Back to it!

Though I haven’t been the most present or attentive to my blog lately (or website, or Twitter, or Facebook, or studying appropriate amounts, or letter writing to my grandmother!), I have been slowly getting back into it. One thing I’ve been playing around with is flash fiction. If you’re not familiar with the term, flash fiction is very short, often with a word count of between 100 and 500 words. I like the idea of getting a story out of me, and I love the challenge of not being able to be wordy with my descriptions. It has made me focus on vocabulary and the punch of the images and ideas I want to convey. Here is a link to my flash fiction story Float that I had accepted to Electric Press’s February edition of their online literary magazine (I’m on page 27)! Enjoy! (And check back here again soon. This year is going to be full of interesting stories, honest confessions, and a bigger online presence!)

https://issuu.com/electricpress/docs/epfebruary20

Just Love Them

What do you do if you love someone who doesn’t love themselves?

It’s probably a question we have all asked ourselves, but… Unless you are right in it, perhaps even if you’re not in love with the person who doesn’t love themselves, the question may not hold much of your attention.

We all go through phases where we love ourselves and phases where we struggle with our self-esteem. We’re not always going to love the shadows we’ve brought into our lives any more than the light we’ve brought will stay. All I know, is that at the end of the day, we have to go to bed with the idea that it HAS to be better tomorrow

But what if you love someone who doesn’t believe that? What if you love someone who believes only the worst will happen? What if they believe no matter what they do, life won’t change? What if they even believe there is no point in changing because it would be a waste of time? What if they believe they are destined to be nothing: nothing good, nothing of what anyone wants, nothing of what anyone needs, nothing that will make a difference?

Well, this is what you need to do:

1.       You need to tell them you love them! Don’t hesitate. Don’t stumble on the words. Tell them. Make sure they know you love them. All of them! Flaws and strengths, laughter and tears, everything! You love them unconditionally!

2.       Make sure they know you support them. This means you will be available when they need to cry at two AM. You can, and will, help them plot out goals and priorities. Find them resources, give them pamphlets and research options. They are feeling hopeless and unloved right now. They NEED to know they have a support system.

3.       Push them. Help them to see what might be comfortable right now, isn’t what is best for them in the long run. Explain and explain again. Point out the potential they have. Ask them the tough questions. Help them answer those same tough questions. Take notes for them. Help them to think beyond the endlessness they are feeling.

4.       Be patient and caring. The person you love is dying inside right now. They are being torn apart into a million pieces and it is really quite difficult for them to see that there is a light at the end of this very narrow and long tunnel. Make sure they know you are there for them. Make sure you make your physical presence known because, often, just telling someone you are there doesn’t cut it; you need to show them.

5.       Be consistent. Tell them you love them; tell them they are worth it; remind them of their goals; remind them it is possible; remind the THEY ARE ENOUGH!

 It is hard to watch someone you love and care for have to go through tough times, but rest assured, you have the ability to help and guide them through it. Be there, and love them. That’s what they really need right now ❤

 

 

Kamloops Writers Festival

One of my many New Year’s resolutions last year was to attend at least one writer’s conference or festival. Although there many to choose from throughout North America, there are many that are just too costly including travel and accommodations. Instead of looking listlessly at the announcements for the ones too far from me, I decided to do some research in to some local, low cost festivals around where I live.

In August I had the opportunity to attend the Spoke Literary Festival (you can see their website here). With both local and national writers giving workshops as well as it being within daily driving distance, the information given was well worth the weekend spent around such like-minded people. The festival was two full days of workshops with an opportunity to attend a ‘meet and greet’ on the Friday as well as an evening reading with all eight workshop presenters on the Saturday. While at Spoke, I heard about another festival which happened about a month ago: the Kamloops Writer’s Festival (check out there website here).

Though this festival had a very different feel than Spoke, it was informative and gave a great opportunity to network. One of the many highlights of the festival was the opportunity for a blue pencil session with one of the four authors/presenters.

One of the most difficult things as an author trying to break into the industry is the ability to find credible people to give you feedback on your writing. It is great to have friends and family read your writing and help, as beta readers, to make sure things are flowing and glaring grammatical errors are fixed before sending it to you editor, but to have a published author who has done quite well with their novel, give you their insights, suggestions and critiques is invaluable.

