Books Books and more Books!

booksI love books.  They are one of the greatest gifts we have! Wonderful tomes filled with fantasy, recipes, life experiences, and information to entertain, feed our bodies and minds, encourage our spirits and expand our knowledge.

What an amazing ability and opportunity we have to learn to read.  It is right up there at the top of the list of my things I am thankful for!  Probably second would be the ability to write and type.

I read constantly. I don’t believe in information overload.  There’s no such thing.  Our brains expand as needed!  You can fill it every day and it won’t run out of room or memory like your computer will.  Amazing!

Since I read a variety of books on a steady basis I am going to start a friendly book review.  I have come across some pretty wonderful books along the way and I can’t think of a better way to show appreciation than to review them honestly and give some verbal applause and kudos to those who put in the effort to share knowledge.

What have you written lately?  A letter? A recipe? An encouraging email? Kindness expressed is never wasted.

Cherry Coley (c)

Challenges Are Not Permanent

cherrys iphone 182This year started out kind of rocky and wound up being one big challenge after another. Yet, I am still here and I am grateful for the things we have.

In the midst of struggle we sometimes forget to be thankful.  Things could always be worse.  Life can find ways to be challenging that you never thought of.

I am thankful for my health.  Though there have been struggles the last few months, it is just part of life and the experiences we go through.

On my birthday this year I was feeling a bit blue. I had been missing my parents and feeling alone.  Then when I was driving up a busy side street by our house I saw a big, white, fluffy puppy.  I worried that he might get ran over.  I pulled the car over and called to him, he came running up to me and I put him in my car.  We cruised around, looking for signs and put up some of our own, but no one seemed to be looking for him.

pic by Cherry

pic by Cherry

This little became my birthday present and I named him Scout.  I THOUGHT he was a white husky.  I was wrong, he is a white husky mixed with a great Pyrenees.  He is a sweet and gentle giant in the making.

It amazes me, when life can seem so bleak how one or two things can change and bring joy.

One thing is sure, life will change.  Circumstances will change.  Some things will be challenging and others will be enjoyable.  Take the time to experience life fully.  These moments are yours, the experiences are yours and they only come once.

Scout has grown and is now 8 months old.  Lord, he is a BIG boy and still growing.

cherrys iphone 315

Scout isn’t the only change in our family.

There is another significant change coming in January. She is going to be beautiful just like her mommy.  I look forward to being a grandma!

 

Casey's baby girl

Casey’s baby girl

Cherry Coley (c)

Set Your Targets Closer and Set Your Sights High!

cherrys iphone 247Have you ever set your heart on a career or goal and then lost your focus?  Distractions and life events you didn’t have control over cropped up as obstacles and you had to put off what you were working on, or maybe you just put it aside hoping someday you might get back to your dream.  I have.  I remember dreaming of doing things, working hard to set goals and lists, then becoming discouraged because there were too many other things I was responsible for at the time and it seemed my dreams would always get shoved aside.

Here are some things you can do to stay motivated and keep making progress towards your dreams.

  • *        Focus on the outcome instead of the activities.

It’s easy to fill up a “to do” list with a lot of activities that seem necessary and valuable when we write them down, but are they?  If you aren’t careful what seemed like a good idea and vitally important can get confused with “busy work” and before you know it you’ll find yourself with a big to do list that you aren’t getting done, a feeling of despair because you aren’t making the progress you thought you would, and sometimes thoughts of giving up because you become discouraged, or feel overwhelmed with the distractions and events.

When you focus on the outcome instead of the activities – put up reminders of where you want to be.  Don’t do a big to do list, instead just focus on what you want for an outcome.  You will surprise yourself finding ways to fit in the things that must be done to get you to your goal.  What’s more is you may come to realize things you thought were important are just busy work and aren’t necessary to get you where you want to go.

Resources you didn’t see before will come into focus because you aren’t worried about the “to do list” – you’re looking for your end result.  When you keep your focus on the outcome it sets your brain and eyes in motion to look for opportunities that you might’ve otherwise missed.

