What’s Your Plan?

Doesn’t this photo speak the truth? I used to get so out of sorts when things didn’t go as I planned. I wondered “why do things never go according to my plan?” “Why isn’t God moving in a certain area of my life.” “What am I doing wrong?” Then I realized, that THIS is life. Sometimes we think we’re the only ones that face detours and distractions on the path to where we are going, but if you look around, people are experiencing obstacles every day. Some struggle in silence, hitting the peaks and valleys alone. Other let the whole world know when things aren’t going their way or when they’ve climbed that insurmountable mountain.

I started on this #projectdiscovery365 journey without giving it much thought. It was a new year and I wasn’t sure where I was headed or what I really wanted to do. In 2018, I wanted to pause and take a closer look. To evaluate if somehow I got off the path in 2017 and was headed in a direction I didn’t want to do. Through my journey, I wanted to encourage others to “discover” for themselves.

I had a plan. Post every day about something I’m looking at “new” and discovering. I’ve already “failed” on posting.  And that’s okay.  I’m looking every day. And that is the real plan. To look. See. Discover.

And that’s exactly what I’m doing.

 

Fresh Beginnings. Something New!

 

What will you write?

Is there anything scarier than starting something new and not knowing what it will look like in the end? Today, as I begin my mystery novel after a year off, this is what’s on my mind. But literal blank pages aren’t the only beginnings I face.  So much unknown in my life. So many things I could be afraid of, and yet today I choose to look at the blank page with anticipation.

Today, I am excited about the blank pages in my new novel, something I’ve been afraid to write, but I’m rolling up my sleeves and committed to finishing, no matter how messy. I’m also choosing to look at the blank pages of my life, relationships, and finances as the road clearing for anything I want in life. So much possibility in my life because I have nothing blocking the way. That’s what this journey is all about. Discovering what I want.

T.S. Elliot said, “every moment is a fresh beginning.” Beginning something new doesn’t have to be scary unless you want it to be.

What new beginnings are you afraid of? Will you see this moment right now as a fresh beginning full of endless possibilities? I invite you to embrace it and get excited with me! Come journey with me and discover!

#projectdiscovery365

#ProjectDiscovery365

 

January 1, 2018

I’m a great starter. I love to plan and dream and talk about all the things I want to do and accomplish. I make lists and goals and plans, but somewhere along the way the follow through gets lost and nothing gets finished like I planned. That will change in 2018.

I have all the tools I need to accomplish my goals, but the biggest thing I’m lacking are clear goals. In other words: what I really want and why! Somewhere along the way to where I am now, I think I lost sight of what I really wanted. Somewhere along the way, life and other people started telling me what I should do and be, and I listened because I wanted to belong and be part of something. Somewhere along the way I jumped on too many bandwagons and lost sight of what really mattered to me.

#ProjectDiscovery365 is my quest to (re)discover what really matters to me in life. Each month, I am focusing on one theme and looking for that theme in my life every single day. I will take a photo, post a thought or quote or share something that moves me all in an effort to answer the question “What do I want and why do I want it?”

If you’re feeling a little “lost” in your life right now and need to rediscover your passion and purpose, I invite you to take this journey with me.

Follow me, then use #projectdiscovery365 as you post your daily discoveries.

Instagram: @gina_conroy
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January: NEW BEGINNINGS/POSSIBILITIES
February: LOVE
March: FAITH
April: PASSION
May: PEACE
June: JOY
July: DREAMS
August: REST
September:
October:
November:
December:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Will You Be in 7 Years?

This photo popped up in my Facebook timeline. Not the greatest picture, but a good reminder where I was 7 years ago. And it made me start thinking about where I plan to be 7 years from now.

Has it been 7 years since I took my travel dream into my own hands? 7 years since I took responsibility for my own loneliness and quit complaining that no one could go on a trip with me for my 40th birthday. (Which had actually turned into my 41st birthday by then.)

7 years since I took a 3 1/2 week road trip BY MYSELF picking up my new friend Jessie (whom I had never met in person) until Denver where we attended a small writer’s conference with a writing friend Danica, my agent at the time, Chip MacGregor, and author/teacher Susan May Warren.

