Something to SEA: Celebrating SoulSEAker’s First Birthday

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Exactly one year ago, I published my first post here on SoulSEAker, thus beginning my online writing life. Looking back, the year was filled with ups and downs, laughter and tears, but what’s most important is how much I have grown over the last 365 days.

I definitely am still “sea”king my soul. That is something I will never be able to cross off my “to do” list, because I will be continually evolving as a human being until my last breath here on Earth.

I thought it would be an easier process to find who I am and what I am meant to do, figuring the answers would just come. No, sir. By being present each day, by leaving the past in the past and living for the present moment, instead of a final product of who I am emerging, an ever-changing version of myself greets each new day.

And I’m totally okay with that.

The most important lesson I have learned over the last year is to be OPEN. I earmarked the word “determined” to be my word of 2016, but have changed it to OPEN for many reasons. While I have accomplished many of my goals for not only 2016 but also for my 45th year, one thing is certain: I must be OPEN to the new directions on my life map that are continually appearing each day.

What the end result will be I don’t know, but I am determined to be OPEN and to see what each sign, each clue, and each day brings. These new directions will result in a revising of my year and my life goals when the time is right. And when the time is right, I know I will abandon fear by taking a leap of faith and doing what’s right for my soul, my heart, and me. It’s coming. I not only feel it, I know it.

I believe the next year will be filled with excitement, new beginnings, and life-changing experiences because I will put my soul first, no matter what.

I can’t even imagine what I will be writing about or looking back on when I pen a post for SoulSEAker’s second birthday, but whatever I write, I know my soul will be content.

Many thanks to you for sharing my journey over the past year. You are what give my words a purpose, and I hope that I’ve been able to reassure and inspire you. Special thanks to my regular followers C.M., D.C., M.W., R.C., S.T., C.T., M.M., D.K., L.F., S.T., K.C., R.Y., B.K., E.H., D.S., M.B., and M.E.

To help guide my writing, I’d appreciate you taking a brief reader survey, which can be accessed by clicking anywhere in this sentence. It will only take a few minutes and you can remain anonymous. Many, many thanks in advance.

Happy First Birthday to SoulSEAker!

With my utmost respect and gratitude,

Jill

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 6/25/2016

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Whew! I am looking back on my first full week of summer vacation and I can honestly say I think I did more this week for myself than I have in all of the other 2016 weeks combined. When I do things for myself, I don’t mind the pain and exhaustion: that means I lived! I’ve gone to Six Flags, seen The Cure (see my last post), walked the Brooklyn Bridge, paid my respects at the 9-11 Reflection Pool and for a friend at a local park, perused the wonderful selection of books and merchandise at The Strand Book Store, mowed the lawn, and plotted out most of my August trip to Dublin. My husband always says he likes Summer Jill, and know what? So do I. Summer Jill is definitely who I am. However, today’s Summer Jill is planning on taking it easy for the next few days to rest my legs and body, but not my mind. My mind, my typing fingers, and my pencil will keep on moving.

As I have written before, there’s a lot going on cosmically right now for me. I’m reading “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins, which reinforces everything I’m going through. As ideas and signs present themselves, I’m keeping track of each of them. The hard part is deciding which one(s) should be my main focus….there’s so many different ideas with their own unique path. Right now I am unsure which path I will take, partly because I know there’s more signs to come. When the time is right, I know that I will be guided to the right one.

By the way, I’m listening to the single “Dark Necessities” by Red Hot Chili Peppers almost nonstop…I just love it! In fact, RHCP’s new album, The Getaway, is all-around great. RHCP are one of my other favorite bands, along with 311.

Wow, a long introduction for my weekly roundup of sites I found interesting! Anyway, I hope there’s something below that you will find useful or entertaining. Thanks for being a follower!

Great article from Salon: How the Cure Endures. For fellow misfits like me. 🙂

Tools for Capturing Your Ideas in Writing – by Melissa Donovan on Writingforward.com. I personally use more sticky notes than anything, followed closely by a notebook and the AwesomeNote app for my Iphone. I use a wireless keyboard which was the best $15 I ever spent.

The Photographer in Everyone – by Laura Schmalstieg, posted at Artifact Uprising. Read this!

Fight For Your Calling (Because No One Else Will) – by Jeff Goins. Again, read this!

