Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Opportunities Do Not Knock

Brooke Cagle / unsplash.com

People say opportunity knocks, but in my experience, it does not knock, at least, not so that you'd hear them. It tends to show up a little more quietly. Not always, but mostly.

In fact, if we were to give opportunities a personality, they seem a little shy. They arrive in our space unannounced. And they tend to dress incognito. They don't have logos on their t-shirts and they never hand out business cards saying, 'Hey, I'm the opportunity you've been waiting/praying for'.

They realize what we sometimes forget, that the responsibility to connect with them is not theirs, but ours. They have an almost naive anticipation that we will be wise enough to use our eyes and ears, and be alert to them, and so they arrive very quietly, no fanfare, no big drum-roll.

Have you found this to be true? Have you been missing some opportunities? What are you waiting for?

Let's not miss our opportunities.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Simply Sunday: God Is Within


"God is within. And where he dwells, there is a holy place....a hushed and holy Presence, too sacred to be destroyed, too wonderful not to be visited continually.

There is something awful, that is, awe-inspiring, down at the depths of our own soul. In hushed silence attend to it. It is a whisper of God himself, particularizing himself for you and in you, and speaking to the world through you."

~ Thomas Kelly, The Sanctuary of the Soul

Wishing you glimpses of heaven...


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


"The doors we open and close each day
decide the lives we live."
~ Flora Whittemore

I've been thinking about doors lately. Not front or back doors, but opportunity doors. Seems like I've been walking through a few 'new' ones these past weeks. What I find rather interesting is when I pass through one door of possibility, I see brand new ones further down. Doors I did not see until I'd passed through the very first one.

A few of my doors... last fall I volunteered to be the blog moderator for the InScribe blog (a group blog for writers), which opened a door to be invited to be a presenter for the Fellowship's fall conference, doing a workshop on blogging.

Which then led to a question about doing something for our fellowship's website which opened another opportunity to write an article for our quarterly newsletter (I'd never submitted anything to it before).

All small things, but every opportunity I took had a definite impact on what came next. Without going into more details, those little decisions brought me into a whole new world of opportunity and growth.

Sometimes, like in that old TV game show, we don't know what's behind Door #1, 2, or 3, but we won't get any prizes if we don't choose to move through at least one.

Of these two doors I posted today, which door would you choose... the one with the stained glass windows or the one painted pink? In this case, I think I'll choose both! Who says I can't? Who says you can't?

Enjoy the doors you open today --
and may they lead you to your beautiful life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Official....

A few months ago I was invited to be a presenter for the InScribe Writer's Fall Conference -- to present a workshop on blogging and on-line presence.

Today the conference brochure arrived in the mail, and now the information is up on the InScribe website, complete with a photo and bio of yours truly. Needless to say, we are excited.

The more I work on my workshop notes, the more I realize the things I want to change and improve in my own blogging and online experiences. I guess it's true -- we teach what we need/want to learn.

Isn't it fun to envision new possibilities?
Wishing you a wonderful day,

Carrie Wilkerson: Focus On Your Gifts

I've been following Carrie Wilkerson over at Barefoot Executive. I love her enthusiasm, zest for life, not to mention her timely and motivating postings, webinars and teaching videos.

So, I was pleased to find Carrie's guest post at 30 Minute Martha, where she shares a lighthearted, but empowering posting on remembering to focus on our own gifts without worrying that we might not do it the way someone else does it.  A good reminder for those of us to tend to compare ourselves with others.

Carrie says she comes from a long line of women who are a combination of Mary Poppins, Martha Stewart and Julia Child. But she is not one of them. To find out how Carrie better serves her world at large by doing what she does best, go ahead and click here.

Wishing you a great day,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Clogged Pipes aka Writer's Block

Do you have clogged pipes?

No, I'm not here to share my kitchen draino woes with you today. Rather I've been mulling about writer's block and I've come up with an idea of my own about the malady.

