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Blog Shine Sunday {Sept 15}

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As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.
Marianne Williamson

Hello and welcome to another Blog Shine Sunday! I’m in the process of creating a Super Blog Shine Sunday for next week to get caught up on some sweet awards I’ve been given (and oh too slow to accept). So this week’s Blog Shine Sunday features just one blog. Just one post. But since I read it, it has stained my heart with many thoughts. Big picture stuff. Life. Death. Life in light of death. So please check it out. Read it. Read it again. You might find a tear in your eye when finished but read it anyway.

This is from a blog I mentioned last week.

Enjoy…

The Adventures of Fanny P
” …because life is just one big adventure…”
From this Blog: “Fanny P is a 30 something year old girl married to The Husband, a 40 year old boy. They have two children, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Two years ago they swapped London Living for Lombardy Living and are now enjoying the highs and lows of life in the Bel Paese.”

Check out this post: Thank You Cancer

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.
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Blog Shine Sunday {Sept 8}

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Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Hello and welcome to another Blog Shine Sunday! I hope that last week was wonderful and that your week ahead is even better. Here are a few blogs to check out – all wonderful works of inspiration and insight. They certainly brighten my days. I hope they do the same for you. 🙂

~1~
Missus Smarty Pants Style Blog
“Enjoy the Little Things”
From this Blog: “Improve your personal style. Gain style confidence. Stay current on the latest trends”

~2~
I Want Less
A Guide to The Simple Life
From this Blog: “This is your life, it’s short and it’s precious. Do you really want to spend it making money for somebody else? I don’t. I want to get out of the hamster wheel. And this is what this blog is about. ”
A Post I Love: Psychological Cost of Your Stuff

~3~
Everyday In A Dress
From this blog: “Dresses, and nothing but dresses everyday! Here you can see how I do it.”
A post I love: Is Summer Over?

~4~
The Adventures of Fanny P
” …because life is just one big adventure…”
From this Blog: “Fanny P is a 30 something year old girl married to The Husband, a 40 year old boy. They have two children, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Two years ago they swapped London Living for Lombardy Living and are now enjoying the highs and lows of life in the Bel Paese.”
A post I love: Women’s Problems

~5~
A Nine Pound Hammer….or a woman like you, either one of these will do
From this Blog: “Sparks from the anvil while exploring life and America’s treasures-South of the Mason Dixon line.”
A post I Love: All that I need…

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.

Blog Shine Sunday {Sept 1}

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I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.
Chelsea Handler

~1~
Everyday Spiritual Wisdom (http://everydayspiritualwisdom.com/)
Spiritual Wisdom. Spiritual Growth.
From this Blog: “Everyday Spiritual Wisdom’ is about the wisdom we find in our everyday life.There is wisdom all around us, just waiting in our day to day experiences ready to inspire and encourage us. Be sure to share your thoughts by commenting at the end of each post, it’s lovely to hear from you. Fiona,x
Fiona Lundy is a professional healer and intuitive. Living in Berkshire, UK.”

~2~
This Felicitous Life (http://thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com/)
From this Blog: “Hi! I’m Laura. I am a Catholic Christian, a mother, a part-time lawyer, and a recovering overthinker. On this blog you’ll find mainly light and fluffy thoughts on food, books, clothes, parenting, and assorted other topics. Thanks for stopping by. I would love to read your comments.”

~3~
Living Minimalist (http://living-minimalist.com/)
From this Blog: “Welcome to Living Minimalist, I started this blog in April 2013 as a way to discover what was really important life and perhaps even redefine happiness along the way.”

~4~
Free But Fun (http://freebutfun.wordpress.com/)
From this Blog: “Ideas for how to have a full and fun life without spending too much. Activities, events, crafts and travel.”

~5~
Hiking to Healthy (http://hikingtohealthy.com/)
From this Blog: My hiking adventures in Colorado and how my love of hiking is helping me get healthy again.”

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.

Blog Shine Sunday {Aug 25}

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I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.
Chelsea Handler

My first Blog Shine Sunday was a huge success. I know it feels good to give but holy cow! I had no idea. It’s totally worth the work involved. It’s a simple process, really. And I get to stand here in blog land and point the way to beauty. What a rewarding way to spend an hour.

Please explore the following links. Find a treasure in their writing. Be inspired. Own it. Then go out, live it, and shine on…

~1~
Caffeinated Yogi (http://caffeinatedyogi.com)
“Thriving on Coffee and Yoga, and Blogging about it.”

~2~
Testimony and Truth (http://testimonyandtruth.wordpress.com/)
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.” — Flannery O’Connor”

~3~
Wellness (http://wellnessblogging.wordpress.com/)
“Wellness Enthusiast. Runner. Explorer. Blogger. Dreamer.”

~4~
Becoming a Minimalist (http://becomingaminimalist.wordpress.com/)

~5~
Being Black and Minimalist (http://justlynne.wordpress.com/)
“This chicks way of getting rid of the stuff and start to live.”

~6~
A Conversation Over Coffee (http://aconversationovercoffee.com/)
“Don’t we all just want that?”

