Tag Archives: change

GOALS

4 January 2014 

Goals.  January is the time to start fresh, make new goals and promises to do better, to get more accomplished and to follow through.

Goals are what keep us going, keep us motivated.  We all have goals, dreams and plans.  We dream about them, make lists so we can tick items off and measure pour progress as we make plans to have those dreams become reality.  We think about our goal’s potential, do what we need to and wait for them to manifest.

Creating your goal is the first step in making it happen but that is only the first step of many. When we give our goals a purchase on reality by voicing that goal, or putting it in writing we set something in motion.  Then as we strive for the changes needed to accomplish our goals, unfortunately, we awaken all the little demons that like to trip us up in our struggle to reach our goals and make positive changes in our lives.  All those blocks, fears and even the shame that has stopped our progress in the past can be counted on, one more time rear their ugly heads and do all they can to retard any forward momentum we have gotten going. 

Don’t give up.  Don’t let the negativity, the blocks, fears or shame stop you.  We do not need to have those negative impediments derail us in our pursuit of the goals we have set.  In order to achieve our goals, at the very least, we have to make some changes in our lives. By making these changes we are making room for our goals to manifest, to come into being in tangible and measureable ways. One way to think about these changes can be as simple as cleaning out the excess junk in your attic, or close or even your garage so you can make room for the things you want, the goals you have set.

We need to clean out the junk of the past, the rubbish that clutters our path, trips us as we try to pass, or garbage we hold onto to shame ourselves into failing because we may not feel worthy.  These are spiritual blocks and will take some work to clear, but it can be done, and must be worked on so that our goals have somewhere to take hold, put down roots and flourish.

I know I have a great deal of work to do in order to reach my goals.  I know they can be achieved with hard work, a willingness to let go of the past both in the spiritual wounds as well as the physical stuff I have kept that is no longer necessary.  Every day, I will do something, large or small to reach my goal.  At the beginning of the journey, it may seem like it is so much, but as the days pass, little by little I will erode the blocks in my path, for I am determined to reach my goals!  You can do the same and together the journey will not seem so lonely or arduous.  Happy New Year, and may all your goals be achieved.

S. M. Senden: author of Clara’s Wish and Lethal Boundaries.

 

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Life, Death and Seasons by S.M. Senden

October has begun.

The leaves begin to color; there is a different feel to the air, as summer’s gentle warmth cools and fades with the leaves.  Winter waits impatiently in the wings to come into her own with a chill in the air bringing the fragrance of snow wafting about me, stinging and teasing my sense of smell.

It is not an easy transition.

The seasons seem to do battle for supremacy of the climate. Tempestuous storms rage across the land, hail and tornados threaten as cold and warm fronts collide. We had a string of storms pass through here last night.  More are predicted and a cold front will win the battle for a day plunging us into a fifty degree day before temperatures return to the seventies for a while longer.

It is a season of riotous, gaudy display.

Mother Nature paints her trees in a glorious riot of color. I recall the many falls in the past as a child, walking to the bus stop in the chilly rain of October through the litter of color on the ground. Once and a while picking up a particularly beautiful leaf washed in red, pink, burgundy, orange and yellow with a hint of green, so as not to forget the former lush glory of that leaf. Though we are no longer allowed to burn leaves, someone somewhere always manages to do so. The air is tinged with the fragrance of memories of my past, I am a child again, with my life before me, and I play in the piles of leaves. Do the leaves on the trees miss their fallen companions of summer?

It is also the season of harvest.

Long ago people would hurry to complete their harvest by the end of October, for after that the Pooka was said to come and ruin the crops.  The frosts of November would kill what remained un-harvested. Halloween marked the end of the Pagan year. The hearth would be swept and cleaned, a new fire kindled with the New Year.  The earth would lie as if asleep through the winter, only to awaken in the spring, new life emerging miraculously through the ground that had looked dead and lifeless through the cold winter.

It is a time of change within the cycles of life.

As I contemplate the change of seasons I think about the seasons and cycles, not just of nature, but of life.  I had my birthday last month, and added another year to the increasing number of years lived. I started another annual rotation toward another birthday, like walking a giant spiral staircase that I can not see where it leads, though I go forward with faith that life continues in its succession of days until they come at last to their end.  I wonder what lies on the other side of the veil.

Today, I think of the span of years I have been here on this planet, the places I have seen, the people I have known, the history I have lived through, and the changes yet to come.  I remember meeting a distant relation once, I was twenty she was in her nineties. She made the comment about how she came into the world with gas light, and she was leaving it with men on the moon. Will the changes in my life be as astounding?

It is a time when we come again full circle from where we began a year ago. It is where we will arrive again after another year passes. My wish for us all is that in the year ahead we all know great happiness, great joy, very little pain or sorrow. Just as we can not live without the season where all things die, we must endure the pains and sorrows of life. For, like the season of winter when the earth seems to be barren and dead, we must experience sorrow, so that, we may appreciate joy even more when it comes to us.

