The Journey

Just Thinking

Recently, I joined a social media platform. The reason? I took a course on planning and within the course is a social media group where alumni of the course can ask pertinent questions and share progress and success. Is a way of interacting with others who share a common interest.

I know there are many others who use social media as a means of promoting their interests, whether it is a new business or, like me, a writing career. I decided to use social media as a means of connecting with those who would possibly be interested in reading some of the books I have written. During the first 90 days I did gain some traction, adding followers on the two platforms I decided to use.

The contacts that I’ve made through these platforms have many different views of the world. Each person with an opinion believes passionately that the opinion is right; to the point that those who disagree are, not only wrong, but evil. Honestly, I can feel the emotion rising when I read some things. I try not to let my emotions rule me, but that’s another topic.

The answer, I guess, is don’t let it bother me. That’s easier said than done. How about don’t even look or engage in the debate? That’s easy enough in theory. In practice, social media has a way of lulling us into a hypnotic state. It is an effortless diversion.

I didn’t join these platforms for the diversion, I joined to grow my writing career. Participating in the demonization and vitriol won’t advance my career because that’s not my message as a writer. I want my message to be that each of us has the power to control our own destiny. By allowing this diversion in my own life, am I controlling my destiny? I think not.

I had already decide not to comment on anything I disagree with. Sure, it’s nice to tell others they’re wrong, put them in there place, so to speak. What does that accomplish? People are slow to change their opinions, why try? Why not just accept them how they are? There are plenty of people out there who don’t care much for me. I know. They’ve told me. No amount of explaining, apologizing or cajoling will change their views. There is no shortage of people to explain why my opinion is wrong and theirs is right.

Most people are good people whose only desire is to make their life, and the lives of those around them, better. That’s where the passion comes from. Many believe that what’s best for them is best for everyone and they can’t understand, much less consider, how anyone could disagree.

I have started asking questions as a way of communicating in a positive way. The questions may cause people to think about how they can improve their own lives. Maybe it gives them a reason to look inside for answers. I don’t know how it will be received. These questions cause me to look inside, so merely asking them will help me think, improve my writing and help me learn. If anyone else benefits from it, all the better.

I’m doing this because I feel there is a need for it in my life. I know that if I have the need for it, someone else in this world has a similar need and maybe they will see a question that enhances their experience on the journey. If you see a question and you feel like it, go ahead and answer. You may get something out of it. For now, have a great day and enjoy the journey.

GRATITUDE

This is a word, along with abundance, manifestation and other key words, that we often hear in the context of living a more full life or attaining some ideal life. We often hear that we have to practice gratitude and we go around thanking people for holding the door for us, or serving us our food. While there is nothing wrong with being polite, it’s just that; being polite. A look in the dictionary tells us gratitude is the quality of being thankful. Maybe it is a little different than that and I’ll explain.

While drifting off to sleep, in a state of complete relaxation, I contemplated my day. I had finished the work on my book and I rewarded myself with a hike through the desert, later we went for dinner and desert, then came home and Nadine and I spent time together. Next my mind drifted to the early morning.


We have two dogs, one a medium size pit bull mix the other a small Cairn Terrier. Both are enthusiastic to the point that it irritates people, and I admit sometimes I don’t have patience. They are intelligent and training has worked on the bigger, older dog so I know it will work on the pup. He jumps and runs around, squealing and barking whenever I come home, like I am a long lost family member (some people can probably relate). I want to train him to have manners and not jump on people and be generally obedient, so I trained him early in the morning when the house was quiet.

I began to contemplate why he is so joyful that he is unable to contain himself. He is in a state of being. Maybe it’s gratitude? We are told that in order to have abundance we should have gratitude. This dog has everything it needs to leave a full life. He’s fed, bathed, loved. He has a bed to sleep in. Maybe he has this abundance because of gratitude? Maybe gratitude is more than a quality? Maybe it’s a state of being? Like unconditional love. We hear that term bandied about quite often and nobody seems able to explain exactly what it means. It’s a state of consciousness but most of us don’t realize it because we can’t let go of our conscious reality long enough to be in it.

Perhaps gratitude is unconditional love? Think about it; how can you be grateful for something you don’t love this way? You can say you are, but are you grateful intellectually, because you know it’s proper? Or are you grateful emotionally, because that’s who you are? I don’t think we can have gratitude without love, so it seems they are one and the same.

My thoughts turned to the wonderful woman lying next to me. We have been blessed us with six children and been together for thirty plus years. Still, inside, my heart leaps like that little puppy whenever I think about her. When I think of the funny comments she makes, or when she does something for me. Unlike the dog though, I don’t assume she feels the same way, I know it. I feel it.

So, what did I get from this contemplation? Unconditional love expresses itself as gratitude. We can’t feel unconditional love toward one thing and hate another at the same time. It’s a state of being. We must remember that if we are unconditional love, we are complete and we have everything we need and want, and if we have everything, we have gratitude. It can’t be absent in a state of bliss. I think bliss is a word that describes being in a state of unconditional love.

