The birds are singing. The sun is shining. The days are longer. The air is warmer. The flowers are blooming and my travel clock alarm is ringing in my soul!!
It must be Spring!
I love this time of year and look forward to it with great anticipation. THIS, is MY new year. THIS is when my new year's goals hit the ground running. I LOVE the Spring!
Everything just feels so fresh and new. The winters hit me so hard, even in the South. It's still too cold, too dark and too confining. So when the first signs of Spring start to show, my soul perks up, and I know that my days of being trapped indoors are almost at an end. By this time, I am SO ready to kick my way out of my chrysalis and start my new adventures.
I am usually plotting out some grand adventure, surrounded by maps and destinations, historical points, and "must see" scenic views and lists of lists of lists, with high hopes and throwing caution to the wind... but this year, I must behave. Last year (and the year before, if I'm being honest) were a little too costly and I wasn't able to recoup my losses. So... sadly, this year, as promised, I will stay put.
But don't think I'll be idle!
The new book in the Leading with Love Series, Falling in Love with You, is scheduled to come out in May and for the first time, I'm also going to try and have the next FICTION (Miracles from Ashes) out by November. Two books in one year.... I dunno.... but I'm trying.
Plus this is a great time to try out the newer versions of the workshops on a smaller scale. Work out the kinks so when I AM ready to travel again, they will be fine-tuned and ready to be offered to the nation!! (Gotta think big, right?) And I am missing working with my teens so much that I'm thinking of pulling one or two of their workshops out of the closet and dusting them off too. (Have to keep busy so I don't think about relocating!)
I have gotten so much feedback from everyone and I am so grateful that you love my work, my stories and my mission. I just need to stay more focused and not let the lure of rivers, lakes and oceans (or the yellow dashes on the highway that always promise to lead some place completely new) distract me. Easier said than done. But keeping busy should help.
I will stay in Georgia for a while longer, but there should be plenty of new and exciting things to see right here in my own back yard. There is tons of history, and the scenery here is so beautiful. Plus with my writing, it should be enough to keep me occupied. (read: distracted!)
My heart longs for the open highways and the wanderlust whispers to my heart to go search for things I've never seen. So, I'll need you to help hold me accountable!
Spring means new beginnings...
A fresh start...
A chance to make this year amazing...
I have a lot planned for this "new year" and I hope it yields great returns!
Happy Spring, y'all!
My latest manuscript, A Detour Home, has been sent away to my team of editors and I am supposed to wait patiently until they arrive back to me covered in red ink.
It is a most anxious time for me and I have to remind myself not to text them with silly, insecure questions like: Are you reading it? Do you like it? What part are you on?
I just need to trust them and give them their space and hope it comes back marginally inked to death. (With every book, I try even harder to watch my grammar and punctuation as a competition with myself to see if I can improve with every venture.)
I do have lots of work to do in between the time that the editors are reading and when I get it back to do the correcting and formatting, like marketing plans, new projects and more, but this time, I thought I would try something new.
Once people find out that I am a full time author, they first off, wonder why I’m not rich and then they have a multitude of questions for me. I am all to happy to answer, and am flattered that people would be interested in my passion for writing and creating.
I recently put out a few memes that give snippets of some of the behind the scenes of being an author and they were well received prompting more questions.
So I thought, just in case you never get a chance to meet an author in person and ask questions, I would share the questions and the answers asked of me, here with you. I have about a dozen questions lined up from those who have previously written to me or have met me out and about, but if you’d like to add one I’d be most honored.
You can ask it in the comments below, or shoot me a message via the contact page or through my Facebook page.
Hopefully it will keep you entertained (or perhaps if there are budding authors out there, it may inspire) and it will keep me from pestering my editors and slowing down their progress. Fun experiment, wouldn’t you say?
Here’s a few inquires that I have gotten:
Please feel free to add to the list!
The answers can only apply to my writing quirks and you would probably get a different answer from every other author you meet, (or follow). But this is me and for what it’s worth, these are my quirks.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. I love writing and teaching and hope that my offerings touch your heart in the best of ways, even if sometimes it has to sting at first. I write from a place of love and hope that it brings you happiness!
Stay tuned for Operation Keep Elizabeth Distracted…
Sometimes when life gets a little tricky, we tend to think that we are someplace that we were not meant to be. And in the grand scheme of things, that may be true, but whatever brought you to this moment in your life has happened for a reason.
