Awareness Meets Self

“What if you spent some alone time every morning? Call it prayer. Call it planning. Call it centering. I call it a powerful way to begin the day.” 

Steve Goodier

I’ve become aware I’ve missed my early morning hours.

It was those predawn moments when I’d write my gratitudes, read, and reach out to loved ones.

My soul needs me to find that time.

I’ve prepared by bringing out my journal and making my first reading selections for 2020. My year of awareness taught me unless I have everything in place, I will lose precious time making minute decisions.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of putting self care first.

I like it.

“Self-love is not the process of ignoring things, paying attention to fewer flaws or forcing yourself to look away from the parts of you that you perceive as ugly or unwanted. Self-love is the process of expanding your awareness, of seeing those flaws and imperfections alongside the incredible potential of the universe flowing within you, alongside the eternal truth of life flowing within your veins in each second, alongside the flickers of creativity and opportunity present within each moment of your existence. Like this, the imperfections persist, but only as lovable quirks, like a bad doorknob on the front door of a cottage in paradise, like a few thorns on a beautiful rose, like a cloud in a sunset. Like this, what was once unwanted becomes essential, memorable, humbling.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being. 


The Journey Continues

“A new year always comes with a new hope for a new beginning, but new beginning is not only starting something new, it is more about improving upon things not going right or went wrong last year. After all, it is a just a new date, the journey continues!” 

Shahenshah Hafeez Khan  

The first week of the new year is almost over and I’m still wondering what I want to accomplish in 2019.

As I began to read and write today, another blog caught my eye. That’s not unusual–I read Nicole Luttrell’s blog, Paper Beats World, often. Today’s article seemed to be directed right at me. In “Raise a glass, then make some plans,” Nicole shares her personal experiences with goal making while offering simple steps and suggestions for creating plans of our own.

One thing really stood out for me. Nicole makes the observations that many of us jump right into making plans for the new year without stopping to think about the successes we had the previous year.

As conscious as I am about being grateful, I never once thought of taking the time to think and then celebrate my accomplishments of 2018. With that missing step, I was using what didn’t go well as the basis for what I wanted to do in the new year. I had to shake my head. Was it any surprise I couldn’t form a firm plan when I my thought process was based on those negative events?

Thanks, Nicole, for giving me that ah-ha moment.

“With the new year having just begun, many of us have tried to change our habits, all of them, all at once. The best way to change your habits is to change them one at a time, to start small and gradually work your way up. Choose a habit, whether it be to stop doing something or start doing something, and focus all your time and intention on that habit. If you start trying to split your attention between multiple activities, you will soon find that you lose your motivation, focus, and energy. Small regular actions are far more beneficial than large irregular actions.” 

Avina Celeste

I am…

B…simply being…


Starting a 2019 Awareness List

Without self-awareness and the ability to manage our emotions, we often unknowingly lead from hurt, not heart. Not only is this a huge energy suck for us and the people around us, it creates distrust, disengagement, and an eggshell culture.  Brené Brown

Over the weekend I saw Brene Brown on our local PBS station talking about her newest book, Daring to Lead.

I and many many others adore this woman.

If you aren’t familiar with her, the best way to “meet” her is to google her and watch her TED talks. The first time I heard her I was speechless and in tears. In a matter of minutes she opened my eyes to so many things.

As 2018 nears its final days, many of us begin to plan the for new year. Self-awareness is on my list. I no longer see it as a self-improvement list. How can I improve when I am unaware?

So–becoming aware is where I will begin 2019.

I’m thinking I’m not the only one who needs to re-evaluate their starting position. Kinda like that old game of Monopoly–you cannot pass go until….

At the top of my goals is investing the time to read Brene’s books. I have them all either on my shelf–thanks to my little used book store–or on my Kindle.

But here’s the deal–

Reading them is so hard because everything she says resounds so strongly with me. As I read I find myself thrown back in time–which is where I need to begin.

I know I need to address the old issues I’ve carried around with me for decades–like it or not–for a while, it really will be one step forward and one step back.

Because her words encourage me, I re-posted Brene’s blog on my Facebook page today and clipped parts to share here.

“Leading from hurt” behaviors can be fueled by feeling no value from our partner or our children, so we double down on being seen as “important” at work by taking credit for ideas that aren’t ours, staying in comparison mode, and always knowing instead of learning. The most common driver of the hurt that I’ve observed is from our first families.

The first-family stuff can look like seeking the approval and acceptance from colleagues that we never received from our parents. Also, if our parents’ professional failures and disappointments shaped our upbringing, we can spend our careers trying to undo that pain. That often takes the shape of an insatiable appetite for recognition and success, of unproductive competition, and, on occasion, of having zero tolerance for risk.

