Being all we can be is a challenge we must be willing to take on.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw

Last night I went to a book launch at a local independent bookstore, The Book Wardrobe in Streetsville and I couldn’t get in. Three people ahead of me were turned away and four more were behind me. How wonderful that Chantel Guertin and her new book, “Two for the Road,” would get this kind of support.

My plan was to buy her book and see if she would come out and speak to the book club. We’ve had one author come out to the book club and speak about her book and it was wonderful. The book store I learned last night has a book club and the authors come out and speak to the members.

I have the name of the owner of the bookstore and her email address. I will contact her to see if her bookstore will carry my books. Today I have a zoom call with a local organization to see if they will host an event at their organization. The event is “Storytime,” two or three children’s authors and I will read our stories to a group of children with a question and answer period after. We haven’t been able to get into the local libraries yet, but hopefully, that might happen.

Networking and publicity are a big part of being a writer unless we are so big we have a publicist doing it for us. If we are doing something we need to let people know we’ve done it, so they can beat a path to our door to buy our product or service.

If we don’t find a way to let people know we have a book or the next wonderful product they need, how will they ever find out it is the book or product they’ve been looking for? Promoting our products is often where we fall down, although a product or book could be found on Amazon if we don’t know what we are looking for it will be a lot harder to find.

How do we balance humility and self-promotion? Women it seems are notoriously bad at advocating for themselves. We don’t ask for the raise and so we don’t get it. I was out for tea with someone whose daughter was sick of being passed over for the promotions she deserved. She got a job at a new company as their vice president and the old company has given her a contract to help them while they find a replacement which they are finding difficult. They thought she wouldn’t leave, and when she did they were left in a predicament. Another daughter has started a YouTube channel KitanQ Motivation. Her motto is “Believe we can and we are halfway there.”

It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela

We can’t threaten to leave if we aren’t promoted unless we are willing to leave, because then the company will know they’ve got us where they want us. Empty threats don’t get us anywhere because if we are bluffing and our bluff is called we are powerless. If we give an ultimatum we must be willing to follow through on it.

Sometimes life circumstances are such that we aren’t willing to make a change because the weight of the change is too much to deal with, we may need to bide our time until circumstances are better to go after what we want. This is okay; we need to have balance in our lives. We prioritize our priorities, and maybe we can’t have everything all at once, the heavy lifting of raising children may mean we can’t take on the heavy lifting of career building. We may have opportunities that we couldn’t take advantage of earlier, but the time may come when it is our time to take advantage of them.

We might have a hard time convincing others we can do it, sometimes we have a hard time convincing ourselves we can do it. Opportunities are everywhere if we have enough bandwidth in our life to take them on. We might need more education, skills, confidence, perseverance, or dogged determination to make a change we want to make, but if we can dream it often we can achieve it.

Life isn’t over because we’ve hit a milestone in our life, one chapter finishes and a new one begins, one day there will be no new chapters but until then we can make the best of what we have, and we might surprise ourselves and others with what we can accomplish. If we knew we couldn’t fail what dream would we pursue?

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

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T.S. Eliot

Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. John F. Kennedy

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more and 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 that read 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.

High-value men and women are what we should all aspire to be.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. Charles Spurgeon

One of the phrases being thrown about now is “High-value man,” the way some are throwing it around it mostly means money. I googled high-value person and the definition that came up: A high-value person is aware of his or her true value. High-value men and high-value women have high standards for others to live up to in order to have an intimate relationship with them because they are aware of how appealing they are. Other aspects of a high-value person include self-confidence and self-esteem.

Is high-value how we see ourselves or how someone else sees us? How I hear it being used is to justify the double standard of sexual purity for women and sexual adventuring for men. Some are even using it to justify men philandering even after marriage, but almost in all cases, the high-value woman seems to be held to a higher standard.

Some of these men talking about high-value men are quick to point out that men can elevate themselves by making money but are quick to point out they don’t value women for what they do, what they achieve, or what education they attain, those improvements only count for men. Women are judged on our youth and our beauty and I think some are even saying education is wasted on women because men don’t value educated women.

Could it be that some men are not valuing educated women and women who are accomplished because then it is harder to measure up and be considered worth dating or marriage by those women?

The men are telling each other to level up, and at the same time, it seems to me are telling the women to level down. Are they doing this so the bar the men have to hit is not as high as it would be when women are working hard to build the life they want and setting high standards for the men they are willing to date and marry?