  •     Set your targets closer

Another way to stay motivated is to set your targets closer.  When you want to gain self-confidence it helps to set some easily obtainable goals, once you reach your target – celebrate!!  Every success counts!  Get used to that feeling of celebration when you reach your goal, stop and enjoy it!  Build on your successes and keep the momentum going!  You can do it!

It seems silly to remind to celebrate, but how many times do you reach a goal and think, “okay, that’s done, now what?” and just move on to the next thing?  I was doing this a lot.  Where is the enjoyment? Where’s the lasting sense of accomplishment?  Well, gee, I just bypassed it and went on to the next thing.  It’s important to celebrate the little successes, it will make the big successes that much more sweet! Life is a joy to live and we need to celebrate when we reach a milestone or goal.

  •     Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and encourage you.

Notice I didn’t say – surround yourself with people who will beat you up and try to whip you into getting things done.  This may work for some, and I confess now and then I kick myself into gear, but put me with someone who’s going to belittle or make me feel bad for not reaching a goal on time and it has the opposite effect on me.  Eventually I may even start avoiding that person.  Who wants to talk to someone whose intent on judging you?  I’d rather find someone who will listen to my concerns and offer some encouragement and helpful suggestions.

Just keep that ant philosophy.  Ants don’t get distracted or let obstacles get in their way.  They just keep on going, up, down, around, under and through whatever gets in their way to reach their goal.  When they need help they send for reinforcements and get the job done.

Cherry Coley ©

Keep It Short and Pointed!

photo by Casey Keal

photo by Casey Keal

You don’t need to be long-winded to get a point across, in fact, it’s better if you’re not.  Now days if you take too long to get to the point you will lose your audience and even those who stick around to try to figure out what you’re saying, may forget what the original topic was if you take too long to get to the point.

Communication is not about speaking, it’s about listening,” Simon Sinek.

I agree with Simon, to communicate good listening skills are required, so do us all a favor and learn to cut the “fluff” and long descriptions.  If we want that type of writing we’ll pick up a novel and enjoy the scenery and visions that dance in our head.  However, if your topic is instructional, inspirational, business oriented, or something you want to share to improve the lives of others, then get to the point so that we can grasp the information quick and apply it.

Life is short, let’s find ways to improve our writing skills, improve our listening skills, and learn to communicate in a way that everyone can grasp and enjoy.

Why did I write on this subject?  I read my last post.  Ha.

-Cherry Coley ©

Get a New Perspective

animals.nationalgeographic.com

animals.nationalgeographic.com

Life is challenging at times.  If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves feeling cornered, over whelmed, tired, and stressed.  Things happen, unexpected events, circumstances change in moments.

Life is merciless and can come at a rapid pace that leaves us breathless and feeling helpless.  The thing to remember at such times is, this too shall pass.  It’s a cliché, but it’s still true.  Moments both good and bad only last for moments.

Sometimes all it takes to change a situation is to change your perspective.  My art teacher taught me long ago, when getting frustrated while working on a portrait a long time, sometimes you get too close to the subject and the picture can start to look off.  The best thing to do is put the picture up awhile, go do something else, then come back to it later.  When you take it out later, turn it upside down and you will immediately see any flaws in the portrait.

There are a lot of things that work the same way.  When you work on something a long while, your stress level and emotional involvement can skew your perspective.  It’s important to work with a partner, or have trusted friends who will tell you when something is off, or perhaps help you take a break and see things differently.

Finances, for instance, can weigh heavily on the mind, cause lack of sleep, stomach aches, and stress that affects the body and mind.  Still, we have the option to ask for help, seek guidance, and the ability to look up possible solutions literally at our fingertips.

Jim Rohn said, “Everything you need is already available to you.”  I had to think about that awhile, because I tell you, it didn’t feel like everything I needed was available earlier this year.  Yet, after reading books, studying classes, searching for resources and taking advantage of just part of the things I have access too and have available to me, I realize Jim Rohn is right.

Don’t allow yourself to feel cornered or down.  You have a choice, you are in control of your attitude and the emotions you choose to use at any given moment.  If what you’re doing each day doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled, or like your accomplishing something, happy, or content, then take a look at what’s going on in your life and how you’re responding.  Perhaps you need a break, a change in perspective.

