Motivated Monday: Go with Confidence

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“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” —Henry David Thoreau

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Motivated Monday: Look on the Bright Side

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Be Kind to Yourself

Be Kind to Others – And Yourself

In the spirit of #MotivatedMonday, I wanted to share an insightful reminder with you. While we’re all slaying at what we do (and if you’re working on the NaNoWriMo, I hope that you’re getting close to that 50k finish line), we still need to remember to take care of ourselves.

I spend a lot of time here trying to remind myself and others that there is still a lot of kindness in the world. It’s almost cliché to say that kindness starts with the individual, but is less often that we are reminded that the first person we should be kind to is ourselves. So this week, as we’re recovering from the initial onslaught of the 2018 holiday season, I want to remind us to be kind to ourselves. Be forgiving in nature (if at all possible). People and things try my patience every day, but if I’m kind to myself, I realize that I get over things more quickly.

I hope that you are kind to yourself this week – and throughout the hectic holiday season!

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Happy Thanksgiving! November Gratitude

#NovemberGratitude on Thanksgiving

By far, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Even when living in Europe, Thanksgiving has always been my jam. I have converted so many people from being skeptical about this American holiday (“Why do you make it a goal to overeat?”) to blatantly requesting an invitation to one of my Thanksgiving dinner parties. Trust this southern girl when I say that great food will make a believer out of anyone.

Sure it’s about family, friends, and amazing food. These days, it might even be about political arguments and exploding turkeys – but to me, Thanksgiving has always been about gratitude.

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In keeping with the #NovemberGratitude spirit, I know that this Thursday is one celebrated day that culminates all of the things that I want to be thinking about on a daily basis. I have friends – maybe not as many as I think that I would like to have (writing gets lonely, and my social media game needs professional help, lol) – but the friends that I do have are goldenI’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of person, and wow – my real friends are top of the line. I am so thankful for you.

My family is amazing, and for the rest of my life I will always think of my parents and uncle who would leave early in the morning on Thanksgiving day, only to return in the early afternoon. When I was very small, I never understood why they left, but as the years passed, I learned that they would go to a soup kitchen and help feed the homeless. This is the kind of stuff that highlights what Gratitude means to me. I’m so thankful to have had people in my life who have always led by example – including by knowing how to say “I’m sorry”. This is not an easy thing to accomplish!

Thank YOU!

Lastly, I am grateful for my followers! You have been supporting me, cheering me on, and are becoming my friends as we actually get to know each other. I know that I have a lot to learn about blogging and connecting, but I am so grateful for your patience, curiosity, and forgiving nature. Although you may not comment, I know that you are engaged, and you support my driving motivation to connect, explore, hope, and inspire the best way that I know how at this stage in my life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those who celebrate, and let’s all keep up our #NovemberGratitude challenge!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Happy Thanksgiving! #NovemberGratitude

#NovemberGratitude on Thanksgiving

By far, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Even when living in Europe, Thanksgiving is my jam. I have converted so many people from being skeptical about this American holiday (“Why do you make it a goal to overeat?”) to blatantly requesting an invitation to one of my Thanksgiving dinner parties. Trust this southern girl when I say that great food will make a believer out of anyone.

Sure it’s about family, friends, and amazing food. These days, it might even be about political arguments and exploding turkeys – but to me, Thanksgiving has always been about gratitude.

happy-thanksgiving-novembergratitude.jpg

In keeping with the #NovemberGratitude spirit, I know that this Thursday is one celebrated day that culminates all of the things that I want to be thinking about on a daily basis. I have friends – maybe not as many as I think that I would like to have (writing gets lonely, and my social media game needs professional help, lol) – but the friends that I do have are goldenI’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of person, and wow – my real friends are top of the line. I am so thankful for you.

My family is amazing, and for the rest of my life I will always think of my parents and uncle who would leave early in the morning on Thanksgiving day, only to return in the early afternoon. When I was very small, I never understood why they left, but as the years passed, I learned that they would go to a soup kitchen and help feed the homeless. This is the kind of stuff that highlights what Gratitude means to me. I’m so thankful to have had people in my life who have always led by example – including by knowing how to say “I’m sorry”. This is not an easy thing to accomplish!

Thank YOU!

Lastly, I am grateful for my followers! You have been supporting me, cheering me on, and are becoming my friends as we actually get to know each other. I know that I have a lot to learn about blogging and connecting, but I am so grateful for your patience, curiosity, and forgiving nature. Although you may not comment, I know that you are engaged, and you support my driving motivation to connect, explore, hope, and inspire the best way that I know how at this stage in my life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those who celebrate, and let’s all keep up our #NovemberGratitude challenge!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Write a Great Story for the Ages

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

5 Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Are You Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone?

It’s so easy to get into routines. You get up, make a pot of coffee or some hot tea, check your messages and news, and then you move about your day. You write thousands of words. You read thousands and thousands more. Same old, same old.

But what if you switched things up?

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In the spirit of my #NovemberGratitude challenge, here are 5 ways to step out of your comfort zone and do something great.

