Coming Out of My Shell

Cadfael’s herb garden

“Let go of your past, dwell not on your mistakes. If your playing small didn’t work out in the past, it most likely won’t work now. Release the fear, the anger, the troubles, the worries. They will only make you weak and unable to move ahead. Evaluate your life, discard what is not working. Shed your old skin and never look back.” ~ Asuni LadyZeal

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” ~ Carol Burnett

For years I kept my head down, trying to navigate the scary and hostile world. I did this because I’m a highly sensitive person and situations that were perfectly normal to most of my friends, affected me much more deeply. For example, I have a really hard time being in situations, or even consuming movies and books, where people are being personally belittled. If I’m in a store and a parent is yelling at their child, I cringe. I want to intervene. And yet, I hesitate. Is it my place to say something? It depends on the situation.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years. If I stay connected to Divine Oneness, and I feel prompted to keep quiet, I do. If I blurt out something, which has happened to me several times, I know I’m supposed to say something. Speaking up in those situations has been a good thing. 

This desire to remain relatively invisible has affected other parts of my life as well. At almost every job I’ve ever had, I kept my head down and did my work. Often, I appeared to be doing what I was told, but sometimes I fudged it. In the early 2000s the principal at the high school where I was working gave us the directive to take cell phones from the students we saw using them in class. We were supposed to take the phones to the office where the parents would be called to authorize giving them back at the end of the day. Right or wrong, I thought that was a ludicrous rule. The flood gates were already open. Almost everyone had a cell phone, we weren’t going to stop students from using them. I thought the rule would alienate the students, not a good thing when working with teenagers. The one exception to the rule I thought was valid was when the students were testing. 

So, I made up my own rule. I told my students at the beginning of the year they had three strikes before I took away their phones. If I asked them to put their phone away three times, I’d take it and put it in a basket. They could have it at the end of class. I think the students appreciated being treated as if they could be responsible because I had very few problems with students abusing cell phone usage during class.

Recently I’ve been thinking about my habit of trying to remain virtually invisible. Over these last few years, I’ve begun to speak up more and more often. I started this blog because I have lots to say about what’s happening in my personal life, and in the world around us. Maybe that’s also why I created Story~Power. I have lots to say, but I’m also curious about how other people experience what’s going on around them. I feel the need to get new perspectives and challenge what I think about the way the world works. It’s uncomfortable sometimes to shake up my belief systems. Yet, I know from experience, doing so is vitally important if I want to grow.

I’m going to work at being more open about my life lessons from failures and successes. Hiding in my shell isn’t an option if I want to share my creative work.

Having written that, I’m exhausted and maybe it’s from spreading myself too thin. I can’t be everything to everyone. As I wrote last week, I’m ready to break free from teaching and put all my efforts into building a community of people who are creative and want to make the world a better place in which to live. Creating something new happens one little step at a time. I have to be okay with that for now.

Welcome to my new followers. I hope you’ll share your wisdom with us.

Blessings,

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

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Reading and Writing in Two Languages

In product management,  Moshe started his career on the engineering side, specifically within the enterprise real-time B2B software space. He fell in love with product management after seeing the gap that existed between what customers wanted and what engineering produced. Moshe enjoys applying his lean iterative approach to develop products that exceed users’ expectations.

Being a creative person, Moshe paints and write, and lives to bring from his Hewish heritage into all his creative endeavors. 

Living in Toronto, he can’t stand the cold winters but loves his Canadian home and the maple trees all over.

Moshe’s upcoming book The Resurrector YouTube trailer.

Moshe’s interview on Impact Maker

Moshe’s Website List of podcasts Moshe has been a guest on.

New Degree Press, hybrid publisher

Stephen King books Moshe recommends

  Misery, Rose Madder, The Dark Tower, 11/22/63

NaNoWriMo Write a novel in November.

Creator Institute at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. program at New Degree Press

Agatha Christie, famous mystery author

Pauline Gedge, author of, Child of the Morning: A Novel (Rediscovered Classics, with Michelle Moran), The Twelfth Transforming (Rediscovered Classics) and more.

Steven Saylor, author of Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome Book 1, Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome, Book 2, Dominos: A Novel of the Roman Empire, Book 3

Ellis Peters, Cadfael series

Nora Roberts, romance and mystery author as J. D. Robb

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist

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Balancing Act

Blancing Brain and Heart

“When you feel sad, it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Everyone has those days when you doubt yourself, and when you feel like everything you do sucks, but then there’s those days when you feel like Superman. It’s just the balance of the world. I just write to feel better.” ~ Mac Miller

“No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.” ~ Louise L. Hay

I teach my dramatic structure students that there are two kinds of conflict in a story, internal and external. This week has been one with lots of external conflict for me, but really when I examine all the stressful things that happened, mostly on Tuesday, I realize that all the stress I was feeling was caused by MY REACTION to the external events. I stressed myself out.

