All the Little Things Make a Big Difference

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 reading their blog. Here’s an excerpt from a recent post:

Life isn’t about a single moment of great triumph and attainment. It’s about the trials and errors that get you there—the blood, sweat, and tears—the small, inconsequential things you do every day. It all matters in the end—every step, every regret, every decision, and every affliction.

The seemingly useless happenings add up to something. The minimum wage job you had in high school. The evenings you spent socializing with coworkers you never see anymore. The hours you spent writing thoughts on a personal blog that no one reads. Contemplations about elaborate future plans that never came to be. All those lonely nights spent reading novels and news columns and comics strips and fashion magazines and questioning your own principles on life and sex and religion and whether or not you’re good enough just the way you are.

All of this has strengthened you. All of this has led you to every success you’ve ever had. All of this has made you who you are today.

Truth be told, you’ve been broken down 1,000 times and put yourself back together again. Think about how remarkable that is, and how far you’ve come. You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even yesterday.

You’re always growing…stronger!

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

Available for Pre-Order: 40 Life Changing Events

My essay, “Honoring My Inner Sloth,” appears in this anthology.

Blurb

In our constantly evolving world…

…where the unforeseen lies in wait.

Surprises abound.

In this latest anthology, 25 writers share events that have changed their lives. Some stories are tragic, others full of joy, but they all encapsulate the tenacity, resilience, and self-belief of the human spirit.

During these challenging times, with the world in turmoil, it is stimulating to learn from other people’s experiences.

What will you take away from these exceptional recollections that span the generations?

This fascinating compilation will encourage you to pause and reflect, with tales that offer much needed motivation and inspiration.

Get it now.

Excerpt (Honoring My Inner Sloth)

For too many years, I subscribed to the busy bee myth: Complete all given tasks and start on tomorrow’s To-Do List. That was my modus operandi for the first fifty years of my life. Or, more precisely, the first forty-nine years, seven months, and seven days.

All that changed with a diagnosis that came out of nowhere: Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Stage IIIB. To be truthful, my body had tried to communicate with me many years before the diagnosis. Persistent colds and bouts of bronchitis. Slow-healing bruises. Bone-crushing fatigue. Determined to soldier on without taking advantage of sick days or lazy weekends, I chose to ignore those whispers. But I knew all about them from the Oprah shows.

To this day, I get goosebumps when I recall those words of wisdom from television’s favorite teacher: “If you don’t pay attention to the whispers, it gets louder and louder. It’s like getting thumped inside the head like my grandmother used to do…You don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick upside your head. You don’t pay attention to that; the whole brick wall falls down.”

While I was in the thick of it with family and workplace stress, I didn’t realize—or chose not to realize—that those whispers were about to break a sound barrier.

Buy Links (ebook and paperback)

Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

Release Date: Sunday, December 12, 2021

Burn On, Not Out

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 Go-To excerpts from today’s devotional in Trusting God Day by Day (Joyce Meyer):

Are you saying “yes” with your mouth while your heart is screaming “no”? If so, you will eventually be stressed-out, burned-out, and possibly sick. We just cannot go on like that forever without ultimately breaking down under the strain.

No matter how many people you please, there will always be someone who will not be pleased. Learn that you can enjoy your life even if everyone does not think you are wonderful. Don’t be addicted to approval from people; if God approves, that is all that really matters.

Being committed is very good, but being overcommitted is very dangerous. Know your limits and don’t hesitate to say “no” if you know that you need to. God has assigned a life span to each of us, and although we don’t know exactly how long we have on earth, we should certainly desire to live out the fullness of our years. We want to burn on, not burn out. We should live with passion and zeal, not with exhaustion; we should be good examples to others.

Source: Trusting God Day By Day, pp. 392-393

Only a Minute Away

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.

Bestselling author Bob Goff shares a unique perspective on a historical event in his recent release, Dream Big:

On December 17, 1903, after years of tinkering and experimenting, two brothers named Wilbur and Orville Wright changed history by making a successful powered flight over the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The precise moment in time when Orville and Wilbur pulled away from the earth was 10:35 in the morning. It was the moment we knew sustained flight was possible. Before that minute, no one knew what would happen. Nearly everyone doubted that it could be done. I’ve always wondered to myself what Orville and Wilbur were thinking a minute before they launched at 10:34. We all wonder the same thing about our ambitions at some point. Will our ambitions fly, or will they crash and burn?

Nobody lives at 10:35. You don’t, and I don’t. We all live our lives and execute our ambitions at 10:34. We don’t know how our lives will turn out, much less whether our ideas are going to work out or not. I meet so many people in my travels, good people with great ideas, but many of them never take their ideas out of the hangar. The reason is simple. They’re afraid of what they’ll do if it works or afraid they’ll look bad if it doesn’t.

