What’s your story?
Everyone has one and they’re all different.
Me? If you read my blog page you know I ditched the heels for flipflop & flats, the car for a Jeep and best of all – conference rooms for the beach. Lots of crazy things happen in my story, it took decades to unpack, but I don’t regret my decisions, at least not all of them. This is how I arrived at this chapter today.
The thing about chapters is change. There is always change, teaching us lessons about the yesterdays, last year’s and the tomorrows to come in the horizon. Lessons are just part of the story that moves us down the road to the next chapter. We get to navigate how
long we stay in a chapter before it’s over and who’s the other ppl there with us.
Do you love true stories, memoirs or do you prefer fabricated fictional stories? I’m interested in your thoughts, why? Well you know why, I’m writing stories, short stories and I’m changing chapters, looking for inspiration, direction and feedback. Does anyone still read books anymore? Prefer photo journaling or blog post?
What’s your story? Tell me…you have one.
What does the picture I took below mean to you, anything or nothing?
Happy trails & sign up with me
A dream dinner party for 8 guests at your home, who’s invited? Let me set this up… You can invite 8 guests of your choice, to your home for dinner – sound fun? Play along and let your imagination loose. You might learn something new about yourself. Your guests must be alive and living today to be invited. No fictional Disney characters or dead poets are invited to this party, save them for your next gathering.
Creating my list was easy until I started thinking about how different each guest is from one another and the possible awkwardness it might present. I thought about how the guests would converse with each other, and if the evening would have fluidity? And how I could possibly make it interesting for everyone.
I thought about where I would seat each guest with precision. And where I would place myself… So I wouldn’t miss a whisper from a single guest. Who would I sit next to me?
(Maybe I could cut a hole in the center of the table and sit where the candles would be???) As silly as it may seem, for a hot moment, the thought did pop up in my head. Moving on!
There are many details to sort out like which tabletop flowers, what plates to use and what to serve. I mean, the dinner is the important thing, after all, it is a gathering for dinner, to eat. All I wanted to think about was the list of questions I had for each guest.
Your list might be all the same kind of people (people who have much in common) or very different interest, like my list. Either way, it’s your party, your list and you get to orchestrate the whole event exactly as you want.
For some of you, the list will require some thought as you struggle to decide who you find most exciting or who has been a life long influence for you. Six on my guest list were easy… While the other two I debated over. Here are the 8 guests invited to my party.
Stephen King, Writer
Nicholas Sparks, Writer
Stevie Nicks, Musician, Fleetwood Mac Band
Stephen Tyler, Musician, Aerosmith
Donald Trump, Entrepreneur
Sarah Palin, Writer & politics
Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse
Beth Moore, Writer & Christian Bible Teacher
Do you find this to be an interesting list or an impossible mix of extreme liberal and conservative people? Could they learn something from each other? Would they?
My reasons are plentiful for each guest. An appetite for inspiration, curiosity and motivation just for starters!
King has inspired my imagination beyond limits, yet I continued to reach for his novels. If I had to pick a favorite writer, he definitely gets my vote. In my opinion, King is the best writer alive today, on the planet. I’ve read almost all his work and have never been disappointed. If you are not a fan of the King’s style of horror, I highly recommend his books on writing, “Top 20 Rules For Writers” and “On Writing and A Memoir of the Craft”. I promise you will learn something useful with takeaway value.
Nicholas Sparks, a North Carolina writer and once the professor at Carolina who has risen to fame with simple love stories like “The Notebook”, “Message in a Bottle”, “Safe Haven” and dozens more. His books are transformed into blockbuster movies and usually filmed here locally, in North Carolina. A male writer, gifted with a compelling point of view combined with a knack for developing slow unfolding love stories. Sparks brings a unique storytelling style that leaves a large female audience yearning for more. Bestseller list, after bestseller list – seems to happen easy for him.
Stevie Nicks belongs in a class of her own, unlike any other female performer. Stevie performs solo and is the lead singer for the British band, Fleetwood Mac. A self-made megawatt legend, who had a dream, pursued it with great passion.