Writers don't experience writer's block because they've run out of ideas. No, I don't think that's the reason... at least, not always.

After all, how can we run out when we're connected to the Divine Creator who thinks wildly beyond what we can dream or imagine, and I believe He's always happy to share his creativity and wisdom with us.

So, why then do we then find ourselves lacking in creative new writing ideas ?

It's simple. It's because we have not used the ideas we've already been given. When ideas stack up, one on top the other, not being used, they become like those icky layers of old grease that hardens in your kitchen drain. Just as the pipe will eventually clog up, so will our creativity and imagination.

From personal experience, this seems to happen during the times when I haven't done much with the ideas I received last month, last week, or even yesterday. The Idea Man upstairs must scratch his head wondering why he bothers to send more when the old is still sitting around doing nothing.

Jotting down the ideas in a notebook, I'm sorry to say, is not putting them into action. Rats, I thought it was... no, no that's just storing them up. And that's when, I believe, the clogging starts. New material can't come through until some of the old stuff moves on to its destination.

I'm trying to implement ideas as they are given, as I believe it's important to work with an idea while it is still vibrant with possibility. I believe that's when there is the grace to work on it.

Why do you think you got a particular idea today? Perhaps it's because today is its moment to shine. It wasn't ready yesterday, it'll be stale tomorrow. Of course, we understand some ideas are meant to mature in another season. But I do believe we are given fresh material every day that is meant to be worked on that day. And, taking the idea and doing something, anything, will keep things from clogging up -- and once you clear the build up, things will start to flow again.

What ideas are you storing up for a rainy day?  What idea can you pull out and work on today?

Happy Writing,

This post was originally posted at InScribe Writers Online.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Living Intentionally

When it comes to living my day with intent, I will sometimes use these tips to help me focus and get my work done. I use these as kindly reminders to myself to just get on with things.

Bite size it
So as to not get overwhelmed

Implement quickly
Don't put it off -- do it now

Just get it done
Don't fiddle for perfection

Be aware of opportunities around you
They tend not to shout they're here

Be still and listen
Mind the Divine nudge inside

Be bold
In spite of any discomfort, clutter, or chattering

  When you learn it
Share the wisdom -- pass it on

 Now go live beautifully,

Friday, June 18, 2010

Audacity At Its Finest

I love this fellow's audacity...he's brave, he's bold and he knows exactly what he wants -- he'll have it all thank you very much!

Wishing you a great day,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dandelions Know It!

WE ALL KNOW the single intention of dandelion poofs -- to cover the entire world with their presence, and, no, they do not care if it's in your green, green lawn. They are totally committed and focused on that intent. They know what they're supposed to do and they do it.

You may recall I've been invited to be a presenter at a writer's conference this fall (topic about blogging and internet presence). Well, we all know how big a field that is, and when I think about all the information I could share in 90 minutes, I knew I needed to narrow the field and the focus.

Which reminds me of something I once read. This individual, a speaker, said that every time she got up in front of a room, she had a single intention for the session of the seminar. A three-hour session was formed from one sentence: the intention.

Everything else was culled, it's not that the idea isn't a good one, it just doesn't fit this intention. That's simplifying, isn't it? And clarifying. And bringing the overwhelming into the manageable.

Funny thing, just like dandelions bursting out, I have ideas bursting out as I see the value of having a single intention for every other area of my life. Why can't I do that every morning when I get up? Establish the single intention for that day. Or maybe even expand it to the overall single intention of my week...or the next 90 days.

I've always loved dandelions, even when I see a perky yellow head in my green, green lawn. I love their spunk and determination. I could learn something from them. Hope you can too!

Here's wishing you a beautiful, purposeful day!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunset From My Window

It's 10 o'clock at night and the sun is just setting here in northerly Alberta. I grabbed my camera so I could give you a glimpse of it.

That's what I love about this time of year...... the long summer evenings ending in long, gorgeous sunsets.

