Monday, June 28, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Last week, I had the distinction of holding a special ranking on Amazon.com. My book, Backroads & Byways of Arizona, listed at #70 on the Bestseller List for Arizona books. It was a thrill, and I posted about it. It's why I wrote that blog post last week about celebrating even your small successes.
Because what happened next? My #70 quickly declined...to #75.
Yes, it was a short-lived success, but a success nonetheless.
The bigger one, the one where I actually ranked #1 on the day my book came out was also short-lived. I didn't even get a screenshot of that. I didn't know how to do that then. But it's a memory I'll have forever. My book ranked #1 on Amazon.com--for Arizona books. It doesn't matter if anyone believes me or not. I saw it. I experienced it. And I celebrated it. And I can still claim I am a bestselling author, even if it's only a regional thing. It happened, and that's pretty cool.
And you can bet I lived in that moment.
I've since come to realize that being a bestseller isn't about being a number on a list. It's about having a certain state of mind. And for an author, really, it's that very first book you sell and sign to a stranger that really matters. After that, I just think everything else is gravy.
Would you care to share one of your bestselling moments?
Posted by Jackie Dishner at 1:20 PM
Monday, June 14, 2010
Last week, I visited The Boulders Resort near my home in Phoenix for a media event. We were to meet at the resort spa, and I arrived 30 minutes early, deciding to step inside the gift shop and look around. Perhaps they might want to carry my new travel guide, I thought. But I was soon sidetracked by the basket of Talistones near the entrance. Each stone in the basket, meant to be held in the palm of your hand or put in your pocket, was etched or engraved with a design--a symbol of some sort.
THE SYMBOLS ON THE STONES
Celtic knots and crosses, stars, angels, animals, birds and other fetish imagery appeared on the faces of these smooth flat agate, quartz and jasper riverstones. I was immediately drawn to the one with the hand on top. The cashier came over, handing me a paper that explained the symbols and what they meant. The "hand" symbol I chose, it said, represents the Hand of Fatima and Healing.
HOW TO USE THE STONES
Apparently, by holding onto such stones, by turning your attention to the message etched within, you can change the way you think. "The more attention, intention, energy and expectation you put on this little stone, the more effective the change," the paper explained.
It sounded interesting to me, so I read on.
The paper said to choose a stone that means something to you personally or to let your inner guide choose for you. Carry it in your pocket, it explained. And every time you touch the stone it will remind you why you have it and what it means to you. If the stones have power or have magic, like the talismen of ancient times, the magic in the message might work within you, I learned.
I BOUGHT IT
I picked a quartz and jasper stone with the hand etched on top ($6/each), and the lady gave me two of the papers to go with them, in case I decided to give one away as a gift. I planned to do just that. But I wanted to know more. So today I spent a few hours online learning more about the message on my litte stone.
WHO IS FATIMA?
When I started to get mixed messages about the image itself (Most of the Hand of Fatima images I found online included an eye in the center; mine include a five-pointed star, and that sent me in several directions to decipher the true meaning of my stone), I decided to search for the name Fatima and focus on her. Who is she? This is what I learned:
In Islamic legend, Fatima was the daughter of the prophet Mohammed. Shiite Muslims of Persian origin, revere her and her ancestors before her. The Hand of Fatima, I learned, is a popular women's talisman crafted in various representations, from the literal image of a hand to many highly abstract forms; it is said to protect brides, pregnant women and newborn children from harm. That makes sense why women would want to hold onto them.
In Morocco, you might also find the hand-charm, or khamsa, with the image of the eye in the palm, this mysterious Evil Eye. It is considered to be protection from evil. From what I understand, that is probably the most true representation of the Hand of Fatima. Mine, with the Star of David in the center, may be a derivation.
I learned more, much the same as what I read on the paper supplied by the manufacturer of the Talistones...
If you hold onto this charm or this image and focus on her energy, Fatima brings healing and compassion, for individuals and nations alike. She will help you achieve forgiveness and understanding, which sounds so powerful and a positive direction to place your thoughts.
Still, the hand denotes something slightly different but similar in Irish folklore. It stands for a pledge of faith, sincerity and justice, and is symbolic of support and strength. I also learned about the Star of David image that is etched in the middle of my stone's hand. Together with Fatima, this means the energy within the stone will radiate outward, sending healing wherever it is needed.
Perfect! My stone comes with its own GPS system. If I do this right, my healing will find its way. All I have to do is turn my attention to it.
IT MAKES SENSE TO HAVE A HELPING HAND
To me, this explains why I believe in the big letter E--the Expressive Voice--and the ability to ask for help. When someone holds your hand, don't you feel safe and protected? When you are hugged, doesn't that shore you up during difficult times? Healing, in effect, is love. It's the result of the purest expression. At least that's how I see it. Likewise, if you think about prayer, it also involves the hands. You use your hands, cupping them together, to ask for what you need: guidance, relief, healing. Therefore, it also makes sense that you can manifest healing. Maybe that's why I was drawn to this particular image.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU DON"T HAVE THE STONE
Further, the word manifestation comes from the Latin word manus, meaning hand in English. So if the hand really does attract healing, here are a few exercises you can use to find out for yourself what might happen if you direct your energy to your hands. Will you experience the same kind of power I'm supposed to if I carry the Talistone in my pocket and remember to touch it frequently? Try these activities during the next month or so and let's find out:
_Practice GIVING things to others with your right hand and RECEIVING from other with your left
_Trace your hands on paper and then decorate each one, pay attention to whatever thoughts your creative work inspires
_Connect both hands by pressing the tips of your fingers together and meditate in this position for a few minutes to see where your energy flows
_Use a pen or pencil to write a note to yourself, first with your dominant hand and then with your less dominant hand, to see what kind of thoughts pour out
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Today, there's no post per se. Just the photo of these two Talistones I purchased last week at a resort in Carefree.