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Spring by S.M. Senden

By April most of us are impatiently waiting the coming of spring, the warmer weather and the beauty of the earth awakening from winter’s sleep as Mother Nature shakes off the snowy mantle and bursts forth in color and fragrance.  I too look for the signs of Spring; the return of robins, the chatter of birds building nests, the first signs of plants pushing up through the soil, buds on the trees that will soon burst into flower and that fine green mist that halos branches of trees just before the leaves break forth and show themselves.

Spring is an exciting time, for nothing seems to hold still, almost overnight the world is transformed from the tattered remnants of winters last bedraggled efforts to hold the earth tight in her cold embrace, into the bounty of blossoms, glorious color and soft, perfumed scented breezes that invite us to come out of our burrows and dance in the sunlight of lengthening days.

The other thing that spring heralds is change.  Change can sometimes drive us all crazy, or it can be welcome.  Change can be thrust upon us unwelcome, or we can create some of the change we desire.  No matter how it happens change is the only real constant in the world, so we best accept the changes that are happening all about us, and look with excitement and anticipation to what is next.

Some wise person said that we should clear out the old stuff to make room for the new to come into our lives.  Spring is the time that this activity is expected. Spring Cleaning is something I have heard all my life, so I endeavor to take it on. I am in the process of cleaning out the old, clearing out closets as well as old notions that no longer work.  Somehow it is easier to clear out the old notions and outworn ideas than clear out the accumulated stuff that I have in closets and drawers.  This may really sound silly, but I have a goal to have an empty closet.  Nothing stashed away in that little haven of things I will some day use.

As I clear out the years of accumulated treasures, I make piles for the library, books I have read and will not be keeping.  I already have well over 1,000 volumes, with the many books I am reading, have read and intend to read.  Most of my collection consists of books for research!  IRS Tax Note!  For those Book-a-holics out there, having a thousand books or more really is a tax write-off because it is considered a library!  I will gift the overflow to the public library, they may acquisition them into their collection or sell them in the used book shop and raise some funds to buy new books.  Maybe they will even buy mine!

Another pile is for Good Will that consists of clothing, household items and other goodies they can sell in their shop.  I even put up a few things on e-bay to see if anyone wants them.  I am always surprised at what sells, and what does not!

Then there is the pile of ‘What on earth did I keep this for?’  That pile is destined for the rubbish bin.  Though it is the smallest pile, it is the hardest to make headway through as I try to recall why I kept this little memento.  If I really do not recall, why keep it?  It did not make it into the scrapbook, so it now gets to migrate to the rubbish bin.

It feels good to clear out the old; to give away what may become a treasure for someone else, or a book they may never forget.  I continue to work to that goal of an empty closet.  I try to do a little clearing out every day.  As I go through things, I stir up dusty memories of events past, some forgotten, some never too far out of mind.  I have a chance to dust them off, remember, and embrace the good memories.  Some things I will keep, but others are all right to let go of now.

In that letting go, I create a space for something else to come into my life.  I do not know what will come in the place of those things I have let go of, and distributed out to the various places in the universe, but from past experience, what is new that arrives is usually better than what I gave up.

I am off to clear out another corner of incredible treasures, anticipating, with joy and expectation the new and improved future that awaits!

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Out with the Old, In with the New by Sherrie Hansen

I know… New Year’s Eve came and went over two months ago. So I’m a bit behind. I still haven’t mailed out my Christmas cards either. And like it or not, life’s events don’t exactly follow a tidy calendar. Changes – new beginnings – endings – often hit us unaware and at times that are anything but convenient.

It’s been a year of upheaval, changes, and saying goodbyes for my husband and I. We packed up one home and moved into another in December and January. Now, we’re off to a great new start at a new church (my husband is a pastor), in a parsonage that’s completely different from the home we’ve lived in for the past 8 (me) – 11 (him) years. The walls are painted in fresh new colors and I’m raring to get started on sewing new curtains for the windows and planting a garden come spring.

New beginnings are a wonderful thing any time of year. We’re slowly but surely making new friends, putting new names with new faces, and finding out where the best bargains, best food, and best places  to go around our new home are.

Fresh starts can also come in tiny packages. My cook and primary assistant at the Blue Belle Inn, the B&B and Tea House I own and operate, just had her first baby and is on maternity leave for the next 3 months. As a result, I’m shuffling duties and training a new staff member. All good, but challenging, nonetheless. It’s probably good to mix things up once in awhile, but it’s also a lot of work to start over again. My new assistant is a quick study, but I’m starting from scratch, teaching her how to make Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Roll, Lumpy Bumpy Toffee Pie, Parmesan Cream Sauce with Garlic and Rosemary for Heart of My Heart Chicken and our Fondue Feast. No matter how you look at it, it’s a time consuming process to begin anew.

As I sometimes get to do when my husband has no pastor friends to talk to, I’ve also been listening to him bounce around sermon ideas. This week the Bible passage he’s going to preach on is about Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple. Here’s another instance of tossing out the old and bringing in the new. Jesus is all about newness and radical, life-changing alterations to the way we see the world and live our lives.