A perfect way to end the day. Night, night!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Simply Sunday...Waiting for Strength

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  ~ from Isaiah 40

Some years ago, when I was worn and ill physically, I often came to these words for comfort and hope. And, as I waited the these words became reality in my own life.

During this season I often spent time just being quiet and still -- not praying, not worrying, just resting -- and I would always come away feeling rested in my mind and heart, which somehow seemed  to soak into every cell of my body. I'd feel physically strengthened.

Personally, I don't know what I would have done if I not discovered that God was a place, a Person from whom I could receive strength for my day. Today, I offer Him as a place of refuge for anyone who might need an oasis of rest in their own journey through this imperfect world.

Wishing you strength for the day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Not Too Late To Change

Today I'm sharing a couple of quotes that have been helpful to me. 
The first is from something I read by Richard Paul Evans. Though short, its message is powerful and, I must admit, most reassuring.
"No matter how irresponsible you've been in the past, or still are, it's never too late to take control."
How glad we can be that as each new day dawns there comes with it grace and mercy to start fresh, and with that the ability to take back those areas of our lives where we've left them drift.

* * * * *
Here's another one that seems to fit the theme, this one by Robert Fritz. I find his words empowering.
"The very moment you realize you are unhappy or frustrated with a situation, is your 'point of power' for now you have a clear picture of how you don't want things to be. Imagine the exact opposite of the frustrating situation, and there you have the makings of your vision."
How many times have we been unhappy about some situation, groaning about it, focusing on how awful or irritating it is ... all the while not recognizing there comes that clear, defining moment -- if we pay attention to our emotional language -- that helps us find our way back to our heart's desire.

Isn't that just so encouraging? 
On that note, I'm off... have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Excuses Be Gone!

I lay still, strangled by excuses.
No words escape my lonely lips.
Shadows cover my reality,
dodging my discontent.
~ from Lin at Letters from Lin

Lin's post jolted me out of my chair this morning, especially when I read the phrase 'strangled by excuses'. Oh my! There have been so many times I have felt my creativity struggling for air, watching my motivation get up and leave, and feel my buoyant energy level bottom out like blood sugar dropping.

Right now, I decided to see what kinds of excuses I've used over my lifetime. Thankfully, some I've gotten rid of, but others I still need to deal with. Why not see if any of these resonate with you. Then ask yourself what you can do differently today to get rid of at least one.

I'm too tired today. I wonder if we do this to ourselves more often than not. Ever stay up too late and then find yourself dragging around the next day, unable to give your best because you're tired? Have you ever considered that NOT getting our rest is actually wasting time. I know we sometimes get the message that we should learn to sleep on less, but at what cost? Our health? Another thing I've realized: When you're tired, do you have an underlying sense that you have a legitimate claim on other people's sympathy and understanding that day? Don't be too hard on me, I stayed up late to watch so and so. Say, who's to blame here? No one but me, so to be more successful, I need to take full responsibility for myself and drop this one from my excuse list.

I don't have time now, maybe later. Ask yourself, what am I doing now that is more important than moving toward my true goal or dream?

Life handed me lemons and I don't have a lemon squeezer. Ask yourself, do I really need a lemon squeezer? How can I devise/create another way to accomplish this?

I can't afford to; I don't have the money. Ask yourself, what one small step can I do today with what I already have available? You'll be surprised, I guarantee it (sorry, no money back).

Wait till the kids are older, till they're in school, till they graduate. Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one. Don't put off doing something with your dream until later. Maybe you've only got 15 minutes a day to do something for yourself. Fifteen minutes a day = 1 hr and 45 minutes a week. What one thing could you do in those fifteen minutes each day?

Too much clutter. Did you know that successful people don't let things like clutter stop them from getting what they need done? They move forward IN SPITE of the clutter. They don't let clutter be boss. (Thanks, Ann Vertel, for that awesome tip you shared this morning!)

