Go with the flow. Stumbling on happiness and trusting the process of life.

Stumbling on happiness and trusting the process of life. Go with the flow.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen… trusting that whichever way it goes. It’s for the best. Mandy Hale

My flurry of work on “When Can We Get A Puppy” is finished. I hit publish on Friday and on Saturday the print edition was live on Amazon. I can’t wait to get a printed copy in my hand.

In order to have the printed edition available when I said it would be I published it without seeing a second author’s proof. When we finish a project it leaves a void in our life. Do we take a break or do we start another project right away? Taking a break is scary because it is working on a project when the creative juices flow. I have a rush of ideas now that I have been working so hard on creating the paintings for “When Can We Get A Puppy.” If I take a month or two off will that inspiration dry up?

I have a feeling it will. I am in motion now, but if I stop, inertia sets in, and it will take a lot more to start up again once stopped than to stay in motion. When I took the break to go see Mom in August it didn’t interfere with my work because I was still engaged in my projects, but taking a long break at the end of a project I think would be different.

It is why when I published Secrets and Silence I started working on Secrets and Sorrow without a break. Once I get into a project it seems I can take some time off or slow down. I’ve found through my years of painting that completing a project and cleaning up the studio without starting something new often led to a longer break than I planned. Get the next one started. Starting is sometimes the hardest part.

Don’t over-think things. Go with the flow. See where it takes you. Love is unpredictable, you know.  Unknown

Over the weekend I archived the paintings for, “When Can We Get A Puppy.” At Michael’s, I was told wax paper is suitable to separate the paintings. I made a wax paper sleeve for each painting and have a 14-inch x 14-inch plastic box used for scrapbooking to store them in. This way I can sort through the paintings without touching them. The paintings, even the ones I didn’t use will be stored together and I will put a copy of the printed book in the box. Creating systems is one of the things we have to do to keep our lives organized and storage of crafts, art, projects of any kind is a challenge.

I went looking for a Liquitex product I love but when I looked at the array of products on the shelf it didn’t seem to be there. On Google I found out the product’s name has been changed but not the product itself. When I bought it at the art store the young man at the cash said he didn’t know that, and he uses the product as well.

When we find products that work it is sad if we can’t find them again. I made the mistake of using another product and wasn’t as happy with it but in the middle of a project, I didn’t want to change in case it would be noticeable. Starting a new project with Liquitex Gloss Medium which used to be called Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish gives me a lift. Fighting to get the results we want makes things harder.

I learned a lot creating this children’s book and one of the biggest lessons is we don’t know what we can do unless we do it. There are a good number of beloved children’s books illustrated by the author. When you think you are finished you might only be partway and you don’t know what it will look like until you call it finished. At some point, we have to say it is done because there is always one more painting to make or one more line to change. Setting a goal is powerful. Meeting a goal is one of the best feelings in the world, but when you put your work out into the world you are left with a void you might not expect. There is a bitter-sweetness to ending a project you’ve poured your heart and soul into. I didn’t expect that, I thought it would be all joy.

I feel the best in the midst of creation that is when I get into the flow. Ending that flow is when the emptiness comes. It is why starting a new project is important and soon I will be in the flow again. Writing and illustrating bring my two loves together and my husband said to me, “I think this is your better book.” I think it is too.

Life is a journey, we learn as we go. Often we stumble upon our happiness. We didn’t know what we were looking for until we are in the midst of it. It is one of the reasons life plans don’t work out, we don’t know what is around the corner or the next bend, but if we ride the waves of life it can be a wild ride indeed.

Sometimes in life, there’s no problem and sometimes there is no solution. In this space – between these apparent poles – life flows. Rasheed Oguniaru

Not everything will go as you expect in your life. This is why you need to drop expectations and go with the flow of life. Unknown

We can learn a lot by watching how water relates to the world around it. It goes around any obstacle in its way. It flows downstream rather than struggling to push upstream as many of us are doing in life. It just goes with the flow. Perhaps that’s why watching the action and rhythm of water is so peaceful. Unknown

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.

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to everyone that leaves a review on Goodreads and Amazon. 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.

Finishing what we start. It will be what it will be, and we have to be okay with that.

