Can we all make a difference, are we doing the best we can with the resources we have?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how our life’s story will develop. Dieter f. Uchtdorf

Yesterday we went to the baptism of our daughter-in-law’s sister’s baby. She was not impressed with the event but we were thrilled to meet this little person. Last Thursday our grandson turned two. It is wonderful to be surrounded by babies. I won’t amass the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren my mother did but if I can create happy memories for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and leave them with a belief that the future can be as good for them as it has been for us, that is my wish.

On our way home our trusty truck sprung a leak in a hose and steam was spewing everywhere. A young man came up to the truck to tell us we had a problem. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because even this problem happening on our way home from the event happened at a better time than it could have. It could have happened on our way to the event and ruined our day, or happened when we had our grandson in the truck.

As our son and daughter-in-law drove me home, and my husband went with the tow-truck driver my son said, “I am thankful every day for the life I have.” He told me he gave a lift to a homeless man on Saturday and heard his tale of woe, and from the sounds of it, when things could get worse, they got worse, and people our tax dollars pay to help, aren’t doing a very good job. Some of the people down on their luck and homeless would accept help, but it seems real help is not easy for them to get.

Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Unknown

I’m not in the trenches, I don’t deal with the homeless, but I’ve heard stories, maybe we are trying to help the ones that don’t want to be helped, while the ones we could help to get back on their feet we let slip through the cracks until they too are beyond the little bit of help that would have been needed to tip them back into a life that would give them pride of independence.

We say we give people help, but when we speak to the people who are supposed to be receiving that help, we find they have to fight against a system that appears to kick them when they are down, withhold payments they are entitled to until we take all dignity away from them, and then we wonder why they become bitter and defeated. Is there a communication problem between those helping and those needing the help?

This is a tale told to me by my son, of a homeless man asking him if he thought he could get a job in the industry my son is in. He would need some training but it is an industry looking for workers and skilled work with a future. If he gets a hand up will he take it? How many people we see are looking for a hand-up, not a handout? How could we use the money we spend on the homeless to make a real difference? Are we making a real difference now but not hearing the success stories?

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate. To have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller

Be someone’s strength. Be someone’s inspiration. Be someone’s reason to never give up. Unknown

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

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

Write your goals down and be willing to work hard to achieve them.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life without endeavor is like entering a jewel mine and coming out with empty hands. Japanese proverb

We’ve set our goals and we are so excited we over-share them with people. One of the things that happens is if we talk about what we want to do we feel as good as if we already accomplished it. Haven’t we all met people who talked so much about what they would do that they never got around to doing it?

It might be easier than we think to become those people. Another thing is we might give someone an idea who is looking for a project and they accomplish our project before we do. We might get very upset with them but we gave our idea away and someone else ran with it and maybe they did such a good job we no longer want to continue with ours.

I’ve found talking about what I am writing diminishes my writing. It makes it harder to write like the force moving me along died down. We have to not sabotage ourselves on the way to accomplishing what we set out to do. It is easy to get sidetracked, to put things off we know we should do, and to lose enthusiasm for what we’ve set out to do.

Sometimes we set goals for ourselves with too tight of a timeframe but if we give ourselves enough time we can make our goals come true. We might need to break our goals into smaller goals and as we accomplish the smaller goals we are on the way to accomplishing the big goal.

We also might need to focus on one goal instead of thinking we can accomplish everything on our list.  What if every year we chose one main goal in each area of our lives to focus on?  We might even have to look at the goals in the different areas of our lives and pick the one that would make the biggest difference if we achieved it.

What comes easy won’t last. What lasts won’t come easy. Unknown

Brian Tracy tells us the biggest thing we can do is write our goals down with a date to achieve them. We can always revise the date, but at least we have something to aim at, and being aimless is one of the reasons we don’t accomplish our goals. We keep them too amorphous, like wanting to travel somewhere, we won’t get where we want to go until we have an actual destination. If we don’t know the where, when, why, and how, we might have a wish but isn’t it a stretch to call it a goal?

