Hold On and Don’t Give Up

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.

Zen Buddhist monk Haemin Sunim shares his trademark spiritual wisdom in his latest bestseller, Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection.

Here’s one of my favorite passages:

Know that your continuous and accumulated efforts will eventually help to turn your circumstances around. The pitcher Chan Ho Park, the first Korean-born Major League Baseball player, once told me something that sums this up: Whether you are in a slump or riding high, whether fans are cheering or heckling, the only thing you can control is the ball you are about to throw. And though no single ball can do much on its own, taken together, all the balls you throw are enough to bring about a big change.

Your efforts, however small, are never in vain. Even the most vicious storm runs its course eventually; as long as your hold on and don’t give up, you’ll be able to see the sun come out again…We can do it, all of us!

Source: Love for Imperfect Things, p. 249


How to Create Anything

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 a one-size-fits-all infographic for writers, artists, and other creatives.



Spotlight on The Monday Book

I’m happy to welcome author Shari Ramming. Today, Shari shares her new release, The Monday Book.

Blurb

In the midst of pain, Shari Ramming saw an opportunity to learn and create The Monday Book to help others find themselves in their brokenness. With personal evaluations, she guides you to wholeness. Shari lays out steps to finding the treasure in the trauma of life: Acknowledge, Honor, Connect, Practice, and finally, Open to receive the gift of the lesson. Her simple straight-forward advice for fixing whatever feels broken is “begin and continue.” It seems hard in practice, but in showing up for yourself, you’ll find small ways to daily love yourself and become the cure for your own brokenness. Her message puts your problems outside so you can interact with them in a productive way. By seeing everything and everyone as a reflection of yourself, you’ll become more compassionate toward yourself and everyone else. Open yourself up to the true and best you.

Excerpt

Imagine this. A woman seemingly without doubts about her life. A wholesome and satisfying life filled with family, travel, friendships, children, and social activities. Her focus is on accomplishments, security, and home life. A life that is fast and full. Caught up in the way life seems to zoom when it is bursting with an abundance of three children, a few businesses, multiple homes, a crowded travel and social schedule, and the usual day-to-day duties.

I believed putting my family first was important, that coming in second (or third) for myself worked out okay. With that belief I lost myself and my own power. My passion and my uniqueness.

Life showed me where I was powerless, and also where my power was. My life, until that point of reckoning and painful loss, was ostensibly satisfying. What had guided me was being challenged.

What I had used previously needed some serious updating. I was being tested and I was being shown my darkness. I was meant to understand that I needed to let go of previous held beliefs that kept me going but were not evolved enough for where my life’s journey was taking me. All the change, death, disease, and dishonor was a fierce way of being shown a new path.

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Author Bio and Links

Shari Ramming writes on a broad range of subjects. She feels there is a great intelligence that is not of the mind. Loving her three grown children fiercely she uses verve and wanderlust to make her home in Austin, Texas. She is still learning.

To learn more about Shari and her books, go to http://www.shariramming.com.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway

Shari Ramming will be awarding a $15 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

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


It’s Time to 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.

I receive a daily dose of inspiration from bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff.

Here’s a thought-provoking segment from last week’s email:

Twenty years ago, when Marc and I were just undergrads in college, our psychology professor taught us a lesson we’ve never forgotten. On the last day of class before graduation, she walked up on stage to teach one final lesson, which she called “a vital lesson on the power of perspective and mindset.” As she raised a glass of water over her head, everyone expected her to mention the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” metaphor. Instead, with a smile on her face, our professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shouted out answers ranging from a couple of ounces to a couple of pounds.

After a few moments of fielding answers and nodding her head, she replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass is irrelevant. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor. In each case, the absolute weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As most of us students nodded our heads in agreement, she continued. “Your worries, frustrations, disappointments, and stressful thoughts are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a little while and nothing drastic happens. Think about them a bit longer and you begin to feel noticeable pain. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed, incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”

Think about how this relates to your life.

If you’ve been struggling to cope with the weight of what’s on your mind, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down.

It’s time to let GO…

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


A Tale of Two Cats

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 Wayne Dyer, I enjoy reading his books and watching his telecasts. I especially like listening to his rendition of the following tale:


Eight Ways to Recognize a Calling

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, Playing Big, Tara Mohr describes a calling as “a longing to address a particular need or problem in the world.” Often elusive and buried deep within our consciousness, these callings can reveal themselves through the following patterns:



Inspired by Sue Williams

Yesterday, I attended the “Crafting of a Memoir” workshop facilitated by author Sue Williams at the University of Guelph. An occupational therapist with over thirty years of experience, Sue has written a memoir, Ready to Come About, the story of a mother’s sailing adventure on the high seas.

Sue’s Backstory

For most of Sue’s life, fibre arts (appliqué) was her primary creative outlet. In her fifties, she experienced a perfect storm of personal events, among them her husband’s health crisis and his sudden job loss, her sons’ tumultuous road to adulthood, and her struggle as a parent to let go.

Sue decided to help her husband realize his dream to cross an ocean. Together, they set sail for the North Atlantic. Toward the end of their journey, Sue realized she had a story to tell, one filled with drama, plot, emotion, and interesting people.

At yesterday’s meetup, Sue shared anecdotes and insights from her life-changing trip and advice about the memoir-writing process. A short Q & A period followed.

Here are eight nuggets that captured my interest:

• Take note of the difference between narrative nonfiction and creative nonfiction. Biographies and autobiographies are written using narrative nonfiction. This approach is fact-based and includes more telling. Creative nonfiction involves many of the elements—plot, imagery, setting, dialogue—used in novel writing. The writer can also inject personal thoughts, feelings, or opinions into the manuscript. This approach is recommended for memoir writing.

• Write from your real self, not how you would like others to see you. Include your strengths and insecurities. You must be believable if you want readers to relate to your story.

• At the editing stage, ask yourself: “Does it matter?” Sue took 30K words out of the first draft.

• Don’t repeat the same story twice. In the first draft, Sue shared details of all the storms encountered. After receiving input from a beta reader, Sue decided to limit herself to one “storm” story.

• Don’t write as a vanity project. Just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s interesting.

• Use a journal if you need to vent about a failed marriage or other crisis. Get rid of the bitterness before writing the memoir.

• Prepare yourself to face the risks involved in writing a memoir. Do the opinions of others concern you? You may tick off the people who appear in your memoir and those who aren’t mentioned.

• Be patient and persistent. After six years and many drafts, Dundurn Publishing released Ready to Come About in May of 2019.

Blurb

Three hundred nautical miles from shore, I‘m cold and sick and afraid. I pray for reprieve. I long for solid ground. And I can‘t help but ask myself, What the hell was I thinking?

When Sue Williams set sail for the North Atlantic, it wasn’t a mid-life crisis. She had no affinity for the sea. And she didn’t have an adventure-seeking bone in her body.

In the wake of a perfect storm of personal events, it suddenly became clear: her sons were adults now; they needed freedom to figure things out for themselves; she had to get out of their way. And it was now or never for her husband, David, to realize his dream to cross an ocean. So she’d go too.

Ready to Come About is the story of a mother’s improbable adventure on the high seas and her profound journey within, through which she grew to believe that there is no gift more precious than the liberty to chart one’s own course, and that risk is a good thing … sometimes, at least.

Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (US) | Indigo | Dundurn Publishing

Memoirs Mentioned

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
All the Wrong Moves by Sasha Chapin
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Swing Low by Miriam Toews
All My Puny Sorrows (a novel based on real life) Miriam Toews

Thanks to Karen Ralph and Vocamus Press for organizing this event.