Inspired & Heavy

I’ve been thinking . . .

The word ‘depend’ is heavy. You know. Like the times when someone says, “I depend on you.” It can be a burden to know someone is relying on you to be there, to show up, to be supportive, and to come alongside to help. Heavy!

The word ‘depend’ is inspiring. You know. Like the times when someone says, “I depend on you.” When others see you as reliable, trusted, valued, and capable it’s motivating and encouraging. Inspiring!

If we look up depend in the dictionary, it won’t tell us how to feel. But depend has feelings.

In that tiny 6-letter word is a heaviness that implies there will be failure if we aren’t there. But in that same word is confidence that inspires us to show up.

The truth is we are all called upon to be the one who shows up to help, to support, to encourage, to inspire. Be dependable.

Someone depends on you.

You depend on someone.


Anyway … that’s what I was thinking.

Have you heard about the You Matter Marathon (No running required)?

This is your opportunity to encourage, support, and spread kindness around the globe just by handing out a business sized card with two words on it. YOU MATTER

You can order a set of 30 cards which will be mailed to you free of charge.  Please enjoy this short video.

Learn more here: 

This is a 5-minute Friday article. The word for this week is DEPEND and I wrote for 5 minutes, no edits, not over thinking – just shoot from the hip prose.
Are you a writer? Join the 5-Minute Friday group to grow some friendships and gain support even before you need it.



Work-Life Balance Brilliance by Denise R. Green: book summary

Have you ever thought of hiring a life coach? Have you ever wondered what you could achieve if you had an accountability partner? Maybe you’ve tried the novel approach to creating different results than the trajectory you are on right now. If you are self-motivated at all, this book could be the recipe for positive momentum in finding what works for you. One glance at the book cover should clue you in to what the author thinks of work-life balance. In fact, the title of the book is, Work-Life Balance Brilliance and isn’t that really what we want from our lives and from our work?

I usually don’t copy chapter titles into a book summary, but in this case, the chapter titles are like opening the doors and giving you a full spectrum view of why this book functions like a personal coach. Burnout versus Brilliance, Tame Your Thoughts, Reinvent Your Outer Self, Nurture Brilliant Relationships, Manage Your Relationship with “Stuff”, Brilliant Sleep., How Not to Change, How to Choose the Right Goal, How to Change for Good, How to Say No with Grace, Not Guilt. Now you can see why I wanted to reveal the chapter titles before mentioning what is so fascinating and magnetic about this book.  From the outset, I had a feeling there was a meaningful purpose behind the writing of this book that I could identify with and Denise Green described it. “I’m on a mission to help people light the spark within them that may feel like it’s been nearly snuffed out due to the demands of life.” Does that sound anything like your dilemma? Here’s your next book.    Work-Life Balance Brilliance  

This book, with the chapters listed above, can best be described as a tool for knowing yourself and understanding inspirations and aspirations within and how your relationships and interactions are key in creating brilliance. The author identifies the four realms of Whole Life Integrations which she calls Brillance. Then through stories and instructive dialog, she coaches you through the steps to create that work-like brilliance.

I am a huge advocate of being careful with thoughts because thoughts drive actions. I was impressed with the content of the chapter, Tame Your Thoughts. Green doesn’t just rely on dialog to teach the methods of controlling thought. She offers a 6-step upgrade tool that I would call guided self-reflection. Then she offers advice on how to make your release from negative thoughts really stick.

Some strong points of this book are in the toolkits integrated with each chapter. Story is interesting, and case studies are evidence that somewhere along the line the principles taught in the book worked for someone. All you have to do is read through some of the action items to know that, if put into practice, many of your niggling aspirations could become your reality. By implementing some of the basic ideas suggested could bolster your confidence and give you an edge toward balance which you will redefine as brilliance. You don’t have to change everything. The changes will be dictated by what you discover about yourself and about relationships as you work through the pages of the book and guidance received by using the focus-inciting questions.

When I read a book like this one, I have a tendency to choose a favorite chapter. Manage Your Relationship With “Stuff” was a surprise. It is a powerful game-changer. Rarely have I read a book like this one that so aptly presents the tethers that hold us back like our ‘stuff’. Denise Green points out that we have two limitations that are huge. Time – we get 24 hours every day. Period. Physical – we operate with imperfect bodies that need to be taken care of – sleep is one thing most of us need more of. Note: we get 24 hours every day. Period. The author remarks that “This Brilliance realm (relationship with stuff) includes our relationship to our spaces, possessions, technology, and time.”  Certainly, every reader can identify with the components we all deal with every day and how we allow them to affect our world makes this book invaluable to creating a brilliant life. Do you need ideas for managing your time, designing a winning pattern for your day, working productively in your environment, managing technology? How about reducing your exposure to toxic energy? The toolkit consists of worksheets to help you replace those components that are not serving you.

Remember sleep? Some of us are more familiar with the lack of it. The chapter titled Brilliant Sleep is – well – brilliant. Whether you suffer from legitimate insomnia or sleep deprivation brought on by environmental or physical or activity conditions, the best practices for sleep hygiene in this chapter are priceless. Yes, we all know the trick of going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every day. We know to restrict caffeine in the afternoon. We might, on the advice of a physician, take melatonin. We might invest in a book that sends us to sleep because it provides absolutely no spark of interest. If you want to sleep and have forgotten what it feels like to get adequate sleep, you aren’t alone. The tips in this book are plentiful.