It is easy for us not to face things that are troubling us and so we close our eyes and just hope they go away on their own. But if we keep in mind that everyday, every experience, every meeting can be a learning opportunity. Our mistakes can be used to make us stronger, smarter and help our decisions for the future.
All the choices you have made in your past have brought you to the point to where you stand right now. Good, bad or ugly, you are where you are because of the choices you have made.
There may be reasons that you haven't gotten the success you wanted. It may just be delayed until the time is right or it might not happen at all. I heard a quote from somewhere that says we will be plagued by the same troubles until we have learned the lesson they were sent to teach us. And then another that basically says, What is yours can never miss you (regardless of the paths and sidetracking, if it was meant for you, eventually it will come to you) and what misses you, was never yours. (meaning, there could be things out there that you are struggling with over and over and no matter how hard you try, it will not come to pass.
I had a hard lesson in that example. My history is in the theatre. Live theatre and teaching kids in the arts (dance, drama, art and music). I had helped create and build a theatre company in the early '90's and just assumed that was my path. When I left that theatre company, to start a family, I assumed that I would just open another theatre company where my family resided. That was my path right? But I tried, and struggled and lost thousands of dollars for seven years before one of my student's parents bluntly told me, "Maybe this isn't what you are supposed to be doing."
I was furious! Who did she think she was?! Of course it was! It's all that I know!! I haven't done anything but theatre work for 15 years!! What else would I be doing??
I finally gave in. I was out of money, the Fine Arts Centre that I was running wasn't bringing in enough income... I had to give up. I shut it down, and shut it out of my mind for four years. I had to allow my heart and brain to open up to new ideas and yes, maybe a completely different path for me.
It took a long time and I thought for sure that I was not going to be "allowed" to work with the kids again. But I had to be still long enough to be able to hear God whispering to me.
It has been a long slow journey. There have been many lessons that I have had to learn along the way. And my hard-headedness, didn't make it any easier.
I'm not saying that even if you're on the right path that there won't be bumps and trials. (Hardly!) But as I said before, every day is a chance to learn, to improve, to hear His whispers.
I believe that I am on the right path, for however long, and I am learning to be more sensitive to what the world is trying to tell me. Good, bad or ugly, I am here at this point in my life for a reason. The choices I have made, the decisions I have followed through on and the things I have had to let go... This is my life. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.
If you are struggling right now, is there a chance that maybe this is something you're not supposed to have right at this moment? Are there other tasks you are meant to accomplish before "this particular thing" can come to fruition? Are there more teachings, reading, experiences you need to acquire? Are there things, people, places that you are meant to move away from? Or distance yourself from? If you dig deep... could this be the time you need to let go of something that is not meant to be? A hard decision to be sure, but I firmly believe that if you were meant to "have" it, you will. Maybe not now, but when the time is right.
You are where you are supposed to be. Take in all that the universe is trying to teach you and use it to its fullest!
Go ahead, think about it... You know you have one. The super powers I'm referring to today have nothing to do with melting walls with laser vision or soaring through the skies or even lifting automobiles and using them as batting practice... although, if you can do any of those things, that's pretty cool!
Dig a little deeper. What is your go-to move? Do you have the power to put others at ease in a tense situation? Are you the "glue" of the family or a circle of friends? Can you make people laugh and forget their troubles for even just a little while? Do you have the power of medicine? The power of negotiation? Does your super power require a paint brush, hammer or chisel? Does your super power come to life when you lift the hood of a vehicle, smile at a child, or sit around the board room table?
I know what you're thinking. "That's not a super power, it's just what I do."
I beg to differ. Any one can have a job, or skill, or talent, or characteristic, but it becomes a super power when it becomes such a part of you that you do things without thinking. Sometimes to reach this point, it requires hours and hours of practice, study or research. Other times it's just a part of who you are and how you react toward others and is a benefit to you or the rest of the world. Or... you might have been bitten by a toxic bug or been part of a scientific experiment gone wrong... there's that option too...
And not every talent can be classified as a super power. I CAN draw. I CAN sing. I CAN play instruments... but none of these are my super power.
I woke up thinking about it this morning. There are people in my life that I just have to stand back in awe when their super power is in action. It's amazing seeing people shine and the amount of self-confidence that comes off them is a beautiful sight to behold. At that moment, I am so proud to be a part of their circle. And watching someone figure out their super power? That's another "wow" moment. I love watching people, (usually kids) realize that one "thing" that sets them a part from everyone else.
