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By Lauri Mackey — 4 years agoAnalogies I Learned While Riding My Bike This MorningFancy’s Neptune’s Net Ride1) Enjoy the Moments My bike ride this morning took me through neighborhoods, long stretches of farmland where they were growing artichokes, bell peppers in yellow and red, celery, and acres of sod. It went past a naval station, a shooting range, hiking and camping areas, and miles of beach along the Pacific Ocean where people were walking their pets or out in the water surfin’ it up. Don’t forget to look up every once in awhile and enjoy your surroundings. We get so busy with life that we forget to look up and enjoy these little moments of beauty that surround us daily.2) Share the Road This morning found me on a lonely 30-mile ride and while it was beautiful, it’s much more fun to bring a buddy. I enjoy riding with my husband or friends or my daughter. Due to different levels of fitness, I highly recommend a tandem. It evens up the odds in a hurry and it’s easier to visit. While tandems are certainly fun, you have to work “in tandem” or it’s literally a train wreck. Which foot to have on the pedal when you start, which foot you will put down first when you stop, shifting your weight carefully so you don’t weeble-wobble and fall right over. Share your life. It is much more fun when you have a buddy to share the road or to simply go “in tandem”.3) Think Happy Thoughts Let’s face it, this life can be a cess pool of negativity. Here’s an example of that on my ride this morning…it was 46 degrees and I hate the cold. My Garmin wouldn’t work so I wasn’t able to see how far I went, how many calories I had burned, what time it was, and how my heart rate was doing. There was a horrible head-wind that made me work much harder on the way home. It took ten minutes longer than my ride out. My fingers were freezing and at one point I couldn’t feel my toes. Some of the drivers definitely are NOT observing the 3-foot rule and made me nervous coming so close. And some parts of the beach ride just smell plain fishy…and I don’t like fish! Why did I do this by myself? I should have just stayed home. Here’s what actually happened…I was cold for awhile, but reminded myself of how blazing hot it had been this summer and was glad for the change in season that finally appeared. My Garmin didn’t work so I decided to just enjoy the ride and not worry about my heart rate or how long it would take me to finish. I was cold during spots, but enjoyed the morning sunshine as it warmed me up to get through the next cold spell. The headwinds are a blessing in disguise as while I’m slower, they make me stronger. I was grateful for good health that allowed me the opportunity to ride my bike and for the quiet time it provided me to think of all these analogies!4) Embrace Your Own Journey While there were not a lot of other cyclists out as early as I was this morning, I passed a few. And then one passed me! My initial reaction is always, “Man, I’m slow” or “Speed up! Quick! Don’t let this guy pass you!” Why? Why do we compare ourselves to others so often? I’m enjoying my Garmin-Free bike ride over here moving like molasses through this headwind…I don’t need to compare myself to the rest of the world. Embrace your own journey in this life. There is no one else like you, period. So why would you want to take someone else’s journey? This is yours…own it.5) Always Another Hill My tooshie is sore after all the hills. I admit it. But there is always another hill. Those hills build character, strength, resolve, and tighten my rear end. That’s a huge benefit! I ride with a group of guys on Thursday afternoons and one hill in particular is called “Power Line”. It is insanely steep and it takes just plain power and grit to climb. A few weeks ago, one of the guys told me he’d never made it up so I climbed with him and became the best little cheerleader you could imagine (without pompoms of course). He made it! And you know what? Last week we went to that same hill and he did it again and it wasn’t as hard as the first time. Those hills make you stronger and give you the confidence to tackle it again. In life there is always another hill. I enjoy the downhill and the coasting, but I know that hills are just a part of my life. Just as in my bike riding (whether mountain or road), they are building muscles, creating experiences, and giving me confidence to tackle even bigger hills in the future.