I was told the symbol imprinted on the stones means the Hand of Fatima, that it refers to healing. I liked that very much, so I bought two and plan to give one to my friend whom I will see for lunch on Monday.
However, in a quick search, I discovered this meaning may not be as accurate as I was told. I plan to research this further and report my findings tomorrow--along with the photo again, because I think the stones represent a powerful image that I don't want to take lightly. I'll also tell you a bit more about why I purchased the stones in the first place. There's always a story.
Meanwhile, think about what healing hands--or helping hands--mean to you, and post a comment if you like.
Friday, June 11, 2010
In my last post, one of my readers commented about the promises she makes to herself. She mentioned that one recent one was contingent on whether or not she lined up another large project.
I stopped at the word "large" and wondered out loud: Why does it have to be large before she can collect on her promise?
I'd like to suggest to those of you who are waiting for the right time to celebrate that the time is now. Right now is the time to be your own cheerleader.
Consider the Staples "low price" commercial. This guy comes into the store, stares at the price on an item and yells out, "Wow, that's a low price!" Even his body movement is exaggerated. "Wow, that's a low price!" He does this several times, to the point of being obnoxious, until someone else chimes in. Someone else finds his excitement worthy of repeat. They're celebrating Staples' low prices together.
It seems silly on the surface, but it makes you laugh. And it's a good example of celebrating small successes. Low prices at Staples are a cause for celebration? Who knew? But the actors in the commercial do a really good job of pulling it off. Their enthusiasm is contagious. By the end of the commercial, you're yelling out, "Wow, that's a low price!" as well. It's funny, and you get caught up in the excitement.
It's what I think of when I think of my own small successes. When you begin to see even your small accomplishments as cause for celebration, you're training yourself how to self-motivate. You don't have to go out and spend big bucks on what looks like the small deals if you think that's overdoing it. You don't have to scream them out in a public setting. But you certainly can spread the word. Even if it feels odd or awkward, others will see it differently. Your friends, your family, your colleagues will pat your back with you.
One of the wonderful things about sharing successes with others is that you realize that your small deals may be big deals to others, and they'll want to know about them. Everyone wants a cause for celebration, even if it's not their own.
Today's Action Step
Take a moment and celebrate what you've accomplished today. I'm not talking about an invitation-only party. There's not even a need to write anything down, but it can help. The celebration I'm referring to is about changing your internal dialogue. So pause for a few moments at some point during the day and consider what you've accomplished. Whether it's that you paid your bills on time, washed the car, drove the kids' carpool, closed a sale, or cleaned the house, those are big deal things to someone. Why not let it be you, and why not share it with others?
I lift my coffee cup to you and your successes! May there be many more to come.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
This is an empty space in my backyard.
Once upon time, queen palms grew in this corner. They were maybe 15 feet tall. There were three of them, positioned in a triangular shape. I liked how they looked. But then they died, and I had my landscaper pull them out. The saddest thing to see in your backyard is a dead palm.
Now this empty space is all that's left, and a few rocks. The grass doesn't like to grow back that far.
I've kept the space empty for a reason. It has nothing to do with my BIKE Lessons, and yet it has everything to do with my BIKE Lessons.
You see, that space represents promise.
One day, when I can afford to buy them, I'm going to replace the three palm trees with three rustic iron Mariachi men. One will be playing a guitar. One will be playing the violin. And the third will have a trumpet. And they'll have to be at least six-feet-tall.
The coolest thing about my Mariachi men will be the music they play. I plan to hire someone to affix speakers to the Mariachi men, and they will somehow be connected to music that plays when the door opens. It will startle my visitors the first time they hear it, I'm sure. But I'm going to get a kick out of this great idea of mine. Can you imagine stepping outside to a loud burst of "Ay ay ay ay" or "La cucaracha"?
Have you ever made a promise like this to yourself? What was it, and how long did it take to keep it?
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I've used this quote before in a lengthier post, but I like it and think it's worth repeating:
Thanks again to Vera Marie Badertscher over at A Traveler's Library for sharing it with me.
The soul is stained by the color of your thoughts. ~Marcus Aurelius
Thanks again to Vera Marie Badertscher over at A Traveler's Library for sharing it with me.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
During the Blogathon, I ran a poll asking you how I could improve my blog in the months ahead. I can't say I was really surprised by the results.
The majority of you want me to continue writing about my BIKE, sharing those stories and lessons that led me here. I expect to do just that. And it's nice to know the work that I do here makes sense to you, that you get something valuable out of it. I love hearing that. It means a lot.
I also have some work to do. You asked for more news commentary, so I'll be focusing on ways in which I can do that better. I occasionally write about this, but not in the way I'd always like. So I'll be looking to add new Google Alerts in order to find articles that merit attention here.
If there's something specific you'd like to know more about, please let me know. If I've touched on something that's piqued your interest, and you'd like me to delve further into it, let me know that as well. My blog is only as good as the readers it attracts, and I want you to keep coming back--and bring your friends. I hope to continue helping you learn new ways of thinking about how you can turn your obstacles into opportunities. That's always been my focus, and as long as I stick to that, I know the message will be effective.
I am grateful for your visits and look forward to your next.