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Outside the Comfort Zone

The comfort zone is a place that paralyzes many. It drains the energy needed to sustain the long legs of a purposeful journey.

book review

Why Book Reviews Matter

Book reviews matter because they help readers find a writer’s work and also help a writer to learn and grow from an honest critique.

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

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.

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

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!

Improve-Your_life

3 Ways to Improve Your Life

Improve your life…sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re like most people, you want to be at your best because deep down you know you can’t bring out the best in others if you’re not on that same wavelength.

A great way to get on track is to ask yourself the pointed question of whether something is adding value to your life. An even more helpful question often spawns from this and that is – if it’s not adding value, why are you still breathing power into it by allowing it to stay in your life?

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The frankness in this question can be jarring and eye-opening. It is perhaps one of the most important questions a person can ask, though. Life is so short and too precious to waste energy, time, resources on those things, and those people who aren’t bringing out the very best in you.

I would even stretch to look at it this way: you’re doing the world a great disservice by not surrounding yourself with those things and those people who help you to put your best efforts forward.

Improve your life, and you also help to improve the lives of those around you.

So what do you do if you discover you are surrounded by things, activities, and people who are compromising your ability to rise to your highest level?

Improve Your Life

Improve Your Life by Eliminating Bad Habits

Bad habits can drag you down. Period. If your actions are not lifting you to higher ground, then they’re burying the very best in you. This sounds harsh. Often the things people want to hold onto the most, are the ones they want to protect the most. But, in protecting, they’re inadvertently hurting themselves and possibly others. Make sure you set aside some “me time” so you can focus on yourself. This list may help if you are someone who has trouble relaxing and unwinding.

Improve Your Life by Learning to Say No

Are you stretched to full capacity, leaving no room for new opportunities? Do you have a hard time saying no to requests that aren’t exactly in alignment with your greatest assets, dreams, and desires? If yes, then you’re compromising those very ideals that make you so unique and valuable. It’s okay to say no.

Improve Your Life by Letting Go

Are you holding on to a relationship out of fear, comfort, or guilt? Are the people you surround yourself with helping you to grow? Or are they stunting your growth by holding you back from enriching your life through new pursuits? Letting go of relationships that aren’t healthy any longer can be hard because of feelings of guilt, loneliness, and fear. Sometimes letting go is the only way to take that leap forward and fulfill your full potential.

A Final Note on How to Improve Your Life

Taking an honest look at your value system is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others. Learning to love yourself and take the best action is never an easy lesson. But to really improve your life, it’s necessary to ensure you’re nurturing that part of yourself that helps you to positively impact the world.

Wishing you the best,
Suzie Carr, Novelist

P.S. Let’s open this up to an honest discussion… Do you agree or disagree with any of these points? What are some steps you’ve taken to improve your life?