Feel the Music

Driving back from town I turned the radio on, and this song began to play. I haven’t listened to Cody’s new album, Human in it’s entirety, but this song is by far one of my favorites.

To people who know me, it’s no secret I love Cody Johnson. He’s like the underdog who made it big because he never gave up. My guess would be, one thing he did to achieve his well-earned success is he kept singing his heart out. Cody sings so many things I want to say. I haven’t shared nearly enough songs by Cody, so we’ll need to fix that!

All of Cody’s songs are real and raw. When you watch this video, wait until the 2:54 mark and you’ll see how passionate he is about his words. I believe we’re supposed to unleash our passion in what we do and let ourselves love big! The part of the song that hits home for me is when Cody reminds us to chase our dreams, because they won’t chase us back.

If you got a chance, take it, take it while you got a chance
If you got a dream, chase it, ’cause a dream won’t chase you back

Tomorrow isn’t promised, so there’s no room for putting things off. Take a chance, and go all in when you do, ’til you can’t.

‘Til You Can’t by Cody Johnson

The Bottom of the Page

It’s still dark outside my window, and the house is quiet and still. I’ve already written my morning page, and I call it that because I only write one page. Julia recommends 3 pages of longhand, but that feels like work to me. It’s more enjoyable to pull out one blank page and fill in the empty space. I’ve been noticing a certain feeling toward the page of the bottom.

The halfway mark has a satisfying feel to it, and once you get there, ‘it’s all downhill’ as they say. The pen glides back and forth across the page, making it’s way to the bottom. I always pause when there’s only enough room left for two lines to be written. How do I want the page to end? Sometimes I simply wish myself a remarkable day and sign off.

The page is not about what you write, it’s just asking to be written. It’s become my daily disciple before the day begins. A certainty to be relied upon in this uncertain world. For the past few days there’s a feeling of accomplishment, or completion when filling in the bottom. My soul is at ease at the bottom of the page.

Feel the Music

I’ve debunked numerous rules of life I’ve come to live by. One being this Blog. My ‘day’ to post Feel the Music is usually Sunday, but I wrestle with choosing a particular day to post. It causes a sense of pressure to perform, and writing is a gift, not a performance.

I didn’t realize Keifer Sutherland could sing until last week. A friend posted this to her Facebook page, and I’m inspired to share. As you go through your week, be mindful of what you lay your heart and hand to, and above all else my darling, may it be something you love.

Keifer Sutherland-Something You Love

Do It Now

The quote in the feature photo was sitting at the bottom of the page of my momentum plug-in. Everyday it shows some type of inspiration in big, bold letters on the page, but recently I’ve been steadying my gaze toward the quote at the bottom. It’s smaller font, but has more of an impact.

My week off was spent slowing down a little each day. By Thursday, I felt completely relaxed, yet attentive. On Wednesday my daughter told me I looked more like myself than I had in months. I took some time to ponder gift giving and my favorite type gift to give is something I’ve used and loved. It can be anything such as a candle, a book, or a chocolate bar that was more an emotional experience than a piece of chocolate should be.

I’ve been ordering small items this week with each person in mind. I don’t know if this would be considered early holiday shopping, or if you purchased your gifts months ago, but for me it’s early and feels right. I usually wait until closer to Thanksgiving, but as I Googled each item and placed it in the cart, that still small voice within was saying, ‘Do it now.’

I didn’t wait for a Black Friday sale, or combine all the gifts for free shipping, though some offered it. Each cost less than $20, but big and bold doesn’t equate to meaningful in my world. Love tends to arrive in small packages and will spread to take up every square inch it’s offered. This feels more intentional than previous years, and there’s an element of ease.

I haven’t found the ‘right’, or ‘perfect’ time for anything of worth, but in the past I’ve waited for better timing and it evolved into missed opportunity. Some believe timing is everything, and it’s celebratory when our timing aligns with a divine plan. This year is coming to a close my darling, so whatever you’re meant to do, do it now.

