A – Z Challenge ~ W is for Willing

We Rock!
We Rock! (Photo credit: !anaughty!)

Willing – Adjective

1.disposed or consenting; inclined: willing to go along.

2.cheerfully consenting or ready: a willing worker.

3.done, given, borne, used, etc., with cheerful readiness.
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Ready, willing and able. To do what?  To do what it takes to make life rock!  What are
you willing to do that will change it up?
What are you willing to sacrifice to reach the ultimate goal?
What are you willing to risk to live the life you want?
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Life is about living!  Life is not about sitting comfortable in your living room or kitchen while excitement passes you by. If you want to live the life you dream, the live you crave and the live you want to love, you have to be willing to make sacrifices, go out on limbs and take chances.
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Freaking scary, huh?  I mean, what if you fail? Here’s a better question: What if you succeed? Holy crap!  It could happen.  You could succeed and then think: Wow. Imagine if I hadn’t been willing to give my dream a shot?
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Today you are going to take out a piece of paper and you are going to write down three things.
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1. What you want.
2. What you’ll risk to get that.
3. The worst that could happen.
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Go into detail and really think about your life’s mission.  What will you give up to get where you want to go? Write down a schedule, a list of things you might not need or parts of your day where you could eke out a little extra time.  You can share it here, with someone you care for or tuck it away for later.
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What are you willing to risk to live the life you love?
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A – Z Challenge ~ O is for Over Thinking

Over thinking.  UGH.  I do it a lot.  It destroys my sense of confidence after I made a choice. Did I choose correctly? Was there another option? Maybe I should have zigged instead of zagged.

Over thinking situations, blog posts, hell, even food shopping will destroy you without your knowledge until one day you are sitting in your living room surrounded by cases of bottled water and checker boards because you just can’t figure it out.

Tonight I went out on my new bicycle to trail ride at Neshaminy State Park in Bucks County, PA.  They have great trails packed with dirt, rock, stones, tree roots, mud and lots of hills. I was riding along at about five miles an hour and I saw the incline ahead.  I nodded.  No biggie.  As I got closer to the incline I freaked out because it was, like a serious freaking incline with a giant tree root smack in the middle. I began to over think.  I thought, no way.  I can’t do it.  What if I fall? I’ll feel like an ass. What if I break my ankle?  I’ll feel like an even bigger ass.

So wussified me hopped off the bike and walked it up the incline and down the decline and hopped back on.

I so totally felt so totally small.

As I rode on (trying to catch up to my boyfriend) I told myself the next go around I am freaking taking that hill!  No thinking.  Just do it. We looped around I knew that hill was coming. And I took it.  I rode through the fear and didn’t think.  I just did it. After I took that hill, my confidence shot up a few  notches and I started taking other paths that were a little more terrainish.

Are you an over thinker?  Does over thinking help or hinder you?

A – Z Challenge ~ M is for Mixed Emotions

Image: jackiesangel.com

M was going to be for Music because I love it so much, but I am keeping with a theme (although that was not the plan originally) and if I get on the topic of music, I will surpass my limit of words I bestowed upon myself.
Mixed Emotions.
Mixed emotions are pretty much self-explanatory.  It is like an emotional oxy moron to put it in simplistic terms.
I had mixed emotions when I decided it was time for my daughter to come back home.
On one hand, I was excited that she was coming home after being estranged for five years.
On the other hand, I was nervous and fearful because I had a lot of guilt and I felt that might impede my progress in good parenting.
Mixed emotions can be stressful, especially when making a decision.  We hem and we haw.  What should we do?
In my WIP, my Protag has mixed emotions about how to deal with information she comes to learn about her client.  Of course, I am helping her sort that out in an unconventional manner.

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Discussion: When was the last time you had mixed emotions about something?  Which emotion did you wind up siding with?

A – Z Challenge ~ L is for Lucid

Image: luciddreamingtechniquess.net

Lucid: characterized by clear perception or understanding; rational or sane: a lucid moment in his madness.
Silent Lucidity is a great ballad by Queensryche (a very great band out of Seattle, WA – long before the grunge era).
Have you ever had a lucid dream?  A lucid dream is one of those dreams where you are dreaming but you know you are dreaming and therefore have the ability to change the outcome of the dream.
I have lucid dreams a lot. I am not sure why this is. I remember two.  In one I was shot.  In the other one I was on a train on my way to 54th and Woodland in Philadelphia and I was on my way to meet someone.
In the dream I was shot in, I decided I didn’t like the outcome of the dream and I rewound it to begin again.
I actually plan on doing some research on Lucid Dreaming  when Crazy April is over.
Lucid: Crystal clear.

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Reflection Questions: Are your goals crystal clear?  Are you lucid when you are evaluating your life and mapping your road to success?

A – Z Challenge ~ J is for Journaling

Image: thecampingjournal.com

How much fun is it to journal?  Maybe something happened that excites you so much you need to make a written memory of it.  That way, there is a note to go back to so you can relive it again and again.

I have been journaling since I was about twenty-four years old or so.

I wish I had all of my old journals.  They held some fantastic emotions along with amazing descriptions of dreams and delusions.  I do have my journals from my first year of sobriety – they are interesting years later.

