Bird by Bird

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.” 

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

My next assignment from my WordPress Course is to write about my ideal reader, including a new media element

Okay. I looked at the additional information for today’s assignment and see the very extensive list of media element options. As I clicked on each option I realized this was going to take some time.

My initial reaction was to run.

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I was and am way out of my comfort zone.

But…not a news flash. I knew I needed to slow down, taking things “bird by bird.”

With my very stern internal voice, I reminded myself this would be an investment of time. Time I’d need to set aside to learn all the tools I have at my fingertips. Each topic has the potential to add another dimension to my stories so I can fully engage my “ideal reader.”

Who is my audience, my ideal reader?

As I think about who would read my writing, I think most people would fall under the category of “seekers.”

My reader is someone searching for information to enlighten his or her life. He or she is a lifetime learner as well as a teacher. They work to learn from their experiences and mistakes and want to share and learn from the experiences of others. They question who they are and what they are here to do. They are observers of life.

They want to do and be better.

They are beginning to understand they are spiritual beings having a human experience.

“Life isn’t always about finding yourself. More often than not, it’s about discovering who God created you to be.” 

David A.R. White, Between Heaven and Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

Learning

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” 

Albert Einstein

My course from WordPress is going well.

The reason I am so positive is what I’ve read so far corresponds with what I’ve been able to figure out on my own. And I’m understanding.

How encouraging is that?

In addition to creating my first blog in the course, I’ve learned about naming my blog and creating a tagline–two tasks I’d done years ago. Today my lesson was to visit other blogs and begin following other writers.

Over time I’ve saved many sites that I read often. Each writer has taught me something and given me encouragement to keep going when I felt I was failing miserably.

The intent of my storytelling was not to have followers but I must confess I really appreciate the fact someone I don’t know is reading what I have to say.

I am grateful for everyone who takes time to read my stories.

There’s a lot to learn about this writing tool. I’m thinking today is probably my last really easy lesson. Will take it a lesson at a time and see what tomorrow has in store for me.

Don’t just learn, experience.

Don’t just read, absorb.

Don’t just change, transform.

Don’t just relate, advocate.

Don’t just promise, prove.

Don’t just criticize, encourage.

Don’t just think, ponder.

Don’t just take, give.

Don’t just see, feel.

Don’t just dream, do. 

Don’t just hear, listen.

Don’t just talk, act.

Don’t just tell, show.

Don’t just exist, live.” 

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

Blogging 101

“I believe that life is all about perception and timing. That good things come to those who act and that life’s about more than collecting a paycheck. I believe that the only person you’re destined to become is the one that you decide to be. That if you try hard enough you can convince yourself of anything. That having patience doesn’t make you a hero nor does it make you a doormat. I believe that not showing love proves you’re weak and belittling others doesn’t make you strong. That you are never as far away from people as the miles may suggest. That life’s too short to read awful books, listen to terrible music, or be around uninspiring people. I believe that where you start has little impact on where you finish. That sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. That you can never be overdressed or overeducated. I believe that the cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears, or the sea. That you should never let your memories be greater than your dreams. And that you should always choose adventure.” 

Todd Smidt

Today I began a course through WordPress on blogging. Yes, Blogging101.

My first assignment: write a blog about why I’m writing my blog.

I began my story telling several years ago, planning to write and learn WordPress as I went along. I have been telling my stories but somehow the learning part got lost along the way.

It’s not that I have not had the time.

Truth be told, I’m not very good at admitting I don’t know something. Lots of truth and history in that statement–which would make for an excellent story if I could get the details past my internal critics.

Which is why I started this whole process–to learn about my past and to share what I learn along the way. In the tales I’ve shared so far, I have discovered many readers have similar questions about themselves and their past.

Do I want to dwell in the past? No.

As a way to survive, I’ve buried parts of my past so deeply it’s going to take a lot of time and patience to pull them all out so I can finally let them go.

I can’t move ahead if I continue to trip over my past.

All my challenges brought me to this place and helped make me the strong person I am today. By sharing my journey I hope I can help others begin their own.

Along with the story telling it is time to dedicate myself to learning the tools I have in my toolbox.

Thanks for being part of my work–in my WordPress course work and as I begin to celebrate myself.

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

Nudges

“You know, bicycling isn’t just a matter of balance,” I said. “it’s a matter of faith. You can keep upright only by moving forward. You have to have your eyes on the goal, not the ground. I’m going to call that the Bicyclist’s Philosophy of Life.” 

Susan Vreeland, Clara and Mr. Tiffany

I started riding a bicycle this week for the first time in twenty-five years–give or take a few years.

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. I gotta say–I disagree.

This week I grabbed my helmet and started peddling. I felt like I was eight years old again–my sense of balance was in the negative zone and my self-confidence was even lower. I had many starts and stops but I persisted.

My new bicycle is a power assist bike–a RADmini step through, to be exact. With the power assist I am able to make it up the steep hills that surround our little house on the HILL.

It’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would but I am finding my core. After all these years I know it’s in there somewhere. After each ride I feel stronger and more in control of the ride. The hardest thing for me is turning. I am positive as a young person I never thought once about making a turn. Now that one maneuver creates anxiety the moment I get on my bike.

I KNOW I’m over thinking all of this. I need to stop the drama, get on my beautiful new bike, and RIDE, RIDE, RIDE…

At this stage of my life I will be generous with myself and take all my challenges one pedal at a time. I survived a near wipe-out by staying centered and calm. THAT was a major victory for me–made even more momentous by the fact had I fallen I would have ended up in the middle of a very large fire ant mound.

Mother Nature is also giving me encouragement. On my first long morning ride–if you can actually call it long–I saw a coyote saunter across the road ahead of me and as I made my way home, a magnificent Bald Eagle flew across my path.

