Friday, April 25, 2014

Going Indie: When Life Says “Wake Up!”

In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .

Staring change and opportunity in the eyes.

Musical Moment ~ “Still Writing In My Diary – 2nd Entry ” Petey Pablo

 I fell off the blogging wagon for a while but it was for a good reason or for good, yet not so good reasons. This last year was extremely challenging. My dog died last Spring, I broke my leg last Summer, in the Fall my best friend (the second one) died within three weeks of her cancer’s reappearance after a three year reprieve, the Fall/Winter I got really ill with a respiratory virus for a couple of months, and then as a New Year treat, I herniated the disc in my lower back and for the first time truly understood what people meant when they said the words “sciatica pain”.  Outside of dealing with these challenges and sadness’s, the last few months have been filled with deep reflection and a new thirst for living my dreams. This is what I have learned:

~ Losing one best friend will shake you up; losing three in a year and a half is a wake up call.

~ As we know, life is short. It may not seem so as you go through your days and the weeks and months slip by, but when you take the time to look back on your history, you can see where you have started things/projects and continued or where you just stopped…or have forgotten.  You can see all you have experienced to get to this moment in your life: the amazing places you visited, the things you refer to in your repeated stories as “the best thing ever” and promised to do again (and now realize it was over ten years ago), the dear friendships and family members you have lost touch with. The question is always, “How did that happen?” Yes, time has wings and will fly by as we focus on things that do not move us toward our passionate and purposeful lifetime dreams. Being as present as we can be in an ever-changing and challenging world can be hard with everything else we juggle, but happiness is possible by allowing ourselves the time and dedication to focus on our own dreams. As I said, this life is short.
Social media is a wonderful tool to be seen, heard, and to stay in touch with people especially those not in your daily life, but it is a time suck and if you want to fulfill your heart’s deepest desires and achieve your goals/dreams, you need time and unplugging from the “who’s doing what” curiosity is a great way to begin focusing on living your passions and doing “your thing” - be it travel, art, music, poetry, philanthropy, volunteering or, as in my case, becoming an author. Taking breaks from social media (even a day) will refresh you.

~ Deciding is a powerful thing to do.

~ Doing the thing you have decided to do is even more powerful.

~ Find hero’s in your life and let them be a source of comfort and inspiration.

My parents are mine as they taught me to love, have a strong work ethic and to be fierce, loyal, and as honest as humanly possible.

I also admire musician Ani Difranco who is the same age as I. Ani has owned her own record label since the age of eighteen. She has successfully navigated the world of music on her own terms, making music she loves and not compromising on her vision. She is a folk/punk/rocker with strong lyrics and an even stronger mind. I have been a fan of hers since 1994 and she has been a beacon of understanding my own needs to not completely conform.

There are so many writers I could name, but that would be too long a list. Here’s a few though: JK Rowling (Harry Potter), Kate DiCamillo (Tales of Despereaux), Kathryn Lasky (The Guardians of Ga’Hoole series”, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House series), Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Erin Hunter (Warrior series), Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way), Gennita Low, Jude Deveraux, Christina Dodd, Elizabeth Bevarly, Teresa Medeiros, Connie Brockway, Lisa Kleypas, Sandra Brow, Linda Howard, Denise Linn, Sonia Choquette, and Lynn Andrews (everything they have ever written).

~ Seek adventures, as they will expand your mind, your heart, and provide inspiration to learn, to excel, and to feel alive.

~ Travel as far as you can go and meet people similar and different from you to learn about the beautiful and diverse humans we live among.

~ Read poetry! As my husband’s wonderful Aunt Natalie tells us, “Poetry will transform you life”. (Thanks for teaching me this, Matt Forrest!)

~ In the best of times and the worst of times, laughter is the truly the best of the best medicine.

Do you take the time to look back on your life? What life lessons have you learned? Have they helped you walk or run toward your heart’s desire or have you realized you are living it and commit more firmly to making it even better?
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