Category: Learning

31 Days of Connection

Welcome to 31 Days of Connection! It’s been a while since I jumped on board with #writing31days (actually I only did it one other time 3 years ago on my other blog). The posting on this blog has been scarce lately but what better way to get back up and running than with daily posts for the month of October!


31 Days of Connection

What do I mean by Connection? When we look at all of our relationships, whether with our families or friends or with strangers or customers, we see that we need good relationships in all of these areas in order to have a meaningful life. Good relationships happen because of connection. Though connection can happen instantly, it usually comes from putting forth effort and needs continued effort and improvement in order to sustain those connections.

Brené Brown has a great quote about Connection:

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

If you take a step back and look at your life, I think you’ll see that focusing on connection in your personal and professional life will yield growth for you and richer, stronger relationships all around. I’m writing this series for myself as well. I can see that I need to put some work into achieving and maintaining connection in many areas. And I think we should work on it together!


I will be posting about the many different ways we connect and how we can work to improve those. Some ways will be obvious; some will be more subtle; and some will overlap with each other. By breaking this topic down into daily chunks, we can take just a few minutes each day to think about a way that we connect and focus on it for that day. Each day I will be including a challenge related to that topic. This is to help us get out of our comfort zone a little and work to improve our many relationships.

I will be including the links to all the posts right here for you, so if you miss any along the way, just come back here and click on your favorites. Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Day 1 Connection Challenge:
Go to (Go to “Linking Up” at the top, hover over it and click on the category you wish to start with – you’ll find everyone who has linked up in that category so far. I’m listed in Personal Endeavors.) and pick out some favorite 31 Day series that you want to follow in October.


31 Days of Connection Post Links

Day 1: You’re here!
Day 2: Connect with Lisa Marie
Day 3: The Daily Connection Challenge Checklist
Day 4: Connection Begins With You
Day 5: Connecting With a Smile
Day 6: Connection Through Intimacy
Day 7: Connecting Through Touch
Day 8: Connecting With Family
Day 9: Connecting With Friends
Day 10: Connecting By Phone
Day 11: Connection Through Love Languages
Day 12: Connecting Through Acts of Service and Kindness
Day 13: Connect Through Hospitality
Day 14: Connecting at Social Events
Day 15: Connecting at Work
Day 16: 10 Ways to Connect Through Employee Appreciation
Day 17: How to Connect Through Exceptional Customer Service
Day 18: Connect by Sending Cards and Letters
Day 19: 10 Best Practices for Connecting Through Email
Day 20: Connect by Writing Books and Stories
Day 21: Connect by Blogging
Day 22: Connect by Commenting
Day 23: Connecting Through Images
Day 24: 10 Ways to Connect on Facebook
Day 25: How to Connect in Facebook Groups
Day 26: Ways to Connect on Pinterest
Day 27: Connecting on Instagram
Day 28: Why You Should Connect on LinkedIn
Day 29: Connecting Through Video
Day 30: Connect Through Public Speaking
Day 31: Keep Working on Connection

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey through 31 Days of Connection. Leave a comment and let me know what your personal connection goals are. See you back here for Day 2! Click here to sign up to receive all the posts right in your inbox.

The Struggle of Writing

I have this dilemma. I feel compelled to write and if I go too long without writing anything, I feel like words start to build up inside and could explode at any time. But I find writing extremely difficult and start avoiding it because it it such hard work. And writing on a blog has its own challenges. Am I the only one that deals with the struggle of writing?

Struggle of Writing

The Struggle of Writing

Part of the struggle of writing for me is that the words are there in my mind, as I’m often mentally writing blog posts or parts of books. But because I’ve thought it through in my mind, maybe even more than once, I find the thought of actually trying to write out the words exhausting. It feels like I already wrote the words and why would I want to do it all over again? Or I find that I had the subject and the thoughts in my mind, but I cannot get it all to come out the way I want it or in a way that makes sense when I try to write it all out.

The temptation is to walk away and stop trying to write. But whenever I do that, it’s not long before I get the nagging feeling that I am supposed to be a writer. But it turns out that to be a writer, you have to actually, um…write. So back to it I go. And I struggle again and hop over to my Facebook tab or to Google to look up that thing I was wondering about earlier today. Anything but the struggle of writing!

Find a Way to Write

I know a lot of you are writers – even the ones that think they aren’t. You don’t need to have written a book to be a writer. I think we’re all writers in one way or another because we use our words to tell the stories of our lives. Even our Facebook statuses tell a story. As I said in another post about writing:

Aren’t we all writers, really? We write the story of our lives each day through our thoughts, words and actions.