I’ve written here before that I want to quit teaching. But just when I was ready to quit, I met my friend Dave, a theatre professional. I felt like he was the perfect person to take over all my classes. He and I have been team teaching acting class for several semesters now and the students blossom from his encouragement and great tips on how to connect with their characters. The thing is, he didn’t have his Masters which is required to teach at the community college level. I think this is silly given the fact that Dave has over 40 years experience in theatre in general and 25 years as a professional. 

But put that aside for a moment. This week it became extremely clear to me that I chose to sacrifice what I wanted and needed for my own well being, so I could leave the small, but growing theatre program at my college in good hands.

In religious terms a sacrifice is often given for the greater good of the collective. People who sacrifice themselves for a cause are considered holy or at the very least the best of humanity. I think we’ve been hoodwinked by theologies that teach those views. It’s one thing if a person feels a calling to be in the spotlight and do big things for the greater good of humanity. It’s another to go against your calling and obligate yourself because you think you should. In reality, every person who fulfills their purpose IS working for the greater good of all. Their role may be small, but that’s how things are built, one small step at a time.

I’ve been going against my calling for the last year and a half. This week I had a melt down, which I rarely do anymore. It was one of those days when almost everything that could go wrong did. The next morning I woke up and I was furious that I found myself in a situation that I have wanted to shed for a long time. 

You know, I believe that self-examination is one of the most sacred things we can do. I’ve been forced by this week’s circumstances into actually noticing how I feel about all the work I’ve been doing to manipulate a situation that I don’t even want to be a part of anymore.

As I wrote in my journal, I realized that my parents and even the church in which I grew up, taught that self-sacrifice was what God wanted of me. But I remembered what Neale Donald Walsch wrote in the first Conversations with God book, “God doesn’t want anything from you.” He had asked God what he wanted from us and that was His response. But man, when I read that all those years ago, that statement resonated in my soul. I’m good enough as I am and God doesn’t need anything from me because She already has everything, or can create everything She needs.

It’s hard to acknowledge that I chose to sacrifice these two years so Dave and the college could benefit. However, balancing what I feel is my purpose, with helping someone else fulfill theirs, is starting to wear on me and I have some decisions to make.

First, I handed over some tasks having to do with the theatre club that Dave and I started, to the students. 

Second, I’ve asked for some Divine help in striking a better balance with growing my business, and being the place holder at the college until Dave is ready to take over. 

Third, I’m going to take little bits of time off to regain my equilibrium. My soul is exhausted. The melt down is telling me that I’ve also invested too much time in worrying about all that’s going on right now. I mean if you watch the news, it looks pretty grim. And yet, I believe that we’ve been saved so many times throughout the ages because we, humanity, has a huge divine purpose. I don’t know what that purpose is, but I feel that we wouldn’t be here going through all this EXPLETIVE, for no reason. I don’t believe in a random, chaotic universe even though it looks like that’s what’s happening sometimes. I believe everything that happens, and what we decide to go through, has a purpose.

And since that’s the case, my decision to “sacrifice” my time to help Dave and others right now, has a divine purpose too. It brought me to the huge realization that I need never sacrifice myself or my purpose again. This week has helped me clear out some old beliefs that never were valid but I accepted as truth.

Now the clouds are clearing in my mind, I’m going back to the beliefs that I’m enough as I am. I don’t need to cling to roles in life that no longer serve me. I can live in joy even though I’ve gone against my better judgement to help my friend. I can choose to see this as the perfect time of transition from one chapter of my life to the next. 

I hope you are all doing well. Are you experiencing changes in your lives? I’d be interested to read your thoughts. 

Welcome new followers and thanks for reading and commenting. Feel free to share this blog or my podcasts with your friends and family. 

