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Breast cancer awareness: Pink Heals Tour comes to Allentown/Bethlehem area

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Ensign Group gets hands-on with hospice

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2009 Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Help others survive through your loss

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river in gosse tete laWhat do you want to be when you grow up?

Remember asking yourself that question. When school was finished, you went on to pursue your “dream”. You may have become an architect, attorney, nurse or a professional clown. Yet, something is missing.

You can’t put your finger on it. Your life has all the trappings of success and happiness, but, you get up, go to work, plod through the day, go home, yada yada. You feel drained, or perhaps even cheated. Worse yet, you feel guilty for feeling unfulfilled. Unfounded guilt–life was designed with each individual and their happiness in mind.

Most people are stuck in life doing what they think they have too, because the alternative–true happiness–is seemingly impossible. After all, doing what we love means taking risks. Do you feel like stepping outside the norm is just too hard, or would cause too many waves?

There’s the money, the insurance and other peoples ideology for our life; all of which are controlled by others. Accountability is imperative in life; however, we should be making our choices in life on purpose.

My eye-opener came on a snowy morning at work when I learned a friend of mine died suddenly–alone–in his apartment from heart disease. He was only 52. A life of the party kind of guy, he loved life, or so it seemed. We talked about his work at a Fortune 500 company on occasion and he expressed: “it pays the bills”. I never got to talk to him, or see him alive again. Determined I would not end up going through the motions of life anymore, I set about to find my purpose.

A pastors wife and former business administrator, I asked myself some questions: Why am I here, and what am I supposed to be doing. The answers did not fall into my head and heart right away. It took some serious soul searching. Looking inward, and not outward to other sources (apart from Jesus). Happily married and serving alongside my husband in the ministry was great, but something was missing.

I first had to discover my passion–what really makes me tick. Once I found my passion, I could pursue my purpose through my passion.

My life was and continues to be centered around ministering–it is part of my passion. My spiritual life keeps me grounded and centered.

To find true passion, purpose and fulfillment, we must deal with our body, mind and spirit. By creating a balance, happiness is attainable.

Granted, it is not always easy. The road is up and down, but, staying the course to fulfill your purpose will lead you to the place of achieving your dream.

Share some of your challenges, dreams and journeys as it relates to discovering your purpose in the comments section. Let’s meander along life’s path together.

The Time Trap

“My, how time flies!”  What a familiar adage–time does seem to fly by, especially in a virtual world. If you don’t keep up with your social networks, keep your posts, thoughts and other such stuff moving each day, you can fall off the map of the virtual–albeit now–corporate world.

Having faithfully followed The Freelance Writing Jobs Network since beginning my freelance journey, I have been turned on to some great job leads. While pursuing some, testing and otherwise preoccupied with work, I realized I have not kept up with my virtual world presence recently.

BIG mistake in the freelance business. I may have missed out on my “discovery” by the perfect publisher or company looking for someone just like me. Worse yet, I lose track of what’s happening as far as the latest and greatest in freelancing and the social environments. One saving grace is just as quickly as you drop off the map, you can place yourself back on. The key is consistency.

Even though I am an award-winning editor and journalist (from the past), as the years passed I worked in other areas beside writing and I became rusty.

Being caught up in corporate affairs, dealing more with people and personalities versus writing, put me at a disadvantage. For most people those experiences would only add to their niche, or online personality; but as you can see, I am still trying to find mine.

When I got my first freelance “paying job” I felt like the tin man on the Wizard of Oz. The feeling of being stuck out in the rain and suddenly unable to function in my normal realm. Writing always came naturally to me, but when facing a deadline, I somehow freeze. So I thought freelancing would somehow magically remove the deadline stress from my life. Wrong.

Wrong, if you need to earn a certain amount of money and have to work feverishly to make it and do not have a plan. The stress mounts as each deadline approaches.  It is the same kind of “bad” stress found on a job situated away from your home which caused many of us to make the decision to freelance.

