Monday, June 9, 2014

Lesson Learned on a Layover


I had a couple of hours to wait for my connecting flight. So did everyone else. The airport gate waiting area was full. Beside me sat a woman dressed in chic California casual attire. Her dark hair was cut in a stylish bob and she wore designer eyeglasses.

I eyed her Italian leather sandals. Probably her biggest worry is her next pedicure appointment. It was obvious we had nothing in common.
Photo courtesy of Google
(So sorry the complete photo credits flew by before I captured them)

As the minutes dragged by, she began to talk to me. About both her mother and her mother-in-law coming to live with her and her son having a serious illness. Both the mother and mother-in-law had recently passed away and her son was well again. But earlier, her life had become so stressful to the woman that she had sought the help of a therapist.

Near the end of her therapy, the therapist had asked, "What is the gift in this situation?"

The woman said she had not known whether to find the question amusing or infuriating.

But then she thought about it. She was moving to a new city and starting a business. She felt stronger and more capable than she had ever felt before. Now she knew that when tough times came, she could dig deep and find the strength to do what she needed to do.

Well, folks, that set me back in my chair. Suddenly, I had great respect and admiration for her. This woman had a story and she was not afraid to tell it -- complete with all her fears, angst, tears, and anger.

How about you? Are you telling the real story? Are you letting your family and friends and other readers inside the real story?

What hard times have you survived?

And what was the gift from going through those times?

That's just another way of saying, how were you changed; what did you learn; what good came from the hardship?

And when you answer those questions, then you have told a story. And your reader will love you all the more for it.


Look back at a chapter or story in your memoir or life story. Was there a gift to that particular event or experience?

Did you have any insecurity?

Have you written about the insecurity? Have you written about the real problem? Did you overcome it? How were you changed?

Not every page or every chapter will have some big traumatic experience, but look at your book as a whole as well as look at the individual chapters and show the reader who you were then and who you are now.

You may need only a couple of sentences or a few words to express all that. We aren't asking you to sling mud at yourself and then wallow in it. Just give us a peek into your heart.


Aren't these cute? The recipe and photo step-by-step are from Corcoran Street Kitchen. Probably best to make the "tea cups" ahead because it won't work to rush while assembling these.

Photo courtesy of Corcoran Street Kitchen

Edible Teacups for Fun

12 sugar ice cream cones (plus extras in case some break)
12 peanut butter cups
1/2 cup melting chocolate (The recipe says "like Wiltons." Would melted chocolate chips work?)
12 white Oreos (or other cookies)
6 tiny twist pretzels (plus extra in case some break)
chocolate or vanilla pudding or yogurt (to fill the cups)
12 small plastic spoons

1. Use a serrated knife to cut off the bottoms of the ice cream cones. (Slowly, gently, deliberately.)
2. Make the handle: use serrated knife to cut off tops of pretzels
3. Melt the chocolate
4. Line up the cookies
5. Dot each cookie with some chocolate and place a peanut butter cup upside down on top
6. Dip the bottom of the cone into the chocolate and set it on top of the peanut butter cup
7. Hold the cone for a few seconds to harden in place
8. Check and repair any holes in your "teacups"
9. Attach the handles by dotting chocolate on both ends of the pretzel and holding it onto the side of the cone until it is set. 
10. Fill with chocolate when ready to serve. 

(Note: To see step-by-step photos, go to Edible Teacups.)

If you are struggling with how to write about difficult events, look at your Write Your Life Story in Eight Weeks Workbook. The following pages will help you: pp 15, 17, 24, 25, 26, 27. 

Remember, this workbook was written for those who are ready to start writing today, for people who want to write, not read a whole book about it first.

If you don't have the workbook, order your copy today at  Buy the Workbook.

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