Thank You to All of Our Veterans

We See You

Today is Veterans Day here in the United States, and I’m happy to be one of many extending my thanks to those who have served. I want to use this opportunity to share a link to Charity Navigator.org that’s devoted to helping our veterans and their families: Highly-Rated Military and Veterans Organizations. This is simply a reminder that we can help in many ways, both nationally and locally.  A thank you to our veterans is great, but getting them food, a place to stay, and consistent medical attention is even better.

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“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and 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, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

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Victory Begins in Your Head

It’s All in Your Mind

Victory always starts in the head.

“Victory always starts in your head.” – Douchan Gersi

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and 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, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

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Is Your Dream Crazy Enough?

How Crazy is Your Dream?

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“Don’t ask if your dream is crazy, ask if it’s crazy enough.”
– Lena Waithe

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and 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, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

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Hold on to Your Dreams

Thank YOU!

First of all, I want to thank all of you who have supported me and my works, especially during the month of August, when I released my third book, Luck of the Irish! Thank you so much for downloading this third Holiday Heartbeats story (the longest and so far, my personal favorite). I’m so excited that this book is getting into hands around the world. What a dream come true!

Keep On Dreaming On

As an adult, when you believe a dream of yours, it can be difficult to hold on to that belief  – especially when many of those you love and respect quietly give you the side-eye for pursuing what seems to be a far-fetched dream. I’m thankful to have always had a family that supports my very, *ahem* unique perspectives and pursuits in life, and I’m blessed to have a husband who’s my biggest fan and motivator. Still, it’s hard to pull both inspiration and creativity out of the ether and consistently be productive on the daily. Doubt is constantly on the sidelines, poking its nose in places where it shouldn’t be. Combating negativity and creating anything useful aren’t compatible activities, so some days can be pretty exhausting. But I keep on crawling towards that dream, ever hopeful that soon I will walk and eventually run as I grow stronger.

Last month, more readers showed genuine interest in my work than ever before, and it miraculously affected my bottom line. I’m sharing this because I know that many of you reading this blog understand the struggle between living your authentic life as a Creative and also being able to put food on the table for your family and yourself.

So often, I battle with the guilt of no longer working a so-called traditional job by “choice”. Believe me, I’ve definitely been led to do this; even I can’t yet explain why. It’s exhausting running my own business feeling as though I’m wearing blinders, but by Grace and by Faith, I am slowly learning to feel my way around. Mentors are popping up into my life in ways that I may not have expected, but humbly welcome. Last month, I was awarded a grant to attend the Northern Hearts Conference in Toronto, Canada with the Toronto Romance Writers chapter of the Romance Writers of America! Good things are coming, and as I continue to learn and grow, just as I promised when I first came to the decision to work for myself, I intend to continue to share my ups and downs with you as candidly as I can.

There is so much that I want to accomplish, and the desire is still so strong, it’s often overwhelming. As a woman of Faith, I am convinced that I’m following my calling, but it’s hard to hear it over the discouraging silence that often comes back when reaching out. That’s when I’m grateful to those encouraging souls who remind me that just because I’m not hearing an echo doesn’t mean that my message isn’t resonating with someone. So, I’ll continue to reach out, thankful to all of you as I continue to explore Love and Life, one word at a time.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available. The first chapter is available for free on Wattpad. Read it here.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

 

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– 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, writing. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday

It’s up to you to set the tone.

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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, writing. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

#MotivatedMonday: Persevere​

Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is LIVE. Download your copy today.

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. -Julie Andrews

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” 
– Julie Andrews

Sending Love and Light to all of you. August is Support Indie Authors month.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Just (Don’t) Do It – Be Content Doing Nothing

During the summer months, I’m so blessed to be able to spend real quality-time with my husband and toddler. To me, this is the best gift that I could ever receive! Even as a writer, words fail me when I try to describe how beautiful it is to see my two men standing in front of a mirror dancing around, singing Beatles hits at the top of their lungs.

Be Content Doing Nothing

Still, despite these blissful weeks of Family Fun, there’s an ominous shadow lingering in the back of my mind. Amid the laughter, day trips, and super silly giggles, a niggling voice keeps telling me that I should be DOING MORE.

What exactly is it that I have to do besides enjoying my husband and our little one while his sweet, purely innocent nature isn’t a distant memory? What could possibly be more important than a virtually-carefree summer day with the two guys who stole my heart? Well, in my overachieving mind, that ambiguously important other thing is simply doing anything that’s the opposite of relaxing and letting go.

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I’m pretty sure this is from SpongeBob Squarepants, but I found the image on Google.

Let’s face it, far too many of us – quite often (but certainly not exclusively) many of us women – feel the persistent need to be doing something. All the time. Even though we are frequently running ourselves ragged with our personal and professional lives, there’s a constant companion that’s judging our actions from within. Are we doing enough? More importantly, do others perceive us as doing enough?

One of the things I’ve noticed is that when someone asks what we do for a living, it’s a thinly-veiled way of asking who we are.

Two of the most powerful words in human speech are “I AM.” There is so much power in these words, and as a Woman of Faith, I feel an even more profound connection to these all-encompassing words. As an overachieving creative, I’ve always struggled with trying to fit myself into one simple, concise sentence that defines who I am. To say, “I am an overachieving creative and business owner” is painfully accurate, but it isn’t remotely close to defining everything that I do or who I AM. And yet, I’m constantly fretting about how I can succinctly define myself to people I merely meet in passing – because networking is everything. It’s silly, and yet, I know I’m not the only one. Any person who understands how social media works knows exactly what I mean.

Anyway, I sat there, watching two beautiful, contented souls from the sidelines. As they danced, I caught my own reflection in the mirror – a wistful grin on my face as I observed them, seated at my desk with a neat stack of work that refuses to shrink. Instead of fully participating in a moment that has quickly evolved into a pleasant memory, I was merely in the background. Why?

My long To Do list oddly seems to get longer each time I complete one task. I didn’t walk away from my traditional career to forfeit living a well-lived life on my own terms as much as I sensibly can. There’s not enough time in a day to take care of everything, and I need to accept that. When I chose to become a mother, that day I made a commitment to putting my little one and my family first. But there are days when the struggle to balance career, writing, and family life is tremendous. It’s hard to do it all, and do it well.

Stop chasing after doing and find contentment in simply being.

Next time, when I’m at a social mixer rubbing elbows with folks that judge and are being judged, when someone asks me what I do, I want to take a breath, smile, and simply say,

“Enough.”

When you feel yourself chasing your dreams a bit too hard and you find yourself out of breath, stop yourself, look around, and remind your inner critic with a booming voice of self-assurance: “I AM ENOUGH.” (And then whip out your favorite album and sing in front of the mirror at the top of your lungs.)

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, goes live on August 8th. Preorder now.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday: Grab your Dream & Don’t Let Go

Hold on to your Dreams

When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go. - Carol Burnett

“When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” – Carol Burnett

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday: Make Room for Something Better

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“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes
a wonderful stroke of luck.” Dalai Lama

 

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivational Monday: Find a Way to Get What You Want

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“When you know what you want and want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it.” – Jim Rohn

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder. Remember to join my mailing list for a chance to win a free copy of Meant To Be Broken, A Carolina Clay novel by Brandy Woods Snow! The winner will be announced on July 2nd.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.