Journaling is a great way to get it out or hold it in.  It is a great way to dream big or start small.

Do you keep a journal for your thoughts?  How about a journal for your characters in your work in progress?  Maybe you keep a weight loss journal or a food journal.

Maybe you put little sketches in your journal or cut out positive quotes to stick in there for prompts.  Maybe you buy stickers at the dollar store and after your entry, you place them just so to frame your thoughts.

Whatever the case, journaling can be a lot of fun.

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How does journaling help you?

A – Z Challenge ~ H is for Heart

Image: graphicsfuel.com

Heart is something we all have.  The Tin Man traveled all the way to the Land of Oz to get his, which it turned out he had all along.

Besides the long description in the dictionary of the physical heart (the aorta and all the other valves and such), there are other definitions.

1) The center of the total personality.

2) The center of the total emotion.

I find this utterly fascinating.  What does that mean?  The heart is the center of our being.  We cannot live without a heart. A heart breaks, aches, flutters and skips a beat.

How many songs have “heart” in the title?  A few of my favorites:

Janis Joplin – “Piece of My Heart”

Motley Crue – “Kickstart My Heart”

Def Leppard – “Bringing on the Heartbreak”

I put my heart into everything I do.  Don’t you?  When you’re real passionate about it… you put your heart into it.  When you’re not feeling it, it goes.. “my heart’s just not in it.”

Thought for the day:  What do you put your heart into?

If You Don’t Like It.. Then Don’t.

On my lunch at work today, I was reading blogs and came across this article:

Atheists Threaten Legal Action Over Nativity Scene

I read the article.  Basically, some atheists in Michigan are annoyed that they have to put up with all the Christian mumbo jumbo and simply want to put a sign next to the Nativity Scene saying:

“There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.

There is only our natural world.

Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

True story.

I am not an atheist, but if you are I am totally cool with that.

So this got me thinking.  Why the hell are so many people offended with beliefs?  Why the hell are so many people offended by a nativity scene then they are say, the cover of Philadelphia Magazine doting a picture of a woman with a post-it note bikini?  That offended me.  But I chose not to buy the magazine and just bitch to my boyfriend who surprisingly didn’t get where I was coming from.  “Where is this magazine cover, Darlene?”

I don’t care about what anyone believes. Seriously.  I don’t care if you believe in God, Sharma, Satan, Jesus or the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.

Since when did religion become more taboo than sex?

Let’s look at it

In our public schools:

     There is no more “one nation under God.”

     But there are lots of prepubescent girls dressing like the next town whore.

In our media:

     I hear words like “faith” “religion” “beliefs” but I can’t remember the last time I heard “God” or “Jesus.”

     I see more nakedness, hear more sex-talk and have to look at more cleavage in advertising then I could want to look at in a go-go bar.

At sporting events: and in schools:

    We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

    Waaaitt….. there is something missing. Wasn’t.. God in there?  Somewhere?

    In the meantime, I get to look at cheerleaders at football games, ballgirls at baseball games, dancers at basketball games and the chicks at the hockey games that come out during the intermission.  Has anyone else noticed that more than 10% of the female population these days watches and attends sporting events?  I am one of those women, and yet, despite my offense, I watch the games anyway.

Because… it doesn’t freaking matter.  I get over it.  Like we should.  Just get over the fact that the world is not custom tailored to our specific needs.  There are going to be things that offend us or make us a little uncomfortable.  There will be situations where we have to use common freaking sense and make a choice.

If you don’t like it then …

Don’t look at it.

Don’t buy it.

Don’t drink it.

Don’t read it.

Don’t eat it.

Don’t wear it.

Don’t listen to it.

Don’t praise it.

The Gratitude List

I just read a tweet from a fellow tweeter.  I got the impression she was down in the dumps… she said she felt, “out of sorts.”  I have felt like that many times in my life (I’m sure most people have).   I replied to her tweet and told her to make a gratitude list.

Then I thought, “Darlene!  You’re a genius!  You should make one.”  So I am.  Right here, right now.

I am grateful for:

  • my sobriety
  • my children
  • the ability to use all five of my senses
  • music
  • the gift of writing
  • nature
  • green lights
  • coffee
  • my cats
  • my genes
  • a sunny day
  • a Sunday morning
  • making some one smile
  • a brand new notebook
  • that I was born exactly when I was born
  • Tyler State Park
  • other people’s opinions
  • tolerance….

These are just some of the things I am grateful for.  But, I want to hear from you.  What are you grateful for?  What makes you say thank you.  What helps you through your day?

Songs That Make You Happy

Music feeds our emotions.  Often, when we are sad, we put on sad music.  We wallow in our sorrow as we play songs like “The Final Cut” by Pink Floyd or “Candle in the Wind” by Sir Elton John.

If we just had a fight with our significant other we may put on something like “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins or any number of Slayer tunes (my personal fave).

But what about music that makes us happy?  This post comes via hearing a song that could interpreted as sad, but makes me very happy.

“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. That opening G chord makes me forget the troubles I am  having.  I take a deep breath, turn the radio up and just know everything will be okay.  There are many others… but this is the one is at the top of my top ten.

What songs feed your emotions?