Darkness is covering the world with its evil acts and terrorism. We need to share the Light now more than ever before.
Whether it’s the horrific terrorist attack yesterday in Barcelona, Spain or the KKK and nazis spewing hatred and violence, darkness is covering every nook and cranny of Earth. The only way to keep the darkness at bay is to fight back with these weapons: truth, justice and Light.
Each of us is a carrier of Light, no matter what belief system we follow. We must shine our Light to dispel the darkness. Imagine a single candle in a dark room. It glows a little. Now imagine hundreds of candles in a dark room. The darkness flees and we are basking in light.
Share your Light and spread the truth. Don’t let the darkness win!
From the earliest age, we’re influenced by our family. Sometimes it’s a positive example and sometimes it’s a negative example. We’re taught how to act around others and what’s important in life.
For me, I learned how to respond to others and what mattered most through observing my family. Money, appearances, love, upholding the family name were all important to my family. It wasn’t I got to know other families did I learn that there was more to life than that.
I love this quote by Big Ben because it speaks of kindness and thoughtfulness. Unconditional love comes to mind and that is a trait I share with my chosen family (a group of friends and family I’ve adopted as my own family).
Like Ben, I try to live my life like my father. He loved me with his whole heart and even though we were torn apart by circumstances beyond our control, our love only grew stronger. He taught me the importance of not judging others and loving your enemies.
So, whether you’re a parent, child or friend, be the example of what it means to be a kind, loving family member. Love your family (whether it’s your birth or chosen family) unconditionally and never judge.
Are you struggling with life right now, setting up residence in a dark valley?
Keep focused on what you want to accomplish, knowing that where you’re at is only temporary.
I know life is hard, especially when nothing seems to be going your way. You’re surrounded by strife, darkness and hopelessness. You want to change but don’t know if you have the strength to get yourself out of the muck and mire. You look around you and see people living the good life, wondering how come that can’t happen to you.
I remember earlier this year, struggling with our financial situation. Taxes were due and we were short on funds. I didn’t know where it was going to come from. The darkness was closing in around me. Did I lose faith and surrender? No way! I kept believing that the money would arrive and it did.
As I look back on those times when I was in a dark valley, I’m thankful for getting out of the situation and it makes me grateful for where we are now. If I hadn’t gone through the low periods of life, I wouldn’t sing praises when atop the highest peak!
Read the quote above and gather strength from it. Whether you are in the valley or atop the mountain, your journey is a great one. Each step takes you closer to the promise land, to the life you crave to live. Don’t give up and don’t set up residence in the lowlands. Instead, put one foot in front of the other and be grateful for everything.
When was the last time you took time out to relax?
If it was longer than 24 hours, you’re not taking care of yourself.
The past week I’ve been the embodiment of exhaustion. We’ve come back from vacation and there’s so much to do. Work piles on assignments and more responsibility, our business is taking off, we’re trying to get our upcoming release ready for publication, not to mention MLB and NFL Preseason. Like I told someone yesterday, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
Today is National Relaxation Day and to celebrate, let’s incorporate relaxation in our day today.
But MRS N, you may be asking, I don’t have time to relax.
Make time. It’s not complicated. Even a few minutes a day helps immensely.
What do you do to relax? Share in the comments below.
I go out to our solarium, sit down in my chair and watch the trees, trains and birds. It’s even better than a bubble bath, although that is a close second.
Those of us who live in North America were witness to a weekend of hatred and I, for one, am sick of hate permeating the world like a fatal disease. Did we learn nothing from the past (American Civil War, World War II, Civil Rights Movement)?
There are people in this world who are promoting Nazi propaganda under a new name but the truth is that it is still an attempt to eradicate races. The leaders of white supremacy use fear as their weapon of choice and if you don’t agree with them, they’ll use violence to convince you.
It’s time to make a stand, people. I’m here on this blog platform saying it’s time to promote love and understanding. No one is better than another person. We’re all here on this Earth together and we’re equal. We have the right to exist, thrive and carve out a life, regardless of race, creed or sex. Like flowers, there’s millions of different varieties of human beings in this world and we need to cherish them all.