It will be what it will be and we have to be okay with that. Finishing what we start.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you are brave enough to start, you’re strong enough to finish. Gary Ryan Blair

Do you cringe when you see a picture of yourself? On Tuesday I had an interview with the Art Gallery of Mississauga and they were taking pictures. The photographer said he would send me some I could use as the picture for my new book.

When I saw the pictures I thought of the line in the song, “The sun in your face really shows your age.” It might not be possible to get a picture of myself I like because maybe I want to look like someone else.

They say smiley author’s photos are for less serious authors, and who wants to be thought to be one of those? Resting bitch face is a real thing and when I see it on my own face, wow! How do people take beautiful pictures even when they are not young and beautiful? Would black and white photos work better?

Getting professional photos taken is something I’ve been putting off. I need to get them done but this book will have the same photo I used for Secrets and Silence. My husband read it yesterday and he pointed out a verse I left out. How did I not notice that? My soon-to-be daughter-in-law noticed a name not capitalized.

How you start is important, but it is how you finish that counts. In the race for success, speed is less important than stamina. The sticker outlasts the sprinter. B.C. Forbes

It feels good to complete a project. Something that’s been simmering for years finally comes to fruition. What I’ve realized in this whole process is the biggest challenge was to make the decision to set a goal and work toward it. We may not know how we will get to that goal or what the finished product will look like, but we have to keep trying this and trying that, seeing what works. Serendipity works in our lives and the course with the Art Gallery of Mississauga came at the right time for me. Being part of a class, seeing what others were doing, what the facilitator and speakers she brought each week were accomplishing encouraged me greatly to continue with my project, and meet what seemed like an impossible deadline.

In my interview on Tuesday, I got emotional as I talked about what I got out of the course. I struggled with the demise of the collaboration between who was to have been the illustrator and myself. If I was doing the painting then there was nothing to offer him, but he invested quite a bit of time and effort into the project. We’d been meeting for months and he helped clarify my vision. I felt bad after investing all that time and effort he got nothing out of it.

The project was once again all mine, could I do what I set out to do? Then when I thought I was finished my daughter told me I needed more paintings. I’m glad I listened to her. I’m blessed she was honest and didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. “I love it, it’s great,” isn’t as good of feedback as, “You Know what would make it better?”

We aren’t the same person when we complete a project we were when we started. When we started we didn’t know if we could complete it. We didn’t know what it would look like, but if we keep working toward our goal it will become something.

It started out as a story about a dog that ended with a family losing their beloved pet. It ended up being the joyous event of getting a puppy. A series is being born in my mind as the puppy and family have many, many adventures. The goal of publishing a children’s book was a challenge set last year. It has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever completed. It brings together my two loves, writing, and art.

We don’t know what we can accomplish until we set out minds to something and work at it until it is finished.

Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic. Robin Sharma

Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they start. David Allen

The strength and clarity of the picture you envision at the start will tell you when you are done. You are finished when you have said what you wish to say, when nothing added can make it better. Richard Schmid

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 picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Collaboration is powerful. Two heads are better than one even when partnerships don’t work out.

Two heads are better than one even when partnerships don't work out. collaboration is powerful.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results. Henry Enoch Onuoha

Going for a walk this weekend required a jacket. The crisp air, blue sky, and the company of my daughter and our dog made it fun. We have a little pond we love to walk around. There are benches if we want to sit and watch the birds. We love walking but don’t make time for it often enough. A walk by myself is enjoyable but with others, it becomes even better.

Yesterday I painted the last painting for my children’s book. As I patted myself on the back and was wrapping things up for the evening  I decided I will paint at least one more to replace the painting that was to end the book. When I finish this one will I look at others and think I should repaint, compose differently, change the colors, or refine the details?

There are some really great blogs on illustrating children’s books and one of the things they are telling me is don’t depict exactly in the pictures what the words say. Use your pictures and your words to tell a bigger story. In small picture books of only 32 or 36 pages, this makes sense. I looked at a picture book of my daughters and in it, the author says a new puppy and the old dog touched noses and that is what the picture depicts, but I think it works. The new puppy is a tiny Dachshund and the dog they already have is a huge Great Dane.

We might not even know what makes our kids or ourselves gravitate to certain books. My youngest sister tells me she tried to get her daughter interested in Pete the Cat books when she was younger. Her daughter wasn’t interested in them even though my sister was.