1 Send Thank You Notes and Emails to Neighbors & Service Providers

This is a dying art, I know, but all the more reason to try it out! We’re far too busy to send little notes that make us smile, nut just imagine how you feel when you receive them. If you’re really not to writing type, find another way to say Thank You. During the summer, we offer our mail carrier and Amazon/Fed Ex deliverers cool drinks; on holidays, we give our garbage man yummy chocolate. Those aren’t notes, but they’re small tokens to say Thank You to people with whom we may not have necessarily held a conversation with before.

2 Call Someone You Haven’t Talked to in A While

We all have phones, but we’re using them for phone calls less frequently. Is there someone elderly in your life who could use a pick me up just by saying hello? Maybe there’s an acquaintance with whom you haven’t spoken in ages. Reaching out can make such a huge difference, and it feels great once you finally “get around to it”.

3 Have a Conversation with a Stranger

It would be a cool challenge to say hello to a person who would normally not be on your radar for everyday conversation. Is there an interesting person on your daily commute? A homeless person who frequents the same area each day? A police office at your local coffee shop on break? These are just a few examples of how we can connect – starting with a simple hello.

4 Make a Food Donation to Your Local Food Bank

For many of us, this won’t put a huge dent in the monthly budget. The challenge here is to even find out where the food banks in your neighborhood are even located. Often, people will be so pleased that you’ve reached out; even an extra $25 in groceries can make the biggest difference for hungry families in your own community.

5 Decide for Yourself What Challenge Makes You Grow

I’ve listed some examples of inner challenges that I’ve taken on in order to grow and connect with my neck of the woods. What ideas do you have for stepping out and reaching out? Decide what works for you – and take it on. Afterwards, use that motivation in your writing. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Grow Out of Your Comfort Zone

Happy #MotivatedMonday!

In addition to delving into the NaNoWriMo fun, I’m keeping my #NovemberGratitude Challenge in mind as well. This week, I’m going to challenge myself to concentrate on my Main Characters and how they are being forced to step out of their comfort zones. It made me think:

What am I doing to make me step out of my comfort zone?

Well, I am going to write a novel in a month, so no pressure there. (Actually, although this is my first time participating in the NaNoWriMo, I did write my first novel of 60k+ words in only 3 weeks.) But what else am I doing to step things up?

How about you – Do you feel like you’re growing – or do you feel stagnant?

One place where I really want to grow is within the writing community. I’m still quite lame at social media, but I love to genuinely connect with people! So this week, as I write, I’m going to sort of stalk some of my dear followers on social media (likely via Twitter & your blogs) to get to know you better and support you the best way that I know how – by reading what you’ve written!

Don’t be shy – let me know where you are in the comments and say hello.

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

#NovemberGratitude Challenge

Have An Attitude of #NovemberGratitude

Excuse me while I start waxing poetic, but I’m going to go so far as to quote Mahatma Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We know this quote. It’s easier to think about than actually do. That’s why I’m throwing down the gauntlet and starting a hashtag: #NovemberGratitude. Let’s get this trending!

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I’m issuing a challenge for this month: Why don’t we challenge ourselves to find something to be content about each day of November – and appreciate it?

It’s always the little things that end of making a big deal. You won’t lose anything by trying it, and who knows? By the end of the month, we may find that our smiles appear more frequently, and as our coats get heavier, our hearts feel a bit lighter.

It’s Okay to Feel Content Sometimes

These days, feeling content is a lot more challenging than you might initially think. Our news cycle is based on the negative things that happen, or more accurately, the potential for negative things to happen. Do you remember my post when I wrote about the boy’s soccer team that was trapped in a cave in Thailand? For days, the world held its breath wondering whether or not they would survive. Once they actually did, media coverage dwindled to nearly nothing. One of the best lines that stuck with me when watching Nightcrawler was when the news producer (played by Rene Ruso) said, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

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Why can’t we be led a different way? How can we lead differently? 

This month is probably my favorite month of the year. November is on the sweet spot of our calendar when we’ve all finally accepted that summer is actually over, the nights are getting chillier, and the dinners are morphing into warm comfort foods. November is that quiet moment right before the storm of Christmas and holiday hoopla shifts into full gear. For now, calm November is the time to pull out the cozy blankets, rediscover your fuzzy slippers, and enjoy the soft glow of lit houses. It’s one of the few times where we might remember to sit down, take a deep breath, and be content.

Hold me accountable to the challenge and use that hashtag #NovemberGratitude. We can follow each other on Twitter (Atina_Atwood) to encourage each other. Are you in? Let us know in the comments!

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Introducing #MotivationMonday

#MotivationMonday – Let’s Do This!

Doesn’t it seem like there is an influx of doom and gloom everywhere we look?! It’s really hard to remember to think about the good things happening in our lives when outside influences keep telling us otherwise.

I want to start the week off right by finding something inspiring, motivating, and encouraging – and I’d love for you to be a part of it! So, I’m working with the hastag #MotivationMonday to kick off the week with something positive. Normally, it should be something like a quote, maybe an article or fellow blooger’s post with some good news, or a quick blog post of my own with something fun and uplifting. As usual, if you’d like to make a suggestion or *gasp* even a contributing post, I welcome your input!

Don’t give up. Keep your goals in sight, and let discouragement fall to the wayside. You’ve got this!

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.