Become a better writer, LinkedIn.. Groups and critiques


Acrid smoke filled the air, the cast iron hook on the chain suspended from the iron tripod held the cauldron in the center of the well stoked fire. The cauldron now glowing red was all but empty its contents sizzled and crackled as they began to char and burn. The air was filled with the stench of burnt words.
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What? Burnt words, stench, where does that come from? What are you talking about Joe?
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Why writing of course! Have you ever asked for a critique of your writing? Have you ever asked a group of professional writers to critique a sentence or a paragraph from a first draft of your manuscript or article you may have written?
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I recently asked for a critique in a writers group on LinkedIn. It ended up being quite an eye opening experience. I asked for a few thoughts as far as my original opening sentence that I had written for my novel.
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“I am curious is the following a good opening sentence for a book? As Jake was driving to work his mind raced, his heart ached, and he didn’t want to go to work.”
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130 Comments later I smile and laugh at the scorched words in the pot! The wide variety of feedback and comments ranged from” yes that is a good first sentence” to” that sucks cliché, lazy, no creativity, work twice in the first sentence.. Really! You are obviously a rookie and have no imagination.”
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“Feel the heat?” Oh my, as I went to a coaching session at the Community Writing Center I sat down with my friend and coach and mentioned the fact I had posted the sentence for critique in a group on LinkedIn. I was smiling and quite proud of myself for having done so even though I had already been working on my re write I did feel the original sentence had merit and legs of sorts. I wanted to get some opinions that may help me express the same sentiment in a more creative and artistic way. Did the sentence make the reader curious enough to read on?
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I smiled big as I told her “I got a lot of feedback”
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She laughed as she said”You got Mauled!”
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We both laughed for a few minutes as she told me she had read the comments.. Being a connection my activity is on her news feed.
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I am sharing this story for two reasons.. One, posting your questions in a writing group is a great way to learn and get constructive feedback. Two, I found it funny to see how many people judge a story, and the writer based on a few words.
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“Do you judge a book by its cover or its title?” What about the first sentence or paragraph?
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My revised first sentence and couple of paragraphs.. It may change again before I am finished with the re write!
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Jake exited the Lincoln Tunnel entering the urban jungle of concrete, steel, and flesh, commonly referred to as the “Big Apple”. He turned onto Tenth Ave. and abruptly slammed on the brakes barely avoiding a collision with a redhead that had a body like Marilyn Monroe.
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“Damn it” he cursed, as his coffee cup erupted like a volcano, spewing its contents like a river of magma flowing from hand to thigh. He looked at the traffic signal to make sure he had the green thinking; it was almost suicidal for someone on foot to try and cross an intersection against the signal, during the morning rush hour.
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Do you want to become a better writer? Maybe posting some of your work in a writing group will help you along the way! You may find your words smoldering in the cauldron and laugh as your new ones rise like a phoenix from the ashes!
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Thank you for stopping by and thank you for being beautiful you! I am grateful as is our world that you choose to share your love and your smiles! It makes our world a better place for all we share it with!
Namaste 

Waiting… A poetically expressed thought


Everything thing is in motion
Dreams planted like seeds from ocean to ocean
What to do next I haven’t a notion
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The energy is so thick and dense
Being in alignment it only makes sense
Not to worry about what’s over the fence
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I know that things are beginning to grow
Things that are special I truly know
My heart and my mind they tell me so
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The work of alignment meditation of mind and heart
Truly the best way to make a new start
Now for the waiting…
The hardest part

http://youtu.be/padBMW652No

Years of learning, implementing and contemplating come to an end and a new beginning. Seeds planted with intent from a place of true body mind and heart alignment. All that is left to do is let it all go water those seeds with love and the knowing that they will grow… Now all one can do is wait for the flowers to grow and then bloom!

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It is quite an amazing feeling to know that you have taken the time to plant your seeds in your field of dreams after you have learned from the Masters. Baby steps and positive thoughts are all you can do as you move deeper into the unknown, knowing that something is happening that will make all the efforts worthwhile. Change is sometimes harder than we would think yet the rewards are far beyond what we could ever imagine even if they are not the ones we thought we would receive.

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From a chunk of coal to a diamond it is quite a process, I want to say thank you all for being you, diamonds shining bright and beautiful through the darkness we all at times travel through!