Since you are indeed a writer, you need to find a way to write that works for you. If that means Facebook statuses and emails and letters to friends, then work on creating your best communications. If that means journaling about your life, then try to do it on a regular basis and in a way that could be read by your child someday when you’re gone. If your writing is on a blog, plan out your posts and write and rewrite them – quality is more important than quantity. If you are writing a book, keep plugging away every day until it’s a habit and keeps moving your creation a little closer to complete.

struggle of writing - find a way

There are many resources online to help with the struggle of writing. There are writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. There are Writers groups to join on Facebook and LinkedIn. There are bloggers offering encouragement and tips. One of my favorite writers who offers inspiration is Jeff Goins. Jeff says that writing has become much easier for him now and explains how it happened because of a little thing called “practice”:

Because I’ve started approaching writing like I do running. I get up every day, no matter what, and I do it. I try not to think about it too much or listen to my own doubts.

Obviously this is what I need to do – practice often – and it will get better. But of course when you struggle with writing, it’s that much harder to get yourself to do it. But I do plan to work on it! Join me and work on your own writing – no matter what kind of writing you do.

Do you struggle with writing? What helps encourage or motivate you? If you don’t struggle, what tips can you share with the rest of us? Thanks for sticking around while I work on writing here more often! {You can subscribe here so you get my posts emailed whenever I do publish!}

Let’s Call It Writer’s Lull

You’ve all heard of writer’s block. I don’t really have a block because that means a lack of ideas, but oh my, I have no lack of ideas! I think writer’s lull is more accurate – a temporary quietness.

Why the lull? I think it might be because I have this misconception that in order to write, I must feel inspired at that moment. If I’m not feelin’ it, I just don’t write – even though I have a long list of things I’d like to write about it. The issue with that is that the writing itself is sometimes the very thing that motivates me to keep going.

I need to remember my One Word for this year ~ Do. It doesn’t mean: Hey, you know, if the stars line up just right and you get every possible chore completed and you’ve had enough coffee for the day ~ Do sit down and write. It means: Do. Write. Write whether it’s good or bad, happy or sad, but write.

Have you been struggling with writing? Maybe you don’t think you’re a writer. Do you blog? Then you’re a writer. Do you journal? Then you’re a writer. Do you read a lot and sometimes think of writing? Then you’re a writer. Aren’t we all writers, really? We write the story of our lives each day through our thoughts, words and actions.

Perhaps ~ A writer is inspired by words hidden in the soul. A writer is fulfilled by words released into the world. A writer is inspired

Do. Write. I challenge myself – to write. I challenge you – to write. You can even use my word: Do. {newsflash – I don’t even own that word so you won’t get in trouble for making it your word, too:)

With Love,
from Lisa Marie



Because We Want To Feel Smart

I’m not feeling very smart these days – with this new blog on WordPress. I don’t know my way around and I have to do a little research just to figure out how to set things up that I could have done in my sleep in Blogger. It’s one of the reasons I avoided WordPress for so long.

And I realized – isn’t that one of the reasons why we avoid trying so many new things? Yes, there’s a fear of the unknown and failure. But I think there’s also a desire to feel smart. Not because we want to be better than anybody else, but because we so often feel like we don’t have it all together in this world. When you feel like that, you just want to stay in your comfort zone – where at least some of the time you feel smart and capable. Sometimes that helps you make it to the next day.

feeling smart

Here’s the thing though. You won’t feel smart and capable in something – I can do all the reading/talking about WordPress that I want, but until I actually jump in and feel my way around, I will not feel smart here. I can stay in my comfort zone and be smart in some things, but still need to take those little jumps here and there into the unknown.

I’ve been doing that. And I don’t feel smart. But that’s OK. I’m blessed just to have the opportunity to learn something new! How about you? What have you been avoiding/missing out on because you’re afraid of not feeling smart?

Speaking of feeling smart – I did figure out how you can subscribe to my feed: or subscribe to this blog by e-mail on my sidebar {I’m not smart enough to get you a working link for that instead of going to my sidebar – LOL}. It’s the little things. :)

Psssst…you should be feeling smart today because you REALLY ARE smart and capable in more areas of Life than you even realize.

Also, this post is a grammatical nightmare and I sincerely apologize to the Grammar Police.

With Love,
from Lisa Marie

Time For Something New…And Fun…Maybe

Sometimes I get crazy ideas. Like starting a new blog. A new blog that is hosted – which I’ve never had. A new blog on WordPress – which I’ve barely used. I figured it would be a fun way to learn new things while leaving the recipes behind on my other blog. I think “fun” was the wrong word to go with. Reality has set in – setting up a new blog is WORK. And I am kind of a lazy daydreamer.

So here I am! All that to say – expect *many* changes as I go. The whole choosing-a-theme thing is overwhelming. I’m having trouble finding one with the feel that I’m looking for. I really just want to focus on writing at the moment. All the extras will show up a little at a time – links, social media, about page. It isn’t the right way to go about it {don’t do as I do}, but If I wait until it’s just right – then I will have missed out on all that writing time!

So I’ll learn as I go, just as I did so many years ago when I started my first blog {Stop and Smell the Chocolates}. It’s good to learn new things, I hear. And really “fun.”

With Love,
from Lisa Marie