Identifying the source of the pain that’s driving how we lead and how we show up for other people is important, because returning to that place and doing that work is the only real fix. Projecting the pain onto others places it where it doesn’t belong and leads to serious trust violations. Our long, hard search for whatever it is that we need never ends and leaves a wake of disconnection.

One of the key learnings emerging from our leadership study took my breath away: Leaders must either invest a reasonable amount of time attending to fears and feelings or squander an unreasonable amount of time trying to manage ineffective and unproductive behavior.  Well, leader, heal thyself.

I am…

B…simply being…


A Plan

“Support your own success. What do you need to do to make your dreams a reality? What steps do you need to take? How can you be ready for an opportunity? Think of everything that you would need to do to harness opportunity. Start working on those things. You will want to make the most optimum use of any opportunity that comes along. How can you do that if you’re not ready? Don’t sell yourself short. Do what you can TODAY for a better tomorrow. Your efforts will pay off. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams.”
― Akiroq Brost

I realized last Friday I needed to make a change. I was mentally and physically tired–kinda like Ruby’s new little piglet.

Nearly a year ago I began my storytelling. Little did I know how much I would enjoy it! I’d gone back and read some of my older stories and discovered I’d grown as a storyteller. What a wonderful discovery but…I needed to re-evaluate where I was going and if I was on the right track.

I was beginning to see by publishing a story Monday through Friday left me very little time to research, read, and learn. I am surrounded by all these marvelous tools, but I have no real idea how to use them in a way where they could help me work more quickly and more efficiently.

My supply of the easy short stories was wearing thin. Combine that with my cumbersome methods of writing, I was working very hard in order to complete my daily tales.

That little voice in my head, my very quiet and patient “logical self” whispered, “Dear One, it’s time you made a new plan.”

I’ve resisted doing this for a very long time. In the past, cutting back was my way to avoid putting my words out there. Now, I know I’ve gotten over that fear, I believe in myself and I know I’ve committed myself to writing. It is time, for now,  to make a plan where I write a little less and concentrate a little more on learning.

For the next two months, I’ll publish two stories a week. This will give me time to read and learn. I need to get a firm understanding of how to use the WordPress platform. Right now, I know how to get my words out there. Any little glitch throws everything into a tailspin. I’ll be researching topics I’ve wanted to develop and share, taking time to expand on what I find instead of just superficial summaries. I know my readers have some of the same questions and interests I do. With more preparation, I can dig deeper. How grand it will be to have a collection of stories to pull from and share. I can grow the Barbara Storytelling Bank. Once that’s done, I’ll be back on my daily schedule.

“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

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.


A Rest Day

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
― Alan Cohen

I rested today.

The sun was warm-hot actually, the breeze strong, and there was a feeling of change in the air.

As I sat on my back patio, I saw the first honey bee I’d seen in a very long time. This little bee had so much pollen on his back legs he was moving very slowly. It was so fun to watch him and several other bees crawl and fly on and over this beautiful plant.

Since it was such a slow day, let me update you on my revived ritual of journaling.

This one very simple act has reconnected me to my world. As I walk to my desk each day and open my notebook, I am so thankful for the early morning time of self-awareness. So much has changed in my world these past few years. For the first time in a very long time, I now write what comes to mind and allow those words to come unfiltered. I’ve learned I’m still looking for my place here. That is a big discovery. It is powerful. The insights unfolding as I write are giving me direction. I am able to work on a plan that will allow me to continue moving forward and grow. I’m learning that having a plan buffers the fear and the worry. It gives me control–and–surprise–I really like that.

I journal Monday through Friday with downtime over the weekends so my batteries have the time they need for recharging. Those batteries took some serious abuse in the past–their reserve power is best not challenged–so I don’t. Early each morning, I grab my coffee, put on my Celtic music, sit down, sharpen my pencils, and write. As I gaze out my windows, I’ve been reminded of how magical the early morning hours are while I’m bedazzled by the beauty of the hill country sunrises.

I’ve learned how important it is to write first thing. For a few days, I sat on the front porch with the dogs and Michael, sharing coffee and awaiting the sunrise. It was a good experience but that time gave my brain time to engage the “ego.” With those few minutes of delay, I’d lost that window of pure, unfiltered honesty. Writing now comes first.

Tonight, we are expecting our first major cold front of the season. Tomorrow will be much cooler. Texas is still pretty crazy to me–I see the trees sway as the winds gust–I find myself wondering how much snow will fall overnight! Crazy–yes–but I am very thankful I will not have to add shoveling snow to my tomorrow to-do list.

I’m off to bed. Please, remember to pray for each other, my friends. These cold and icy days mean there will be many slips and falls. All that translates to broken hips, arms, and whatever else hits the ground first. Watch out for each other. Lend a steady hand where you see it’s needed. Get out and help your elderly neighbor shovel snow.

Be patient and kind.

I am…

B…simply being…

Love you.





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