Namaste :)

The Elephant… Don’t you see it?


The Elephant in the room….
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Why is it that many of us human beings don’t acknowledge the obvious? We can look at the Elephant in the room and act like we don’t see it.
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There are many issues in our personal lives and in our communities, cities, states, nations, and our world that the old saying applies to. (war, homelessness, racism, hunger, poverty, to name a few)
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Do we just choose not to see it? Is it fear that stops us?
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I had several conversations with friends about the issues they were experiencing in their lives that reminded me of the old saying “The Elephant in the room” first it would be helpful to define the saying for those who may not have heard it or those that really have taken no time to understand what it means.
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Wikipedia says: “Elephant in the room” or “Elephant in the living room” is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.
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The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first recorded use of the phrase, as a simile, as The New York Times on June 20, 1959: “Financing schools has become a problem about equal to having an elephant in the living room. It’s so big you just can’t ignore it.”[3]
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The conversations were for the most part about the issues that they were dealing with; the largest cause of those issues was their own negative attitudes and perspectives. Most of them were running from the issue rather than going within and changing their perspectives. I was guilty recently of trying to shut out the rest of the world and focus… Not how it works!
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Much like what was happening with my friends and family I was ignoring the “Elephant in the room.” Life doesn’t work that way nor can I just be a master of my mind and heart in solitude. I did need to take some time and get focused, mastery would be something that I have to do in my everyday life, in my encounters with the energy and attitudes that others.
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The only one that can make things change in your life is you, what is your relationship with the Elephant in the room? Are you ignoring your pains and your negative attitude or those of your friends and loved ones pretending that they are not the problem?
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We owe it to ourselves, our friends, our families to deal with the elephant! Go deep, confront then release your fears and negativity, and let those feelings go free. They like the elephant they do better out in the open than caged up in the room!
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Thank you for being you, you are beautiful and quite awesome, I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and read my posts. It brings a great smile, speaking of which… Your smiles and the love you share are making our world a better place for all we share it with! Thank you for being the positive change our world so needs!

Namaste 

Thoughts of the mirror and water.. empowering you!


The most powerful empowerment tool is the one you see when you look in the mirror. I often hear the expression that “the relationships, the people you meet, the things you see in others, is a reflection of you. I wonder at times how true that is as that was shared with me more than once today. I almost shared it with a good friend yet chose to use that mirror with her in a different way.
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As I talked with my friend I recalled a scene in a movie I truly enjoy and have watched several times. In it there is a scene that says so much about the power of that mirror as an empowerment tool or as a tool of destruction. The lady in the film is feeling rather down and beating herself up after a night of drinking and wild sex or so the viewer is lead to believe. She smashes the tube of toothpaste and breaks the mirror as she tells herself she is ugly and that she hates herself. As the faucet drips the lady has tears falling down her face and she has a brief memory of an experiment conducted by a famous physicist.

The experiment is a rather powerful one conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto where he labels water bottles with various emotional words and then takes pictures of the water molecules the next day. The affect of just labeling the water bottles on the molecules is profound. Here is a clip from the movie “What the Bleep do we know” where the experiment is briefly described and the memory the lady has in her moment of realization.

As the lady realizes the power of her thoughts and words she laughs and starts to draw hearts and symbols of love all over her body. She has a new perspective about what she sees in the mirror and how powerful and healing the words can be if she chooses to use those that are based on love and are chosen in a empowering and beautiful way. She realizes the power of self love as she realizes how much of our physical beings are composed of water.

My friend has spent thousands of dollars learning the tools of empowerment, in many modalities she has studied enough to have a Doctorate in self empowerment and the art of self love. She has spent many years studying spiritual paths and philosophy. She has a tool box of tools that would allow her to be a licensed therapist she even has two Degrees yet she still calls me and sheds her tears as she wrestles with self love and the labels she still holds on to.

As I chatted with her today I expressed my thoughts to her in the most beautiful way I knew how. I shared with her the truth about all of that education and knowledge.. It is absolutely useless if you don’t implement it and use it in your life! Take a few minutes and go find a mirror and tell me what you see! I feel that when you look in that mirror even if you see ugly in the initial moment when you look deep into your eyes you will laugh at the thought. There is no way you can actually look into your own eyes and feel anything less than loved by your inner self or your soul. It may take a few minutes maybe longer yet if you stand there and look into your eyes and soul long enough you will see the true beauty and love you have inside of you.

