Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It Takes Passion To Turn A Tide...

Deep down, where no one but you is looking, what are your passions? Is it to start your own business?  Write a book?  Learn a new language?  Bake the best cupcakes?  Start from scratch?  Open your mind?  Stop worrying about what someone else thinks? 

If this is a hard question – here are some thought provoking ways to start cracking that code.  Write down the first thing that comes to mind, and then see how the patterns develop.  Send me your comments on your answers.  Inquiring minds want to know...
Happy discovering…be forewarned. These answers may lead to the dumping of any possible frump slumps…
·         Barnes and Noble called.  They want you to select the only genre of books they will carry for sale.  What is it and why?

·         You have a chance to teach a large audience three things – what are they?

·         You can pick three unique and interesting jobs to have in the next year (money is no object and specific skills are not required).  What are they, why do you want them, and how will they change you in one year’s time?

·         What is the biggest personal challenge you have overcome?  How would you help others overcome the same or similar challenge? 

·         If you could make only one major positive change in the world – name it.  Why that change?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Waxing Poetic to Really Turn the Tide...

I ask not from whence these words came (how Brit Lit), I just know that they appeared on a page, and that they are to be shared. 

All tides eventually turn, and that what falls must go up.  On this night of a full moon - illumination...and so it is...

Into the dark night is plunged the devils of the past storms.  Into the absence of light is cast the complex insecurity of a drained moat and a crumbled castle.  Into the abyss is the final descent - the muck and mire of that which is no longer, and most likely - never was...The mind vexes and hexes, self contained spells, walls of concrete...It is, at last, over...Surrender, release, peace...

It is now the time of the sunrise.  The gift of light, the illumination, the sight of the whole again. 
The gratitude for all which has occurred for without it - the castle could not be re-forged with the steel and strength of a million Excalibers - taller and with greater fortitude than ever before...
The promise of spring
The grateful anticipation and magnificence to come...
The blazing brilliant truth of authenticity...
That time is this moment, and that time is now...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rejection, Thick Skin, and Remember Winston Churchill...

Winston Churchill?  What?  Standby - it will make sense in a minute...

Whenever you "put yourself out there" - someone will appreciate your work, and someone will not.  Rejection may (and typically) does happen.  The concept to be understood is that YOU personally are not being rejected, the work is.  That is not an easy concept, since many of us personify the work (whatever it may be).  It may be a written piece, a monologue, an audition, a look, a song, a board presentation, cookies for the church bake sale, a dinner party, or a painting.  All pieces of one's soul - offered up in a way to another person or persons for view, critique, audition, acceptance, and judgment. 

The "work" may be embraced, lauded, accepted, and praised.  Hurray!  The fireworks fly!  A trophy is awarded!  All is well with the Universe!  However - the "work" may be dismissed, distained, judged to be awful, and summarily rejected.  Thank you for playing - there are some lovely parting gifts at the door...Now - get out...Hard to dump a slump when you get a sometimes gentle, sometimes not, kick in the teeth (or other body part) when the rejection fairy comes to visit. 

For me - lately I have been facing more rejection than acceptance.  I know it is part of transforming and trying new things, but some days, it is a challenge to have a thick skin. 

One of my recent projects is retooling my nonfiction book with a goal of publishing for an upcoming event where I may actually be able to (gasp) sell books to the participants (what a concept).  To do that, I must finish the work, obtain representation, go through the process, etc. etc. etc.  I reached out to some agent contacts including information on how I am building my platform and many other positive developments.  And then it came - the email:

"thanks for touching base. I recall meeting you and being impressed with your story. I do think this is a hard category, and even though you have established a platform, I think I would need for it to be even stronger to be interested. Perhaps as the blog gets rooted and you have more TV appearances, etc., it will the right time for me to review your work."

There it was.  Rejection - gentle, constructive, and very nice, but rejection nonetheless.  Apparently in order to be an author, I must have more TV appearances - which is fine because I would like that anyway and it would fit my goal of inspiring people.  Tough one to swallow that was, but I took it in the best stride I could.  It actually helped me let go of needing to be accepted so hard by another person, and to seek out and learn more about the new world order of self publishing.  A win by way of a loss. 

