beauty-in-silence

The Beauty in Silence

There is such beauty in silence.

One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is a few moments each day to be still and to listen to our hearts. Within these quiet folds of time and space, we discover our roots. These roots are what support us, nourish us, and allow us to bend with the winds of change.

I used to avoid being alone because I feared I was losing out on something. When I discovered meditation, I became more aware of the simple pleasures that make life more beautiful. I learned that this time alone gifted me with clarity, focus, and the ability to get to know myself.

So much chaos surrounds us. It’s so easy to get lost in it all. It’s so easy to become addicted to it all. And thankfully, it’s so easy to turn it off and to find yourself again by simply sitting idle, drawing some breaths, and opening up to hear the lessons in the quiet space between the beating of your heart.

beauty-in-silence

I’m addicted to finding more of these moments. How about you?

Wishing you the best always,

Suzie Carr, novelist

get results

#1 Way to Get Results

To Get Results:

Here is a perfect opportunity to use the principle of keeping it simple. To get results, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy cramming in all sorts of nutty activities. That will just set you up for failure. Instead, keep it simple by doing this one effective thing: Schedule your Priorities.

You Get Results When You Focus

A great way to achieve focus is to create habits or routines around a certain action that will help advance you forward towards your goal. When you create an action step routine, it’ll likely get done. And, if it’s a priority, it should get done!

Get Results by Zeroing in on Top Priorities

Here’s what I do to keep my priorities in check. I list out my top three most important things that I want to accomplish, and then I put them on my vision board. From there, I create a habit or routine around each priority.

For instance, my health is my top priority. So, to get results in this area of my life, what I do is  take my calendar, and I physically schedule my workouts every single day. Well I take one day off as a rest day, but you get the picture. It’s on my calendar, therefore it’s something I’m committed to and have decided is something that has to get done.get results

Make It a Priority To Get Results

When you do this, you have a greater chance of achieving your goals and your priorities, and hence you get results!

Don’t leave what’s most important to you up to chance. Schedule it, get it done, and, feel great that you accomplished it. Simple as that.

Wishing you the very best,
Suzie Carr, novelist
www.curveswelcome.com

P.S. Do you agree? Have you done this before? And has it worked? Do you think you can get results by scheduling actions steps towards them?

Impact-Others

4 Ways to Impact Others

A question to ponder: if you could offer one thing that could impact others, what would it be?

4 Ways to Impact Others

After tossing this question out to the masses here were some responses on ways to impact others:

  • Giving a hug
  • Respecting someone by being honest
  • Making time for someone
  • Offering love and light

Impact Others

When we give of ourselves, we impact others. We empower them. We enrich their lives. We spread joy.

Giving takes on many forms. A gift of donating money to a worthy cause can be just as powerful as sharing a smile with someone who is having a bad day. The positive effect ripples and grows exponentially, spreading its roots deeper in areas that crave life, energy and the hope of a better day.

If we all gave a little something each day, the world, in its most basic spiritual sense, would be a better place.

It’s so easy to impact others.

Here’s why. The spirit of giving is contagious. It magnifies a power that attracts more giving, thus completing a powerful circle. When we impact others this way, we open up to all sorts of positive vibes that have the power to touch countless people in ways we can’t even begin to describe.

  • The gift of a smile can spread to thousands.
  • The gift of sitting with an elderly patient can brighten spirits.
  • The gift of blankets and kibble at an animal shelter can save countless of precious lives.
  • The gift of a hug offers soulful nourishment.

When we give, we help others feel the beauty of peace, gratitude, and hope. Giving renews spirits, ours included. That, in and of itself, is a gift to the world. If we’re living in our best light, then those around us benefit, too.

Make It a Goal to Impact Others.

Whenever possible, find a way to bring out the best in yourself and others. So many people are counting on you!

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr, Novelist

P.S. Can you add to my list above on more ways to impact others?  

3 Steps to Unblock

Instead of freaking out when you hit a creative wall, here’s a better way to unblock…

Here’s How to Unblock:

Step 1. To unblock, realize that every challenge has a solution. 

This viewpoint will get you out of the helpless spiral and looking at things with a fresh eye.

Step 2. Stop doing what’s not working.

One of the quickest ways to unblock is to do something different.

Step 3. If you still can’t unblock, laugh.

