Mindful Mondays – Week 29 – Mindful Consumption

Consumption can refer to anything we consume. When we think about mindful consumption though, the usual suspects that stand out are in regards to an over consumption of food and alcohol. If we are being mindful about what goes into our mouth, chances are, we are motivated by a desire to be healthy or slim. Good goals in themselves, but not necessarily ones that we can count on to see us through in the long term.

If your neighborhood is anything like mine, this past weekend brought out a frenzy of activity as holiday lights and decorations were erected throughout. With the countdown to Christmas now underway, I was reminded that the season for overindulgence has also begun. Thus, now is the perfect time to check in with ourselves and establish some boundaries as to what we will and won’t be alright with this festive season.

This past April, our family took our healthy living goals another step deeper and we embarked on a journey called The WildFit Challenge. The process wasn’t always easy, but it was well worth the time and energy we put into the program. Of course, we learned about our bodies and food. We also learned about the food manufacturing industry and its downfalls (truly scary stuff). Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 28 – Let’s come together

Together, it is a word like none other. We are stronger together. Life is easier together. Together, we can change the world. The word itself, provides me with a sense of inclusion. A sense of connection with others. And that is the power of togetherness.

In the northern hemisphere, we are about to embark into the dark, cold, solitary pattern of life that accompanies winter. We will spend more time indoors. Hot beverages will abound by the gallon. We will find ourselves snuggled up under blankets, watching a fire, a hockey game, or a favorite movie.

There is much to be said about the simplicity of the winter months. I adore the chai tea season simply for the ability to sip a warm beverage that tastes like Christmas in a cup. Solitude, however tends to creep in as the days get shorter. Togetherness is a part of the human experience so this winter season, I am looking to grow my community, from the comfort of my writing desk that is.

Let's Connect

I wasn’t always certain of the power of social media. I would scoff at cute, but time sucking videos. Don’t even get me started on the bizarre habit of sharing photos of what you are about to eat. Let’s just say that approach works for a foodie, or a food blogger. Most of us however, aren’t interested in what is on your plate unless you are about to share some our way.

This past year though, has offered me some exceptional opportunities to connect with others through social media. I have made friends all over the world and with that I am able to experience a little of what life is like elsewhere through the eyes of these new connections.

We love to chat about books. What we’re reading. What we are about to read. The more we connect the taller my “to be read” pile grows. But we also talk about life. What it is like to be an author? Where our writing takes us through travel. Our habits and our guilty pleasures. Did someone say chai?

We connect to offer support, encouragement, and the occasional fire placed beneath the buttocks. We are social by nature, solitude by chosen profession, and always excited to connect with our readers.

Readers are the life blood of any author’s life. They allow us the pure joy of being able to create. Readers, I think, spend almost as much time thinking about our characters as we writers do. That is a simple joy that goes deep into the heart of a writer. If we’ve touched your heart, we’ve done our job and nothing, simply nothing makes us happier.

So, let’s do this. Let’s connect and get to know one another better. I promise you a glimpse into my writing process and my life. Life is the best teacher and if we can share our experiences with each other, both the successes and the failures, I’m certain we will become fast friends.

 

Mindful Mondays – Week 27 – Lest We Forget

This is the Remembrance Day long weekend in Canada. Though, November 11th is a few days past us now, I hope the sentiment you find below will stay with you for many days yet to come. I am sharing with you my November newsletter. The words, “lest we forget” are etched in my memory. I remember being a young girl, walking in my girl guide uniform at the local parade. One year in particular, I was honored to carry the Canadian flag in the parade, a task I took seriously.

The flag grew increasingly heavy as we walked past the library and the fire station. I shifted its position and held on tight, gripping the pole with my winter mittens, determined not to be defeated by the flag’s weight. Wreaths were lain, bagpipes played, and poppies adorned many a lapel.

Lest We Forget

It is a memory that stays with me and though many of our heroes have left us now, the importance of “lest we forget” feels even greater and the flag even heavier. We owe our safety, our happiness, our lives to those who fought for our freedoms. No matter how heavy the flag may feel, know that it will always be lighter for us because of them.

From the desk of Tanya E Williams…

Just over a year ago, I began my research for the historical fiction Smith Family Series…

I began with the story of John Smith, a simple man whose beliefs, character, and patriotism guided me down a path into the deep well of research that is World War II. John’s story continues to be a work in progress and my plan is to release A Man Called Smith as the third installment in the series.

During this time of discovery, I found myself immersed in the events that began, continued, and finally ended the war. I was drawn to the human element of the research and was rewarded with many harrowing tales of lives lost and battles won.  

I read countless letters, listened to World News radio reports, and watched documentaries so graphic, much of the viewing was behind the shield of my own two hands.  One documentary in particular stuck with me. It was an interview with men who had served in WWII and had survived.