When we presume that we are better than people who need structure and guidance, we lack one of the most crucial ingredients for change: humility. Marshall Goldsmith

High value in my opinion is not all about money, character, and self-esteem, and how we treat others is also important. Shouldn’t we all strive to be better, better than we were yesterday? We will never be the best we can be, because we won’t live that long, and isn’t that part of what makes life exciting? There is so much to learn, we can spend our life being lifetime learners. Jim Rohn tells us, “formal education will make you a living self-education will make you a fortune.” Even if our self-education doesn’t make us a fortune it can make us someone we are prouder of than we would be if we didn’t pursue learning throughout our lifetime.

What should we learn? That will depend on what we are interested in, but shouldn’t we all learn the fundamentals of life, those things that give us the good life, virtue, wisdom, knowledge, and purpose?

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. Marilyn vos Savant

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue. Buddha

A man has to learn that he cannot command things, but that he can command himself, that he cannot coerce the wills of others, but that he can mold and master his own will; and things serve him who serves Truth; people seek guidance of him who is master of himself. James Allen

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 those that read 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 fo the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Dealing with challenges in the adventure of our life, do we panic or stay the course?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Helen Keller

My son called me over a week ago he’s moving my website from one computer to another and if it doesn’t work on Monday when I go to do my blog let him know. My site hasn’t been up for about a week and a half, but because I had a heads up I tried not to panic.

We panic when we don’t understand what is happening and we don’t panic when the same thing happens but we understand why it is happening. If a post doesn’t get out for a week or two it is not the worst thing in the world. It’s not a major catastrophe.

I did panic a little thinking I might lose my posts, I looked through my word documents and somehow in word, I can’t find about a year and a half worth of posts. Now my site is back up and all my posts are intact I am breathing a sigh of relief.

I’m listening to a video of Jordan Peterson talking about why our goal should not be to be happy because the happiness boat is easily capsized. What can we have that is more reliable than happiness? He tells us he thinks adventure is more reliable than happiness.

Adventure gives us something that offers a bigger life. Marriage is an adventure that offers many challenges. When people are asked what they regret in life it isn’t what they did that didn’t work, it’s what they didn’t do that might have worked. Wow, what calls us to lead a bigger life, what difficult challenge is before us that might be worth taking on and where might it lead?

I can’t say I have any challenges before me that seem like dancing on the edge. Being a writer is not living on the edge, it can seem like it, but my life is safe and sound whether anyone reads my blog and books or not.

Watching our eleven-month-old grandson crawl up the staircase is watching someone taking on a challenge that is on the edge. He could tumble and fall and has had a misstep or two but someone was behind him to keep him from falling down a full flight of stairs. He claps his hands when he reaches the top proud of his accomplishment.

Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles in life. John Amatt

My daughter showed us a video of a small boy that climbed up on the kitchen table on top of pizza boxes and we laugh and say that will be our grandson. We expect to find him standing on top of pizza boxes with the biggest smile on his face, and a piece of pizza in his hand. Children are made for adventure, and some children are more adventurous than others, but all development is pushing beyond the boundaries of what they can do.

When do we lose this love of adventure? When do we tell ourselves that we can’t take any more chances, the risk is no longer worth the possible reward? Does security really exist or do we need to walk a fine balance between risk and security? We want to provide a home for our family and that takes stability and security, but too much security and stability can make us want to turn over the tables and create chaos.

How can we have more adventure in our lives without uprooting everything we’ve built? Could much of the conflict in marriages be that we don’t have enough adventure in other parts of our lives so we bring excitement into our lives by creating conflict?

Can creative endeavors be part of what brings excitement into our lives so we feed that part of our lives without creating the excitement of chaos in our family? It isn’t life or death if a creative project works, but it brings something to our life, we grow and learn as we create something.

If we face our fears in our creative endeavors, we might be creating something but we don’t show anyone what we are creating. When we start to share our creativity with others it feels like a huge risk, bringing excitement to our life. Performing in front of people, whether acting, public speaking, singing, etc., is always a risk, and taking risks is exhilarating. Groups like Toastmasters, writing groups, or even going out to Karaoke can bring excitement into our lives. Do we have enough adventure in our lives, and can we bring adventure into our lives without giving up safety and security?

