Book Reviews, I Am More Than Just a Girl Book, Writing

What Are Your Wildest Expectations?

Mine are to make a positive difference in the world while creating what I love through art and writing.

According to Honie Briggs, one of her wildest expectations is “…everyone on the planet needs clean water, fresh air, nutritious food and liberty to be at their best. Each of us deserves to be free from poverty, fear and oppression.” That’s pretty wild to most people, but not impossible. I love that she writes without judgement, but is still opinionated. If you need a laugh, a mental bandaid or inspiration subscribe to her blog.

Honie is an indie author with a diverse and unique background. She is a veteran of the Air Force, a mother, a traveler and an inspiration for dreamers.  She has self published a book of fiction, “Summoning the Strength“. Her book follows Katherine Doyle  as she and the women in her life  make way through a changing world.  What I really like is when she states  “Grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and daughters make the same journey no matter the vehicle.” This is so true, but one it took me some time to learn.  We all have ups and downs, life is not perfect for anyone even those at peace because we do not live in a world of peace. We live in a world where the the one thing you can count on is we will change.  Even with cahnge, we will all take the same journey from birth to death.

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This blogger has joined my blog challenge with her post, http://honiebriggs.com/2012/02/16/beyond-a-wild-expectation. She is one of 500 bloggers who will share my book with girls and young women. My book can be read for free on my website and has resources and information for empowering young women. It is non-denominational and not affiliated with any organizations.

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Empowering Discussions

Listen and Ask.

The action of asking is quite powerful.  Once you know what you want, ask for it and you will most likely get it.  If you don’t get what you want then you will learn something new. At the very least you will learn that person you asked is not the right fit for what you need.

I was quite reserved about asking anyone for help as a child and young woman. It took me years to learn that I could ask for help and it did not mean I was weak or incompetent.  Asking the right questions has improved my life. I learned to ask for help, guidance and instructions instead of hoping I was doing things the right way. It keeps me from failing with important things and becoming overwhelmed.  Once I overcame my fear of asking I learned to listen. Really it works better the other way around, but this is my story. Listening is a key action to take so that you will know the right questions to ask.  The more I grow and the more often I listen and wait to speak the more I learn.  I am amazed that it took me this long to figure this out because it is really quite simple. It seems I learned to not listen to myself, but to listen to others telling me that if I do this and that everything will be fine and I do not need to question anything else.  I suppose being the youngest of 5 kids this was a natural trait to learn. Silly me!

Sometimes I forget to listen and I start asking questions that do one of three things. Not listening before I ask leads me in circles, frustrates the person I ask or causes people to lose interest in me.

If you would like to learn how to listen you can try what I did.  Focus on the other person. If my mind starts wandering I repeat in my head everything they say until I am once again engaged in what they are saying.  When I am in a meeting or about to meet a new person I tell myself that it is important to listen and to pay attention.

I do not doodle. I do not scratch my head, play with my pencil or daydream.  When I fidget I begin to focus on that action instead of whoever is speaking.  So move distractions away from you.  If you need to take notes, write down key points and  set your pencil down until your next note. Do not hold onto your pencil.

Eye contact is also very important. When I keep eye contact with the person who is speaking than it is easier for me to listen because I am keeping my attention on them. If you are not used to using much eye contact, then just make eye contact occasionally until it is simply as natural as breathing. Mentally remind yourself or write down  to look people in the eye.

Once you have got listening down you will find it easier to ask the right questions.  Think before you speak and don’t rush yourself. Articulate your words so that you do not talk to fast and end up mumbling.  It is good to state your questions in a clear voice. Don’t be too loud. Use your inside voice, unless you are in a noisy location.  I have a terrible habit of mumbling or talking too low.  These days I notice when I do this and instantly remind myself to slow down and speak clearly.

Have a game plan. Think about what you want to ask before you meet that person.

What exactly do you need to ask for?  Don’t beat around the bush, come right out and state what you need. This will give you a better response. Other questions to ask yourself are as follows. What skills do you have that will help you? What are you capable of giving to get what you want?  What can you offer the other person in return?

A few weeks ago I asked a blogger I admire if I could write a guest post.  She was responsive and I was invited to write a guest post on self defense on her blog, Marinagraphy. You can see my post here: http://marinagraphy.com/importance-fighting-back/ I was thrilled to have this chance to share my work with  more people on a blog I respect and enjoy reading.

