Written in the Stars

Hi Friends!

Today’s bloganuary (daily writing) challenge prompt is:

“How do you feel when you look at the starts?”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been terrified of space. There’s a chance I watched Independence Day and Apollo 13 at too young of an age. I’ve still never been convinced we need to mess with theoretical aliens or real oxygen-free environments, but other people can choose for themselves.

As I grew older, though, this sharp fear wore into a deep, unsettled feeling. I couldn’t avoid wondering my own place in the face of such dark unknown when peering into the skies. I just couldn’t see how star gazing could be relaxing fun when it draws our attention from the warmth of terra firma and into all that we may never know.

Only very recently have I begun to make peace with the skies. The most helpful perspective I’ve found about our place in the universe comes from G.K. Chesterton, who offers (in chapter four of Orthodoxy) that size does not correspond to importance, especially when contemplating the universe. This author makes a very specific religious argument in his book, and you are certainly allowed to believe what you want.

However, for me, it has been a very settling idea that just because we are small beings on a small planet, physical smallness does not mean that we and every beautiful object and inspiring concept found on earth are not as important or even more important than whatever else can be found in the expansive cosmos. How reassuring not to feel meaninglessly adrift in the universe.

A much more well known book opens, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Even if you do not believe the religious aspect, the timeless richness of the story stands on its own.

When existence is divided in two, the heavens and the earth are opposite and perhaps equal, if not in size then in literary parallel.

Space is the only thing vast enough to be a foil to earth, to human desires and fears and everything bursting with life and meaning. Space the place where our imagination is reflected back to us and amplified.

Sometimes, boogymen emerge from the darkness, but we may also peer upwards and find a grounding sense of place.

Two months ago, I visited the Frosty Drew stellar observatory with my family. For the very first time, I was guided through many famous constellations. A noted astronomer enthusiastically explained the ancient names along with the twenty first century understanding of certain formations. I could easily imagine ancient ancestors staring at the same stars, explaining their own understanding to their communities

Now, when I stare up at the stars, I’m equipped with names; Venus twinkles close to the horizon, and I can follow an invisible line to Saturn and Jupiter.

Instead of a vast unknown, I’m beginning to look up at the sky and find a stellar road map to my own place in the galaxy and in human history.

Striving to Be a Positive Change

Hi Friends!

Today’s bloganuary (daily writing) challenge prompt is:

“How are you changing the world?”

Since it seems we don’t ever really know what impact we’ve made until we can review in hindsight, I’ll keep this short and hopefully have a lot more to share at the end of the year.

This year, I am working to make as many positive changes in myself as possible. Hopefully, this will set a strong foundation for pursuing my dreams and reaching for my best potential.

I believe when we make the most positive changes in our own lives as we can and reach for our potential, we can’t help but change the world for the better…and our own best amplifies the best in others.

This year, I’m excited to look back with each accomplishment and see a positive impact on the world around me.

I hope you too are challenging yourself to live your own adventure by growing in ways that point to your dreams. I believe striving for our dreams will change the world for the better.

New Year Playlist

A Top Three

Hi Friends!

Today’s bloganuary (daily writing) challenge prompt is:

“What is on your music playlist right now?”

A Christmas gift of Sirius radio has currently replaced my own music playlist.

But when I’m not listening to No Shoes radio as I get excited about spending time Florida or pretending I could experience the stylish world of Siriusly Sinatra, I am a podcast addict.

I’ve been meaning to share my current top three podcasts, so without further ado:

1) ArtCurious Podcast– this is my all time favorite and delivers on its promise to entertain with “stories of the unexpected, slightly odd, and strangely wonderful in art history.” I never cease to be fascinated when the thoroughly engaging hostess, Jennifer Dasal, discusses lingering mysteries like the reasons behind how Michelangelo chose to portray women to purportedly cursed Venetian palaces to mind bogglingly high art auction prices. Honestly, over a year of listening to this, I have learned as much as I have in college courses… but in a fun way!

