Categories
Be Happy Quotes Self-Help

Wake up, Dress up, Show up and Do Your Thing

Today (18th October), I wake-up, dress, and show up to celebrate my birthday. Happy birthday also to Russell, my dear husband we are sharing the same birthday. I have been on this earth for a few decades, and I am grateful for every single morning when I got to wake up and do my thing. My loyal readers would know that I rarely talk about myself in my writing, because, who cares, really?! I write to educate, entertain, and inspire. I am not here to impress people and seek instant fame and fortune (a fate only reserved for a tiny portion of writers) but to impact people. The words I write are more important than the person who is writing them; but if you want to know about me, you just have to read my writing and you will catch a little bit of my soul.

I like my birthdays to be low-key, but because this is a special birthday, I decided to celebrate me through all my writings. Today is another day when I decided to wake up, dress up, show up and shine my light as far and as bright as I can.

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save. They just stand there shining.

Anne Lamott

Every day I wake up dress-up, show up. I am passionate about life and about my writing.

Wake up, dress up, show up, run and do your thing. Photo by Thierry Nikolaeff @terydiving featuring Joanne Reed. Dress by Nathalie Pezzotta-Davranche @lartisanecouture. There are no tricks on this picture just me, a scuba diver photographer and an amazing dress.

I am passionate about life and about my writing. I like to describe myself as a law-abiding-free-spirited-rebel who just happen to write about this and that. I didn’t decide to be a writer I discovered I was one. There is an intimate relationship between the writer and the reader. The writer makes the first move and takes the leap of faith, releasing their inner markings to the world for all to see. There is a great risk when it comes to writing and releasing content freely and openly. Content can be received graciously and given applause, simply dismembered, torn apart by readers and reviewers, or just completely ignored and left to rot in the ether.

The likelihood that a word, sentence, perhaps a book, or a phrase can bring about a change in readers’ life or implant a seed that may nurture and grow into a reformative idea is an impulse that excites me as a writer. Writers can change the world for their words know no boundary. It reaches across borders and ages.

We should not underestimate the writers’ role in society. From the beginning of time, knowledge was shared from generation to generation thanks to storytellers who used their artistry to pass on information, knowledge, and wisdom to their community. Well-chosen words can breathe hope into us when our spirits are broken, revive us when our bodies are weary, lift our spirit up when we lose ourselves in an ocean of despair, redeem the wrong we feel, and make us stronger than we know.

A poet’s work is to name the unnamable, to point to fraud, to start arguments, to shape the world, and stop doing it going to sleep. Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest place in human society and in the human spirit, where I go to find out not absolute truth, but the truth of the tale.

Salman Rushdie

For me, writing is a search for something meaningful, a longing to create something of value; to have an impact. Whether people admit it or not, most of us have a desire to make a difference, to have an impact or some level of influence on others. It is part of human nature, and it is admirable because it implies that we want to live a life that is bigger than us and our immediate entourage. We want to leave something of value after we leave, we want to leave a legacy.

To be or not to be impactful? You may find this to be an odd question to ask, but some people are content with a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle. They are happy the way things are and don’t have any inclination to change things and even less inclination to change the world, and that is OK.

You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.

Charles Bukowski

Sadhguru (my favorite yogi, philosopher, sage) has an interesting point of view on this issue. He believes that every one of us is free to capture as much life as we want. If you capture a substantial amount of life, you will become a significant presence, you will radiate, and that presence will draw people to you. It is not the knowledge you accumulated in your head, nor the social status, the successes nor the muscle you built upon your body. It is just how much life emanates from you. If you have the opportunity to go out in the world and do something impactful. Good, go out there and be impactful. But if not, don’t worry. Concentrate on being happy and content. The world needs more of these types of people.

An oak tree sitting outside is not trying to create a significant impact on anyone. By just sitting there in a calm and assured state of being, the oak tree by its mere presence is being impactful without even trying. If someone just happened to walk past that oak tree on a hot and sunny day, wishing to rest and cool down for a little while, that person will find refuge under the oak tree and will appreciate its presence and the shade it can offer on that day, at that particular time. The oak tree has had an impact on that person, just by being there.

Every day, I wake up, dress up, show up. I am a constant work-in-progress.

Wake up, dress up, show up. Photo by Thierry Nikolaeff@terydiving featuring Joanne Reed. Dress by Nathalie Pezzotta-Davranche @lartisanecouture. There are no tricks on this picture just me, a scuba diver photographer and an amazing dress.