Starting a business is one of the biggest risks any of us can take. We count on ourselves to provide the income we need and it can be terrifying but also exhilarating. I’ve heard that some of the best businesses are started during downtimes in the economy. Perhaps when we realize there is no safety in counting on someone else to pay us there isn’t as much risk in counting on ourselves.

If we want to live a life of few regrets we’ll have to take the chances to build the life we want. My biggest regret would be if I didn’t take a chance on marriage, children, and building a business with my husband. If I had continued to waffle about creating this blog, or self-publishing the books I’ve written. We might not make as much money going on our own as working for a big company depending on the work we do, but we might have a more successful life because what makes a rich life isn’t all about money.

What chances do we wish we’d taken that still might be possible?

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience. Eleanor Rooselvelt

Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny. C.S. Lewis

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw

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

International Women’s Day. Enjoy your life, choose wisely, and be the best you can be.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt

Yesterday was International Women’s Day and in our house we hardly noticed. I saw something go across the TV screen that we won’t reach equality for three hundred years. I wonder what that means. The problem with equality is, what is equality? Are we not equal until my son-in-law can breastfeed his baby, or are we equal when no mothers breastfeed their babies?

Women become mothers; for most, this is the biggest purpose in their lives. Motherhood will be their biggest legacy no matter what else they accomplish and women can accomplish a lot as well as be mothers. For most women sacrificing motherhood for other achievements is probably a mistake.

There has been no greater joy, commitment, and challenge than motherhood. It takes everything we have to give, and sometimes it seems like more than we have to bring a child into the world and raise them to adulthood. At this vantage point with my daughter having her own baby and watching the demands of an infant and now eleven-month-old grandchild takes up her day I wonder if I ever had that amount of patience.  She is reveling in the blessing of being a mom.

In our modern world, she could choose when to become a mom as much as anyone can because the miracle of life is still left up to things beyond our control, and not every woman that wants to become a mother becomes one. She and her husband have been blessed with a beautiful little boy and their life is not the same as it was before he came into their lives. But it is my daughter’s life that has been totally transformed to meet the needs of first an infant and now a little boy that can climb a flight of stairs while we turn our heads.

Women are accomplishing great things, and we should be accomplishing these things, but we need to be careful we aren’t sacrificing something bigger for something smaller. There is disagreement on whether we are being paid equally for the same work because in some cases women especially mothers don’t have the same amount of time to dedicate to a career. They have a bigger calling in life, and most women that have husbands don’t have to work as hard because they aren’t carrying the whole load.

Husbands look after the mothers of their children as a way of looking after their children. I can’t imagine looking after children without a husband and even now with our grandson sharing the experience is part of the joy.

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

When I was young I saw a cute little quote, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” I laughed at it; I wasn’t one that wanted to get married “too young.” Building a family is where the joy in life lies; it is where the meaning lies, and where the legacy lies. It might not be the life that is the most prestigious, and glamorous or pay us the most money but as time goes by it is what will give us more and more joy especially when we become grandparents and great-grandparents. I expect to enjoy the achievements of our grandchildren as much or even more than the achievements of our children.

It is a fabulous time to be a woman. We’ve never had more choices in our lives, but we’ve also never been pulled in so many directions, and we’ve always had to live with the consequences of our choices, which hasn’t changed.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. Alice Walke

I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others. Amelia Earhart

The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. Ayn Rand

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoyed it and 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 to those who read 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.

Comfortable lies and uncomfortable truths. Will the truth set us free? Do we know the truth when we hear it?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding. Rudyard Kipling

To lie is to make an untrue statement with the intent to deceive, or to create a false or misleading impression. There are lies of omission, commission, and lies of influence. Is it possible to go through life without ever telling a lie?

We can lie to ourselves or to others, we can lie about the facts, or what we believe to be the facts, and our values.

What if we don’t see things the same as someone else? Does that mean one of us is a liar?

Is it a lie to tell someone we are having a good day because we want to have a good day even though we are not yet having a good day? Is it a lie to focus on what is good in our lives instead of bad even if the good is not yet evident? Wouldn’t wallowing in self-pity be less of a lie but more disastrous to our well-being?

If we don’t always feel loving towards those we love are we lying? If we grow and change in our lives does that mean we were lying about who we were or who we are now?

We are told by Dostoevsky, “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. Mark Twain

Is the lie telling ourselves we are worthy of something we don’t have, or telling ourselves we don’t deserve more, or maybe even what we do have? Don’t we often try to convince ourselves we’re better than we are? We act better, look better, have better intentions, a better work ethic, more knowledge, and better habits, we are less biased, more compassionate, and grateful than we really are.