Perhaps it’s validation that has you stopped a minute early. Maybe you’re concerned about a big public failure, or maybe the thought of an even bigger private failure is keeping you from trying. Somehow the clock became frozen at 10:34 in your life. The good news is this; 10:35 is only a minute away from happening for each of us. That one minute is a small amount of time, but it can represent a huge shift in your life. It just requires a willingness to fail.

Source: Dream Big, pp. 162-163

Virtual Book Tour: Lady and the Tribe

I’m happy to welcome author Brenda Ridgley. Today, Brenda shares an inspiring message and her new release, Lady and the Tribe.

YOU are #1

Calling all Superheroes!

You know who you are. You are always being of service to others, volunteering to sit on the hump in the middle of the back seat, taking the smallest piece of cake, working from dawn until dusk and putting everyone else’s needs before your own. I am here to say…. STOP IT!

I am the author of Lady and the Tribe, How to Create Empowering Friendship Circles and it is my mission to wake everyone up to the FACT that we thrive on connection! In a world of social media, virtual offices, fitness apps, and on-line dating, people are detached and longing for connection. We need connection to our own spirituality and real relationships with others. We weren’t created to go it alone. Many people unknowingly have removed themselves from their close community, believing they are connected because of the number of social media “friends” they have yet feel empty, and unfulfilled. This longing and need can be fulfilled by re-connection to the self, a few close friends, and community.

So, listen up Superheroes I am talking to you! That tendency you have to always put yourself last has to go! When you continually take care of everyone and everything but yourself, you gradually have less and less to give. If you don’t KILL the martyr within you, you unknowingly will become needy. Right now I am going to remind you (your inner being already knows) that re-connecting to who you really are is easy.

Re-connecting to your essence requires self-care, self-love and getting your needs met. What do you need? What would fill you up and make you feel better? Maybe you are so far gone down the path of service that you can’t even answer this right now. If this is the case, carving out a little “ME” time is important. Take time to sit and be quiet with yourself and the Universe and remember what lights your fire. Think about a time in your life when you were eager and excited. What is it you were doing? Who were you with? Why was it so special? What activities make you joyful? Is it singing or dancing, painting, or writing? Are you doing these things now? You need to!!!! This fills your tank so that you have more to give… which you also love. You are a giver.

Once you know what you need, all you have to do is ASK for it! Guess what? Your friends and family can’t read your mind. They don’t know what you need and can’t help if they don’t understand. Other people also like to be of service, believe it or not. YOU need to be #1 in your own life! Once you do this, be #1….. a leader in your own life… and don’t feel guilty about it. You will be WHOLE. Everyone around you benefits when you are whole.
Thank you for connecting with me today. I encourage you… take the best piece of cake today! You deserve it!

I would love to hear from you about how you feel about this topic, especially if you are a recovering Superhero! Please share with me via email or on my Facebook page Brenda Ridgley Connections.

When three or more gather, we are Tribe.

Blurb

Wives, mothers, and career women—we have all fallen victim to the silent epidemic that is, literally . . . letting ourselves go. Not the makeup free, yoga pants, weight gain routine. Little by little, we have allowed our preferences, interests, and individuality to slip away until we no longer recognize ourselves outside of our role as wives, mothers, or professionals. Who we are has become what we do.

In the process, our friendships have become the casualty of a “busy life” and lack consistency and depth. We have a gaping hole inside us that longs to be filled. How do we reclaim who we really are and fill this empty space that seemed to appear from nowhere? The answer lies in our Tribe. Our best friends see us more clearly than we see ourselves and are representations and extensions of our individuality. They are our companions, cheerleaders, and counselors—always in our corner. They are the branches of our tree of life that lift and support us, so we can flourish. Our Tribe is the family with whom we choose to live our life . . . with no strings attached.

Lady and the Tribe is a blueprint for building deep connections. As you read, you’ll be swept away on a journey of friendship as the author shares her own personal stories and those of other women. In the process, you’ll discover how to find, nurture, and deepen friendships and create a Tribe culture that is unique to you.

We can become whole again through the power of connection.

When three or more gather, we are Tribe.

Buy Links

Amazon | Lady and the Tribe

Excerpt

Loneliness Can Be Lethal

Since we live in this global, socially connected world, how is it possible for anyone to be lonely? Psychologically speaking, loneliness does not necessitate social isolation. Being lonely means feeling detached from others yet having the desire for a connection or a relationship.

Why is loneliness so lethal? As human beings, one of our greatest needs is to be seen, acknowledged, and cared for. We want to belong and be a part of something larger than ourselves. More so than men, women need to maintain close connections. Relationships increase serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone. In times of stress, women don’t just experience the drive toward fight or flight—they also release oxytocin. This hormone surge can compel women to “tend and befriend.”

Research is clear. Close friendships are necessary for optimal health and well-being. A longitudinal study of aging found that strong social networks lengthen survival among older people. Dr. Amir Leving suggests that social connections are the most powerful way for us to regulate our emotional distress and that proximity to someone you are securely attached to is the most effective way to calm yourself.

