When Not To Shift

Happy first day of March! As we prepare for more sunlight and warmer temps (in most parts of the U.S.), the promise of spring brings an opportunity to shift from how we ‘ve been living or to stay the course, in various ways.

We still find ourselves on a treadmill of not-quite-normal, pandemic-fueled living; and even with vaccines being distributed as quickly as possible, decisions have to be made about where to go or not, what to attend or avoid, and how to stay safe, day-to-day.

What remains certain amidst it all are our opportunities to be steadfast in never shifting from hope.

We can give in to impatience – who would have thought 12 months ago around this time that we’d soon be forced into mass quarantine and that masks would become the new fashion staple? And who would have thought that a year later, in March 2021, that we’d still be living this way? Or we can resolve to make hope our secret weapon – using it as a tool to help us win with class, fall with grace, work collaboratively, expect the best from others, give the best to others and lead with a servant’s heart.

The choice is ultimately up to us – to you.

Will you allow the promise of springtime to birth in you renewed motivation to hope more deeply and act on what you’re hoping for? Will you join me in embracing the shift into a higher gear of intentionality?

Let’s go for it, because…why not? When we become more consistent and persistent, what no longer serves us will inevitably fall away, leaving in its wake our stubborn hope.

In this way, we will honor the essence of who we are, so that our lives can continually yield light, render joy and dispense some measure of good, in the season to come and in the many seasons beyond.

 

Shine, Will You?

I’ve learned over the years that there’s a difference between humility and hiding.

When we hide our gifts, our talents and our offerings that could bless others, because we don’t want to seem “all that,” we’re actually hiding our light under a bushel. Yet, it is the glow from our light that touches others’ souls, and shows them their own path.

When we find the courage to own our positive, unselfish dreams and walk in our purpose, we open a space for everyone around us to do the same, and that is how DESTINY unfolds. 

So today, walk in your light – with grace, gratitude, joy and even some measure of fun! In the process, you’ll change your corner of the world for the better, and the ripple effect will change even more lives.

Trust Your Process

A reader friend of mine, Sarah Brooks, is a gifted artist who raises funds for World Vision each year.

About 10 years ago, she decided to solicit donations by designing a card that includes a quote from one of my novels – Nothing But The Right Thing.

I share this encouragement today with a reminder to have faith and trust the timing of your life.

Love Hard, Will You?

On this Valentine’s Day, join me on this worthy quest: Love yourself first so you can love others better.

Love all of your gifts and talents, but also all of your quirks and flaws. Love the ways and seasons within you that are both beautiful and less than stellar.

Love the innocent child you once were and the broken but blessed adult you’ve become. Love the “seasoned citizen” you’re growing into each day. 

When you love you like that, it’s so much easier to selflessly care for, lift up, stand with, fully embrace and give to others. 

So start anew, if necessary, to make sure you’re loving yourself, for yourself, just because. Doing so will allow the mutual love and respect that flows between you and others all the more special and all the more real. 

Enjoy your journey, and appreciate as “loving hard” becomes easier by the day.

Appreciate What Remains

Reflect for a moment where you were this time last year, about a month before the world plunged head first into a pandemic.

I’m sure that for each of us there have been losses and gains, and some wonderful milestones and not-so-great moments; but the beauty of reality is that you’re. still. here.

Trust the timing of your life. 

Take care of your heart. 

Lean into joy.

And as you look back over the year, do as a wise dear friend of mine recommends: Take the “meat from the bones” and be grateful for the goodness. That’s what should remain. 

Take A Chance On You

You can’t declare you want something different yet follow the same routine; or pour new wine into old wineskin, or never try a new path or lane.

Find the courage to push past your comfort zone. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Elevate a long-held dream by making it relevant for today.

This is how Amazon transformed from a bookseller into an everything-seller;

how some real estate investors started the Airbnb revolution;

how fashion designers have become bestselling mask-makers,

and plastic companies now distribute millions of window and desk shields, to keep us all safe. 

