scuba diving

The Benefits of Scuba Diving

So ever since I got back from my first scuba diving trip (in the Dutch island of Bonaire), I’ve had this really cool feeling of empowerment.

Adversity

Why You Need Adversity

AdversityHere’s why you need adversity in life. Without it you won’t grow. The lessons you need to learn won’t present themselves without it.

Recently a friend of mine ran into some adversity and she turned to me for guidance on how to move forward.

I tried earnestly to say something to her that would spring joy back into her life, but was at a total loss for words. What do you say to someone who suffers a break in hope? “Don’t worry. It’ll get better with time?”

Adversity Happens

Most of us have been in that place where we feel humiliated, overwhelmed, and hopeless all in one. This is not one of life’s places we want anyone we care about to be.

Growth Happens Too

As deflating as adversity can feel at the moment, I believe it puts us in a place that helps us grow into even better people. Without pain, without agony, without defeat, we have no frame of reference on which to judge greatness when it shines itself onto our life.

Adversity’s Positive Twist

I am a firm believer that defining moments, like the one my friend was going through, shape our lives just as the powerful storms and angry volcanoes of years past have shaped Earth. Without conflict, we’d have no Grand Canyon, no Mount Everest, no separate continents, and in respect to our singular lives, no respect for ordinary days when all is calm and right.

And just as the storm clouds clear and open up to bright blue, sunny skies, so too will this shroud of regret for the past and fear of the future be lifted for my friend.

Wishing you the best always,
Suzie

Adversity is temporary.

destiny of love

The Destiny of Love

destiny of loveDo You Believe in the Destiny of Love?

Today is the twenty-sixth wedding anniversary of my good friends, so I feel inspired to write about the destiny of love.

When you consider all of the things that must align properly for two people to meet, falling in love is a remarkable miracle.

Is it luck or destiny of love that helps people find that special person with whom they share their lives? Is it random fortune that causes two people to meet in exactly the right place together at the right time? Or is it divine intervention that brought them to this place?

I have many people in my life who struggle to find that ‘special love’. They search bars, classrooms, corporate settings, and countless other places only to return solo. Defeat looms heavily on their shoulders as though in some way they think it is their fault that a magical spark didn’t happen between them and one of the millions of other people in the world.

Those successful in love will tell you that finding that right person is all about timing and fate. When I think about all the great relationships surrounding me, the one thing they all have in common is that they all bloomed from a single, defining moment in time when the two people had a clear path to each other, despite obstacles that stood in their way.

A Look at the Destiny of Love

Here’s a clear example of the destiny of love: my dad actually met my mom at a dance where he was on a date with her sister! My brother met his bride when on a random military leave for a day in South Carolina. A friend met her girlfriend in a college class that she decided to enroll in at the last minute.  Another friend met her husband when she had engine trouble one day and just happened to beg this mechanic, now her husband, for help. As is the case with all of these first meetings, paths crossed at the right moment in time.

When it comes to finding love, people never know when, where, or how it will come at them. One day they’re lonely, the next they are floating on the wings of love. To me, finding love is a hopeful pursuit. The waiting brims with hope for a bright future. One never knows when she will walk out of her front door and find that special person.

The hopeless romantic in me believes it takes more than chance for two compatible people to find each other in this great, big world. I’d like to think that it is the destiny of love that brings people together with the ones they love.

Do you believe in the destiny of love?

Wishing you the best,
Suzie Carr, Novelist

progress

The Secret to Progress

The secret to progress is drive. To move forward takes time and focus, too. You must be willing to take that first step and keep moving.

“To progress, one has to be willing to let go of what is known and be open to new adventure.” Suzie 

progressWe all have things we want to accomplish. We set out with great intention only to be sidetracked by our psyche urging us to turn the other way and enjoy the lure of things within easy reach instead.

The Need for Progress

Maybe it’s that we want to be savvier with our money, get into better shape, or gain more knowledge so we can prosper in our careers. These things all take time, focus, and drive. They require a significant amount of patience and motivation to acquire.

Short cuts just seem easier, don’t they?

Short Cuts Block Real Progress

We’re all smart enough to know that to make any real progress, we must do the work. We can’t expect to run a company successfully without first acquiring the skill sets. We can’t expect to have a bestselling novel sustain its prominence in the market without first putting in the long hours of writing the book. We can’t expect to have healthy bodies without first treating our bodies with the respect of good nutrition and sensible exercise routines.

The reality is that we need to work to progress on those things that we deem important.