Something you should know about me is that I don’t like when people try to put me in a box and stick a label on it before they even get the chance to know me. I am the sum total of my genetics, my upbringing, but also the books I read, the countries I traveled to, the ups and downs that came on my path. I can be reliable and predictable and also spontaneous and unpredictable. I respect people and choose not to worship them. I am a giver, but I need to give myself enough time and space to advance my interests too. Today I can decide to be as exuberant and as colorful as I want and tomorrow, I can decide to be as dull as the grey sky if I feel like it. I don’t gossip but I read and write. I am all of that and more and I am a constant work-in-progress. So please don’t put a label on me.

Something else you should know about me is that I am nice and lovely, but I can be dangerous too.

“The most dangerous person is the one who observes, listens, thinks.”

Bruce Lee

I have always been a curious person in nature, and I like going down the path less traveled by, the one taken by critical thinkers. Going down that road requires some fluidity of mind, some discipline, and the will to get to the truth of the matter rather than the urge to be righteous no matter what. Before you assume, learn the fact. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think. Before you talk, listen. If you want something from someone express yourself clearly. People are not mind-readers. If you use the right words, the right tone of voice, and the right body language, you are increasing your chance of having your wishes and aspirations in reality. I observe, I listen, I think, and I act accordingly. That makes me (according to Bruce Lee) a dangerous person.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I had to write my memoir one day, I would call it – Work-In-Progress. That is how I see myself. Talking about work. For a lot of people, work is just something they have to do to earn a living, put a roof over their head, pay their bills, and put food on the table. For the lucky ones (a small minority) work is their passion. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to turn their passion into their work? For some people finding their passion is easy, they were born knowing what it was; what is less easy is to get started and to do it consistently.

[Just in case you are wondering – I have no intention of writing my memoir, because who cares, really?! But I am totally committed to continue writing and blogging about this and that and I will try my best to continue to inspire, entertain and unveil for you some interesting stories.]

But I digress, for other people finding their passion is not so obvious. The problem is that a lot of people believe that their passion is hiding somewhere, maybe behind a tree or underneath a rock. The truth is that our passion comes first from doing things, and then doing them right. We should get into the habit of injecting passion into all the things that we do. If we do this consistently, a time will come when something stands out above all the other things, and that is the very thing that we should devote more time to doing passionately. That is all there to it, just do it. Work it! But what if you have no passion to create anything? In that case, the only thing you have to do is to listen to the philosopher Carl Jung.

If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. To give style to one’s character is a great and rare art.

Carl Jung.

How about turning yourself into a work of art? Maybe the healthiest person you could be? Or maybe a deep philosophical thinker? And when you got it, flaunt it.

Wake up, dress up, show up. Photo by Thierry Nikolaeff @terydiving featuring Joanne Reed. Dress by Nathalie Pezzotta-Davranche @lartisanecouture. There are no tricks on this picture just me, a scuba diver photographer and an amazing dress.

Consider making your life a work of art. You have yourself to begin with and a time of uncertain duration to work on it. You do not have to be who you are, even though you may be quite content with who and what you are; it will not be hard for you to think of something greater than you might become; it need not be something spectacular or even something that will attract any notice from others. What it will be is a kink of excellence that you project for yourself and then attain. Something you can look at with honest self-appraisal and be proud of. Make your life a work of art!

Richard Taylor

I think of myself as Work-In-Progress. I work hard, perspire a lot during the process. I cry many tears along the way, get deflated when the outcome doesn’t match the input of energy I invested in the project, but I made it my Quest to make my life a work of art. If you are struggling to find your passion, then you should consider Goddess Athena’s advice – How to find your passion .

When you glance over my work, you are catching a glimpse of my soul. I march to my own beat, and wildly dance to my own rhythm, as I turn my passion into my work.

Make your life a wort of art.

Personal Note

DDI Chat – Personal Growth – One-to-one Chat with Joanne Reed

In addition to publishing my articles on my website, I have also been publishing on Medium. I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication.  DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice.  DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category.  Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Categories
Self-Help

Why You Should Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste

Why you should never let a good crisis go to waste

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to never let a good crisis go to waste. This article is my attempt to offer you some pointers on how to do just that.  Life is a journey, sometimes the road is nice and pleasant and other times it is rocky, arduous, dangerous and most unpleasant. 

No one voluntarily chooses to go down the unpleasant road, except that sometimes there is nowhere to go but down that road. Picture yourself being on Route 2020 (which looks a lot like the year 2020). Route 2020 is one of those roads that gives you the chills when you are on it, danger lurks at every corner, there is no good visibility, it is isolated, rugged, with many up and down hills and unexpected turns. Since the beginning of this year, we have been driving down that road, it has been rough.