Do Great Things

The commitment I made to my writing is to complete two writing practices a day, whether I want to or not. Most days it flows through the fingers, but today it didn’t. One practice is equal to 30 minutes which is comparatively a Pomodoro. If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro technique, you can learn more about it here.

If you’re familiar with this plug-in already, my hope is you’re sharing it with everyone you know who sits in front of a computer the majority of the day. It wasn’t always a happy moment to pull up my browser window for work, but now I look forward to it. I see a breathtaking photo, and receive a poke of encouragement from my browser.

Google Chrome Momentum Plug-in

I posted this on our Fearless Slack channel as a mighty revelation! A man chimed in on the post saying he uses this on all his browsers. I wish he had shared this with us. Sometimes we assume everyone knows what we know, and we’re hesitant to share. I’ve received countless comments from the simplest of shares.

After the motivational phrase it says, ‘Good morning, afternoon or evening Barbara’, dependent upon the time of day it is. It asks what you want to focus on today, and if there’s a project that needs completion, I type that in as a reminder, but most days it’s on a more personal level like writing! A tiny box is over to the left, so at the end of the day I get to check it off and watch it receive a strikethrough.

Pay attention to the small things and let God handle the big ones. Out of all the tasks I do each day, keeping this commitment to my writing feels like a really great thing.

Make the Cut

This year my collection of gardening tools has grown. There is a tool for every task, and I’m learning what tool’s I need. I told the clerk at the hardware store, “I want to cut things”, and she said, “How big of a cut do you want to make Barb?” Here’s what I brought home.

Best insect repellent to wear while gardening, Mrs. Murphy’s.

I’m equipped to handle big jobs and small jobs, but not much in between. The Fiskars Micro-tip pruner are perfect for snipping overgrowth from the top of plants. The needle nose is precise, but the tiniest tools can cause bloodshed. It comes with a safety cover which is smart to use, or we opt to live a life of band aides.

We have a vine that returns every year. No matter the winter it endures, which this year was snow and ice, it comes back. My daughter loves this vine, so I can’t remove it completely, but I do keep it in check, or it’ll take over. I have these wicker lanterns hanging throughout the yard and the vine saw it as an opportunity to further it’s growth.

At first I thought, ‘That’s cool’, but after all the rain we had you could barely see the lantern. I took the Fiskars and trimmed it back, but left some resting on top. For now it adds to the beauty of the lantern, but time will tell if it adds beauty or too much weight.

Looking down at the path below, the vine was crawling away from the fence and creeping across the path. I try to be mindful of what sneaks in along the path, but I’ll let it grow for now. If it wants to cross the path, that’s fine, but we want to keep the path in sight.

What began as a pleasant addition to our lives, shouldn’t become added weight. Pay attention my darling and you’ll know when it’s time to make the cut.

Strength and Beauty

One of my daughter’s favorite things in our yard is something I didn’t plant. It was here when we moved in, and it survived this year’s snow and ice storm. I began pampering it in March, and have paid attention to it along with all the other plants and shrubs. It bloomed the first of June, but the blooms are now fading.

It’s a young Crepe Myrtle, and I’m thrilled it bloomed this year. Being young it’s resilient, and hasn’t stood here long enough to toughen up, but it will.

It was early morning and the rain had stopped leaving it partly cloudy. The sun was trying it’s best to break through and claim the day. I headed out the door for a walk through the neighborhood, letting my feet lead the way with no certain route in mind.

I turned on one of my favorite streets, and luckily had my phone in my pocket to capture this picture. As I stood there in awe, I wondered how long this Crepe Myrtle has been standing here. It’s a tree that calls for you to sit a spell and listen for it’s stories.

After taking this photo, I continued my walk and it began to rain. It wasn’t heavy, just a fine mist that felt good to my skin. I wondered how much rain that Crepe Myrtle has stood through. My guess would be enough to reach it’s roots, because that’s what it takes to grow in strength and beauty.

Live a Life of Band-Aids

My new thing is wearing nice clothes when leaving the house, but let’s set the bar. I live in faded, blue jeans and t-shirts, so dressing up means nice jeans, a silk shirt and smart looking shoes. 😉

As mentioned in Feel the Music, my friend and I met for our monthly coffee/tea. I wanted to wear something nice and took time to choose my outfit the evening before. Some of my prettier shirts call for ironing and my people are important enough to use an iron if needed.