Less Hate, More Love Pin – from Dani DiPirro at Positively Present

21 Day Free Meditation Experience – Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life. A new, free 21 day experience from the Chopra Center! Check it out!

50 free Online Sources for Printables – from Adorama

The Four D’s of Completion – by Sean Hogue

One Year Later – by Chris Guillebeau

Unbroken_Warriors_PTSD: Instagram account of Michael Dowens, who is raising awareness of PTSD and raising money for PTSD programs for veterans. To see the Go Fund Me page, click here.

And finally,

There’s only 6 days left until the 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016 Challenge begins! Mark your calendars for Friday, July 1, and play along. Click here for the details.

Have a splendid week my friend!

Until next time,

Jill

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 6/18/2016

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What an emotional roller coaster of a week, and a paradoxical one at that.  It is quite a week of new beginnings, both intentional and unexpected, for so many. There’s the happiness of graduations and the sadness of immense loss. There are those spouting judgment and those calling for compassion. There are the helpers and the hinderers. I am trying to wrap my head around the state of so-called society and civilization we all live in, and I have not liked most of what I have seen this week. I believe it’s time to put the human back in humanity, and instead of just saying that as an empty phrase, I’m working out an idea that might help. Somebody’s got to do something, and while my idea might be small, perhaps it will be the push many of us need to overcome the negativity and just be there with each other and for each other, sans judgment and shaming. More to come…

This weekend’s roundup of links has a beach/shore/summer feel to it, as it’s finally my favorite time of year and we all need a bit of a mental escape right about now. Enjoy and please check back often as I will be posting more now that summer is here…

Ten Beach Commandments: 2016 Edition – by Kevin Williams of Townsquare Media.

NJ Dad: Here’s Why I Hope My Kids Summer Vacation Is Boring – great read by Brian Donohue

The Ultimate NJ Summer Bucket List – from NJ.com. Great ideas but the site is a little wonky.

Sea Scallop Fishing Off the NJ Coast Thriving – short video from NJTV on one of the Viking Village vessels showing how scallops get from the ocean onto your dinner plate.

Stingrays in Tampa Bay – what a wonderful sight!

The Surfer Alone at Sea: A Tale of Love and Perseverance – by Joao Salgado, posted by The Inertia

The Ultimate Jersey Shore Beach Guide – by NJ Monthly

and don’t forget…

Join my 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016 challenge! It begins on July 1. 

Until next time,

Jill

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Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 6/10/2016

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Happy Saturday, friends! It’s a kick back, read a book outside or take a walk on the beach until the thunderstorms come kind of day. The highlight of my week was going on the Tilt-a-Whirl ride at our local boardwalk with my 5-year-old nephew, who graduated from one of his two preschools yesterday. The two minutes or so spent on that ride, laughing with H, holding his hand and just enjoying the moment erased the week’s stress and pain, even if only for a short time. I’m finding that I need to go back and look at everything I’ve written, and at all of the quote photos I’ve created, and listen to my own advice. Still “sea”king my soul, but I feel like I’m in limbo with my path being obscured by thick fog and uncertainty. A beach walk is needed, and that’s where I’m headed, even if it’s only to clear my head for a short while.

I hope you’ll find something to inspire you in one of the clicks below.

Turn your Face To The Light – my favorite post from the week, from Elizabeth Gilbert

What Lens Do You See Life With? by my friend Heather O’Neill

Creativity As A Daily Practice – posted on Holstee by Helen Williams

Life First, Write Second – by Adam Jeske, guest post on Jeff Goins’ site

Mandatory Lazy Days – I love this!

Full Circle Rainbow in Ireland – shot by a drone, posted by The Weather Channel. One of my top “Ireland” signs of the week.

The Work of David Gilkey, NPR Journalist Killed in Afghanistan – Thank You, David

This is a Surfer Who Has Life Figured Out – reposted by The Inertia, great piece about Jacques Beriau on Terasu

and finally,

Make Your Life Spectacular – video posted on Goalcast’s Facebook page.

Don’t Forget…please join me for my 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ challenge this July! It’s going to be fun!

Until next time,

Jill

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Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 6/4/2016

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Hello and Happy June to you! In case you missed it earlier this week, my June newsletter was posted, and the best part of the newsletter was announcing my 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016 challenge that will be held this July. Click here to learn all about the challenge and how you can participate.

