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January 3, 2015
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Sometimes you need a pep talk

And the person who needs to give it to you is yourself. It could be for a number of reasons. Enter middle-age and you might be juggling a couple of things, some big, some small.

I needed such a pep talk today. So I made myself list the things that I have come to believe, and this list is so good it goes to eleven. In no particular order:

1. The past prepares us for the future. We can draw on our past in many ways. Try not to reinvent the wheel. If you are going through something, chances are good there is something in your past that has helped prepare you to handle this next challenge. Use what you learned the first time around.

2. Trust, or make your own luck. Future success and opportunities don’t just happen. You have to do your part through hard work, perseverance, and determination. And then you just have to trust that it’s going to go as it should. (Which may not be what you want.)

3. Be willing to revise/change. Rarely is the writing, the art, the whatever perfect at the first go. You must be willing to revise. Sometimes the suggestions for revision were not solicited, but you must still consider them. This can suck, and be quite annoying. But if you can sit with the discomfort, the work or whatever is usually much better.

4. The kingdom of God is within you. You decide every single day: do you live in heaven or hell? They are both here on earth in your choices and your attitude. You decide.

5. This too shall pass. You can endure. In the big scheme of your life, this is just a moment in time.

6. Avoid useless anxiety. Avoid it, it’s useless. Do whatever you must to snap out of it.

7. Forgive (yourself). You make decisions as best you can, and sometimes they could have been better. You hurt others, you hurt yourself. You must forgive, always.

8. Never underestimate the power of the breath. You have this power at every single moment of every single day. Use it. Take yourself to that mat, that cushion, that place of calm and quiet, even if you are on a subway. All you have to do is focus on the breath.

9. Exercise, and if that fails, go for a walk. 

10. Sleep. You know this is your best medicine, maybe even better than exercise.

11. Be your own best friend. Treat yourself, even if it’s two extra minutes in the hot shower before work, but better if you can have a spa day every now and then. Eat delicious healthy food. Indulge in a chocolate. Know what buoy’s you up in a healthy and positive way.

Bonus: Never, ever, ever, forget that you are loved, by many, many people, and also animals. You have a good posse of people in your corner who are your fans and cheerleaders. Focusing on your love and gratitude for them will help you get through many things.

I leave you with an image of my new year card, ready to post this week. May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live in peace. Happy New Year!



  1. graziana says:

    This is beautiful. I love you <3

    • What a great list you wrote! it resonates for me.
      I am big on the personal pep talk- it is so often true that we have all the inner resources to take on the seemingly impossible because we do indeed have wings! Like your little iconic bird!
      Happy New year to you too my friend. Just to let you know- having you in my life makes every year wonderful.
      here’s to all that we will create and enjoy in 2015 with Love, karen

  2. Thank you so much for the sage advice. Just what I needed this a.m. And the art is wonderful, too! Happy New Year to you as well.

  3. Holly Wren says:

    Melanie, I’m reading this post after writing a somewhat related post over on one of my blogs. Very nice to see these collected insights. It makes me want to make a similar list–a gathering of all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom, thanks to these many years of living.

    I’m also struck that you ended your post with a little blessing so very similar to the one I closed my own post with: May you be happy, may you be at peace, may you be free from suffering in the coming year.

    Goodbye, 2015. Welcome, welcome, 2015.

    I’m glad to have met you, thanks to Suzi Banks Baum, and to anticipate our upcoming work at PRESS. See you in 2015.

  4. Melanie says:

    Thank you all for your comments, Happy New Year! And to Holly, I peeked at your blog, too! What shared thoughts we have, I look forward to discovering more of similar ways of thinking.
    xoxox all.

  5. Danny says:

    92engbatIwasyourhumvdriver&heldthose. Ankles4Pt ……You had my back when the rest. Cared less than more . Thankyou. Danny.

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