Magic of Love Part 2

Continuing from Magic of Love Part 1 .

I have answered my own question.

Big Magic may simply happen to some degree, but for the most part, the love and the magic you receive are what you get in return for what you contribute by just being who you are.

Letting your soul take the lead instead of your ego brings magic into your life. Tweet: Letting your soul take the lead, instead of your ego, brings magic into your life.

My daughters missed each other when my oldest daughter went off to the university. My older daughter discovered a paint-your-own pottery studio on campus.  It ended up being the perfect place for them to go together on visits to enjoy each other’s company and stay connected.

Fast forward to when we moved to our country home almost two years ago.  I had to rent office space because my job required a faster home internet connection than we have at our new house (our download speed is <1).  Over time “one thing led to another” and we ended up buying a very small office building nearby.  In the meantime, I had quit the job that needed faster internet access.

Last year our gift shop had a vendor booth outdoors at a nearby flea market.  The vendor next to us sold concrete statues and was liquidating his business because he had been doing it a while and wanted to try something new.  “One thing led to another” and I bought some of his smaller molds.  My parents added to those giving my younger daughter some more fun concrete molds for Christmas this past year.

So now we are in the midst of figuring out what to do with the building and having a little fun with it.  In Big Magic there is a story Gilbert tells of a playwright who had a flop of a play with bad reviews.  He then spent a summer painting stars on his daughter’s bicycle and her neighborhood friends’ bikes and got his mojo back.

Because of my work (or maybe it’s just in my nature) my mojo wears thin at times.  We are doing some painting projects just for fun and some with purpose at the new building. The painting is helping with my mojo and I’m excited because I can feel the magic working.

The magic swirled into my car one day as I was on my way to work.  There was a radio show discussing the recent Youth in Iceland program.  That topic has been in the back of my mind for a few months percolating.  I’m afraid to say it out loud or commit to the idea in writing.  I mentioned it briefly to my dad a month or so ago and we haven’t talked about it since.

If you haven’t heard, Ohio has a drug problem (and alcohol).  It is one of the main reasons I don’t want to go back to working at the bedside in a hospital.  I really don’t have it in me (at least not at this time in my life).  In Ohio this problem is not exclusive to youths… it’s across generations.

I created my other blog so that I wouldn’t have “scope creep” or bring my depressing topics into the wonderful area of gift shops.  But there is a little bit of overlap here so I’m going to let it creep in a tiny bit.

At this point you are wondering how that connects to my story?  It’s a tiny thread (that maybe only I can see) holding it together.

We have hosted a couple of events that were to paint-your-own concrete pieces at the new building.  For instance, one day we painted stepping-stones, another day we painted gnomes.  It was a low turnout which was fine because we didn’t advertise it much and we were just experimenting to see if there was any interest.

I believe that some of the behavioral problems and drug problems I am seeing can be treated with stronger communities, beauty, and a little more joy, love, & hope.

The end of the second quarter has arrived.  A few 2017 goals are being met sooner than expected.  We are building on some of those and setting new goals.

We will continue to work on our previous goals and share gift giving ideas and products we enjoy or carry.

Also, going forward in 2017 I would like to set a goal to bring some magic my community. Obviously that is not a SMART goal.  Here are three SMART goals I came up with that I hesitate to say out loud because they might be a bit of work and I’m going to feel a little exposed:

  1. In 2017 I will host 8 or more events inviting the community to create with us.
  2. I will going to further research starting a meet-up and/or book club to use to host regular events in 2018.
  3. I will organize a fall and/or Christmas “gift shop hop” with other area businesses to promote community.

This post may seem a little abstract, but that’s the way magic and ideas work for me. This post has already gotten a little lengthy for my tastes so coming up I will show you our painting projects I’ve been referring to,  I’ll tell you about other books we’ve read that have added to the magic, and  I’ll share our the tiny doors & fairy gardens we’ve been creating.

We’d love to hear if you have ever had a time when you “painted stars on bicycles” just because you could?

Feature photo is the cupcake that started some of this magic and our dog Copper wondering why in the world I’m taking a picture of the cupcake instead of him 😀

Here’s the link again to buy the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

We’ll See

Have you ever heard the old saying “promises are meant to be broken?”  Well, I say they’re not.  I think promises are gifts you can give to others that are not meant to be broken.