When we met, she appreciated my choice in clothing, but there was one small problem. I was wearing the wrong shoes. These shoes were one of my favorite ‘slip on and go’ pair of shoes. I remembered them being comfortable enough to walk in all day long, but it’d been a while since I’d worn them and they were crucifying my feet!

It was all I could do to get back home in them. It was odd how they were once so comfortable, but turned into shoes from the devil himself. Entering the house, I kicked them off with a sigh of relief. This made me wonder what else in my life looked comfortable, but capable of pain.

I sat on the edge of my bed to inspect my foot and a blister had formed above the instep. My daughter stood in the doorway inquiring what happened and I told her about the devilish shoes. She said, “You slap three band-aids on it and keep moving.” It didn’t call for three, but I did slap a band-aid on it to continue stepping through life.

Keep living life my darlin’. Stock up on band aides.

“God will take care of what you go through. You take care of how you go through it.”

Zig Ziglar

More Like Him

Dogs are fabulous creatures, but what makes me smile more often is our cat. His name is Chomby, even though the Vet has him listed as Chungus. When using voice text on my phone, it records his name as Giambi. My daughter and I laughed and call him Giambi sometimes for the heck of it.

This week I watched him everyday just to see if he does this every morning, and he does. As soon as I let him out of his house, he goes straight to the window. This is before food, water, or even the potty box. I found his posture so intriguing and snapped this picture for you. It’s like he can’t wait to see what all is happening in the new day.

Giambi/Chomby

This week, I’ve seen myself doing something similar as Chombs. As soon as I wake up I find a window to look out of, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to be outside. Yes, it’s hot, and humid, but I’m not willing to let that stop me. The sweet spot outside is found early in the morning. The flowers I planted in March and April aren’t going to care for themselves.

This morning, I noticed the flowers planted in the Vintage Flower cart looked sad. They weren’t getting enough water, or if they were, it was draining right through. I pulled them out and planted them in the shade. The flower cart was empty again. I’ve tried placing it in various places all over the yard, but this time I stood still and waited for the answer to come.

I spotted a bare patch of ground where the birdseed is poured every morning, so I rolled the flower cart there. Immediately I knew the birds would use it as a perch while taking turns eating the seed scattered below. For now, it serves a purpose empty, but we have a purpose to fulfill and empty won’t cut it. We can tap into what we know will fill us back up.

Seeing our cat faceplanted to a window reminds me to be excited for a new day. Let’s strive to be more like him.

The Scattered Words

My Fearless community adds value to my life. On our Team call, I recommended the Morning Pages to a Team member, because I used to do them and saw value in them. Then I asked myself, “Why did you stop writing them Barb?”

My Fearless Team member ran with the idea, and has 3 weeks under his belt. He’s doing so well with it, he inspired me to start writing them again. The main reason I stopped was out of frustration. I couldn’t complete the 3 pages of longhand Julia recommends, but then I heard her voice say, ‘Grab three pieces of paper.’

I’d been using a notebook to write the morning pages, and it was uncomfortable to write in. It was bulky and larger than a regular piece of notebook paper. Eyeing the stack of notebook paper from my daughter’s school stash, I grabbed three pieces of paper and laid them on the table. As I began to write I felt my hand glide across the page and noticed it was resting flat on the table, not elevated by the thickness of the notebook. After completing page one, I went on to page two and then three!

Morning pages are to be written first thing in the morning, and it’s different than Blogging. These are thoughts not fully formed in the mind and feel scattered. Pen to paper helps pull them together and smooth them out. They are not to be shared with anyone, so you can say whatever you darn well please. I do this before anything else, even coffee, so there’s a commitment.

As soon as your eyes open you’ll need:

Three pieces of paper.

Your favorite writing utensil.

Staring out a window helps gather thoughts.

What better place to scatter words than onto an empty page? Be happy and well loved. ~Barb