I’ve been thinking all week about those who are dealing with flooding, whether in Texas or in France, and hope that my friends and followers are all safe. There was no shortage of news either this week: late yesterday came word that we lost Muhammad Ali, there were over 250 dogs rescued from a local home, people became very heated and took sides in a gorilla versus human versus zoo incident, and the truth came out about Prince’s death (which was what I did NOT want to hear). It’s clear that we need to take care of one another in this world full of self-righteous yet meaningless dialogue.  Instead of bitching about issues or things that happen, let’s reach out to each other in empathy, compassion, and sometimes, disagreement. It’s okay to disagree with the person who might be holding your hand. What matters most is that you have a hand to hold.

A longer intro than normal, so thanks for sticking it through!  Here are some interesting links I found over the past week.

Create! By my friend and fellow blogger Masha – just what I needed to read!

5 reasons Travel Feeds Your Soul – I’m always “sea”king and nourishing my soul…travel must happen, and it will in August!

Improve Your Life With Simple Rituals – by Melissa Marshall at TowerLife. Good advice here…Melissa put into words what I’ve wanted to write for a while.

And on another ritual front… The Importance of Morning Rituals – by Bo Johnson. I saved this link to share with you this week, and ironically enough, Dani from over at Positively Present also included it on her weekly roundup.

5 Non-Apps To Boost Your Productivity – again, good tips I hope to try in 8 days (summer break is coming)…

My Weight is None of Your Business – by Tanya Eby. Excellently stated, Tanya. I’ve gained a significant amount of weight from my medications, weight that cannot be lost through physical activity or dieting. Like Tanya, I’ve struggled with negative comments from others about being heavier.  I also am in my mid-40s and I currently weigh 181 pounds, which is a size 12-14 (sometimes a 16). I’m thankful she wrote this and urge everyone to give it a read.

How to Life Your Dream Life – Maybe it’s not impossible after all?

Free Printable Bookmarks – recommended by Dani at Positively Present

and finally,

Just Say NO to People Pleasing! (again recommended by Dani) – Glad to say that this week I said NO several times, and the world didn’t end, I didn’t turn to stone, and I didn’t lose any friends. 🙂

Once again, think about joining me for 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ this July! It’s going to be fun!

Until next time,

Jill

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Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 5/7/2016

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It’s been dreary all week here in New Jersey, and today doesn’t look to be any different. That’s okay, though. Sometimes I like dreary days. It will become brighter this afternoon for me because we will be celebrating my nephew’s 5th birthday. I was summoned to “come over and play” this week by the 2-year-old, and it was the best two hours of the week. The 3 of us played with connecting gears, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Paw Patrol cars, and I had a lot of fun making them laugh by making my duck sound and by hitting balloons into the air. I hope you find time this week to spend time with the cherished people in your life. There’s nothing better than making memories and being with those you love.

Here are some interesting links for the week. Hope you enjoy!

May is Lupus Awareness Month – I will be penning a blog entry on Tuesday 5/10 about Lupus to commemorate World Lupus Day, which will be the only day each year I focus on my illness here at SoulSEAker. If you’d like to learn more about Lupus, please see the .pdf fact sheet linked here.

A Call for Kindness – by Susannah Conway. All women, regardless of your age, should read this.

Dan Pallotta: The Dream We Haven’t Dared to Dream – excellent Ted Talk recommended by fellow author and my friend Mandi Bean

2 Minutes Watching the Northern Lights Over Norway Proves the World is Still Beautiful – by Joe Carberry over at The Inertia

Say It Loud! I’m a Writer and I’m Proud – by Gayle Fleming

Why Do Some People Go Out of Their Way to Help Others – great video posted by No Limits

And Finally…

Even the Obamas celebrated Star Wars Day!

Have a splendid day and week!

Until next time, 

Jill

PS: If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, here’s a link to the May issue.  Take a look, then sign up! You know you want to! 🙂

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 4/23/2016

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Hello, friends! Unfortunately, I’m sitting here and my mind is completely blank. That’s how it’s been all week when there’s so much I want to write about…I have words and sentences scribbled on post-it notes all over the place, but when I sit and try to write, I turn into Patrick Star go blank. Completely blank. And it’s frustrating. I don’t know why I have a mind meld going on over here, but it’s there. And the more I try to force the words to come out, the more frustrated I become.