END THE HATE!
I will no longer be silent. I follow the Golden Rule (Treat others how you’d like to be treated) and so should everyone else.
Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
Are you struggling to even get out of bed this morning?
I woke up this morning to my head aching something awful. All I could think of was how much work I had today and how I couldn’t afford to take a sick day. MR N, bless his soul, comforted me and tried to ease my headache. He poured on the positivity and some of it even sank in.
I don’t feel quite like myself but like a war soldier, I keep moving forward. I don’t accept defeat and there’s no retreating, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.
We all have our struggles and there are days when we feel like we’re facing the firing squad. Here’s where our inner strength comes in. God equips every human being with an unstoppable strength and fortitude. God knows what’s coming and gives His fiercest warriors the most important tasks. We must soldier on!
Today I’m going to keep my head and continue marching forward. Who’s with me?
Psst, happiness is found within through the simple act of gratitude.
I’ve been told by several people throughout the years that happiness is a journey and you’ll be happy when you do ___________ (fill in the blank). Whether it’s finding the right man/woman, marriage, children, house, career, income threshold, I’ll be successful once I do it. I took their advice and was very unhappy. I could’ve saved myself a lot of trouble if I had taken the following to heart:
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
It’s sound advice and a lesson I learned recently. Happiness comes from within and by being grateful for everything (even the bad stuff), peace and contentment flow in my veins. I’m most happy when I’m sitting out on the solarium with my beloved Mr. N, holding hands while watching the trees and birds.
Find your happy place, no matter where it is, and visit it daily. Meditate/Pray over various parts of your life and be grateful. Appreciate everything/everyone in your life and recognize you are truly blessed. Happiness will bloom inside you. I know it sounds corny but it’s true. The simple act of gratitude brings happiness to the forefront of your mind.
Happiness doesn’t come from some adventure (like in Lord of the Rings) but it comes from reminding ourselves what we have already in our lives.
Last weekend, we watched a program talking about the famous Canadian artists known as the Group of Seven. They were a group of men who traveled throughout Northern Ontario and painted landscapes. They were amazing men and created beautiful paintings.
While I was watching the show, a yearning ached in my chest. I need to create and not just for our clients. I need to use my hands to create. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much my imagination felt trapped. I didn’t give it permission to take over because I was just too wrapped up in my day job, getting a book ready for publication and working for our clients. No wonder my imagination resembled a caged tiger.
Today, I’m unleashing my imagination, letting it run wild in the jungle. My spirit is excited and my mind is a curious on-looker, wondering what creation will emerge.
When was the last time you did something for the sheer pleasure of creating? No matter where your imagination leads, follow it. Let the animal out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Like Shaw so eloquently put it, imagination is the starting point of all creations. Let it run wild and see what happens. Let your guard down and just let go. It’s a thrilling process and one I highly recommend.
What do you like to create? Share in the comments below.
Is your perspective mostly positive, mostly negative or somewhere in between?
As many of you know, I’m mostly positive. I look at life through positively rosy lenses. Sure, life can throw obstacles in my way and I have struggled through more stuff than the average person goes through but when it comes down to brass tacks, I’m blessed.
I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a man who loves me more than anything in the world and am making a difference in the world through my words and actions. Everything else is icing on the cake.
It’s time to get a new perspective, people. Instead of looking at what you don’t have or what you haven’t achieved yet, concentrate on all the blessings in your life. Be grateful for everything and try to see the positive in all circumstances. The hardships you’re enduring are strengthening and molding you into the person you’re going to become. Like a diamond, you need pressure to bring out your brilliance.
Did you wake up this morning with a never-ending list of things to accomplish?
I did and let me tell you, the stress lapped at my feet. I have so much to do that I was uneasy. But then I came across this graphic and it gave me pause. Good thoughts… can they really help? I shrugged and tried it. You know what? The stress left me and I feel ready to take on this mountain of tasks!
