Quote Tuesday

“The ordinary acts that we practice every day at home
are of more importance To The Soul
than their simplicity might suggest.” ~ Alice Walker

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Happy New Year!

English: Sparkler, violent reaction (guy fawke...

English: Sparkler, violent reaction (guy fawkes) Français : Cierge magique pendant la nuit de Guy Fawkes, en Angleterre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I am late. I have a really good excuse. You see, I have been sick for most of the holiday season — crappy timing. Anyway, I wanted to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. With 365 (make that 364) days filled with promise, the possibilities are endless, as are my wishes for you.

Two thousand fifteen is gone, never to come again. With it, that chapter of your life is over and you are free to write a new story, one filled with travel, adventure, love, courage, whatever you choose. The thing that you must remember is:

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” ~ Napoleon Hill

This is your opportunity to live the life you choose. If you choose to drop out of medical school to pursue your dream of being a chef, so be it. If you choose to leave your high paying job to become a stay-at-home parent, so be it. The choices are endless, and they are yours to make. Granted, many of us have obligations that do not allow us to, at a whim, cast aside everything to pursue our dream. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that you must let go of those dreams. Life changes, situations change, but your dreams must never die.

Among others, the Oxford dictionary defines “dreams” as: “A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.” Dreams do not expire. They are not defined by time. As long as you hold them close, they endure. Let them stay in your heart, awaiting the moment that you are ready to make them real.

My wish for you is that in 2016, you take a step bringing you closer to living your dream. May the year bring you abundant blessings. Cheers!!!

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20 Things I’ve Learning In My 5 Years Of Blogging

Source: Gretchen Rubin

Recently, I learned that I’ve been blogging for 5 Years. Back then, I read many excellent blogs, and I wanted my own. And so, I began with no idea about what I was doing, or getting myself into. (Sometimes, I still feel that way.) I created my blog to express my thoughts and feelings about the state of my life. I was on a journey of inner exploration. I longed to reveal the self, which lay beneath the vagaries of life that resulted in tarnishing the unvarnished, unburdened, bundle of love that entered the world. I mean, before I was taught to embrace identities, ideals, expectations, thoughts, feelings and desires that are not my own. In addition, I loved to write and wanted the blog to improve those skills.

At the beginning, I had no readers–none.  It bothered me, so I solicited my family and friends to follow me. It was that pesky ego whispering in my ear. In hindsight, my goal was for people to like me; however, the statistics mocked me because there it was, in black and white, I wasn’t succeeding.

Reading some of my old posts, I realize that my focus was on the statistics, instead of “the writing.” It is evident that honing my writing ability was not of paramount importance. It is not that, in and of themselves, they were bad; it is just that I failed to read, reread and reread again, to find errors, including unnecessary words, and “huh” language (You know, when you think, “What the hell does that mean?”). I want it clear, I am not saying that my current posts are error-free, but that is my goal.

As I continued to read, it became clear that I struggled to find my voice. One after another, each post felt inauthentic, and failed to convey “me.” I was trying too hard, because I was afraid of being seen, afraid for anyone to know the real Lydia. In truth, I guess that I, too, was afraid to uncover and face the real me. I am no longer afraid, at least, most of the time.

Now, this blog is so much more. Seeking Querencia is an extension of who I am. It speaks to the real me. The one that longs to connect with like-minded people, in a straight-forward and honest way. While doing so,  I’ve managed to unearth parts of myself that were foreign to me, and they in turn take me closer to my goal. This blog is an integral part of a life-time journey forward and inward.

I am grateful for this blog, as it was, and still is, a repository of my thoughts, feelings, observations, meanderings, and interests. It serves as a record of where I’ve been, and where I am going. It documents my areas of growth and those areas that still need tending. All in all, I am blessed that it exists and that you choose to join me, if only for a while, as I continue “seeking querencia.”

Over the years, I’ve learned, and continue to do so, many things about both my inner and outer world. I’ve managed to whittle the list down to these 20 insights:

  1. Blog for yourself and not for others.
  2. Respect the privacy of your family, friends and others by asking their permission before naming names in your blog.
  3. Everyone will not like you, so do not expect them to.
  4. Speak your truth.
  5. Unless you have a valid reason for doing so, check your stats no more than once or twice a month.
  6. If you are comfortable doing so, invite your readers to get to know the real you, warts and all. (I am not saying that you need to share your deepest, darkest secrets; just give your readers enough to leave them wanting to know more about you and to read more of your posts.)
  7. Respond to and thank anyone who takes a moment out of their busy lives to comment on your posts. (This does not apply to haters or trolls.)
  8. Before you press the “publish” button: Spell check, spell check, spell check.
  9. Before you press the “publish” button: Read, reread and reread again.
  10. Show gratitude for the readers who support you.
  11. Create a blog that you love and is an extension of you. (At one point, I was totally disinterested in my blog. When I looked at it objectively, I realized that I hated everything about it. It was money well spent when I hired a web designer who produced this blog that more accurately portrayed me, and that I love. Believe me, it was not expensive.)
  12. Treat your blog as an opportunity to tell your story.
  13. Each blog is as unique, as the person behind it.
  14. Vulnerability  takes courage.
  15. Have the courage to take a position contrary to that of the masses.
  16. When blogging becomes a chore, take a blogcation.
  17. When you learn that you gave inaccurate information, admit and correct it, at the earliest opportunity.
  18. Your voice is no less important than anyone else.
  19. Let the name of your blog convey its purpose.
  20. Use your blog to learn, explore and grow.

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Quote Tuesday

English: Cosmos in Asteraceae family

English: Cosmos in Asteraceae family (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness. ~ Andy Rooney

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