I had the incredible opportunity to work with Alix Hawley (author of All True Not a Lie in It – you can check out her website out here). I took her workshop at Spoke, Pulling out the Plums: Using Research in Fiction, so being familiar with her expertise as well as work, I was excited to see what she had to say about the six pages I sent from one of my current projects. She had great insights into how not to give too much away in my writing as well as good advice about letting the dialogue tell the story.

I will definitely be attending the festival again next year! I can’t wait to see what amazing authors they bring as well as the information and networking that presents itself.

Shadows

Shadows. Everyone has one. The funny thing about shadows is that they don’t lurk in the dark so much as painstakingly display themselves on the brightest of days. If you want to hide it, it stands dark, following you no matter where you go.

Although we are all accustomed to seeing our physical shadows, we all have the shadows of life that follow us around. We are living in the shadow of our parents, sometime negative, sometimes positive. There are our parent’s choices haunting us and following us when we try to get a job or make friends of our own. Or maybe we are living in the shadow of a sibling. A sister or brother who always did it better than us. Someone who did well in school, or made something of themselves. But, both, can be overcome.

Sometimes there are other shadows, there are the shadows of what we should have been and there are the shadows of what we could have been. Maybe it was a teen pregnancy that let ourselves down, or maybe not having the confidence to say ‘yes’ to that opportunity. Maybe it was a poor choice you made or a choice that was taken out of your hands. Some how, there is the shadow of the person you could have been, the person you should have been. Whether the should have and could have were yours or not, the shadow still lives there. Sometimes haunting, sometimes lurking, sometimes sleeping. Sometimes healing, too.

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But there is one other shadow. This one goes deeper, most usually it’s a shadow that we don’t have control over allowing ourselves to feel. It’s probably the least acknowledged, the least recognized, but the most detrimental. It isn’t a person nor is it the should or could; it’s the should not. It’s the shadow of who you should not have become.

The should have’s and could have’s can be explained away by fate and destiny; determination and someone else’s fault. The should not… Not so easily. The should not’s are against all odds, against what the rest of the world and all circumstance dictated you should become. It’s the one time the shadow lurks when your happy. It’s the one time the shadow steals you and your deserved celebration. It’s the shadow that steals you.

Should not is the shadow that turns into the why? And, why’s don’t always have answers, now do they?

My {not so light} Summer Reading List

Words are my happy place. It doesn’t matter if I’m reading them, writing them or explaining them to my children; words make me happy. And, because words make me so happy, any time that I can spend reading (or writing for that matter), helps to calm me and bring me back to a place where I feel content. Summer is a great time to catch up on reading. Over the past year I have fallen out of the habit of reading on a regular basis. Life has simply gotten in the way of my favourite past time. So, this summer I have decided to re-read some of my favourite books to help rekindle the interest and passion I have for reading (not just writing). Here is a list of the five books that I’ve been making my way through so far this summer and hope to get through by September (Don’t forget the cup of tea too!):

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – by far the longest and most in-depth on my list, The Pillars of the Earth has to be my all time very favourite book. I have read it three times (this being my fourth) since purchasing it only eight years ago. All 973 pages of it keeps me interested and swooning over the story line and rich history presented within its pages. The book is set in 12th century England and looks at the lives of several classes of people from the prior of Kingsbridge and a mason’s family to Kings and Earls. Each time I read it, I find little details about the people and places mentioned that I hadn’t noticed before.

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen – I came across this book in my local Coles where I live and was instantly intrigued. I have always loved Poe, almost as long as I have loved Shakespeare (which is pretty well since I could read). The dark tales he has weaved about love and loss have sought me out and pulled me in. The fact that Poe’s life itself is such a mystery has always intrigued me as well. Hence the reason for purchasing this book. The book was inspired by the love triangle that was Poe, his ailing child-like wife and his mysterious mistress (which history knows very little of). Lynn speculates, with education and research, of the relationship which may have given Poe what little joy he had in his life. The emotion and pull that she develops between Poe and Frances makes my body tense and desire with each rise and fall of emotion. It’s a book that I can’t put down once I start it! This will be my third time reading it in the past two years.

