Watch Yourself

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 the following is not technically a Zen story, it is said to have been told by the Buddha himself. Its message of self-care is one that will resonate, especially with women.

There was once a pair of acrobats. The teacher was a poor widower and the student was a young girl by the name of Meda. These acrobats performed each day on the streets in order to earn enough to eat.

Their act consisted of the teacher balancing a tall bamboo pole on his head while the little girl climbed slowly to the top. Once to the top, she remained there while the teacher walked along the ground.

Both performers had to maintain complete focus and balance in order to prevent any injury from occurring and to complete the performance. One day, the teacher said to the pupil:

‘Listen Meda, I will watch you and you watch me, so that we can help each other maintain concentration and balance and prevent an accident. Then we’ll surely earn enough to eat.’

But the little girl was wise. She answered, ‘Dear Master, I think it would be better for each of us to watch ourself. To look after oneself means to look after both of us. That way I am sure we will avoid any accidents and earn enough to eat.’


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This Other Way

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 reflection from The Path Made Clear, Cheryl Strayed shares the following perspective on rewriting our stories:

How long do we hold on to this old idea? I was going to do this job or I was going to go to this school or I was going to be married to this person. And it doesn’t serve us anymore.

I once wrote a letter to my younger self and told the younger me, It’s okay to rewrite my story from time to time. And not only okay, but necessary. Sometimes you have to see things through, even though they don’t cause you joy. But sometimes you need to say, You know what? I’m not going to surrender my joy. I’m not going to be this thing anymore. That story is no longer true. I’m going to be this other thing. This other way.

Source: The Path Made Clear, p. 128


Choose Your Words Wisely

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 fan of Jen Sincero’s books, I look forward to each new installment. In her latest–You Are a Badass Every Day–Jen provides 100 short reflections and exercises to help keep our motivation strong. The following reflection reminds us about the power of our words.

Make the conscious effort to eliminate the following low-vibe phrases form your vocabulary today:

I want
I should
I wish
I can’t
I’m trying
I don’t know

Make the conscious effort to fill your vocabulary with the following high-vibe phrases today:

I choose
I can
I enjoy
I create
I love
I rock
The answers are on their way.

What comes out of your mouth comes into your life, so choose your words wisely.

Source: You Are a Badass Every Day pp. 75-76


How a Guy Just Would Not Quit

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’m inspired by the back stories of authors, artists, and entrepreneurs. Here’s a quick look at the origins of Pinterest.



Listen to the Whisper

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 latest book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah Winfrey opens each chapter by sharing key lessons and personal stories. In Chapter 3, she shares the following spiritual principle.

Your life is always speaking to you. It speaks in whispers, guiding you to your next right step. And in many situations, the whisper is also the first warning. It’s a quiet nudge from deep within saying, Hmm, something feels off. A small voice that tells you, This is no longer your place of belonging. It’s the pit in your stomach, or the pause before you speak. It’s the shiver, the goosebumps that raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

Whatever form the whisper takes, it’s not a coincidence. Your life is trying to tell you something.

Heeding these signs can open the doors to your personal evolution, pushing you toward your life’s purpose. Ignoring them–sleepwalking through your life–is an invitation to chaos.

Life is about growth and change, and when you are no longer doing either, you’ve received your first whisper.

Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, and stimulated. Follow your intuition, do what you love, and you will do more than succeed.

You will soar.

Source: The Path Made Clear, pp. 44-45


14 Tips from Stephen King

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 are 14 tips, distilled from Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, a must-read for all writers and wannabe writers.



Start. Right. Now

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 need a strong dose of motivation, I pick up one of Jen Sincero’s books. Here’s a great pick-me-upper from her latest release, You Are a Badass Everyday.

Waiting until you know exactly what you’re doing or until all of the circumstances are just right or until you have a a large pile of extra cash lying around is the best way to wake up at ninety-seven years old, fishing your teeth out of a cup by the bed, wondering what the hell happened to the life you were so excited to live. Procrastination is just fear in the form of brakes, and fear is not the boss of you.

Start. Right. Now.

And here’s a tip: start small. Chunk your to-dos down into manageable bits of time or break your tasks up into friendly baby steps instead of trying to get the entire thing done in one intimidating leap. Especially if what’s been dogging you is something you’ve been successfully putting off for a while. For example, if you’re struggling to commit to a meditation practice, sit in silence for seven little minutes a day, then after a while up it to eight minutes and then nine and then you’re on your way. If you’re writing a book, sit at your desk with your phone turned off, the internet disabled, armed guards at your door, and do not get up until you’ve written one brilliant paragraph.The next time you show up for work write two brilliant paragraphs, then up it to three, and then four, and then you’re on your way.

Motivation, commitment, focus–these are all muscles that, like any muscle, require strengthening. If you push yourself too hard right out of the gate, you’ll hurt yourself and walk in wide circles around that gym instead of going inside whenever you’re in the neighborhood. If you build slowly and steadily and chunk it down, not only do you save yourself some pain, but you’ll start noticing changes almost immediately. And there ain’t nothing that makes you show up, and keep showing up, like getting results.

Source: You are a Badass Everyday, pp. 125-126