A Life Lived Well

When thinking of a life lived well, we have to consider all aspects of life.  We have to consider, our thoughts, our actions, our words and deeds, along with the abstracts of rudders, hinges and springs.

A rudder is a small instrument (or piece of wood) that  helps with the steering of a ship.  A hinge is a joint that a door hangs on that guarantees the smooth opening and closing of the door.  A spring is a cushion between two things, like a mattress top and bottom to keep the pressure off those two points.

These terms can also be used to embellish this thought of mine.

We all hear that “Actions speak louder than words,”  and before taking action we can use that little rudder to turn thoughts from bad to good.  Well intended thoughts, or words, can backfire if the spring isn’t cushioned well, or doesn’t  have enough bounce to keep it from hitting bottom.  And who wants to have those doors slammed shut, or the hinges of life broken and hanging?

In every well lived life we have to take care with all of our thoughts, actions, and words, so that we do not harm others.  A well lived life is about caring for others.  Taking responsibility for your actions, and promoting good thoughts and words in a loving way.

So, today let your ship be steered by a strong rudder, hinged on the smooth opening and closing of doors, with enough spring in your life that you keep enough bounce to spring you forward.

Keep developing your well lived life…and doing it in a loving way.

Sincerely, BG

 

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Writing Your Memories

Writing your memories is a great way to practice writing skills and add dimension to your passages.   Describing scents, emotions and other sensory perceptions will help bring a story alive and add more flavor.  Though some days in life are sweeter than others, you will also want to journal the chapters in life that are met with problems, solutions, and other smelly things.  (Studies also show how tightly linked smells and memories are.  Use this to your advantage.)

Whether good or bad, writing experiences down as they happen gives you a chance to capture them while they are fresh.   You then have the choice to use them, save them for a later, and then edit as needed.

If you live in Ohio, like I used to, rainy days in Spring smell fragrant and sweet like flowers and wet grass.  If you live in Arizona… rainy days in Spring can smell pungent and earthy like mud.

Be sure to correctly align memories in a passage.  If you’re writing a book about the “Wild West,” then the smell of cherry blossoms isn’t typical, unless you use it in the story as a memory.  Different regions of the world has different aspects about them, and it’s good to capture them effectively.  It adds to the realism of your story.

What else do those memories evoke that you can write about? 

  • What do you hear? Can you hear the sound of birds singing, the slam of a screen door, or a motorcycle on the street? Do you hear your school fight song or Christmas carols on a snowy street?
  • What do you feel when remembering?  Is there a sweet, or melancholy, sensation in your body, or do you feel irritated or wiped out?
  • What kind of physical touch do your recall?  Is someone scolding you and holding your arm, or do you feel the touch of a leaf on your wrist?
  • What does a strawberry taste like on the day you went boating? What does vinegar taste like in your mouth?
  • What does the Grand Canyon look like from a mile up looking down?  What does it look like from the bottom of the Colorado River looking up?
  • What do you smell?  Do you smell a skunk on a country road, or cotton candy at the fair, or the smell of fresh clothes hung on a line flapping in the breeze?

Just like using writing prompts, or brain dumping exercises,  writing memories may help trigger other sensations that you hadn’t thought about for a long time.

Use this practice as another means to add texture and to keep your story moving forward.

And, whatever you do, continue writing your memories.  You will be glad to have these memories on hand even if it is only to share them with your family.

Have a good day!

Sincerely, BG

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My grandkids and I wrote these a few years ago.

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When the Light Goes Out…

When the light goes out…where do your turn?  Are you flailing about tripping over things looking for the light?  Where does your spark of inspiration come from?  If you’ve ever noticed…when one candle lights another, the first does not lose its light.  You may feel that you have lost yours, but take hope… there’s still a flicker glimmering low.  You just have to find a way to reignite the flame.

I’ve noticed for me my spark comes from friends, from words, from art and music.  Today it came from this quote, a Bible verse, and a lovely video my friend sent me to watch about art.  (Thank you, Friend.)

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled  by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”    -Albert Schweitzer

That’s why it’s so great to look for the sparks around you.  Those creative things from others that inspire and rejuvenate.  That jolt that inspires you to take action and free the words, the music, or the art within.

Just like a spark that gives you a zap when you touch someone’s hand when the air is dry, those things that inspire you will bring hope and joy that will possibly spark a new creation. Whether it’s music, art or poetry…  use it.  Use whatever you can to make your art or work come alive.  I find hope in Bible verses.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  -Proverbs 27:17

Collaborations and masterminds are a great way to open the mind to new opportunities and to spark new ideas.  Though you don’t want to steal another’s work, you can model the techniques and make them your own.

 

“The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.” 

-Auguste Rodin

 

Today, I’m suggesting you look around you and discover that spark that will rekindle your light… and then let the fireworks begin.

Have a great day!

Sincerely, BG

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Breathe, Cry, Sing and Write…Is Your Heart In It?

Breathe, cry, sing and write…is your heart in your writing process?  When you write a great piece, all of this comes through in your writing…the emotion.

Have you ever read a great book and the words just bring all of these emotions together?  One minute your can’t breathe and the tears are falling, and the next you’re singing some great love song.  I love romances, and what better romance can you have in your stories than with your words, no matter what type of story it is.  When you’re in the element of writing, your heart and soul comes through, even in a scientific study.

You don’t believe this?  A great study will keep you tied to the page and you can’t look away.  It’s just so fascinating that you want to learn all you can about it.  This actually happened to me yesterday.  I was reading a study about polyphenols in foods, and the results they have on your overall health.  This doesn’t sound like much of a read, but I was glued to the page because of this doctor’s overall excitement about what he had discovered.  You could tell that he had put a lot of heart into his research, and his enthusiasm came through.  These are the types of things that keep readers coming back, your heart and emotion in the read.

