Generosity is Key

Have you ever noticed how the earth spontaneously offers of itself? Water flows, breezes blow, plants grow.

Some people are similar. Watch them, for they usually are the ones with great prosperity. Just what is it about generosity that tends to open the floodgate of abundance?

It is a topic worth studying this year. Watch for the people who seem most times to have a smile on their lips. What is it they are doing in their consistent activities? What generates that glow?

If you are to succeed in your goals this year, it will be important that you study those you feel are successful. We’re not talking the unhappy ones who may have ascended some metallic career ladder, but who are miserable and yell not just with their voices but with their habits, bodies, approaches.

No, find the people who are at peace. What makes them tick? Watch them. What you learn may astonish you as they move throughout humanity, blessing the lives of others. Generosity very nearly always is at the heart of their efforts.

So as you analyze your goals for this year (you HAVE written them down, right?), be thinking about the parameter of generosity. Why is it so often the key to a happy life? And once you’ve discovered your answer, make sure to right it down…for your posterity’s sake.

For that is what a generous person would do, right? :0)

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen’s book: Missing

I get so tired of smutty books. You know the kind: books with content that is salacious, contain foul words, etc. Call it what you want, but for me I decided some time ago to pick books very carefully so that I feel better after having read them, rather than feeling like I just descended into some filthy mud puddle.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen has written a novel that I can highly recommend. It is called Missing. If you like suspense novels, I think you may enjoy this one. Here is the storyline blurb from the publisher:

“A BYU-Idaho choir tour in British Columbia turns out to be anything but ordinary when soloist Stacie Cox spots a kidnapped child from Rexburg during a performance. Before Stacie can alert the authorities, the little girl disappears. Stacie vows to find and rescue her, a choice that forces her to deal with her guilt-ridden past and another little girl that haunts her dreams. When the handsome Matt Brennan helps Stacie in her search, she tries to resist the attraction she feels for him. Yet as he gains her friendship and trust, her resolve to never fall in love begins to crumble. And after a series of harrowing events, Stacie must decide if she is willing to sacrifice her life–and a possible future with Matt–to save a stranger.

I enjoyed the first chapter as it introduced us to Stacie as a child. I found the scenario very compelling and believable and I could empathize with this young person who had been blamed for a crime that was not her fault. Flash forward eight years and you now find Stacie aware–more so than the average individual–of children’s suffering. This propels us into the story where Stacie now determines to sacrifice herself to try to wipe away the guilt she carried from the experience in the first scene of the book.

This is Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen’s first novel. Although there were a few spots where I felt transitions could have helped make a scene or two feel less coincidental (i.e. the diner scene), I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ronda has a second book set to come out this spring. I am excited for her. I feel that she is a writer that will continue to bring books to bless us all… books that will get us to think and help us to stand outside our tiny worlds and consider the world of another.

You just might find yourself more aware of the importance of kindness and courage after reading a book by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen. Kudos to her for writing pleasurable fiction that uplifts and doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve rolled around in a filthy mud puddle! Here is a link to her website and here is a link to where you can purchase your own copy of Missing! I cannot wait to read her next book… and that is saying a lot for me.

Careful…Your Thoughts Are Showing

Have you ever seen a baby scowl? Everyone in the room knows what he is thinking!

 Some of us adults think we hide our emotions. But whereas our faces may not show the scowl, the fruits of our efforts do.

What does this mean?

Let’s analyze a figurative writer. We’ll call her Eva. Eva desires to write a novel. She sits down on January 1 and types up a title to her work. She tries to write a few paragraphs, grows frustrated with the beginning sentence, and shoves the work aside until January 2.

January 2 she shows up at her desk, ready to create. But then the stupid character on the third page just won’t behave. Eva throws her pencil across the room and storms to the kitchen for a soda. Complaining to her roommate, she decides to go buy some twinkies.

March 14 she finally shows back up at her writing desk. By then, she’s tired of even thinking she’s a writer, wads up the three pages of her “novel”, bites them hard with her teeth…just to show them who is boss…and then flushes them down the toilet.

Thought precedes action. What do Eva’s actions expose about what she was thinking, about the internal self-talk she allowed?

Let’s look at another figurative writer. We’ll call her Cassidy. Cassidy also starts a novel on January 1 and consistently writes on it every Saturday. She completes it on December 31 of that year.

What were the differences? Cassidy too struggled with that idiot character on the third page. She hated the plot impasses she periodically encountered. But she didn’t give up. Why?

It all comes down to the invisible stories we tell ourselves ABOUT us, about our project, about our ability to do and work through/past hard things. Babies’ faces show what they think; our results show what we think.

Ever heard, “If you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, you’re right”?

Cassidy kept on writing. Why? Because the stories she was telling herself ABOUT HERSELF were different than Eva’s internal feedback or self-talk.

What are the thoughts you tell yourself when you hit an impasse or a roadblock to a goal you were working on? It is important you decipher this, because it will make all the difference in whether you choose to be an Eva or a Cassidy.

Do you tell yourself that challenges are too much a bother to deal with? Or do you tell yourself that challenges are simply a part of life and you can’t wait to work through them so you can get to the other side?

People may be able to hide what they’re feeling by showing a passive face. But just remember this: your thoughts are eventually made transparent by whether or not you gave up on your goals.

(Hmmm. Do you self-talk in downbeat or upbeat ways? It will make all the difference whether you will achieve your goals or not. This just might be worth  taking some time to journal about!)