The best tool I can share is the Mirror! You may at first want to break it… then what do you see? Through the tears you see the one person on this planet that loves you just for being you! If not then I hope you will think about the clip I shared with you and the fact that the majority of your physical being is water. Take a pen and write the words love, beautiful, peace, and draw hearts and smiles all over your skin and write love over and over again until you feel it transform your cells and your heart tells you that yes you are love and you are loved.

When you do that every one you meet, every relationship you have, every reflection you see will be one of love and beauty. True change true love and true reflection start within look within your beautiful eyes and see the love of who you are love yourself and be beautiful. Use the tools nature has given us use your thoughts and water as a reflection of what you are a spiritual being in a physical body that is mostly water. When you see yourself reflected in that pool, or lake or, mirror, remember how powerful and beautiful love is! Love yourself and use the empowering tools you have to love and be you!

Thank you for being you, remember you can have all the knowledge in the world and a whole tool box of tools yet they are not doing you any good if you don’t use them! I would also encourage you to watch the movie “What the Bleep do we know” if you haven’t seen it. It may change the way you think about thinking! :)

Namste!

Love letters as a tool for self love?


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The last few posts I have been sharing some tools that are designed for empowerment and creating a sense of self. The tool I want to share today is probably the tool that was most instrumental for me in regards to my personal transformation. The key to moving forward as you take a journey of self discovery is learning how to love yourself.
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For me the most difficult part of my personal journey in life and self discovery was learning to love myself. I was taught when I was young that loving yourself was a narcissist thing. It was a perspective reinforced by many contributing factors to the point that I felt unworthy of love. My own father left when I was seven and I still have yet to hear from him. My mother married a man several years later that was abusive sending me a message that I was useless and unworthy, un loveable. Reinforcing those beliefs was the religious upbringing that started me off as a sinner and unworthy of going home to meet my maker in heaven.
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That feeling of being un loveable especially by my own father, on earth and my father in heaven was one that had an effect on my life and my relationships. That effect was one of destruction even though I didn’t even realize it was the sword that sliced through every bond I made. Like Alexander the Great I could cut through the biggest strongest knot with that sword. It was the basis for my addictions and my “chip on the shoulder” as many would say over the years.
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I learned about this tool in a most unusual way actually I found it in several places almost simultaneously while dealing with multiple issues all of them pointing to the love I didn’t have yet so desired. My first introduction to” love letters” was in a book by Harville Hendrix titled “Giving the Love that Heals” I saw it on my at the time marriage counselors bookshelf so I went and bought it. The second place I found it was shared with me as I filled out a questionnaire on an online matchmaking site… The test results came back and I got an e mail telling me I knew nothing about women! I spoke to my coach at the time who recommended that I read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray PhD

The tool of Love Letter Therapy is for the most part a forgiveness tool and a letting go tool. I found however it served me well as an empowerment tool! I not only used the technique to help with my personal and business relationships I used it for my relationship with myself. The technique can be a great way to heal especially if you use it in a Quantum way to visit the past and the present with the intent of sharing the love expressed and found when you write such a love letter to yourself or anyone else you may need to express those sentiments to. By going Quantum and visualizing the sharing of the letter there is no need to fear rejection or being hurt. For the most part every letter I wrote was thrown away after I finished except the first one to my former wife which I sent and then got slammed and screamed at for sending…” Love? What do you know about love?” Ooops! Even Dr. Gray says… Throw them away!

Dr.Gray’s “love letter” technique has five stages:

