Just for today. Living our best life one day at a time.

Living our best life one day at a time. Living just for today.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Just for today. I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my desires. I will take my fate as it comes and fit myself to it. Sinclair L.D. Johnson

Last night I picked up “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. The section I flipped to was goals, but one of the points he is making is that the compound effect doesn’t just work in the positive, it also works in the negative.

We may have little choice in the direction our life takes sometimes, but we do choose our behavior and certain behaviors lead us in certain directions. Loneliness is one of the things that cause us a lot of pain. Being lonely is not only about being alone. We can be lonely in a group. We can be lonely in a school filled with people. We can be lonely in a large family, and we can be lonely in our marriage.

One of the things we need to learn to do is to amuse ourselves. This may be something that is harder and harder for us to learn to do as we are stimulated from birth. “I’m bored,” was a dangerous thing to say on a farm. There was always something that needed to be done.

The amount of books some people read is amazing. Remember the saying, “There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away.” This is great for readers. Many people who love to read never have enough time to read. Pastimes are exactly that, activities to help people pass the time.

It may seem callous to say, people for the most part have to fix their own problems. The truth is if they don’t fix them who will? If we don’t know how to find a marriage partner we can find a matchmaker who may help us. Being married does not guarantee we won’t be lonely. It doesn’t guarantee we won’t be depressed. If marriage the most intimate of relationships doesn’t guarantee we won’t be lonely then what does?

There may be nothing that guarantees we won’t be lonely except finding something we can do that is so interesting we forget we are lonely. Some of us might eat when we are lonely, drink alcohol or turn to drugs. All of these will not make our life better.

Just for today, I will not worry for I have the tools and resources to deal with whatever comes my way, whenever it comes my way. Dina Kleiman

One of the organizations I think makes a huge positive impact is Alcoholics Anonymous and all the other Anonymous groups. One of the things they do is give people a platform to talk. A place to acknowledge their problems, people who will support them, and in turn they can help and support others. I imagine they are online these days. Online isn’t as good as in-person but it might be more assessable to a lot of people.

Back to the compound effect. The decisions we make in our lives will compound. Just like priming a pump our decisions and habits may take a while before they become evident but at some point, our decisions, actions, and habits propel us in a direction. If we don’t like the direction, we will have to change our decisions, habits, and actions.

The hardest thing in life is looking at someone, knowing what they should change, and not know how to help them. They have to help themselves, and we have to help ourselves.

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Unknown

You don’t get over an addiction by stopping using. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use. If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will catch up with you again. Unknown

It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind. Steve Maraboli

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The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success Hardcover – Sept. 15 2020

by Darren Hardy  (Author)4.7 out of 5 stars 1,704 rating

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

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Be a Doer. Make something happen. Be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Make something happen. Be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Be a doer.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers. But above all. The world needs dreamers who do. Sarah Ban Breathnach

January has a reputation for not being our favorite month. After we’ve popped the champagne and brought in the New Year we look at ourselves and shrug our shoulders, “Now what?” This year we may be thinking it even more so. One of the things we can do to give ourselves and our life a lift is to declutter and energize our space.

My husband and I have been putting off a big project. We wallpapered our kitchen about twenty-six years ago and loved it. But, twenty-six-year-old wallpaper is well, as my daughter says, “So passé. It’s time for a refresh and you should paint the cabinets too because they are so out of date.”

If you have never taken off wallpaper it is not for the faint of heart. A week ago on Sunday, I said to my husband, “Are you sure, because once I tear that first strip, we are committed.” I only wish it came off in strips but it comes off in bits. It is a meditative process, and it isn’t the worst way I’ve spent parts of a January. Seeing the wallpaper give way to the white beneath and what will eventually be a lovely fresh yellow kitchen feels like progress.

I’ve even made up my mind to tackle the powder room wallpaper next and the hall wallpaper after that. This is a project professionals would do better but right now that presents a few problems. The satisfaction of doing it ourselves is going to be worth it. My fingernails are taking a real beating as they are my best tool for prying off the wallpaper along with a sponge and Dif solution.

Thinkers think and doers do. But until the thinkers do and doers think, progress will be just another word in the already overburdened vocabulary by sense. Francois de La Rocheloucauld

It takes a lot to start but as they say, starting is half done. Once we are in the middle of a project it is easier to keep going than it is thinking about what it entails before we start. Once the house is in this much of a mess over one room why stop until we’ve looked after all the areas we want to? There is nothing like a new coat of paint to refresh our surroundings. When I saw what one of my friends did with her kitchen I made up my mind to do the same. When my husband saw her kitchen he was sold on the idea too. It has taken us quite a while to actually get ready to do it, but here we are in the midst of it.