My form is far from pretty–I’m sure it’s a form uniquely my own. I shake my head and lumber on. I can feel my tenacious determination rearing its meek little head, giving me support while gently applying steady nudges forward.

“Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.” 

James E. Starrs, The Literary Cyclist: Great Bicycling Scenes in Literature

Before closing my computer for the weekend, I wanted to share a prayer I found earlier today. It is perfect for me and I think it may help others who read my stories. I am grateful for your powerful presence here in my storyteller’s corner. I treasure you.

   Dear Lord, there has been too much change in my life recently, and I feel overwhelmed. Because I try to be a responsible person, I sometimes forget that it is unwise for me to allow my sense of duty to override my common sense. 

   Lord, help me to allow myself more time to rest, relax, and pray. Guide me toward something spiritual to read every day and a quiet time afterwards to reflect on what I  have read and how it pertains to my life. I truly want to simplify my life and live more as Christ did. Help me remember that there is no loss or problem I must face alone. you are always near, with Your love and compassion to comfort me. 

   ~Amen

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

Learning and Growing

“Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Since I’ve started writing my stories, I’ve become so much more aware.

After taking that first very uncomfortable step–publishing my first post–my fear of rejection has diminished. I’m not saying I’m fearless. I am a long way from making that statement. What I can say is, for the first time, I believe in myself. I’ve begun accepting the fact I am a novice. I do not need to pretend to know it all. Because of that, I can commit to putting in the time needed to strengthen and shore up my budding skills.

I know I am ready. I am willing. I know I am able.

Of course, I’ve made these giant strides because I’ve had the blessing of encouraging and unconditionally loving friends. Thank you, God, and thanks to all. I am grateful.

With every published story, I learn more about myself. I stretch my boundaries, growing and changing with each new discovery.

Often I am caught off guard as I write, uncovering some lost memory. It’s like putting together some giant jigsaw puzzle when the cover photo of the finished puzzle is missing.

I am becoming more comfortable with all of those glitches.

I have grown into my retirement. I know and accept that I am lucky to have the time to figure it all out. There is no need to rush. I can think and marvel at all unfolding in front of me. I can sort and select those puzzle pieces, realizing that some of the intermixed and varied pieces may not be part of my puzzle.

What a marvelous realization, realizing and really understanding I am the master of my puzzle board.

I am thankful.

“Without darkness, we may never know how bright the stars shine. Without battles, we could not know what victory feels like. Without adversity, we may never appreciate the abundance in our lives. Be thankful, not only for the easy times, but for every experience that has made you who you are.”
― Julie-Anne

I am…

B…simply being…

Blessings and love to you all.

Peace

A New Teacher

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I found a new teacher today–by way of a new book.

I’ve Been Thinking…, by Maria Shriver.

Maria was on The Today Show this morning talking about her latest book. She described it as a book for anyone going through a transition in their lives.

Well…that sounded like a pretty good description of me. Before the morning was over, I’d ordered a sample and headed to the office.

I have to tell you, Maria had me by the end of the introduction. As I read those first few pages, the discussion felt so personal because she talked about some of the same things I’ve been saying in my own daily pages and blogs. She shared how thinking and writing helped her get “above the noise of daily life.” As I read, her story seemed to mirror my own when she stated her writing comes from a place deep in her heart and helps her to clear her mind and find peace.

Each chapter begins with a favorite quote and ends it with a prayer–similar to how I write my blog. As I noticed this, I felt as though this was a subtle Godwink of encouragement and validation for my own work.

Even though I’ve read just a small part of this book, I think I’ve found a new teacher–I’m ready.

As all the chapters do, the introduction ends with a prayer as well–a version of St. Teresa’s Prayer. I hope Maria won’t mind my sharing.

Morning Prayer

May today there be peace within
May your trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God
Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your should the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love
It is there for each and every one of us.
~St. Teresa of Avila~

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Many thanks to my friend, Judith Weitzel Wilmer, for allowing me to use her wonderful photo today. It certainly is a new way to share a glass of wine! Thanks, Judi! Love you. 

 

Learning and Growing

“Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Since I’ve started writing my stories, I’ve become so much more aware.

After taking that first very uncomfortable step–publishing my first post–my fear of rejection has diminished. I’m not saying I’m fearless. I am a long way from making that statement. What I can say is, for the first time, I believe in myself. I’ve begun accepting the fact I am a novice. I do not need to pretend to know it all. Because of that, I can commit to putting in the time needed to strengthen and shore up my budding skills.

I know I am ready. I am willing. I know I am able.

Of course, I’ve made these giant strides because I’ve had the blessing of encouraging and unconditionally loving friends. Thank you, God, and thanks to all. I am grateful.

With every published story, I learn more about myself. I stretch my boundaries, growing and changing with each new discovery.

Often I am caught off guard as I write, uncovering some lost memory. It’s like putting together some giant jigsaw puzzle when the cover photo of the finished puzzle is missing.

I am becoming more comfortable with all of those glitches.

I have grown into my retirement. I know and accept that I am lucky to have the time to figure it all out. There is no need to rush. I can think and marvel at all unfolding in front of me. I can sort and select those puzzle pieces, realizing that some of the intermixed and varied pieces may not be part of my puzzle.

What a marvelous realization, realizing and really understanding I am the master of my puzzle board.

I am thankful.

“Without darkness, we may never know how bright the stars shine. Without battles, we could not know what victory feels like. Without adversity, we may never appreciate the abundance in our lives. Be thankful, not only for the easy times, but for every experience that has made you who you are.”
― Julie-Anne

I am…

B…simply being…

Blessings and love to you all.

Peace