Working at home did not make me “at home” with that vision I somehow conjured up, of wandering around the house, doing whatever I pleased and writing when I wanted too. It can mean that, but it takes balance. Balance and a plan.

Learning to balance your day is vital in freelance work. At first my family and friends thought I was “off work” and at home now, so they could call on me, or expect that I could drop everything to meet their needs. After all, I wasn’t really working–I was just writing online–from home no less.

It can take some time to help family and friends understand that you are at work. It is vital you set work hours for yourself and stick to them, and things will fall into place as it relates to your earnings and freedom. The vision I had about enjoying a morning cuupa joe while listening to the sounds of birds sing is now, a reality.  It can be done. It just takes discipline, balance and a plan.

Best of luck on your freelance journey. Let me know what you have discovered along the way.

Freelancing for free?

When starting this blog I was beginning a new chapter in my life–freelance writing. I didn’t just put my toe in the water, I jumped in.

After setting up a workstation in my home, researching everything time would allow about how to get started as a freelance writer, I began checking out potential sites from GetAFreelancer to Helium and everything in-between.

I joined every social network I could find that may be a benefit, but I had yet to make a buck. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was spinning my wheels with most residual or bid sites like those mentioned previously and for me, this was confirmed with a recent post on The Freelance Writing Jobs Network, a must see, must follow site to learn the ropes of freelancing, get respectable leads, and engage with some of the fields top experts.

I began content writing for Demand Studios which provides steady work and decent pay for the guidelines, plus they publish my work on some of their sponsored sites, such as e.How.com and LiveStrong.com. However, I didn’t stop there, because I have yet to build my own client base or connect with the right situation allowing me true freedom to freelance and live.

What are some of your experiences with getting started in freelance writing or advice to others launching out on their journey? Let’s talk.

This morning while washing dishes I looked out the window above my kitchen sink and saw a neighbor donning an old fashioned, bandanaprint gardening bonnet. As feeble as she is-must be in her 80’s-she ambles out to her vegetable garden each day with her cane and tends to her crops.

Ruminating on my childhood I could remember “ma” doing the same thing. I considered what happened to the reasonable utility bonnets that protected us from sun and heat exposure. The functional bonnet that kept a lady’s head cool by trapping perspiration inside, allowing the breeze to act as a cooling fan; maybe, in part that-in and of itself-was it. Imagine our “do” would be nothing more than an oily, flat sheen, plastered to our head.  Horrors!  After all, today, we have our sun hats, cutesy visors and designer bonnets for the 21st century’s trendy woman-all of which-will allow for the cutest hairdo to remain in tact.

But the flip side to our trendy style is, they really do not offer protection from the sun and elements, as does the utilitarian sunbonnet of old. Worth the cost? I dunno, since we as a people are becoming more concerned about healthy lifestyles and living longer, the old bonnet may win out over style to reduce the effects of sun damage – mainly skin cancer.

These thoughts took me down another path concerning headgear and hairdos; the headscarf. 

As spring first began in Southeast Texas, 2009, the winds carried a force to be recokened with-especially for ladies whose hair is “kept”.  A friend of mine owns a headscarf-you know the sheer ones made of a delicate cotton-poleyster blend-and she being a lady whose hair is kept, her scarf gets a lot of use. I so desparately wished at that time, and even now that I too, owned one. Nonetheless, she asked me if at anytime I came across these dying breeds to please pick up one. Since then, I find myself looking in every shop, boutique, flea market and garage sale for one, two or more of these protective treasures for ones head. Yet, none have been found. Perhaps e-bay or some online boutique may offer them-I’ll check and let you know. The very idea of being a ladies, lady-supposing that to be similar to a man’s, man-is just exactly what I wanna be; femine.

So…my musings today lead me to the conclusion that I think sunbonnets, headscarfs and other such stuff  are for me, how about you?