A lot of things are happening this year are outside our control. Instead of worrying about things we can’t change, it is better to focus instead on the things that we can control. There is always a silver lining on the horizon, even if we can’t see it yet. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Some roads are rugged, difficult, dangerous – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity” –

John F Kennedy

The whole premise of this article is that you should never let a good crisis go to waste because they could be an opportunity in every crisis. John F Kennedy and the Chinese understood that concept quite well. Once you are aware of the danger, y acknowledge it, calm your nerve and then do something about it preferably that turn things around to your advantage. One way to achieve this is to focus your energy on a purpose, a mission, a passion, something that keeps you in a state of flow. And this is how you find your opportunity, your silver lining.

Never let a good crisis go to waste. Find your passion

Life can be hectic and it always feels like there is so much that needs to be done. Your to-do list is filled with essential items requiring your attention, (thanks for adding check out Joanne Reed’s blog on your list of essential things to do today. I appreciate it very much.) The problem is that non-essential activities rarely make it onto that list, and if they do, these low-priority items will only be completed if there is time left. The problem is that there is never enough time left.

Time is of the essence. Make time. – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Except that this year, it is different. Suddenly all of us find ourselves with a lot of new-found-time because the government has ordered their people to stay at home, to work remotely, to do online schooling, to only go out for essential trips to the grocery store (there is nowhere else to go anyway, everything is shut)? Make the most of it. Never let a good crisis go to waste and don’t spoil it by turning yourself into a couch potato.

Instead of laying on the couch in a state of semi-torpor binge-watching TV, fill your to-do-list with activities you never had time to do before the crisis, such as cooking, getting fit, gardening, singing, painting, writing, becoming a YouTuber… whatever lights-up your spirit and get you in a state of flow.

How do I find my passion?

For some people finding their passion is easy, they were born knowing what it was; what is less easy is to get started and to do it consistently. For others, finding their passion is not so obvious. The problem is that a lot of people believe that their passion is hiding somewhere, maybe behind a tree or underneath a rock. The truth is that our passion comes first from doing things, and then doing them right.  We should get into the habit of injecting passion into all the things that we do. If we do this consistently, a time will come when something will stand out above all the other things, and that is the very thing that we should devote more time to doing passionately. That’s all there is to it, just do it .

Find your passion . Make your Life a work of art – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

It is possible to have a passion and still feel demotivated and deflated because you can’t see any results. The problem these days is that people are impatient, they expect instantaneous results. That’s not how things work. Being successful at something requires hard work, sweat, tears, discipline, and patience. Don’t focus on the outcome, focus on the work itself. Pursue the things you love doing and devote yourself to hone your craft on a daily basis. Eventually, people will not be able to take their eyes off you.

If you still feel dispassionate and have no passion to create anything, listen to the philosopher Carl Jung who may give you some ideas.

“If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. To give style to one’s character is a great and rare art.”

Carl Jung

What about turning yourself into a work of art? Maybe the healthiest person you could be? Or maybe a deep philosophical thinker? And when you got it, flaunt it.

“Consider making your life a work of art. You have yourself to begin with and a time of uncertain duration to work on it. You do not have to be who you are, even though you may be quite content with who and what you are; it will not be hard for you to think of something greater than you might become; it need not be something spectacular or even something that will attract any notice from others. What it will be is a kind of excellence that you project for yourself and then attain. Something you can look at with honest self-appraisal and be proud of.” Make your life a work of art!

Richard Taylor

Be an artist, create, innovate

Each creation showcases my own personal journey. My worries, dreams and ambitions. Everything I love and everything I fearPhoto by @freepik via freepik.com
  • I am an artist
  • I am a creator of ideas
  • Swimming in a sparkling see of imagination
  • A magician of sorts, turning thoughts of
  • Wonderment into pieces of originality
  • Each creation showcases
  • My own personal journey
  • My worries, dreams and ambitions,
  • Everything I love and everything I fear
  • All that I was yesterday and all that I’ll be tomorrow
  • Is neatly contained in my glorious creations
  • When you glance over my work, you are catching
  • A glimpse of my soul,
  • For a part of me is each piece I create
  • I march to my own beat, and wildly dance to my own rhythm
  • Passion runs through my veins,
  • As emotions are fuel for my craft
  • Certain pieces I protect and keep to myself
  • While others I’ll share with the world
  • I am a creative beacon shining my light brightly
  • For all the universe to see.

The Artist

And this, my dear companion, is your Quest: think – create – innovate – from dawn till dusk every day.

