Sundays at the Lake – October 2019

Hello, I hope this newsletter finds your heart and soul well.

Ahhhh, October….makes you think of crisp leaves, cool breezes, pulling out your cozy sweaters and jackets, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! 

Except if you live in Texas…..where we are still having summer. We are still sweating profusely, just walking to the mailbox. A friend and I recently had lunch and did a little window shopping. We admired the beautiful sweaters and jackets in warm fall colors on display, while still in shorts and sandals. Most of us still have not put away our swimsuits.

I just know the cool air is coming and I’ll be able to pull out my cowboy boots, the ones that don’t have dirt all over them, my sweaters, jackets, and puffer vests and sip hot chocolate as the leaves fall off the trees. I can’t wait. Fall is wonderful.

Here are 10 other things I think are wonderful and are currently bringing me enjoyment or value in no particular order.

1. The 5 Second Rule –  You guys…..this is a game changer. In this book Mel Robbins, explains WHY the 5 second rule works and how to incorporate it into your day to day activities. She gives a ton of examples of how it has worked for her and others. 

I’ve been using it to do the things I don’t feel like doing or am afraid to do and its working (most of the time)! I have started getting out of bed at 4:40 am. Yes, before 5 am! It’s not easy and many days I FEEL like sleeping in but I just count….5, 4, 3, 2, 1….. and pull off the covers and put my feet only floor. Doing this, I have almost 2 HOURS to myself each morning. My husband is usually just leaving for work as my alarm is going off. I use this time to enjoy hot coffee, write down at least 3 things I am grateful for, write in my prayer journal and read my bible. I start a load of laundry, get dressed, and put breakfast on the table. The result: Mornings this year are going much better than last year. I used to roll out of bed and scramble to get everything done and be ready to go on time. There was shouting and tears and we were usually late. I have found that when I start my morning early and in a relaxing way, I have plenty of time to get myself dressed before I wake up my son and we get out the door with smiles on our faces and time to spare! 

2. Using a timer to get things done – Sometimes the piles of laundry waiting to be folded or dishes that need to be loaded and unloaded seems just too much and I walk away thinking, “I’ll just do it later.”  However,  if I set a timer for 15 minutes, I am always amazed how much I get done. Most of the time, I beat the timer. A good playlist helps too.

3. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Netflix – This is not something I would typically watch. My husband, a big history buff, was watching it and I joined him. I soon became very interested and have gone on to watch more episodes. History was a dreaded class in jr. high, high school and college. Ken Burns has a way of presenting it where it is actually enjoyable.  

4. Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates on Netflix – I’m a bit on the nerdy side and love documentaries. This one has only 3 episodes so you don’t have to worry about loosing a week of your life if you binge watch. I was fascinated learning about Bill Gates’s childhood, early years at Microsoft, and current projects of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I was inspired to get involved in some cause to make a change. I might not be eradicating Polio in Africa or solving sewage problems in developing countries, but I know something small can mean something big to someone somewhere.  

5. Audible Original, The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury – My son and I have really enjoyed this musical audiobook. It’s geared toward young readers, but I loved it. We listened in the car  on the way to and from school, but I couldn’t help myself and listened to the ending before my son heard it. I had to find out how the story ended! I’m definitely going to check out more books by Jessica Khoury. 

6. Carbon B&W Studio, Snapseed, and Enlight Pixaloop photography apps – After a very informative workshop on iPhone photography, I finally dusted off my DSLR and sold it. For now, I’m just going to use my phone. I feel new life has been breathed into my desire to get back into photography! I’m anticipating trading in my current phone for the new iPhone 11 Pro and lenses for it. I’m looking at these 2 brands: Moment Gear and Sandmarc. If anyone has other suggestions please let me know.

7. Sunday, our new baby foal. Last month, our mare, Ruby, had a baby. She was born on a Sunday, hence the name, Sunday. Although, she was not planned (sometimes your neighbor has a crazy stud horse that will jump fences looking for a lady friend) we are happy she is healthy. She is precious and soft, frisky, and curious. Like a human baby, she is mouthing everything and curiously checking out new things while staying close to mama. It’s quite entertaining to watch her explore. 

