Watch the Magic Happen

Last week, I finally began writing the first draft of my next book. I had been thinking a great deal about this writing project for the past few months, and I had several ideas percolating in my head. But during this time, I was never able to actually start the book. It seemed whenever I would sit down at the computer, something else would always need my attention. I would check my emails, write my blogs, make flyers, read the news, feed the dog – there were definitely plenty of distractions. As this kept happening, I was frustrated with myself and my inability to write. But as I examined my feelings a bit more closely, I realized that there was a reason I was procrastinating. I was nervous about my future as a writer. I wondered if perhaps the inspiration for this book wouldn’t come as easily as it did for The Refuge. In that novel, the story flowed through me quite easily. Maybe that wouldn’t again. And what if when I finished this book, it wasn’t as good as the last one? Would that mean I wasn’t meant to be a writer? These fears were holding me back. It was time for me to face them and move forward – no more procrastinating.

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Dance the Night Away

Music can reach us in deep and meaningful ways. Its melodies can stir our very souls emitting every range of emotion. Music can make us laugh, and it can make us cry. It can even take us back to simpler times. When we hear certain songs on the radio, they remind us of places we have been or people we have known. One song can take us back to a time in our lives that we had long forgotten. Music moves us in powerful ways. It can reconnect us with our past and inspire us for our future. And music can even change the way we feel. Uplifting music can bring smiles to the glummest faces, and even our angriest emotions can be calmed when we listen to gentle, soothing melodies. Through music we feel all our emotions, and that is how it helps us heal. 

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Sacred Intentions

The winter solstice is the darkest and longest night of the year. But once that night is over, we begin to move back toward the light as the days gradually begin to lengthen once more. The winter solstice reminds us that if we can survive the darkness, the light will always return. This can also be said about the experiences in our lives, for even when things appear at their darkest, there is always a flicker of light and hope within us. Reflecting upon this inner light, we can help bring forth our hopes and visions for the future. And the best way to do this is by setting our sacred intentions. Sacred intentions are what we hope for or want to have happen in the coming year. They are sacred because they come from our hearts and souls rather than from our intellects. We feel their importance within us and know they are the very things we want to create next in our lives. The winter solstice, when we come through the darkness and into the light, is a powerful time for setting our sacred intentions.

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Love with Your Heart Wide Open

Spending time with the different people in our lives can teach us many life lessons. But the one I want to focus on today is the importance of loving people wherever they are at on their lives’ journeys. During the holiday season, many of us spend more time with families, friends, co-workers, or neighbors than we usually do. And even if our time with them is limited, many of them are still on our minds. Whether we are scanning the aisles in desperate search for the perfect gift (Christmas sweater, anyone?) or pondering why Grandma’s fruitcake is still on the menu, friends and families are a part of our lives – although sometimes, spending time with them can be challenging. When things don’t go as planned, we find ourselves feeling frustrated and disappointed. But, the people in our lives are who they are. So, that’s why it is so important to show them as much acceptance and love as we can.

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The Language of Love

During this busy holiday season, many of us want to show our family and friends how much we care. We may buy them expensive gifts, cook a special dinner, make a homemade craft, or plan fun holiday festivities. Whatever we choose to do, our ultimate goal is to let them know they are loved. But, perhaps before we buy those gifts or cook that dinner, we should take a look at Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. In this book, Dr. Chapman explains that all of us express and experience love in one of five different “love languages.” The five languages are: physical touch, receiving gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, and quality time. Usually, people give love in the same way that they want to receive it. But, that’s not always the best way for those closest to us to experience love, which is why learning the love languages of our family and friends is so important. Once we learn how our family and friends want to receive love, we can show it to them in the ways that mean the most to them. They will feel valued, appreciated, and above all, truly loved.

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