1. Anger. After a sentence or two explaining the nature and intent of the letter, the writer communicates his or her feelings of anger, resentment, blame etc. at the other person. “I don’t like it when you…..”
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2. Hurt and Sadness. In the second section of the letter, the writer describes any feelings of sadness, hurt or disappointment that are present. “I get sad when you….”
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3. Fear. This next section lists fears and insecurities that the writer feels, as in “I get scared when you…..”
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4. Guilt and Remorse. In this section the writer shares any feelings of responsibility, regret and remorse that are present. “I’m sorry that I…..” or “I regret….”
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5. Love. The last section of the letter is the appropriate place for the writer to describe feelings of love, forgiveness and understanding. “I love and forgive you for…..”
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I used this technique to work through my issues of sin and unworthiness and learned to forgive myself as well as love myself even if the religious institution I grew up in thought I was unworthy. I also used it to help with my issues of abandonment and abuse amongst many other things I have used it for relationship wise with other people. I hope you may find it useful in your life and on your path of self discovery… Love yourself you are awesome and divine.
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Thank you for being you and sharing some of your time with me as you read this post. I would like to say I appreciate your presence and your smiles! Thank you for sharing your love and your smiles and making our world a better place for all we share it with. You are positive change in action and it is an honor to share with you this time and space!

Namaste 

A tool from the “Old toolbox” Empowerment tools


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Image courtesy of : http://mantiquesmodern.com/item_details.php?id=499555 .

I thought I might share a tool from the old toolbox as it may help someone in a way that they need right now. The largest obstacle for most people I have been chatting with and my mentoring clients is one I also had issue with… Identity, “who am I” we at various points in time ask ourselves that question. The answer is not always what we want to hear. Why? Well we are conditioned and have built a definition based on that conditioning and how we are feeling about ourselves. In truth there are many factors that lead to our answers.
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I would like to share a tool that will help you as you search for the answer to that question. It is an empowerment tool that over many years has been used and developed to assist us in learning to claim our personal power and begin the process of learning who we are and build a new base to start from as we move forward in our personal journeys. I would say that it is one of the most effective beginner tools and is easy to use. Using it as I am suggesting twice a day for a month while adjusting it as necessary will change your life in a very positive way. It will also begin the reprogramming of your subconscious mind eliminating limiting beliefs and negative patterns of thinking about yourself to positive beliefs and patterns that empower you to move forward with confidence and self love.
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The tool is called “Declaration” and is a tool that you create and has two parts that you apply in a verbal and visual way that is so simple yet so powerful.

Part one
Step one; take a sheet of paper and fold it in half, on the right hand side at the top of the sheet write the word negative, on the left hand side write the word positive.
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Step two; on the right hand side of the page write down the first five negative things that people have said or that negative voice says about you in your head. Do not use I am statements remember this is the voice not your inner being, don’t accept the label!
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Step three; on the left hand side of the page write the five opposites to the negatives you wrote on the rights side of the page and with each opposite add a positive statement about your physical being. Use I am statements claim your power!
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EXAMPLE;
Positive …………………………………………….. Negative
I am Fearless and I have an awesome smile!……………………. You are too scared
I am Intelligent and I am healthy ………………………….. You are stupid
I am worthy and I am sexy …………………………….You don’t deserve that car
I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to………………You are not good enough
And I am strong
I am intuitive and a chunk of man candy ….you are a dreamer and make stuff up
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Part Two:
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Step one; tear the sheet in half set the negative side aside…
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Step two: Take the positive list and read it aloud three times, do this at least twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening. The more you read it the deeper and faster the process.
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The first time you read it read it in your normal voice out loud, then read it in a loud voice a “Galactic or Epic” voice raise your arms while you read it this way declare it to the Universe the third time your say it say it in a soft gentle and reverent voice. Remember it is important to read the list out loud at least three times in three different levels of voice.. Read it silently rather than Galactic if that makes you uncomfortable yet mouth the words. The Galactic is preferred for its movement of energy and the chemical reaction it produces in your body… Everything is energy and moving energy is momentum, the tool is a too, that establishes momentum and personal empowerment.
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Step three; take the negative side and… WAD IT UP AND STAMP ON IT, BURN IT, THROW IT AWAY, FLUSH IT, DOUBLE STAMP IT WITH BOTH FEET do whatever makes you happy as you let it be known that you are not that!
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I hope you may have found this post useful, perhaps you don’t need this kind of tool you may however know someone that is in a rough place with a loss of confidence feeling beat up and labeled. You can share a few minutes and help them create a Declaration tool that will help them empower themselves and begin changing their lives in a positive way!
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Thank you for sharing your time with me and taking the time to read this post. You are awesome and I am grateful for your presence. I woulds also like to say thank you for being the positive change our world so needs as you share your love and your smiles making our world a better place for all we share it with. 
Namaste!