By Lauri Mackey — 4 years ago2013 FireOut of the Ashes We Can Find HopeThis story of hope begins in 2013, when our county experienced a terrible fire. We were evacuated from our homes on a moment’s notice. The picture you see below with billowing orange smoke bombs was taken from my friends camera as we stopped to look back, perhaps for the last time on our neighborhood. I remember calling my mom while sitting in the long line of cars trying to leave and telling her of the situation. She expressed concern and told me to stay safe, but when I sent her that picture, she freaked out! It’s a lesson learned on how pictures speak louder than words. My husband and I truly thought that our home would be gone and that we would be starting from scratch. At the time, it just didn’t matter. I had just driven out of there with flames on the side of the road consuming trees that were 100 feet tall. I was alive, he was alive, I had rescued our kitties and our daughter had been at school. All was well as far as I was concerned.This particular fire burned hot and fast. It consumed everything in its path and in the end burned over 24,000 acres from a little valley, crossing the mountain range and ending at the ocean. Everything was black, sad and black. The smell of smoke and ash would be our constant companion for weeks. Words could not describe what we saw. We had people come drive out to see us and not truly get what had happened until they saw it for themselves. It is now just over two years as I write this and our beautiful mountains still carry the scars of this fire.The firefighters were the true heroes of the day. They miraculously saved our entire housing community. They had used our hose as our house faces a hill that was burned. A tree was knocked down by a fire truck. Trees surrounding the outskirts of the neighborhood were singed and blackened from the fire, but every home was safe. How was that possible? I saw the fire as I left. I saw the crazy big flames and felt the heat so hot that I had to roll up my car windows to not feel like I was getting burned. I had zero hope.(Our housing surrounded by blackened hills)As I look back, I’ve likened this very physical and temporal experience to a spiritual battle I had in my own life. So much is the same. The darkness was real and hope was not on my radar. Not so much as a little blip on the screen. When I read the saying that someone had “temporarily turned the light off at the end of the tunnel”, I could completely relate. (Stay with me now, because I found that silly little light-switch to turn on my own light!)Now, unlike the fire, I have no one to blame but myself. I made choices that brought me to that tunnel without a supposed light and had removed myself so far out there that my radar was actually damaged and couldn’t see that blip that turns out, was just hiding, not gone. Part of my lesson was realizing that I didn’t know how dark things had become. When you make wrong choices, consistently over a long period of time, they become your reality. My tunnel light had not been turned off, but there was so much smoke I had created that it just wasn’t visible to me anymore.My dark choices will not be the same as yours. We all have our own enemies to fight so I won’t bore you with the details of my battles, but I did win this particular war. The only way to win the war is to do exactly the opposite of what got you there to begin with. In my case, that meant not making decisions on my own. If I had tried to battle our physical fire around our homes I would have lost! I did not have the skills or expertise in that field. Everyone would have suffered the loss of their homes. The firefighters were the experts. I needed an expert in life. That meant turning to my spiritual power of prayer and getting on my knees and begging God to help me. He was my firefighter and I needed all of his expertise and knowledge of life to help me fight. All of my choices had brought me to that place…dark, lonely, afraid, sorely sad, and just plain miserable. Surely God could help me make better decisions than the ones I had been making.And indeed he did. It took some time, but I am grateful for my experiences I have had in my life. They have made me who I am today. Just like our mountains, I carry the scars from those days, but I believe, “A mended heart is stronger”. They remind me see that if I can make it…anyone can! I truly mean that with all my heart and soul. Ladies, if I can make it…so can you!Some people see the fires that burn hot and fast, while others experience a slow burn, but my goal in writing this blog today is to give you hope. Hope that you can become a magical electrician and wire your own switch for a light at the end of your tunnel. Hope that you see the sun and feel the warmth on your skin and in your soul. Hope that you find a flashlight along the way. Hope that your friend can loan you a flashlight until you can locate yours. Hope that out of your darkness and ashes, you rise like the fabled Phoenix to start again, renewed and strengthened for your journey ahead. Because once you are on that path, you need to loan your flashlight to others who can’t see their light and help them on their journey.Yours in Hope and Positivity…#makelemonade
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
I am a New Year’s Resolutions kind of gal. I am that crazy, somewhat OCD person that makes a goal list every year and does her best to get ‘er done. At the beginning of 2017 I realized that my goal sheet needed some sprucing up…it was BORING! I renamed categories and just added a healthy dose of fun into the titles and the goals themselves. Today, I’d like to share one of those goals about books I wanted to read in 2017 with you.
I created a stack of 10 books to read throughout the year. That was it. Boring. Snore. Probably not going to happen even though they are staring me in the face every. single. day. And then I remembered something. When I was in 3rd grade my teacher held a contest. She created a bookworm for each of us and for every book we read (think Golden Books back then) we added another segment to our bookworm. I adore reading and my bookworm went around at least two of the walls in our classroom.
So that’s what I did! This year I created a bookworm and named her Ms Penelope Pickwick and she is beautiful! I’m not a crafty person, but I AM creative. I cut out circles on pretty paper and every time I finish a book I add a segment to Ms Pickwick which now goes along an entire wall and started onto the next wall here in my studio.
In honor of it being November and I’m down to my last few books for the year, I’d like to list the books I’ve read here for the year and give you a little rating (solely my opinion, of course) from 1-5 stars and why. Enjoy and happy Reading! If you have any comments on any of the books listed here please feel free to let us know so that everyone can decide which one to buy next! (Links to buy included below and the order is in what I read first, second, etc.)
Books I’ve Read in 2017 (So far…)
This was the first steampunk proper romance I had ever read and devoured it with ease. Mystery, fantasy, love, women who kick-ass and take names. This is an incredible read!
The Love Dare for Parents – 2 Stars!
I am a HUGE fan of the movie, Fireproof and the workbook available called The Love Dare so when I started having some trouble with my teenager it seemed like a good fit, but while I am Christian this book seemed a little too fire and brimstone for me. There was some good advice, but I would not recommend this book.
