I Am A Leo Watch Me Roar #FridayReflections

I Am A Leo Watch Me Roar #FridayReflections


If you’re a regular reader of my writing, you might remember that I’m left-handed. You might also recall that I’m August born, since I’ve talked about my fiftieth birthday a hundred times! Yes, I am a Leo watch me roar.

I’m not a believer in astrology and don’t follow what the stars foretell. But I was first introduced to Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs about twenty odd years ago and to say I found that interesting is an understatement. I love finding out people’s birthdays and see if they fit into the typical characteristics of their sun signs. So it’s only fair that I share mine with you and tell you if the description of a Leo fits me.

I Am A Leo Watch Me Roar

Strengths: Creative, passionate, generous, warm-hearted, cheerful, humorous
Who is going to argue with this? Not me, for sure. It’s for others to say if they disagree with this description of me.

Weaknesses: Arrogant, stubborn, self-centered, lazy, inflexible
If arrogant means opinionated, then I’m certainly owning up to that. I’ve been called a snob sometimes, but anyone who really knows will know that I have no problem talking with people. But I have a huge problem being indebted to other people and will attempt to go out of my way to repay them – so perhaps, that means I am arrogant. I’m also owning up to being stubborn and inflexible at times, lazy too (that’s my second name), but self-centered, I take objection to.

Leo likes: Theater, taking holidays, being admired, expensive things, bright colors, fun with friends
This one is really not me at all. I love pastel shades and am not at all into expensive things. Perhaps, the only part of this that might be me is ‘being admired’ – as in, I thrive on positive feedback, but then, who doesn’t?

Leo dislikes: Being ignored, facing difficult reality, not being treated like a king or queen
I don’t like to be given the silent treatment – that’s the best way to punish me. I’ve struggled with coming to terms with not be understood and accepted by my family, so I guess I do have an issue with facing difficult reality. It’s taken me years to accept this. I don’t think anyone can accuse me of demanding being treated like a Queen. (What say, my dear subjects?)

People born under the sign of Leo are natural born leaders. They are dramatic, creative, self-confident, dominant and extremely difficult to resist, able to achieve anything they want to in any area of life they commit to. There is a specific strength to a Leo and their “king of the jungle” status. Leo often has many friends for they are generous and loyal. Self-confident and attractive, this is a Sun sign capable of uniting different groups of people and leading them as one towards a shared cause, and their healthy sense of humor makes collaboration with other people even easier.

Those of you who know me personally, or at least as much as internet allows you to know me, might agree or disagree with the way I view myself. I’d love to have your thoughts.

#FridayReflections

If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and I give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Our featured writer last week was Vanessa for taking up the prompt from the 27th page of her book.  If you want to be our featured writer, all you have to do is write on one of the above prompts and link up below! Come back on Monday to vote for your favourite.

Prompts for 31st March:

1. What’s your star sign? Does it reflect your personality?
2. Pick up the nearest CD or play a random song from your iPod and use the second line in the song to begin your post
3. Write on any of the prompts from March
4. “Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.” – Margaret Mitchell. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.
5. Picture Prompt (Living my Imperfect Life)

 


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I Am A Cracked Cup  #MondayMusings

I Am A Cracked Cup #MondayMusings

I know that you’re aware that I’m cracked. But a cracked cup?

There are times when I feel uninspired, and unsure of what I am doing. I have plans but don’t follow through.

There are times when I think back on my past mistakes and feel a bit low, but I’m learning to be better at that.

And then I read something like this:

If I wait until
all the flaws, chips,
and cracks disappear
I will be the cup
that stands on the shelf
and is never used
~ Joyce Rupp

I Am A Cracked Cup

Then I know that I certainly don’t want to be that unused cup. I realize that I must share my experiences. I must be authentic.

I must give of myself now, and not wait for that time when I am ‘perfect’ – for then my time may never come.

So I continue to be the cracked cup and find joy that I can continue to receive the many blessings I do.

And also, to some extent, share of my contents.

Do you too, at times, feel inadequate to do what you are ‘called’ to do?

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The Value of Self Reliance #MondayMusings

The Value of Self Reliance #MondayMusings

Continuing my ‘reminder to self‘ series this week, I remind myself of something that I’ve only recently begun to appreciate.

The Value Of Self Reliance

I’m a literature student – even if I came late to the party, doing my MA in Literature, several years after I got my Bachelors in Commerce and worked in a bank. But my love for language, drew me back to studying and reinventing myself career-wise.

