I hope your New Year is off to a good start. I bet you're already plotting and planning some exciting adventures for the coming months. Me, I like to keep the spirit of giving at the forefront a little longer. Once the holidays are over, it's so tempting to jump into what comes next and forget about the wonderful time we just spent with family and friends. Our regimented thinking goes straight to work on January 1st, insisting that we get those taxes done, set our goals for 2015, and forge on with a new production schedule, marketing plan, or weight loss program. No more sitting around eating pumpkin pie, drinking eggnog, reading all those freebies we just downloaded onto our new Kindles, and watching football...or Outlander marathons in my case.
I'm all for seizing the day and plunging into new projects, but what if we kept hold of our charitable natures a bit longer? Are we really supposed to focus on work all year, just to celebrate and enjoy our family and friends for a few weeks in November and December? We have Thanksgiving to help us remember to be grateful for all the blessings in our lives, and then Christmas to spread the love and charity that comes with the Spirit of Giving. So what happens to us the rest of the year? Are we going to let the struggle to survive, the drive to succeed, or the increasing disconnect from humanity through digital-age living, dictate the other ten months? Why do we let our "busy-ness" get in the way of taking time to catch up with a friend or doing something nice for a stranger?
I've seen myself get sucked into this trap in the past. I'm a goal-setter by nature and a bit addicted to checking off my to-do lists. It probably doesn't help that both in my writer's life and my massage therapy practice, I spend a LOT of time in my own head. (Fortunately, I like myself well enough and have learned to put the meandering thoughts to good use for the most part.) Whether you prefer isolation--like me--or the hustle and bustle of chaos around you, the danger comes in the inherent self-absorption that happens when we let ourselves be swept along on the tidal wave of distractions and to-do's, and forget to look outward at the people passing us by.
To ground myself in what is truly important to me--which is to share love, spread kindness, and promote peace on a daily basis--I need to keep the Spirit of Giving alive. There are so many ways to give back and make a difference in the world--to be a positive influencer, or as I've heard it said, be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Volunteerism, charity work, or even making a conscious choice to engage in random acts of kindness every single day. If everyone on the planet did this, think about how different the world would be. I can guarantee that greed and selfishness wouldn't be the epidemic it is today. Check out this Youtube video that perfectly illustrates my point.
Enough on my soap box! I'm coming down to practice what I preach.
I had such a great response to my FREE run with WANING MOON last month, I figured readers who downloaded it might be ready for the second installment of Lily and Will's adventure. I know of a few new reviewers who were looking forward to seeing where the romance is going.
So this week I'll be giving away WESTERN DESERT, Book Two in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy. The e-book will be available to download for FREE at Amazon from January 15 to the 19th. Feel free to share this post with friends!
In addition to giving away more books this year, I'll also be working on a non-fiction project sure to be a big help to readers and writers alike--two of my favorite groups of humans. The book, slated for later this spring or early summer, will be full of tips for ergonomics (the study of work-related biomechanics and proper setup for workstations) and self-care. I'll give practical solutions for preventing and treating the problems that arise with a sedentary lifestyle. Today, most of us fall into the category of writers, readers, students, desk jockeys or couch potatoes. We fight to stay fit, but the digital age is winning in the battle for maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle. This isn't a new problem, but it is one that's worsening every day.
From my many years in the Physical Therapy profession, as well as from my private practice as a massage therapist, personal trainer, and yoga instructor, I've seen musculoskeletal issues, obesity, and a general deterioration in the health of sedentary individuals grow to epidemic proportions. But since I can only treat so many people in a day, this is my way of expanding my reach to help educate and heal the masses.
I'll have more information on this topic over the next few months. In the meantime, if you have any questions related to ergonomics or self care, or you need tips for correcting/treating a problem, let me know in the comments below. I'll do my best to answer them. I'm always happy to spread the love!
Peace and blessings,