Thoughts About Snow

As I sit here this morning I am gazing out at the tree branches with their winter coats on.  I live in Canada – the land of seasons, and it seems that winter will soon be upon us.  The air has become chilled, the leaves have fallen from the trees. The bright colours that so recently graced their presence have faded and died.  It is time to prepare for winter.  Many animals will be looking to their dens to sleep through the winter, but currently they are foraging, ensuring they have enough sustenance to keep them going.

Seasons

Our lives have seasons too.  As the winter begins, we haul out our winter coats and boots. We stock up on canned goods in case we are trapped inside our houses by a winter storm. We make hearty soups and comfort food.  Often too we gain a little extra weight which keeps us warm.  Unfortunately, we are not like the animals who slumber and lose that extra weight.  We have to work hard to get rid of it in the spring.

Spring

Spring is when we begin to feel light again.  When we shake off the heavy coats and look forward to the sunshine.  Temperatures that would have had us shivering in the fall now seem warm compared to what we have endured recently.  For those of you in the southern hemisphere, the conditions are reversed as you are enjoying balmy weather while we are covered in snow.  Some regions do not even know what snow is.  Many of us would be very happy to share it with you in the middle of winter.

Summer

Summers bring warmth of body and soul.  As we bask in the golden sunlight and absorb the vitamin D the sun provides, we relax.  We let go of some of the busyness and just take some time to rejuvenate.  We take part in summer activities such as barbeques and swimming, perhaps some tennis or beach volleyball as well.  We think back to the cold of the winter and we are grateful for the sun and the rain and the good times.

Fall

Fall bursts forth with colour.  The trees put on their best garments to impress all the visitors who come to see them.  They are riotous – reds, greens, purples, yellows all mixed together like beautiful women coming to a ball.  Your eyes are drawn to them, especially when the sun shines and targets their beauty.  You want to spend hours and days just walking through the bush, admiring their colours.

Winter

Winter follows all too soon it seems.  Our days are shorter.  Night comes sooner.  The sunrise and sunset are not nearly as beautiful as they were.  This is also when many of us begin to feel a loss.  We don’t see our friends as often.   We huddle in our homes, not wanting to venture out into the cold.  We turn down invitations, preferring to be alone.  This is not always a good thing, but if you are content it is okay. Just make sure that you are not allowing yourself to sink into depression. Some of us are winter people and look forward to skiing and skating and playing winter sports.

Life Seasons

The seasons of our life do not always fall in line with the seasons of the world around us.    Our bodies and our mental processes have their own time frame.  There are times when everything around us is peaceful and happy, and times when things seem to fall apart.  The thing to remember is that we all have seasons and if you are going through a season of loss it is important to reach out to someone for help in dealing with your problems.  Don’t keep things to yourself.  And if you know that someone is having trouble, reach out to them.  Be there for them.  Let them know that you care.

Fran Watson

www.franwatson.ca

Consider the seasons of your life

P.S.  If you are in a down season and need to reach out, click here:   https://mentalhealthweek.ca/yourmentalhealth/

Mental health week may be in May, but we need to be aware of it all year round.

 

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#1 Best Seller

#1 Best Seller

That was the result of our online campaign to launch this book.  30 women authors told their inspiring stories and I was one of them.  It was awesome to read their stories and connect with them.  I invite you to purchase the book (still available at this time on Kindle for .99) and learn from them.

Link to my site

#1 Best Seller 2018
Read My Chapter

Thinking of writing a book?

Do you have a book in you?  Or a story that you would like to share?  Karen Strauss is the person to contact.  https://www.facebook.com/kbstrauss  She was inspirational and responsible for getting this book published for us.  Contact her for tips and more information on how to get your book to print.

Are you a speaker?

If you are a woman and a speaker, why not consider joining the Women’s Speakers Association?  I am sure there will be another book out in the near future as there are many other women with stories to share.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenspeakersassociation/

Fran Watson

 

P.S.  Although the book is no longer available for 99 cents, it is still a bargain and under $5.00

https://www.amazon.com/Fran-Watson/e/B06XSKH2WH/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_10?qid=1540009126&sr=8-10

We did it – #1 Best Seller

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Simple Gifts To Build Your List

Are you an Entrepreneur looking to build your list?

Here is a pdf that can help you.