Find your bliss. Become unconditional love and everything else will fall into place, and you will have gratitude.

Hope you enjoyed this and have gratitude in your presence

Be A Better Person

I recently opened some social media accounts with the intention of using them as a platform to connect with people and promote my books. I started this blog for the same reason several years ago and have lately begun to use it more.

It’s important that we connect with one another especially now that many of us are staying close to home. People are becoming weary with our most recent challenges and I see it when I read what others are thinking. We feel comfortable shouting our personal opinions from the rooftops like Cicero. We think because we can join two sentences that we have become illuminated.

Look at any social media post with a colorful background and half of the population runs with it and embeds it as a new personal truth. Our beliefs are not truth. They are beliefs that we hold dear, yes, but Truth? That’s different for everyone.

What is it that makes us think that by tearing another group (insert the name here, any name will do) down it lifts us up? People want a $15. Minimum wage? Give it to them. Who cares? You got yours. Stimulus check? Don’t like it? Don’t cash it. Who cares what anyone else does. Mom’s voice, “If Johnny jumps off the bridge, are you going to follow?”

“Well, I want to leave a better world for my children.” I’ve got news for you; we had our chance and that’s why we are where we are now.

It doesn’t matter our beliefs, we are on this starship together with only one way to escape and no one wants to leave none too soon. A good friend you work with has diametrically opposing viewpoints on politics and the world. Guess what? He thinks he’s right, you think you’re right. Don’t like what you hear? Don’t listen.

We’re stumbling around blindly on this rock hurtling through space thinking that we’re living just because we can fog a mirror. Maybe instead we should be looking into that mirror to see where the change is needed.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing with you. Feel free to comment and share if you like.

Into The Light

The Legend Of Zip

The cover is ready. Now comes the process of uploading the cover and manuscript. Keywords and genre will need to be entered. I have agonized over which genre to place the book for weeks. I think I have it narrowed down to Quest, thanks to Nadine’s insight and suggestion. It is about a quest. After all. It can also be placed in historical fantasy.

Keywords are another challenge that I have faced. Keywords are important to make the book visible when people use search engines and will help my book get discovered. The book took several months of writing, editing, rewriting and polishing. I put a lot of effort into this story and I am happy with the result. But just because I’m proud of my work doesn’t mean that the world will accept it.

If no one sees it it won’t get read and it won’t be accepted. Now the work begins. The fun of spinning a yarn is done, now it’s time to share my story with the world. It is time to market, the business side of authorship.

Every author wishes for his/her work to take on a life of its own and I am no different. I believe in what I have out on paper and I am putting myself in a vulnerable position by sharing it. It is something that I have always wanted to do and I realize that some people will not like what I am offering. Some people will like it and now the task of connecting with those who the message resonates with begins. I hope if you are reading this you would care to give the book a read and enjoy it. Also, if you enjoy the blog please sign up and follow so you see them as they are written.

EXCUSES!

What’s Your Excuse

Monday morning. I’m drinking coffee getting ready to read my ten pages for the day. After, I’ll write for ten minutes, then get dressed and go to work. I’ve done this for so many years that it is a habit. It comes without much effort. In fact, sleeping in on weekends is now a difficult goal to achieve.

Working for someone else takes quite a bit of my time and come Monday evening I’ll be ready to eat dinner and get in bed. The act of work, whether physical or mental, is taxing and takes a lot out of me. I’m sure most people feel the same. I still have goals to achieve and unless it is the goal of getting more sleep I need to be awake to work toward it.

I have a goal setting nature. I put a thought out ahead and work toward it until it comes. Sometimes I put the goal aside and stop working on it. I know it’s there but, like some people say, life gets in the way. That’s a saying that masks an excuse.

Sure I have reasons for not working on my goals. I can justify them all I want, but it’s an excuse. We can argue semantics but the bottom line is no progress is being made. An example of this is my email campaign.

Several weeks ago I decided to begin an email campaign as a way to connect with readers and to promote my books. I have not set up an account yet. No progress made. The reason doesn’t matter. No progress has been made. I made excuses instead of making progress.

What to do about it? The goal remains in place; to establish a fan base for the books that I write. Maybe the other individual tasks need to be broken down to smaller bites. Instead of the task being; establish an email account, write an email invite subscribers, it could be simply; open an email account. One step at at time. A smaller bite and the meal can still be eaten.

Progress is its own reward and I’ve found that even small progress generates motivation. It’s much easier to work on small tasks and focus on a future not yet seen when I’m motivated.

Monday morning. I’m drinking coffee and becoming excited for the new week ahead, knowing that by writing this blog I’ve made a small amount of progress toward my worthy ideal, instead of making excuses.