Wisdom from Rumi

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Words matter…Advice to keep in mind before speaking your mind.

Replace Your Fantasies

Replace Your Fantasies

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A longtime fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to receiving their daily emails. This recent message stresses the importance of releasing our fantasies:

The older we grow, and the more real-world tragedies and challenges we witness, the more we realize how incredibly blessed we are, and how frequently the fantasies in our heads hold us back from these present blessings. In fact, you’ve likely fantasized your way into headaches and heartaches dozens of times in the past year alone. We all do this to a greater or lesser extent…

We stress ourselves out, because of fantasies.

We procrastinate to the point of failure, because of fantasies.

We get angry with others, with ourselves, and with the world at large, because of fantasies.

We miss out on many of life’s most beautiful and peaceful moments, because of fantasies.

So today, I challenge you to move through this day and practice seeing the real life right in front of you as it truly is…

Do what you have to do without fantasizing and fearing the worst, lamenting about what might happen, or obsessing over how unfair everything is.

See others and accept them without hasty judgments. Choose not to allow their behavior to dominate your thoughts and emotions. Just be present and accepting. Then decide if you want to spend extra time with them (or extra time thinking about them). If not, part ways with dignity.

Replace your fantasies with full presence…

And invest your best into what you’ve got right in front of you.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

Stand Up on the Inside

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s one of my favorite reflections from international speaker and bestselling author Joyce Meyer:

I once heard the story of a little boy attending church with his mother, and he kept standing up at the wrong times. His mother repeatedly told him to sit down, and finally she got pretty harsh with him about it, telling him emphatically, “Sit down now, or you’ll be in trouble when we get home!”

The little boy looked at her and said, “I’ll sit down, but I’m still going to be standing up on the inside.”

Standing up on the inside doesn’t mean being rebellious or having an angry attitude toward those who don’t understand us. It means having a quiet, inner confidence that takes us through to the finish line. Confidence means knowing that despite what is happening outside, everything is going to be all right because God is with you, and when He is present, nothing is impossible.

Source: Trusting God Day By Day – Joyce Meyer – pp. 410-411

How to Stop Holding On When You Should Let Go

How to Stop Holding On When You Should Let Go

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A longtime fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to receiving their daily emails. Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from a recent message:

So how can we stop holding on?

By realizing that there’s nothing to hold on to in the first place.

Most of the things we desperately try to hold on to, as if they’re real, solid, everlasting fixtures in our lives, aren’t really there. Or if they are there in some form, they’re changing, fluid, impermanent, or simply imagined in our minds.

Life gets a lot easier to deal with when we understand this.

Imagine you’re blindfolded and treading water in the center of a large swimming pool, and you’re struggling desperately to grab the edge of the pool that you think is nearby, but really it’s not—it’s far away. Trying to grab that imaginary edge is stressing you out, and tiring you out, as you splash around aimlessly trying to holding on to something that isn’t there.

Now imagine you pause, take a deep breath, and realize that there’s nothing nearby to hold on to. Just water around you. You can continue to struggle with grabbing at something that doesn’t exist… or you can accept that there’s only water around you, and relax, and float.

This is the process of letting GO. It can be liberating.

Truth be told, inner peace begins the moment you take a new breath and choose not to allow an uncontrollable circumstance to dominate you in the present. You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become in this moment. Let go, breathe, and begin…

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

The Next Right Thing

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

While rereading The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron, I stopped to reflect upon this excerpt:

The “next right thing” is usually something small. It may be finishing the essay–or the paragraph. It may be returning the call. It may be doing the laundry. The next right thing is not usually glamorous–in fact, the opposite. The next right thing is usually mundane, and it is always doable. It also always gives us a sense of satisfaction.

How often have we fretted about a relationship for hours, when, in fact, what we need to do was finish the report we were working on? In avoiding the report, we are creating drama–setting up a situation where we will have to rush to get it done or make an excuse for ourselves tomorrow, triggering feelings of guilt and self-attack. We know when we are not doing the next right thing, because the actual next right thing is bugging us, pestering us, dancing around our consciousness, tapping at our psyche.

Doing the next right thing, especially when that thing is small, takes courage. Doing the next right thing when people around us are dramatic or threatening takes even more courage. When we display humility and take the honest next step for ourselves, we are always rewarded with a sense of true accomplishment. Sometimes, the “next right thing” is as simple as “go to sleep.”