My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!
After I read Beauty and The Clockwork Beast, I wanted more Nancy Campbell Allen (you can listen to her podcast interview with me here) and this was the next one. While not a steampunk romance, it is a play on My Fair Lady and devoured this one in 24 hours flat. Yep, it was that good.
Dr. Julie Hanks was a guest on the podcast (listen here) and her method is pretty much foolproof. Loved her interview, loved this book, and believe it can help you learn more about yourself and finding the strength to be assertive in your life.
This year I completed my collection of novels by Louis L’amour via second hand stores, thrift stores, used book stores, and finally some on Amazon. He is one of my favorites and I never tire of the good guy winning! Glad I didn’t live in that era of old western towns, but can’t get enough of these!
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron – 5 Stars!
My husband bought this book for me Christmas 2015 and it took to the end of 2016 to crack it open. I was really interested, but other books came first What I didn’t know is that it was a workbook and would take weeks to complete. I learned more about myself during those weeks than I have over the last decade. It is a MUST READ and is phenomenal in its content. It was through this book that I got the idea for #PlayDates and #Recess and was a influence in me finding my creativity and learning that I was actually creative! Who knew?
The Mismatched Nativity by Merrilee Boyack – 5 Stars!
This is truly a children’s book, but because I had Merrilee on the podcast (listen here) and we talked about this very book, I had to get it and read it for sure. I highly recommend it for your young’uns!
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – 5 Stars!
“A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea” is so good that I still have the 5 steps of business on my dry-erase board in my studio. Want a teaser? The first one says, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”. Get it, read it, enjoy it, implement it!
Kissing A Frog by Sharlene Hawkes – 5 Stars!
This was recommended to me by my best friend, Elizabeth and not only did I read it, enjoy it, and implement parts of it – I then asked Sharlene to be on the podcast and you can LISTEN HERE! Miss America 1985 and the first foreign-born Miss America ever – you will love her! There are only 95 copies of her book left in print and if you click here you will be directed to my website where you can get an autographed copy just for yourself!
The Conference of The Birds by Peter Sis – 3 Stars!
Given to me by a friend, it is beautifully illustrated and hard to understand. Maybe I am just too simple to get all of it’s deeper meaning, but it is now my coffee table book because the artwork adds beauty to my home.
Josi stole my heart long ago with her recipe/mystery novels featuring Sadie Hoffmiller and I’ve never looked back. I was so deeply honored (and am a crazy huge fan!) that I asked her to be on the podcast and she accepted! (Listen Here!) These three are some of her best proper romance books to date and I fall in love with her all over again every time I read them. I went on a bender here obviously and read three in a row! Highly recommend all three, but would read A Heart Revealed before Lord Fenton’s Folly – interconnected just a bit, but still can be read as stand alone books so pick your favorite!
This is an insightful book on how you can fit meditation (even four minutes) into your daily schedule. It is definitely a way to do that, but found myself only giving four stars because I’m not very woo-woo…sorry ladies! I loved the stories and indeed love Rebekah “Bex” Borucki so much that I had her on the podcast and had an incredible interview! (Listen Here!)
If you need a Christmas present or birthday present or graduation present for any girl or woman in your life, look no further…this is it! There are not a lot of words, but little there are makes an impact. Even more impactful are the images. Kate’s photography in this work is worthy of any bookshelf or wall. I found myself going from laughing to crying to being all out contemplative as I consumed the photos that fill it’s pages. A must have for you and anyone else you can think of. Want to learn more about Kate? Listen to her podcast here!
Another guest on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand The Positivity Podcast for Women (Listen Here!) Kelsey has empathy down to an art and in fact teaches it to other via her workshops. In all honesty, I didn’t read the book before our interview. Then this happened: One of my closest friends started going through a divorce that still isn’t over as I write this and I felt like I could be a better friend. I then devoured the book within a couple of weeks and started using its wisdom immediately. It’s worth every penny – get it!
Don’t need to say another word more than what I did on her first two books listed above other than I can’t wait for her next steampunk romance coming out in 2018!!
Ladies, this book is tailored just for you and your dirty money secrets you might be hiding. Don’t hide under the covers about your finances any longer…Kate take you through her own experiences and what you can start doing right now today to make a difference in your personal finances. True eye-opener and guess what? She tells much, much more during our LLS Podcast interview (Listen Here!).
Choose Yourself by James Altucher – 5 Stars!
This book is all about possibilities. Believing in possibilities. Coming up with new possibilities. It was so fun (even hysterical in some parts) to read and chock full of knowledge about how to Choose Yourself in this world in the best possible way. Implementing even one part of this book could seriously change your life. Try it out!
Books I’m reading right now (Unfinished)
What’s on your bookshelf?
Would love to hear recommendations on new books, give me your two cents on any of the books written above and let me know if you purchase any of these based on the above reviews. I would love to hear from you!