8. Rudy Ruettiger: The Walk On on Prime Video. Yes, another documentary! Like the Bill Gates documentary, this was entertaining and inspirational. I don’t know if you have seen the movie Rudy, but it’s one we have watched over and over and every time I get choked up and cry. What I love about Rudy is his determination. I’m getting curious and want to look more into what makes one person so determined and another person give up. My favorite quote in this documentary is this: “Your key to dreaming is confidence. People don’t care how smart you are. They wanna know how much you care.” 

9. Rodan + Fields – I have been avoiding buying this for years. Everyone I know who has tried it has given great reviews. So, when I met Cathy, a lifestyle blogger and R+F consultant in my writing group, I asked her for some samples and ended up purchasing the Redefine Regimen and Redefine AMP MD system. So far, I have been very pleased. I have been using it for one month and although, I have not seen any dramatic changes, my face feels smoother. Growing up on Texas beaches, I spend a lot of time in the sun, using baby oil to get a super dark tan, so my skin has taken a beating over the years. I’m not expecting to have my wrinkles vanish and look like I’m 20, just wanting to reduce lines and wrinkles and have healthier skin. I’m also enjoying the morning and nighttime ritual of self care. 

10. Scrivener – This has been a game changer for me as a writer. I have been toting around notebooks and scraps of paper filled with quotes, random notes, and ideas for blog posts, presentations and books. This software has helped me eliminate all the paper and organize everything in one place.

I’d love to know what you are finding enjoyable and valuable. Please share!  

Until next time……be well.

Lori

Musical Message

In my last post, I wrote, “I keep second guessing myself, but then remember that when God calls you to do something, it’s not necessarily going to be easy. Of course, then I second guess the calling!!”

Not long after I that, I was driving to the store and the song “Reason” by Unspoken came on the radio. I felt like God was sending me a musical message, a confirmation. I sat in the parking lot, downloaded the song, and read over the lyrics. 

“But God has a plan, a purpose in this. You are His child so don’t you forget.

He put that hunger in your heart. He put that fire in your soul.

His love is the reason to keep on believing.

When you feel like giving up, when you feel like giving in…..

His love is the reason, to keep on believing.”

I have to believe this burning desire to write is what I’m being called to do. 

I’ll confess, I’ve been somewhat reluctant and even embarrassed to tell people that I quit my paying job with good benefits to write for fear they will think I’m crazy. Also, because being a writer doesn’t seem like a real job until you actually get paid or can show someone a book with your name on the cover. (I’m working on that!)

Luckily, my writing group, hope*writers, lets me know I am not alone in my thinking. Additionally, there are several authors who have written books on this very topic…Jeff Goins, Anne Lamott, and Stephen King to name a few I’m reading now.

So, with God in my corner and fellow writers cheering me on, I think about a quote by Jessica Honegger, “When you’ve got a vision, you don’t have time to wait around for your fears to vanish before you start moving.”

So, I guess I’ll just tuck my fears away and keep moving and keep believing.

If you are in a similar situation, I sincerely hope that you won’t second guess yourself and quit on your vision. 

“Life is going by very quickly and if you’re not careful, you’re gonna be 80 years old and have spent your life wishing that you’d gotten your work done.” Anne Lamott

Until next time…..be well.

Lori

Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.

Into the Deep End

My son is learning to swim. He is now able to cross over the ropes into the deep end (closely supervised!) without a life jacket. He boldly jumps in and bubbles back up to the surface wearing expressions of excitement, uncertainty, and a little bit of fear. He takes a breath, puts his face in the water, swims to the edge, climbs the ladder and goes in again. His strokes are still clumsy but he is making great progress.

As a writer, I’ve been avoiding crossing over to the deep end. It’s safe over here in the shallow end where my feet can touch the bottom, writing about topics like laundry, cooking, great deals I found on Amazon, and what I’m reading. Every now and then, with great trepidation, I move a little closer to the deep end and publish something that requires a bit of vulnerability, but not quite over the ropes, where I’m more susceptible…..to drown. 