Survival though is not all it is cracked up to be. Human survival can be so innately strong that all sense of joy or happiness no longer exists within the individual. They are left but shells of a former self. As I watched the men as old as 87 years dissolve into incoherent tears, still unable to come to terms with what they saw and experienced 70 years before, I knew that survival did not necessarily mean escape from the terror of war.

Sadly, a war touches many lives. It does not discriminate between men, women, or children. Whether a soldier’s life is lost or a family is left without a brother, sister, parent, or child, a war knows no bounds. My goal with Becoming Mrs. Smith was to show WWII from the perspective of those left at home. Their sacrifice and worry on the home front was not without turmoil.

I recently returned from a trip to Quebec where I had the great privilege of touring an active military base. I learned of a book of names located there. The names were of every fallen soldier throughout history from their company, handwritten in memory. I was deeply touched to learn that every day a soldier visits the book and reads aloud from the two facing pages, vocalizing each name with respect and gratitude. Each day the page is turned to the next one and another soldier reads those names and so on. This daily ritual is performed so that no soldier is forgotten. No sacrifice is taken for granted.

Let we forget are three little words whose impact is much larger. This November 11th, I hope you will join me in honoring, thanking, and remembering all those who sacrifice for the safety and well being of others.

Xo
Tanya E Williams

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Mindful Mondays – Week 26 – Stories Everywhere!

Stories exist all around us. Whether it is in a snipet of conversation we hear while waiting in line at our local coffee shop. Or perhaps, the scene we watch as traffic flows beyond our office windows. Stories are the thread of lives lived. They tell of the past, present, and sometimes even the future.

My enjoyment of country music comes from the stories that lie beneath the rhythm. That little piece of truth that I, as a listener, can appreciate and liken myself to. I am in awe of the stories told through songs. An entire image, beginning, middle, and end in under three minutes. That my friends, is talent.

It has been said that a writer is working as they gaze out a window. This I know to be true as I find myself lost in a story within moments of finding a little idle time on my hands. Truth be told, I seek out that idle time. The time to dream. To create. To make a story come to life in my own mind’s eye. That is how every story I write comes to fruition. First, I see it before me. Then I plan, brainstorm, elaborate, and write.

The stories of the past are the ones that ignite my curiosity along with my creativity the most. This past weekend, I was fortunate to travel to Montreal and Quebec City in the great province of Quebec, Canada. I found myself immersed in our country’s history, rich in detail and full of living stories. Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 25 – Loving Life

Loving life has much to do with good fortune and surrounding yourself with a solid support system. It also is determined by what steps you take each day to make your experience rich and filled with the things you love. This blog post is reaching you a little later than usual today. I was delayed at the hospital waiting for an x-ray for my son. His nose is definitely swollen and bruised and potentially broken.

It occurred to me as we waited, that he was calm, accepting, and prepared to do whatever he needed to. Moving through this process was not without discomfort or patience. There was no whining or even the slightest complaint from him as we spent the day in crowded waiting rooms. The injury is due to a friendly game of prom dress rugby. Yes, you saw that correctly. A game of sevens rugby where all the boys were dressed in prom dresses. The result was a crowd pleasing hour of fun and laughter.

Life is too short to wait...

Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 24 – Feeding your soul.

A soul, like a body, needs to be nourished. As humans we seek the solace of a cozy place to lay our heads, seeking rejuvenation. In contrast, we also seek a sense of community, of understanding, of acceptance. This is the soul’s need to be a part of something greater than ourselves. These needs are diverse and ever shifting. Our job is to recognize those needs and tend to them.

As a writer, my soul is nourished in many ways. There are days, even among a deluge of rain, that I must venture outside regardless of the discomfort this may cause my body. Solitude too, is one of my soul’s many requirements. I must sit and think. I must get lost in a dream or a story in order to rejuvenate my spirit. My daily meditation practice nurtures me on yet another level .

This past weekend, I fed my soul at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference. Though this morning, exhaustion fills every pore of my being, the weekend was quite simply amazing. I listened and learned from writing professionals that I have a deep amount of respect for and thus fueled my soul with knowledge. On more than one occasion, I was touched as keynote speakers reached into their hearts and shared their life experiences with us, creating lasting emotional ties.

Feed your soul. Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 23 – The lens through which I look.

The lens through which I view the world around me changes daily. Sometimes, even as quickly as from one moment to another. How we view the world is directly related to our mind’s idea of how things happen. The reaction we receive from others can color our view. Feelings such as hunger, thirst, and emotional imbalance definitely impact how we see things. Our experiences are unique to us and that is how our lens is shaped.

A positive experience, encourages feeling of natural gratitude and euphoria. Whereas, a negative experience can pull us down both mentally and physically. This power is strong enough to cause us illness or make us feel invincible. No matter the circumstance though, the choice is always up to us to determine how we will choose to view it.

Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E Williams

Have you ever noticed that when things are rolling along smoothly in your life, everything is easier? Relationships, work, traffic. Literally, everything is easier. This is the ride most of us are striving to be on. The path of least resistance. Continue reading