Anyway……..here are some interesting links I found this week that you might want to check out when you have a few minutes to troll. Hoping your week makes you smile and gives you many moments of happiness!

Dear Younger Me – from Susannah Conway. A great perspective about looking back while looking forward.

Be The Lighthouse – written by Alexandra Franzen and recommended by Dani DiPirro

How to Say No (in 25 Bad A** ways) – contains adult language. The inner snarky “me” loves this!

What You Need To Know Before You Go To Skellig Michael, Ireland – from Flirting with the Globe. A very symbolic place to me and someday I will set my 2 feet on Skellig Michael.

William Shakespeare’s Obituary – by the NY Times and posted today, 4/23/2016, on the anniversary of his death.

Need a smile?  Watch this Lemur who demands back scratches! Or these otters who hold hand while sleeping!

This awesome image posted by Leonie Dawson

This awesome post by Elizabeth Gilbert (it’s almost as if she can read my mind with her timely posts)

35 Minute Total Body Yoga Flow – as seen on The Inertia

and finally,

Remembering Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik – a former student who gave his life to save many others on this day in 2010. Thank you, Ron.

Until next time,

Jill

 

 

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 4/16/2016

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Quote of the Week:  If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. ~ Buddhist Saying

Another week gone, and at times, it was an uphill battle to muddle through and get what was most important completed. While there are some exciting plans being made and the most pressing deadlines and things on my to do list are being met, at the forefront every day is my health. With extremely active Lupus and Fibromyalgia, I am limited by low energy, radiating pain, slow and weak legs, and extreme fatigue, to name a few. As such, I have been unable to accomplish both professional responsibilities expected of me and many of my own personal goals. My schedule might be full, but my symptoms say otherwise. A crossroad is appearing along my journey, and in my heart, I know the route I will take, albeit it will take some time. The turning point was the instant when “I wish” and “I think” turned into “I know.” I am filled with excitement, calm, assurance, wonder, and even a little bit of fear as I begin to take control of my future and my life, while doing what is best for me and my health.

I only have a few links for you this week, but they are worthy of checking out. I wish you a calm and relaxing weekend, and hope to share more of my writing with you next week, more than just this simple round-up of links.

We’re Only Guaranteed Today, So Stop Waiting for Tomorrow! by Kati O’Brien at Tiny Buddha

Use Your Wings – some timely inspiration from Danielle LaPorte

Spring Bucket List Printable – from my friends at Designer Blogs Studio

Migrating Songbird Fallout on Machias Seal Island – nature is truly wondrous

More Than Just the Man in the Van – I’m now a fan of Detroit Tigers’ Pitcher Daniel Norris

Phil Collins Reshot All of His Original Album Covers for the 2016 Release – timeless!

Three Men Rescued from Remote Island After Writing ‘HELP’ in the Sand – true story!

and finally…

Laugh All You Want – the Shaq brand has sold over 120 million pairs of affordable shoes for kids at Walmart – Not looking to get into a spat here about Walmart and corporate greed, but I think it’s nice to see someone with influence lending his name to help those who can’t afford more expensive shoes. Thanks, Shaq!

Until next time,

Jill

 

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 4/8/2016

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Hello, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted because I am having difficulty balancing my schedule lately. Too much going on, and I am stretched quite thin until the end of April with many deadlines and responsibilities. During my down time, I have been doing a lot of thinking and soul-searching, and I know that once these deadlines are met, I must sit down and reprioritize my life. It has to happen. Changes must be made in order for me to have a life worth living.  It’s long overdue.

The time available for trolling the Internet has been slim to none, but I’ve collected a few worthy clicks for you.  Hope you enjoy them!

NOT THIS – Elizabeth Gilbert has summed up exactly what I’ve been feeling.

Your Life is Too Valuable to Waste Chasing Possessions 

10 Famous Authors on the Importance of Keeping a Journal

Discovering Dublin’s Coastal Villages – yes, I think I will

What’s Straight Across the Ocean When You’re At the Beach – interesting…Portugal is across from me

One Sure Way to Refuel Our Spirit: This is What Soulfood Looks Like 

How To Avoid the Power of the Drift – by Michael Hyatt

Have a wonderful week!

Until next time,

Jill