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101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home by David Bordon and Tom Winters – I have two daughters aged 5.5 and 7. They are a constant on my mind and I live my life trying to give them a childhood that is both memorable as well as will prepare them for the rest of their lives. They are strong, independent girls who certainly know how to get the most out of life right now and I hope I can contribute to it just as much as they get older as I do now. I have skimmed through this book a few times, but have decided, with my youngest going to school in September that I want to concentrate on making the time I have with them both count just a little bit more. 101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home is a great resource to use to find meaningful things to do with your kids at all ages. There are a few that I can check off our list already such as #42 Plant a garden and tend it together and 26 Have a talk about death and heaven (a common topic in our house actually as we’ve had many loved ones and pets pass away over the last few years), but there are many more we haven’t gotten close to achieving such as #80 Dig for clams and steam them on the beach and #77 Dive with sharks – in a cage, of course – or swim with dolphins. Many of the items listed will be ones that will be ongoing for us for many years to come and I can’t wait to check off each and every one of the items on the list with my daughters

The Midnight Club by Christopher Pike – Christopher Pike is one of my guilty pleasures when it comes to reading. Many people enjoy reading romance novels, or spy novels; novels that are easy to get through, enjoyable and still have a plot. For me, when I want a book like that, I read what would fall into the young adult category. More specifically, I read Christopher Pike. He’s been writing since the ‘80’s (before I could even read!), and his books, although meant for teens, have a depth to them that I can identify with. There are several that I have read probably 50 times (The Starlight Crystal as well as The Midnight Club being two of them). Sometimes reading something I have read so many times before can actually be refreshing. I’m still using my brain and getting to read, but I don’t get frustrated or upset when my kids interrupt me 15 times during one page because: 1. I already know what is going on in the book because I have read it so many times; 2. The book isn’t as intricate as The Pillars of the Earth, needing all of my concentration to keep the dates, plots, etc. in order. The Midnight Club follows a group of teenagers in a hospice house who meet each night at midnight to tell stories to each other to help pass the time (and their pain). It is a story of people finding the acceptance that they have always been searching for just as their story is about to end. As always, in Pike style, the story is hauntingly beautiful with the ever unexpected twist.

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A Little Book on the Human Shadow By Robert Bly – I am going through a bit of a darker period in my life right now and rereading this book is helping me to accept those pieces of my soul that I have, in the past, tried to shove down inside myself and hide from. It is deeply intellectual and spiritual and, out of all five books listed here, although it is the shortest at a mere 81 pages, it will take me the longest to read. I find that I read a few pages, take a few days to think about it and let the message sink in, make some notes, then read a couple more pages. Just accepting and acknowledging the state of mind and way we project that takes time to come to terms with. Enlightening and heavy, I’ve only read this book one other time since purchasing it ten years ago

Though many of these five books aren’t ‘light’ reading in any sense of the word, I am going to reopen my love of reading and recreate an old habit of daily reading, if for nothing else but to set a good example for my own children whom I hope will become avid readers as well! As far as my progress on them, I am about 1/4 of the way through Pillars of the Earth, completely through The Midnight Club, Reading through 101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home almost on a daily basis with my daughters and have four pages read in A Little Book on the Human Shadow. Mrs. Poe is on my list to read this weekend while I am away, without kids! Happy Reading!

My Serious Face

I was around nine-years-old the first time someone told me I was too serious. I was playing outside with a group of friends at school. I moved around a lot and this had been my third move in the last year. Kids are resilient and, back in the early ‘90’s, not nearly as mean or cliquey as the kids today. They accepted me in as one of their own and, in each place I moved, I had friends.  

I had always been a serious child, paying attention to things children usually didn’t notice like the way the wind sounded hollow through naked poplar trees in winter and the smell of the freshly cut hay field after the rain in late summer. My childhood was partially responsible for my seriousness and so was my old soul. Abuse and neglect have a funny way of transforming a person: sometimes they become serious and introverted, seeking attention through their deep scars in a quiet, persistent way; other times becoming loud and boisterous, demanding recognition at all times at a superficial level, not taking no for an answer.  

I had become quiet, reclusive and serious. I certainly had my moments of loudness and attention demanding (all teenagers, no matter the back ground, get there at some point), but with most people, I was hard to get to know and introverted.  

At nine, there was a group of us all playing outside at recess. They were having a wonderful time playing some game that children play; laughing and giggling, happy with each other and life. I was playing as well, but my laughter and smiles didn’t come as easily as the others. As I stepped back to watch the scene on the green grass of spring, a boy from my class came and stood in front of me.  