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

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Imposter Syndrome

Dr. Brene Brown Speaking at Texas Conference for Women

“You’ll be amazed how much you have in common with Edith Wharton (who struggled to feel worthy of success), Louisa May Alcott (who badly needed money), Madeleine L’Engle (Who could have papered an entire house with her rejection letters), and other writers …” ~ Nava Atlas, The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life

“I have challenged fate to chess and am now attempting to keep all my confidence from puddling in my boots. What if I’m the only one betting on myself because everyone but me can see I am not suited to play at all?” ~ Mackenzi Lee, The Lady’s guide to Petticoats and Piracy 

“Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” ~ A. C. Benson

I’ve done a lot of work on self-love over the years and I was feeling pretty smug. I believed that for the last chapter of my life, I didn’t have much work to do. I could just sit back and enjoy doing what I love with very little struggle. Then a few things came into my awareness and I realized that these shifts and changes I feel coming are not just happening on a global level, but for me on a personal level as well.

I might have missed them if I wasn’t someone who pays attention to every encounter, every bit of entertainment, and everything I read. One of the first indications came only a couple of days ago, when spiritual teacher, Amanda Ellis was very vulnerable in a video she posted on Instagram. She shared with us her almost debilitating bout of self-doubt. I was moved by what she said and the first little inkling that she and I had something in common jangled in my heart. I realized that I’ve been feeling unworthy of my new group of guests that I found through PodMatch. They are all so talented and seemingly confident in what they are creating, that I’ve had a little feeling of imposter syndrome. Who am I to be interviewing these amazingly talented people? 

The next confirmation I got was from the TV show, Ted Lasso. Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, one of the new characters in season two, asks Ted when she first meets him, if he’s good at his job. He hesitates a moment and then says, “Yes,” to which Dr. Sharon answers, “Well, as good as you are at your job, I’m twice as good at mine.” I loved that she was so confident. I wanted to be like her. Then in a later episode when Ted goes to see her, and challenges her for charging for helping people, I felt a little uncomfortable because I feel guilty for asking people to support my work with money. But in this latest episode, Dr. Sharon admitted to Ted that he taught her that she needed to be more vulnerable with her patients in order to give them the most help. “You helped me be a better Doctor.” And that’s when it all came together in my head and heart.

As I just wrote, I’ve done so much work on loving myself throughout the years, but since I’m still here, I’m obviously not done yet. If the human race is to evolve, our personal work can never end. So another piece of my effort is to believe that what I create for others is worth financial compensation. Creators deserve to be paid for their work because a great deal of time, energy, and sometimes education goes into creating each piece.

But the biggest realization I’ve had is that, I can no longer play small. I’ve written my book(s), started this blog, and my podcast for a reason. At this point I don’t know who will be affected by them but they are important. My second book is important, but I’ve put off finishing it because I feel inadequate to the story that wants to be told. It’s kind of big. I’m not a big person. I’ve worked to stay small. And yet, it feels like those small roles I’ve played in my life are over now. I’ve even had conversations with my recent guests about this very subject. They and I have stepped into creative roles that could potentially put us in the spotlight. And we’ve talked about how we have to be okay with that. 

I hope, if I become more famous, it doesn’t happen like it did to Brené Brown. She’d been a researcher, hunkered down in her lab studying how guilt and shame affect us. At some point she was asked to do a TED Talk, and feeling like she was an imposter she agreed to share some of what she’d learned. Her talk struck a chord with millions of people. It’s one of the most watched TED Talk videos of all time and she has shared how debilitating it was to become famous almost over night.

If I gain thousands of followers, I hope it happens gradually. That would be fantastic. I would have time to get used to the additional attention. But sometimes we’re thrust into situations and have to learn to navigate our new life the best we can. I’ve got to trust that I will be able to face whatever comes because there’s no going back now. In a way, I’m excited to see what happens.

I haven’t written this in a while, but I appreciate all of you who follow this blog and my podcast. I love it when you comment. I hope you will share both of them with your friends and family. Let’s create a supportive community. And I hope you won’t be afraid to follow your dreams. You never know who needs your message.

Blessings to you all,

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

Nature Stories With Music

Jonathan and his wife Eva make Nature Narratives together because every time they look at nature, they are always amazed.  With Jonathan’s writing and audio background as a songwriter and composer and Eva’s teaching expertise as an elementary school teacher, they craft each episode of Nature Narratives to tell an amazing story about a natural phenomenon.  The episodes educate, entertain, and inspire wonder.

Amy Vasterling Ep. 31 – “Stop Wondering, KNOW”

Jonathan’s podcast – Nature Narratives

Maria Montessori – Montessori Education Theory

Jon Paul Byram Album on Band Camp, Spotify

Eva Byram’s Etsy Shop – Growing Up Montessori

The Great Stories – Montessori Curriculum

Jonathan’s Patreon community – naturenarrativespodcast.com/Join the Adventure

Anne Bogel’s podcast – What Should I Read Next @ ModernMrsDarcy.com

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist

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