A Short Lesson on Gratitude

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 was moved by this story on Nick Ortner’s blog, The Tapping Solution:

Today I have a short story for you about gratitude. A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which read, “I am blind, please help.”

There were only a few coins in the hat – spare change from folks as they hurried past. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. Then he put the sign back in the boy’s hand so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon, the man who had changed the sign returned to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”

The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote, “Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.” Both signs spoke the truth. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind, while the second sign conveyed to everyone walking by how grateful they should be to see…



Pay Attention to Your Language

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 highly recommend The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life by eminent psychologist and Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger. Here’s a short excerpt that highlights the importance of our words:

When we talk as though we’re forced or obligated or incapable, that’s how we’re going to think, which means that’s also how we’ll feel, and consequently, how we’ll behave. We become captives to fear: I need to do this, or else; I want to do that, but I can’t. To free yourself from the prison, pay attention to your language.

Listen for the I can’t, the I’m trying, the I need to, and then see if you can replace these imprisoning phrases with something else: I can, I want, I’m willing, I choose. This is the language that enables us to change.

Source: The Gift, pp. 139-140


How to Grow as a Writer

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 five tips for writers and wannabe writers. Write on!



10 Quotable Quotes from No More Secrets

Whenever I pick up a new book—fiction or nonfiction—I like to pause and note any passages that trigger aha moments.

In earlier times (pre-computer), I would copy those pearls of wisdom into an “Inspirational Quotations” file. I still have that file but now post digitally.

When I started writing my own novels, I was happy to receive emails from readers who were touched and inspired by certain passages.

Here are ten quotations from No More Secrets that have resonated with early readers:

“Keeping secrets is wrong, especially if those secrets are toxic. If they’re not shared, those secrets will implode.”

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


Challenge Yourself to Think Better

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 receive a daily dose of inspiration from bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff. In yesterday’s email, they shared this advice:

Many of the biggest misunderstandings in life could be avoided if we simply took the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”

A wonderful way to do this is by using a reframing tool we initially picked up from research professor Brené Brown, which we then tailored through our coaching work with students and live event attendees. We call the tool The story I’m telling myself. Although asking the question itself—“What else could this mean?”—can help reframe our thoughts and broaden our perspectives, using the simple phrase The story I’m telling myself as a prefix to troubling thoughts has undoubtedly created many “aha moments” for our students and clients in recent times.

Here’s how it works: The story I’m telling myself can be applied to any difficult life situation or circumstance in which a troubling thought is getting the best of you. For example, perhaps someone you love (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.) didn’t call you or text you when they said they would, and now an hour has passed and you’re feeling upset because you’re obviously not a high enough priority to them. When you catch yourself feeling this way, use the phrase: The story I’m telling myself is that they didn’t call me because I’m not a high enough priority to them.

Then ask yourself these questions:

• Can I be absolutely certain this story is true?
• How do I feel and behave when I tell myself this story?
• What’s one other possibility that might also make the ending to this story true?

Give yourself the space to think it all through carefully…

Challenge yourself to THINK BETTER.

Challenge the stories you subconsciously tell yourself and do a reality check with a more objective mindset.

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


On the Path to Freedom

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 highly recommend The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life by eminent psychologist and Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger. Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction:

We do not change until we’re ready. Sometimes it’s a tough circumstance—perhaps a divorce, accident, illness, or death—that forces us to face up to what isn’t working and try something else. Sometimes our inner pain or unfulfilled longing gets so loud and insistent that we can’t ignore it another minute. But readiness doesn’t come from the outside, and it can’t be rushed or forced. You’re ready when you’re ready, when something inside shifts and you decide, Until now I did that. Now I’m going to do something else.

Change is about interrupting the habits and patterns that no longer serve us. If you want to meaningfully alter your life, you don’t simply abandon a dysfunctional habit or belief; you replace it with a healthy one. You choose what you’re moving toward. You find an arrow and follow it. As you begin your journey, it’s important to reflect not only on what you’d like to be free from, but on what you want to be free to do or become.

Finally, when you change your life, it isn’t to become the new you. It’s to become the real you—the one-of-a-kind diamond that will never exist again and can never be replaced. Everything that that’s happened to you—all the choices you’ve made until now, all the ways you’ve tried to cope—it all matters; it’s all useful. You don’t have to throw everything out and start from scratch. Whatever you’ve done, it’s brought you this far, to this moment.

The ultimate key to freedom is to keep becoming who you truly are.

Source: The Gift by Dr. Edith Eger, pp. 9-10


10 Sentences That Can Change Your Perspective On Life

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.

Definitely food for thought!



Letting Go of “How Life Should Be”

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 receive a daily dose of inspiration from bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff. In a recent blog post, they shared this timely advice:

When life has to be a certain way in order to be good enough for us, we close ourselves off from so many of the real and present opportunities available.

On the contrary, when we let go of the way it “should be,” we free our minds to deal with life’s unexpected changes, challenges and chaos in the most effective way possible…

We create space for acceptance, learning and growth.

We learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.

We see the world through an unbiased set of eyes.

And gradually, we allow ourselves to step forward with more peace of mind.

With that said, I don’t always let go when I need to. I don’t always have a clear and focused mind. Because I’m only human, and human beings have the tendency to hold on too tight.

Sometimes life slaps us really hard and we attach ourselves to the pain, even when we know better.

When I’m holding on too tight, I can really feel it in my gut. I feel anxious, frustrated, irritated, and upset. There’s an aching for things to be different than they are — a feeling of rejection or betrayal or hopelessness.

I’m sure you can relate. We’re all struggling through this one together, in our own unique way right now. And the vast majority of our torment is the result of being caught up in whatever story we’re telling ourselves about how life “should” be.

Read the rest of the post here.


Inspired by Two Francescas

Twenty-five years ago, I sat with eyes glued to the big screen as Meryl Streep assumed the role of Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride, in the romantic drama, The Bridges of Madison County. Based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, the film focuses on a four-day love affair between two middle-aged lovers, Francesca and Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photojournalist brilliantly played by Clint Eastwood.

Having spent years in a passionless marriage, Francesca falls deeply in love with Robert and contemplates leaving her loyal husband and teenage children.

Continue reading on Peggy Jaeger’s blog.