An article in the New York Times reported that close relationships create positive mental and physical reactions in our body, mind, and heart. We are less likely to experience high levels of loneliness when we feel supported by intimate and close relationships. Strong relationships with close friends or family benefit us greatly and fulfil our social needs.

Author Bio and Links

BRENDA RIDGLEY is an author, speaker, and girlfriend guru who loves helping women connect, find success, and discover joy through friendship. Her mission is to start a movement: women coming together to build thousands of new Lady Tribes around the globe. Through her workshops, vlogs, blogs, and book clubs, Brenda helps women connect and communicate with respect, love, and trust. She holds an MA in human resources and has spent decades cultivating her own Tribe. A Colorado girl at heart, Brenda lives in the Carbon Valley area with her husband, Parker, two kids, Parker Jr. and Gillian, and pooch, Perry. She enjoys hiking and has conquered Longs Peak and several other 14’ers. To connect with Brenda, visit her website at http://www.BrendaRidgley.com.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Podcast

Giveaway

Brenda Billings Ridgley will be awarding a Cape Diablo wrap bracelet and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Brenda on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

Blooming Has No Deadline

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 an inspirational excerpt from You’ve Got This! by best-selling author Margie Warrell:

If you’re in your forties or fifties or sixties or far beyond, refuse to let the number of years you’ve been alive be your excuse for not taking the actions you might wish you’d taken years ago; the actions that would add a whole new dimension to your life today. As Rich Kaarlgard wrote in Late Bloomers, “Blooming has no deadline. Our future story is written in pencil, not carved in stone. It can be changed. There is no fixed chronology to self-determination, no age limit for breakthroughs.”

Julia Child was 49 when she wrote her first cookbook.

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t start writing until her forties, and didn’t pen Little House on the Prairie until she was in her sixties.

Vera Wang was 39 before she started designing clothes.

Colonel Harland Sanders was in his sixties when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Diana Nyad was 64 when, after four failed attempts spanning 36 years, she finally achieved her long-held ambition of swimming the infamous channel of shark-ridden waters from Cuba to Florida (without a shark cage).

So whatever your age, whatever your situation, whatever the setbacks you’ve faced or the heartaches you’ve nursed or the stories you’ve told yourself about who you are and what you can do (or what you cannot do), decide right now that you will not settle for a life (career, relationships, etc.) that doesn’t light you up. More so, that you will set your sights on whatever vision—however humble or scarily huge—that does light you up. Research shows that while we lose some abilities as we grow older, the benefits of those we gain far exceed any that are lost. So rather than ask, “What can I accomplish despite my struggles?” ask yourself, “What can I accomplish because of them?”

Source: You’ve Got This! pp. 50-51

Why the Small Story Matters

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.

Chuck Wendig’s informative guide, Damn Fine Story, contains a mix of personal stories, pop fiction examples, and excellent advice about storytelling. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts:

We don’t really care about the big story. We think we do. We think we care about the Empire versus the Rebel Alliance, we think we care about Spider-Man versus the Vulture, we think we care about Buffy versus the Vampires.

But we don’t. Not really. Not deeply.

What we care about is the small story embedded in there, the small story that’s the beating heart of the larger one. We care about the characters and their personal drama. We care about their families, their loved ones, their struggles to feel normal, their attempts to do right in the face of wrong. We care about Buffy wanting to fall in love and hang out with her friends and not fail out of school. We care that the villains fighting Spider-Man are often connected to him personally, and that they reflect some aspect of his troubled journey from a geeky high school student to a city-saving mutant. We care about the friendships that form between Luke, Leia, and Han.

We care because they care.

We care because their story is our story. Our story is one of friendships and family, of love lost and jealousy made, of birth and death and everything in-between.

A big story without a small story has all the substance of a laser light show. It’s pretty. It’s dazzling. And it’s very, very empty.

Look for the little story.

Look for the story about people.

Source: Damn Fine Story, pp. 79-80.

It Takes Momentum

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 excerpt from What It Takes by award-winning entrepreneur Zahra Al-harazi:

When there are not enough hours in the day, when I feel totally overwhelmed, or when I feel lost or helpless, I organize.

In the calm of an organized mind, I move like a lioness in the Serengeti, taking down antelopes one by one. I get work done with incredible efficiency. A flood of serotonin improves my outlook and I revel in achievement—any achievement. Micro progress leads to macro progress. Antelopes lead to zebras and wildebeest. Rearranging my kitchen cupboards leads to hundred-page business plans.

Sitting on the sofa in yoga pants leads nowhere good. It’s not even fair to the yoga pants.

So, make a list and check things off. That last part is important—don’t skip it.

Start with whatever’s in front of you that’s sucking your focus dry; move on to easy stuff that adds up fast: make phone calls, pay bills, put in a load of laundry, throw out the aging produce in your fridge; then attack the wildebeest.

It won’t stand a chance.

Source: What It Takes by Zhara Al-harazi, page 316