Friday Readers’ Grab-bag

Happy Friday! This post is a bit premature, but I’m setting it and sending it anyway. I’m kind of weird like that. It’s in my head and I want it out to make room for more stuff.

Moving forward, as I earn my way into more inboxes and create ever more useful content and products for you, it is my hope that many of you will find this space to be one for sharing, reflecting and questioning. On Fridays, I’d like to create a “Reader Mailbag” kind of article each week: a column/article that addresses readers’ questions or quandries about anything you deem important to modern women.

So, here’s what I need from you, my readers: your ideas and questions for discussion! Please? You can post them directly in the comments below this post, or send them to me in an email for a bit more privacy and confidentiality. Either way, I’ll answer them here on Fridays. Fair game?

Can’t wait to hear from you all soon!

Center-punched Sideways Again!

How do I keep getting knocked so far off track that I’m not even sure I’m still on the same internet as my readers? By now, I’m sure my readers recognize the signs and the pattern. Yep, when I step away and get quiet, it means that I’m questioning (again?!) my purpose, mission, goals, and how best to implement all that in my “real” life. My writing life.

I have thousands – hundreds of thousands- of words in my head and on my heart which I believe could be of great benefit to today’s women – women at various ages and states of life, but especially young women in the teen, young adult, and new adult categories.

Many of the projects in my head are stories about strong women in history, real and imagined, which I feel modern women can learn so much from. Other projects are non-fiction, books initially, but with potential for workbooks, journals, study guides, workshops, online courses, etc.

I used to question the wisdom of leaving out the whole male population as my potential audience. But I don’t anymore. My message simply isn’t for them. Sometimes when I run my ideas by my husband, I see his eyes glaze over. Zero interest. And that’s fine. I suspect, and hope, that a few of my novels and stories will cross the gender line, but if not then it’s men’s loss.

Over the next few weeks, expect to see one. more. overhaul… of this blog as I create the new content and pull all the pieces together for a final re-launch. This is it. My time is here.

A Warrior-Strong Mindset, Part 1: Aisha

Months ago, I read a book by Sherry Jones about Muhammed’s youngest wife, Aisha. (The Jewel of Medina) It was a fictionalized account of a historical figure and her life which stirred up a lot of controversy in the Muslim community, controversy which I have NO interest in engaging. Let me be clear: no controversy here.

What stayed with me long after I had finished reading the book was the powerful warrior that this young woman became, in spite of society’s limitations and censure. Aisha refused to let the limitations and censure define her. Instead, she ignored them, developed her own skills, and taught those skills to Muhammed’s other wives. This enabled them to defend their home on at least one occasion when Muhammed and his men were away at battle and marauders came calling.

Aisha’s bravery and warrior-strong mindset inspired me to further develop my own. The rest of this month’s series of posts will examine just how that can be achieved.

Core Desired Feeling: Abundance

Read Isaiah 54-55

I selected the word “abundance” while reflecting on my financial reality and business resources. These two areas need a serious infusion of abundance in 2016!

Then I read Isaiah 54-55, which cracked my heart and my mind wide open to the possibilities! God offers and promises his people abundance in everything:

children and family (54:1-3)

protection and honor (54:4-8)

peace (54:9-10)

stronghold and weaponry (54:11-17)

physical necessities and money (55:1-2)

international influence (55:3-5)

physical AND spiritual sustenance (55:6-13)

My favorite verse is Isaiah 55:2 which says “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.”

God tells us to be delighted with abundance, not to struggle for it or feel guilty when we have it. This will be a new mindset for me this year!

CDF: Creative

When some people talk about creativity, they limit the concept to pursuits which are obviously artistic, such as painting, sculpting, dancing, craft projects, and the like. But using it as a Core Desired Feeling for 2016 means so much more! Creativity as a CDF is about claiming and developing a creative mindset. It is about approaching challenges as opportunities to “think outside the box” and practice creative problem solving.

Creativity is energizing for me, though some may find it draining. Seeking to create beauty in everything I do – cooking, cleaning, gardening, parenting, exercising, teaching, writing – makes me happy. Another 2016 CDF? Bonus! And it enriches the lives of the people around me, like my family, my readers, and my students.