Fran Watson

 

37 Valuable Gift Ideas to Grow Your ListSSTSS

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Gratitude – thoughts about being grateful

September 29th, one more day and we start a new month. It seems that the end of the month and the beginnings of the month are times that we think about what has passed and what is to come.  For instance, I was thinking this morning about gratitude and all the things I have to be grateful for:

  • 4 wonderful, amazing children
  • 4 absolutely fabulous grandchildren
  • one great grandchild
  • My mother is still alive (we thought she was gone in March, but she pulled through) and she is 98.
  • I have a wonderful amazing sister.  She is extremely talented and knowledgeable.
  • a wonderful supportive boyfriend who has put up with me for about 18 years now.
  • a laptop lifestyle.  I can work from wherever I am.
  • working in a career that I love – career counselling, helping people with discovering what they want to do, helping prepare resumes and help with interviews (see my franwatson.ca page for more details).
  • As a member of Toastmasters I get to write and deliver speeches about topics I am interested in.
  • I was invited to be the guest speaker at an Open House for a local club and I talked about Choices in our lives.
  • I also have a chapter in a book which will be coming out in October dealing with that same topic (link to follow).
  • being able to work on writing my book of poetry which I intend to have published by the end of the year, possibly even by the end of October.
  • I am thankful for the wonderful summer with blue skies and puffy clouds and being able to take my mom outside in the sunshine almost every day.
  • I am grateful that I did not suffer any damage in the tornado and that my family were also safe, although they lost power for a few days.

What are you grateful for?

Try to spend some time each day thinking about the good things that have happened and that you are grateful for.  Did you see a sunrise?  A sunset? A rainbow?  Did you notice the way the clouds moved through the sky?  Did you notice how blue the sky was?  How warm the day?  Each day try to record 3-5 things that you are grateful for.

Here is a complimentary  mini-journal to record some of your thoughts.

gratitude-journal

As you take some time each day to think about some of the things you are grateful for, you will be surprised what a difference it will make in your life.

Fran Watson

P.S.  Drop me a line and let me know if you find the journal helpful

Be grateful for your life

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Building Your Self-Confidence

Be Yourself

Self-confidence can be the key to either success or failure in life. It can be difficult to build self-confidence. There are ways to accomplish this, however, with a few steps.

  1. Dress the part

It can be easy to let your appearance slip and to dress in a way that is not appealing or that does not suggest success or confidence. The first step toward self-confidence is your wardrobe. If you are able, spend some money and improve your wardrobe; it will help others perceive you as confident while also helping your own self-image.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money.  You can find many good items in second hand clothing stores or consignment shops.  I myself purchase a beautiful dress for my son’s wedding that cost me $12.00.  It would have cost me over $200 in a regular store.  I also purchased a suit for my son when he wanted to go to prom for $8.00 that fit him like it was made for him.

 2. Speak more slowly

It can be easy to rush through your speech when you are nervous. Simply speaking more slowly can make you more confident. Speaking slowly emphasizes your words and makes them carry more weight. Choose your words carefully as well, you will be perceived as an intelligent, thoughtful person.

  1. Get healthy

Adopt a healthier lifestyle and your body and mind will simultaneously contribute to an added sense of confidence.  Being unhealthy can contribute greatly to a lack of confidence. It contributes to an appearance you may not like, while also simply making you feel less able to accomplish what you want.

  1. Make lists

Never underestimate the power of finishing tasks. Making a list allows you to cross off items that you accomplish. The simple act of crossing off an item on your to-do list is a big confidence-booster, and keeping the fully completed list handy is a nice reminder of all the things you have accomplished. This method also carries other benefits, including helping you keep in mind everything you need to do.

  1. Focus on your own body language

Control your posture, stand up straight and look people in their eyes. This is a surefire way to demonstrate confidence. It is easy to underestimate the importance of body language in appearing confident. We don’t always realize what we are saying with our body language.  Spend some time looking in the mirror or asking others about some of your postures.

  1. Just think positively

The power of positive thinking cannot be underestimated. It is important to develop a strategy to put negative thoughts out of your head when they crop up. Push them out, and become skilled at replacing them with more positive ones.  Think of carrying a blackboard eraser.  When you think something negative, erase it and write down something positive.

