• Photo stories,  the challenges of being original

    Never settle for boring

    “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” ~Jim Rohn Even when I was a much younger woman with a fragile ego, I wasn’t impressed by the stuff my peers wanted to wear. In those days, designer logos, status scarves, and “it” handbags were just starting to gain popularity. (Remember The Official Preppy Handbook?) To me, they seemed boring and unoriginal, and rarely worth their extravagant price tags. I still wonder why anyone would want to be an unpaid, walking advertisement for someone else’s product. And why would anybody want to dress like someone else, unless a uniform is mandatory for…

  • Personal growth,  Photo stories,  reciprocation,  relationships

    The paradox of giving

    “We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.” ~Orison Swett Marden Who doesn’t love to receive beautiful presents on birthdays and holidays? Gifts that were chosen with care are treasured and remembered for years. Regardless, the spirit of generosity isn’t necessarily tied to tangible gifts or money. Generous people extend themselves. They reach out to you, spend time with you, listen deeply, share what they’re thinking, celebrate your victories, and offer support or guidance when it’s needed. They give freely from the heart without expecting favors in return. Givers possess an abundance mindset, which is why they…

  • Just for writers,  Poetry,  Writing advice

    Working from home

    “Let her have a chair, her shadeless lamp, the table.” — Jane Hirshfield, “The Poet” The pandemic has changed the way most of us work. Today, “working from home” is no longer just a temporary option for parents of young kids. More than ever, we all need a safe workspace where we can be productive and creative — whether it’s the kitchen table, a home office in the guest room, or a studio in the basement. The following poem is another favorite of mine, reminding me of my early years of motherhood and the challenges of starting a writing career at home. (I scheduled my deadlines around nap time or…

  • Motivation,  Photo stories

    The right tools?

    “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” ~George Herbert Procrastination is so easy to justify. We convince ourselves that we can’t begin (or finish) a project until we’ve acquired the right workspace, a totally clear calendar, or a special set of tools or equipment … Or until the stars align perfectly in our personal universe. That’s when the tools we need the most are motivation, a can-do attitude, and the sheer will to start or finish the project. What have you been…

  • Personal growth,  Photo stories,  the challenges of being original

    Living free

    “To live without comparison is to remove a tremendous burden.” ~ J. Krishnamurti   We’re all exposed to an infinite number of voices and trends on social media. With so many people vying for attention online, we might fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, or trying too hard to impress them. When that happens, it’s time to step away from our devices and seek our better angels within. If we focus instead on appreciating our own lives, we’ll be less inclined to compete or compare. ~CL     Photo by Cindy La Ferle