If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or you may also like:

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
Be Happy

Want to Break Social Distancing? Feel the Power of Music

Want to Break Social Distancing? Feel the power of music

Social distancing is the order of the day. Distance yourself from your friends and family, from your school teachers and school friends, from your colleagues, business partners and even from your customers! Human beings are social animals. It is not natural for us to be isolated, but this is what our governments are prescribing.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music. Social distancing and lock down are being re-introduced in several countries as we speak. Maintaining our health requires us to social distance, but being isolated from our friends and family can trigger additional health issues. How one can reconcile those two conflicting agendas? If you are one of those who want to break the social distancing barriers in a safe manner, I suggest that you put some music on and feel the power of music.

Difficult times often bring the best in people. The world we are living in right now has become a strange place. We have all become strangers (to each other) in a strange land. Not long ago, people used to congregate, socialize, party with friends and family. Going to school and interacting with your teachers and your friends was part of our children’s daily routine; now our human interactions are kept to a minimum, from a safe distance and preferably via a screen.

Travelling was part of those things that we used to do with ease using whichever transportation that fitted the journey be it cars, buses, trains, or planes. Planes are still flying but border controls are much stricter; so, better stay at home rather than taking the risk of being stuck in some quarantine quarters in a foreign land.

Want to break social distancing and feel more connected? Feel the power of music

Music has a unique ability to bring people together.  From a national anthem to a church hymn,  or your favorite  rock or hip hop song, music has the amazing ability to unite us, to pull us together as we listen, sing, dance and rejoice in the pure beauty of the  notes and melody suspended in the air.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music. Hip hop vibe

One of the many inspiring stories that went viral during the March  COVID lockdown was the  Balcony singing started by musicians and artists in Naples (Italy) ; these artists put together a spontaneous flash mob from their balconies and invited their neighbors to join in. This flash mob did more for people’s spirit and mental health than any empty re-assuring words from any authorities.  This musical interlude made everyone in that apartment building feel connected to each other, less isolated, and less alone. Music broke the invisible chains that the government restrictions imposed on everyone and makes everyone feel united and free.  Those flab mobs will be remembered as one of those lights that shone bright and clear during a dark and uncertain period of time.

Want to break social distancing and speak a universal language? Feel the power of music

Music is a universal language that can unite, heal, and set people free from their fear, their worries, their loneliness. Regardless of which language you speak and where in the world you call home, music and dance can unite and break down barriers in a magical way. Dance is a universal language and so is music. So, dance your own dance and sing your own song. Work your magic and sprinkle seeds of love everywhere you go.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music – Sprinkle seeds of love everywhere you go

Music is a Universal language, but don’t just take my word for it, listen to the scientists who confirm this unequivocally. One Harvard University study showed that music carries a set of unique codes and patterns which are, in fact, universally understood. The aim of the study was to explore whether or not music from different cultures could be understood universally and transcend language barriers and geography. To carry out the research, the team examined ethnographic data gathered over a century’s worth of music from across 315 different cultures. The findings show that by analyzing a song’s acoustic feature, such as tonality and tempo, it is possible for people to understand its meaning, regardless of its cultural background. So, the science is settled: music is in fact a universal language that can be understood by everyone notwithstanding language and cultural differences.

But more than a universal language, music has the power to heal. Music therapy is an established health profession. Music therapists are accomplished musicians who have deep knowledge of how music can evoke emotional responses to relax or stimulate people and help them heal. Music therapy is an effective stress reliever, it reduces pain and anxiety, it can help patients recover from brain injury and treat seizures in patients who suffered from a stroke. So, the science is settled, music heals.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music. Dance like nobody is watching

Music has an amazing ability to speak to our hearts, minds and soul. It is like a prayer that stretches out into the Universe; It is quite telling that the word Universe literally means one (Uni) song (Verse). Where words fail, music speaks, there are times where words will not be enough to appease, heal and convince, so in those moments, it’s best not to say a thing; switch on the radio, listen to your best tunes and dance like nobody’s watching. Dance has been part of this world since time immemorial. Our ancestors communicated with each other through body language before they developed linguistic skills, they expressed their anger, hope and love with movement.

I don’t know if music can change the world overnight, but I know that music can help someone make it through a difficult night” – Michael Franti

The Universal language of music and dance

The Universal Language of Music and Dance
To all my sisters and brothers around the world
Dance your own dance
Sing your own song
Sparkle seeds of love everywhere you go
Love is spring eternal
It is the healer of all wounds
Do not drown in anger and hurt
When you can swim in a sea of love

by Joanne Reed

If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or you may also like:

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.