But I digress.

I’m attempting to tell you how I discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson and his wonderfully wise works. One of these is Self-Reliance. In it he pushes the idea of every one thinking for themselves.

But he also talks of something which seems so relevant and urgent to our times and is a great reminder to me. Let me share this with you.

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love all those words. But the last sentence just pops out to remind me once again that I don’t need to work on being popular – I just need to be myself.

There was a time that I had a hard time being alone. Solitude made me uncomfortable. These days, I consciously seek it. I’ve discovered and learned to love my introverted self. I’ve learned to motivate myself and not wait for others to make me feel good about me.

Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty. But learn to be happy alone. Rely upon your own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people. -Thomas Davidson

Do you value self-reliance?
the-value-of-self-reliance

 

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31-days-of-awesome


Image credit: Peace Calm Freedom Harmony Solitude Graphic Concept by Shutterstock
Watch Who You Surround Yourself With #WeekendCoffeeShare

Watch Who You Surround Yourself With #WeekendCoffeeShare

As someone who is still struggles to shake off some of the demons of the past, and move forward with gratitude and freedom, I need to constantly remind myself of certain life lessons.

This week, I want to focus on these ‘reminders to self’.

Today’s reminder to self is : Watch Who You Surround Yourself With

If I was having coffee with you today, I’d tell you that I’m further down the road to realizing that for too long I have seen myself is the way other (certain significant) people have told me I am. For example, I learned to school my responses; to present a picture of being in control even when I was dying inside; to smile when I had scant reason to; to be nice to people who were downright mean to me.

As I began to focus on loving myself, I learned not to take be so mindful of what other people told me. I began to assert myself a lot more.

But every once in a while, I’ll revert to thinking less of myself, because of a stray remark from someone significant who doesn’t really know me after a lifetime.  Even though my husband would point out how badly this person treated me, I would make excuses for her. I guess it was a defense mechanism of sorts – my refusal to admit that I had allowed someone to control and use me for so long. Finally, I have seen the light, but like I said, every so often, I’ll still allow this person’s behavior to affect me. I still have to learn to trust my gut feeling that tells me what they’re say is not true.

So today, I borrow the words of someone else to remind myself to watch who I surround myself with:

Don’t you dare, for one more second, surround yourself with people who are not aware of the greatness that you are. ~ Jo Blackwell-Preston

Watch Who You Surround Yourself With

 

Linking with the Part Time Monster for #WeekendCoffeeShare

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31-days-of-awesome

Soul Selfish

Soul Selfish

Family counselor and author Jane Wyker,  says choosing to be “soul selfish” is the most vital lesson a woman can learn, at any age. Her memoir, Soul Selfish: The Awakening of a “Good Girl” (Lioncrest, June 2016), traces Wyker’s path of overcoming multi-generational and cultural influences, shedding conditioned beliefs, behaviors and roles, and gradually taking ownership of her own womanhood.

Soul Selfish: The Awakening of a “Good Girl”

Soul Selfish: The Awakening of a “Good Girl” (Lioncrest, June 2016) explains the importance of becoming aligned with your true self to create a path to sustained happiness.

In Soul Selfish, Wyker illustrates how her childhood patterns of being a “good girl” continued into mid-life, as she routinely prioritized others’ needs and desires before her own. Through insightful and spiritually uplifting stories, she shares her journey towards happiness, creativity, freedom and peace possible for anyone dedicated to honoring their authentic self—their soul.

Recounting a remarkable life story that spans eight decades, Soul Selfish illustrates the happiness, creativity, freedom and peace possible for anyone dedicated to honoring their authentic self. Wyker looks back on her life with the unique perspective and wisdom that only time provides to reveal how true, lasting happiness can be achieved when we dare to be selfish for our soul. She credits her 46-year immersion in diverse psychological and spiritual teachings for her enlightenment. Soul Selfish, traces Wyker’s path of overcoming multi-generational and cultural influences, shedding conditioned beliefs, behaviors and roles, and gradually taking ownership of her own womanhood.

About Jane Wyker

janewykerJane Wyker, an 80-year-young accomplished family counselor, former teacher and spiritual explorer, is a smart, passionate woman, eager to share the fruits of her forty-six-year inner journey. Her memoir, a début book, aims to do just that.