I have poured out my heart writing pages and pages about anxiety and panic attacks, feeling isolated without a circle of friends, introversion, dealing with life’s unexpected curve balls, not living up to expectations, and abandoning crazy dreams for something safe…..all the topics that require me to drift into open water allowing all my imperfections and struggles to be exposed but I have not published them.

Brene’ Brown, vulnerability expert, says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.” 

So I am just going to have to jump in and experience the uncertainty and fear along with the excitement because I feel called to share. Maybe what I write will resonate with at least one person and let them know they are not alone.

And if I feel like I’m going under, if the vulnerability feels too heavy, I’ll just take a breath, put my face in the water and swim….even if my strokes are clumsy.

Deciding to Live in Color

Making a career change had been floating around in the back of my mind for several years; but, I had a good job with a secure paycheck, it was my security blanket. It seemed reckless to think about giving that up. Unfortunately, my security blanket was starting to suffocate me. In the middle of my 20th year as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools, the stirring in my soul for something different became uncomfortable. My job was lacking in providing me any creative outlets and as a supervisor, I was working less with the students and more at my computer churning out reports and preparing paperwork for meetings. Much like the man in the short film “Alike,” I felt like I was turning gray.

My career had been a good one. I enjoyed the people I worked with and the students I served, but I couldn’t ignore my desire to write and connect with people about issues other than speech and language disorders. I needed a place to dump all the words and ideas from my head and send them out into the universe. Like Rachel Hollis says in Girl, Wash Your Face, “So I have two choices, I can write down words and send them out into the world and hope they find a home. Or I can hide my light under a bushel because I’m too afraid someone won’t like the glare.” I wondered, “What if God has given me a light to share with others?”

It was a big decision and a big move, so I prayed for guidance. I was excited thinking about writing. It would allow me to be creative, interact more with my writing groups, have a flexible schedule, work from home, and take better care of myself and my family. I prayed for God to send me signs to know if I was making the right decision and folks, its started raining signs.

First I got this in my Facebook feed and then I came across the same quote on an actual sign in a store!

and I started reading this…

and then I came across this…

Maybe the Heavens thought I wasn’t getting the message kinesthetically or visually and I needed a sign in audio! In this podcast, Emily P. Freeman discusses ending her career as a sign language interpreter to write and she references Greg McKeown’s book!

I pondered……”What is essential? What is the next right thing?” I was feeling pretty certain that it was time for me to make a change, but I was scared. For several months, I let fear push me around like a playground bully and all the “what ifs” took over. What if I make the wrong decision? What if I quit and end up regretting it? What if I fail and let everyone down and look like a fool? What if….what if……what if? It was making me crazy until I changed my perspective with the help of Emily P. Freeman.

The Next Right Thing was being published as a book and I was accepted to the launch team. This gave me the ability to read the book before it was released. The information I gained was invaluable in helping me make my decision.

After a lot of pondering and thoughtful prayer, I finally made up my mind and got my husband’s blessing since writing isn’t always a lucrative career and I wouldn’t be bringing home a steady paycheck. Even then, I sat in fear, scared to turn in my resignation and seal the deal. What got me moving was something I read in The Next Right Thing. Emily writes, “If God has something to tell you, and you continue to place yourself before him, he won’t let you miss it. As you take your next right step today, trust that God won’t let you miss your own future. Follow the arrows.”

I trusted God, followed those “arrows” and I did it! I will not be returning to my position next year. It still doesn’t seem real. I’ve never not worked at a job where you clock in and out and have a steady paycheck since I graduated from high school almost 30 years ago. (Um….except for the 6 months when I opened an art gallery which was a total blast creatively, but a complete failure financially.) You can read about that here. I lost money but I gained so much more and have no regrets about that adventure.