Source: The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron, pp. 194-195

On Writing Naturally

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In her book, Journal to the Self, Kathleen Adams shares the following advice:

Writing naturally means that you make it up as you go along.

Writing naturally means that you trust your inner wisdom to guide you to the places you need to go.

Writing naturally means that you freely create your diary world with confidence and ease.

Writing naturally means that you give yourself permission to play, and to cry, and to cuss, and to celebrate, and to be fully, vibrantly alive.

Writing naturally means that you allow yourself to use your journal as a blank canvas onto which the rich and intricate portrait of your life can be painted as it organically emerges.

There is only one person who can write the story of your life, with all its foibles, follies, treasures, and tears. That person is you.

Writing naturally means that you let yourself be you.

Source: Journal to the Self by Kathleen Adams

On Fulfilling Your Dreams

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s an inspiring quote from author and coach Barbara Sher:

Make Pigs Fly

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In his book, Life is in the Transitions, Bruce Feiler writes about the power of positive language and transformative personal stories. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts:

The novelist John Steinbeck had a quirky logo he drew after signing his name. It was a pig with wings. He called it Pigasus, which he wrote out in Greek letters. Late in his life, he accompanied the illustration with the Latin words Ad Astra Per Alia Porci, which he translated (incorrectly, it turns out) as “to the stars on the wings of a pig.” His explanation: We must all try to attain the heavens, even though we are bound to the earth.

For half a millennium, the expression when pigs fly has been used in multiple languages to mean a circumstance so improbable that its completion is nearly impossible. It’s a figure of speech known as an adynaton, a way of saying something that will never happen. Steinbeck adopted this phrase because he had been told by a naysayer professor that he would be an author “when pigs fly.”

More recently, neuroscientists have discovered that imagining this kind of unimaginable outcome is vital to recovering from a life interrupted. The more we are able to conjure up a future that seems out of reach—I will find another job, I will laugh once more, I will love again—the more we’re able to advance toward it. A big reason is mirror neurons, the part of our brains that mimic the actions we observe. When we see someone jump, laugh, or cry, our brains imitate the same activity.

The same mirroring happens with stories we tell. If we tell ourselves we will get better, or calmer, or happier, our minds will begin to simulate that outcome. This response doesn’t mean we’ll achieve these results right away, but it does mean we set in motion that possibility.

Steinbeck was right: We can make pigs fly.

Source: Life is in the Transitions by Bruce Feiler, p. 290.

Hobby or Identity?

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here is a thought-provoking reflection from Gordon Duncan of the Authors Community:

You can’t live on the street corner of inspiration.

As an artist, speaker, author, or creative, we love inspiration. It’s when the moment strikes, and we can barely make it to the computer, the canvas, or the blank piece of paper.

However, living on that corner often means that our work is created slowly or not at all.

Additionally, there are parts of creating that rarely enjoy moments of inspiration. For example, has anyone ever been inspired to edit their book? Maybe, but rarely.

No, the hidden secret behind creativity is that it is hard work. In fact, inspiration’s best friend is creativity.

It’s like the old adage, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” For the artist, it should be, “The harder I work, the more inspired I get.”

To get us there, here are a couple of tips to help you supplement your inspiration with some sweat:

One: Schedule writing time weekly, and even daily, if you can. Prolific authors like John Maxwell and Stephen King writer everyday…every day.

Two: Create consequences and benefits for your deadlines. A deadline is only a deadline if it has consequence. Otherwise, it’s a wish. Let’s say you want to have 100 pages written by the end of the month. If you hit that number, take yourself and someone you love out to a nice dinner. If you don’t hit it, then deny yourself that extra coffee or that movie you were going to see. It doesn’t have to be painful, but it does need to be consequential.

Three: Seek out accountability. This one is huge. Very few of us have the drive of a Maxwell or King. Entrusting a friend to keep you accountable or enlisting the services of a coach will help. Give them the right to speak honestly into your life. Give them the freedom to be blunt with you.

Four: Make a decision. Is your art a hobby or an identity? Is it something you do here and there or is it part of who you are? If it is part of who you are, then you have to organize your time towards those things. Hobbies are things you just pick up here or there.

Note: I encourage authors and other creatives to visit the Authors Community website.