Developing self-confidence is far easier said than done, but there are some quick steps that you can enlist in order to make yourself more confident. The appearance of confidence is often enough to make yourself feel more confident.Confidence

Take these steps, and you will make yourself both feel and look more confident to yourself and to the people around you. By performing each of these tasks, you can become more self-confident and demonstrate to others that you are confident as well.

To your increased confidence!

Fran Watson

#publicspeaking

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Make Your Point – Tips for Public Speaking

public speaking

Check out these tips

 

Make your point – Here is a cool infographic illustrating some tips for public speaking – points to remember when presenting your speech.

I’m curious as to what types of topics my readers speak on.  Perhaps you could post below your favourite topics.  I am very much interested in self-help and self-development, as you may have noticed by reading my posts, but I know others have many different interests.

I look forward to connecting with you.  Shortly I will have a free e-book for you.

Fran

#publicspeaking

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Choosing A New Path – Pathways

Toastmasters International has introduced a new educational program entitled “Pathways”.  It is designed to fit in more with the way people learn and work by choosing a new path instead of following the old manuals.

Those who have been using the old or Legacy program for years are having some difficulty with the new program, while those who are younger and have been raised with computers are finding it much easier.

I recently embarked on my path “Building A Social Media Presence”.  For this path I have been learning more about social media both for myself and for some of my clubs, as I am the Public Relations VP.  For the club I am looking at marketing online – Twitter, Instagram (haven’t figured this one out yet), Facebook, website, newspapers, radio/TV, brochures, newspapers and presentations (podcasts – still to come).  I have also been looking into Linked-In and learning about new ways to use it to build an online presence.

Hashtags have always been a bit confusing for me, but I am learning how to use them. I understand that they are most popular on Instagram.  Twitter has increased its character limit from 140 to 280 (just look at how well Donald Trump has mastered this.)

So what is the purpose of social media?  To drive traffic to your website where you have prepared content that is valuable to your audience.  Perhaps to eventually put an offer in front of them that they will also find valuable.  For instance with Toastmasters, the offer may be to come for 2 or 3 free visits before signing up.  Finding out how valuable the program is before finding out the costs (which are really much more affordable than many people think.)

#ToastmastersMany people assume that the program must cost thousands of dollars for the value that is provided – weekly meetings, opportunities to practice speaking, social activities, leadership opportunities and more, but that is not true.  In actual fact the cost of membership is less than $200 per year.  That is less expensive than many of the one day trainings offered by some companies.

One of the really interesting things about the Pathways program is that the speeches are about what you learned.  For instance for my project, “The purpose of this project is to apply your understanding of social media to enhance an established or new social media presence.  Deliver a 5-7 minute speech about your results, experience, and the benefits of social media.”

I will be presenting my speech next week at one of my local clubs.

#continuouslearning

Fran Watson

#publicspeaking

 

 

 

 

P.S.  For more information on the Toastmasters Pathways program go here:  https://www.toastmasters.org/pathways-overview

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Challenges

It’s been a long time since I have posted here and there are many reasons for that.   I have encountered a few challenges over the past few months with my mother who is 97 years of age.

She had been in and out of hospital for several months and I was spending my days and nights looking after her when she was out of hospital and at her residence.  Things got to a point where she was admitted to hospital and could no longer return to her residence and we had to look into a nursing home.

She is now somewhat settled into the nursing home, confined to a wheelchair and dependent on others to take her to meals, get her washed and dressed, etc.  I visit her daily for 1-4 hours, but she still wants me there more.  Just last night she had a crying session and that was after I had been there 2 1/2 hours.  She didn’t want me to leave.

I am unsure how long this challenge will last.  But I will do my best to keep looking after my mom.

 

What challenges do you face in your life?

How are you coping with your challenges?

Do you need a place to release your fears and thoughts?

Let’s talk

Fran

 

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Self Love part 3

  1. Exercise regularly

This one goes hand in hand with the above follow a healthy diet recommendation. Exercise doesn’t have to be a long gym workout or 60-minute exercise class. In fact, even just 20-30 minutes of exercise a day can be beneficial. It’ll help your mood which in turn will help you feel better about yourself. After a quick search I didn’t find any Bible verses that specifically mentioned physical exercise (although I’m sure there are some somewhere) but this (exercise/being healthy) goes back to treating your body as a temple.