Its been only weeks since my last day of work; yet, I can already feel color washing over me, filling me up. I’m coming alive again! I want this color to overflow to my son, my husband, and others around me. My husband, who is a mostly serious man, likes to say I live in a world of bubblegum and bobby socks. I guess I kinda do; but, I LIKE it here! I think we should all try to LIVE IN COLOR!!! I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and your responsibilities out the window. I’m just saying, don’t let years pass by before you stop the color from draining. Find a way to do whatever it is that fills you with color.

By the way, I’d love to know what that is and if you’re not doing it, what is holding you back?

Until next time……be well!

Lori

Just wanted to let you know that Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.

Ballet Slippers and Combat Boots

Before hope*writers, I had written a short children’s book and it sat in a box year after year for more than a decade. I read it many times over those years, envisioning how the words and illustrations would look on each page. Being a speech-language pathologist and working with small children for 20 years, I thought about how a simple little story might help preschoolers and children with special needs learn about shapes and colors and even sequencing and rhyming. Having it published and come to life was simply a dream.

Not long ago, I Googled “how to publish a children’s book.” It was daunting and did not look promising. I wanted to write and I was writing, but I wasn’t writing a children’s book. I became discouraged, and during a day of purging paper and clearing space, I wadded up the story, and tossed it. I can still hear the words I was thinking as the story flew into the trash, “You will never publish a children’s book.”

Then one day I heard about Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, The Next Right Thing which is now a best selling book on Amazon! (Click here to check it out.). I scrolled through the episodes and stopped at one called “Quit Something” and hit play. Emily shared a story about her career as a sign language interpreter and how she was dreading telling her boss that she was quitting. Then I heard her speak these words, “There’s something strong I can’t shake, something I think the Lord is drawing me to. ‘It’s time to write,’ I hear on the level of my soul. I’m excited and also terrified. Yellow is dancing around in my head, writing is yellow, the things that make us come alive always are.” I thought, “Is this lady a mind reader?”

As I drove down the road listening, I could not believe it. I was a speech-language pathologist, my job was helping others communicate, much like a sign language interpreter. I also was considering leaving my current profession and also felt a calling to write. Additionally, she referred to the book, Essentialism by Greg McKeown which I was currently reading. I thought maybe God is really trying to tell me something. It was defintely a turning point.

From there, I followed a garden path and ended up finding hope*writers, co-founded by none other than Emily P. Freeman! This amazing group has been a foundation for my growth as a writer. It has led me to a family of writers who are not just willing, but excited to guide me. Since becoming a member I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about writing and also the much needed confidence to continue writing. Thanks from my heart, hope*writers!

Then enter, Rachel Hollis 2.0! Rachel’s first book, Girl, Wash Your Face, really got me thinking about where I was and where I wanted to go. Her second book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, gave me a plan. Where Emily is the like pink cotton candy, holding your hand and encouraging you with her warm, soft voice, Rachel is like firey red hots, all up in your face, kicking you in the pants, encouraging you to leave your pity party, get up and go after what you want. These ladies have totally different styles and I need them both. I feel like they are little angels sent from Heaven to guide me. Emily in pink ballet slippers and Rachel in combat boots!

So Emily and Rachel…..I’m following your words of wisdom. I made a decision to make some big changes in my life. Emily, I’m not going to let fear push me around, I’m going to “do the next right thing in love.” Rachel, I’m saying out loud that I’m going to publish a children’s book. (Eeek, that was so scary!) Thank you ladies, for giving me the tools to make a hard decision and encouraging me to dig deep and not apologize for my dreams. Thank you for helping me realize what those dreams are. Thank you for sharing examples from your own lives to help me better mine.

And as for that little story that I threw away, I have read it so many times I have most of it memorized and I can start to fill in the missing pieces. Who knows? The second version might even be better!

If you have found yourself at fork in the road, or even what you think is a dead end, I sincerely recommend checking out the books by these two amazing and brave ladies. I could list a thousand inspirational quotes from the books, but I think it’s better if you read them on your own and let the words speak to you wherever you are on your journey. I will share this quote from Emily, because it was the one quote that really let me put my fears behind me and step forward. “If God has something to tell you, and you continue to place yourself before him, he won’t let you miss it.”

Until next time…..be well.

Lori

Just wanted to let you know that Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.