The Healing Powers of Peppermint and Other Holiday Treats

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If your life is anything like mine, everybody is hounding you to “get something done for me” before the holiday break. Then there is the unfinished gift shopping. Stress, stress, stress and more stress.

“Hold it! Enough. Celebrate the holidays rather than dread them.”

Peppermint – Elixir of the Gods

You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Peppermint has amazing healing properties. It’s an anti-inflammatory, invigorates and can help with digestion. I use peppermint oil along with lemon oil to refresh my house in winter.

While oils are well and good, nothing gives you that peppermint pep like actually digesting peppermint. For a mood boost, try:

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Candy Canes and other Hard Candies

Peppermint Brownies (I use peppermint extract. If you like using peppermint oil, please make sure it is the edible kind!)

 

 

 

Not everyone is into Mint. Here are some other options to help you kindle that holiday cheer:

Our old friend – Baileys

Sugar cookies

Fruit Cake (Not my thing)

Champagne

Pick your holiday cheer. Savor it and forget the stressful stuff. Focus instead on the good things in your life. These are the things you’ll carry into the new year.

Only A Few Days Left To Enter!

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Fuel Your Creative Energy by Embracing the Joy of the Season

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I love this time of year. Negativity takes a back seat. Everyone is a little brighter and lighter (in the heart anyway). The Joy of the Season changes attitudes like magic. We’re nicer to one another. Kindness and generosity rule the day. I keep this happy hypothesis by limiting my time at the malls between Nov 23 and Jan 5th.  

Embracing the JOY is the opportunity to renew our spirits and shake off difficulties from the past year. It gives us new (and hopefully positive) perspective on our lives and the world about us.

How can you use this December Joy to fuel your creative energy?

Wear your new positive perspective like a pair of

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glasses.

See a creative project you’ve been working on with a new hue.

OR use your magic glasses to begin something completely new.

 

 

Holiday Blog Tour! Dec 8th – 17th

Being Thankful for the Now

Our lives are busy. We hustle to make a buck. Strive to climb the career ladder faster than our parents once did. And those dreams won’t chase themselves. One misstep and they may escape into the clouds, out of our reach.

This week as we’re hurrying to cook our Turkey with all the trimmings, it may be time to stop for one hot second. Pour a glass of wine and just sit still. Observe your life. What is the one positive constant you can count on to get you through the crazy days? Hold on to whatever it is. Keep it close to your heart. Know all the negative litter filling your life doesn’t matter.

From Me and Mine to You and Yours…Happy Thanksgiving

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Are You Celebrating the Big W?

You did it! The creative project you been sweating blood over is done. Now you can finally move on to the next fun project. Hang on a second. Aren’t you forgetting something important? It’s time to celebrate your win!

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Why Is Celebrating Achievement of a Goal Important?

Encouragement – Rewarding and praising children or pets is a great way to encourage them to keep up the good work. It helps them to want to do better next time. Are we any different? I know rewarding myself after I’ve finished a book makes me want to start the next one.

Self-Confidence – Tell me recognition of an accomplishment doesn’t make you feel ten feet tall! If you can finish one creative project, then you can do another. And so, you take the first giant step toward achieving your long-term goals.

Reputation – Each achievement builds your credibility. The more creative projects you successfully complete, the more clients and customers will have confidence in your product (and you).

Take some time to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Go on a special trip. Buy the item you’ve been eyeing for your collection. Treat yourself to lunch. Whatever you do, make certain it’s a positive experience.

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How Do You Cope with the In-betweens?

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For Indie Authors, sending off your finished manuscript to the book formatters is like bursting through the finish line after a long, arduous race.  You prop up your feet. Have a glass of champagne. Binge watch that murder mystery series you’ve heard so much about. Life is good.

Then bouts of boredom set in. A few hours of aimless wandering take you away from the next story in your queue. You begin to get a bit restless until you remember a few home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. A week goes by without one word written. You’ve entered the dreaded “In-Betweens!”

I experienced the “In-Betweens” a few weeks ago when I completed The Obsidian Gates, Book Two in my Heart of the Warrior series. Book Three is all outlined and ready for me to start writing. I just couldn’t force my brain to focus on the new story when I felt Book Two wasn’t “done” yet.

I’m happy to report the dreaded “In-Betweens” has ended and I’ve started writing Book Three in earnest. How did I kick the In-Between Blues? I’m not 100% positive how I did it. One day I woke up and was motivated to start writing again.

Here are a few possible reasons:

  • I let go of Book Two and accepted The Obsidian Gates was in someone else’s hands during this stage of the publishing process
  • I reminded my creative brain working on Book Three won’t be the same soul crushing daily drudgery as doing final edits for Book Two. We’re at the fun step – story creation
  • I gave myself permission to write a crappy draft rather than trying to force perfection. I’ll save the angst of unachievable perfection for draft four

How do you beat the In-Between Blues? Share in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you and get a few ideas!

Are You Keeping Your Mind Challenged?

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Summer is winding down. Delicate tints of Autumn colors are beginning to decorate the trees. Sandals and swimwear are being traded for text books and caffeine. It’s transition season. Wild Summer fun is over. Time to buckle down and get busy.

Drilled into my brain since kindergarten, I suppose I’ve never lost this transition mindset. The last week of August arrives. A switch flips in my brain and I’m ready to start something new. It might be another novel or some new skill I want to master.

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What about you? Are you challenging yourself?

  • Start a new creative project
  • Learn a new skill
  • Learn a new language
  • Learn a musical instrument

Why Do Goal Oriented People Sometimes Procrastinate?

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You can fill a few shelves with books about procrastination. These resources are especially helpful for the chronic habitual procrastinator. What about the rest of us? Why do careful planners and goal oriented folks sometimes put things off?

Everybody procrastinates from time to time

I’m a program/ project manager. My main job duty is to make certain everything happens when it’s supposed to at the projected cost. Over the past year, my employer has asked me to create corporate project management training. Great opportunity, right? Meh. I hate writing nonfiction (respect to those of you who rock this genre). Weeks pass with no progress while the classes get uncomfortably close.

Exploring the “Why” we procrastinate

Here are my theories. Mind you, I’m not a mental health professional just an experienced observer of human behavior:

  • You don’t want to do it
  • You resent doing it
  • You don’t know how to do it and are afraid to ask for help
  • You lack the self-confidence to do it

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Let’s take the first two bullets (they’re related) – I get it. Been there. Forced to wear the t-shirt.

“We have to tighten our belts, which means everybody has to help out by taking on more work. We just don’t have the resources, so can you squeeze it in? Oh, and I need it by Monday.”

Sound familiar? I could give you the same tired old advice to buckle down and just do it. BUT – I’m not. Rather, I’m suggesting you figure out what’s in it for YOU. Document what you’re doing and use it to get a promotion or a better job.

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A word about FEAR (aka the last two bullets) – Everyone experiences self-doubt when trying to do a new task. What you do with that fear defines you. Option One: Stay paralyzed with fear, don’t do the task and get in trouble or fired. Option Two: Seek out someone who can help you and be honest with them. I think you’ll find most folks are happy to give you a little help.

What if my procrastination doesn’t involve the day job? I’m experiencing the “I don’t wanna” symptoms on my creative project. My advice: This may be your subconscious trying to tell you the path you’re headed down is the wrong one. Take some time to examine what you’re doing and why.