The Comfort of Old Friends

On Saturday I met my friend for lunch. We met at secondary school many, many years ago. We were in the same class. I distinctly remember being behind her on the stairs and noticing with awe and admiration her high heeled blue shoes which were anything but regulation school wear. She still has great shoe sense and I still admire her greatly. As we chat, we invariably say “I can’t believe that was twenty/thirty/forty years ago!” It does indeed seem unbelievable to both of us, because inside we feel eternally young. Personally, I feel like I am about thirty one inside: old enough to be gaining perspective on existential angst, young enough to do cartwheels, although I was never great at them. I notice that these days, my mind is better able to grasp complexities but there is the occasional click of neck or knee to remind me that time is moving on for my body. I also notice that it takes a lot more maintenance than previously to keep my body working as well as it can! I used to do yoga once a week. It was optional. Now I do it every day and it’s not optional – I seize up if I don’t do it! However, on the positive side, I recently started learning Tai chi and I absolutely love it. I had tried to learn it years ago but didn’t stick with it. This time around, I have found a class that is ongoing, with really committed teachers, and I am in it for the long haul. When I am doing Tai chi, time stops. I am completely focused on trying to do the movements correctly and in the correct sequence, and my mind is at rest. It is meditation in motion. There is a palpable sense of peace in the room. It was one of the things my friend and I chatted about at lunch. Another thing we giggled over was how Sister Camillus told us to go our separate ways when we ended up in different classes, and that she didn’t want to see us trying to keep in contact on our lunch breaks. Yeah, right. Great judge of people she was! Oh it’s great to be grown up and mature all right!

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Striking a Balance

Without a doubt, I love writing. I lose track of time and am happy to write, edit, rewrite until I am reasonably happy with the result. Someday I hope to have much more time to write, but for now, I have to write in the spaces between making a living. I have set a goal of writing one hour a day or 420 minutes a week, in any increment of time. I put that goal on the fridge where I am bound to see it because the fridge and I are close. We spend a lot of time together. Yesterday morning I wrote three pages in longhand before work and today I typed it in to the story I am writing, plus did some editing. I am constantly trying to find a way to write as well as do everything else I need to do. Last year I spent a lot of time trying to learn about marketing and so far this year, I have spent more time writing and done practically no marketing. I have to be honest and say that my heart is not really in the marketing but I do realise it has to be done. It’s an ongoing juggling act. I have been reading books about creativity and an interesting suggestion that came from two of them was to not ask your writing to earn you a living for quite a while – it’s too much pressure. Fortunately I enjoy the other parts of my work life, as a therapist and pet minder. Reid Tracy, CEO of Hay House, reckons it takes ten years to be an overnight success. Grand so – one down, and only nine more to go! So if you are in the same boat, just hang in there and keep writing for the sake of writing. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Simple Pleasures

Yesterday I went to the library and emerged, as usual, with a basket of books and a big smile on my face. I have never lost my enthusiasm for going to the library and to me, it is like an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures and possibilities. Not only do they offer books, but of course there are audio books, CDs, MP3s, and DVDs. It’s like a permanent and ongoing lottery win. I’ve just finished listening to the mellifluous voice of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes telling wonderful archetypal stories on the mythology of the crone, while driving my ancient Nisssan Micra grubby with dog hair and cat fur. Quite subversive, don’t you think?! A couple of years ago the library increased the number of books you are allowed to take out to twelve. Twelve! I was thrilled! My motto is that a book and a cat in each room in the house makes a happy home. Yesterday afternoon I turned the phone off and delved into a selection with large, black, furry Sid on my knee. This afternoon it was Felicity’s turn. Could there be anything better than having a purring cat on your knee in front of the fire as you read a good book? Seriously? And as a writer, I can call it “research!” Way to go. The simple pleasures are always the ones that delight the heart and fill the soul.

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Okay Not to Know

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Some of you know that one year on I am still learning every day about how to write and sell books. It would be an understatement to say that I have Beginner’s Mind on the subject. There’s a lot of empty space between my ears! I am currently doing a free promotion of How to Love Yourself in Less Than 50 Years on Amazon and I have another book which is permanently free, called The Power of Inner Change for Outer Results, Vol. 1 Letting Go of the Past. There is a free bestsellers list on Amazon – which means that the books on the list are free to download and therefore earn no royalties – and I am bemused to see that  Letting Go of the Past is at No. 6 and the Love book is at No. 25 on the same list. I have no idea what, if anything, this means in the Real World but I guess it is good news? Let me know if you have any notion!