Stephen Tyler, a likable musician who rocked stages around the world with the band Aerosmith and continues to perform solo recently breaking into country music. Aerosmith was America’s rock band with mega hits like “Dream on” and “Walk This Way” that leave jingles forever in our heads. His book “Noise Inside My Head” was surprisingly a good read with a candid, picturesque inside view of life as America’s top rock band. He is soulful, mischievous and bubbling over with the joys of life.
Donald Trump is a famous and outspoken businessman, who is a well branded name that has developed a hugely successful empire. As his rising political popularity soars, so does his charisma, determination and tenacity. Support him or not – he is vivacious, and an interesting personality.
Sarah Palin is a conservative, brave woman. She is a trailblazer in US politics. Anyone who hasn’t heard of Sarah Palin is living under a rock, considering her popularity and fame. I love her Facebook page! Her posts are opinionated, interactive, courageous and brutally honest. Despite her constant criticism Sarah presses through every battle (and there have been many) with great stamina and big patriotism, unmatched by any other female politicians to date. No, she is not perfect, but she is Sarah Palin and she doesn’t have to be. She is real.
Franklin Graham is a Humanitarian and Evangelist, son of America’s Pastor Billy Graham. Franklin founded Samaritans Purse, one of the largest evangelical relief aid organizations in the world, helping over 240 countries in catastrophic events. Often times, Samaritans Purse is the first on the scene to help.The Graham’s family faithfulness and devotion to Jesus Christ have astounded me my entire life. I stand in total awe of this family! I could spend months conversing with Franklin about spiritual topics and humanitarian subjects.
Beth Moore is America’s favorite Bible teacher. She is a brilliant, a witty writer and speaker who can bring the old and new testament scriptures alive with an applicable and simplicity message. A powerful, dynamic Proverbs 31 woman in every way. Beth is an extraordinary role model for millions of women of the Christian faith around the world.
There were a few favorites I had to leave off the guest list, 8 chairs was the limit. I did discover a couple of things about my own list that surprised me. I spent thirty years in the fashion industry and not a single designer made the cut. I love photography, but there was no one I was willing to remove from the 8 selected.
How about you? Who would you invite and why? It never hurts to dream. Do you still believe in miracles?
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“Day dreaming and night thinking”
Love trumps everything, Is that possible? Ask anyone in love, and the answer will most likely be, YES.. Does sound like a tall order in todays world?
In my humble opinion, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 are powerful scriptures that begin with simple phrases, such as “love is kind”, elevating with contrasts like “it does not envy”. It’s hard stuff. If you think about the message it conveys, and the human strength it commands, you will see a completely opposite perspective of what lives in the heart of mankind.
I believe Paul, the author of Corinthians is revealing this message:
1. The Eminence of Love, verses 1-3 – love is the foundation of all spiritual gifts, and nothing is of value without love as the main motive or driving force for action.
2. The Explanation of Love, verses 4-8 – a description of love, what it looks like and how it operates in our lives, and he contrasts the verses with what love is not.
3. The Endurance of Love, verses 9-13 – emphasis on the permanency of love, the sustaining promise that trumps all other virtues, whether faith or hope, only love endures.
It makes perfect sense why 1 Corinthians 13 is recited at most weddings. It offers the perfect ingredients for strong marriages and teaches a thorough lesson on love, what it means and how to make it last forever.
Valentines Day is a day the entire world celebrates – Love. Imagine a world where love penetrated every relationship, not just family or romantic relationships, but the person who bags your groceries or brings your food to the table at restaurants.
Love is not just a 4-letter word, its action in motion, an attitude toward others. Who doesn’t like to be around loving people? Everyone desires to be loved and accepted by others, it’s human nature.