~7~
Lauren Sapala (http://laurensapala.com/)
How to write your novel, find your readers, and stay sane while doing it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.

Bittersweet – This is Me…

20130819-133342.jpgThis image is from Story People. Short clusters of words (sometimes with images) that reach right in, grab my heart, and make me glad to be alive. I’ve read many that resonate with me over the years (I have three prints and a small stack of Brian Andreas books in my home) but this is my favorite for 2013 and possibly forever. Please go to their site and read a few. Then come back here and tell me what you think in the comments section. 🙂

Cheers!!!

Blog Shine Sunday {Aug 18}

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I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.
Chelsea Handler

Lois (from Living Simply Free) does a “Friday Faves” post. She is a lovely woman with a beautiful heart for all living things. She practices what she advocates (and has some great pictures to prove it!). She reminds me often that life is not just about us and what we do. It’s about what we give. I’m still fairly new to this blog thing but I’d like to do a weekly spotlight of others. It’s a way to shine the light on others’ beauty. I like that. Because there’s so much beauty out there…

~1~
Living Simply Free (http://livingsimplyfree.wordpress.com/)
“simple living in 300 sq ft and saving the planet one day at a time”
(had to list Lois as my first link – she is the one who inspired me to do this!)

~2~
Smart Living 365 (http://smartliving365.com/)
“Sustainable Meaningful Aware Responsible Thankful”

~3~
Journeys of the Fabulist (http://fantasyholidays.wordpress.com/)
“Making it up as I go along.”

~4~
Big Little Living (http://biglittleliving.com/)
“Big ideas, little changes, better living”

~5~
From 2 to 3 Kids (http://from2to3kids.wordpress.com/)
“Simplifying my life (700 items gone so far), detoxing my world, and still hoping for baby no.3”

~6~
My Year of Sweat (http://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/)
“I have spent a lifetime chasing quick fixes with disappointing results. Now I’m ready to make a real change. So… I resolve to make 2013 My Year of Sweat. I will exercise each of the 365 days of this year… even if it kills me!!!”

~7~
The Snazzy Turtle (http://blog.snazzyturtle.com/)
“Musings on life, simplicity, and design”

It is my hope that you will find at least one on this list that you will read and love. I love them all. I considered making the list much longer (to include all the blogs I read) but I’m going to stick to seven. I have this terrible habit of biting off more than I can chew when it comes to personal projects. Keeping it seven at a time helps keep me focused. I included a tagline from each blog to help give you an idea of what you might find. They are all wonderful stories and very close to my heart.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.

Cheers,
G

P.S. If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂

A Dream Deferred…Is Liberating

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What happens to a dream deferred?

– Langston Hughes

I am itching to “make it” as a travel writer. By “make it” I mean make money (even though I know it’s not about the money). I go places. Maybe not across the world with one backpack and a laptop. But I love road trips and I see adventure everywhere. And I want to share it through writing and fun photos. Lately, I’ve been researching travel writers and I even set up a skeleton profile on Matador.com. But every time I went to the page I felt something was “off”. Something inside me just wasn’t flowing into the travel articles I was writing attempting to write – even as practice.

So I unplugged from my life, did a few sun salutations, and searched my soul to find that nagging feeling. In minutes, I found clarity. This is not the time for me to be a travel writer. Oh, I know…”you gotta reach for your dreams while you can” but how can I reach for some of them when I’m bogged down in an attic half full of junk? My biggest dream is to live a minimalist lifestyle so that I can spend more time spreading sunshine. I want to get better at being a loving person (I have so far to go on this one). I want to live my goals and “do my thing” without any nagging voices inside me.

I need minimalism for my soul as well as my surroundings.

I wrote “Travel Writer” on my list of someday projects, closed my browser tabs telling me how to be a better travel writer, and exhaled. It felt so good. Like I had been carrying extra weight in my life’s backpack that I had not noticed. I went through a box of giveaway stuff with new zeal and pleasure.

I don’t know what happens to a dream deferred. But I’m going to continue on my simplicity quest to find out. This is my dream for now. Thank you for letting me share it with you. Cheers!

Minimalism and What We Leave Behind

20130707-140800.jpgOn the road in my treasured Jeep Cherokee. Just me and my Lily. Somewhere between two small Texas towns. The AC is out. Again. (It’s a long story). Warm air rushes around me as I head toward my cousin’s memorial service. It’s my favorite white noise. Sometimes I put my arm out the window and play with the wind. Up. Down. Up. Down.

I can’t hear my phone if I get a call or a text. For about an hour it’s just me, my Jeep, the wind on my skin, and the road ahead. Time to think and process where I’m going and what I’m doing. Not just the memorial service but all of it.