Progress Requires Sustained Action

As with any new venture, we set out on new goals fueled with what seems like a super human power. We might spend hours writing some fabulous scenes, reading a book on finance, or tackling the first week of a grueling exercise program. We feel on top of our game, fueled by euphoria from the first scene that took us on a glorious ride, from the first stock papertrade that went well, or from the first inch lost on our waistline.

Then, week two comes around and we find ourselves tempted to let the firm focus grip slide a little. Our old habits are staring us in the face begging for attention. To break an old habit, we need a sticking motivation something that will stand firm in the face of temptation. That’s when the real progress occurs.

A powerful motivator is usually an emotional one.

For instance, when it comes to my health, the drive is deeply rooted in a promise I made to myself after a great friend passed away 4 years ago. I will never again take my health for granted. He died of cancer too early in life and he would’ve given anything to have a healthy body. I have one, so I’m constantly reminded that I have to treat it with respect. It’s almost like if I don’t, then I’m disrespecting his battle. This is strong motivation for me tied inextricably to my emotions.

We’re all motivated for progress differently.

To find success, we must discover what makes us tick. If we don’t know yet what that thing is that’ll keep us strong in the face of adversity, we need to vigilantly keep searching for it.

 

progress

 

Reach out to others who are role models and doing what you want to be doing. Find out what keeps them focused and see if it mirrors your philosophies and touches you on an emotional level.

 

 

 

 

 

Never give up on your journey to discover the power that resides within you. The power to progress is in all of us.

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

 

favorite-foods-5

My 5 Favorite Foods

My 5 favorite foods of all time are ones I would be very sad if I couldn’t eat anymore. My thought on favorite foods: I live once, so I enjoy them. Secret - 10 Day You Challenge

A second random thought: I am so happy to be alive in a time when I don’t have to hide behind trees and hunt my dinner or crawl around forests in search of my afternoon snack. I’m all about earning my treats, but that has more to do with healthy weight tactics than survival!

Favorite Foods – one word: YUMBO!

What else can make out mouths water, lighten a mood, nourish our bodies, fuel our energy, and turn a gathering into a celebration like favorite foods can? They are like friends to us. They share life’s most important events with us. They give our life ZEST!

Favorite foods bring us together in a way little else can.

Food is the social connector that brings our parties and important events to life. Some of my fondest memories have been created around scrumptious spreads. One of my favorites is the time my good friend, Pat, asked me to cook his last Thanksgiving Day dinner. He was dying of cancer 4 years ago and knew this would be the last Thanksgiving for him and his family. I wanted it to be special. I cooked for two days perfecting this grandiose meal. The conversation, laughter, and miraculous return of his appetite as we sat down to indulge in dishes I’d created from scratch, caused my heart to balloon to a size its never been again.

Food has a magical way of bringing families and friends together in a way that little else can.

So, in the spirit of its delicious and social gifts to life, and in continuing on my 10 day ‘you’ challenge, I want to share with you my five favorite foods.

 

1. Colombian Arepa

favorite-foods

2. Calamari

favorite-foods-2

3. Steamed Clams

favorite-foods-1

4. chocolate in any form

favorite-foods-5

5. Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra.

favorite foods

Do we have any similar ones? What are your 5 favorite foods?

Wishing you the best always,

Suzie Carr

 

fear

Start Living by Facing Fear

“See here’s the thing about fear. The more I allow it in, the stronger it becomes. It takes on its own power and becomes my leader. I’m not okay with following that. I’m not okay with bowing my head to it in reverence, as if it were a mightier force than me and had any rights to my freedom.” – Becca, The Journey Somewhere

If anyone understood the complexity of fear it’s Becca James from Tangerine Twist and The Journey Somewhere.  Imagine a musician with stage fright?

fear

Fear is Real – as real as we make it, that is.

I think as long as a person views fear as an opportunity to grow, it can serve a healthy purpose.

As part of my ten day “you” challenge… I’m going to reveal my 8 Fears.

I Fear:

1. Getting old.
2. Becoming irrelevant to those important to me.
3. Crowds.
4. Regrets.
5. Negative book reviews.
6. Disappointing people.
7. Losing touch with what’s important.
8. Missed opportunities.

Anyone who knows me, understands I can’t leave you with a negative feeling about such a powerhouse feeling as fear.

How I View Fear

Looking at my list, I see a lot of growth opportunity in each item. I can choose how I handle fear. I can allow these 8 fears to cage me or to release me. I choose release – ALWAYS.