People underestimate the power of positive thinking but I’m proof-positive that it works. Good thoughts, no matter what they deal with, are a great way to combat stress. Simply telling yourself, “I am beautiful.” or “I can make it through.” or “I can do this.” makes a huge difference and makes your skin glow. A total win-win!
Go ahead and try it for yourself. You’ll soon see your stress leaving and you’ll feel better instantly. 🙂
Are you complacent, happy to rest on what you’ve already accomplished or are you constantly trying to improve yourself?
When I was single, I was always sitting dormant, not trying new things and feeling like I was living in a rut. All that changed when I married MR N. He’s one of the most competitive, driven people I’ve ever met. He’s a competitor, learning and teaching every day, even when he’s exhausted. He taught me the importance of pushing oneself off the cliff of complacency into the stratosphere of possibility.
As an author, it’s easy to fall back on my accolades and praise. The reality is that successful authors, no matter if they are traditionally published or indie, push themselves to keep writing and keep improving their craft. It’s all about the next book, the next series, not what they’ve already written.
Take my advice and be like a tree, always growing and craning your neck towards the sun. Don’t be satisfied with what you’ve already done but continue to grow and reach for new heights.
Do you realize how precious you are? If you were a painting or a piece of jewelry, collectors would outbid each other to win you.
Each of us is a masterpiece, a work of art, a one-of-a-kind collectible, only we don’t realize it. We look at our flaws and see past our uniqueness and beauty. I’m here today to highlight what makes you, you.
Read the quote above aloud and instead of saying you’re not those things, tell yourself, “Yes, I am.” Believe these statements because they’re true.
Over the years, I’ve struggled to see the inner beauty of myself and as a result, have had to deal with self-image and self-esteem issues. I listened to the wrong people and not my inner spirit. I saw myself through an overly-critical lens, concentrating on the bad stuff instead of the good. Now, I concentrate on the positive parts and dismiss the rest. I see myself as MR N sees me with unconditional love. Sure, I falter and a negative comment slips through my lips but I correct myself soon after.
You are loved. I treasure you and this world needs you. There is no one like you.
Are you struggling to concentrate and in need of a break? Maybe you need a prescription of relaxation.
I have just returned from a much-needed vacation and my mind, body and soul are refreshed. Stress isn’t even in the same county as me and it’s all because both MR N and I were able to relax. No devices, no emails, just the two of us at a resort soaking up the sun and spending time together. We laughed at the sheer amount of walking we did, not to mention going up and down the curved staircase in our two-floor suite.
Don’t think you can spare the time for a vacation or even a few days off?
Listen, we’re all crazy-busy and our calendars are overflowing with all the things we need to do but please take my advice and schedule some relaxation time. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it doesn’t have to be for 11 days. Do what works best for you and your finances.
Relaxation is so important for your health (both physical and mental). Shut your brain off from the stress and turmoil of your life. Soak in the relaxation and let your body and mind rejuvenate itself. Trust me, you’ll thank me for the advice.
When life throws you down a dark vortex where you can’t see what’s in front of you, where you have no idea what to do next, how do you make it through? I focus on my inner joy. It can be a happy memory, a future event that you’re really excited about, a thought you can meditate or a place to go to.
Last October, we started planning our Summer vacation. Last year’s vacation was a nightmare and we were more stressed out when we came back than when we left. We discussed it and decided to go all out for our 2017 vacation. We scrimped and saved everything we could to make it happen. We endured hardships and there were a few times when I doubted we could make it. But here we are, one day and hours from our dream vacation.
How did I deal with the stress and anxiety?
Simple. I thought about our suite at the resort we’ll be staying at, with its skylight over our bed, the fireplace nook and the exquisite food at the restaurant on-site. This thought, this idea, this place was my inner joy, my secret sanctuary, and it got me through anything that came my way.
What’s your secret sanctuary?
Whenever you’re in the midst of stress, anxiety or whatever dark cavern you may be stuck in, concentrate on your inner joy and like the quote says, the joy will purge the pain and strife.
