A lot of my dreams have come true and I’m in a good place right now, but there have been plenty of low points during my fifty-one years on this earth, and most likely more to come. Just like Erica, the main character in my latest book, Her Time to Shine, I’ve grieved loved ones, been forced to reinvent myself, navigate and overcome dire financial circumstances and have had to move far away from home, alone, to start over.
I’ve had periods in my life when it all felt completely hopeless. Having survived, I draw on my experiences to write heart-warming tales about characters (mainly women) who find peace within, a positive outlook and a way forward after turmoil and trauma.
Hope is what keeps us going, mentally, emotionally and physically, so it’s vital we have ready access to uplifting stories, especially about characters we can relate to in some way – particularly when we’re going through our own darkest days.
While Erica is not me, I wrote Her Time to Shine as a private homage to my own difficult journey, to celebrate where I am and who I’ve become, and to express my appreciation to the universe for the wonderful twists and turns and fascinating moments of apparently utter serendipity that have occurred along the way.
I don’t believe in coincidences – in my experience, everything is connected and happens for a reason and at the right time. With all the turmoil, trauma and suffering going on all around us right now, it’s clear how little control we as individual humans have.
I hope you’re doing okay, dear reader. If you’re struggling, here are some things I’ve discovered – usually the hard way! – and find useful to remind myself of regularly:
All the worry in the world won’t change the outcome; it just makes us ill.
Don’t ignore the first indications of illness and fatigue – they are the signs we need rest. The body has a way of gently trying to tell us before forcing us to listen by sending something serious.
Often the best thing you can do for yourself is nothing at all – pause, be still for a bit, and focus on just breathing. I’ve found that the answers and solutions to every problem of mine, big and small, arise only in silence, and after I’ve stopped looking and grappling for them.
Stay safe and well.