I’ve taken a few trips to Indigo and some of the children’s books are beautiful. Can books be too beautiful for us to want our children to handle? Well-loved books will end up looking like well-loved toys. To see what books parents are buying and kids are reading I go to Value Village.

Authors are not encouraged to illustrate their own books. Some publishers don’t want books that rhyme. When my daughter gave me advice on my book as someone who reads a lot of books to preschool children she said to include lots of pictures, lots of colors, and make it rhyme. When she looked at what I put together, she said,” Mom, you need more pictures.” I’m also getting feedback from my son’s fiancé a teacher who reads books to her students.

I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things. Mother Teresa

Creating this children’s book has been fun and very intimidating.  I didn’t know where to start until I started trying to tell the young man who was going to illustrate it in Illustrator what I wanted. I could clarify my vision when trying to tell him what to do, but when it was only me I struggled. In the end, our collaboration fell apart, but I owe him a huge debt and without our collaboration and monthly meetings it wouldn’t be where it is today.

I can see the value in a more talented illustrator doing the illustrations. Illustrators aren’t cheap. Of course, no one knows what kind of sales a book will receive so making back that investment is a gamble. I understand with the big publishers the writer and illustrator don’t meet and the writer doesn’t have control of what the illustrations for their book will look like.

This may make for a better book. The illustrator’s concept may be much better than what the author would come up with. I like the idea of collaboration and I’ve seen firsthand how powerful it is. When we put our heads together who knows what we will come up with. It is hard to bounce ideas off of a wall. When another person bounces ideas to us and us to them, clarity emerges, and something small can grow into something bigger.

What is the role of co-creation and collaboration in our daily work?

Collaboration divides the task and multiplies the success. Unknown

Collaboration allows us to know more than we are capable of knowing by ourselves. Paul Solarz

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. Desmond Tutu

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 books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon. 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.

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.

Serendipity shows up but we have to recognize it.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Serendipity is finding something good without looking for it. Unknown

It has been beautiful lately now that spring is here. I’ve been taking my dog for a nightly long walk. My husband has always encouraged me to walk and listen to something but I resist. I started listening to Jordan Peterson’s book Beyond Order, I really enjoy it, but I miss the thinking I do as I walk. We can’t fill our minds up with other people’s thoughts and have our own.

My husband and I listened to a podcast I’m going to be on this Saturday, the Abracadabra Podcast Author to Author, the host Jasveer Singh Dangi was in conversation with Isabella MacLeod author of Metamorphosis and Nano. She is a former nurse who suffers from a disease I’ve never heard of but sounds like it is related to Lyme disease. These books are a fictionalized journey as she picked up the pieces of her life and puts them back together.

My interest was piqued partly because I love a good story of people overcoming adversity but also because my brother suffers from some strange affliction and we have wondered where it came from. I will listen to the podcast again and look up the name of the disease she has and start going down the rabbit hole of research and see where it leads.

Most discoveries even today are a combination of serendipity and of searching. Siddhartha Mukherjee

Her disease may be nothing like my brother’s. I have no reason to think it is except it is debilitating enough that she can no longer work and so is his. She lives in Eastern Canada and he took a trip out there just before he became ill. I have a feeling and I often go with my feelings and see where they lead. Serendipity is a mysterious force that works in our lives. Serendipity has been defined as, “The accidental discovery that leads to unexpected value.”

In the book The Serendipity Mindset by Christian Busch, he tells us how we can learn to recognize and leverage serendipity to make our lives better. What if the people we think are lucky are using serendipity when it arrives in their lives in ways that unlucky people are not?

How many times has serendipity knocked on my door and I was not aware of it and did not get the gift I was being offered? When the right person looked at moldy bread they recognized something in it and we now have penicillin. To everyone else, it was just moldy bread.

Who knows where my research will lead? How is serendipity working in your life?

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

I always leave room for serendipity and chance. Ken Stott

I am a firm believer in serendipity – the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along. David Levithan

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 who 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 affiliate program.

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Reaping and sowing. We reap what we sow. We plant the seeds and watch them grow.

We reap what we sow. We plant the seeds and watch them grow. Reaping and sowing.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is like a garden, you reap what you sow. Paulo Coelho

One of the things my oldest sister has always said is, “If we put all our problems on the line with everyone else’s we’d take our own problems back.” It might be the same with success.