Don't know how. Hey, that's no excuse. The Internet is loaded with information. Do a Google search and see the list that comes up of experts sharing their ideas and tips (lots of them for free) on what you want to know.

Enough said. We're all bright people, but maybe it's time to discover and uncover which excuses we've allowed to run our lives. Time to squeeze the life out of them and get our own life back.

Here's to living our lives with fewer excuses,

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Now Is The Best Time

"Never ever, ever leave a place of learning
without taking immediate action."
~ Jenny Flintoft, Director, AWHW.org

What? You mean right this minute? You mean I can't just add that great new idea to my pile until I find the time to tackle it?

According to Jenny, no you can't! Not if you want to change a habit or complete a project you've started. Not if you want to move forward in your business or actually get that book you have in your head out on paper. The more I think about it, the more I realize that far too often I've been a 'hearer' of a word and not a 'doer'. How often have I heard something new, been totally inspired, and then added the idea in my already bulging mental notebook, somehow thinking that just because I got 'goosebumps' from some amazing piece of information, it would automatically change my life. Maybe I thought it would happen by osmosis.

What really challenged me was when Jenny instructed her listeners to take one thing we learned that morning and immediately take action to implement it, to do it just as soon as we got off the phone.

I have to admit, it seemed too fast for me. But that's exactly what I needed. When will there be a better moment? A line from The King and I with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr says it best:

"Now is always best time."

* * *

Another tip from Jenny: "Go through your existing e-books and products. Highlight, scribble, stick notes on things which you can action immediately. Then go action them. Don't buy any more products until you do."

I'm ready to action that -- now is always best time!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Simply Sunday: A Safe Place

Miss Kitty loves to go outside, but she's careful to keep an eye open for scary stuff. For she's a timid little thing, and although she's not as shy as she once was, I've noticed she still appears to be more at ease exploring the 'great outdoors' when she knows the door stays open.

She'll often come back from her garden snooping to sniff the door, as if to ensure that it's still open. When I ask if she wants to go inside, Oh no, we're just checking that there's still a safe place to run into should it be necessary. Then she wanders back out.

It got me thinking, sometimes God calls us to come out of our familiar spots into a place that isn't always comfortable for us. We may step out, one toe at a time. And, we tend to keep a watchful eye on the door, in case 'there be dragons out there'.

I think the Psalmist must have felt that way sometimes, because he sure journaled a lot about it. If you read through the Book of Psalms, it is full of reminders to himself that he knows there is a safe place for him to run into.

A snippet from the Psalmist's journal: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into him and are safe. Psalm 18:10

It might give us the courage to step out into the unknown if we remember that God always leaves the door open for us and we can run back to Him anytime we feel the heat of dragon fire.

May you find that safe place today. Wishing you peace!


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Please Wear Pants!


I just finished tsk-ing and giggling my way through an article Look Ma - no pants! in The Globe and Mail. Columnist Leah McLaren was wondering when it became okay to flash your underwear in public. Apparently there's a current trend in some places for people (men and women both) to go out in public, minus their trousers (and the women aren't wearing skirts either). Really...don't even try to imagine that one!

Which makes me glad for my 'old fogey' friends (sorry you guys)... so far, everyone we hang out with has always arrived fully clothed for the occasion.

It makes me wonder if this fad were to hang around for any length, restaurant owners would have to update their 'No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service' signs. Somehow it doesn't quite have the same rhythm if you add 'No Pants'. And then think about it, you've just sent invitations out for your daughter's wedding. Do you have to specify in the RSVP -- please wear trousers?

McLaren's closing comment make me laugh: "Take it from the fashion experts--pants are important. They cover our wobbly bits and separate us from the Muppets. Wear them early and wear them often and please, ladies, if you see me coming, put on a pair for me."

Well, that certainly added some colour to my otherwise low key day.

Here's to the usefulness of trousers!