What is it that brings us to the point of taking the next step? We can know we need to do something, and even want to do it but something holds us back. One thing that works is setting a date. We said we would do it in January and then the date was upon us and we started. It’s one of the reasons dieters start a new diet on Monday. The problem with that strategy is if we have to diet. We need to adopt a lifestyle to get and keep in shape, to be at the weight our body is comfortable at, which might not be the one we prefer.

If we are going to make anything happen in our life we have to be one of the “Doers.” Nothing happens until someone does something. If that someone isn’t us then we are waiting for other people to tell us what is going to happen in our lives. There is little security in life, but the security there is, comes from the ability we have to shape our lives, roll with the punches, and be in a position to say yes or no to opportunities or circumstances.

Is there something in your life you’d like to tackle? What is holding you back?

A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. Nolan Bushnell

A non-doer is very often a critic, that is someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It’s easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change. Wayne Dyer

Be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. Homer

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30 Days – Change your habits, Change your life: A couple of simple steps every day to create the life you want Paperback – Oct. 15 2014

by Marc Reklau  (Author)4.3 out of 5 stars 736 ratingsBook 1 of 8 

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Just for today. Keep on keeping on and getting through the tough parts of life.

Keep on keeping on and getting through the tough parts of life. Just for today.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

One of the hardest parts of life is deciding whether to walk away or try harder. Unknown

Just for today, will help us get through life. Just for today, I will exercise, eat right, and be happy and positive. Just for today, I will work towards my dreams. Just for today, I will get up early and write. Just for today, I will watch what I say and not treat myself badly.

These are powerful words and they can fuel our life. Just for today, is how we can keep our resolutions, move forward toward our goals, and create progress in our lives. Just for today, is how we get through the tough times. Haven’t we all heard, “It will be a better tomorrow,” but we have to get through today?.

We all love beginnings but at some point, they turn into the hard slogging of middles. In the middle of things we might feel like giving up, it’s too hard, and it’s taking too long. If we keep telling ourselves one more day, and one more day we can get to the goal. That goal might be keeping our family intact, building a business, an eating and exercise plan, or getting more education to build a better life. Whatever we are doing and planning to do there will be days when we wish we weren’t doing it.

I’m scraping old wallpaper off my kitchen walls, today is the fifth day and I might be half-done. My son took pictures of our old kitchen and I thought it photographed well. What if I don’t like painted white cabinets and yellow walls as much as what I had? The kitchen is 28 years old it’s time to refresh it. As I scrape the wallpaper I have the TV on.

Nothing good comes cheaply so we shouldn’t be surprised when we meet the hard while going for the best. Hard times are not quit times. Terry Mark

Last night a show was on about a woman who is an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, it was an interesting uplifting show and all about “Just for Today.” The Sponsee has been sober for 84 days, the longest period of sobriety she’s achieved. It’s Christmas, she wants to see her daughter, but she ruined last Christmas for her daughter and everyone else. Her mother won’t let her see her daughter; she’s staying with her sponsor so she won’t relapse. The Sponsor tells her to text her mother and thank her for all she’s done.

Christmas morning the Sponsee’s mother texts her and tells her she can face-time with her daughter opening presents. She is now 85 days sober. Just for today can get us through the hard parts of life.

We need to live our life one day at a time. If we do, we might amaze ourselves at what we accomplish. I’ve published 676 blog posts, and I did it one day at a time. If I had to come up with 676 topics I couldn’t do it, but every day I could come up with something. At blog post 500 I cut my posts to two per week. It is sitting down in the morning at my writing desk and writing that makes it happen. I sit down every morning but the other mornings I write my novel.

Julia Cameron author of “The Artist’s Way,” in her book “The Writing Diet,” says we should write ourselves right-size. She believes writing can heal our life, she recommends morning pages where we write about whatever comes into our head. I’ve journalled all of my adult life and I believe it has made a huge difference. Journalling helps us get through today, it helps us take a look at our lives from a different perspective, and it helps us understand our journey.

Just for today does not mean we should put up with anything. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change things, but it does give us time to get through the hard slogging of middles to decide if we really want to take another path, what that path is, and get equipped for that journey.

What can we do, just for today?

Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong. Sarah Dessen

In the end, I’m the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life. Janene Wolsey Baadsgard

Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong. Muhammad Ali

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The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size by [Julia Cameron]

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Dreams can come true. Multi-millionaire Canadian Author.