If we knew the choices someone else had to make to become the success they are would we do what they did? I was listening to one of my favorite speakers Jim Rohn yesterday. He was talking about what he learned about building a Network Marketing Business part-time.

He learned he could work at his day job to pay the bills and part-time he could work at becoming wealthy. He learned there is a ratio of success. If he could get ten people out to meetings one would join his organization. When he got better two would join his organization, when he got really good three would join his organization. Everywhere we look we have the law of averages and we don’t have to hit every ball to have a good batting average. We have to take the chance. Wayne Gretzky said he missed every shot he didn’t take.

Life isn’t different for us even if we think it is. Jim Rohn talks about the law of sowing and reaping. We all know we can’t reap what we don’t sow. Some of us would like to reap what someone else sowed. That doesn’t work very well. We can’t reap happiness if we sow anger, disrespect, and discord in our marriage.

He tells us that if we are a sower with good seed and a diligent sower some of that seed will be eaten by the birds. Should we run after the birds and leave our seed, and our sowing. NOOoooo! We should keep on sowing. The birds will get some of it but they won’t get it all. Some of our seeds will fall on rocky ground. It will sprout but the first hot day will kill our little seedling. Our seeds will bear different amounts but we shouldn’t worry about that. We need to let our seeds mature into what they are going to be.

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

This is a metaphor for our lives. As long as we live we need to be sowing and reaping. We will have good years and bad. Life is always opportunity mixed with difficulty. Sometimes it’s more difficulty and sometimes it’s more opportunity. For things to change we have to change. He tells us not to wish life was easier but to wish we were better. We need more skills to deal with the problems in our lives, and we need more wisdom to deal with the challenges. This applies to all areas of our lives, our relationships, opportunities, and finances.

I was one of the seeds that fell on rocky ground in Network Marketing. I’ve always liked the Rah, Rah of it but I’ve never stuck with any of them. I didn’t build my part-time business until now.

Writing is now my part-time business. When I fill out my income tax this year I will have “Royalties” to add as income. I have one book published, I am writing another, and after that another, and another. We never know where life will take us. We don’t know what seeds planted today will bear fruit in the future.

When we find something we love to do it isn’t only about the money. Sometimes it seems we are made to feel ashamed if we want more money. Don’t we all want more money if we are honest with ourselves? Isn’t prospering one of the blessings we hope to get in life?

Getting more isn’t the problem, throwing someone under the bus to get more, is. Taking what someone else has is the problem. When we build a business often we provide something that helps someone else and a lot of little businesses can create a prosperous town or city. Prosperous farms feed the people in prosperous towns and cities. Prosperous towns and cities create a prosperous country. Prosperous countries create a prosperous world. Artists, athletes, writers, and entertainers, who don’t provide the necessities of life only do well when the society is prosperous enough to support them.

We live in a prosperous society but not everyone is prospering. Is there a way to build our society so everyone prospers? Is there a way to make our relationships better? How is the law of sowing and reaping working in our lives?

The natural principle of sowing and reaping is always at work. Whatever you plant, whether physical, spiritual, mental, financial, relational, or emotional, will grow and someday return to you in a multiplied fashion. It can be incredibly good or terribly bad, depending on your seed. Paul J. Meyer

Every day you make a choice either to sow some of your seed or to eat it. When you exercise faith and sow, you release God’s law of prosperity. When you give in to your fear and eat your seed, or hide it, you release God’s law of poverty. John Avanzini

They who sow courtesy reap friendship, and they who plant kindness gather love. Saint Basil

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 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.

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Patience is not passive. Patience may be the ingredient we need in our lives to make everything work out for the best.

Patience may be the ingredient we need in our lives to make everything work our for the best. Patience is not passive.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength. Bruce Lee

We want things to happen now but we have to be patient. Being patient is hard. When we paint our nails, not letting them dry before we start doing something often wrecks our nails.

We are painting our kitchen cabinets white. To practice, we are doing a test on bathroom cabinets. The prep is important to a nicely finished paint job. They must be degreased, sanded, and primed. The primer needs to dry for 24 hours. When I realized I missed some spots on the drawers. I should have waited another 24 hours to let that primer dry, but I didn’t have the patience and I hope I don’t end up looking at that spot on the drawer as a reminder to be more patient. I wanted the first coat on so I could do the final sand today and apply the second coat. I am hoping I don’t need three coats of paint.