Infusing my life with creativity increases and enhances my happiness and blesses others.


Happy Birthday, Pretty Princess!!

12 years ago today, at 7:36 am, a beautiful soul that I had met in my dreams months before arrived in my physical world, changing me and my life forever. Named after 2 incredibly strong women, Kimberly Margot has brought more joy, challenge, and love to my life than anyone before or since. I am constantly in awe of her talents, her confidence, and her beauty- inside and out.
You rock my world, pretty, pretty princess! I love you forever. Happy birthday!!

2016 CDF: Warrior-Strong

Several years ago, one of the books or blogs I was reading about feminine identity discussed the use of military language in success and business literature. It identified the terms as appealing more to men, of being “masculine” in nature. It suggested that the use of words like “battle,” “strategy,” “weapons,” along with a focus on physical and mental strength over psychic and emotional strength alienated women from the discussion and left them at a disadvantage.

The argument was well-formed and presented logically. I agreed with some of the points and conceded that some women could be alienated or put off by militant or warlike imagery and language usage.

BUT… these days I find myself motivated by it. Thus my choice of the term warrior-strong for one of my 2016 core desired feelings. It’s the only word I carried over from 2015- it is my “through-line.” Last year, it addressed my desire to strengthen my body and my health. Limited progress was made in that arena. I believe that expanding the definition to apply to every area of my life will significantly improve my effectiveness and progress. I want to be warrior-strong in my physical body, my mindset, my creative output, my career strategy, my interpersonal relationships.

All of life.


CDFs: Happiness vs. Anger

For the past few years, I have dismissed “happy” as a potential Core Desired Feeling (CDF) out-of-hand. It seemed like an empty, assumed, and sort of pretentious choice. So I avoided it. Completely. But this year, I realized that, truly, it was the “elephant in the room.” Of course I wanted to be happy! Who didn’t? And what’s wrong with claiming that desire? Short answer: Nothing. So THIS year my primary CDF is happiness.

I’ve spent much of my adult life being angry. In most cases, justifiably so. I have chosen to deal with life’s hurts, disappointments, inequitable and unfair circumstances with anger as a self-protective strategy to cover any pain, fear, sadness, and depression- successfully, overall. I have chosen anger over tears for two reasons:

  • If I start crying, I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop.
  • Crying is weak, leaves me further vulnerable, and changes nothing. I’ve been on my own for most of my adult life with no one to lean on. I don’t have the luxury of being weak. Not. Even. A. Little. Bit!

I recently found this quote: “You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.” ~Florida Scott-Maxwell

I love the image of being “fierce with reality.” Coming to terms with my anger, and choosing happiness instead, allows me a ferocious strength in my joy and in our future.

With much ferocious love,


Core Desired Feelings

Several years ago, I read “The Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte. I learned all about how goal achievement is hugely dependent on the extent to which the goals make us feel the way we want to feel.

Up to that point, I had always made my goals based on what I “should” be accomplishing at any given stage of my life or career, with very mixed results — and very little satisfaction or sense of fulfillment. Clearly, D was on to something!

It made sense that if I determined how I wanted to feel, and created goals that would contribute to those feelings, then I would be far more motivated to reach the goals. And it worked!

So once again, this year, I’m choosing my core desired feelings (or CDFs) to drive my life and business goals. This year’s CDFs are:

  • happiness
  • creativity
  • abundance
  • warrior-strong

I asked my husband for his CDFs to incorporate into our family/life goals:

  • progress
  • money/financial wealth

I will examine and discuss each of our choices over the next few weeks as I figure out how each is important to our annual goals, moving forward through 2016.

What are your theme words or CDFs for 2016? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Welcome 2016!

I am so glad to start this new year! I went into 2015 knowing that it would be a stagnant year focused mostly on survival. I made the best of it, stayed afloat, and made the effort to stay engaged with life in spite of some personal difficulties and challenges.

2016 WILL BE different! The title of my health journal says it all: “My Year To Grow.” I am poised on the brink of a new year with some books to publish, a newly-emerging career path, a potentially lucrative business plan and, most importantly, a clear sense of hopefulness and happiness. Here’s wishing my readers all the best in the coming year.

Welcome 2016!

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