It’s not by accident the first two commandments are all about love. If you look at the list of commandments, the ability to love others seems easy to do compared to some of the other commandments, but God knew we would struggle with love, leading me to think that’s why it’s listed first. Love lessons are sprinkled throughout the scriptures, here are a few of my favorites:
- “Above all, love each other deeply,because love covers a multitude of sins”. – 1 Peter 4:8
- “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God, and he who loves is begotten (born) of God and is coming to know and understand God (to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of him)”. –1 John 4:7
- “By this shall all know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (if you keep on showing love among yourselves)”. John 13:35
- “But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Matthew 5:44
With these specific instructions written for guidance, we continue to struggle with loving each other. The ones close to our hearts are easy to love, but what about the ones we find unlikable or hard to love? And what about the people who hurt or abandoned us? Only through love can forgiveness heal and life move forward.
A world united in love would have no need to be at war. Hate and fear would cease to exist. Friendship, relationships and communities would thrive.The greatness of this concept would be limitless, heavenly in fact. And one day, it shall be. I can only imagine.
How will your Valentine’s Day impact others? Do you have any advice on how to love more, how to add to the world around you?
Happy Valentine’s Day,
Donna George, xoxo
If you are like me, when you encounter exceptionally nice people, or people who seem particularly gentle and thoughtful to others, you might take a mental note. I notice these type of exchanges at random times and places. I am not referring to times of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or just chaotic events, but just simple acts of kindness in everyday life towards others. Genuine kindness flows from the heart, while superficial actions often come from learned behaviors. Most of us can tell the difference.
The battle of good and evil deep within us seems to war throughout the day. It is easier being selfish and distant than being warm and kind. I find myself constantly challenged in my pursuit of kindness for mankind. It is hard stuff, but at the end of the day, I believe that all of us want to feel good about our actions and behaviors. Our hope is to become more sensitive and passionate about our own personal development.
Here is a quick list of “10 Random Acts of Kindness” from my note to self list.
1. Make eye contact and smile at others every chance you get.
2. Look for a way to give a compliment to someone and brighten their day.
3. Pay for the car’s food order behind you at the drive through. (amazing gift)
4. Help a senior citizen load their groceries in their car in the parking lot.
5. Add coins to someone’s expired parking meter.
6. Take your (read) current magazines to a business that could use them.
7. Post positive comments on a community web page of a service you enjoyed.
8. Get involved and take part in a non-profit organization you value.
9. Write a thank you note and send to someone who deserves it (snail mail style).
10. Write a note of appreciation to your mail person or a card to thank them.
The ideas are endless, the acts are kind, and the effects will echo in eternity. The choices we make and the chances we take, determine the satisfaction with life. Live with passion and believe that you can make a difference. You have the exact message that (someone) is waiting to hear. Try being larger than yourself and experiment with life that’s outside of your comfort zone. Who knows, it might be fun.
Be aware that we live in a world that is hypnotically entranced by the (i) culture, as much as we have embraced and accepted it, consider the huge influence of the little letter (i). You might recognize the gigantic impact of the (i) trend on our everyday life, i.e. iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMessage for just a few. And let’s not forget about the powerful little word (me). This is now synchronized in our culture with phrases like, follow me, join me, etc. What does this indicate for the future?
What is the most radical act of kindness or goodwill you have ever done?
Two little words… WHAT IF…Think of the possibilities.
I can do this!
I am doing that!
It’s true, you can make your dreams, if you are willing to reach out and work for them. Most people have heard the quote “shoot for the moon, if you don’t make it, you will fall among the stars”. For some people the stars are not the dream, so they press on… and keep trying, never considering giving up.
I believe that our dreams somehow keep us alive inside, inspire us to continue to hope and believe in ourselves. I love being around friends who are zealous for life, it’s contagious. It’s like a powerful energy that changes the atmosphere and makes me happier. I love the moments my imaginations jumps into full throttle and climbs to a peak and stops. It’s a magical place to travel, exclusively (only to you).
The key is to hold on to those dreams and impressions, get a plan together, and activate baby steps. Look for resources to help you and keep moving forward. you can look back, but don’t stare. Staring can cause you to stumble, procrastinate and doubt yourself.
Think big! Personally, I like achieving the possibilities that once seemed completely out of reach, like pie in the sky. I make myself little rewards for what I carry out along the way, The past is our road maps marked with boundaries that prepare us for what lies ahead. I like to think of the past as a warm up exercise that has me equipped for the future. I believe the best is yet to come.