Choosing the white paint to paint white cabinets was a huge decision. White is white, right? No, definitely not, what undertone do we want our cabinets to have? My sister, “The Kitchen Whisperer” tells me she has clients call her up and tell her they didn’t get the right color of cabinets. She has even looked at the cabinets in their kitchen and agreed until she compares what they got to the sample and it is the correct color. It doesn’t look like what they thought they were getting under their lighting and the other colors in their home. The direction our windows face will also color our paint color.

Decorators talk about warm whites think yellow undertone, and icy whites think blue undertone. I finally chose Chantilly Lace, an icy white. The kitchen is now painted Hawthorne Yellow and the trim is Hi Gloss Manufactured White. The Chantilly Lace looks exactly like I want it to with one coat of paint on the doors. I can’t wait to see the doors with the second coat on. This is where patience comes in. I was going to go with a warmer white but next to yellow that might not have looked white enough. So far I am happy with my color choices.

Our patience will achieve more than our force. Edmund Burke

Color is important and we feel better surrounded by color. All white homes are a trend right now that doesn’t appeal to me, although in pictures they do look beautiful.  When I see white sofas I shudder to think what they look like after they’ve been lived with for a while. I always feel better when I wear certain colors. Orange/Red is one of the colors I often wear on zoom calls. I look better on zoom in orange/red than any of the other colors I wear. A friend had her husband paint their garage door in three different shades of Hunter Green. I don’t know if she was finally happy with the color or if he refused to paint it a fourth time.

My daughter wonders what color battles might be in her future. Her husband likes grey and she loves color. Creating a color scheme for a home is a huge decision. We have to live with our, and sometimes someone else’s choices for years. Colors come in and out of style but we aren’t changing our flooring to match trends. The choice of the aqua carpet when we bought this home is still a choice we live with on the second floor. Some day it will be gone but it is a process, a long-drawn-out process.

The process of painting the kitchen cabinets might try my patience but in the end, if they look as good as I think they will it will be worth it. It’s amazing what a little paint, patience, and perseverance can do.

Patience is the best remedy for every trouble. Plautus

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind. David G. Allen

Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principle and in the right way. Fulton J. Sheen

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 novel Secrets and Silence and a special thank you to those who 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.

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Taking the next step. Moving forward with courage, perseverance, and hope.

Moving forward with courage, perseverance, and hope. Taking the next step.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There are no wrong turnings… Only paths we had not known, we were meant to walk… Guy Gavriel Kay

Last night the speech contest went ahead with no technical difficulties. I was one of four contestants. The other contestants each presented interesting, touching, heartfelt speeches of overcoming, dealing with, and getting through the challenges of life and coming out the other side better.

When we compete in anything we are competing with ourselves. Did we do as well as we could have? Are we proud of our performance? When we step up, enter a contest, and show up we are accomplishing something. It is easier to not bother, but we don’t get growth from not bothering.

The winner from last night came in third last year but someone kept dropping out and she kept moving on to the next contest. She got to the Division Contest where she also came in third. The Division Contest last year was the last contest before Covid closed everything down. This year we will be rooting for her to go farther.

This year the contests are on zoom and we don’t get the energy from the crowd we get in an in-person contest. At these contests, we hear stories of what people have had to deal with and overcome. People have been brought to their knees and when we hear their story we wonder if we could have handled it as well. We hear stories of courage and perseverance.

Telling our stories can change our life, and Toastmasters helps us tell our stories. Someone said, “When we find our voice, we find ourselves.” How powerful is that? We all have stories to tell. We may not have the heartbreaking story someone else went through but when we hear their story we can be grateful, inspired, and hopeful that people are strong, resilient, and courageous.

There’s no time for regrets. You’ve just got to keep moving forward. Mike McCready

We don’t know what we will have to face in our lives, but knowing what others faced, and how they dealt with it can help us in our time of need. We may think back on a story we heard and their experience may give us strength. In any good speech, there is a message, something we can take away, and think about.

Today I am richer for participating in the contest. When we get a chance to add a little excitement to our life by entering a contest we should do it. We often think we need big accomplishments to grow but big accomplishments are comprised of small steps that build toward something. Even writing my book isn’t a big accomplishment. It is a series of small accomplishments, one word upon another word, one chapter added to another, without all the small accomplishments there can be no big accomplishment.