You read that right. Simple as that. Laugh. You’ll change your frequency immediately.

Recently, I had a run in with that ‘wall’ when I could not think of a single idea for my next novel, the sequel to Tangerine Twist. (I am giving away a free autographed copy. Comment below to be entered in for your chance to win it.)

Here’s how I managed to unblock:

Step 1. I realized just because I couldn’t unblock in that moment, my writing career would not end (BIG smile). I’d find an idea eventually.
Step 2. Instead of forcing thoughts by sitting in front of my blank laptop screen, I turned it off and decided to clean my house instead.
Step 3. I still couldn’t unblock, so I laughed at myself as I passed a mirror and saw my ridiculous frown.

My mood lifted instantly. I found a way to unblock!

unblock

I celebrated with a walk in the park. No surprise here, once I ventured out on the trail, ideas flowed. My new novel sprang to life.

Sometimes, all we need is a change of scenery to get things moving again.

Wishing you the very best,
Suzie Carr, novelist

I am giving away an autographed copy of Tangerine Twist to celebrate my creative flow with it’s sequel, Picture Perfect. I’ll select a random winner from all who comment on this piece from now until September 13. So……..

Please share with me. How do you unblock? 

CREATIVE

8 Simple Steps to Get Creative

What’s the Secret to Being Creative?

For some people, getting the creative juices to flow is easy. For others, just thinking the words “I must be creative” stops all color, all ideas, all flow.

If you’re like me, and you find yourself in this category at times, don’t despair. There are solutions.

Creative Energy is Elusive.

A creative spark can appear and disappear just as quickly. The secret to staying productive as any kind of artist is to discover how to switch that light on and off at your will.

A Creative Muse Can Help.

A creative muse can be found in everything. It lives in a sunset, in a star, in a bird’s chirp, and in the melody of a beautiful song. The greatest part about this is that every creative person has access to this inner muse.

The trick to finding yours is tapping into your senses and letting them fly freely. Once you set your senses free, you enter a zone where you can create a world that touches and inspires others.

So how do you tap into your creative inner muse?

CREATIVE

You have to clear your mind and here’s how. 
I challenge you to experiment with the following actions to see which one most effectively gets you into that creative zone.

1. Sit quietly and listen to music.

2. Create a collage of colors, shapes, and words. Then, stare at it through unfocused eyes.

3. Free write for ten minutes. Set a timer and write without any regard for grammar, spelling or logic. Just write whatever pops into your mind and don’t stop to analyze or think.

4. Get up and move for ten minutes. Break out into a light jog, brisk walk, jumping jacks, whatever you can safely perform.

5. Read quotes.

6. Meditate or pray.

7. Go out into nature. Sit on a park bench. Stare up at a tree. Admire a flower.

8. Play with color. Get a paint brush and splash paint on a canvas or color on paper with a crayon.

Okay so there you have it, eight solutions that can help free your mind so you can find your inner muse and get those creative juices flowing.

Try them and please share your feelings on this little challenge. Did it work? Are you feeling more creative?

Wishing you the best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

 

comfort zone

Get Out of The Comfort Zone

As a novelist, I’m always interested to learn what motivates people to go beyond their comfort zone to that place where real growth happens. When creating characters, I enjoy learning lessons through them. What makes them act the way they do? Why do they care so deeply for certain things? How did they become so cynical, so happy or so fearful?

A Comfort Zone Can Steal the Magic

comfort zone

kikadoo. com

We’re all driven by different things. Our past experiences shape the way we view the world and the way we interact with others. We all come equipped with driving forces that dig deep and push us towards or pull us away from defining moments. Getting stuck in a comfort zone robs us of defining moments.

How do I get out of my comfort zone?

I’m driven by the word CAN’T. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I do it double-time. The catalyst for this motivation to jump out of the comfort zone digs deep.

When I was in kindergarten and sitting in a circle for story time, a girl bullied me. Each time I’d raise my hand to answer a question, she’d hit me. After several grueling rounds of this, I stopped raising my hand and eventually lost all confidence to speak to anyone but my best friend, Todd, and my immediate family members. For two years, I spoke only to them. Talk about getting stuck in a ‘comfort zone’ that was anything but comfortable!

