Yes, Do!

Too often, we hear the words “NO” and “DON’T.'‘ We must strive to hear the bits of positivity through the negativity in order to continue spreading love and light.

—Carolyn J. Braden 10/23/2018

 Art by Carolyn J. Braden, Media: Gelly Roll pens, Sharpie marker, BIC pencil

Art by Carolyn J. Braden, Media: Gelly Roll pens, Sharpie marker, BIC pencil

I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, recently and it made me stop and think. A couple of sentences from the Motives chapter (page 98) kept making my head spin, so I had to go back and reread the chapter to try to understand her intent better.

Here is a quote from Big Magic:

“Whenever anybody tells me they want to write a book in order to help other people, I always think, Oh please don’t. Please don’t try to help me.”

She wrote on to to explain herself a bit, and from that I was able to translate what she was trying to say (write books for yourself and if they happen to help others, then awesome!) but the sentence “Please don’t try to help me” kept blaring in my ears. The word “don’t” sounded so prescriptive when used twice in a row.

While I know Elizabeth didn't intend to be negative, “Please don’t try to help me” could have been rephrased. It was her true feelings, so I am thankful for her being so brave to put her thoughts out there like that, but the thoughts that come to my mind after reading and re-reading the chapter are simply this: We are here to help each other.

Everyone needs help. We can’t do anything alone. Even writing this piece, I had inspirational help via Elizabeth Gilbert! Humans helping humans is what our world is all about. It’s in our nature. True, you can’t help those that don’t want help (and shouldn’t go overboard trying to do so), but everything we say and do has an opportunity to reach someone.

When I write, I know it is helping me, but I also am very thoughtful in knowing someone may read my writing. I try to be positive and uplifting because it helps me, but I also hope to be that “little positive something” in someone’s life when they need it the most.

I taught myself how to do this mostly due to teaching children for over 10 years. How I said things and what I did ALWAYS had the opportunity to affect a child. I wanted to affect them in the best way possible, so I always was thinking ahead before I said or did. Doing that for so long became a life lesson to try to continuously encourage children and adults in the best way possible.

Am I perfect in what I say? Of course not! I have a new puppy in my home right now, and the words “NO” and “DON’T” are hard not to say! However, I work on a daily basis to think of better ways to say things. It’s incredibly difficult sometimes (because some people trigger the worst in us), but you have to try your best to be graceful with your words.

So, let me now turn Elizabeth’s words into a phrase I would say:

“Whenever anybody tells me they want to write a book in order to help other people, I always say to them ‘Yes, Do! Write that book because you never know how your life story may help someone else out there that dealt with a similar situation. We are all here to help each other and your book could do just that.”

While I don’t love every thought in Big Magic, I completely respect Elizabeth Gilbert and her creative talents. I know everyone doesn’t love everything I do or say, and I respect them just the same. It’d be a pretty boring world if we all liked all the same things!

If you’d like to read her book (she also wrote Eat, Pray, Love among several others), check out the link to it on Amazon.com below.

Reflections of Me: An Automatic Writing Session

I love to do automatic writing. Don’t know what that is? Here’s the definition from Merriam- Webster’s dictionary: Writing produced without conscious intention as if of telepathic or spiritualistic origin.

It’s writing that just flows out of me. I’m not sure where it comes from exactly, but I do believe my spirit team (God, my angels and spirit guides) has something to do with it.

It’s kind of what I’m doing right now. I just sat down to write and THESE WORDS started flowing out of me……

I was doing some automatic writing in my journal the other day and had a few powerful thoughts.

I’ve written the statement “Why Not Me?” numerous times in my journal. I’ve even written a piece about the statement and referenced Mindy Kaling’s book titled with the same question.

During my automatic writing session, it hit me that I don’t need to ask the question “Why not me?” anymore.

Don’t get me wrong-writing it numerous times definitely helped. It put me in a great mindset filled with confidence to keep trying new things and putting them out into the world. Writing it numerous times also brought me to a new thought: IT IS ME.