Wyker experienced many of life’s challenges — marriage, parenting, divorce, indebtedness, career-building, forgiveness and loss. She believes that her stories will inspire women around the world, and the men who love them, to honor their true, authentic selves.

After her 18-year first marriage ended in divorce, she started her career as a parent educator, a brand new concept in 1977. She opened a school for parents, became known for her innovative program and quickly expanded into facilitating women’s personal development groups. In response to requests from participants, Wyker began counseling private clients about marriage and family issues, career, addiction and loss. She later developed a corporate seminar program focusing on parenting skills and balancing work and family responsibilities for working mothers. It was a topic she understood intimately as she managed her thriving career while raising her four children and pursuing her own spiritual growth.

Wyker earned an early childhood development degree from Cornell University and has spent decades studying psychological and spiritual personal development principles from master teachers.

When she is not spending time with her children, six grandchildren or traveling the world with her second husband of thirty years, she enjoys practicing Pilates, playing tennis, dancing and blogging on women’s issues.

Connect with her on  her website www.janewyker.com | Twitter | Facebook

My review: 4/5

As I inched towards midlife I started to realize the importance of giving my own needs the respect and value they deserved. So when I read the title of this book, I realized that it was one I certainly wanted to read. I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed.

I loved the authenticity and honesty of Jane Wyker’s writing. Taking us from her early years to the present time, the author shares her responses to life’s challenges. It’s rich with insight and really shows us the journey of a soul that struggles and grows, deals with loss, learns to forgive herself and live with compassion.

The book was successful in making me take a good look into my life, which any good book does.

I would recommend this wonderful, true story if you’re looking to get more authentic and live with soul.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Celebrating Change #MondayMusings

Celebrating Change #MondayMusings

51 yesterday.

And I’m celebrating change.

I look in the mirror and see a face different from the one I saw a few years ago. Yes, I have aged, put on weight and changed. But these are changes that can be seen and things people remark about.

The changes that not so many people mention, at least to my face, are the changes in the way I interact with others and how opinionated I seem to have become. When an ex-colleague wished me yesterday and called me a ‘gentle’ wordsmith, I corrected him and said that I wasn’t so sure of the ‘gentle’ part. I was schooled to be gentle. Told not to raise my voice. And in the bargain, I somehow lost my ability to truly stand up for myself. Now the ‘gentle’ woman has given way to a much fiercer version of me – actually, the real version of me. Authenticity rules!

At times I hear myself talking, and say, ‘Hey, when did you become so vocal?’ At other times, I have to tell myself to go easy and realize that silence is the best response to a particular situation or person.

I’m balancing my relationships much better and that’s something to celebrate.

More cynical?

I’ll admit, I’ve become more wary of people. I no longer take things and people at face value. From the trusting, open soul I used to be, I’m  more cautious and guarded in some ways.

A few people may find that I’ve become cynical, and perhaps I have, if cynical means that I no longer buy their stories or jump to rescue them from the messes of their own creation.

Somewhere along the way I’ve realized that I am an introvert and it takes a lot of energy for me to interact with people, especially in large groups. That’s a huge realization, and it brought about a lot of change. In the past, I’d force myself to attend parties and make visits out of a sense of duty. Now I’m quite happy to skip several social occasions that sap my energy without feeling the slightest guilt.

I’ve also learned to cut off or minimize contact with people who drain me or bring drama into my life or who are just plain mean or jealous.  I read this today and it well articulates what I’ve been unconsciously doing:  You need to align yourself with people who fit your destiny not your history.

The biggest change I celebrate within myself is that I am no longer apologetic about my choices and my behaviour. Only I know how hard I’ve worked to bring change within myself, to become stronger, to make better choices.

Openess And Gratitude

Another change that I celebrate  is that I am now much more open to other people’s choices. For example, I have grown from thinking that homeosexuality is a sin, to being someone who will stand up for the freedom and rights of the LGBTQ community.

Perhaps, the biggest cause of celebration for me is that I’ve learned to be grateful for my blessings and even for things that seemingly go wrong. I see everything that happens as a life lesson. Yes, I might grumble for a short while and then I realize everything works for good and that somewhere down the road I’ll figure out why that particular bump came my way!

It’s the same with all of us. Only the individual knows the battles they’re fighting. Only you know how far you’ve come and where you want to go. Know that I wish you well on that journey.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
– Maya Angelou

celebrating-change

Have you changed over the years? I’d love to hear about your metamorphosis.

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