When my kids were younger I learned very quickly not to make a promise unless it was for something I was certain I would do.  Otherwise I would inevitably hear the bitter accusation, “But Mommy – you promised!”

So instead I would say, “We’ll see.”  This was easier to back out of if I needed to.  For instance:

“Mommy can we go to Kings Island next week?” they would ask. *

“We have a lot to do and it’s expensive, but we’ll see,” I would answer.

Then they would crow, “We’ll see! She said we’ll see! That always means yes!”

“No that means we’ll see if we have time and if we have the money.”

Often times “we’ll see” did turn into yes.  But sometimes it turned into no.  So what’s the point?

The point is about not losing  trust.  That’s Psychology 101 – do what you say you are going to do.  If you don’t you will lose people’s trust and they will stop believing your words.  If I make a promise to them that we are going to the movies tomorrow then we better be going to the movies tomorrow.  Maybe it’s not such a big deal when you are talking about going to the movies.

The bigger the promise the more important it is to keep. Tweet: The bigger the promise the more important it is to keep.

In the United States we are in an election year.  The stakes are high.  Politicians of all people should be aware of Psychology 101.  Don’t make big promises if you don’t intend to keep them.

So how then would it be if instead of making promises I always say “we’ll see.”  I’m not certain, but I don’t think that would pan out well either.  If you can’t ever make a promise you would get the effect of appearing to always be wishy-washy.  People would feel they couldn’t count on me for anything.  Thinking of the aforementioned politicians they would appear as if they didn’t stand for anything.

So instead promises should be made when they are called for.  Not only will the task at hand be accomplished, but also trust will be built.  If I tell my manager I’ll do the presentation at the meeting and I deliver it as promised.  Voila!  I’ve taken care of the work that needed to be done and I’ve built a little trust with my manager that she can count on me.

If you don’t like the phrase “we’ll see” maybe you could try “barring unforeseen circumstances.”  That is what my aunt always said.  Added bonus: if you are using it with the kids it is also a vocabulary lesson.  If you are using it at the office it sounds more intelligent than “we’ll see.”

Ack! There was something else on my mind I was going to add about this, but now I can’t remember what it was.  Maybe you can think of what it was?  Add a comment and let me know what you think.  Otherwise, when I remember I’ll add it later.

*(Kings Island is a nearby amusement park. I’ll tell you more about that another time.)

via Daily Prompt: Promises

Happiness and Engagement

So if you have read any of my previous blog posts you might be asking why I’ve been reading about happiness. I want to stop here and clarify that I am happy with my life. I’ve been given opportunities that not everyone gets.  Some of them I’ve blown, but I like to think that more often than not I open the door when I hear opportunity knocking.  If I were to quit right now and do nothing different for the rest of my life I’d say I’ve been successful.

However, at a recent employer for the first time ever I felt the message coming from others that I’m negative and “not happy.”  What? Me? The same person that often gets accused of smiling too much?  What I discovered is the people pointing at me were only doing so because I disagreed with some of their practices which I felt to be unethical.  I didn’t follow along and do everything I was told to do without question which I’m sure was frustrating for them.  So they labeled me “unhappy.”

I must admit that I do have a little bit of sadness the creeps in when I see others struggling.  Some people I know would say that those struggling do so because of the choices they make.  I don’t believe that to be full-proof reasoning.  I know that people often struggle due to circumstances out of their control.

The challenge I face then is how to remain positive and hopeful despite some of the injustices that I see all around me.

I am thankful for this good life I have. Tweet: I am thankful for this good life I have.

How do I speak up for myself in a non-confrontational manner?  How do I speak up for those being trod on that can’t or won’t speak for themselves?

That leads me to engagement.  It seems everywhere I turn I hear conversation about increasing engagement.  I think it is hard to have positive, happy, and engaged people if they are made to feel powerless.  When people feel powerless people lose hope.  When hope is lost, happiness and engagement are lost too.

So the question leaders should be asking themselves if they want engagement is how do I empower others?  The answer is simple.  Start by caring about them and the things that matter to them and impact their lives.

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