I asked over the internet, but still I took the initiative to ASK!   I did not listen to her but I carefully read what she wrote in response and made sure the article I sent her was in line with what she needed for her blog.  Taking your time to read carefully is important. Have you ever replied to an email, post or new contact to quickly and than realized you had messed up? Sometimes you can delete a post, but sometimes you can’t.  Take your time. Listen. Ask.

I hope you find this post useful.

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Empowering Discussions

Focus on one action!

It is true that what we focus on controls our life.   I used to want to be rich. I would try anything to make money.  I just knew that a million dollars was always around the corner. I didn’t have a focus though.  I was so busy trying the next big thing, the easiest way, the path of least work or working on something I wasn’t interested in that I was all over the place.

When we focus, we accomplish goals. Think of when you were in school and had to write a book report. You probably got a better grade and felt real accomplishment when you focused and didn’t just throw something together that looked good.  Look, it isn’t rocket science. When we focus on what we want we succeed. Those genius kids that go to college at 16, the world famous cello player, the presidents of countries and Fortune 500 companies did not get that far by chance. They focused on what they loved, on what mattered to them and they got it.

So when you feel like giving up, when you hit that wall. Rearrange your focus. Think about what works.  Are you wasting your time trying to do everything?  Do you have a to-do list a mile long?  Put your focus only on what will help you, not everything under the sun.

I am telling you this from personal experience. After 3 decades,  I finally learned to focus on what works instead of everything.  Here is an affirmation for you.

My focus is straight.

I will work smartly on this action.

My attention will stay right where it belongs.

I am focused!

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Empowering Discussions

More Refreshing Than an Ice Cold Soda.

What is more refreshing than an ice cold soda on a hot summer day?   Honesty and Wonder.

Wherever  I turn there are lies, manipulation and drama. It is popular to be bad and cause drama. Why? Drama equals great ratings which in turn equals lots of money.  Ahh, greed.  It has yet to go out of style. Who can amass the most!  Let’s make lots of money so we can buy shiny things and go cool places.   But I am going off subject a bit.  Greed is just a crappy little byproduct of dishonesty.

Soda! Pffft,  I mean who even knows what’s in that stuff? Oh, well… actually I do, and it is not pretty.  What refreshes me these days?  Honesty, open minds, acceptance, love that is given without any thing expected in return. Ten years ago I would have rolled my eyes at this post or just passed it by. I would think, “I am not greedy because I want lots of money for shiny things. I am not into drama, I simply make life interesting. I don’t lie, I embellish so people will like me more. I am like everyone else”.  Well, it turns out that yea, I was greedy and I could never buy enough shiny things to refresh, I couldn’t tell enough lies to impress. I couldn’t get enough of the drama.  But now…..  now I want something that will last forever, that will not go away just because my situation is not ideal.

A lot has happened in 1o years. I  learned more about the world. I fell in love and lost. I saw friends die. I rid myself of people that did not treat me well. I overcame tragedy that I thought would break me forever.  But who hasn’t had this happen? These are not uncommon events.  They paved the way for me to stop and think why I wasn’t happy. I started to look around at the wonders in places I had forgotten or never known.  I learned that the game of life I was playing wasn’t the one that made me happy. I needed a new board, but didn’t know where to get one.  Change did not happen overnight. I made mistakes, I continue to make mistakes.  The difference now, is that I pay attention. I know what I am worth. I am worth a lot, more than you can see with your eyes. You’d have to spend a lot of time with me to see how much I am worth.

I do not feed the drama monster. I do not get involved with people that are angry. I do not lie. When I read, hear or see honesty I feel so happy. I makes me feel like despite all that is wrong, it will be okay.  I do not need to lie others. I don’t need to invent stories or embellish to get what I want.  Manipulation is not part of my day. Drama is not as entertaining to me as humor and kindness and the amazement this world has to offer.  Instead of being bored I ask questions. What can I do now that will bring me joy?  How can I improve this situation? What wonder will greet me today?

Today I feel refreshed because I found wonder in this world. 

What refreshes you? What is better than an ice cold soda on a hot summer day?

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Book Reviews

You Matter

I have posted before about abusive relationships and I will no doubt post in the future.  Let me make this very clear for those of you who don’t get it.  You matter! You deserve to be treated like the wonderful person you are. You deserve to be loved.

