Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Be The Change! That's Life!


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I was livin’ high in April ...."
 (That’s Life sung by Frank Sinatra)


I love new beginnings! 

Six months ago when I turned the calendar page to January 2020 my month was already dotted with all that I love! Numerous book signings and seminars interlaced in the scenic environment of the southwestern desert promised a prosperous and exciting new year. And most important, I looked forward to sharing my experiences, strength and hope along the way with hundreds of new and old friends.

 Life promised to be as good as it gets for a wandering author like me.  I was off and running, meeting new readers, encouraging new writers, and inciting those of you with an unrequited wanderlust.

 In March, when the world screeched to halt.  My book signings and my first ever motivational seminar were canceled. Life is simpler for me if I accept what I cannot change. So, new mantra became,” Love The Obstacle.”

 As an author, I welcomed the isolation. Mother Nature had delivered spring in the Arizona desert, which as intended the season energized my soul with spectacular cool morning sunrises and even cooler yet fiery sunsets. I soaked up the open-air vastness, discovered walking trails, and wild burros. Mother Nature wrapped me in her powerful arms. I was grateful for her tolerance.

I was safe in the middle of nowhere in Why, Arizona.  I wrote, walked, and wondered about the new normal. Isolation released me of any distractions and offered me endless days and nights to do what I love … to write.  I envisioned a bright future for our country after the waters of fear receded.
Life never stays the same and it comes at you fast. I would die of boredom if it were any other way.  Energy is cyclical, claiming its own rhythm, always challenging, always testing.

“…Shot down in May…

Outside of my desert cocoon, the world population scurried back and forth across the internet and TV channels, hungering for any crumb of information which might make sense of the raw, unchallenged threat it faced.  The universal new slogan became, “Be kind to one another. We are in this together”.
We gorged ourselves with others’ opinions, unverified news, and sometimes even the truth, but it was all illusive and impossible to differentiate. . No one ever looked within for answers.
Isolated, our only information was what we were told. Fear ruled. It had a hold on us and was not going to let go anytime soon.

Apprehension increased, like a tsunami racing for shore, Invisible waves charged up and over the surrounding mountains and invaded the small town of Why, Arizona. Like a blinding cloud of radiation, it smothered the desert’s spirit, it’s majestic Saguaros, the delicate shade of the Palo Verdes. Like a drug, fear sedated the wild independence of the tiny community of Why, Arizona, a town which most have never even known existed.

We all wondered, “Why is this happening?”

We relied on the dire statistics fed to us. This powerful new consciousness saturated the sand, the sky and the air.! It clouded everything, It took over our minds, our hearts. We spoke of nothing else. I found it hard to breathe, to think, TO LIVE!

Tension and fear did not recede. It thrived. Anxiety and rigidity became the new normal, a choking bacterium in a stagnant pond from which everyone continued to drink.  

Now, the biggest killer of all …bigger than any tsunami  or deadly virus…unrest and discord seized me, threatening  to hack away at my immune system as it paved  an easy path for heart disease, cancer and all other ailments from the common cold to depression and suicide.
   
And yet still, the world focused on nothing else. We nurtured our anxieties  as we drink from the same mucky negatively charged pond. Fear and tension mutated into a ferocious controlling plague with all its symptoms – a weakness of spirit, headaches, shortness of breath coughing and chest pain.

I thought about quitting but my heart ain’t going to buy it….”

Poisoned by debilitating fear and hoping to find clean and positive ideas, I abandoned the little town of Why, Arizona, but apprehension was everywhere. There was no place to go. The year which had begun with promise of positivity and good will became dark with suspicion and accusations from every faction.

Was this the new norm?   All my life I struggled to overcome the spirit killing expectations and judgements made by others, the “him or me” mind-set, and the hundreds of labels society has tossed around to categorize us.  I refused to surrender to fear.

Love the obstacle. Allow it to fulfill its purpose.

I took advantage of the precious commodity which the obstacle offered. Time.  I re-evaluated my goals, did a lot of soul searching, regrouped …and had back surgery.

“Each time I find myself flat on my face,
I pick myself up and get back in the race.”

 Today I refuse to watch the news, a habit I began four years ago. And I refuse to discuss the obstacle and all its aspects and complications.  Because when I look past all the negativity, I can see this is my opportunity to do something great.

 I am going to reach out and tell someone, “It’s going to be alright. Others before us have survived so much in this country and the world , and we will, too.  We will come out the other side even better. This is my chance  and yours, too. 




Step up to the plate and do everything possible to hit a home run for the team.  
If you look closely, we are all on the same team. We all want the same thing.  Reach out.  


“A coward dies a thousand times, but the valiant tastes death only once.”


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Other books by Judy Howard: JUDY’S AMAZON  AUTHOR  PAGE


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Safe travels!