Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Embracing My Joy

With the traveling I’m doing lately, I’m finding my running to be an adventure I wasn’t quite expecting. I have new paths wherever I go, and surprise I never know what’s around the next corner. I’ve experienced changes of seasons and crazy animal exploits. One of my favorites being eight wild turkeys crossing an intersection at a crosswalk in Spokane, Washington! I’ve run in the mountains, the high desert, by lakes, rivers, and streams. I’ve run through farmlands and around wheat fields. I’ve run in big cities, small towns, through a number of city parks, and down quiet country roads. I’ve run the flats and I’ve run the hills. And through it all, I have embraced the beauty of whatever surrounds me.

I started posting photo collages of areas I'm running on Instagram when we began our traveling lifestyle 2.5 years ago. It wasn't until I happened to look back over a year of my Instagram running posts that I realized I had captured something very special to me. In that moment, I'm running the area all over again. I can feel the heat of the day or the chill of the morning, hear the sounds around me or the quiet engulf me - and I always feel the joy of where I was. Feeling that joy inspires me to take the time to embrace the beauty and find the joy each day in whatever I may be doing.

Have you taken a new path and surprised yourself lately? Have you stopped long enough to embrace the beauty around you? What's your joy? If you're having trouble answering these questions, take a walk, feel the day, click a few photos of what you find to be funny, beautiful, or amazing. I guarantee these clicks will help you find and embrace your joy.


For those of you not on Instagram, if you click through the Instagram logo in the side column you'll see my running collages. Enjoy!

A Boulder Colorado Run courtesy of damclark photos

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Now on Goodreads

 The right book in the right hands at the right time can change your world.

This just in: It Is What It Is now listed on Goodreads.

If you haven’t heard of Goodreads previously, here’s the scoop:
  • It’s the world’s largest website for readers and book recommendations with over 80 million members!
  • You can list and rate books you’ve read, join in conversations about books, ask authors questions, and on, and on.
  • As you build your very own library of past books and ratings, Goodreads suggests books for you based on your preferences.
  • Goodreads also makes it easy for you to add comments on all the books you have read.
Since my book It Is What It Is is self published, it's up to readers to rate/comment so others may benefit from what it has to offer. More comments about a book will raise its ranking and become more visible to other readers. With that in mind, I've updated this website to include a Goodreads badge link in the sidebar and on the Book Buzz page.

Here, give it a click and see what all the fuss at Goodreads is about!

Goodreads badge photo courtesy of Goodreads

Monday, November 5, 2018

Take a Book, Share a Book

This Little Free Library Tucson, Arizona location was within a garden just off the street. It even included free greeting cards and bookmarks!
I feel joy and a sense of excitement every time I give a copy of my book It Is What It Is to local libraries as we travel. I imagine someone picking out the book, reading it, and finding a connection to my words - finding inspiration that guides them to be the best they can be by leaning in to the circumstances of their life.

Something I’ve been doing the last few months as we travel from place to place is searching out Little Free Libraries to donate a copy of my book to. Having seen these neighborhood book exchange boxes over the years I have never actually used them. With the full time travel I’m doing now, I’m finding these wonderful free libraries as a great way to not only share a brand-new copy of my book, but to also take a book I may be interested in reading. Once I’ve read the borrowed book, it generally ends up in a different little library in a different city and sometimes a different state. In that way, these mini book depositories are kept fresh with new reading material.

Little Free Library is a registered nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Currently, there are over 75,000 registered libraries in 88 countries around the world!

Perhaps you’ve seen these dollhouse-like little libraries showing up in neighborhoods near you over the last few years. If you haven’t, I’m hoping this article will inspire you to either search out your nearest Little Free Libraries or install one in front of your home. Their website gives you the scoop on locations as well as plans and directions for building your own book sharing box - and you can even purchase kits directly from them for you to customize. I’ve seen some really fun little libraries, with some locations even offering a bench to sit on.

While I enjoy sharing It Is What It Is, you can help me by taking a book and sharing my book at your nearest Little Free Library.

Sharing the love one book at a time.

Little library photos courtesy of damclark’s

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fall Moments

When September rolled around, I was staying high in the Rocky Mountains in Breckenridge, Colorado at 10,000 feet. Those first cool crisp mornings in the 40s sent my internal seasons calendar directly to fall right then and there. Ever since our visit to Breck, I’ve had one fall moment after another hit me like a storage box full of comfy sweaters falling out of the closet. Thing is, I didn’t have one of those fall moments sweaters with me, so I found the perfect sweater to cozy up in at a local clothing store and bought it - been wearing it ever since.

Along with my fall moments sweater attack, I’ve been craving anything with loads of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring on the pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, and creamy pumpkin soup. And then there's other fall moment cravings like my homemade chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings, soups, soups, and more soups. Ah, yes, fall comfort food. I even purchased a cinnamon spice room spray that lifts my October fall moments to new heights as soon as I’ve sprayed it all around. Oh my, I’ve got this fall moments thing bad.

While I’ve left my cooler 6-weeks in Colorado behind as we traveled into New Mexico, and now Arizona where temperatures still warm into the 80s most days, I'm still able to wear my new fall moments sweater in the cool-ish mornings. Don’t be surprised if you find me in one of the local grocery stores in Tucson wearing my sweater even if the sun is blazing outside. I’m finding it handy to have with me in those air conditioned environments. Perhaps I should carry my cinnamon spice room freshener with me and spritz the air wherever I go? I'd be spreading the fall love around one spritz at a time. Hey, I think I’m on to something there!

What’s with all this fall-derol? Celebrating the moments of your life by including whatever season it may be. Get your comfy sweater on, get outside, smell the leaves as they begin to spice up the fall air, and celebrate fall with me - that is until I’m going on and on about how much I love winter.


Sweater photo courtesy of damclark's

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Silent Observations

Recently, when I traveled back home, there were a number of very personal, very adult type issues to deal with for a number of family members. My elderly parents had been making a series of upsetting decisions about how they were going to manage their ongoing health issues and care in their home. In doing so, they cut themselves off from those who loved them. Their choices led to a series of unfortunate events and finally the death of my stepfather in a serious fall. While the parental drama is still playing out with the future of my mother, I feel the power of It Is What It Is within me and know that whatever happens going forward is about the choices that have been made by others - not something I have any control over.

In a year when my theme word is listen, the more I listen, the quieter I get - but the more I hear and understand, strange thing, eh? Listening to what’s going on around me, what other people are saying, what I’m thinking, and what I’m feeling help me respond in a more centered way - help me to understand the moment. I’m less likely to react because I have this better understanding of the moment - what I need to say, or not say, what I need to do, or not do.

During all of this family drama, what could have been a very stressful time home for me - wasn’t. I became even more quiet in this year of listen, and focused on what it was I needed to do or not do in this scenario. This silent listening of the heart helped me respond in that centered way I spoke of. I was not reactionary - simply responding to what I was hearing, feeling and understanding within - what was appropriate for me in this situation. Strong emotions can get in the way at times like this and the need for control can be strong, but I released that need for control a long time ago. I was able to not get emotionally involved because I was listening, focusing - I did what I needed to do in clarity and have been able to carry on with my life and move forward.

My theme word listen has served me well so far this year and I continue to feel the centered peace it gives me. So, maybe all this listening business is not such a strange thing after all. I’ll leave you with this silent observation - listen and silent have the same letters! Perhaps listening would serve you well, too. Are you listening?

Take care, 

Heart shaped cloud photo courtesy of prof.bizzarro

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