Mon. April 29, 2019: Make the World a Better Place – The Big Picture — #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, April 29, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

All month, we’ve discussed ways to make the world a better place. Self, home, work, community.

All of those are building blocks to do the bigger things in THE WORLD.

There are the basics — you vote in every election, especially the local ones, for the person you think has the most integrity and will do the best job in the bigger picture.

You SERVE JURY DUTY. Yes. Stop trying to get out of it. Make the system work. Serve every time you’re called, without moaning. Pay attention. Weigh evidence. Because one day it might be you behind that table, staring at a jury, hoping for justice.

You can’t fix everything, but you can choose one or two organizations with missions about which you’re passionate. Give what you can financially. If your skills match the group’s needs and you can, volunteer some time. You’ll meet great people with the same passions, also working to make things better.

Support your local library. It is a bastion of community, learning, intelligence, curiosity, and social justice. Library funding is decided based on circulation numbers (how many books are checked out) and how many people attend programs. Do both. Make a financial contribution if you can. Volunteer if you can. Create a program if you can. Keep your local library healthy, and it will keep your community healthy.

We’re all hit with way too many demands for money from organizations every day. It’s hard not to feel guilty that we can’t help everyone. But pick what matters to YOU. Not what someone else tells you matters. But what matters to YOU.

If you can’t afford to give money or time, because you’re working too many jobs trying to keep a roof over your head and food on the table, then it’s even more important that you vote in every election. Vote for those who will raise your wages, make sure you have health care, protect the environment so there’s actually a world in which to live.

Stand up for what matters to you. Don’t watch and say nothing when someone is attacked. To stand by and do nothing is to agree with the action.

We live in a world where doing nothing is no longer an option.

Be kind whenever possible. Don’t be a doormat. Stand up for yourself with quiet strength and dignity. Don’t hide behind “honesty” as an excuse for cruelty, and call it out when others do so.

Keep working on your own little patch of the world, making it better by the way you live every day. Then see where you can make a difference on a bigger scale.

How do you make the world a better place? By being the best person you can be, staying true to your core integrity, and walking your talk.

Published in: on April 29, 2019 at 6:06 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. March 25, 2019: Wrapping Up the Month of Kindness #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, March 25, 2019
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

How did you month go, trying to do small anonymous acts of kindness throughout the month and not broadcast it?

March was a challenging month on a lot of fronts. Mercury in retrograde didn’t help. There was lots of good stuff, but it didn’t mean the good stuff was easy.

I wasn’t always successful; I was often impatient. But I did make an effort.

One of the best things about the challenge was that it made me more mindful in the moment. I considered words and actions before speaking or doing. It was living in the moment and making as positive choice for the future as I could.

That didn’t mean being a doormat. I’ve called out someone on a racist comment flung like a punch at another person in our conversation. I’ve stood up for myself when an old white man demanded an apology for a piece of my writing because “I don’t like angry women.”

To which I responded, “Then don’t make me angry.”

He backed down.

It’s always a mixed bag. People are people, and since sometime in 2016, and it’s been open season for those who want to run around and be their worst selves and treat people as badly as possible. It makes them feel powerful and good.

Being kind doesn’t mean allowing that sort of behavior. Being kind means cutting it off. Fighting cruelty is part of behaving with kindness.

I hope to take what I’ve learned this month and keep working on it, building on it. There will be plenty of times when I fail. But I’m going to keep making the effort.

How did your month go?

Published in: on March 25, 2019 at 6:24 am  Comments Off on Mon. March 25, 2019: Wrapping Up the Month of Kindness #UpbeatAuthors  

Mon. March 18, 2018: Kindness is not Weakness #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, March 18, 2019
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde


In light of the New Zealand terrorist attack, I thought it was important to talk about how kindness is not weakness.

Often, when someone is kind, it is misinterpreted as weak. Part of the premise of my not-quite-cozy Nautical Namaste mystery series (under the Ava Dunne name) hinges on the fact that my protagonist, Sophie, is mistaken for weak when in reality she is kind. She walks her talk. She does her best to live the yogic path she teaches. Part of that path is meeting the world with kindness.