Hold true to your gifts, goals and integrity; but be willing to ideate and pivot, for such a time as this. 

Pursuits of Passion

A message I watched on YouTube this week reminded me that just because we’re pursuing our passion doesn’t mean we’ll coast. In fact, living out our passion often requires sacrifice, late nights, elbow grease, and fits and starts. But because we love it, it’s worth it, right? 

The story I’m writing these days is kinda like that – it requires digging deep, sitting in silence, answering the hard questions and embracing the authentic answers. 

Yep, I’m talking about the novel I’m penning, but real life, too. For isn’t this how it’s supposed to work? Fiction is a reflection of life that’s meant to help you better understand yourself, and others. I’m excited to be in this “creating magic” phase. 

Lean Into Joy

According to writer Leo Buscaglia: “Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions.

The first question was, ‘Did you bring joy?’

The second was, ‘Did you find joy?’ 

On this first day of February and throughout this month, choose to do both – bring joy to the lives of others in simple and profound ways, while gifting the same to yourself. 

Do this consistently and intentionally, and watch yourself, and those you touch, flourish.

Be Still, Yet Open

We live in a world that flits past the present moment while glorifying the future. Today, join me in choosing to buck that trend.

Lean into THIS moment, whether it is wonderful, amazing, challenging, scary or uncertain. Give thanks for it, knowing that if it has come into your existence, it has come for a reason – to teach you, heal you, strengthen you, reward you, prepare you or perhaps protect you.

Don’t be paralyzed by the noise in the world around you; focus inward.

Count it all joy and embrace your present, so that when you reach that place known as the future, you’ll be ready to experience, appreciate and celebrate all that it holds, too.

Help Me Choose 50 Things While 50

Whew – if you’ve been following the news at all this past week, you’ll probably agree with me that we’ve had some kind of start to the New Year – the kind that has left me at a loss for words, while alternatively holding onto what I know to be true: The reality that even when darkness or mayhem gains a foothold, goodness will find a way to shine through, and inner peace is still possible.
I’m clinging to that belief in 2021, and especially on today (Sunday, January 10) – my 50th birthday!


There are so many sappy cliches about this milestone that would be fitting to spout; but the simple refrain coursing through my mind, heart and spirit is that I am grateful, excited and feeling abundantly blessed.


My 50 While 50 Challenge
One of the ways I plan to commemorate this special year is to challenge myself to do 50 Things While 50 – from simple delights such as treating myself to a few at-home spa days to achieving big goals like finishing my current manuscript-in-progress to lofty plans like preparing for a big trip abroad that I hope to take once it’s safe to travel again.


I’ve started a list of simple and significant experiences that will allow me to rejuvenate, reconnect with myself, have fun and reflect on my life’s next chapter, but I’m stuck  at 35! Can you help me by suggesting a few pandemic-friendly things I can enjoy, learn from or find meaningful during this very special year?

Post your suggestions for me in the comment section!

Everything I choose must bring me some measure of joy, growth, peace or pleasure. I’ll write a brief update about each thing I check off my list as I plow through it throughout the year, and you can follow along by subscribing to this LifeUntapped blog.

If  you give me an idea, I’ll consider adding it to my list – unless it’s beyond my personal tolerance for adventure!

Stacy


I know that I’ll be thankful to have these memories to look back on someday and finding more ways to savor as much of life as I can, while leaving others feeling empowered enough and worthy enough to do the same  – whether it’s through your reading something I’ve written or recommended; in our one-on-one dialogue; through social media, or any other means.


We can’t change others or the world around us; but we can protect the good within us and find the courage to share it broadly, come what may. Celebrating with you is one of the ways I’m turning up my joy. 

As I focus forward, consider joining me!  Why not create your own To Do list of simple and significant adventures for 2021, just for you and just because? 


And if this is a milestone birthday year for you too, please accept my congrats and let me know how you’re commemorating it!