2) School of Self Image- Tonya Leigh’s approachable style of life coaching is something I can’t seem to get enough of. I have personally paid for a one month membership of her School of Self Image, but the podcasts are free and just as useful for positively transforming your life in order to achieve your dreams. Also the short, usually under thirty minute format, along with the hundreds of prerecorded episodes easily allow her motivational words to be added to a daily routine.

3) Everything Will Be Okay– There aren’t as many episodes of this as the other two podcasts, so I have listened to every one of these shows from the ever positive Dana Perino. Some episodes are more applicable to my life than others, but it’s always interesting to hear others’ perspectives, especially since each episode is an interview with many well known and influential voices to when some truly are uplifting and inspirational. It’s also interesting to note that this podcast is meant to glean knowledge from people who are among the best at what the do in a wide variety of fields, so despite connotations based on Dana’s previous jobs, there are voices from across the political spectrum. My very favorite episode was an interview with IT Cosmetics founder, Jaimie Kern Lima, which actually prompted me to buy her outstanding book.

I hope you find as much inspiration from these podcasts as I do and that hearing the adventures of others helps you embrace the possibilities of saying, “yes, I can” to your own!

* This month’s theme for the blog is, “Yes, I can!” I am also participating in the bloganuary daily writing challenge.

So Much to Love

Hi Friends!

The bloganuary (daily writing) challenge prompt of the day is:

What is your favorite part about yourself?

Obviously, there’s a straightforward response since physical characteristics come to mind pretty quickly…for instance, I like my smile. Yep, everyone has one, but I like that I can share a smile whenever I choose. That’s cheesy (get it smiles, cheese lol) but legitimately pretty cool!

I also considered this prompt in a similar way to yesterday’s…I decided to choose a character trait I like about myself.

Honestly, I’m proud that I’m always willing to try new things.

I may not always like what I try (I’m the first to admit I’m a picky eater), but if the activity is safe and my moral compass isn’t pointing in the opposite direction, I’m excited to try!

I’m always glad when I answer, “Yes, I can!” when presented with trying something new!

…even if I may never try exactly that thing again (I’m looking at you, beet and walnut burger) because I’ve discovered something new about myself or the world around me, which is always an adventure!

I encourage you to take a moment to think of a few of your favorite things about yourself!

The most joyful thing about this prompt is that it doesn’t ask us to name one thing we like about ourselves…

It asks us to contemplate our favorite thing!

I completely agree with this idea! We shouldn’t be challenged to find one thing we like about ourselves. We should love so many things the challenge is to determine our favorite!

Even if you are looking to make changes in your life, the trite message is always true: that you must love yourself first.

I also believe there’s a lot to love for all of us; we sometimes just have to take a minute to discover that!

* This month’s theme for the blog is, “Yes, I can!” I am also participating in the bloganuary daily writing challenge.

Finding My Own Strength in the New Year

Hi Friends!

Today’s bloganuary (daily writing) challenge prompt is:

“Write about something that makes you feel strong.”

Each time I see this, I read with special emphasis on the word, “you.”

This makes the prompt even more exciting to contemplate because everyone has such unique strengths!

I mean, sure, lifting weights would increase any of our muscle mass, but I’ve been enjoying considering how I personally like to increase my physical strength and how I’ve let certain circumstances shape my outlook.

For instance, if I had to go to a gym every day and lift weights to become fit and healthy…I’d actually probably become a great big couch potato (who eats mostly fried potatoes).

But I’ve discovered that I really like barre classes, especially through Pure Barre and Peloton, and I feel alive when taking brisk walks through my neighborhood with family or friends.

Character wise, I feel strong enough to face anything that comes my way when I reflect on all of the challenging moments I’ve already come through. For instance, as a young adult, I felt confident I could graduate college because I knew that I had already prepared by graduating high school and by studying throughout my higher education.

Even when I don’t have an exact model in the past, I can apply other strengths I’ve learned. If I had never paid off a loan before I paid for my car, I still knew I could reach that goal because I’ve already worked har to become an organized, dedicated person, so even if it took a little while, I knew I had what it takes not to be in debt for ever…and sooner than I expected, I wasn’t.

My challenge for you is to reflect on what makes you uniquely strong because these are the things that will help you say “yes, I can accomplish that goal”…and then discover that you actually can!