Last night my husband was listening to David Goggins talking about his journey. I didn’t stay up to listen to him, but I heard him say he doesn’t pity anyone because if he can accomplish things anyone can. For him accomplishing anything has been hard, but he embraces the hard, and for most of us, if we want to accomplish something we will have to embrace the hard. There are hard parts to raising a family, working at a job, running a business, staying healthy and fit, keeping our relationships strong, and learning new things.

If we are only working toward our goals until it becomes hard we aren’t likely to accomplish all we are capable of. Getting past the hard parts of life is part of living the good life.

Without labor nothing prospers. Sophocles

The world belongs to the energetic. Emerson

Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far. Gary Vaynerchuk

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

Thank you to everyone who reads my books, and a special thank you to everyone who leaves a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

Choosing what’s important. How we spend our days, is how we spend our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices. Dr. Kathleen Hall

Would the girl or boy we were, be happy with the man or woman we’ve become? Wherever we are in life, what would we still like to do, what adventures would we still like to have, and what is still possible?

I see through Facebook that lots of people are having adventures, traveling the world, and living life to the fullest. Average people can do things that were beyond all but the rich in days gone by. We live our lives in peace and plenty; we have technology that makes it easy to share our adventures.

Telling our stories has never been easier and we are interested in different stories at different times in our lives. My daughter is watching women on YouTube sharing their stories of motherhood, potty training, and homemaking. My husband and I are watching RV’ers document their travels and lessons learned along the way. Do we want to find fitness experts, financial gurus, artists, and many others who will inspire us with what they are doing, and help us make decisions about what we want out of life?

We’ve always had choices but sometimes we thought there was something special about the people doing some of the things we’ve always wanted to do. What’s special about them is they are doers, and we are doers, we just have to decide what we want to do and then do it. Nothing happens until we change something we do every day.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Victor E. Frankl

For years I wanted to write, I’ve always wanted to write, I even wrote it down in my journal when I was fifteen. Why did it take me this long to become a writer? Because, it wasn’t until October 9, 2000, that I started writing as a daily practice and kept it up. I documented how many words I wrote in the beginning, this helped me create a writing habit, and I still document how much I write each day. It’s a way to keep myself accountable but also I know when I wrote or edited that part of a novel.

We can’t do everything, we have to pick and choose how to spend our time and prioritize what is important by what we spend our time on. Writing in the morning works because often no one else is up, so it isn’t taking time away from anyone. We don’t want to be so efficient and productive that we don’t have time for those we love.

Success that comes at the expense of those we love will be empty. That said, if we spend all our time with those we love we might never get done what needs to be done and that won’t work well either. Balance is needed and it isn’t as easy as it seems to find balance in our lives fitting everything we want to fit in. It always seems something has to give; one of the balls we are trying to juggle must be put down to make way for something else.

Family is always the ball we must not put down, drop, or ignore. It is what gives our lives meaning, and purpose, and is the legacy we leave behind. When we are ninety-eight if we are lucky to live that long, family will be what is still left of all we have accomplished. If we have a grandson or granddaughter, or great-grandson or great-granddaughter that will visit us, kiss us on our cheek, tell us about their adventures, and how we helped them along the way, isn’t that what we want, what will make it all worthwhile, and give us peace? If a niece will come and spend time with us because we made time for them and they are making time for us.

If someone pops in with flowers because they are passing through, won’t that make our day? We all have choices until we don’t, are we making them count?

When people are not accepting toward themselves they are often obsessed with acceptance by others. Nathaniel Branden

Nonacceptance is always suffering, no matter what you are not accepting. Acceptance is always freedom, no matter what you are accepting. Cheri Huber

Marrying, founding a family, accepting all the children that come, supporting them in this insecure world, and perhaps even guiding them a little, is I am convinced, the utmost a human being can succeed in doing at all. Franz Kafka

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

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

Taking charge of our money is taking charge of our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Savings, remember, is the prerequisite of investment. Campbell R. Mcconnell

Are we scared to think about retirement even if it looms large? Do we calculate how much money we need to retire comfortably and know if we don’t sell our home, and even if we do, we might not have that astronomical number? Yet people retire every year, and most seem to manage. What is the secret the financial gurus who are scaring us aren’t telling us? Could it be that we don’t need an astronomical sum to retire and be okay?

