A Different Point Of View

A writer’s mission is to articulate something – truth – mystery – instruction … usually from a collection of thoughts and ideas scribbled and jotted down in journals, notebooks or computer files. Those nuggets come to us, and we save them, curate them, and share in a way that hopefully the reader gets what we are trying to say. That’s how it usually happens.

For me, today, the ideas felt so complete that I decided to share them just as I got them – in the order that they came to my pen. I hope they offer as much encouragement and inspiration to you as they still are to me.

“It’s time to get off the poor me train, give yourself a good kick in the ares, and start taking action to get the life you truly deserve.” (Steve Atchison)

“I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.” (Steven Covey)

“Happiness is, when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” (Gandhi)

Stop focusing on how stressed you are and start focusing on how blessed you are.

“Soulful living is about slowing and developing a present-moment awareness.” (Prevention Magazine)

“Growth is painful; change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” (Steve Maraboli)

“The best teachers are the ones who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” (Alexandria K. Trenfor)

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” (Frances Bacon)

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” (Henry David Thoreau)

I could probably chew on these the rest of the month and not taste the full value they bring to my life. How about you?

Greg Tutwiler, www.FreedomLiving.org

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A Time Away

As the last days of winter try to hang on, my thoughts wander to times of getting away just on the horizon. I put together these thoughts from one of my earlier journal entries as I look ahead to warmer days.

While sitting on the shore’s edge during a trip to the North Carolina coast a few summers ago, my wife and I entered into a discussion about vacation. We called what we were doing vacation, but at that moment it felt a little more inspirational than that. Webster’s says this about vacation; “a period of rest from work.”

I know when we go on vacation, we are taking a break from work, but how often does it really feel like rest? Don’t many vacations feel rather busy? Recreation is important; time with family is important; but so is rest.

What most of us need, more than anything, is restoration, which comes from a time of rest. God created in us this natural need to rest; a time to restore our bodies and minds for the rigors of day to day life. A Sabbath is for rest, regardless of when you choose to take it. And author/speaker Graham Cooke even suggests that “Sabbath is a weapon.” Because we recharge when we rest, we are strengthened and focused again. We gain clarity and perspective.

When we go from busy to busy, there’s not much time for restoration in that. My friends and I have decided we’d like two weeks of vacation back to back. Then we can experience recreation and restoration. That’s probably tough for most of us in this economy, but the point of it all is this; we need rest. Not just the five to seven hours of sleep each night either. We need a focused time period, as alone as possible, where the Spirit can minister to our hearts; whether it’s sea shores, or the mountain tops, or somewhere in between.

I pray that you can find some time for that this summer. It’s good for your soul, and good for your heart. And it’s good for the others around you too.

Greg Tutwiler, CCLC/BCPC

The First Draft Is Always Rough

I follow lots of other blog writers, news feeds, and book authors. I hope that, among other things, it makes me a better writer. One of the guys I like to read often is Seth Godin. I gained some much needed inspiration from a recent blog post of his titled, “Cracking the Pottery.” I think I even feel a fresh sense of freedom as I re-read these excerpted pieces of text from his post. My hope is that they inspire you as well.

“… I find that it’s almost essential to fall in love with an idea; to invest the time it takes to make it good and worth sharing … For every post that makes it … I write at least three, sometimes more. That means that on a regular basis, I delete some of my favorite (almost good) writing … When you get in the habit of breaking your own pottery, it’s a lot easier to ask, “what if?”

If you’re like me (and apparently Seth), birthing a worthy idea can be an arduous task. Whether you are writing a blog post, a contracted article, a book, or a song – or maybe you’re writing a business plan for a new venture – I find three points paramount. One – the first draft is always rough. That’s why it’s called a rough draft. Two – It’s okay to ball it up and start over. Others do it all the time. And three – Don’t re-write it to death. We are our own worst critics. Let the idea live or die with the reader.

Greg Tutwiler, life coach, publisher

Personal Philosophy For Living

A personal philosophy for living is essential to living a great life. Numb is not a philosophy. Getting by isn’t either. It’s not about what you have – but what you do with what you have. If you don’t have a personal philosophy, you should. Here are eleven thoughts to get you started.

1) Read something (positive) 20 minutes a day. Exercise your brain. It builds character and enriches your soul.

2) Write (journal or blog) for 20 minutes a day. It’s the one thing in life that you are guaranteed to be perfect at. There no rules. Just write. Get your ideas about life out of your brain and onto paper. The healing attributes of journaling are amazing.

3) Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. Move! Do something. Walk. Stretch. Do sit-ups. Getting the blood moving improves overall health and brain function. And it improves your attitude too.

4) Make healthy food choices. It’s not that hard. Minimize starch, sugar, and salt. All three in excess are the cause for most of our health related issues.

5) Keep an attitude of gratitude. There is always, always something to be thankful for. Look around. Your life ain’t that bad. And when you figure that out, share the love.

6) Eliminate the negative mental garbage. Turn off the news channels, and turn off the radio talk shows. Negativity sells. Don’t believe it? Count the number of commercials.

7) Do what you love, or love what you do. If you don’t love it, change your attitude or change your job. Stress leads to illness and bad coping habits. If eight hours of your day are filled with stress, you can bet the other 16 will be negatively effected as well.

8) Find a creative outlet for expression. Paint, write, draw, build, carve, sew. Don’t have time? Make the time. It’s a great stress reliever.

9) Make plenty time for family and faith. Nothing is more important. At the end of life, those will be the only things left to comfort you.

10) Be present. Live each day from start to finish as if it were your first and your last. Regretting backwards and projecting forwards robs you of the present moment. And that’s where life really exists.

11) Never be happy with status quo. Your life is a gift given to you, and a gift to be offered back to those around you. Be an inspiration. Be a role model. Be a mentor. Be authentic.

Try that for 30 days and see how things change!

Your Coach, Greg Tutwiler