There have been a lot of tales of great rejections that led to great success and have inspired many (like me) to keep going, not only in the publishing world but also in other genres. 
  • Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek which has spent months on The New York Times Bestseller list had 26 publishing rejections.
  • Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen, responsible for the wildly successful Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books were initially rejected 140 times
  • Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series had 9 rejections from literary agents, and then…well, there were a few book deals, and a couple of movies...
  • J.K. Rowling, author of all those Harry Potter books, was rejected 9 times for the first book, and finally
  • Oprah was fired from one of her early anchor positions after being labelled “unfit for TV” (can you imagine the endless dripping egg on the face of that TV executive?)
And as for Winston Churchill (told you I'd get there) - I offer two quotes to consider about thick skin, rejection, and carrying on (how British...)

1.  "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm".
2.  "If you're going through hell, keep going".

My modification on that last quote - if you keep getting rejected, keep working at it, or turn it on its head and figure out a better way! 

Someone will love your work, and /or you will love it enough to self-publish!  (Amanda Hocking's story about self publishing and selling her 1 millionth book for Amazon Kindle has definately caught my attention).  Marilyn Monroe was dismissed from 20th Century -Fox because producers there declared her "unattractive".  She did alright after that...

Keep on keeping on.  Difficult though it may be some days, let nary a rejection keep you from the slump dumping destiny that is yours today and every day.  You are fabulous, creative, amazing.  Not everyone will think so, but what matters is that you think so of yourself.

Keep going....and thank you Mr. Churchill.



Friday, February 8, 2013

Feeling Is Believing

Over the past two weeks, I have been recovering from surgery.  Not the most splendid time for dumping my slump - there has been more time spent frumpy than fabulous.  Oh, there have been glimmers here and there, but over all  - more pajama time than glamour time.  Bottom line - I just haven't felt like getting after it (any of it...).  I also haven't been able to do much either, which is frustrating.  Putting on mascara has become a 20 minute project.  Driving - fuggetaboutit...
To be sure - there are blessings in recovery time.  It is peaceful, quiet, and healing.  It may cause miracles - according to the book of the same name I have been reading by Gabrielle Bernstein.  It may cause business and spiritual fires to burn, according to another awesome book called The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte.  Inspired by all I have been reading - I am ready for this recovery business to be done.  Time to take some action to dump some slump. 
A few days ago, I shopped (on-line of course)!  Today the prize arrived and here is how the story goes.   Generally I am an advocate of seeing is believing.  I sometimes wonder if I am a secret native of Missouri - The Show Me state.  Today I saw, but really felt and believed again.
Part of my weight release journey and dealing with my fibromyalgia included to date the completion of eleven half marathons and four full marathons.  Each event gave me a fantastic medal that I treasure dearly, and I clearly recall the feeling of it placed around my neck just past the finish line.  Each medal has it's own unique story - starting from the dream that chose that event, to the path taken to accomplish it, to the feelings I had during that race, to the moment the medal was placed around my neck, and the time afterward knowing all it took to achieve it. 
What arrived today was a medal holder where I can display all half and full medals in one place.  It looked great - and I was thrilled!  I lined up all my medals in date order and put them on the holder.  As I was doing this, and strange as it sounds, I began to feel those races.  I smiled, laughed, and indulged in many a memory.  I felt the rain of the last mile of my first major half marathon in Disneyworld, and the intense heat and salty air of the Kona Half Marathon in 2012.  I felt the surprising icy cold of a December Las Vegas morning in 2006 and remember laughing aloud at strippers running a water stop.  As an Achilles International guide to a disabled athlete in the 2010 NYC Marathon, I felt my arm wrapped around my athlete companion to assist her the last 1.1 miles because together, we were determined that she was going to finish.  I then felt myself push her toward the Finish Line alone because she earned it.  Finally and most sweetly, I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks when a volunteer placed my 2009 NYC Marathon medal around my neck, hugged me tight, and said "you did it, and I love you for it". 
Yes - it's true that seeing is believing.  
But in addition -  Feeling Is Believing. 
My mantra - you must feel that you can.  You must think that you can.  There is no better way to dump any kind of slump than to feel that there are possibilities.  After being in recovery mode, today helped to catapult me into feeling that all things are once again possible.  I can feel it again.  There is a time for rebirth, regeneration, and overcoming what some have said is impossible.  Define that for yourself, and remember, feeling is believing.