Some people think if we believe in anything we can’t see, smell, taste, or touch we believe in a lie. Some people are told their faith is a lie, and it is easy to think what someone else believes in must be a lie if they don’t believe what we believe.

Some visionary people can get us to believe in what seems like an impossible and improbable dream, do we believe in a lie? Some people have faith they will be healed and are but if someone had faith but wasn’t healed did they believe in a lie?

How much of the truth do we have to tell someone who asks us a question before they can’t say we left something out, and that we told a lie by omission? If we believe something about someone that isn’t true is it our lie or theirs?

Liar seems to be leveled everywhere at almost everyone, and it might be true we are all liars in big and small ways. When we see someone we haven’t seen in a long time we tell them they look good. Would it be better if we told them, “Wow, you’ve really deteriorated since I saw you last?”

Is telling ourselves we think we can, a lie in the beginning that through hard work, determination, and perseverance becomes the truth? What if we do okay but never reach the pinnacle of success we told ourselves we’d reach, was that a lie?

We love people with a vision, but what is the difference between a prophet and a false prophet initially?

If we see ourselves as honest, trustworthy, fair-minded, and even-handed, but the standards used to judge these things are not looked at the same by everyone, who is wrong?

If we keep our commitments and only commit to things consistent with our values will we at least have personal integrity? Do we often get into trouble by promising more than we can deliver, but do people also expect more than is reasonable? If someone has unmet expectations about us, does that mean we lied about who we are and what we could do?

We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing we fear grows stronger. Tad Williams

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people. Virginia Woolf

The truth is messy, it’s raw and uncomfortable. You can’t blame people for preferring lies. Holly Black

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and 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 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.

Let your light shine and be willing to be seen in all your glory.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You are the light of the world like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. Mathew 5:14

The future belongs to those that believe in their dreams. Often we have the most hesitation and begin to doubt ourselves the most when something is almost finished.

My husband said to me, “Everything is complete for your book.”

“Well, I’m not happy with one of the paintings.”

When I showed it to him, he said, “What’s wrong with it?” I showed him another one I thought I would swap it for; he didn’t like that one better. I’d even thought of painting a new one. It is understandable why some people put what they’ve written in a drawer and leave it there. They never hang up their paintings,(I was like that for years) they only sing in the shower and don’t tell anyone about their dreams or aspirations.

The Bible tells us don’t hide our light under a bushel. What is the point of hiding our abilities, talents, dreams, and ambitions from other people and sometimes even from ourselves? What progress is made if we don’t put forth our best efforts and learn, grow, develop our talents, and develop as people?

We have a few short years to do everything we want to do. I was listening to a podcast yesterday on retirement, he was cautioning us on not buying into longevity bias, we might live a long life, but what if we don’t? What do we want to accomplish, see, and do? Do we have a plan, even the beginning of a plan is better than no plan at all?

Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory. Jim Carey

We can take all the time in the world, or we can make a decision and start to make things happen. It took my whole life to self-publish one book, but after March 7th I will have four self-published books out in the world. What changed, I changed and decided to set goals, and with the heavy lifting of raising children out of the way I have the luxury of time to work on my projects.

It took me so long to complete one book, and part of that was necessary, but part of it was procrastination and not setting goals. One of the things I’ve learned is when we start making decisions in one area of our life we start making decisions in other areas of our lives. As Jim Rohn says, “We eat the apple, we go for the walk, we look after our finances, but if we don’t eat the apple, maybe we don’t go for the walk, and we don’t bother to look after our finances, and instead of everything getting better, it is getting worse.” It’s our choice and those choices add up over time and they can add up to a satisfying, well-lived life, or one of regret.

Whatever it is we want to do, we need to get doing it, time is going, and even if we start now we probably won’t fit everything in. Inspiration is all around us. We don’t know where life will lead us, or what opportunities will come if we take the next step, and if we dig deep we probably know what our next step should be.

Light must come from inside. You cannot ask the darkness to leave; you must turn on the light. Sogyal Rinpoche

Your heart is the light of the world don’t let your mind hide it. Mooji

Love is a weapon of light, and it has the power to eradicate all forms of darkness. That is the key. When we offer love even to our enemies, we destroy their darkness and hatred… Yehuda Berg

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and 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 to those that read 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.