And just for fun, let's take this one step further. Think about your super power... what other minor powers go along with it? (Example, if singing is your super power, can you also dance? write music? harmonize? sing in other languages? teach others to sing?)
How do you use your super power to benefit others? (with the singing example: Do you: give concerts? Sing for those in nursing homes or hospitals? write for new up and coming talent? teach your skills to others?)
How does your super power make you happy? (you make others smile? You earn an income? It never gets boring? It makes you smile?)
What is your Kryptonite? (smoking. alcohol. screaming. cold air.)
Who might you have in your circle? (other singers? a new style of singer? Super heroes who play instruments? Agent? Trainer?)
And who would your nemesis be? (Smokers, Another singer? Unsupportive boss?)
Now do you know what yours is? If you can't think of what it might be, ask someone close to you. I'm sure they can tell you! So I want you to take this one quick moment and acknowledge your super power- put on the cape or the tights, whatever you have to do- but take a moment to see yourself as a super hero; doing your part to keep the world running smoothly.
Share your super hero work-up with the rest of us below! Have fun with it!! Don't be shy... You are amazing and you should share your gifts with the world!
Now that the release of my second novel Waiting for the Sun has passed, I can move on to my BIG announcement!!
This has been a long time coming!! I am so excited to announce the official 2014/15 Nationwide Tour of the Total Truth Workshop!!
All year I've been doing smaller beta tests of the workshop to get out some of the bugs and to make sure I'm offering up what the kids need most and I am pleased with the results as are the kids. So the only thing left to do is to take it out on the road!
This is will be my first attempt to travel with this kind of event, but I see it as an adventure! So many new places to see and new families to meet! And lots of good information to be passed around to make a difference in people's lives and futures! I am so excited! (& terrified!)
"I'm so glad someone finally listened to what teens need and not what they think we need."
"I love this workshop. I think it will help a lot of people. Miss Elizabeth is awesome."
"The Total Truth Workshop wasn't boring at all. Miss Elizabeth always thinks for fun things for us to do and before we realize it, it became a lesson."
I'm kicking things off here in my home town of St. Louis, MO first on the last weekend of June, 2014 and then starting off slowly. A weekend here, a weekend there and when school starts back up, I'll really swing into gear hopefully offering two workshops per month through the winter months. What a life change for me! But I welcome it with open arms. I could use a good challenge to keep me on my toes!
I've been working diligently on the website which is now live. (I wish I was more tech savvy, but I am not! So, I had to work at it in bits and pieces at a time.) I am thankful for my support system at St. Louis Onsite (Shout out to Paul Arthur and Joey Felps) and to the newest addition to my tech crew, Ryan Lambert. Ryan is working on making the teen website pop with awesome videos. I am so very blessed to have so much talent around me.
I am also so thankful for my Personal Assistant, Sarah Arnold, she gets my phone work under control and helps keep me on track to what my most present task is. If you only knew how much I needed that!! Lol!
The workshop is starting to get press and is moving along faster than I'm ready for! So that just means I need to work harder and faster!! But I wanted to let all of you know first before it is released to the rest of the world! I am excited that it is getting positive feedback. I hope that helps the Total Truth Workshop get off the ground and have all the weekends sell out!
For those of you that don't know about the Total Truth Workshop, it is a project that I have been "working" on for about six years now. It was going to be just a book called Do It Now or Re-do It Later- and it still will be, but it seemed to me that teens would get more out of the information if it was presented to them in a live, interactive format. When we have the opportunity to experience something over just reading about it, those experiences are more likely to make an impact and stay with us longer. And since creating fun camps and classes are my forte, this seemed like a perfect fit.
So basically, for one weekend, these kids will come and hang out with me and we will work on life lessons, accountability, goal setting, and all the things they won't be taught in high school but NEED to know to be successful in the grown-up world. It's called Total Truth because I won't pull any punches or sugar coat the facts. The real world doesn't care whether you're tired or not feeling well or ran out of money. The world moves on and you need to be ready to move with it or get trampled by it! (I know the trampled part! I don't wish it on anyone!)