I’ve heard say that if there’s one thing you can count on no matter what, it’s that nothing ever stays the same.

As a writer, I get a lot of practice saying goodbye and starting out fresh.  By the time I’ve spent months or even years getting to know my characters and writing a book about their comings and goings, it’s a huge let-down when the books ends and it’s time to say good-bye and move on. My last three books (Stormy Weather, Water Lily, and Merry Go Round), are a trilogy, so I’ve gotten especially attached to the Jones sisters, their family and friends, over the course of writing about them for the past several years. Leaving their world behind, however make-believe it might be, and moving on to another, is always bittersweet, just like changes and transitions in real life.

My new adventure in the writing world involves a new book (Love Notes) in a new genre (inspirational romance) under a new name (Sherrie Hansen Decker). I can’t wait for you to get to know Hope Anderson, Tommy Love (Tom Lubinski), Billy Bjorklund, Alvin Soldvedt and the people of the tiny, Northwoods town of Embarrass, Minnesota.

Here’s a sneak peek, if you’re one of those people who likes to be the first to know:

Love Notes

Tom Lubinski, aka Tommy Love and the Love Notes, is a fading star in the middle of a stellar mid-life crisis. Tommy needs one more big hit – hip-hop, to appeal to a new generation. Thanks to an old friend who’s a banker, he’s found the perfect spot to build his dream house. When Tommy starts nosing around Embarrass, Minnesota and ends up in the ditch in the middle of an ice storm, he discovers he’s not the only one with plans for the place.


Hope Anderson is determined to renovate Rainbow Lake Lodge, the Northwoods resort where her late husband grew up. Reopening the Lodge so the families who have come there for generations can fill it with life again is the only way she knows to honor his legacy. Then the health inspector informs her that her old kitchen no longer meets state codes, and Billy Bjorklund, the devious new bank president, starts foreclosure proceedings.


Sure, Tommy feels bad that Hope spent all of her late husband’s life insurance money fixing up a lodge he plans to bulldoze. Tommy has always prided himself on being the kind of man who makes women’s dreams come true. But this time, Hope Anderson’s goal is in direct conflict with his. Bottom line, he has the wherewithal to make his dream a reality. She does not. No sense both of them being frustrated.

LOVE NOTES… Hope Anderson set out to preserve a legacy and found Love. Tommy Love wanted to make it big in hip-hop and found Hope. If they ever hope to understand the mystery of love, they’re going to need a little faith.

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Hello, 2012 by J J Dare

The beginning of 2012 slipped in quietly for me. I was thankful for the invitations I received to celebrate the start of a new year, but I decided to simply let the year pass peacefully.

Don’t get me wrong. I was glad to see 2011 in the rear view mirror. There was too much sadness, regret and tragedy in that year. I didn’t feel like celebrating its demise so much as I wanted it to slink away like the bad year it had been.

2012 should be better. Everyone seems to be looking forward to good changes and happier times. I hope wishes come true for everyone.

I made a list of one hundred resolutions for 2012. Of course, I won’t be able to keep them all, but statistically I should be able to keep a few (or enough bits and pieces to equal one full resolution). I’m aiming high this year.

On my Facebook page I explained my rationale: “I’m making a list of 100
resolutions for the New Year. If I keep only 10% of the 100, that’s better than my previous track record of 0% and if I only keep 50% of the 10% for 25% of the time, the ratio should equal or exceed 1 full resolution kept at 100%. I can make the Math work.”

As I was looking over my list, I noticed eight resolutions focused on writing. Finish books, write short story anthology, submit finished books, and a few others made it into the first twenty on my list. I must have writing on my mind.

I couldn’t write very much in 2011. Too much was going on around me and inside my head. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to write anything that made sense.

2012 is already starting out better. I was able to write my resolutions list and that was an accomplishment in itself.

Besides the usual lose weight and exercise more resolutions, making the one hundred list made me think about what was important to me. Here are a few of the ones that stand out:

  • “Keep in touch.” I’m woefully bad about being the first to call or write. This year, I’ll try to do better.
  • “Listen.” I am an avid listener but I’m going to focus on really hearing what another is saying.
  • “Hang on to less” followed by “Let go of more.” While these sentiments may seem the same, they are different to me. I want to hang on to fewer material possessions this year and I want to let go of emotions holding me back.
  • “Dream the truth.” No longer will I dream of what might have been. I want my dreams to be full of present moments. I want to get back my dreams of hope.
  • “Honor my children.” Although I do honor my children, to me they are still children. I want to learn to honor them as the adults they are becoming.
  • “Touch the stars.” Even if it’s just in my mind, I want to reach out and touch the heavens every chance I get.
  • “Keep resolutions.” The hardest one of all. Resolutions are little atonements we mete out to balance trangressions against ourselves. Keeping them throughout the year takes willpower.

Expect more from me this year. I expect more from everyone because I believe we are all ready for the change. 2012 will be our year to shine.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and thirty-plus works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

Facebook addiction

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