In collaboration with my spirit team, I have figured out I am not in need of questioning myself anymore. I am not in need of questioning my purpose in life anymore.

In all actuality, no one needs to question their purpose in life anymore. Our purpose is to love.

We must love each other and love what we do. With more love, our world will heal.

During my automatic writing session, I also wrote “ME reflects WE”. That’s not necessarily a new “thing” as I’ve seen some businesses use it to try to motivate their employees, however, it definitely means something a little different to me.

WE is a reflection of ME. ME stands for God in my mind.

WE ARE A REFLECTION OF GOD.

Whenever I write “ME”, that’s who I mean. GOD. I do that because unfortunately many are uncomfortable with the term GOD.

As former school teacher, I couldn’t even say the name in my classroom. So, I found a way to sneak it in from time to time. I had ladybugs everywhere (they represent God to me) and when I write or create art, I say “ME” sometimes instead of God.

I think ME represents God very well because I believe WE ARE ALL GOD. I believe we live within the being.

Sound weird?

Well, maybe I’ve absolutely lost my mind (again), but I do think it’s a nice thought. If we all believed we lived within God, we would understand our connectedness, FOR WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.

I know there are others out there that think like me and helped me reach this level of thought. Neale Donald Walsch is one of them. I finished reading his Conversations with God series a little while ago, and BOOM! His thoughts and ideas blew my mind. It brought so many questions to my mind, which I continue to explore every day and will do so until my last day in my human body.

Now I’m just going to leave this writing piece here…….

Sending my light and love to all who need it!

Carolyn Braden We Reflect Me.JPG

Carolyn's #MondayMantra - I Am a Warrior (Of Love)

Shooting at the walls of heartache
I am the warrior
Yes, I am the warrior
And victory is mine

-Song by Scandal featuring Patty Smyth, Songwriters: Nick Gilder / Holly Knight

 Art by Carolyn J. Braden, Media: Gelly Roll pen by Sakura, Sharpie marker and BIC pencil.

Art by Carolyn J. Braden, Media: Gelly Roll pen by Sakura, Sharpie marker and BIC pencil.

The 18th installment of my #MondayMantra series: I am a warrior (of love).

Working on something cool, new or good like a magical project, renovating your house (or a room in your home), getting a new job, trying to save more money, bringing a a new pet or child into your home, adding more travel to your life, writing a book (or writing anything at all), adding more exercise to your daily routine, losing weight, gaining weight, or something else?

If you don’t know it yet, “good news” or “good results” take time.

I have to remind myself of this often. The biggest reason I have to remind myself of this is because the whole concept of time is completely different for each new thing I do in my life. Some things take minutes while others take years.

I heard the song The Warrior the other day and it played on repeat in my head for the next couple of days. It made me think about what being a warrior means.

Being a warrior, to me, means doing exactly what I do when I’m at my most tired: I stand up and keep going. Some days I am really, really tired. (Don’t we all feel that way?) When that happens, I’ll rest, but I always get up and keep going.

That’s the only way you can make anything great happen, really.

I say “I am a warrior (of love)” because when I keep plugging away at trying to make something great happen, it’s because I feel it with love. If I really love something, I’ll make it happen.

Be that warrior of love.

Write it, say it, sing it until you live it. I started writing it in my journal along with the words “help me to keep going and make stuff happen!”. It’s just that little bit of encouragement I need to tell myself because as I’ve said many times before, sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader.

Sending my light and love to all who need it!

Backstory on my mantra series:

A mantra is a word, phrase, or sound that is repeated to aid in meditation. You could also compare it to a sort of prayer. I feel my journaling and writing of my mantras is a form of meditation or prayer. It calms me and helps me make better sense of my feelings and all the thoughts swimming around in my mind.

I believe saying or writing something repeatedly, as you already have it, aids one in attaining dreams and goals. If you write something as you already have it, it makes you feel, somehow, as if it is truly happening no matter how drastic or scary it may seem. It's like a trick to help your brain catch up to what your heart desires.

Need a little musical inspiration? Here’s the video for I Am the Warrior performed by Scandal and Patty Smyth (1984):