It's so much more than sitting in a room and being talked at for three days. I wouldn't want that... I can't think of anyone that would! There are games and dancing and a fun atmosphere. These kids will come out of this event with a good idea of where to go next to make their future one they can look forward to. Instead of waiting to see what opportunities or jobs "fall into their lap" they will have the power and the know how to go and get what they want. They will be given a set of tools to help deal with bumps in the road and letting go of harmful habits and replacing them with productive ones. The workshop also deals a great deal with relationships and communication. Two things that everyone needs to be comfortable with so they can be prepared to deal with the relationships of their future. Bosses, teachers, family members, love interests, co-workers. The information they learn at the workshop will be of use to them the very first day.
This workshop will be a huge asset for those kids who choose to use it. They are not only creating a future for themselves, they are linking with like-minded teens and developing a support system, a mentoring group and new friends that will last them a life-time. And me. I'll be there with them for as long as they need me. I've set up a members only Facebook group, their own membership pages within the website, on-going blog posts to keep them on track and they will have life-time access to me and to any webinars I host.
I am just so excited about this whole thing! This is my life's work. This is what all my years of experiences have led me to. I wish I had something like this when I was in my teen years. I certainly wouldn't have made as many mistakes trying to figure things out as I went. I hope you will come on board and help me spread the news about my new "baby"! I can't wait to share it with the world! I love this age. So many new things coming their way and so many things to learn.
Please comment below or shoot me an email if you'd like to know more information but I'll try and keep everything posted on here so you can see my progress. To find out more about the Total Truth Workshop, please visit the page on this website or you can bounce right to the brand new website to learn all the details! www.totaltruthworkshop.com
Please be happy for me and keep theses prayers and well wishes coming my way, because I need all the encouragement I can get!
BONUS if you or would like to sign up for the Total Truth Workshop (in the St. Louis area), please send me a message in the Contact Me and I'll give you a discount code for HALF OFF!! This offer is only good until June 17th.
(Not in the St. Louis area? Message me anyway and first, let's see when I'll be heading to your city and second, I'll give you a special friends and family discount offer that you can use!)
What is success? Is there just one answer? If you get if wrong are you doomed to failure for the rest of your days? I think not.
With the beginning of a new year people tend to reflect on their life. Where are they going? Where have they been? What's worked and what hasn't. What happens next. I think we all strive for success, some more than others. But in the end, we want to look back on our lives and say ,"Yes, I was successful".
The common answer for "What is success?" is usually equated to making money. Lots of money. Ridiculous amounts of money. Success equals riches. But hopefully after reading today's article, I hope you will view things a little differently.
So what is success? I'm going to tell you. And I think you might be surprised by my answer.
Success Is Perception. You're idea of success and someone else's idea of success could be completely different. When you look at other people's lives and are perhaps unimpressed with what they have achieved you may be shocked to find that they are gleefully happy with the abundance of success they've had. Something as regular as cooking a meal for a large number of people comes as second nature to a person that comes from a large family or works in a restaurant, but could have been a major challenge for the new bride that is taking on Christmas dinner for her new in-laws and her own family. If she doesn't serve the turkey raw or the potatoes lumpy and keeps the tiered cake on top of each other, that... is success.
Success Is Personal. Success can only be found by pursuing your own dreams, not by following the dreams others force on you. Meaning, you and only you can decide what success means to you. I met a man once who became a doctor. His father was a doctor, his brother was a doctor his grandfather was a doctor, even his daughter was studying to be a doctor. He had his own practice, the nice home, the nice car and all the other cushy stuff that comes along with it. By anyone else's standards, he was a success. But by his own, his was living his father's dream for him. He wanted to work on cars. Rebuild cars. It wasn't until he gave up his practice to "retire" and built a garage in his backyard and started to rebuild his first car, that he considered himself a success. His path to "success" was a long time coming.
"Success is when you've reached a personal goal."
- Katherynn Bourgeret-Caldwell
Your vision of success is completely your own. You may achieve the exact same thing as someone else and not feel anything, because it wasn't what your idea of success was. You're idea of success may be as simple as a balanced checkbook, filling up your day planner with activities or owing a Lexus. Whatever you have in your mind that is success, will have a greater impact on you than fulfilling someone else's goal list. (Which is why they say if you don't have a goal for yourself, you'll be helping someone else reach their goal!)