I like this book that can be used for FEMALES AND MALES!  “”Ditch That Jerk: Dealing with Men Who Control and Hurt Women” by Pamela Jayne.  Look for it at your local library or it is available on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Ditch-That-Jerk-Dealing-Control/dp/0897932838

Being aware of controlling and abusive behavior gives you the power to run your life, but also saves you a lot of grief.  How many people have you met in life that were rude, mean or abusive?  I have met hundreds.  I am related to men and yes WOMEN who are abusive to their partners, children, friends and strangers.  Often they were very charming towards me, but then I learned about things they did to those with whom they had a lot of contact.

Please believe me when I say that whatever wrongs you have done in your past (rapists, abusers and child molesters not included) you DO NOT deserve to be treated badly by someone who says they love you.  You were not born useless or stupid or pathetic. Those are just the sort of things mean people say or imply to control you.  Don’t believe them.

Kick abusive, manipulative, controlling losers out of your life and do not under any circumstances turn around to give them a second chance. Love does not hurt. Love is not pain. Love is not suffering. Love is not obeying.

Love is beauty.  Love feels good. Love is comfort. Love is respect. Love is good.

“You matter. You do not have to put up with people who treat you badly.”

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Book Reviews, Empowering Discussions

Anger and Stress Management

Anger is a healthy emotion, but when you act out violently it becomes unhealthy. Violence can be expressed in an emotional or physical way. Only you can take control of your anger and choose not to lash out at other people. Take the time to think about what is upsetting you.
Ask yourself questions.
What part of this situation is making me feel so angry?
Is there another reason, maybe a previous situation that is causing me to react angrily right now?
What peaceful actions can I take to change this situation?


An affirmation can help you control your emotions in a bad situation. When you create an affirmation use positive words that reflect your goal. Leave out negative words like never, no, against or stop. Replace those with words like always, yes, for and go. Create your own or use the affirmation below. Repeat as needed.

MY THOUGHTS ARE PEACEFUL THOUGHTS
MY WORDS ARE PEACEFUL WORDS
MY ACTIONS ARE PEACEFUL ACTIONS

When you feel angry try these tips to CALM DOWN.
Walk away from the situation.
Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Repeat this step until you feel calm.
Talk to someone you trust. It can be a teacher, mentor, friend or family member.
Count backwards to refocus your concentration. This will give you time to think of what to do next.
Keep a journal and write how you are feeling. Keep track of what upset you and how you dealt with your anger.

YOU CAN’T ALWAYS CHANGE HOW YOU FEEL, BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHOOSE HOW YOU ACT!

This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your feelings or pretend that you are okay when you are not.  This is advice to help you cope with bad situations in a empowered manner. This blog post is an excerpt from my book, “I Am More Than Just a Girl” available at morethanagirl.webs.com

What advice for stress or anger has been helpful to you? Please share in the comment box below.

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Book Reviews, I Am More Than Just a Girl Book

You are Beautiful – book excerpt

Go to the mirror right now and tell your reflection you love her.

Say clearly and out loud “I LOVE YOU”.

Love your body, it’s the only one you have. Be grateful for your body. Tell yourself that you are beautiful. Say clearly and out loud “I AM BEAUTIFUL”.

There are images everywhere of how people are supposed to look. You see models and movie stars with perfectly smooth skin, skinny bodies, wearing revealing clothing, painfully high heels and a gallon of makeup. This is only one idea of beauty. It is not real though. It is an illusion. You are being sold a way of looking and told you will only be beautiful if you look that way. It is just not true. You are beautiful. Look around you at your family, friends and strangers on the street. What do you see? Do you see perfection or do you see people who look different and beautiful? We are all beautiful in our own unique packaging.
We have different skin colors, heights, weights, hair colors, and textures. We have scars, some of us have lost limbs or lost hair, but we are still beautiful. We are not all shaped the same way. Some of us are very curvy, some of us not so much. We like to dress in colorful scarves, jeans, skirts, boots, sandals, T-shirts! We are casual, elegant, messy. We stand out! Beauty is up to you, the individual. It is what you see and love. We create our own definition that belongs to each us and it is not the same.
Don’t believe that you have to look a certain way to be beautiful.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL no matter what anyone says.

Read more from my book here: MoreThanAGirl.webs.com

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FEATURES?  WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR BODY?

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