Bribed with adventures and treats that would make any well-adjusted child leap for joy, I turned my back on any hope of being a ‘normal’ kid. Then one day, my best friend begged me to speak to his mother because that was the only way I could go to his baseball game. For three hours, I stood next to his mom as she watched soap operas and waited patiently for me to whisper something, anything, in her ear.

Todd begged and cried for me to brave up and say something. By the end of the third hour, my best friend knelt down exhausted and said to me, “I knew you couldn’t do it.” This little action switched something in me so powerful that I managed to whisper ‘yes’ into his mom’s ear.

I haven’t been able to stop talking since.

Fast forward to high school English class. To graduate, I needed to present my book report to the class. I refused, deathly afraid of public speaking. My English teacher allowed me to present it to him after school.

When I finished, he told me, “You won’t succeed in a professional setting, so get used to working harder instead of smarter. That little insult sparked an inferno inside of me, and I marched off to college shortly after and majored in public speaking, and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Whenever someone tells me I can’t accomplish something, I accomplish the S*#T out of it!

That is my fuel. What’s yours? What gets you out of your comfort zone?

Wishing you all the best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

P.S. Are you an aspiring writer? Check out my free Writer’s Insights Video Series on tips to help get you started. Hopefully it’ll help you get out of your comfort zone!

no excuses

If You Want to Thrive Have No Excuses

There are no excuses why we can’t achieve great things in this lifetime.

We are equipped with everything we need to be successful. So why do so many of us stop short of achieving our dreams?

No Excuses to Back Down, You Say? Hmm…

We’ve all been there – to that moment in time when we just want to stop all action on a goal because all the odds are stacked up against us in achieving it. We’ve been told there should be no excuses, yet everywhere we turn we see this gigantic, scary obstacle blocking us, warning us to just turn around and go the other way.

No Excuses Still?

I’ll be honest, I get that urge to quit halfway through projects every time I write a novel or paint a picture. Yup. Every single time.

I’ll try to explain this with an example of what happens when I set out to do an oil painting. I sketch. I add my shadows. I paint my colorful mid-tones. Then I step back and that’s when the derailment occurs. The shadows aren’t quite right and the objects aren’t exactly up to par. I decide the only way to fix the mess is to start over.

No Excuses? Say What?

I toss my brushes into my wash bin, rip off my gloves and give up on it for days. The lure of fixing it creeps into my mind. I start to think, hmm, maybe there are no excuses

So, I waltz back into my studio, reexamine, maybe brush on a stroke or two of a highlight, step back and nod in approval. I say to myself, “Okay, maybe one more dab.” One more dab turns into twenty and my heart starts to charge again. “I might just be able to save this painting after all.”

no excuses

Cottage scene I painted for my mom. I was ready to toss it when I couldn’t get the reflection the way I wanted. Then, I decided not to give up.

On go the gloves and the soulful music as I dive heart first into the zone. The result – well, I’ve yet to paint over a canvas and start over again.

At that moment when you think of giving up, remember your greatest breakthrough could be in that next brushstroke, that next chapter you write, that next mile you run.

You’re right there. Don’t give up! Think, No Excuses!

Have you experienced a breakthrough like this after almost giving up? If so, comment here. I’d love to hear about it. Do you believe like me, that there are no excuses to achieving those things that make our hearts sing?

Wishing you the best,

Suzie Carr
novelist

vision board

Succeed with a Vision Board

A vision board is a visual representation

It’s a visual representation of things and circumstances we want to attract. I look at vision boards as a playground for my dreams. I have one hanging in my dining room so I can’t miss it. Mine consists of a white dry erase board filled with inspiring quotes, messages of gratitude, as well as the all important goals laid out on colorful paper. I pass by my vision board often, and I make a point to stop and reflect on it at least once a day. If I see my dreams and all that I have to be grateful for so far, then I am more apt to take action.

A vision board acts as a system

I’m all about systems. Although, I’d classify myself as a creative person, I’m tactical in my approach. Without a system, I’d be spinning in circles with an out-of-control mind racing from one thing to another. A vision board helps me to achieve my dreams in a logical, practical fun way.

A vision board is a road map

I would not be able to succeed at running a publishing company, maintaining an active blog, writing lesbian romance novels, holding down a full-time marketing job, and enjoying quiet moments with my family if I didn’t have some sort of road map to help me sort out the steps. When laid out in front of me, the necessary action steps become apparent. I  know that to get from point A to point B on my road map, I need to do XYZ.

vision boardI’m a visual person. I need to see things clearly to understand them, to absorb them, to act on them. Many things are tossed into my path on a daily basis. Without the help of my vision board, these things could easily swallow me up whole and block me from enjoying a fine balance while achieving my dreams.

