Saturday, January 28, 2017

What's in your circle?

Linking up with other writers today for Five Minute Friday. A flash mob of writers who write for five minutes without going back to do fancy editing.  Hop on over to Kate Motaung's blog to see what it's all about.  This week's prompt is "control".

Everywhere I turn I see people trying to control others by their words and actions. I've even been on the receiving end of this type of control and I know what it feels like. 

It doesn't feel good. 

So, why do I often find myself with the urge if not the actual actions or words coming out of my mouth trying to control a person in my circle or the events or circumstances around me? It doesn't work!! And, I know how it feels to be on the receiving end, so why would I do it?

It's ingrained I think. And you know what else? I think fear is at the root of control.

I'm afraid my expectations won't be met.
I'm afraid my needs won't be met.
I'm afraid my voice won't be heard.

I'm afraid that I won't be seen.
I'm afraid my opinion is not important so my voice might get a little louder.

I heard something recently that made a whole lot of sense. It actually came from my husband from something he learned at work.

He talked about the circle of concern and the circle of control.
There are things in life that we can be concerned about that we cannot control. Which are most things, by the way. 

Then there is the circle of things I can control. Picture two circles, one inside the other. The smaller circle is the bulls eye. The circle of things we can control. 

That pretty much leaves us. Our own person, ideas, faith and our being. 


*not simple. Just kidding

Blessings to you today,


Monday, January 23, 2017

The gift to give yourself

Today I'm joining other writers for Five Minute Friday. The prompt is "refine". For the first time ever, I wrote for five minutes, but then let myself keep going. I don't normally like to do that, but I had a lot to say about the topic I chose to write on and the words just kept coming.  Go on over to to see how you can join in this flash mob of writers too! 


I'm not known for being too organized or efficient. I'm also not known for caring too much about it either. Well, I do care. But, it is definitely not something I'm striving for, to do more quickly.

Maybe I could refine that and improve, but I've never been one to like New Years resolutions. They have always seemed like something that sets one up for failure. I have enough trouble staying in a good place with self esteem, so no resolutions.

I have discovered something about energy balance and self care recently though and I'm passionate enough about the results that I'm going to continue refining what I know and things I do about these two catagories long after 2017 is out the door. 

Know why? 
Space to breathe.

Space to think, grow and learn.

Energy balance.
I don't mean acupuncture or holistic medicine. I mean the balance of what kind of energy I'm letting into my life and what energy I'm letting out. 

I've refined my follow feeds on all my social media. This hasn't been a choice really, as I look at how my body handles stress. If something is causing negativity and resulting stress, it's going off my radar.

It might be my age talking here, but I don't have enough margin in my physical, emotional and mental health to tolerate negativity any more. 

Self care. 


What do I need right now? What will bring joy and help me to focus on gratitude?


I read just yesterday that if you're grateful, there's no room in your brain for anger. This is from a well known author, but really, I could have told you that. 

If you're like me, anger about just about anything can creep in pretty sinister like. Before you know it, we're feeding that anger and it's getting bigger. According to this author, what we feed gets bigger. 


by intentionally beginning to focus energy and attention on gratitude, the anger has no where to go but out. 

In the beginning of 2016 I started a gratitude jar. I bought a vintage jar and found scraps of paper at first and put these on a prominent shelf in my living room. Every night before bed, I stopped at this shelf and wrote out at least one thing I was grateful for that day. 

I watched this jar fill up. Then, I had to go junking to find another vintage jar because I just can't use a new one. At the end of the year I had filled two big jars to the very brim, even having to shove the pieces down in each one for 365 gratitudes to fit in them.

On New Year's Day I had a huge gift to give myself and it lasted into the next week. I started reading through all of those 365 gratitudes that I'd written each day of last year.

I smiled as I reminisced my time in June with my tribe in Maine. I chuckled at something my hubby had said to me in August. I warmed as I read "today my daughter came home from England" on July 20th. So. Many. Gratitudes. And, I had given this gift to myself without knowing it.

Without knowing it, I had filled two big jars with tons of positive energy. Those two jars sat in my house giving off positive vibes (not trying to be woo-woo here, just funny). It was all I could do to wait until New Year's Day to dig in to them and start being grateful all over again. 

I've begun my 2017 gratitude jar and I'm excited. Every night before bed, I stop at the shelf with the jar and my paper and pen and pause. Sometimes it's hard to think of something right away if the day has been kind of hard.

But this forces me to think of even the littlest thing to write down. Maybe Mr. Cardinal stopped in my fir tree for just a few minutes bringing me joy.

It's not too late to start preparing a huge gift for yourself on New Year's Day 2018! 

Thanks for stopping by today friend.



Monday, January 16, 2017

when the muse shows up

Linking up today with other wild and free writers at Kate Motaung's place for the first Five Minute Friday of the new year. This week's prompt is middle.  Five minute Friday is a time when we write for five minutes straight without fancy edits. Just writing for the fun of it. Come on over to Kate's blog to find out how you can join in in 2017!

Sometimes you just don't know when the creative muse is going to show up. It was in the middle of the week before Christmas. I was on the 2nd day of the worst cold I've had in my life. I was sitting on the sofa with my journal and a cup of tea and the muse showed up. 

I had wanted to write a short story for my daughter's short story collaboration called Meet Cute. But, I told her, I just don't have a story ready. I was also hesitant because what if it wasn't good enough for her to pick for her book?? How would I feel?

Well, all of that went by the wayside that morning in December. My pen started moving across my journal pages as fast as you can imagine. I couldn't really believe it myself. I just kept writing and writing and it was fun. I wasn't editing as I went along either. I wasn't scrutinizing my writing. I was just having fun and letting the words tumble out of me and through my pen and onto the page. 

And, I had let myself off the hook. I had told myself it didn't matter if she, as the editor of the Meet Cute book, chose my meet cute story. I decided it mattered just to write a story for fun and see what happened after that.

That's when the creativity usually shows up, doesn't it? It shows up when it isn't pressured to show up. It shows up when it doesn't have to be "included" or perfect. It wants to be free to just "be". 

I loved writing the story called Matt and the Beauty, based on how I met my future husband. 

And, you know what? My daughter really liked it.*


Thanks for stopping by today! It's lovely to have you here,


*My short story, Matt and the Beauty, will be published along with 18 other short stories with the "meet cute" theme! Meet Cute is a collaboration of short stories along with illustrations from separate artists from around the world. So excited for my daughter Kara Landhuis, editor. Find out more at!
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