Did you know your smile is the greatest weapon of Light you possess?
Every smile you bestow is like a soothing salve to others, more addictive than your favorite junk food. When you smile a genuine smile, people will want to be closer to you and to discover why you’re smiling.
I remember a good friend of mine that I used to work with when I was a bookstore manager. No matter what was going on or how busy it got in the store, she smiled. She’d wish everyone a great day, even the grumpiest customers, with a kind word and a smile. I watched with amazement as each person’s face would change and they couldn’t help but smile.
Dealing with a hard day or a bad mood? Smile and watch the world around you shift from moody to happiness. It doesn’t take any effort to smile and the lasting effects on others can’t be measured but I’d bet it makes a huge difference.
This is the last week before vacation and both MR N and I are feeling overwhelmed. The stress is high, so high in fact that I’ve developed a skin rash (Hives). I can’t get away from the stress and honestly, all I want to do is escape to our summer vacation a few days early. Since that isn’t possible, I deal with the stress the best way I know how: I follow the above 5 tips.
Stress affects us all in different ways and it’s how we cope that matters. Don’t internalize the stress but release it. Go for a walk or get some exercise. Take deep breaths. Realize you can only control what you can control. Eat healthy. Be gentle with yourself and keep your temper in check (no flying off the handle).
Once we take these steps to deal with stress, we won’t feel so overwhelmed. Stress will take a vacation, at least for a little while, and that is the best feeling in the world.
Are you struggling and it feels like the world is against you?
It’s time to refocus. Instead of saying to yourself, “woe is me”, envision you’re a mighty airplane and take off. Airplanes, no matter the size, take off against the wind. That’s pretty impressive when you think about it. An airplane, in order to reach its destination, first has to encounter massive resistance. It can’t leave the ground, let alone fly, without gravity and wind pushing against it.
What if, today and every day, we imagine ourselves to be a jet and every obstacle we receive is just allowing us to fly to new heights?
Shift your perspective and welcome resistance. Before you know it, you’ll be flying among the stars.
Every day I wake up, thinking about my upcoming vacation. I pine for it, think about it constantly and it’s my motivation right now. No matter how steep my workload is or all that I have to do, I think about the oasis I’m soon to be in and it gives me a jolt of energy.
We all have times throughout the year where we feel stressed, stymied and in need of a break. Our minds don’t wanna work as hard, our bodies are exhausted and we snap at loved ones. It’s time to plan an escape, even if its for a few hours.
We have a family of hawks in our neighborhood. On the weekends, MR N and I love to watch the hawks soar overhead, looking for its latest meal. They’re so majestic and their wingspan is impressive. Once they’ve eaten, they soar to the tallest evergreen tree to rest.
The hawks are the perfect example for us this morning. They’re motivated by hunger and take flight. We can do the same. By spreading our wings and concentrating on our goal (for me it’s my vacation), we climb higher and higher into the sky.
If you’re in need of motivation, be like a bird and fly.
Are you struggling with life and feel like your dreams are out of reach?
Making your dreams a reality comes down to a series of single steps. Taking one step at a time, edging closer to your goals, is the most effective way to reaching your dreams. Sure, you can try to take a shortcut but in my experience, it only detours you.
Five years ago, if you had told me I’d be a published author and co-running an author promotions business, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would’ve told you, and I quote, “You’re freakin’ out of your mind. I’m not an entrepreneur; I can’t even balance our household budget.” It’s interesting what can happen in five years when you take it one step at a time.
It’s not easy, making your dreams come true. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, faith and sacrifices. They’ll be obstacles so high, you won’t have a clue how you’ll overcome. The key is to not pole vault to the finish line but to take it one step at a time.
What goals/dreams are you pursuing? Feeling worn out or discouraged? Don’t be. Instead, look at all you’ve accomplished then focus on the next step. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Are you your own life coach, believing in yourself when no one does?