Do-it-yourself investors – those who bought stock in quality companies, many of them paying dividends, and held the stock over long periods are the investors that have done well. We have many blogs and books telling us about dividend investing and how we can create a growing income, and we don’t need a million dollars according to Henry Mah author of Your TFSA Compounder, Income Investing Explained, Your Ever Growing Income, and Salary for Life.

We owe it to ourselves to take control of our financial life, and not be embarrassed that we weren’t able to amass the astronomical amount of money the financial industry tells us we need if we don’t want to eat dog food in our old age. One of the problems we have in my opinion is we don’t talk about money enough, and by not talking about it we don’t learn what there is to learn. Many people would rather talk about their sex life than their financial life if given a choice.

If we never save money or invest we will always be poor. No matter how much we earn. Unknown

In Canada, we have the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) available to us since 2009 which allows us to contribute a total of $88,000 if we were born before 1991. According to Henry Mah and others, using the TFSA over RRSPs will give us more money and if we have a choice of contributing to our TFSA or an RRSP we should choose the TFSA first in most cases.

Of course, not everyone agrees on this, but I trust someone that wants to help me manage and grow my money more than someone that wants fees to manage my money when it seems the most effective way to grow your money is without paying fees or taxes.

The more control we take in our life the better, whether it is our health, finances, or attitude. For the most part, we have to be our own control board. Who else can make us do what we need to do? Finding books, blogs, and podcasts that enlighten us might change the course of our lives. I think those who read Henry Mah’s books will find themselves offered possibilities they didn’t feel were open to them because they didn’t have millions saved for retirement.

None of this knowledge is hidden and yet so many of us don’t know it. We know we should live within our means and invest, and I think what causes a lot of us problems, is we think the little we could save and invest won’t make a difference, so why not spend what we have on little enjoyments?

Small amounts invested grow over time and the earlier we start the less we need to save because the power of compounding works for us. Those who turn eighteen now have the opportunity to invest in the TFSA their whole working lives. The rest of us could only invest in it since 2009 but the contribution limit we haven’t used accumulates, and we can take money out and replace it at a later date.

Knowledge is power. Information on many subjects is available to us, and the more we apply it to our lives the better our lives will be. Have we learned everything we should about creating a good retirement, or is there more to learn?

Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. Warren Buffet

Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. Dave Ramsey

Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Invest as much as you can. Give as much as you can. Rev John Wellesley

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the purchase price through the Amazon affiliate program.

Becoming better, not bitter, is this one of the greatest challenges in life?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Arguing isn’t communication, it’s noise. Tony Gaskin

We hear life is what we make it, but we think everything about our life can’t be what we make it, can it? I’m listening to a YouTube personality say something like, “My wife and I are getting a divorce and it’s my fault because I chose wrong.” He is being ridiculed for this but when we find we aren’t who we thought we were or someone else isn’t, shouldn’t we take full responsibility for thinking someone was something they weren’t even if that someone is us?

Would it sound better if he said, “I find to my regret I couldn’t be or at least wasn’t the person my wife needed me to be, to continue our relationship?”

How do we go through life getting better, not bitter? Is getting through the ups and downs of life without getting bitter one of our greatest challenges and if we can pull it off, one of our greatest achievements?

Online I read there are six words Brene Brown tells us we can use to stop an argument. What can they be I ask myself as I read on. “The story I’m making up is.” If I say those six words to my husband during our next argument I can see how they might stop the argument because what do you say to that? Perhaps I was expecting something profound like the gotcha statement I’m looking for that means, “Bet you can’t top this,” which is why we are quarreling in the first place. Each of us tries to prove to the other we are right, which of course makes the other person wrong, which doesn’t improve relationships.

She also tells us to delve a little deeper. What are the facts, and what are my assumptions? What do I need to know about the others involved? What am I really feeling? What part did I play?

Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean. Audrey Wachter

Do we really want to live with someone we’ve proved wrong? That doesn’t sound like fun, nor do endless arguments that can’t be won. Is there an answer to whether it is better to be a conservative or a liberal, a Christian, an atheist, or some other religion? Who has life harder, men or women? Who is treated most unfairly in life – pick your group, but will we agree on the answer?

We see life from our point of view, and how can we see it from anyone else’s point of view? Reading stories may immerse us in the lives of people and help us see things from their point of view or the author’s point of view. We listen to the news and different platforms slant the same story differently because they look at things through different lenses.

Sometimes in situations that don’t involve us, we pick a side and we see things from one side more than the other, and if our partner picks a different side an argument can ensue.

Is it possible to not take a side? A pox on both their houses and no one is right. Brene Brown tells us,” “We just have to be brave enough to reckon with our deepest emotions.” We have to let others reckon with theirs, without making them wrong for not thinking what we think, wanting what we want, or seeing things how we see them. But, it is so obvious that we are right we can’t even fathom how they can’t see it, and therein lies the rub.

When we can’t see how we could possibly be wrong we don’t leave space for anyone else to be right. Can we somehow find a way to give others the space to think what they think, be who they are, and realize they want things to be better too, even if their better isn’t what we think is better?

Be calm in arguing for fierceness makes error a fault and truth discourtesy. George Herbert

Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder. Rumi

Let the angry word be answered with a kiss. Thomas Hill

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

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

Friends are jewels in the crown of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. Muhammad Ali

Dinner out with friends the other night was a lot of fun. We need to keep our friendships even when we are almost too busy for friends. Friends are good for our health; they prevent isolation and loneliness and increase our self-confidence and self-worth. They help us through times of trauma.

We can’t choose our family, but we can choose our friends. We might meet friends at classes we take, or groups we belong to. We might remain close with childhood friends or people we’ve worked with. If we can make new friends throughout our lives we will enjoy a better life.

People come and go in our lives and we have to be okay with that. We may see people a couple of times a year or even less, but these interactions even if infrequent are making deposits into our emotional bank account. When we are kind and grateful we make deposits into our emotional bank account. If we are critical and negative we are making withdrawals. Too many withdrawals without many deposits can leave us emotionally overdrawn and may leave us eventually emotionally bankrupt.

To have a good friend we must be good friends. We need to be good listeners and we need to accept people how they are, and where they are, even if we are encouraging them in the changes they want to make in their lives. We have different levels of closeness with friends than acquaintances, but acquaintances can become close friends. Being a part of friendly inclusive groups adds to our well-being even if we don’t see the members outside of the group.

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. Elisabeth Foley

We can make new friends and reconnect with old friends throughout our lives. It does take effort to maintain and build friendships, but the more comfortable we get meeting new people the easier it becomes. One of the places I meet new people is through Toastmasters. The gym is also a place to meet people but only if I take the classes. Lifting weights and using the cardio machines doesn’t lead to any interactions, but the classes lead to chats at the beginning and end of classes, and meeting every week can lead to friendships.

When we join a faith community we can make friends or we can interact with very few people depending on whether we get involved in special activities and events. If we keep to ourselves people will leave us alone, but if we seem friendly they will reciprocate. We have to be approachable and we need to approach others to build friendships.

Even if we have a wide circle of friends we have different degrees of friendship with each of them. As we go through life our circumstances change and so will some of our friendships. Some friendships are short and some might last a lifetime but all are important and bring something special to our lives.

Are we treasuring our friendships, nurturing, maintaining them, and building new friendships as we go through life?

Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation. Oscar Wilde

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend time with them, and it will change your life. Amy Poehler

True friends aren’t the ones who make your problems disappear. They are the ones who won’t disappear when you’re facing problems. 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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

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

We shape our lives by the thoughts we think and the actions we take. If life isn’t progressing in the direction we want something needs to change.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted fifty years of his life. Muhammad Ali

I’ve been thinking about culture lately, we may think we aren’t affected by what others think but I think we are affected in ways we don’t readily recognize. We create a culture in our own family and we are around other people who influence us in different ways. There are cultures of excellence and there are cultures that don’t work as well to help people learn how to develop happy productive lives.