Success Is Satisfaction. There is no point in being rich if you can't enjoy it. I'm sure you've heard of the people who've "made it". They reached that such-n -such dollar amount and are considered successful, but they are so busy working that they can't even enjoy their success! If making more money is going to be your idea of success then absolutely, go for it! but I can't help but feel that you're are more likely to enjoy the "rich" part if you enjoy the getting there part. Do what you love and you will be "rich". Know when it's enough. Don't lose your happiness for the sake of your success.
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."
- Dale Carnegie
"Success is measured by your happiness and not the material things you have in your life."
Success Is Happiness. The truth is, we have little successes everyday. As we lay our head on our pillows at night, if we were only to take a moment and reflect on the things that happened that day, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we found many, many successes that we just forgot to celebrate. If you are pushing and pushing toward a goal and it has lost it's happiness factor, perhaps it isn't for you. Even if it's something mundane and unexciting as eliminating debt, it should still bring you some joy. It might mean that you have to work extra hours, (not fun) or cut back on your spending (also not fun) but if you don't feel a sense of accomplishment watching that big overwhelming number get smaller and smaller, then it's not bringing you happiness. And you should perhaps find another way to reach that goal.
If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, your large goals are made up of smaller, achievable, daily goals. Learn to recognize the daily successes you reach and be happy. It's not worth it in the long run if it steals your happiness.
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you'll be successful."
Success Is Sharing. Success can be learned. We are not all born knowing that we can have all the things we want if we just go after them. Some have been trained that you get what you get and that's all there is. That makes me so sad. There are hundreds upon hundreds of examples out there of people who came from nothing and have made something of themselves. They became successful. They could go to sleep at night knowing they did what they needed to do to feel successful.
Success is Action, Determination, Passion... success is all those things but it is also learned.
One of the best ways to enjoy your success is to share it with others. Don't keep it all to yourself. Teach, help others to rise up from where they are and be the person they want to be. When you help others get to where they want to go, the universe gives back to you. And while that may sound like mumbo-jumbo, I promise you that it is fact.
Be grateful for your successes. And make sure the people around you, the ones that helped you get there know how much they mean to you. Give. Share. Teach. Show gratitude.
"Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success is how you treat other people. Your family, friends, co-workers and even strangers you meet along the way."
Success Is A Continuous Journey. Success should never be considered a one way street. It's more than one street. It takes alleys and intersections, mountains and valleys. It goes up and it goes down. It is never-ending. One success will lead to another. You're constantly building and growing and learning. And when you reach your life goals... make new ones. Keep doing the things that work. Cut out the things that don't. Nothing stays the same. Be flexible and always hunger for more. If you reach your life's goal and then quit, watch and see how fast everything will unravel! You have to stay in the game. Keep moving. Keep growing. Keep setting new goals.
"Success is not final: failure is not final; it is the courage to continue that counts."
Success Is Balance. To me, this is the meaning of success. You can have it all, and you should strive for that.
Money - Happiness - Family & Friends - Security - Health - Peace of Mind - Hope
You need all these things to be balanced and feel successful. Take even one off the list and you are thrown off-balance.
If you have all the money you could ever want, but you have lost your family in the process, that is not success.
If you have the biggest mansion on the street but have worked yourself to near death, and you are alone, that is not success.
If you stole the money to get that need met, you would have it, but you would no longer have peace of mind. You'd always be looking over your shoulder, wondering when you'll be caught. That is not success.
You have reached your goal but have lost everything else in the process and finally you lose hope. That is not success.
We all know examples of the above stories. The news and celebrity magazines are covered with them.
Balance is the key to success. You need happiness, health, enough money to not have to worry, security, friends and family, when you lay your head down at night you have peace of mind and hope. You need a little bit of all these things to find true success.
Not everyone's list will be prioritized in the same way, but every one of these needs should be met for a balanced, successful life.
If you are struggling to make ends meet, then I can see how finances would be top of the list, but don't sacrifice the other items to secure more money. There is nothing wrong with wanting money. There is nothing wrong with wanting lots of money. The problem comes when that's your only focus, and it will cost you in the long run.
Your list will change in its order, but if you find happiness in each of these, you will be truly successful indeed.
"What money can't buy...
Money will buy you a house, but it won't buy a home,
Money will buy you a companion or followers but it won't buy you a friend,
Money will buy you a bed, but it won't buy you a good night's sleep,
Money will buy you a good time, but it won't buy you peace of mind."
Coming soon, I'll discuss the critical success factors to help you reach every goal on your list!! Be sure to stay tuned and check back often!