Not everything is hearts and roses, and not everyone wants that.  However, whatever you’re writing, put some emotion into it, whether it’s a drama, romance, mystery or a scientific study.  We want to see you in it, as well as your perspective.

(Yes, this video is older, but it aligns with my point, and I like it.)

How do you get your heart into your writing?

  1.  Write about something your love.
  2.  Read something you love.
  3.  Learn about something you love.
  4.  Try reading some poetry (maybe this is only for me).
  5.  Listen to music as you write.
  6.  Doodle as you write.
  7.  Start writing and keep writing until you get into the flow. And if your topic is a report that you’re not really interested in, then find something in it that you love, and find a different way to look at it.  Then put your heart in it.

The quote in the picture above inspired today’s post.  I loved it, and then found the great picture.

We all love those heart felt moments.  No matter which form they come in.  Find yours.

Have a great day!

Sincerely, BG

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What Do Your Habits Say About You?

When looking at your daily habits, what do they say about you?  Are you hard-working and getting things accomplished?  Do your habits need some tweaking, or are you procrastinating too much?  There is usually a tell-tale sign.

I’ve had ups and downs with these “to do” lists myself.

In life lists are common. We make laundry lists, grocery lists, budgets, schedules, and we should also make lists for our goals.

When our children were small, we tried to implement this habit with them.  We gave them small notepads, and told them they could choose what they wanted, but they had to write and complete at least three goals a day.  They didn’t always like it, but they did do them.  The bad part is, we failed to keeping it going.

As you see in the picture above, the “make up, coffee, and the rest” list will likely guarantee your failure.  It is not specific enough.  Sit down and write out what you really need to do, and continue working on these daily habits to get them to stick.

Start with a few goals and then build upon them.  Three is a good amount to start with.  Other high-energy people will list ten or more goals to do each day.  But, start small and grow your habits.  Persistence is the key.  Make as many goals as you know you will stick with.  To get a clear vision, make a spread sheet of where you are, and where you want to go.  This is also helpful.  You can find more options here.

No matter where you start, write your goals out to develop your habits, and then readjust to fit your needs.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

—Zig Ziglar

Habits are important for success.  Let’s work on writing our goals today.

Have a good day!

Sincerely, BG

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Are You a Caterpillar or Butterfly?

Are you a caterpillar who wants to fly?

Some days in life things go slow like we’re treading water, and other days we get to a place where we think we’re there.

We’ve arrived!  Yay…we’re here!

And then we realize we’re just looking at the other side of the cocoon we’re trapped in, with one wing out and our feet stuck to the bottom.

We haven’t arrived yet, and we fight against the odds to prove ourselves ready.  There’s nothing wrong with getting out there.  We have to learn the territory and the flight pattern.  And sometimes, we have to tweak our plans.

Some of us grow faster than others.  Some of us have more to learn than others.  Some of us need confidence to fly.  Some of us need pushed out of the cocoon, and some of us need to get above the clouds to get a clear view of what lies ahead.

However, while we’re growing, are we enjoying the journey?  Do we realize that growth is a necessary part to our dreams? Are we learning from our mistakes?

If you’re wondering where this came from today, I have a couple of things to throw out there.

  1.  I was looking at part of this children’s poem I wrote a few years ago.
  2. My daughter was telling me about a conversation she had with a girl in one of her groups.

My daughter posted that it took her six years to make director in her company when others made director sooner.  A girl in her group sent her a message stating that she was getting discouraged, and wanted to know how my daughter got her mindset.

The determining factor:

She decided that no matter how long it took her to make director, she was going to get there.  With the many ups and downs of team members joining, and leaving, over these six years, she is committed to her dream.  And now she is in the next stage of her journey.

Commitment is necessary!

One day you will fly, is you stay committed and keep pursuing your dream!

Have a good day!

Sincerely, BG

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Using Doodle Art for Writing Inspiration

Using doodle art for writing inspiration was something that I had to try today. Some days you want a little extra “oomph” to get the words flowing, so I decided to explore doodle art.  Now, let me confess to you that I am not an artist.  I’m telling the truth, as you will soon see.

Since about age ten I knew that I wanted to write, and I have written off and on for many years.  Art however, that’s another matter.  Being the kid in Art class whose friends would look at me and say, “Nice try; just keep at it,” was not always fun.  And no matter how hard it was, my attempts to transfer what was in front of me to paper, did not work.

My friend, Cathy, is so into her art passion that it’s great to see how she can take those abstract thoughts, and ideas, and create magic on paper.   Studies show that art, music, and exercise can clear your head and get the endorphin pumping, and inspiration flowing.

“We need our Arts to teach us how to breathe” -Ray Bradbury

This quote from Ray Bradbury is a great way to feel when reading poetry, listening to music, or looking at art.  You can see or hear something so beautiful that it takes your breath away.

That’s what I want…breath-taking work, and to give a little humor and insight.  (This is the humor part.)

It’s always worth it to work at art, listen to music, or even exercise, to get to that place where you want to go.

After watching a couple of videos on Doodle art and other art projects, I decided I would give it a try.  I own up to the fact that I still can’t draw, or doodle, a lick… but I’m not giving up.  These practices are now in my arsenal to inspire more words and more creativity.    You can try it to do the same.

Now that you see, how sad my ability is, I will confirm again, that I am not giving up.  Art, music, and exercise are inspirations that we don’t want to miss out on.

Click here on this Doodle art link  and explore 5 different ways to help you with your art.

Why don’t you give it a try, and let me know how you’ve done.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely, BG

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