goal. I’m glad I went when I did and still met my goal. Pre-releasing is a way of extending the deadline for sure but it is also a way to promote the books.

Now I know I can write a novel in a year, but I need extra time to edit it. I didn’t know when I set the goal if it was attainable for me when it took me from 2012 to 2020 to write the first one. I might find I can accomplish more in less time as I go along. We don’t know if we can meet a goal unless we set one. The children’s book is more about illustrations and I find when I am too tired to edit I can paint and the creativity of painting gives me a boost. Working on the two projects at the same time worked really well.

I’ve learned a lot this year. The biggest lesson was to set goals and break them down into smaller goals. When we meet the small goals we end up meeting the big goal. The biggest thing is to always set a new goal.

My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but to be better than I used to be. Wayne Dyer

Goals, there’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them. Jim Rohn

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

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 books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Showers of blessings. You can look at the cup as half empty or half full but at least you have a cup.

You can look at the cup as half empty or half full but at least you have a cup. Showers of blessings.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. Camille Pissarro

On Saturday we went to a wedding. We sat outside overlooking a large pond on a golf course. The day was hot but by 4:30 had cooled down. As we sat we felt a drop of rain. The wedding party arrived and partway through the ceremony showers of blessings were upon us.

Everyone took it in stride. The wedding had been postponed twice because of covid, nothing was ruining this day for the happy couple. It was lovely to get together with people we hadn’t seen in what seemed forever. Young people were kids the last time we saw them, now they are accomplished adults. One of the joys of growing older is watching the younger generation take their place in society, get married, and create families.

My son was talking to me yesterday and thinks we’ve failed in some ways as we’ve taught young people to be wary of relationships and leave childbearing to later years. He feels he knows too many young people suffering from meaninglessness. He said, “If they started a family they would be too busy to suffer from meaninglessness.” Is he onto something?

Are we pushing our children to pursue success at the expense of family and parenthood? My mom used to say people shouldn’t get married too young, but now she sees them not bothering to get married at all.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. Willie Nelson

Do we need to look at all of life as a blessing? Every challenge we deal with or overcome helps us grow. Emmet Fox said, “Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you. If you put condemnation upon anything in life, it will hit back at you and hurt you. If you bless a situation it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it.”

That is a hard concept to wrap my head around. We are to bless everyone that has impacted our lives negatively? We are to bless the good and the bad. Life is our laboratory and we may feel overwhelmed with what we have to face but if we face it one day at a time we can deal with whatever we face. “Live in today, and do not allow yourself to live in the past under any pretense.”

According to Emmet Fox, if we want to change our lives, then we must change our thoughts first. Many of his ideas contributed to the AA philosophy that has transformed the lives of millions of recovering alcoholics.  Some people believe that looking at troubles as blessings in disguise is a way of deluding ourselves, but I believe it is better than living a life of self-pity, blame, and feeling like a victim.

One could feel their day was ruined with a downpour of rain on their wedding day. The day they’ve waited for… Or they could feel blessed with showers of blessings. Nothing changed except the outlook. It was lovely to be in a group that took the “Showers of blessings” approach.

I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances. Martha Washington

Everything in life is a gift, a test, and a blessing, all at the same time. Nadir Keval

Hard times are sometimes blessings in disguise. We do have to suffer but in the end, it makes us strong, better, and wise. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back to 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 that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Is giving the secret to living in abundance? Does doing for others make us happier?

Does doing for others make us happier? Is giving the secret to living in abundance?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

No one has ever become poor by giving. Anne Frank

Is giving the secret to living in abundance and happiness?

Yesterday was my daughter and son-in-law’s three-year anniversary. Where has the time gone? I can’t believe it’s been a little over three years since I’ve been putting this blog out.

One of the things I’ve learned as a writer is we worry about what we will have to say, but we can always learn more and go deeper into any subject. A novel doesn’t even go as deep as we can go, let alone a short blog post.

From day to day we may view things differently. Some may think that makes us wishy-washy if we don’t always see the same thing the same way. I think if we grow and learn we can’t see things the same way. We should grow in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, but often it seems the more we know, the less we know we know. We thought we knew so much when we knew so little. As we gain knowledge we see how little of what there is to know, we know, and how much no one knows.