Consider this, ” what if” I am right… Is there something you can imagine that you want to do? Have you exhausted all your possibilities? If you think you have – you probably have, but if you share my passion…we have just begun.
Tell me about the possibilities for you, I dream of being in a book store, as an author of a book, that bleeds my passion and changes the lives of the ones who read it. I have always imagined the scene like it was real, the place, the details in living color, even my outfit and red shoes. Sometimes speaking it out loud will confirm it in your mind. What if…
Remember this old song “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine”.
Everybody has a light in them. It might be bright, dim, or turned off, but the great news is – it’s still present, don’t worry, the triggers in everyday life spark our light to expand or to fade away. It’s a healthy step in the right direction to understand the fullness and potential of how bright that light can actually shine. Ultimately, it is measured by our outward actions and attitudes towards life and other people.
There are practices we can move toward to begin illuminating ourselves to positively affect others who are around us daily. We can intentionally place ourselves in uplifting environments by being proactive and more sensitive to how we feel during the day. in the moment.
Here are some ideas to try which might offer some thought to seriously consider.
Are the people in your life adding to your peace or eating it up? Make a list of each person on paper and decide if the relationships are healthy, necessary, and productive to your life in some way. Realize who are your friends and what defines the friendship. Many friendships are often one-sided, one person is contributing to the relationship resulting in the other friend to experience nothing valuable or satisfying from the relationship. There are seasons in healthy friendships where this will be a natural pattern as people experience life changing events and occurrences.
Is there a place in your life to explore and experience the creative side of yourself? It has now been scientifically proven by multiple studies of various groups of senior citizens, who are cognitively functionally strong as compared to other similar groups, who are not mentally or physically healthy, that finds the dramatic brain differences in the two different groups. The significant difference between the two groups is interesting. The group of older people who were artists, musicians, writers, painters all of whom worked in the creative field were much more cognitive than the group studied who experienced small amounts of time applied to creativity in their lives. The group who spent their life working in the field they enjoyed, utilizing the creative side of their brain, actually displayed healthier brain cortex on the MRI, while the other groups MRI displayed a much less healthy cortex brain.
This is perhaps a motivating reason to wake up the exploratory side of the brain to a world that imagines, wonders, and deviates from what has always been normal or routine to ordinary life.
Experiencing a big life evolves around big love, big thoughts, and increased sensitivity to the little things occurring in your daily life. It may seem illogical to open your life and expose your heart to people who are different from you. It will probably seem boring and worthless, but give it a chance to develop a rhythm. Usually, when we discover happiness, we were not in pursuit of it at the time, it just happens through our natural journey, but what if we could embrace more of these happy encounters. Be open to all kinds of people, look for a common ground and build from there.
Focus your mind on positive outcomes and remove negative thoughts that come out of nowhere in your head. Capture the thought, think over it with something good and watch it leave. It gets easier to do this with practice and it does work! Try it the next time you feel uncomfortable in a situation.
A huge part of this process is to be sensitive to what is present in your environment and what your head is attempting to tell you. Look beyond the things in front of you. Why are they there and how did it come about? Start to practice asking yourself about the purpose and the timing of everything going on in your life. All big things start with something small that often evolves into something bigger.
In a perfect world, most of us would prefer day over night, light over dark, good over bad and life over death. We all have the desire to be liked and have friends and influence with others. The good news is, we all have the ability inside of us to make it happen, it was placed there in our design. Our job is to navigate our journey well by fueling it with the right ingredients, select friends, jobs, churches that will bring out the best in us and inspire healthy goals to meet.
What you say you are you possibly can become; just as what you say you aren’t, you will never be. Who you were yesterday does not determine who you can become in the future.
Be a light for someone everyday. The world is bursting with negative all arounds us and your light is needed now. Someone out there needs you to stand out and believe in them. Have hope in humanity, extend a hand, an ear, or simply just show up. Bright lights resonate for long distances and many others can see the ray, some never forget the glow they experienced from them and others are taught how to ignite their own.