How? Well, with each one I can turn the emotion around from negative to positive by simply asking myself the question: How can I grow from this fear?

My answer will always be something positive, because I asked an affirmative question.

What are your deepest fears, and what affirmative question can you ask yourself to turn them around and serve you positively?

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr

Secret - 10 Day You Challenge

 

love

Top Things to Love

When I think of my top things to love, I could go on for a long time. When love exists, even a gray, rainy day can feel like the most blissful gift in the world.

Secret - 10 Day You Challenge

Today is day nine of my ten day “you” challenge…and guess what’s on topic?

Yup, Love.

love

Here are my top 9 loves:

1. I love my family.
2. Walking my dogs in the still of the morning.
3. Writing.
4. I love to listen to birds chirping. It’s the sweetest sound at 3 am.
5. The smell of the ocean.
6. Working out. To do Insanity and Turbofire at 4 am, I have to love exercise.
7. I love singing “I’m Yours” and “Alleluia” when I’m cooking.
8. Of course anyone who has read my books knows how much I love sangria!
9. The movies The Shawshank Redemption and Good Will Hunting are my favorites, and the only two I can watch over and over again.

Let’s hear your top 9 loves.

Feel free to post here or start your own ten day ‘you’ challenge on your blog and share your blog in the comments.

secrets

PS 10 secrets

Wishing you the very best,
Suzie Carr

Above all else, love.

secrets

Here are 10 Secrets to Share

My friend, Tami Marie, blogged the other day, and WOW, did her 10 Secrets Post, part of her Ten Day ‘You’ Challenge, ever pique my interest.

The concept – 10 ‘themes’ in 10 days.

Secret - 10 Day You Challenge


Day 1 – 10 Secrets

Tami was kind enough to encourage me to post the Ten Day You Challenge on my blog as well. So…. here goes.

secrets

 

My 10 secrets. Oye!

Here I go….

1. The most blissful sound to me is hearing my dog Sunshine snore.
2. I read a random page from The Secret every morning.
3. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the miracle of healing through the skilled hands of a Reiki Master.
4. I’m afraid of getting old.
5. Whenever I hear familiar church music, I tear up.
6. I majored in public speaking in college because I feared it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I ended up loving it and graduated in the top 5% of my class.
7. My guilty pleasure is watching American Idol.
8. Most all of my accomplishments in life have been the result of someone telling me they doubted I could achieve them.
9. I believe with all of my heart that I came face to face with my guardian angel.
10. I fear crowds because I was almost crushed at a concert when I was twenty.

Any surprises there? Fellow bloggers, I challenge you to participate as well by posting your ten day challenge on your blog. I’d love to see them, so be sure to leave your url in a comment below!

Come on, let’s see your 10 Secrets!

Wishing you the very best,
Suzie Carr

What’s Your Mantra?

Mantras – so powerful, right?

I love a good mantra!

I live by one mantra in particular that has seen me through many stressful moments: “I have my health, therefore I have everything.”

mantra

A mantra can lift us up.

When the rest of the world seems to press against us, a mantra can be that saving grace that helps us get back up on our feet.

What makes a mantra powerful?

A mantra should be short, poignant, and click with your heart.

Just for kicks, I tossed out a tweet and post on my Facebook Fan Page asking others if they used a mantra to help them dig deeper and get them through their tough moments. I wanted to share some of these inspiring ones.

Borrow a mantra from this list:

  • “Clear your mind, center your soul.”
  • “Nothing is happening TO you. Things are just happening.”
  • “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” Basil King
  • “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, happy, healthy, wealthy, and so thankful for all gifts my life.”
  • “I am not afraid of tomorrow, because I have seen yesterday and I LOVE today!”
  • “You will never get what you want as long as you’re jealous of what other people have.”
  • “If you cannot believe in yourself … you cannot believe in anything.”
  • “Forward momentum – something is better than nothing.”
  • “Even if you cut off my arms, I will still create art.”

Sometimes I think the characters in my novels could use some of these mantras to get them out of their many conflicting positions. (ha) One in particular who comes to mind is Becca in Tangerine Twist for those moments when she went a little off the deep end due to her sudden dive into fame. She could’ve used the “Clear your mind, center your soul” one for sure!

Do you use a mantra to get you through those tough moments? Feel free to share. Let’s inspire each other!

 

Don’t be shy. Share your mantra!

Wishing you the very best,
Suzie Carr, novelist

silence

The Beauty in Silence

There is a beauty in silence. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is a few moments each day to be still and listen to our hearts.