7 years where in Denver I first experienced SWING DANCING (in all my awkward awe,) having no idea of what I was doing, and VOWED next time I went out dancing I would know what I was doing. (Now I teach beginners to dance.)

7 years since I drove Jessie home from Denver to Idaho via Yellow Stone Park and Old Faithful where we got off schedule for over an hour waiting for Old Faithful to blow ( so worth it) and drove, petrified, in the dark on the side of mountain to find a little dive hotel in the middle of nowhere.

7 years since I spent time in Portland with my college roommate Jana and visited Multnomah Falls and Cannon Beach and all the “weird places,” then drove down the California coast to Sonoma Valley where I had my first wine tasting BY MYSELF and then traveled south via the beautiful scenic highway to visit Liz and my family in Santa Barbara before I headed across the desert to see Georgiana, the Grand Canyon and Sedona, then on home.

7 years before SIRI, before smartphone guidance (Thank God for Garman,) with only audio books to keep me company.

7 years when I took my Midlife Road trip that would change the course of my future.

7 years when I decided to start living my life and not wait for things to be perfect to travel and dance and live…

7 years later, my life looks so different. I am different because I stopped waiting for life to happen, for friends to say “Yes, let’s take a trip!” I took control of my life and made little steps forward to get to where I am today.

7 years since I took a good hard look at my life and marriage, my family and friends, and quit living as a victim who just accepted things as they were, and decided to take steps to create the life I wanted.

Was I scared? Absolutely! Did I take action right away? In some areas, but most of my change came from frightened baby steps along the way. From drying my eyes as I forced myself out the door to go to a dance by myself, or wrestled with God over the end of my marriage and the decisions I had to make to move toward a healthier life.

Am I where I want to be at this point in my life? No, and to be honest, it trips me up all the time. I get stuck more often than I’d like because instead of doing the things necessary to move forward, I worry about where I am, and why I’m not where I want to be.

I wish I was further down the road. I wish I had more friends journeying with me, lending support whenever I needed it. I wish someone would snap their fingers, and I’d have everything I ever wanted or needed in life. But truth is, there’s no magic in making dreams come true. (Ask Cinderella. Here magic expired at midnight, and she had to fight her own way out of the locked room to get her happy ever after.)

Truth is, if you want whatever you want, you have to go out and get it. You have to make a plan and decide to act on it. You have to be brave enough to take the first steps alone, if necessary.  And you have to be brave enough to say no to the things in your life that won’t move you in the direction you want to go.

The alternative: stay where you are and quit whining and complaining about what you don’t have and just accept your life as is. If you’re not ready to do that, here are a few questions to think about over the next couple of weeks.

Where were you 7 years ago?
Where will you be 7 years from now if you do nothing?
And are you okay with that reality?

Where do you really want to be in 7 years?
And what are you willing to do to get there?

Honeslty, those are questions I’m asking myself this December. And if you’re ready to ask those questions of yourself, I’d love to hear the answers and support you in your journey.

Only you have the power to get to where you want to be in 2018! But you don’t have to do it alone.

Here’s to our best year ever!

Getting a Job and Getting Real…Again

I started a post I never published called “I’m Breaking All the Rules” with these words.

Everyone says if you want to succeed, you need to focus. Focus your time. Focus your energy. Focus your goals. Focus your brand. And I get that, I really, really do. However, focus has been one thing I’ve struggled with because there’s so much I want to do. So much I love. So much I want to be.

A part of me has resisted choosing, and maybe that’s why I’m not “successful.” I don’t have a dozen books published, or half a dozen for that matter. Maybe I won’t be a best selling author, or sort after writing teacher, or ever win a dance competition because all of these things need dedicated focus, and that’s okay, though deep down I long to be successful at everything. But I also don’t want to have to choose what to focus on because if I did, I fear a piece of me would be lost. So I know I’m breaking all the rules on how to be successful in my chosen field, but then again, I’m also redefining what it means to be successful.

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The Thing is, You have to Really Want to Change

Change doesn’t have to be something you fear. It is all in your perspective. It can actually be a blessing. I have been through so much change these last 5 years, so much so the thought of changing from my Samsung to an iPhone scared me. What would the learning curve be? Would it be worth it. Would I regret it? As with any change, you need to get so tired of where you are before you can take a chance and try something new.

Many of us never get tired enough and would rather continue the struggle instead of stepping out in faith to do the work it takes for a better life. The thing is, to change, you have to really want to change.

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FREE novel writing course for 2017

Sometimes the Best Ideas Come at the Last Minute.I wasn’t planning on doing any big teaching event this year. I worked hard in 2016 launching my new website and promoting my writing and homeschool classes. I made new friends, taught awesome students, and had some success. I gave it my all, and it just wasn’t enough to make ends meet. So I thought it was time to focus on other things in 2017.

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Life Redefined and Project Possibility

Gina headshot 2015

New beginnings. That’s where I’m at in my life and career. I’m rethinking the old and realizing the past does not define who I am. All my past failures, mistakes, mishaps don’t matter. They’re in the past. All I have is now, and what I do NOW will determine my future. So I choose to disappear my past, start over from nothing, and embrace the possibilities in my life and career. I invite you to do the same and see the difference starting NOW can make in your life.

In fact, I’m so committed to the NOW and creating new possibilities in life for myself and those around me that I’m launching #ProjectPossibility.

I believe we lose focus and get off track in life when we start to step out of the moment and worry about tomorrow. #ProjectPossibility is about being present to what is NOW, and enjoying and living in the moment as we move toward creating possibilities for our future.

Won’t you join me here and on social media starting January 1st- December 31, 2017 for a year of creating new possibilities for your life every single day. This 365 day journey will transform your life and those around you. It’s going to be an amazing ride!

 

 

 

Reflections on my BirthEve: A Year From Today Will Be My Past

The last few years have been filled with pain, letting go, and healing. But nothing has been more freeing than the last tumultuous year. On my birthEve, I wanted to reflect on my growth and share some of the important lessons I’ve learned.  In no particular order:

  1. Trust your gut; sometimes first impressions are dead on. Listen to your heart. It knows.
  2. Give people a chance. Learn how to come from nothing, yet don’t ignore and brush off those little inconsistencies. (See #1)
  3. Be committed and not attached. Attachments are all about you and what you want. Commitment has the other person’s needs in mind despite what you want.
  4. Don’t sacrifice yourself just to hold onto someone who doesn’t care if you stay or go.
  5. You are powerful. You are okay alone.
  6. People will break their promises and let you down. But love anyway. If not for them- because they need it- than for you!
  7. Healing is a process and takes time. Sometimes you have to make stupid mistakes and stupid decisions all while “knowing” they’re not in your best interest in order to get to the place of healing you need to be.
  8. Change is inevitable. Don’t hold onto anyone or anything too tightly.
  9. Love fiercely. Forgive often. Cry when you must. Then dry your eyes and count your blessings.
  10. Doing your best is always enough.
  11. It’s okay to grieve and feel sorry for yourself every once and a while. Your pain matters.
  12. It’s never okay to hurt others when you are hurting, but it’s inevitable. So apologize and restore the relationship no matter if the person you hurt hurt you first and has never acknowledged your pain.
  13. Learn from everything. Regret nothing. Do better next time.
  14. A year from now will be my past. Only I can choose whether it will be better or worse.
  15. I can only be responsible for what I do. Even if I’m so “obviously” wronged, I’m still responsible for how I react and treat people.
  16. God will provide. It may not be when or how I want, but it will be enough.
  17. Stepping into the unknown is scary. But it’s also exciting.
  18. There’s always someone hurting worse than you. Go find them, love them and your pain will disappear.
  19. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Really look at what you’ve done. What you are doing. You are amazing!
  20. The best is yet to come. How do I know? Because I choose for it to be the best!

I Hear Voices

Too many voices tell me what to do. How to act. Who to be.

I am overwhelmed.

“That’s not good enough.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“No one cares about you.”

“No one wants you.”

Soon the voices become my own , and I’m not sure what is the truth and what is the lie.

It doesn’t matter. I believe them all.
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