I love books and I think I have bought books at times in my life when instead of taking action I bought a book. This is why I have amassed such a collection of books on writing, art, and self-help. It was as if I thought by buying the books I would automatically move forward in my pursuit of being a better writer, artist, and person without actually doing the work. Instead of taking the afternoon to write or create art I would go to the bookstore and buy a book. These books have helped me in innumerable ways but they were also a way of putting off doing the practice of writing and art.

We become what we habitually do. We get better at what we practice, and the ideas we read about and listen to will form our worldview. We may wonder where some of the hopeless views are coming from but as Jordan Peterson says, the wonder isn’t why so many people are negative, or that not all societies work well, the wonder is that we aren’t all negative and living in societies that don’t work well.

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. Theodore Roosevelt

What can we do to make our culture, and I mean the very smallest culture, our own daily practices better? We may wait our whole lives for other people to change, but we can make changes in how we act, how we treat others, what we hope for, work toward, and how we encourage others. We can be grateful for the beauty and bounty in our lives.

Individuals can choose to look on the bright side and even those who consider themselves perennial optimists may have trouble seeing the positive some days. I’ll say something to my husband and he’ll say, “You think you’re a positive person?” That is a question I’m not sure about. I want to be positive, I believe our attitude shapes our life and a better attitude leads to a better life.

A better attitude is, thinking the best about others and believing we can deal with and in many cases can overcome the obstacles we have to face in life. History is filled with challenges that have been faced and overcome. We have overcome things that generations before they were overcome, didn’t think it was possible to overcome. Things like slavery, disease, and abject poverty.

We have challenges to overcome in our time that may seem hopeless but won’t a good attitude, ingenuity, and the belief tomorrow can be better take us further than believing nothing can be done?

Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it. David Starr Jordan

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires. Marcus Aurelius

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. Thomas Jefferson

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, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture.

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

Ask for what you want, expect to get it, and be patient while the circumstances unfold to make it happen.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You don’t always get what you ask for, but you never get what you don’t ask for… unless it’s contagious! Beverly Sills

Yesterday morning it was my privilege and pleasure to read “When Can We Get A Puppy,” at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. We had fourteen children and ten adults show up. What a fabulous group of kids. The Art Gallery set up two craft tables for the kids which kept them busy before and after the reading. I asked what they thought the moral of the story was, they put up their hands, and the first little girl I asked nailed it. “Ask for what we want and be patient.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve been around a bunch of children and this was the first time I read my story in person. They were the best audience. One said I’m the first author she’s met in person. What a privilege to read to children and get their reaction and a blessing to be around youthful exuberance, energy, and spend time with their young mothers who brought them out. I will be posting the video on YouTube soon.

If someone had asked would you like to read your story at the Art Gallery of Mississauga a year ago? I would think they were joking. It wasn’t written yet, I didn’t know I could do it. March of last year I had no illustrations completed, I didn’t yet have the concept figured out. I did have the story written but not the story as it ended up being printed.

When we look at what other people accomplish we often think they know the steps it will take, but often I bet they don’t know what they are doing any more than we know what we are doing, and if we stay moving in the right direction we get somewhere. The end result may not be what we expected; we may have been scared to even have big expectations.

Do we know what we are capable of before we accomplish something? We don’t know what will come into our lives between now and then that will help us, teach us, or move us along the path. If we aren’t doing anything that same opportunity might come but there is no way for it to help us along a path we aren’t on.

The moral of the story of “When Can We Get A Puppy,” is not about getting a puppy. It is about being willing to ask for what we want, expecting to get it, and being patient as events unfold in our lives that make getting what we want possible. I have suffered at times in my life from not knowing or at least not being willing to say out loud what I wanted.

It might take a lot of work and rearranging of our life to get what we want. We might have to do some heavy thinking to come up with what we want. We’ve gotten used to doing what is expected of us and letting that be enough. We don’t want to ask more of ourselves because it sounds a lot like work to carve out time to write that book, illustrate a story, learn to play an instrument, or whatever it is we dream about but might not voice.