The final chapters of the book are based on putting legs on what you learned in the first part of the book. What do you want to change? What goals do you have? Are they the right goals for how you envision your work-life brilliance future? I remember hearing someone say that we invest ten months planning a two-week vacation and about ten minutes planning our future existence. That’s probably not truly accurate, but isn’t it true that we have goals, but may not know if they are the right goals until we get there and realize they aren’t?

This book, like a life coach, walks through the realms of life and helps you create a vision for your best life, set the right goals, determine how you will get there, and make wise choices of what you will do and what you will not. The author concludes with what I think of as the magic three. I mean if there was a bit of magic in all this.  Green says in her final address to readers, “If I were forced to describe achieving work-life brilliance in a few steps, those steps would include Assess, Choose, Change.”

There is no magic, but if you’re looking for help in reinventing your life, this book can bring magical results.

This book summary was first published at 

What Not To Wear

It’s Monday everyone!  I had to laugh when reading the side of a coffee mug that said “I’m allergic to Mondays.” The first thought in my mind? You guessed it.  “Doesn’t that just mean your Tuesday is your Monday?”  My dilemma on Monday is what to wear. I know what not to wear. No jeans, no sweats, no baggy shirts, no comfy, soft loafers. Instead I put on clothing that matches, fits a little snugger than my favorite sweatshirt, and is ‘acceptable’ work-wear.  With my clothing choices, which are many, that’s the easy part; and the least important. What’s more important than what to wear? Well let’s talk about that.

What to wear – Remember what’s inside comes out, so wear a positive attitude. Find a tiny spark of love and fan till it shows up ready for action.  Matthew 15:6 “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Put on hope, wrap yourself in faith, immerse yourself in the knowledge that no matter what you’re going through today, you don’t have to go through it alone. Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  Wear confidence and honesty. Hebrews 10:35 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.“  Most of all, wear your strong, impenetrable armor.  Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Wear a teachable spirit and a thankful heart.

What not to wear – There’s a current popular topic that suggests that it’s just as important to know what not to wear as it is to know what to wear. Well, that’s true. We can handle that!  Don’t wear a frown. That’s a loser right off. Don’t wear a martyr attitude.  In fact, get rid of the poor attitude entirely. Romans 13:12 “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Nothing good ever came out of a dark, demoralizing attitude. What else is bad attire for a good day? Worry, expecting the worst, harboring resentment, an unforgiving spirit … get rid of them. Luke 21:14-15 “Make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”

Those are some ideas to get us started on this Monday, this new week.  There are many ways to go into a day with joy – but here’s the key. Do you see that word, joy? Did you know that is an acronym? It is.  J-Jesus O-others Y-You

Ephesians 6:13 “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

What’s in your decision?

I have a decision to make; an expensive decision. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’re in the middle of one now. Every night, I read myself to sleep. I think it’s a latent childhood routine that’s morphed into dependency. What goes into my mind comes out in action, so the last thing I read at night is not the news! Overnight whatever words I read germinate in my sleep so my first thoughts of the day are positive and compelling. Step into the first light with me this morning.

I have a decision to make; an expensive decision. I thought I had settled on the answer – until yesterday. And now, here I am in a dilemma. Are you curious? I know. I’m curious too, and it’s going to be an interesting adventure through the decision maze. On Monday I alluded to a maze and how advantageous it would be to work backward through it. Now is one of those times. Let’s start at the beginning – the back story of this quandary. In 1990 I was working at an organization where new technology was introduced on a regular basis; a virtual Mecca for an information junkie like me. I took an online course – and from then on I was hooked. Since that time I have centered my career immersed in writing instructions, procedures, how-tos, and technical stuff that nobody wants to read. Years have passed, and I still want to write, but I want to create material for online audiences of all ages from toddlers to adults. To do that I need three things.

1) God’s seal of approval – John 6:27 says “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

2) Software – to create and transform material into courseware – I need wisdom to make the right decision. Haven’t we all read Proverbs 3:7 that says “Be not wise in your own eyes …”? But I got a kick out of reading Romans 12 in the New Living Translation when I got to the end of Romans 12:16 “…And don’t think you know it all!” Oh brother! Come on – I don’t know it all . . . and to make this decision I have asked experts for their recommendations. I have the knowledge – now I need the wisdom. When I woke up this morning, God challenged me with this realization. “Have you really prayed about this, Jane? Have you dedicated this decision to Me and trust me to reveal it – on time – My time?”

3) Clients – who will trust me to transform their written material into online courses. This is definitely a yet-to-come adventure. So far I have zero clients and zero prospects, but that can change in a heartbeat. Do you know how I know? Because Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I take James 4:3 seriously. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives…” and to guard against wrong motives, I know I have to practice Psalm 115:11 “You who fear him, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield.” And if none of this works out, I’m Ok with that too. Because my ultimate goal is to live my life to honor and please God. Isaiah 46:11 confirms this “What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.”

Jeremiah 29:11 is the packaging for a victorious outlook on life. Don’t leave home without this truth trailing you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Today, do you have a decision to make? Have you, like me, searched for wise counsel but haven’t really dedicated the decision to the one who holds the results in his hands? Be wise. Give the decision to the God who can make a difference. Proverbs 24:14 “Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”