My mind wanders  to conversation with a well-meaning friend about how I should keep my childhood artwork because it might be nice to display some at my funeral someday. My response was self-righteous and inconsiderate. Pssht. I’m a minimalist. I don’t keep anything. But she didn’t mean keep everything from childhood. She actually helped give me some boundaries in my quest for simplicity. My apology was a little late and a lot lame. I should have listened better. Been kinder in my response…

At the little church where we gather to honor and say farewell to my cousin I stare at the photos and things he left behind and my mind wanders again. I said goodbye to my father in the same church more than twenty years ago. I’ve since said goodbye to his three siblings there as well. I inherited things from all of them. Things. Stuff. But they left behind so much more: stories, kindness, an appreciation for hard work, and a deep love for people and Texas. I have no greater inheritance.

It’s a small service. My cousin was a natural minimalist. He lived on a small ranch in a small cabin. He fought illness and social stereotypes while training horses. People take turns standing up and telling stories about him. “He was kind.” “He loved people and animals with all of his heart.” “Even when in pain, he had so much joy.” My favorite words are “If you knew Larry, you loved him.”

And like a flash of sublime light it hits me. In seconds, several moments blend into that tiny church. My conversation with my friend about saving stuff for my funeral. Driving in my Jeep. The pictures of Larry. His saddle. Memories of my dad. My aunts. My uncle. The words. The beautiful, sweet words that people said about my cousin.

For just a few seconds I get it. All of it. Life and what is important is incredibly clear. And I want nothing more than to love on the people around me, shower the world in sunshine, and leave behind more kindness than nicknacks.

The drive home is hotter. I don’t mind. The wind dries my tears and the ice water by my side keeps me cool. I’m going back to my collection of things with a new perspective. My heart is full of what matters more than my Jeep, or the heat, or the road ahead…

Thank you for traveling this path with me, dear reader. The AC doesn’t always work but the road remains a wonderful teacher. Cheers!

How to Make Money Online (psst…it’s not about the money)

20130703-094715.jpgA few weeks ago, I ran a Google search for “how to make money online”. I love writing. LOVE it. I wanted to see if I could find a simple way to make some extra pocket change using my love and my ever-growing skills. I wasn’t searching for way to get rich quick or even get rich by pursuing a career online. Just a project or an idea that would give me some boundaries and help me grow as a writer – and put a little extra in my bank account at the same time. I didn’t find much. But I did find this bit of treasure and I thought I would share it. It’s from Seth Godin’s blog.

How to make money online

  1. The first step is to stop Googling things like, “how to make money online.” Not because you shouldn’t want to make money online, but because the stuff you’re going to find by doing that is going to help you lose money online. Sort of like asking a casino owner how to make money in Vegas…

  2. Don’t pay anyone for simple and proven instructions on how to achieve this goal. In particular, don’t pay anyone to teach you how to write or sell manuals or ebooks about how to make money online.

  3. Get rich slow.

  4. Focus on the scarce resource online: attention. If you try to invent a way to take cheap attention and turn it into cash, you will fail. The attention you want isn’t cheap, it’s difficult to get via SEO and it rarely scales. Instead, figure out how to earn expensive attention.

  5. In addition to attention, focus on trust. Trust is even more scarce than attention.

  6. Don’t worry so much about the ‘online’ part. Instead, figure out how to create value. The online part will take care of itself.

  7. Don’t quit your day job. Start evenings and weekends and figure it out with small failures.

  8. Build a public reputation. A good one, and be sure that you deserve it, and that it will hold up to scrutiny.

  9. Obsessively specialize. No niche is too small if it’s yours.

  10. Connect the disconnected.

  11. Lead.

  12. Build an online legacy that increases in value daily.

  13. Make money offline. If you can figure out how to create value face to face, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to do the same digitally. The web isn’t magic, it’s merely efficient.

  14. Become the best in the world at something that people value. Easier said than done, worth more than you might think.

  15. Hang out with people who aren’t looking for shortcuts. Learn from them.

  16. Fail. Fail often and fail cheaply. This is the very best gift the web has given to people who want to bootstrap their way into a new business.

  17. Make money in the small and then relentlessly scale.

  18. Don’t chase yesterday’s online fad.

  19. Think big, act with intention and don’t get bogged down in personalities. If it’s not on your agenda, why are you wasting time on it?

  20. Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in your team, to find underused resources and to spot patterns.

  21. This is not a zero sum game. The more you add to your community, the bigger your piece gets.

To read the full article, go here.

It reminded me that I don’t need the extra pocket change as much as I desire to add beauty and light to the world. It’s not about the money. It’s about the big picture and how I can share the strange sunshine I carry with me wherever I go. It’s about who I’ve always wanted to be and deciding that it’s not too late to be that person…and maybe make a living while I do it.

It’s not too late to “make it” as a writer (whatever that may look like). It’s not too late so I must keep writing. Keep searching. Keep my eyes open and my soul free to find just what I want to share with the world. It’s the reason I’m on my quest for simplicity. It’s the reason I get rid of my stuff and focus on minimalism. Simplify. Minimize. For what? To find the beauty that waits inside me.

That’s what I offer you today, dear reader. Don’t give up. Whatever your dream. Whatever your “calling”. Don’t give up on it. And stop Googling “how to make money online”. 😉

Cheers to you and your dreams!