If you want to be physically strong, find what exercise and healthy food you enjoy on the way to getting stronger.

If you need strength of character, I’m sure you have your own unique experiences to draw from!

Living the Dream

Hi Friends!

Today’s bloganuary (daily writing) challenge is:

“Write about a dream you remember.”

I have decided to take this prompt a little loosely and write about a daydream I can’t seem to forget.

You know, one of those dreams that you keep coming back to and imagine experiencing no matter where you are, what job you have, and whatever else you achieve?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted a place to graciously welcome guests and share ideas. More than just a home, I want a warmly sophisticated space for celebrating life through big and small events.

That dream has become a career goal and vision for how I want my life to be.

I write more about this “Venue Vision” in the About section of this blog.

I’ve also determined to make this dream and many others a reality…starting now!

Recently, I took Tonya Leigh’s Live Like an Editor workshop through the School of Self Image, which challenged participants to create a magazine cover depicting elements from their future dream life… then begin showing up in your life right now like the person you want to be!

I’ve shared mine below!

It’s so inspiring to see some of my dreams as a compelling cover.

I highly recommend tapping into Tonya’s advice through her podcasts or workshops!

I also love the free features of Canva, which enabled me to create this beautiful magazine cover.

Whatever motivates you, I hope you too begin living the dream life you can’t seem to forget!

I’ll keep you updated as my dreams take shape, and I can’t wait to hear from you as you live the adventure of following your dreams!!

A Daring Adventure

Hi Friends!

Today’s bloguary (daily writing challenge) prompt is:

“What is your favorite quote and why?”

The title of this blog actually draws from my favorite quote, which is,

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

Helen Keller

This quote may call some to explore far away lands. It can also serve as a reminder to find adventure where you are.

It’s inspiring to me that adventure can be many things and that you get to decide what your adventure is.

This quote also motivates me to take action on my dreams because it’s in getting up and following our dreams (even if it’s just baby steps at first) rather than just imagining an exciting, purposeful life that we can live our very own adventures!

This quote is also mentioned in the About section of the blog, and I’ll explore this theme more as the blog grows.

If I Could…

The them for this month is, “yes, I can!”

Hi Friends!

I started this year (21 days ago now) with a vision of how a successful year would appear when I looked back on December 31st, 2022.

Being able to smile when reviewing writing I had published was one of the images I added to my vision…so to grow in that direction, I have just now joined a writing challenge from the WordPress platform. This will certainly be a challenge because it involves writing in response to a new prompt every single day in January.

I’m a little intimidated and hope that I can provide quality content…and set aside enough time to publish each day. But I’m telling myself, “yes, I can,” and I’m excited to see what happens.

*I’ll let you know what I’ve learned on 2/1!

The prompt for today is:

“If you could, what year would you time travel to and why?”

My answer is: This year!

Many people have beautifully written about visiting with lost loved ones in the past or seeing how their family has grown at a certain point in the future (someone even added that they would be interested in going back to witness the dawn of time-which I’m not sure is an actual year? But, hey, that’s creative!). These ideas are fantastic. However, I chose 2022 and would like to make the argument for you to as well.

This is a wonderful year.

Of course, I would like to re-live many things in past years, and it would be pretty cool to see what I achieve in the years ahead, but I read the question as, “which entire year would you time travel to?”

While I love to think about all of the great moments, no year is without it’s difficulties as well.

All years are different, but no year is intrinsically better than another…except for the year surrounding you, everything you’ve learned as well as your hopes your dreams are here right this second.

If it hadn’t been for all of the years in our pasts, we wouldn’t be where we are today, with all of the lessons learned and all of the potential in store.

I encourage you to feel the warmth of joyful memories and hopes for a distant year and to reflect on all you’ve discovered during relaxing and even difficult years… then really embrace where you are right now and make each day part of your best year yet!

Instead of asking myself what would happen if I could go to the past or future, I’m challenging myself to ask what can happen if I rise to challenges this year.

Say, “yes, I can” when presented with challenges, and you will be enjoying yourself too much to consider traveling to a different time.