30 days of Grateful- 2016
30. Today I am grateful for a clean slate, with the first day of 2017 being just around the corner. Oddly feeling a little bit nostalgic for some of the challenges I have faced this year. It's ironic that many humans spend an extraordinary amount of time pondering what tomorrow will bring and yet, yesterday determines today more than we prefer to admit.
2016 has been a year of triumph for some and also a year of great struggle for many.
Do we take what we know and use it? Or do we lament what wasn't right and hold onto that for dear life ?
It's true, I do think too much and it's ok because, I think- therefore I think.
If any one of us are meant to live the life of our dreams, it is vastly important to weigh both sides. I am not saying that we should wallow in what is not good, but we should make a concerted effort to spend a little time looking at the yin and yang that rules the universal thread.
There is always a great hope in humankind on the cusp of a new calendar for world peace, or for the underdog arriving in a blaze of glory. That sincere hope is one of the greatest gifts we share collectively and more of that mindset will surely push forward the enormous change that is needed.
Referring directly to my traditional upbringing, the parental lessons of hard-work and devotion offer a clear call for applied action. If there is only one thing I do, or you do this next year it should be to make a conscious effort to right wrongs, be more forgiving and to seek positive progress. Applied action is the only difference between yesterday and today, and when energized into decisive action, there can be no result except progress. I for one, am ready to try until I get it right and am grateful for the chance at all.
If you are an Indie writer and wish to join my 2017 roster for #IndieSpotlight, either highlighting a new project or talking about something that offers value to other writers looking to be inspired, please contact me via my web page. I still have a few months open to fulfill and love to collaborate and support fellow creatives searching for their " One Thousand, " (as Tim Ferris teaches- that is your ultimate fan base. )
To expound that I am grateful to you for friendship, community, readership and reviews is important as well. Without all of the above, I would not be where I am in my journey right now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who have offered these things freely and the best to you and yours for a Happy, Healthy and even more Successful 2017.
If you enjoy my outlook, and you haven't checked my published writing out- please consider reading one of my novels or short stories, then honestly reviewing it as well. My writing future depends on your support and I am thrilled to have you here with me, climbing the mountain.
It has been a great pleasure to be grateful and positive for an entire month with you.
Until next time, find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write.
29. I have to put this out there today, I am saddened that I only have one day left of this blog. I ever won't stop being grateful, but I am already missing the ah-ha moments of clarity to share with you each day. Today I am grateful for trust.
There she goes again! Girl is drinking the coconut Kool-aide. Trust goes both ways, so just give me a chance here...
Look me in the eyes when I am talking to you! Ha ha!
Have you ever driven into a thick fog where the road literally disappears? Flown on an airplane in a scary thunderstorm?
Yes, and yes- me too. Unable to see the road, or the airport we have to trust that things will be ok and the engineer, pilot or whatever the case may be, did what they were supposed to do.
Trust is something that takes time to build in other areas of our lives as well, but it can be destroyed with a snap of your fingers. In many ways I would put it in the same category as a spider web.
It has been a crazy year and honestly one I don't think I could repeat if I had to, but know this- I appreciate and am endlessly grateful that you are listening and trust me enough, to be here right now. Reading my thoughts on this blog and joining me in a whole slew of reasons to be grateful.
Until tomorrow- Find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write.
28. Today I am grateful for Freedom Of Speech. I was looking at something on the newswire about a young woman who gave her opinion publicly and now apparently she is ineligible for marriage, potential employment etc. Is this the Dark Ages or 2016? If I can locate it again, I will post a link here.
It is important as American's to remember how fortunate we are that we can say what we want, use symbols how we want and to write what we want.
It's possible that if I was single again and on a dating web site, that if I wrote my bio a certain way, I would not be the popular girl... Who reads those things anyway? LOL.
Seriously though, I thought about this topic a lot when the tragic incident happened in Charleston last year. Freedom of speech allows us to immediately know who we are dealing with as well.
Think about this- If we have very opposing views on something and one person in a room of one hundred-
wears this particular symbol on their jacket.
We are free to recognize, that person will probably never be our best friend and to steer clear. What a time saver and a relief! There are so many reasons that it is really an amazing gift that at least for now, we have the right to voice our opinion and most of us will still be employed afterwards too.
Until tomorrow, find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write. Xoxo Bibiana
27. Is boondoggle a word you can use along with grateful? Good intentions aside, I managed to misplace a lovely grateful addition written by a friend, fellow writer and INDIE.
So today I will take her sage advice and instead move forward and simply talk about how grateful I am to identify as an Indie. Every day I am joined by a growing group of creatives who have eschewed traditional platforms and have literally,
(sorry the joke was right there!) gone off-roading to seek their dreams.
It's funny that I and most people I know were given a formula for life and what they call success. Brush your teeth, get good grades, don't spit on the sidewalk etc.