We are divine enough to ask and we are important enough to receive. Wayne Dyer

How do we go see the world when we have a mortgage to pay and children to raise? Maybe it’s a dream that will take time to bring to fruition, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

We have to be willing to show up and risk failure to risk success. On a Facebook group, someone said something I did when self-publishing my children’s book couldn’t or shouldn’t be done. I said, “I didn’t ask anyone I just did it.” Sometimes the best thing not to know, is how something should be done because you go ahead and do it without those constraints.

Often, it isn’t that it can’t be done, but people have decided how it should be done. For instance, authors are told not to illustrate their own children’s books, and are told don’t make your children’s book rhyme. I’ve broken both rules. I did look at the submission requirements of one publisher and not rhyming was a requirement. Some people think self-publishing is a bad idea. But, I’m not sure why. We can find out if anyone is interested in what we’ve done, move onto the next project, and continue building a life.

I decided at my age I wasn’t waiting years and years for a publisher to say okay when I could self-publish. Is there a down-side to self-publishing? If there is I don’t know what it is. Some say people won’t take you seriously as a writer, well how seriously do they take us when we aren’t published? It seems to me with three self-published books, I’m up on that score. Some say a real publisher won’t consider you if you’re self-published. I doubt that, if they think they can make money publishing work that’s been self-published they’ll publish it. If it makes sense to an author that has self-published that going with a big name publisher will work better for them then they will accept the deal. Win, win for everyone.

We may think we can’t do something, because… A politician in the U.S. is made fun of because she doesn’t have a “higher” education. She’s an elected politician and those complaining about her are not. She didn’t ask permission. Too often when we ask for permission we are told no, but if we don’t ask permission and go ahead and do it we end up where we want to be.

Serendipity works in our lives. We don’t know how it will show up, when, or what doors it might open for us. We don’t know when we meet people if we might be a blessing in their lives, or they a blessing in ours.

Ask for what you want, expect to get it, and be patient as the circumstances unfold in your life to make it happen.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Maya Angelou

Not getting what you want either means you don’t want it enough, or you have been dealing too long with the price you have to pay. Rudyard Kipling

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

When Can We Get A Puppy by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Sorrow by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Silence by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Forgive those who have hurt you. Don’t let someone’s words control your thoughts or your life.

Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feeling, and emotions. Will Smith

Today I read in The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, “The Real Source of Harm.” We think how other people treat us and think about us, names they may call us, and attitudes they have about us, our behavior, beliefs, or ways of doing things is important. That this is what harms us. Epictetus a Roman Stoic who was also a slave tells us, “Keep in mind that it isn’t the one who has it in for you and takes a swipe that harms you, but rather the harm comes from your own belief about the abuse. So when someone arouses your anger, know that it’s really your own opinion fueling it. Instead, make it your first response not to be carried away by such impressions, for with time and distance self-mastery is more easily achieved.”

If someone sent us a nasty email but we never got it, would we be hurt by it? The fact that we wouldn’t be hurt by it testifies to the fact we play a part in our hurt feelings. If we think the person is a complete fool and has no bearing on our lives even if we got it, would it bother us?

We may wish someone would think well of us that does not. We may think their standards are unreasonable. It might be a better society if when we told people what hurts us no one would use it against us. We don’t live in that world. It always seems there are some people looking for something hurtful to say and the more we react to what they say the more power we give them.

I watched Dr. Phil last night and the situation was ridiculous, a couple married for 13 years never consummated their marriage. The wife was bitter, she never agreed to this. Why they never consummated their marriage never got addressed, but she is very abusive towards him, and said, “The viler the words coming out of her mouth toward him the better she feels.”

It’s not what you say to everyone else that determines your life: it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the greatest power. marcandangel

I think we have a lot of this in our society, some people are looking to say hurtful things and when they find someone that is hurt to the core, they rejoice. The more we let things roll off of us the better. When people don’t get the desired reaction their attack ceases to be fun for them, they don’t get their pay-off so they quit.

