Ask Empowering Questions

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 the following segment from a Super Soul Sunday session with Oprah, Michael Beckworth discusses the importance of asking empowering questions during tough times.


Inspiration from Disney Villains

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.

Quotes from these 24 Disney villians–among them Ursula, Thanos, Kylo Ren, and Rumplestiltskin–can teach us many life lessons and help us get through challenging days.



Quotes that resonates with me…

Ursula (All three quotes)

Which quote speaks to you?


Risking: A Tale of Two Seeds

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.

To risk or not to risk. The following story from Patty Hansen may help you make that decision.

Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile spring soil.

The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth’s crust above me…I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring…I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!”

And so she grew.

The second seed said, “I’m afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me, I may damage my delicate sprouts…what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe.”

And so she waited.

A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

Moral: Those of us who refuse to risk and grow get swallowed up by life.

Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul, 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Kindle the Spirit, pp. 220-221


Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean?

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.

Whenever I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I reread the following parable:

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, Mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?”

“Are you like the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, wilts and becomes soft?”

“Are you like the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat and acquires a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?”

“Or are you like the coffee bean that actually changes the hot water–the very circumstances that bring the pain? If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you instead of letting it change you.”

Author Unknown



The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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.

First published in 1989, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey was an instant bestseller. With over 25 million copies sold worldwide in over 40 languages, this book continues to help millions of readers become more effective in both their personal and professional lives. Here’s a brief summary of those essential habits:



Take Up Space

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 new release, Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life, Tywla Tharp shares anecdotes, advice, and reflections on living with purpose. At age 78, she is revered not only for the art she makes, but for her regimen of exercise and nonstop engagement. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts:

When your muscles stretch rather than constrict, you expand your share of the planet. You take up more space, not less. Dancers know this intuitively. They are taught to move so that every gesture is not only precise and elegant but bigger. We call it amplitude. It is not enough to state an arabesque; it must be opened in every direction to its full expanse. In order to be seen, the dancer must occupy maximum volume. You can think the same way in your everyday movements.

• When you walk, think of yourself striding, not just taking mingy steps.

• Greeting a friend, reach your arm out, whether to shake a hand or give a hug, with amplitude and full fellow feeling. Be robust.

• During a meeting, spread your belongings out across the table instead of gathering them tidily in your lap. Speak out. Take up mental space as well.

There is logic in our movement. Remember, when we walk, we go forward. We can move backward, but we are not designed for this. Forward is our natural way.

Think of this all as your personal Occupy More Space protest.

Source: Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life, Page 8.



Covering All the Bases

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.

I couldn’t help chuckling as I read this story about a little boy’s baseball practice.

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his backyard, baseball cap in place and toting ball and bat. “I’m the greatest baseball player in the world,” he said proudly. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed.

Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, “I’m the greatest baseball player ever!” He swung at the ball again, and again he missed.

He paused a moment to examine bat and ball carefully. Then once again he threw the ball into the air and said, “I’m the greatest baseball player who ever lived.” He swung the bat hard and again missed the ball.

“Wow!” he exclaimed. “What a pitcher!”

Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul, 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Kindle the Spirit, Page 74