Cherry Coley ©

The First Day of the Week

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Today is Sunday, the beginning of the week.  How do you spend your Sunday’s?

When I was growing up we still had the “Blue Law” in Texas, meaning most places were closed on Sunday’s.  I remember working at the bookstore when they did away with the “Blue Law” and everyone saying that it was a mistake to do away with it, it wouldn’t last because people liked having their Sunday’s off.  Guess what? People like convenience more.  What was gained by doing away with the “Blue Law?”  Not a lot, it did make it where you could go to the mall on Saturday or Sunday, but as far as the retailers went it meant sales on Saturday were split between Saturday and Sunday.  It also meant the managers had to find people to work on Sunday and pay an extra day’s wages with no significant increase in revenue.

How many times do we do something for convenience sake, find out it didn’t have the big impact we thought it would, might not even be that beneficial, but we keep doing it because we tell ourselves we “should,” it’s the way things are done now?  There have been times when I was thankful a store was open on Sunday, but very rarely.  For the most part, we spend time at home, at the park, and at church.

I remember Sunday’s as being a day to go to church, spend time with family and friends, eat a big meal then go home and take a nap.  It was also a day to prepare for the week.  Saturday we caught up on yard and house work, laundry, and clean up.  Sunday we laid out clothes and planned for the week.  I even remember mom working out menus for meals so we knew what we were going to eat each day.

Now days Sunday is still a day of rest for my family.  We go to church Sunday morning, spend time with family and friends, eat a meal and sometimes even work in a nap.  I finish laundry and set my calendar for the week, fine tune the “to do” lists to make the most of the coming days and make sure things don’t fall through the cracks and important events aren’t overlooked.

Setting the pace for the week is important.  A day of rest, a good attitude, and a good outlook can make all the difference in how your week goes.  Time is too precious to waste.  It only takes a moment to get things in order and make a difference.  When you take the time to plan ahead things tend to flow better and be less stressful, and isn’t it great to find ways to make things less stressful!

 Cherry Coley (c)

A New Beginning

Pic by C Coley

Pic by C Coley

 

Today Is September 13th, Friday 13th.  Even now there is still some dread, some superstition about this day.  I like Friday 13th.

This has been an interesting year for our family. I can’t think of a better day to start fresh, to start to move forward.  Why not start with the unusual?

Friday the 13th is just another day and as in the case of every other day we have the choice of how we perceive it, how we approach it, and how we spend the day.  So adjust your attitude and choose to celebrate being alive!  Make the most of your time while you can, nothing is promsed.  Life is too precious to waste worrying about superstitions.

Cherry Coley (c)

 

 

Happiness

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“Some people pursue happiness…others create it.” – Anonymous

Now and then in the midst of the daily struggle and grind, stop and remind yourself that you are – at this moment experiencing a miracle.  Each breath that you take is a life giving miracle.  Can you feel the heart beating in your chest? Another miracle.  No doctor or scientist can explain life – they can look at it, study it, pursue answers and seek to protect and prolong it, but they can’t explain it. 

Now that you have experienced the miracle of being alive, think about the miracles that allow you to learn, to read, to have emotions, to experience life.  Amazing what we take for granted most of the time. 

Joy, laughter, happiness are around you – created for you to experience.  The birds singing, the whispering leaves in the trees, the soft touch of the wind in your hair, the warmth of the sun on your face, all wonderous things in this life for you to enjoy.

Wouldn’t it be great if humans acted with the joy and abandon of a dog being let outside to play? They run full out, leaping and rolling, barking and howling into the wind, giving it their all in a moment of pure joy! Can you imagine a place where people could play like that?

When was the last time you just went outside, closed your eyes and listened to everything you could hear for awhile?  Amazing when our mind is relaxed, eyes are closed how much we can hear. 

Or the last time you ate a plate of fruit in low light – so you can better savor the flavors of each one and allow yourself to only concentrate on the taste?

Take a moment to try something different, remind yourself of the little things that can bring joy each day.  Life is too short to rush through in pursuit of happiness, find your bliss in the little things, then share a smile with a friend.

Cherry Coley (c)