Because we can’t know living on faith is helpful. We had faith when we walked down the aisle we could deal with what life throws at us. When we had children we believed, we could weather the storms and circumstances, and raise them to take their place in the world. We see heartbreaking photos of people whose life is shattered by war carrying children, desperation written on their faces. How will they keep the promises they made to those children?

I listen to people rail against what they think is wrong with our society. The injustice, the unfairness, the government overreach, corruption, etc. We need to be grateful it isn’t worse. No matter how bad things are, it could be worse, and those who can find gratitude in the worst of their situations appear to do best in life.

Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have. Jim Rohn

It seems hard and insensitive to tell people who feel they have nothing to be thankful they don’t have less. It seems offensive when people with much, tell people with little, to be grateful for what they have. Is it counterintuitive to be generous, even when we have little, and to be grateful when we don’t have much? We think we will be grateful when we have much, and generous when we have abundance. Life doesn’t seem to work that way. It seems we need to be grateful when we have little and we will get more. When we are generous when we have little, we will still be generous when we have abundance. If we aren’t generous and grateful we may never feel we have enough no matter what the bank balance or house we live in says.

I have heard people who give generously say they always have enough regardless of what the bank balance or house they live in says. Is this an oxymoron?

Bob Proctor tells us, “Giving is a wealth habit and we must practice giving before we become wealthy, not once we have achieved wealth. He says, “As we practice giving away small things, we will attract back to our self the confidence to share even more. When we offer our prosperity to the world, the universe will respond favorably.”

Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others. Booker T. Washington

From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life. Winston Churchill

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. Maya Angelou

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 of posts click on the picture, and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

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

Set a goal and move in the direction of your dreams.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. Andrew Carnegie

On Friday I got home and my husband and son asked what did I order from Indigo? A box was on my desk that looked to be from Indigo. My son quickly opened the box. In it were 12 books meant to go to Indigo from Harper Collins. “The Day the World Came to Town 9/11 in Gander Newfoundland by Jim DeFede. I delivered the books to Indigo.

Someday maybe I will be delivering my own books to Indigo. Should I have asked if they stocked books by independent local authors? Should I have taken a copy of my book to show her? Was it a missed opportunity?

What do missed opportunities look like? If we recognised things as opportunities would we still miss them? Opportunities are probably all around us that someone else might jump on.

I’ve spent the weekend editing and reading my second novel Secrets and Sorrow before I give it to my book club to read. Reading it aloud makes me find errors easier than reading silently. I’ve almost finished illustrating the children’s book I’m working on. A year has flown by since the publication of Secrets and Silence.

Setting measurable goals this year made a big difference in my writing. Instead of meandering, I had markers along the way to track my progress. Smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Why has it taken me so long to be willing to set and hold myself to achieving goals? Life is a learning experience and there is so much to learn and so many people willing to teach us. Every book has a message. There are seminars to take, coaches, and mentors to find.

The course through the Art Gallery of Mississauga has an ongoing component where they are trying to help us achieve the next steps. One way to achieve the next step is to know what the next step is. We may wish our life would change for the better but what have we put out into the world that can change? Have we planted seeds that can sprout and grow?

The Church of the Rock pastor Mark Hughes spoke about how many of us don’t get a harvest in our lives because we eat our seed. The other mistake we make is not planting what we hope to harvest. We worry about putting our work into the world but how can anyone read our book, buy our song, or our product, if we don’t find a way to take it to market. Are we waiting for our ship to come in, without ever sending one out?

You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought. You are stuck with something below your true talent and potential. Steve Garvey

It took me eight years to write and publish my first book and 12 years of writing before that before I put anything out into the world. What was I afraid of? We aren’t the same person in the middle of something or the end of something we were when we started. My son encouraged me to write a blog long before I sent out the first post.  What would I write about? With over 700 posts out there it seems a silly question but at the time I couldn’t imagine coming up with topics.

Wherever we find our self there is a next step for us to take. There is a goal to set and reach. We might forget that we don’t have to meander along in life and setting goals is the antidote to aimless wandering. For many people deciding to get married sets them on a path, they’ve set a goal, they’ve chosen a partner for the journey of life.

Marriage is a good example of something that changes us we hope for the better. On Saturday my husband and I will be present at a wedding. My son and his fiancé are planning theirs. It is lovely to see young couples and sometimes old couples take this step. Is there any step in life as full of hope as a wedding?

You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will… Stephen King

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. Earl Nightingale

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 all who read my novel Secrets and Silence, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.