A Change of Season

Where does the time go? Here we are in the last quarter of 2019. It is unbelievable how time flies and nothing or no one can stop time. This year marks 6 years as a blogger and it felt so good recently to take out the phrase "relatively new blogger" from my bio. I feel like the change of season and the time in the chair so to speak has allowed me to grow into a full fledged writer.

It took many seasons of change to get to this point. For the first two years, I would blog here and there and I had my writings all over the place. It wasn't until late 2014, early 2015 where I began taking my blog and writing seriously. At the time, I decided I was going to publish a book. I wrote a lot of blog posts and many of them I did not publish and kept them in my journals. The blog posts in journals plus the ones on my website I decided to turn the blog posts which I felt had the most impact on people into my first book, A Life With A View. These posts are near and dear to me to this day and I wanted to share them with the world. The sharing part did scare me quite a bit and I had to work hard to get over my fears with the first fear of publishing a book; something I've never done before.

I was scared to death and had no idea about publishing a book, how to do a book cover or anything. So I took to online research and reached out to friends who have taken this on before me and asked a lot of questions. The most common answer I received other than the helpful tips of getting started with editing, publishing and marketing was: This must feel right to you. I had to feel this in my heart - publishing a book wasn't something I wanted to roll out of bed and just do. I wanted it to feel right, be right, and have my personal touch.

After months of editing and working with a publisher, the final product, the first book was almost ready. I say almost because I still wanted to add a little more to my book; embrace the journey a bit more. After all of this, I still hadn't settled on a name for my book. So right now I will take you back a bit, a little history and back to 2014 to my very first blog. My first blog was called FIRE - Faith In Renewing Each Other. I loved the name and still use it in some of my writings today. I felt I wanted and needed something more and I asked myself what did this look like to me. What was my personal touch? What defined me in this life?

One early Sunday morning in the Fall of 2014 - 5 years ago as I sat down with my coffee, it finally came to me... A Life With A View. There it was, my personal touch. My very own masterpiece and it was well worth the wait, patience and perseverance as I looked deep within and did not rush the process. The meaning behind A Life With A View held so much in the past and present. There was a time in my life where I could not see past the very moment I was living in and I thought the bad moments and experiences I was having were permanent.

Soon after my first book was published, I thought about what I would do next. I knew I would continue writing and I wanted to do some sort of outreach and connect with others. My action word for this year (and last year too) is Connected. Last year seemed to fly by and I felt my work was not done in terms of connecting with other people. After the many connections I've made over the years I was able to get some good ideas for next steps to compliment my writing. As the seasons changed, the ideas flowed and I connected with like-minded people and continued to set goals for myself.

Now this process wasn't always perfect. I had my ups and downs and wondered what I should be doing and the thief of comparison to others kicked in. Thoughts would enter my head like: "Make sure you post 3 times a week and send emails twice a week..." It took me a while to realize that was not me and I had to do what fit me, my schedule and what was best for my audience. I first I had to find out who my audience was and how I could better serve them with my writing. I tried everything from creating courses to doing webinars and realized that's not me at this point in my life. I am a writer and I best connect with people with words followed by actions, networking and connections.

And speaking of connections, I am taking A Life With A View in a new direction and starting the Publishing side of this journey to help others tell their stories through published books. With this change of season, I thought it would be the perfect time to start the book consulting and editing process for the books you are writing, want to write, and look forward to writing in the future. Whether you are a first time author or you have several books under your belt, I am here to help you through this process. Through the Resource Library on the Publishing side of the website, you will find some of the amazing people who I have worked with over the years to bring your stories to life. We have everyone from life coaches to graphics designers to people who specialize in branding and website design. This is a huge step for A Life With A View and I look forward to continuing to take this journey forward. Stay tuned!

What does your season of change look like? Do you know what season you are in? Share in the comments and I'd love to continue to conversation.

You are Beautiful, Strong, and Worth It

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I love this phrase: "You are Beautiful, Strong, and Worth It." I have had to tell myself this over the years even when I didn't feel so beautiful. Lack of self-esteem used to kick my butt for years and I decided to turn things around and kick its butt! When thinking of beauty, I do not focus on the outer beauty; I focus on internal beauty, strength and self worth. There was a time when I would go about life kind of clueless thinking everything would be beautiful all the time and being strong was only for people who were going through something where they had to draw from the strength of others or their own internal strength. Who would ever think that would be me one day...

After very low points in my life from 2010-2012, the last thing I thought about were positive affirmations to make me feel good about myself. I was so caught up in the every day hustle and bustle and just trying to survive as a single mom of two children. By 2012, I really hit a low point when my divorce was on the horizon and all I could think about at the time was how to survive the days, weeks, and months to come. I began to feel unworthy since all of my friends were with their husbands, boyfriends, or significant others. At one point, I said: "Why me?" Little did I know at the time this was the best thing that could have happened to me and it set me on my path of discovery and healing.