“Why aren’t you playing any more?” he asked, hands on his hips, slightly out of breath from running, a slight scowl mixed with the happiness of childhood. 

“I dunno,” I responded slowly, shrugging my shoulders, taken aback by someone wondering why I wasn’t playing. No one had noticed before.  

“Why do you always look like someone died?” He asked, scrunching up his face and crossing his arms over his chest. 

“I dunno.” I shrugged my shoulders again, then crossed my own arms protectively over my chest. I stared him down until someone called his name and he ran away to enjoy in the festivities of childhood. I looked around nervously as tears started to well in my eyes and I felt angry at myself. I didn’t really know what that boy meant, but as I thought about it through the years, and as others informed me about how serious and unapproachable I was, I realized what he meant. It would be a common thread throughout my life, constantly pushing people away and getting myself hurt more often then I would like to admit. 

I was too serious. People don’t like the seriousness. Really, though, I think it’s that they don’t like that I am always thinking. My brain never shuts off. I don’t do small talk. I can’t just talk about the weather or the last awards show or sports. My brain simply isn’t wired like that. It’s wired to talk about politics and poverty, abuse and action, love and loss.  

I want to hear about what keeps you up until after midnight and what wakes you up at 3am. I want to know what makes you cry and what makes you laugh; ups and down alike. I want to know what makes you fly and what makes you sink. I want to know why you think the world works the way it does, even if we don’t really have any way to fix it. I don’t want to skirt around the tough issues or the things that make you hurt.  

I don’t want to ignore any of those things for myself either. I want to open and honest about who and what I am. I don’t want to hide it, close it away or pretend part of me doesn’t exist.  

I used to hide myself. I tried for years to stop feeling how I was feeling. To pretend to be someone who could just go on with life, be superficial and have fun. For a while it worked, although I did it with the help of self-medicating in ways I shouldn’t have. There are nights with missing pieces and less than admirable choices, but you know what, there were a whole lot more people who wanted to be around me. I was fun and carefree. I could have a good time.  

But it wasn’t me. And soon enough, the faking caught up with me. I’ve struggled with depression most of my life. I’ve done counseling several times throughout my 32 years, worked through and read more than 20 self-help books and works books and tried to improve my view on life. I believed that there was something very wrong with me

I no longer believe that. I know I have had sever trauma happen in my life. I know I’m no where near having dealt with all of it, but I also know it is a part of me. I know I will get there.

I am becoming comfortable with the person that I am. I am learning to be able read people better and trust my gut. Not everyone deserves to be engaged in the serious and deep conversations I want to have. Not everyone deserves to have that part of me and that’s ok. I am a serious person; I am a deep thinker and care deeply about the world and people in it. I know I am an old soul and I am beginning to realize and come to terms with the fact that there are many out there who aren’t going to understand the needs that I have for something deeper.

I’m not too serious; I’m tired of small talk and meaningless conversations. What hurt and confused me when I was nine, is giving me the drive and passion to pursue my dreams and live an authentic life that’s right for me.

Solace in Monotony

We get stuck in the monotony of every day life. The days go by, many just like the ones before them and before we know it we’ve missed the opportunity to make not just moments special, but days, weeks and months as well. Life gets tiring: the daily grind of getting up early, dealing with the kids (whether they are fur babies or human babies), going to work, housework, commute, then social commitments, all while paralleling with your spouse, partner or maybe just by yourself and then go to bed and repeat tomorrow.

We create the monotony in our lives. We allow our lives to become boring and predictable, forgetting that to be alive, we need to live, not just survive each day. We forget to embrace and engage in the small victories of everyday life. We forget that TODAY is worth making special, not just yesterday and not tomorrow.

Telling ourselves that we need to live in the moment is easier said than done, but it is doable. Here are a few tips to make today just as special as yesterday and tomorrow:

Stop every so often just to take in the scene around you. You could be in the middle of a meeting at work, at the park with your dog, playing in the back yard with your kids, enjoying a cup of coffee or even just sitting in traffic. Whatever you are doing, pause… What do you see? What do you hear? What are you feeling? All your senses are working, whether you know it or not, and there are pieces that we are missing because we’re just trying to ‘get through’ the moment. Pay attention to how a moment is making you feel. Are you uncomfortable? Agitated? Content? Listening to how your body is feeling in these small moments will help you to create a more satisfying life overall by allowing you to see where you can eliminate stress or do more of what makes you feel content.