That does not mean she doesn’t fight back when someone tries to hurt her or hurt someone about whom she cares. Quite the contrary. She’s strong. She can be tough without being hard.

But she is also kind. She does her best to make everyone in class feel good about where they are at that moment. It’s one of the tenets practiced at Kripalu that I admire most, and I wanted to fold that in as part of the series.

You are fine where you are. From where you are, you work for positive change to change what you know needs to change.

Offering a helping hand instead of a striking blow is not weakness.

It is something we must start practicing as individuals. If the current poison of hatred can spread the way it has, it can and must be countered with an antidote of kindness in strength.

Take a look at the Strength card in your favorite tarot deck. (If you don’t have a favorite tarot deck yet, I recommend the Robin Wood Deck or the Everyday Witch Tarot or the Steampunk Tarot). Look at the image on the Strength card. There is strength, integrity, purpose. And kindness.

We can’t change the greater world until we change our own part of it. By practicing kindness in strength, we can create a ripple effect that counters the wave of hatred that’s been the long game since the Reagan years, which is now coming into full flower.

We can stop this. We can change this. But only if we don’t turn away, pretend it doesn’t exist, and pretend that our daily interactions either enable it or counter it.

Be strong. Be kind. Make the world a better place.


Published in: on March 18, 2019 at 5:18 am  Comments Off on Mon. March 18, 2018: Kindness is not Weakness #UpbeatAuthors  
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Mon. March 11, 2019: Kindness to Self – #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, March 11, 2019
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
My birthday

Today is my birthday, which is always a mixed day. I want to have a happy day, but it’s hard not to beat myself up about not getting everything done in the previous year that I wished.

So, today, I have to be kind to myself.

That doesn’t mean lowering my standards or letting myself off the hook. But it means giving myself today as a personal holiday, and enjoying the day without bringing in unnecessary baggage.

Personal holidays are important. These are days that have nothing to do with anyone else’s calendar or traditional holidays. They are days you take for yourself, just because the day has meaning, and you get to do whatever you want. August 1 is one such day for me. I’m resolving to turn my birthday into another.

So, today, I resolve not to get caught up in other people’s drama. I’m just going to nod and smile and move on. I resolve not to focus on the half-empty, but the half-full.

On a practical level, I will write today. I will spend a few hours onsite with a client. Then, I’m going out to lunch, and then to meditation group, and then have a nice dinner and a quiet evening doing what I want with whom I want.

My kindness to myself.

How will you be kind to yourself this week?


Mon. Nov. 20, 2017: Intent for the Week

Monday, November 20, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Instead of a musing about the weekend, I’m doing another “intent” post for the week.

Last week, it was about speaking kindly. For the most part, I stayed true to that, even when I was caught up in frustrating situations. I worked on clear communication, but without going on the offensive. Even when I got irritated.

In other words, I was nice to the webhost who always lets me down than I usually am (because I am so tired of paying them when they’re useless), and I was even-tempered with the non-delivery. Because let’s find all the facts first instead of blaming the easiest person to blame.

I also held my tongue a few times when someone revealed something about themselves that I found telling. But, instead of commenting in the moment, I’m storing it up to see how it balances out. It makes me not trust this specific individual, and we’ll see what happens from here.

So, I kept it in mind, and, while my internal monologue wasn’t always kind, what I actually spoke was at least measured.

So what do we concentrate on this week?

Since it’s Thanksgiving in the US this week, I’m going to focus on gratitude. That sounds overused, but one can never be too grateful. I will find moments of thankfulness in every day, and, even when I’m frustrated, search to find a way for gratitude in what I learn from said frustration.

We’ll see how I do! 😉

I plan to be offline from Thursday – next Monday, although I may schedule quick posts for Thursday and Friday.

Tomorrow will be the regular writing post, and also a reminder to hop on over to A Biblio Paradise. My special guest is Patsy Collins.

Published in: on November 20, 2017 at 1:45 am  Comments (1)  
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