What we are not always told is, if you don't fit into the square what then?
Are you destined to sweep the office floors for the person who did all the right things? Or will you be brave and eschew money for freedom? Being an Indie Writer is the most amazing and frustrating endeavor I have ever set forth on my list of goals. Why? Well that's easy.
People might pat your hand at first and say, 'That's nice dear' and are so thrilled you found a new hobby. It's hard to make money at this, but it is possible you just have to keep at it. On the upside, it is exhilarating to wake up each day and ask myself, what will you do? What will you say and how many friends will relate and collaborate with you?
If you have read my Southern Fiction novel, Carolina Spirit- Gus says it best, "A crap ton!"
Seriously though, it is so incredibly cool to be at the mercy of your own work ethic to get those amazing thoughts out there in the world. If you have something to say in traditional publishing, potentially it must fit into a very commercialized understanding... Are you really offering what the world needs right now?
Look around and know this, we are being fed what the establishment wants us to know. Indie's are rebels to the highest power and what the world needs is more truth, more honesty and more real. Just sayin'
P.S. If you have read and enjoyed a book, artwork, photo, music etc. Please take time to put up a review. It means everything that you support the new voices, because we need you as much as you need us.
Until tomorrow, Find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write. xoxo
26. I was thinking deeply about what really drives humans, as I padded about today drinking coffee. How could I have missed this one?
Family is something to be incredibly grateful for and not just blood relations, but all kinds, my friends are my family too.
If you have a family that has let you down, or does not care for you the way you deserve, know this...You can build a new family with your friends and you should, you really should.
Perhaps we all might be guilty of taking this important connection for granted sometimes? Ah, I will just call them tomorrow or see you next week. Never considering that might not actually work out and we begin the infinity loop again.
Being alone sometimes is what we all need and as I get older a few hours by myself is pretty fabulous. But being lonely and not having anyone to look after your feelings from day to day sucks. No one should ever have to feel that way, but you and I both know that some of us visit that place more often than we should.
Sometimes it's bad choices, or even poor circumstances that create this chasm and other times it's just rotten luck or a demanding boss that doesn't understand why a week away is so important to you.
Regardless of the reasons we create or otherwise, having family and friends to support and cheer us on makes all the difference.
I often catch myself pondering the cruel person and why they lash out, how can they be so horrible? Then after much consideration I realize that it may very well be, that they are sad, lonely and need more love than they are willing to admit.
So on that note, if you have a community or even one person who sees you, as you really are and loves you back. Be grateful my people, because life is more beautiful when it's shared.
Until tomorrow, Find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write. xoxo
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25. Strange how one thing really does lead to another, thoughts and otherwise. I am grateful for heroes & heroines today. I will just write hero from now on and expect I that I am using this as an interchangeable M/F word.
I got the coolest t-shirt yesterday. Fire engine red with a WW symbol in gold. Um yeah!!! Cannot wait to wear it.
Then later my family went to see Rogue 1 together and again in many of the previews and woven in the thread of the movie itself there was a predominant message. The message was crystal clear-
Why the heck do we need them and why be grateful? That conversation could get its own talk show, but for now... consider if there were no heroes in stories, real-life or otherwise. A few of mine are, Princess Leia, Wonder Woman, Scout from, To Kill A Mockingbird and Velvet Brown are just a few that have affected my perception.
Without characters like this, bad would always prevail, no one would ever have the guts to face off with the person or group, monster etc.
So, without a belief system that good might actually win sometimes and one brave person can face down a whole army- perception of so many things for humans would change for the worse.
I would be the first to admit that sometimes these stories in fiction or real life are almost too hard to believe. Yet... we want to don't we? There is a deep satisfaction in knowing that sometimes the underdog not only wins, but wins big.
So, when you read about your fave superhero or you simply know or meet a brave everyday human... be deeply grateful, because without that message we would all lose.
If you are enjoying my posts, I write books and short stories with a few heroes of my own, and always appreciate readers and reviews.
Until tomorrow, Find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write. xoxo
24. Grateful today for me is really simple.
Today is Christmas (my fave holiday) and against the odds, my family will be together. The world might attempt for a few hours to be peaceful and I just inhaled the cutest cinnamon roll I have ever seen.
As you must realize by now, I am a writer. This morning I was thinking about one of the oldest and definitely most translated stories of all time. The version below is what my brain did after one cup of coffee ...
A prince is born from a virgin mother in an ancient city, as three wise men from afar are dispatched by a powerful king to see what this ruckus is all about. The wise men carry enough frankincense and myrrh to buy a couple of Ferarri's to offer this venerable prince when he is born.
Upon deep contemplation, the streetwise and learned men realize exactly who the prince really is. Then refuse to give up intel to the jealous king- never to return to their homeland- after they pay their deepest respects. Honoring the newborn prince, who will ultimately change the world.