By 2013, I could feel the pain and struggles beginning to lift and I began to come out of my shell a bit and started writing. For me writing was the first step to healing. Then, I had to look in the mirror and tell myself over and over that I was beautiful, strong, worth it, and not broken anymore. My very first blog post focused on faith and it was more of a walk-through for me since I wanted to have faith and I just wasn't there yet. I used the first blog post as a blue print to where I wanted to be. You can find my first blog post by clicking here.

As time moved forward, I began to get stronger and surround myself with people who could help me - lift me higher and support me. Even still I had to want to be strong and know that my self worth lives within me and it was up to me to make things happen and live the life I wanted. In 2016, I began to venture out even more and I connected with some wonderful and genuine people on social media who really knew how to put what I was feeling into words and actions. The key here for me was action. I needed to be in a space where I would thrive and know I was worth it. Feeling good inside and out is everything to me. I don’t want to just look good on the outside since what you are feeling on the inside always finds a way to shine through.

I wrote my first book A Life With A View in 2015. In this book, I touched on the areas of faith, love, and happiness and this book was clearly a collection of blog posts to help me on my journey. Two years later in 2017, I expanded on A Life With A View with my follow-up book, Inspiring Creative Passion. This book took the subjects of faith, love, and happiness and expanded on them with actionable steps people can take to achieve the internal beauty, strength, and worth they deserve.

In the present day, I am part of a movement with great connections to people all around the world who are journeying to their areas of peace. Take time to think about and practice your beauty, strength, and worth - from within. Share with me the first action you will take to reach the level you want. Secondly, and if you need help, click the button below to purchase your signed copy of Inspiring Creative Passion to get you started.

A Little Girl's Dream

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I have always dreamed a little; and then a little more, and then a lot. I wondered if my dreams as a little girl would come true and what it would take to make them a reality. From an early age, I always found ways to write and my earliest memory of my writing was when I was 9 years old and living in New Jersey with my mother and father.

A few years later, when I was almost 12 years old, my mom and dad separated and later divorced and my mom, sister, and I moved to Maryland to live with my maternal grandmother. At that time, I thought my dreams of wanting to be a writer would stop before I actually got started. Being a writer was always something I wanted to do and I would play teacher as a little girl and assign writing assignments to myself and anyone else who would listen.

Sharing this story of my dream as a little girl has come true over the last year. A good friend of mine, Michelle Hammond of I Am 2 Inspire TV, put a call out for women to share the dreams we had as a little girl and how we have made them a reality. My dream of being a teacher never went away although I decided to pursue a different field as I grew older. Having the chance now to share my story with other women and 6 co-authors as we came together for this vision of sharing our dreams is so inspiring. After reading the stories of my co-authors, I was even more inspired and still want to do more to encourage others that it is never too late to start following your dreams and pursuing your passion.

I was 41 years old when I started this blog and 43 when I published my first book, A Life With A View. I still see sharing my stories, my dreams, and helping other people along the way as teaching. With meeting so many wonderful women along the way, we have continued to encourage each other and lift each other up so we can continue doing the work that excites us on a daily basis. The key here is doing the work to make your dreams come true. We need good, positive people in our corner to stand with us side by side so we keep going and remain inspired.

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On June 8, 2019, the 6 women came together for our book signing for Little Girls Dreams Metamorphosis to Women Realities at the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center in Annapolis, MD. The rich history of the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center made this journey come full circle as we embraced history and connected with people who were a part of the legacy of this historic location. This made the book signing and sharing our stories connect and resonate even more with those who attended as our stories are and were relatable to each person who attended the book signing. The kind words we received along with the hugs, laughter, and tears meant everything to me especially having the opportunity to share and be embraced by the women who I now call my sisters.

Our journey is just beginning and your journey, no matter where you are on your quest to follow your dreams, you are still here and can make your dreams a reality. Here is an excerpt of the book and a glimpse into my journey:

“After the move to Maryland and settling in, the first three years of high school was a blur to me meaning the time went by so fast and all of a sudden I was in the 12th grade. What was I going to do with my life after high school? I had a job where I could put my writing skills to work and this inspired me to read more and write on purpose, for a purpose.”

To read more about my journey and the journey of my co-authors, you can purchase your copy of Little Girls Dreams Metamorphosis to Women Realities here on my website and on Amazon. You will love the book and our stories will touch your heart and ignite your journey. We would love to hear your thoughts on collaborating with others to help you reach your goals and follow your dreams. Share in the comments a dream you have and one you want to pursue or, how you have or are following your dreams. One winner will be chosen from the comments to receive a free copy of the book. Look forward to hearing from you!