Do I believe people should say mean and hurtful things to each other? Do I think it is okay? No, but it seems this is the human condition and the only person we are in control of is ourselves. The best way to handle difficult people is not to play their game. If people wrote about this over 2000 years ago, and it is still a problem today, then controlling someone else, what they say, what they think, telling them they have to accept and like us obviously isn’t true. No one has to accept and like anyone else. They may have to put up with us, they may have to tolerate us, but they don’t have to think good things about us, the way we live our lives, our conduct, our beliefs, what we stand for, and what we would die for.

Our reaction is what actually decides whether harm has occurred. When we feel wronged and react with a raised voice, a confrontation ensues. If we retain control of ourselves, let what was said roll off of us, act like we didn’t hear or didn’t comprehend their intent to hurt us. If we handed them something like a snickers bar to let them know we think what they are saying is their problem and not ours. We take back our power and go on with our day. If we don’t, we can let what someone said ruin our day, sometimes we let it ruin our life. Does anyone really deserve that much power over us?

Learn to control your anger, before your anger dictates the path you take in life. Unknown

A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret. Unknown

People will usually hurt you in an attempt to heal themselves. 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.

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

Facing our fears and taking the next step. Living a courageous life is moving forward however slowly.

Living a courageous life is moving forward however slowly. Facing our fears and taking the next step.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. W. Clement Stone

How many of us feel the fear and do it anyway. There are steps we need to take in life that fill us with fear and trepidation but there is no way around going through what we fear to get to what we want.

It might be fear of a trip to the dentist, doctor, or something that is going to help us lead a better life. It might be we have to leave an old comfortable job to get a better job that helps us get more of what we want in life. it might be moving to a new locale. Having a baby is filled with fear and trepidation and birth is only the beginning.

They say we regret what we don’t do more than what we do. We come to a fork in the road and we take one path and leave the other. What lay down the path we didn’t take we’ll never know, and we have to be okay with that. Sometimes we can go back and make different choices but often that window of opportunity was there and we took it or we didn’t.

Some things we have a lifetime to look after. We can always start a new exercise program and eat better. There are always opportunities to be more patient, loving, and kind. We can pick up a hobby we’ve always been interested in. We can take courses or read books on subjects that interest us. Tom Jacobs, a citizen scientist has spotted a Jupiter – like planet in Nasa Tess Data. Alan R. Schmitt developed a program called LcTools which allows citizen scientists to inspect telescope data by eye. Do you think you might feel foolish when you think you’ve discovered a planet, what if you are wrong? Are other people saying to themselves I noticed that irregularity but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t say anything?

We risk failure to risk success. We could be awful at that new job, our new business could fail, no one might read our book, our marriage might fail. What if we won’t like the changes to our lives with marriage and parenthood. We don’t know what the results will be if we don’t take the chance. If we move forward or stay where we are life won’t be perfect. There will be challenges to face either way. No one has a challenge-free life, the most we can ask for is to pick our challenges.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

It could be the more we grab onto what life offers the more we enjoy our life. At Toastmasters many people join because they are afraid of public speaking. They may never get over that fear entirely but they harness it. Toastmasters, say it is a powerful force in their lives and has impacted them in more ways than just getting up to give a speech. Finding the courage to face public speaking made them more courageous in other areas of their life. It has done that for me.  

When I rejoined Toastmasters after a thirty-year hiatus, it wasn’t because I feared public speaking but I wanted to be better at it. I was hesitant to put myself out there as a writer and just in case someone wanted to interview me I wanted to develop some poise and talk intelligently. By joining Toastmasters I found a group of people who want more out of life and are grabbing hold of opportunities in front of them. It was a great decision. Every time I give a speech I worry I’ll forget what I’m saying, After you’ve forgotten what you were going to say a few times you learn to pick up after a pause, and most of the time no one knows what you were going to say next, but you. Sometimes I realize later I left out part of my speech but it didn’t matter.

Finding the courage to face our fears and take risks is how we grow, and overcoming what holds us back opens doors to a future we may only have dreamed of, but we can make it a reality with courage and by taking the next step.

Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it. Bear Grylls

Courage is being scared to death and then taking the next step anyway. Unknown

I just give myself permission to suck… I find this hugely liberating. John Green

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.

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