That of course is my uber modern version. From the standpoint of fiction, this story would most likely never make it to a publisher's desk, yet from the belief of all Christians it is the undisputable beginning of it all.
Away from that, to me, the very best thing about Christmas has always been an attempt for generosity towards others, a resurgence of hope and good tidings for all of humanity.
So, no matter how you celebrate, know that today is a day of wonder and hope. Those are both, two fabulous things to be grateful for!
Merry Christmas everyone! Be kind to each other! If you are an extended member of my family or a friend of mine, I wish you were here with me today to celebrate, tear up the house and just be happy to be alive. xoxo
Find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Read.
23. This post has been a joy to write each day and on this Christmas Eve, I find myself astounded and grateful for so many good memories. It's unnerving sometimes how a memory comes rushing in.
I was playing hooky with my favorite partner in crime at this fantastic little Southern soul restaurant aptly named "Gypsy Soul" in Rincon, a bedroom community north of Savannah just a few days ago.
One taste of that macaroni salad took me straight to memories of my great aunt Anna. She has been gone awhile and yet she still walks with me. What? Salad reminds you of a person? I am not that random I promise.
The salad was achingly old-school, perfectly balanced and clearly well thought out. Like something she might have made for a summer picnic or a social. She was someone who I wish now I had spent more time with.
Considering her stubborn quirks, grace and ebullient personality even more closely, this inspired me to write a new short story that I am aptly naming in her honor, The Getaway.
This is the day and evening I reflect a lot about people, family and experiences that have formed my opinions on so many things in my life. I hope to make new memories this year and embrace the ones that leave a sense of calm, joy or simply make me laugh like my aunt Anna did that fateful Christmas Eve so long ago. Every thing I will bake and prepare has a link to a memory. So today in my kitchen, I will return to the lessons of all of the women who provided me their wisdom and skills.
Although I never knew my husband's great grandmother Beulah, she smiles down from my dining room wall every year when I make my coconut cake on Christmas Eve and place it safely under the glass dome. I contemplate if my recipe, rather than my sparkling personality is what won the heart of the man who has changed my life forever. Because according to him, it's better than hers was.
Somewhere out in the universe, grandma Beulah is smiling at that bold statement. So today no matter what you do or where you go, be grateful for the memories you have from long ago and the even better ones you will make today.
Until tomorrow, find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write. xoxo
22. Today's grateful is a pretty easy one. I am up way too early, because sometimes life is like that. I found an old cookbook in my bookshelf and am working on doggie biscuits for Milo my favorite service dog. I met him on one of my extended rides on my bike Shadow. His best friend is a super cool human and I look forward to seeing her today when I drop off my Christmas doggie treats and hopefully get a few minutes to be social with her and Milo.
I am grateful for so many things today and honored to introduce you to an inspiring human I know simply as, Alison.
She is a soul writer, ( What's that you ask?... It is a writer who is unafraid to use her life lessons and never flinches from the purpose of the message. ) Alison is also a busy grad student finishing her thesis and one of the most hopeful human beings I have ever had the pleasure to know. Her touching holiday greetings are enclosed below-
What I’m Grateful For-
I’m grateful for my health. I have had cancer twice, and so I know that life is too short, and precious. I am able to create, to do things because I am still here. I love to read, write, draw, and paint.
All these different interests, passions feed into each other and help me with my literary art. I am inspired by all of my ancestors, including the Ghanaian and Chinese, who are known for being powerful storytellers. What they went through, their struggle, reminds me that I am not alone, that we have a long way to go, but at the same time, some progress has been made.
Storytelling is important; it tells us who we are, what we are, and where we are going. The past, present, and future are connected. No matter what we do, it takes a village--we don’t accomplish anything on our own. This is what I know.
I am also grateful for friends and family who believe in me, especially when there were those who didn’t. That makes a world of difference. These are the things I am grateful for.
I am also happy that with The Sisterhood, my young adult novel, I won the award for 2016 Writer Of The Year by Diversity magazine. It will help propel me on my creative journey.
I am looking forward to 2017, and all the new experiences that it will bring, including going to Chapter.con, where I’ll be meeting fantasy authors from around the world in London, England; and being part of a panel talking about the importance of diversity in young adult literature. I am happy to be a part of Little Bird Publishing House, as an author, and to be involved in such a wonderful, memorable event.
Click on the book cover to purchase her writing on Amazon.
If you don't know my friend, well you really to get to know each other. The future is ours and with friends like Alison, life is so much more beautiful. Find her on Twitter @mythologist200
Merry Christmas to you Alison and all my friends. Thank you for participating in my joyful blog and just for being a kindred soul on my journey. It means so much to be part of The Sisterhood with you.
Until tomorrow, Find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Write. xoxo Bibiana
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