Multi-millionaire Canadian Author. Dreams can come true.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Start by doing what’s necessary. Then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Saint Francis of Assisi

We have a new rising Canadian Author who got a multimillion-dollar deal for her debut novel, “The Push.” It is a story that makes my heart sing. She isn’t a celebrity author, she’s an author whose deal is based on the worth of her novel with a two-book deal and movie rights. She wrote the novel while on maternity leave. The Push, by Ashley Audrain, was released on January 5, 2021. 

It might be a great time to be a Canadian author. Agents and publishers might be looking for other authors to sign. It might also be a time to watch for scams. I got an email from an author that connected with me on LinkedIn. He thought he was offered a deal with a traditional publisher. They offered an advance, they would look after the editing, they would set the price, etc.

He got his 50 cent advance in a cheque they sent to him after he’d signed the contract giving them exclusive rights to all books he published for seven years. This publisher, is I believe no longer in business. They didn’t edit his book, they just published it as he sent it in, and priced his book extremely high. After the seven years went by and he got out of that deal he decided to go with another publisher, this time an independent publisher and felt he got ripped off again.

There are a few things we need to know as authors, or just generally in life. There is no free lunch. No one wants to do something for us for nothing. When it works we are doing something for them and they are doing something for us. In a traditional publishing deal, the publisher takes all the risk, invests all the money, pays an advance and the author gets no royalties until the advance is paid off. When we deal with a publisher the deal was they “bought” our book. This means we don’t own it anymore. Whether a deal is good or bad may not be evident until someone becomes a star. Could they have become a star without that deal?

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. Stephen King

As an independent author, we pay all the costs, we hire the editor and pay them, we make our own cover or pay someone to do it. We do the work to get it published, we publicize it. We get paid royalties right from the start on every book we sell and we can buy copies we don’t get royalties on to sell personally.

There are many companies offering to help us become Indy authors. We need to know what we are signing up for when we make a deal with anyone for anything. What are they expecting from us, and what are we expecting from them?

Once we sign a contract, it’s a contract and we have to abide by it. If we independently publish on Amazon we are not tied to them, they get a cut of what we sell on Amazon and we get a royalty. We can sell our EBook exclusively on Kindle unlimited and get the added readership that gives us, or we can publish our EBook on other platforms. We can leave at any time. We need to make sure we know what we are signing, what we are expecting, and what is expected of us.

Most of us can’t afford the services of a publicist in the beginning and many of us won’t be good at being our own publicist. We may find being an Indy author is a hard job, and keeping all our balls in the air is challenging. There are people willing to do every job that needs doing, but every one of them needs to be paid. Many successful artists are part of a well-oiled machine that makes them successful. It is hard to do this on our own.  There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”

I was reading that there is a word for friend in some language that means, “I like you, but I wouldn’t want to hunt with you.” Who we choose to work with and work for will impact our lives. When we choose to only work with ourselves it will also impact our life. Choices are all around us. Do we want to go alone or go together, and who are we choosing for the trip?

Dreams can come true, life is a series of choices, and every choice has its consequence.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

I am thankful for all of those who said no to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself. Albert Einstein

Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece. Ralph Charell

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The Push Paperback – Deckle Edge, Jan. 5 2021

by Ashley Audrain  (Author)4.4 out of 5 stars 355 ratingsAmazon Charts #2 this week


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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

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Take The Step, The Bridge Will Be There: Inspiration And Guidance Paperback – Jan. 3 2012

by Grace Cirocco (Author)4.1 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

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Choices shape our lives. Every day we can make a different choice or the same choice. Are we making choices that work for us?

Are we making choices that work for us? Every day we can make a different choice or the same choice. Choices shape our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our mind is a garden, our thoughts are the seeds, we can grow flowers or we can grow weeds. Unknown

Today may be a day we said we would get up early but we laid in bed a little longer and hit the snooze button. We said we would exercise but we don’t feel like it, or we don’t have enough time. It is easy to give up on ourselves our ideas, our dreams, and our improvements. We think about it but if we don’t do it we aren’t effective. If our life is to work we have to be effective.

Seth Godin calls being effective shipping the work. At least this is my interpretation of what he’s saying. When we ship the work we do what we said we would do and we produce what we said we would produce. We make things happen in our corner of life. We don’t drop our ball. We play our position to the best of our ability. Even when we are doing our best it won’t be perfect but perfect is not what we are after.