  1. Seek counsel from a pastor or leader

God will not be mad if you need to talk with someone else. Sometimes praying on our own isn’t enough and we need help from those around us. That’s alright! And it even says in His word that where two or three are gathered He is there with them (Matthew 18:20). Our pastors, elders, and leaders of churches are there to minister one-on-one too.

Sometimes taking care of yourself and accepting Gods love means to reach out and ask for help. Besides, gathering with someone or a few others for prayer and ministry is a wonderful way to soak up God’s love.

  1. Forgive yourself

We know the importance of forgiving those who have hurt us and not carrying resentment or anger towards them. God’s word even says that we’ll be forgiven if we forgive others who have sinned against us (Matthew 6:14).

So, doesn’t that mean we need to forgive ourselves too? Sometimes we’re going to give in to the self-hatred, not feeling satisfied with what we have and comparing ourselves to others, negative self-talk, and more. But accepting God’s love mean that we forgive ourselves when we do these things and move along. Can you do that? Don’t you deserve to do that for yourself?

  1. Join a Bible study

Again, one of the best and easiest ways to accept God’s love is to immerse yourself in His word. Joining a local Bible study is a great way to do this. Not only that, but it’s a good way for you to get involved and get to know others on a more personal level – even more important if you attend a large church and it’s hard to make connections just by attending Sunday services.

  1. Volunteer

If you can sign up to volunteer within your church – helping in the office, taking care of babies, playing with toddlers, leading kids church, ministering to the youth, being a door greeter on Sunday, etc. – that would be ideal. Because after all, how else to embrace and accept God’s love than to be of service to Him within His place of worship? But if not, any type of volunteer activity is a fantastic way to get outside yourself and stop focusing on you/your problems.

Remember, loving those around you as your neighbor is one of God’s commandments. Volunteer work is a fun, but sometimes challenging, way to not only show love but receive love too.

These nine tips are merely suggestions. You can choose one or two to focus on and start there. Maybe none of these things mentioned appeal to you. That’s ok too. Create your own list. Come up your own ideas of ways you can let God love you even when you don’t love yourself.

I promise you, you can’t immerse yourself in God’s love and not eventually start loving yourself too.

Don’t ever forget who you are or who you belong to. You are God’s handiwork just like it says in His word:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

He loves you unconditionally. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He made you for a reason and has a plan for you. He knows you’ll make mistakes and sin along the way, he knew that way back when He created you! But that didn’t stop him, did it?

Knowing how unconditionally loved you are, how he has a plan and purpose for your life, doesn’t that mean you should show yourself a little compassion, grace, and self-love too? After all, you are worth it!

If you need some more encouragement, check out these Bible Verses:

  1. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
  2. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV
  3. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 NIV
  4. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
  5. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
  6. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV
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Self Love continued

  1. Mediate on His word

The best way (and easiest) to accept God’s love is to immerse yourself in His word. Pick a topic on what you’re struggling with, in this case self-love, and seek out the answers He gives through His word.

A quick Google search using a tool like biblegateway.com will let you search for a keyword. Or most Bibles even have an index where you can find verses based on a topic. If you don’t have a specific topic in mind, I recommend just opening your Bible and reading some verses on the page you opened to. Trust that whatever you needed to hear that day was shown to you in those Words.

  1. Do something for yourself

Contrary to popular belief and what some of society says, it is not selfish to take time for yourself. In fact, God wants you to take care of you and that includes time to yourself. You decide what works for you – once a week, 15 minutes a day, whatever works, just choose it and make it happen. This time can be used for something as simple as a quick walk, reading a few chapters of a book, listening to music, writing in your journal – whatever you feel like doing!

  1. Follow a healthy diet

What does this have to do with accepting God’s love? Everything! In fact, His word even says:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV

Wow. There you have it in black and white – even something as simple as eating is to be done to bring Glory to God. But aside from that, think about how you feel when you’re feeding your body “icky” stuff like candy, cookies, chips, fast food, pizza, soda, etc.  Does it make you feel energized, refreshed, mentally aware? Or does it make you feel tired, sluggish, crummy, and mad at yourself for eating junk once again?

I’m guessing you chose the latter because that’s usually what happens when you eat that stuff. Not to mention all the health issues that can result when you’re eating all that unhealthy, non-nourishing stuff on a regular basis. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m indulging in that stuff (occasionally it isn’t bad. It’s all about balance) it adds to the negative feelings I have towards myself!

 

Fran Watson

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