• Domestic arts,  Gardening,  Personal growth

    A garden-variety mood booster

    “Many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but too little of what strengthens us.” ~Marcus Buckingham This week I spent several hours at plant nurseries, comparing the various selections of herbs, annuals, and perennials. As always, the fresh scents and colors of new plants lifted my spirits and filled my head with new landscaping ideas. I’ve learned over the years that gardening is a balm for my soul. There’s something deeply satisfying about caring for plants, whether you’re tending a small bed of annuals or a prolific vegetable garden. At the same time, beautifying your property can be a source of pride —…

  • Creativity and discovery,  Motivation,  Writing advice

    Living your dreams or fears?

    “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” ~Les Brown I met a student who said she wanted to publish a novel but couldn’t find the space in her life to begin it. For starters, she didn’t think she could write without a home office. She wasn’t comfortable typing on the dining room table. Or the kitchen table. Or anywhere else in the house, really. But it wasn’t the interior design of her home that blocked the woman’s dreams of writing. It was fear. Fear is a manipulative trickster. It makes excuses for procrastination; it tells us we’re not good enough; it convinces…

  • Adventure and exploration,  Art & Creativity,  Personal growth

    Different gifts

    “We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.” ~Fred Rogers Personal expression is one of the most fascinating aspects of being human. Some people share their creativity through cooking and serving meals, while others show their hearts in poems and stories. Still others express themselves through music, fashion, pottery, needlework, photography, gardening, or watercolor painting. As Mister Rogers reminded us, everyone has “different gifts.” Celebrate your own talents today — and take a moment to appreciate the talents of others in your life. ~CL

  • Adventure and exploration,  Health & wellbeing,  Personal growth

    Surf’s up

    “While you are riding the wave, just put your best self out there and enjoy it.” ~Frieda Pinto My son has told me that I tend to “overthink” things. I like to believe this trait is part of being a writer — but I’ll admit that focusing on what could possibly go wrong can be a tiresome habit in daily life. Even when there’s nothing to worry about, I don’t always trust my good fortune or my good luck. I wait for the other metaphorical shoe to drop. Psychologists call it “anticipatory anxiety.” Today’s quote is a perfect reminder for over-thinkers like me. When life is going well, the smartest…

  • Adventure and exploration,  approval seeking

    Your own footsteps

    “It’s not your job to curb or contain yourself in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. You are amazingly worthwhile and capable right now. Not because other people think you are, but because you are in full control of the next step you take.” ~Marc and Angel Chernoff When I was in college, a couple of my professors and an advisor suggested law school after graduation. Becoming a lawyer was a more dependable and lucrative path for my writing and communication skills, they said. Or at least it was more lucrative than working as a journalist or freelance writer. But practicing law wasn’t my career…