Last night, we watched MLB’s Home Run Derby. We hadn’t watched it in a few years but we wanted to see Aaron Judge from the New York Yankees put on a show. Aaron Judge is 6′ 7″ and leads the league in home runs. He’s a giant on the field and the Home Run Derby wouldn’t be relevant if Judge wasn’t in it.
Through each round, players hit monster home runs but each time Judge hit, everyone stopped and watched him, awe shining in their eyes. His raw power and speed on display for all to see. But it’s his story that also resonates. He was adopted the day after he was born to two teachers. He worked hard, especially in the minor leagues. When he got called up last Fall, he stunk. His batting average was poor and was sent down to the minors.
Did that stop him? Do you think he gave up on himself and quit?
No! He worked harder than ever and this Spring, made the starting team. He’s having a Ruth-like year and as a baseball fan, he’s exciting to watch. I know in my gut that he never stopped believing in himself and is a prime example of what it takes to believe in yourself when the rest of the world doesn’t.
Believe in yourself because if you don’t, then no one else will. It’s more than confidence, believing in yourself propels you into the Universe and brings your dreams within your grasp. You won’t reach your dreams unless you have an unwavering belief in yourself and what you can achieve.
Take a look around and you’ll see why it’s so important to respect one another.
The world is filled with hatred, jealousy, greed, etc. Various world leaders engage in a war of words that could set off the end of the world for all of us. Average, normal people act in ways that prop up hatred and violence. It’s easy to let darkness cover our hearts and follow others’ examples but I’m begging you to resist going down that path. Instead, follow my example and respect one another.
We all have different beliefs and we’re special in our own way. We’re unique in our life experiences and perceptions. Instead of pointing out our differences, let’s respect each other. We may not agree with everyone but that doesn’t give us the right to judge.
So whether it is online or in person, listen to what the other person is saying and coming from. Respect them as a fellow human being. You don’t have to be a ‘yes’ man or woman, just an understanding one.
NOTE FROM N. N. LIGHT: There won’t be a Friday Book Round-Up this week. It will return next week (July 14th).
Do you follow your instincts or wait for your head to catch up?
For as long as I can remember, my instincts have never failed me. Whether it’s choosing friends, lovers, opportunities or which way to go when lost, my instincts let me know what’s the best thing to do or where to go.
Instincts are nothing more than a feeling but many people ignore them, choosing to listen to their own head (or logic) instead. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious and using logic through critical thinking to make a decision. But sometimes logic fails us. I’ll give you an example.
When MR N and I were deciding what our future plans would entail back when we were dating, we talked about who would move where. He suggested moving to Canada for five years and then seeing what we felt like doing next. I told him I had to think about it and I did. I sat down and wrote the pros and cons. See, I was living in California with my family surrounding me. If I moved to Canada, I’d be leaving friends and family in order to be with the man I loved. My head told me to stay and my instincts told me to go. I went with my instincts and I’ve never looked back.
Instincts are your inner compass, seeing the winds of change/opportunity long before your head does. Trust in your instincts and let them guide you.
The stress and exhaustion is at an all-time high for us. It’s the big countdown to our vacation and we’re busier than ever. How do we release our stress? We laugh.
When we laugh, we release much-needed endorphins and honestly, it just feels good. Whether it’s a television show, movie, book or even a hilarious news story, we find it funny and laugh. Go ahead and laugh; it’s healthy and natural medicine.
Summer has arrived and while some of us are on vacation (16 days until we go on vacation), many of us are dealing with an overloaded workload. The kids are out of school and looking for stuff to do. Friends want to get together and all you want to do is go to the beach.
When my life gets cluttered, I seek the simple things. Soothing music, an absorbing book, fresh flower bouquets my husband brings home, good food, a few cocktails and snuggling with Mr. N are just a few of my summertime pleasures. While they may not seem exciting or thrilling, they bring me peace and happiness.
Life can get chaotic, especially during the Summer. Find joy in the little things and you’ll be at peace.
What do you do to escape the busyness of your life? Share in the comments below.