I’d love to hear from you… Do you use a vision board?

Wishing you the best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

 


opportunity

Opportunity Is Everywhere

Opportunity exists all around us.

To see opportunity, we must open our eyes and trust our instincts.

I once had an opportunity handed to me on a silver platter. I lived in Rhode Island and worked as a hair stylist at an elite salon and spa. Then one day, a good friend walked in and told me her daughter’s stylist suddenly passed away at the age of forty and left a hair salon behind. Her spouse wanted to offer it to someone worthy in the hopes of honoring his wife’s hard work. That salon was offered to me. I passed it up. You know why? I was afraid I’d fail and never live up to the success of my current job. Well, guess what happened? Not more than six months later, I lost my great job because the elite salon and spa was sold. If I had taken the gift, I wouldn’t have been left vulnerable and jobless. I let fear rule and it won.

opportunityA missed opportunity can lead to regret.

I regretted not taking advantage of that gift. It would have offered me a great investment opportunity as I pursued my writing career. I let fear get in my way. I think many of us do that. Ten years wiser, if someone offered to hand me a fully-functioning salon, I’d certainly stomp on any fears in a heartbeat;)

Luck has little to do with gained success from an opportunity.

When opportunity knocks, we must be prepared for it. Many people refer to those who seem to have it all as lucky. Those who seem to have it all are not lucky. They are prepared. They’ve chosen to prep for those moments when opportunities filter into their lives. I’ve had several people say to me, “You are so lucky to have your lesbian novels out there and being read my so many.” I disagree completely. My lesbian romance novels are out there and being read not because I’m lucky, but because I’ve worked hard to prepare myself and my novels for this opportunity.

I challenge you to look beyond the idea of luck as the reason for success. Rely on your natural gifts and do the work to refine them, and you’ll surely experience all the success you’ve ever dreamed possible.

Here’s my question to you: What actions do you consistently take to prepare yourself for opportunity?

Wishing you all the best,
Suzie Carr, novelist

overcome procrastination

3 Steps to Overcome Procrastination

How do you overcome procrastination?

I get asked this question often. All of us have stared down the road of procrastination. Usually we procrastinate because we either don’t want to do an unpleasant task or we fear it. Whatever the reason, procrastination never ends with us feeling great. So, how can we overcome it?

overcome procrastinationOvercome Procrastination With Baby Steps

Sometimes that mountain just seems way too tall to climb, doesn’t it? How great would it feel to just shift to something else for a while and let the climb wait until you’re ‘feeling it’ more?

Yep, been there, done that avoidance plan and it’s never turned out great for me.

Here’s a better solution to overcome procrastination: Work in small doses. Set a timer for ten minutes and do as much as you can in those ten minutes. Guaranteed, you’ll run over the ten minutes and not even realize it. Soon, you’ll be standing on top of that mountain looking down with pride whispering ‘that’s how you overcome procrastination!’

Overcome Procrastination by Starting Something Today

Let’s face it – who really enjoys cleaning toilets, scrubbing floors, and folding clothes more than enjoying a game on TV, reading a book, or hanging with a friend? We all have these annoying things that must be done. The more we procrastinate doing them, the more they pile up and create more work.

A trick to get through it: Set up a schedule for such necessary, mundane tasks and just do the work that needs to be done. The famous phrase that answers how to overcome procrastination comes to mind, ‘Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.’

Overcome Procrastination by Pacing Yourself

I’ve been that silly runner who has entered into 5K and 10K road races at a pace much too fast for my own good only to end up at the first mile marker defeated in a heap of cramps and panting like a buffoon. Proper planning prevents poor performance. This is the case in road races and in most all facets of life. Pacing sets us up for success.

Here’s how to pace to overcome procrastination:

When faced with a large looming project, instead of suffering needless anxiety and retreating from it, set up goals that are paced realistically. Be consistent with pacing and follow through. Before long, the task is complete and you’re free to enjoy the next challenge.

Wishing you the best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

P.S. Here’s a question… please chime in with your comments and answers: In what ways have you been able to overcome procrastination?