Monday, December 21, 2015

Finding Your Bliss

"If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be" (pg 150).

Am reading: The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell


Yeah, that sounds great, Katie, but what is my bliss?

I don't know.

Only you know the answer to that, but there are little clues in your life, and if you'll just pay attention they might tell you something.

What excites you?
What bothers you?
What problems do you run into regularly that need to be fixed?
What is that constant in your life--the idea or talent or activity you always come back to?
What makes you come alive? 

"Any life career that you choose in following your bliss should be chosen with that sense--that nobody can frighten me off from this thing. And no matter what happens, this is the validation of my life and action" (Campbell pg. 237).

I tell my students they will find the most fulfillment in life when they combine their passion with service to others. 

What makes me come alive, and how can I use this to help someone?

There's your bliss.

Be Brilliant!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

On Quitting

Sometimes it's not the smartest or most talented people who make it. It's the ones who persisted--who didn't let anything stand in their way.

And sometimes, when we feel like quitting, we have to reconnect with our "why."

Why am I doing this? And why does it matter?

I think we're all capable of more than we give ourselves credit for. :D

Be Brilliant!


Monday, December 14, 2015

Focusing on the Whale

"As the Polynesian saying goes, you are then 'standing on a whale fishing for minnows.' We are standing on a whale. The ground of being is the ground of our being, and when we simply turn outward, we see all of these little problems here and there. But, if we look inward, we see that we are the source of them all" (pgs. 46-47).

Am reading: The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell


Truth: we shouldn't spend more time worrying about the minnows swimming nearby than the giant whale we're standing on. It's so easy to focus on the things going wrong with everyone else--to pick apart what others are doing.

It takes more strength to turn inward. To focus on the whale in our own lives.

It's worth thinking about, at any rate. 

Be Brilliant! ;)


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Book-Gifting Guide

Hi Guys! 

I read some really great books this year, so I thought I'd compile a list of my favorites. I love getting and gifting books for the holiday. They're thoughtful and don't take up much space. If not books, then Amazon cards to buy them (my "wish list" is pretty long).

So, without further ado: my "five star" books of the year.

Kid Edition

Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin 

Teen Edition

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Fiction Edition

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Non-Fiction Edition

Clutterfree with Kids by Joshua Becker

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo 

Writer Edition

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott 

Bonus Edition

And I haven't had a chance to read these yet, but I've heard wonderful things. They're on my list and I'm gifting them to others.

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert 



Monday, December 7, 2015

The Power of Stories

"When the story is in your mind, then you see its relevance to something happening in your own life. It gives you perspective on what's happening to you. . . . These bits of information from ancient times, which have to do with the themes that have supported human life, built civilizations, and informed religions over the millennia, have to do with deep inner problems, inner mysteries, inner thresholds of passage, and if you don't know what the guide-signs are along the way, you have to work it out yourself" (pg 2).

Am reading: The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell


This is why stories are so powerful, I think. Young adult literature was just starting to gain traction in the marketplace when I was in college (getting its own section in the bookstore, etc.). I didn't "meet" Sarah Dessen until my junior year of college, and The Truth About Forever (one of my favorite books, ever) didn't come along until a few years after that.

I always say TTAF was my book. That's the book I needed when I was a senior in high school, dealing with the death of my grandfather. I don't want to call my family "emotionally bankrupt" because that seems harsh, but I definitely learned early on that showing sadness is a sign of weakness.

I was Macy, that year: "Fine. Just Fine."

I like to think I would've handled that year much better had the story been available to me sooner. I might've grieved like I was supposed to and moved on instead of bottling things up. I might've skipped that bad relationship had I read Dreamland.

I love that stories give us a frame of reference--that they take experiences and make them real for us. We find ourselves in them, and they become our guide-posts.

Stories are powerful.

If you have a story inside you that deals with life's problems and inner mysteries which could be a road map for others, I don't know why you would ever want to keep that inside you.

We need your stories. :)


Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Reading

Since the holidays are upon us, I just want to remind you of this:

Once Upon a Christmas Eve: A Novella 

A chance meeting on Christmas Eve 

will change Jonathan and Olivia’s lives forever.

Available as an ebook on: