What I Do: Be Your Own Cheerleader




Do you ever find yourself doing one–or both–of the scenarios below?

Scenario One:

You have a great idea and you’re very excited about it. This idea causes your heart and soul to come alive and it feels as if they’re singing.

You look to others to share your excitement, to give you support and encouragement. They say they’re happy for you and they tell you to go for it, but in the next breath they ask you if you remembered to pick up lettuce for that night’s dinner….



Scenario Two:

You’ve had a great idea that you’re excited about and you’ve started pursuing it. Everything’s going well and your motivation and enthusiasm are at high levels. But then you hit a snag. The next thing you know you’re in the middle of a rough patch.

Your enthusiasm and motivation evaporate and you look to others outside of you for encouragement.   They listen and they tell you that you can do it. Then in the next breath they ask you if you’re going to cook tonight or is it another night of take-out….


Your loved ones and friends want the best for you and they want to be helpful. But it’s unfair to expect them to bolster you and hold your hand and give you pep talks all the time.


You must be your own cheerleader!


Jot down a few phrases and keep them handy. When you need them, pull them out and stand in front of a mirror. With a big smile on your face and with as much enthusiasm as possible, say the statements.

Here are 12 (plus one for luck) to get you going:

I can do this!

I have what it takes!

I am in the right place at the right time doing the right things in the right way!

I am a victor!

This setback is a set up for my bright future!

I already have everything I need to achieve my destiny!

My best days are still out in front of me!

I have greatness in me!

This, too, shall pass!

I have been born to win!

I keep moving forward; I take the next step!

Thank you!



WooHoo! You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What I Do: What You Think is What You Get





Yesterday we talked about how our thoughts are part of the bedrock upon which our soul-prospering lives are built.

The bedrock is weakened if our thoughts are:


~if they’re filled with worry and doubt and fear,

~if our thoughts are focused on anger and vengeance,

~if our thoughts bring us down and discourage us,

~if our thoughts are scattered and jump from one thing to the next.


What you think is what you get!


The thoughts you think are what will help or hinder you in crafting your soul-prospering life.

During this week, periodically throughout each day, take the time to observe the thoughts that are chattering and running through your mind. Once you are aware of the thoughts you habitually think, you can decide if each particular thought is helpful or hurtful. Then you can decide what you want to do about it.


Once you take control of your thoughts by becoming aware of them, then you are well on your way to crafting your soul-prospering life.




Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What I Do: It All Starts with Your Thoughts



What you do–your actions, your behaviors, and your habits–have their roots in your thoughts.   No matter what you say you’ll do, if your thoughts don’t support what you say, then you won’t do the thing you said you’d do.

For instance, if you say you’re taking responsibility for your life and the way you’ve decided to do this is by starting your own business–even if you have a great idea and also have the talent and skill to pull it off, and even if you have support from friends and family and others–if you think it’s too hard or if you think you don’t deserve it, or if there is some other negative thinking going on in your mind, then you won’t fully commit to taking the necessary actions.   You won’t create the business–or it won’t be as successful as it could be. You’ll be shirking your responsibilities to yourself as well as you’ll be going back on your word to yourself.

Not getting our thinking aligned right is the fundamental cause of why we don’t do what we know in our heart and soul that we should do in order to craft a soul-prospering life for ourselves.

This week, as we’re discussing what we do–our actions–let’s pay close attention to our thoughts and be truthful and honest with ourselves about what we’re really thinking.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What I Do: 6 Thought-Provoking Quotes About Personal Responsibility

Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs


These past few weeks we’ve been asking ourselves “Who Am I?“, then we asked “What Do I Want?”. This week we’ll be taking a closer look at “What I Do”.

To start us off, here are six quotes about personal responsibility; it’s part of the bedrock of a soul-prospering life:


You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. ~Marianne Williamson


You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. ~Jim Rohn


The person who complains about he way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it. ~Lou Holtz


In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. ~Eleanor Roosevelt


We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, any time, in the blink of an eye. ~Carlos Costeneda


Look at the word responsibility — “response-ability” — the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling. ~Stephen Covey


Which quote(s) resonated with you?

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What Do I Want? My Idea of Success




When we think of success, oftentimes we think of riches, material possessions, and some level of recognition and achievement. As I walk my path in life, I am less and less concerned with how our culture defines success and whether or not I impress others. More and more I find myself deeply passionate about crafting a soul-prospering life and helping others to do the same.

Here’s a poem I came across that , to me, nicely sums up true success:

What Is Success? by Edgar A. Guest

Success is being friendly when another needs a friend;
It’s in the cheery words you speak, and in the coins you lend;
Success is not alone in skill and deeds of daring great;
It’s in the roses that you plant beside your garden gate.

Success is in the way you walk the paths of life each day;
It’s in the little things you do and in the things you say;
Success is in the glad hello you give your fellow man;
It’s in the laughter of your home and all the joys you plan.

Success is not in getting rich or rising high to fame;
It’s not alone in winning goals which all men hope to claim;
It’s in the man (or woman) you are each day, through happiness or care;
It’s in the cheery words you speak and in the smile you wear.

Success is being big of heart and clean and broad of mind;
It’s being faithful to your friends, and to the stranger, kind;
It’s in the children whom you love, and all they learn from you
Success depends on character and everything you do.



Does this describe a successful, soul-prospering life to you, too?

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What Do I Want? 10 Things About Dad

Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs


We’ve been discussing several techniques designed to help us craft our soul-prospering life. One of the tools is to observe people, not only for the cautionary tale that a life poorly led gives you, but also study the people you admire. Take note of the habits, disciplines, and thought patterns they have. Follow their lead!

Today would have been Dad’s 91st birthday and, even though he’s been gone for several years, he’s still leading the way. Here are ten of his character traits that I strive to emulate every day:

~He was always there to pick us and dust us off and never said: “I told you so” or “That was a dumb thing you did”;

~He was good at knowing when to offer a piece of advice and when to keep his mouth shut;

~He was always there for his family but yet he gave us plenty of elbow room to live our lives the way we chose;

~He never turned his back on a friend or loved one no matter how badly they behaved;

~He went to work every day and did his level best to provide a good life for his family;

~He fought against his inevitable decline and pushed himself to get up out of bed or off the couch and get out into the world;

~He was interested in the world around him and was an excellent example of a lifelong learner;

~He was kind to all people no matter their race, belief system, gender, their choice of partner, etc.;

~He took time to notice and be moved by the simple beauties of Mother Nature whether it was the delight in spying a cardinal on a tree branch in the dead of winter or if it was being deeply touched by a breathtaking landscape;

~He never passed by an ice cream store without stopping in, especially if he had kids in the car!


I hope this abridged list encourages you to step up your game, too!

Thanks, Dad.  Happy Birthday!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What Do I Want? Follow the Clues

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs


It’s so important to pay attention to the things you enjoy–large and small. Even if your life is chock-full of responsibilities and obligations, there are still little pockets of time that you can fill with something you enjoy, that brings you pleasure.

You must do this!  

Giving yourself this gift every day is what will open up your life for more things that please you. One pleasing thing leads to another and leads to another. Doing this regularly is how you craft a soul-prospering life.

At first you might start off with small indulgences such as reading a few pages in a favorite book or treating yourself to a latte. Gradually, though, you’ll find your pleasures being less about indulging yourself and more about following your interests, such as carving out time to go by the library and research a topic that interests you–or perhaps signing up for a class about it.

You’ll naturally gravitate to those things that matter to you on a deeper level–a soul level.

It’s by following the clues that you’ll craft your soul-prospering life.

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


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What Do I Want? What Makes Life Worth Living?



We all have obligations and responsibilities to our families and friends, to our work, and, perhaps, clubs and organizations we belong to. We also have a responsibility to ourselves. It’s through this responsibility to ourselves that we satisfy our obligation to the world at large.

We weren’t put on this Earth to be a slave to our boss or to live our lives to please our friends and family. We’re here to manifest our gifts and our talents, and we do this by following our dreams and crafting a soul-prospering life for ourselves.

Today think about the question “What do I want?” and let it simmer in the back of your mind.   Think about what would make your life truly worth living.

For instance one thing I enjoy doing is waking up early, when it’s still dark outside, and in the still of the early morning watching the sunrise and snapping a few photos of it.

Is this going to make me a million dollars or make me world famous or cause me to win any kind of awards?   Probably not.   The simple fact that I enjoy doing this is enough to make it valuable to me. It’s a vital piece of all that makes my life worth living.

What are some of the small things that make your life worth living? Nothing is too small to be included! Perhaps you delight in your morning coffee or tea. Great! Take note of it and make sure you do this for yourself every morning–or as many mornings as you can.

Gently ask yourself why this simple thing brings you pleasure. For instance, it could be the peacefulness or the quiet solitude that you enjoy. As you go through your day, stay mindful and note what other activities bring you this same feeling.

These feelings of contentment are your soul speaking to you. Take note! It’s by following these clues that you craft a soul prospering life for yourself.

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What Do I Want? Back by Popular Demand: Delaying Your Dreams



This post was originally published on August 20, 2016.

I’m including it in this week’s discussion as a reminder that our dreams–our soul-prospering life–is tailored for us, specifically.

Our dreams are waiting for us.   Let’s go get ’em!


Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs


Every day you put off your dreams is not pushing your dreams back one day later. Actually, it’s exponential that you’ve pushed them back.  ~Les Brown


I got to thinking about this quote trying to figure out what Les Brown meant by “…it’s exponential that you’ve pushed them (your dreams) back.”


Here’s what I’ve come up with:

As you work toward your dreams, the Unseen/Unknown goes to work supporting you, helping you, guiding you, preparing the way for you, bringing events and people and situations together in just the right mix at just the right time for you.  It does this to support you taking the next step to make it to your dreams.

So, when you don’t work toward your dreams one day, all that intricate timing and fitting together falls apart and the opportunities and options and breaks and serendipitous and lucky events all evaporate.  It takes time and effort and planning and working behind the scenes for the Unseen/Unknown to bring things together again for you.

The kicker is, though, it won’t be the same opportunity, option, lucky break, serendipitous event.

Will it be better than the one that would have come along if you had kept on keeping on? Who knows?


In my opinion, it’s better to play it safe and take full advantage of all that the Unseen/Unknown has set up for you. You do this by TAKING THE NEXT STEP!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What Do I Want? Quiet Contemplation to Hear What Your Soul is Saying



If your soul had a voice, what would it say? ~Iyanla Vanzant


This is one of the quotes from yesterday. I’m repeating it today because this one struck a chord with me. Thinking about what I want in terms of how my soul would answer that question helps me tune out the suggestions that well-meaning friends, family, and others have given me over the years.

I know the people who care about me want Life’s finest for me and they are trying their very best to help me get it. But their idea of what Life’s finest is and my idea aren’t always the same, especially when it comes to living a soul-prospering life.

The best way to hear your soul–the best way to quiet the loop of what your friends and family have told you that’s continually chattering in your mind–is in quiet contemplation. This rumination doesn’t have to be done in a prayerful or meditative state and it doesn’t have to be done in any particular pose or any certain place or time. You can be engaged in an activity you enjoy–gardening, woodworking, cooking, tinkering in your workshop. Lightly listen as you’re enjoying yourself; notice your feelings and gently figure out exactly what activity–and what particular part of the activity–is giving you pleasure and bringing you joy.

This is your soul speaking!

Find a way to bring this–what your soul is telling you–into your dealings every day and you’ll be firmly on your path to crafting a soul-prospering life for yourself!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,