One of our contestants is a medical student. That is a number of small accomplishments just to get to medical school and he has many more steps to become a doctor. Why are some of the greatest speaker’s ministers? They give speech after speech every Sunday honing that skill. Practice, perseverance, and moving towards a goal will push us forward.

Martin Luther King Jr. probably didn’t set out to give one of the most memorable speeches in history; he probably just set out to give a speech. We don’t know what will happen when we show up. Who we will encourage, how we will impact others, and what forces may be put in action.

A big part of life is showing up and doing the best we can in the circumstances we find ourselves in. One of our contestant’s quote was, “This too shall pass.” This is true of our opportunities and our challenges. We must make the best of where we are so tomorrow is at least as good as today. If we are lucky we can make tomorrow better. Is failure or making things worse our biggest fear?

We regret what we don’t do more than what we do. The only way forward is forward. Are we ready for the next step? We can only change directions going forward, we can’t correct our course when we are standing still.

Sometimes a catastrophe is simply a course correction. James A. Owen

You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re always thinking about yesterday. Unknown

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. Denis Waitley

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 novel Secrets and Silence and a special thank you to those who 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 link.

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Polite and powerful. Is this asking for what we want in a direct polite manner?

Polite and powerful. This is asking for what we want in a direct polite manner?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are. Roy Bennett

Can we learn to be polite and powerful, and if we do will it make all our relationships better?

One of the areas in our lives we struggle with is our relationships. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got along, understood each other, communicated directly and honestly? In the book, “The Power of Positive Confrontation” author Barbara Pachter tells us we can be polite and powerfully change our communication pattern.  She tells us we must learn to WAC’em. What does WAC’em mean?

W is what is bothering us. We need to be very clear that what we think is bothering us is really what is bothering us.

A is what do we want the other person to do or change?

C is we must check in with the other person by asking something like, okay?

One of the ways we feel bad about ourselves is when we haven’t confronted people we believe we should. We didn’t stand up for ourselves, ask for what we wanted, or communicate directly about something important.

Barbara Pachter tells us that polite confrontation can change our life because when we ask for what we want, we have to know what that is. When we tell someone what is bothering us we have to have figured out exactly what that is. Part of the problem in our lives is we don’t know and haven’t acknowledged what the problem is, and we don’t know what we want the other person to do. We often don’t know what we think we should do.

One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness. Josh Billings

When we get clear about what we want, and clear about what we think should be done by the other person, then asking for what we want politely and powerfully is the next step. Often people would give us what we want if they knew what it was. They would do their best to make us happy if they knew how. If we figure out what we want we can do our best to make our own lives better, and the lives of those around us.

Are there any downsides to being polite? One of the biggest problems we have plaguing relationships is people feel disrespected and this means they feel that people in their lives are not polite enough. I am guilty of this. I don’t always give my husband my undivided attention when he is speaking to me. I have to stop myself from multi-tasking and continuing to work as he talks to me. I need to give him my undivided attention and listen to what he says because when I don’t, he feels he isn’t as important to me as what I am doing. Of course, that isn’t true. He should know I am just trying to be efficient. But, do I really get that much more done? Wouldn’t it be better if I just stop what I am doing and give him my undivided attention?

Radically respectful and politely powerful are behaviors we can cultivate in ourselves to make our relationships better. We are the only people who can change the things we want to be changed. We need to treat others the way we want to be treated and even if it doesn’t work the way we wanted we have taken the high road.

The high road isn’t an easy road, but I believe it leads to easy relationships with others. The art of tact and diplomacy is being polite and courteous. One of the problems we have with our “Political Correctness” is that it is often not polite. We have always had disagreements on how society should be run, and instead of being a polite society, we have become a politically correct and often rude society. I think we should get back to politely talking about our differences and agreeing to disagree. Is there power in politeness and should we be using it more in our lives? Are we powerfully polite and radically respectful?

Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength. Eric Hoffer

A polite enemy is just as difficult to discredit, as a rude friend is to protect. Bryant McGill

Courteousness is consideration for others; politeness is the method used to deliver such considerations. Bryant H. Mcgill

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

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

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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The Power of Positive Confrontation: The Skills You Need to Handle Conflicts at Work, at Home, Online, and in Life, completely revised and updated edition Paperback – July 1 2014

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