Put words to those feelings you want to stuff down inside. We are so busy getting from point A to point B in our lives that we don’t often allow ourselves the opportunity to name, label and confront the feelings we have during situations. If you can, write down what you’re feeling during, or immediately after, a situation has occurred. If doing so right away isn’t an option, try to recount how you felt later. This doesn’t have to be a negative situation either. Putting words to the situations that make you feel happy, aroused and elated are important as well. The more feelings we can identify, the more authentically we can participate in the situations that arise in your life. Not into writing the traditional way with a pen and paper? Use a voice-to-text app on your phone or a word document on your computer.

Take solace in the consistency of everyday life. Do you have your coffee at the same time every morning? Do your kids wake you up at the same time no matter the day of the week? Does your spouse or partner forget to do that one thing you keep asking them to do? It’s ok! It’s ok to be frustrated by these things, but it’s also ok to appreciate the predictability of these situations as well. There is something to be said for consistency. Appreciate that your life is in such a place that you are able to create the uncomfortableness in it when you’re good and ready!

Above all, simply take time to notice the little things in your life: what your coffee smells like when brewing, your cat’s fur on your fingertips, the smell of the morning dew as you walk to your car. We may have created the monotony in our lives, but we have the opportunity to create awareness and appreciation for all the little things that make our lives special.

Wooden Pants Publishing Radio Interview

I’ve always had this thing about my voice. I’m sure we all have it to some extent, but I really dislike hearing it recorded. On top of that, to be completely honest, I’m really an introvert who isn’t a big fan of people a lot of the time. This being said, I love a good conversation and have been known to step out of my comfort zone a time or two to be engaged in one of those worthwhile conversations. I had one such opportunity a couple of weeks ago to promote my debut novel All of Me, All of You (Transcendent Publishing, 2017) with Richard Keller of Wooden Pants Publishing & Media on their pod-cast.

Five days a week, they pay tribute to authors of all genres as well as those who are part of the author and publishing journey. They give us the opportunity to open up about our books and writing lives. The questions asked are thought provoking and leave enough unsaid to encourage the listeners to want to find out even more about the author and book(s) they have written.

Here is a small snippet from the Wooden Pants Publishing & Media website about what they do:

“At Wooden Pants Publishing & Media we empower you to embrace your creative soul and publish a book through simplicity, our knowledge of the publishing world and encouragement. We do this because we recognize the potential in you to craft a wonderful and best-selling tale that will impress readers around the globe.”  

During my interview, Richard started out by warning the audience that the interview may sound rushed as I was quite nervous during the recording. And yes, I was extremely nervous. I’m not a great public speaker and I sometimes let my nerves get the best of me, but I had to laugh when I did finally have the opportunity to listen to the interview with a good friend of mine. I realized that I am simply a fast talker. I hadn’t noticed it in my day-to-day life (although I was told in elementary school that I needed to slow down and enunciate my words more clearly), that I spoke so quickly or matter-of-factly. In both of our opinions, I didn’t sound nervous, it was simply how I speak in regular conversation. It is certainly a take away for me from this first (hopefully of many) radio interviews, as well as for my every day conversations that I may have with people who aren’t accustomed to the way I talk. (but I am still laughing and cringing a little at my quick, overly explanatory responses! LOL)

I really enjoyed the time I had speaking with Richard and I can’t wait to be back again once my second novel is finished. He provides and huge opportunity and exposure for authors and from all of us authors I say, “Thank you!”.

To listen to my radio interview click here.

To find out more about Wooden Pants Publishing & Media and the opportunities they have for writers of all levels and backgrounds, please visit their website here.

Success

If you had asked me 15 years ago what success looked like to me, one of two things would have happened:

1. I wouldn’t have been able to answer the question and I would have laughed it off. I’d have changed the subject, asked what it looked like to you then excused myself with needing to get to a class or work;

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2. I would have given a cookie cutter answer about white picket fences, a good job and husband with maybe a kid or two.

At 19 I had no idea what success looked like. I had no idea what I wanted to get out of life and, if I’m completely honest with myself, I didn’t think I would make it as long as I have. 

I will start with the reason I would have given the cookie cutter answer. Truth is, we all want a white picket fence and a good job and a healthy, happy family. My reason for wanting those things was simple: calm, consistency and predictability. For me, those were pieces that had always been missing in my life and that cookie cutter answer summed up what was missing for me.

