“Serving Yourself a Pause”

What is Your Hunger Telling You?

School starts this week—for me, a middle school English teacher. The kids arrive virtually next month, so this is the time we educators start to ensure all of our academic ducks are in a row.

There is an uneasiness that often comes with the unknown, and virtual teaching in the midst of our pandemic is no exception. How will I effectively reach my new students? How will I effectively engage and connect with these young minds I have the gift and responsibility of educating?

Last week’s post focused on the magic-like pleasure experienced when embracing your passion. The example I shared was my love of writing and acting—a venture I reveled in manifesting and sharing with you on my YouTube channel.

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in a creative endeavor, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Last week, I was so hungry to combine my passion for writing and acting that I lost sight of the bigger picture: the optic and auditory effects of my comedic characters on the audience. 

My characters were meant to connect us, to create belly laughs and to promote my book. In my hunger to tickle your funny bone, I inadvertently eclipsed the gravitas of my book. So, I’ve taken the comedic characters down from my YouTube channel (I did keep my dear Sylvia Richmond. They may resurface as they were or in future comedic bits on a separate channel—apart from my book. I’m not sure where I want to go with them—and that’s okay. Like all of us, I’m learning as I go in this surreal experience called life.

The Friendship Diet is a book that focuses on the deep connection between our edible and emotional nutrition regarding our personal relationships. This includes our relationship—first and foremost—with ourselves. Today I write to you, aware that my emotional hunger is telling me to serve myself a heaping plate of pause, of rest, of time. My students deserve a teacher who is focused and hungry to educate and inspire her students. 

Whatever is happening in your life right now, if you are feeling overwhelmed and like the figurative walls are closing in on you, it’s more than okay—no, it’s vital that you serve yourself a pause dish. When we serve ourselves a pause dish, we are better serving others.

Ingredients for Success

Everyone’s definition of success is different; the key is to discovering YOURS

Back in the day (1980’s), before social media existed and heading online meant you were literally waiting in an actual store until it was your turn at the register, I spent oodles of pleasurable moments creating characters and acting them out for family and friends. Summers were spent rehearsing SNL-inspired scenes with friends in a musty basement and then “wowing” our peers and family members with a show in someone’s willing backyard.

Creating characters on the page and then bringing them to life filled me with an intense and lasting pleasure. Hearing the laughter from the crowd, palpably knowing that what my friends and I had plucked from the vortex of our minds had made such joy possible, was a true high.

The pandemic has caused many of us to not only physically retreat but spiritually reflect as well. We are challenged to consider alternate ways of life as we know it and, by extension, pushed to ponder new ways of living. Author and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Ronne Brown (From Mopping Floors to Making Millions on Instagram), articulates a mid-life crisis shift that often occurs at sixty; with our pandemic, this mid-life “alert” seems to be occurring at any age:

“You’re at the ‘sorry, but I’m not going out like that phase.’ You have faked it for the last…years because you were afraid…. Now, you’re at a place where you feel like, you know what, ‘Screw that.’ You begin to tell yourself, ‘I am really going to focus on that passion before they put me to the ground.’”

I love teaching. I love writing. I love acting. So why do I need to pigeonhole myself into one-size-fits-all category? Why can’t I create a path that combines my passions?

A book’s success is not dependent on a quality book alone. It requires savvy social media skills, persistence, out-of-the-box marketing…and REVIEWS.

So I thought: that little girl, who still resides in me, misses acting so very much. And The Friendship Dietneeds reviews. Why not combine my two loves: creating characters who review The Friendship Diet?

Enter, my brand (no pun-intend;-) new YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF7fUS-FGfbg8jLPtnKJj5g?view_as=subscriber

Determining the “right” ingredients to success greatly depends on your definition of success. For me, success means living an authentic life. This includes living my passion. For someone else, success might mean gobs of money in the bank; for yet another person, success might mean an organized life.

Once we possess a clear awareness of what success looks like for ourselves, we can take action and choose “ingredients” that bring us closer to living that definition of success.

Regardless of the potential answers to our collective definitions of success, when we look for the quality of what success means, the outer effects of that success become significantly less important. For example: success for me is living authentically. By promoting my writing through performing, I am living authentically, on my terms. The by-product of this action isn’t something I can control, nor does it determine my motivation.

When we look within for the ingredients that drive our definition of success, we will find a dish that always satisfies.