My son-in-laws birthday is the fifth of January when I’ve said enough with all the food, goodies, cake, etc. There is, of course, another big meal, another cake, and wine. We celebrate his birthday even though it interferes with our January eating plan. We must take his birthday in stride, make allowances for his birthday and get back on our program. Real-life will always get in the way of our plans. If everything has to work perfectly for us to meet our goals, we never will.

I’m in a speech contest on Wednesday held over zoom. If we have technical problems there is a plan to handle that. I’m on an internet radio show on Friday I have an internet link and a phone number just in case there are problems. We back up our computers just in case. Sometimes even with our backup plans, things don’t work out. Sometimes our best plans don’t work. We think if we do A, we’ll get B but we don’t and we have to deal with it.

Sometimes we have no clue what the best action to take is. We may make things worse with the best of intentions. We may follow the crowd and not like where they lead us. We may think something is one way and other people make it out to be something else, something worse than we ever thought it could be considered.

Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: We are what we chose to be. Graham Brown

Wherever we are, whatever the circumstances this is what we have to work with. We can do our best to make it better. People amaze us when they are in hard circumstances that they think of making things better for other people. They put their energy into making a difference in other people’s lives. They find a way to help others. I have a great-niece doing this. She is painting pictures to raise money for a cause. I missed the chance to get one of her paintings yesterday. I will have to get on the list to get one. She’s making a difference, she’s eight years old.

One of the things we have to do is not take things personally. If people don’t like our ideas it doesn’t mean we should take them personally. We are using people’s ideas as shorthand for them as if they are only their ideas, religion, or political beliefs. We divide people into us and them. If they think like us they are on the right side, but what if we are wrong? What happens if we change our thinking? As time unfolds we may change some of our beliefs about things.

This is one of the reasons that religion and politics aren’t talked about if we want everyone to get along. We may never agree on the things that divide us but is that what we should concentrate on? We choose what we make important in our life. We choose where we put our energy. Are we happy with our choices are they giving us a life we love?

On every journey you take, you face choices. At every fork in the road, you make a choice. And it is those decisions that shape our life. Mike DeWine

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. Eleanor Roosevelt

We’re making decisions right now that shape our lives. Even indecision is a decision. What’s going on today is a result of the choices we’ve made in the past. Toni Sorenson

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The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by [Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman]

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

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

Challenges and opportunities. Are we grateful when they show up in our lives and do we look on challenges as opportunities?

Do we look on challenges and opportunities, and are we grateful when they show up in our lives? Challenges and opportunities.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

While the challenges are great, so are the opportunities. Unknown

Yesterday on LinkedIn I saw a post. A young man of sixteen went into a job interview with long hair. The owner of the company said, “I don’t hire sixteen-year-olds.” On his way out the door, the owner said, “But, if you cut your hair the job is yours.”

The sixteen-year-old went back the next day with a haircut and the owner looked at him. “I was only kidding, but a deal is a deal.” He got hired and became the owner’s best employee and is now a partner with his former boss.

Where would life have taken him if he didn’t get the haircut and go back to the company? How would he have handled it if the owner of the company had left it at, “I was only kidding,” and didn’t hire him?

What happens when we don’t take the opportunities presented to us? Nothing, and if that happens enough we may wonder how everyone else is doing so much better as they take advantage of opportunities we may overlook. We don’t know where something will lead.

On LinkedIn, an internet radio host reached out to me, and now I will be on his show on January 15th, 2021 at 7:00 Eastern Standard Time. The name of the show is, “In the Author’s Corner With Etienne.” He is just starting up his radio show again after hurricane Maria devastated where he lives. When we are doing an internet radio show it doesn’t matter if we are down the street or in the Virgin Islands.

Who knows where this will lead. We don’t know where anything will lead but if we show up and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves we can find out. One radio show may lead to more radio shows. We never know when we will meet someone who will make a difference in our lives or whose life we will make a difference in.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates

One of the things I love about Toastmasters is we hear real stories about real people, their struggles, and triumphs. What has touched them and shaped their lives? During this time of covid people have less interaction with others but some people are taking this time and making the best of it.

When we can’t take relationships for granted maybe we appreciate them more. We might be talking about things that matter. We might be asking questions about what we want out of the rest of our lives. We might be willing to take some chances, and encourage others to take chances.

A woman on LinkedIn sounds like her life has gone through a complete renovation. She lost her job, took that time to become a published author, says she is making more money now than before, and doing what she loves. She is spending more time with her family and building stronger relationships. We may look at what is lost but for some there are gains. What if there can be gains for all of us if we look at things the right way? What if living through hard times is a blessing? A blessing we would never choose, but out of hard times come tough and resilient people.

Are there opportunities we need to grab hold of? Are there things we need to be grateful for?

Every day, set your mind in the right direction, find something to be grateful for. Joel Osteen

Gratitude in advance is the most powerful creative force in the universe. Neale Donald Walsch

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Unknown

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Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do! Mass Market Paperback – May 1 1984

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

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

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Standing strong and owning our stories. Are we the hero of our own life?

Are we the hero of our own life? Standing strong and owning our stories.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness. Brene Brown

Aren’t the new days of New Year’s filled with big plans? We call them resolutions and we make them in our mind even if we aren’t willing to say them out loud. This is the year we are going to… One of the problems with resolutions is when we get right down to it they are about two things, work and change. If things are going to be different, something has to change.

One of the problems most of us have why we don’t follow through on our resolutions is we don’t break them down into “SMART” goals, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The other problem is, we overestimate what we can do in one year, and underestimate what we can do in ten years.

Some of the time it seems we treat everyone around us better than ourselves. We understand other people not meeting their goals but we berate ourselves. We tell ourselves we have no discipline, we don’t persevere, and we aren’t the achievers of the world. Is that any way to talk to someone we love?

Often there is no one we criticize more than ourselves. We tell ourselves, I won’t do that, I won’t do that, and then we find ourselves doing that thing again. What if we are telling ourselves the wrong thing? What is the thing we do want to do instead of the thing we don’t want to do?

We won’t get up late again becomes, we will get up when the alarm rings. We won’t be so hungry we eat the whole bag of chips becomes we will eat prepared meals at mealtime, and we will have healthy snacks on hand. We won’t waste our evenings watching TV, becomes we will write, paint, dance, sing, play an instrument, go for a walk or whatever activity we want to do in the evening. We need to quit telling ourselves all the negative things we don’t want to do and start telling ourselves the positive things we do want to do. We need to quit setting ourselves up for failure.

Why do we set ourselves up for failure? There must be a payoff. The payoff might be, if we never do this thing we say we must do, then we never have to face something else. One day I was listening to a very accomplished woman on YouTube. She said, “Don’t think I’m special, because when you do, it means you don’t expect as much from yourself.” When we tell ourselves that person is “Special” they are so talented, they are so lucky, smart, etc. We are giving ourselves an excuse to not step up in our own lives and make our own dreams come true. It is true there are talented people out there, but perseverance often outweighs talent.

Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do. Brene Brown

We sell ourselves short when we think other people are so much more than us, but it takes the pressure off because we tell ourselves we can’t, instead of we aren’t. What could we do, if we decided to do it? What is the, “It” in our life? The “It” that when we accomplish it we feel we have hit a milestone in our life we can be proud of.

For me, that was publishing my novel “Secrets and Silence.” Is it the best book ever written? Absolutely not, but it is published and available for purchase as a print and Ebook, or read as a Kindle Unlimited subscriber. I wanted to write my whole life, then why has it taken me this long to publish a novel? Why when I wrote my first novel starting October 9, 2000, and wrote 85,000 words did I put it away and never consider editing it to become publishable? It is a convoluted mess I am proud of, but I haven’t done anything with it. I am actually more proud of it than the one I published because it started me off as a writer. A writer that wrote almost every day, and a writer that persevered to the end of a first draft.

Editing that novel would have meant I had to put myself out there. I had to call myself a writer and have people read my work and judge it. Why have I been so hard on myself? I have twenty years of being a writer behind me even though I only published one novel that was started in 2012. It took me eight years to get it ready to put out into the world. A big part of that eight years was getting me ready, not the book.

What was I afraid of? Maybe part of what I was afraid of is that my world might change more than I wanted it to. It would take up the time I needed to give to my family. At least that sounds noble, so I’ll go with it.

I have feared putting my work out for public scrutiny. I didn’t hang any of my paintings on the walls of my own house until a few years ago.

What has changed? Becoming a Toastmaster first in 1986 and then again in 2016 has made a huge difference in my life. When we watch others struggle to find their voice it makes our own struggle to find ours, okay.

We are all struggling. We all have things about ourselves we aren’t proud of. We all make mistakes, and wish we’d made different decisions along the way. We are here, how can we make this a great year?

Where do storytellers find the wisdom to discover their own stories? From no place more mysterious than their own hearts. Marion Dane Bauer

Your life is a story, what’s done is done. Where it goes from here is totally up to you. Write your own ending. Unknown

Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined. 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.

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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by [Brené Brown]

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

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

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