If I had chosen to brush the question off, it was because I didn’t believe I was going to be around long enough see success in my life. I’d been depressed and out of touch with who I was and didn’t really have a direction or a care for where my life was going.

But now I am some what bombarded with articles, memes and quotes talking about success. So I started thinking:

What DOES success actually look like me?

I started to rattle off the same things in my head (and check a few of them off the list): husband — check, homeowner — check, job that pays the bills — check, kids — check. But I wanted to look deeper than just the surface stuff that everyone sees; that everyone else defines as success. There was something that wasn’t quite adding up for me as I checked things off my mental list. I was detached from the list.

So, what is it that would make me feel successful? What is it that would make me feel unsuccessful in my life? Over and over I came back to the answer: HAPPINESS or a lack there of.

Are my kids are happy (well cared for, provided for, encouraged, loved, laughed), is my home a happy one, am I happy with my job, am I happy in my marriage? All of those are things that can be measured by happiness and, consequently in my case, as successful. I am successful if I am happy (others may want to put satisfied in place of happy, but happy evokes an emotion, it is an emotion, not just a state of being satisfied).

For me to feel successful in my life I need happiness. I need to feel that life is good, that all of those items on my check list are happy, not just satisfied, but really, truly happy.

Based on that criteria, would I consider myself successful? At this point in time, over all, I would say ‘no’. There are lots of things that are going on in my life that don’t evoke a sense of happiness for me, but the one thing that always bring a smile and DOES make me happy are the small moments with my children. They are happy, healthy, loved and loving. For now, I can check one success off my list and I will keep working on the rest.

Monotony

We get stuck in the monotony of every day life. The days go by, many just like the ones before them and before we know it we’ve missed the opportunity to make not just moments special, but days, weeks and months as well. Life gets tiring: the daily grind of getting up early, dealing with the kids (whether they are fur babies or human babies), going to work, housework, commute, then social commitments, all while paralleling with your spouse, partner or maybe just by yourself and then go to bed and repeat tomorrow.

We create the monotony in our lives. We allow our lives to become boring and predictable, forgetting that to be alive, we need to live, not just survive each day. We forget to embrace and engage in the small victories of everyday life. We forget that TODAY is worth making special, not just yesterday and not tomorrow.

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Telling ourselves that we need to live in the moment is easier said than done, but it is doable. Here are a few tips to make today just as special as yesterday and tomorrow.

Stop every so often just to take in the scene around you. You could be in the middle of a meeting at work, at the park with your dog, playing in the back yard with your kids, enjoying a cup of coffee or even just sitting in traffic. Whatever you are doing, pause… What do you see? What do you hear? What are you feeling? All your senses are working, whether you know it or not, and there are pieces that we are missing because we’re just trying to ‘get through’ the moment. Pay attention to how a moment is making you feel. Are you uncomfortable? Agitated? Content? Listening to how your body is feeling in these small moments will help you to create a more satisfying life overall by allowing you to see where you can eliminate stress or do more of what makes you feel content.

Put words to those feelings you want to stuff down inside. We are so busy getting from point A to point B in our lives that we don’t often allow ourselves the opportunity to name, label and confront the feelings we have during situations. If you can, write down what you’re feeling during, or immediately after, a situation has occurred. If doing so right away isn’t an option, try to recount how you felt later. This doesn’t have to be a negative situation either. Putting words to the situations that make you feel happy, aroused and elated are important as well. The more feelings we can identify, the more authentically we can participate in the situations that arise in your life. Not into writing the traditional way with a pen and paper? Use a voice-to-text app on your phone or a word document on your computer.

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Take solace in the consistency of everyday life. Do you have your coffee at the same time every morning? Do your kids wake you up at the same time no matter the day of the week? Does your spouse or partner forget to do that one thing you keep asking them to do? It’s ok! It’s ok to be frustrated by these things, but it’s also ok to appreciate the predictability of these situations as well. There is something to be said for consistency. Appreciate that your life is in such a place that you are able to create the uncomfortableness in it when you’re good and ready

Above all, simply take time to notice the little things in your life: what your coffee smells like when brewing, your cat’s fur on your fingertips, the smell of the morning dew as you walk to your car. We may have created the monotony in our lives, but we have the opportunity to create awareness and appreciation for all the little things that make our lives special.