Re-invention 101 and a Special Book Launch Giveaway

When it comes to our own life, it’s easy to lose sight of the cyclic way of things. Rough times give us selective amnesia. Especially if we’re having multiple struggles — work and relationship problems, or a health challenge along with money concerns — we tend to forget that we’ve been through hard stuff before. We’ve always survived, and sometimes we’ve triumphed. ~ Victoria Moran

Victoria Moran is one of  my real life idols and her book, Creating a Charmed Life: Sensible, Spiritual Secrets Every Busy Woman Should Know, is one of those I wish I’d written. Have a glance at the book cover below. Hard to believe she’s in her fifties – there’s hope for me yet!

(*Guys ~ Victoria’s books are universally useful and enjoyed by women and men alike – they also make great gift ideas – but if this post turns out to be a bit girly for you, please scroll down to the questions at the bottom, especially if you’re a writer.)

Her books Fit From Within : 101 Simple Secrets to Change Your Body and Your Life – Starting Today and Lasting Forever and Lit from Within will give you some idea of where she gets her glow from. Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit was her way of passing on all of her health and happiness tips to people like me who are no longer in their twenties!

She has two new books out at the moment and I’m hoping The Love-Powered Diet: Eating for Freedom, Health, and Joy will help me use all of my spiritual side, my wisdom and skills to help me shift the weight I’ve gained this last few months. the-love-powered-diet-by-victoria-moranWhen I’m overweight and sluggish, I find it harder to cope with financial anxiety and it can turn into a vicious circle of  comfort eating.

We all go through phases where we feel a deep need to re-invent and re-create ourselves, to love ourselves better so that we can cope in difficult times. I often get inspired to do this through a new book or a new piece of music.

If you’ve visited my book shop, you’ll have noticed that I’ve given Victoria’s books their very own section. I’ve known her for years, absorbed every one of her books and been blessed to receive many emails full of wisdom from her. When one of my manuscripts was rejected by a publisher after ten months in the hands of various editors at the publishing house, it was Victoria who urged me to keep going. She told me how many times she’d had to pick herself up and re-create and re-invent herself over the years.

She was widowed young and raised her daughter alone. Recently, her teenage stepson James died tragically of a sudden illness. But no matter what life throws at her, she remains poised and grateful and keeps reaching out, writing beautifully and wisely and touching thousands of souls along the way.

living-a-charmed-life-by-victoria-moranHer other recent release is called Living a Charmed Life: Your Guide to Finding Magic in Every Moment of Every Day which I’ll be reviewing properly when I’ve had a chance to devour it.

Writers and people interested in improving their lives are often addicted to reading, so I’m guessing you may be too! That’s why I share my favourite books with you. There are affiliate links under most of the books I highlight in my blog – I know you’re probably an Amazon affiliate too and believe in making money with meaning – but I hope you’ve come to know me well enough to believe that I share my favourite bits and pieces with you because I promised you soul food and support over here in our wee café bistro.

Books have always helped me turn my life around and become a better me and I hope that synchronicity may send you one of these recommendations to help you on your journey, too. That’s why I tell you about my favourite books and authors.

Here’s a clip of Victoria  reading from one of her new books; I found the clip in her most recent blog post at Your Charmed Life. She reminds us here that our lives are made up of stories, not atoms.

Have you had to re-invent yourself recently?

Do you struggle to live a healthy lifestyle and nurture yourself?

Which books do you wish you had written? Why? Which elements of that book could you model with integrity in your own writing? What do you have in common with the author?

BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

Victoria has gifted me with signed copies of Living a Charmed Life and The Love Powered Diet to give away to two Sharing the Journey readers. All you have to do is answer any of the questions above, tell us why you need a bit of support to re-invent yourself or share a few of those moments that make you feel like you’re living a charmed life. The winner will be chosen at random next weekend. (I’ll put the comment numbers on bits of paper in a hat and the kids will draw one each. They’ll feel like film stars!) Victoria’s happy to post the books anywhere so it doesn’t matter which country you’re from.

So go on – one of these books may hold the Aha!! moment that signals a change of direction, a new phase of your journey!

21 thoughts on “Re-invention 101 and a Special Book Launch Giveaway

  1. Last year I realized that the path I was on was only going to make me ‘comfortable,’ not happy. I had learned how to achieve, but not how to live life. So I took a leap of faith, left my old life behind, and moved out to the country with my new husband to live on a farm. I had to put away most of my book learning and instead learn to pick up tools and use my body. Instead of solving abstract chemical equations, I was mixing soil. Instead of studying math, I was driving a tractor. And instead of feeling unfulfilled, I was living life. It was the hardest, and the best, decision I ever made.

  2. Hi Elysse,
    What a wonderful, inspiring way to meet a new visitor to our wee community! I wish you and your husband health and continued happiness in your new venture. I’d love to hear more some day about the day you decided there was no going back. We often know we’re on the wrong track but sometimes it feels like a feat of superhuman bravery is needed just to take that first step. Thank you for your heartwarming comment.

  3. Hi Janice,

    Those books sound so awesome. I want them!!!! 🙂 So here are my answers:

    Have you had to re-invent yourself recently?
    My mother passed away in 2005 and after her death so many things about my past came to the surface. It was a really hard time. Losing my mom was the end of a chapter and I had to start a new life without my mom who was this major force in my life. I realized that I had no idea who I was accept I was Nina’s daughter. It was scary but so liberating. For the first time in my life, I was able to discover what I wanted and not what I thought I wanted because my mom told me so.

    Do you struggle to live a healthy lifestyle and nurture yourself?
    Healthy is not a problem for me but nurturing is an issue. I always try to be everything to everyone. I am constantly running around and I do love my life. However, I could use more time to take care of me and nurture myself.

    Which books do you wish you had written? Why? Which elements of that book could you model with integrity in your own writing? What do you have in common with the author?

    I wish I could have written “A Return To Love” by Marianne Williamson. That book spoke to my soul when I first read it and it still does. I liked how she wrote with honesty and integrity. She did not write from the mind but from her heart. She shared her pain and how she grew from it. I could tell from her writing she was the real deal. She walked the walk and talked the talk. She had struggled to achieve her sense of peace and I admired her authenticity. As for what I have in common with her, her past is very similar to mine in the sense of finding her place in the world and how spirituality saved her life. She is my idol and hero! 🙂

    Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..God & Me

  4. I wish I had enough free copies to give one away to everyone who comments – and what a comment! Thank you for opening up your heart to us like this. I hope all our silent readers – and there are lots – explore some of these questions in journals and in their own blog posts. I know I throw away too many questions and should maybe just build a whole post around one, but I like that readers can pick and choose which question they resonate with.

  5. I struggle to truly nurture myself because I have food issues and really could use some support/ extra motivation to keep working on improving my life and staying strong in times of difficulty.

    • Hi Danielle,
      Good to meet you! If you don’t win one of Victoria’s new books, I’d really recommend you get a library copy, a second hand or new copy of Fit From Within. It’s one of those books that I eventually had to stop lending folk because it was so good, it rarely seemed to live on my bookshelves. Food issues are highly complex; I’ve coached people on them, and it often comes down to one thing – what is the food and drink a substitute for, what do you really need? I know that’s a gross oversimplification, but you’d be surprised how often food’s a substitute for love, praise, comfort, stimulation, friends to celebrate with, relaxation or the memory of a lost parent. Victoria looks at why people eat unhealthily as well as providing very practical tips and techniques. For example, there’s a chapter on caffeine’s affect on weight gain, and another on the convenience of modern society which is so obvious that most of us forget it in our daily lives.

  6. Do you struggle to live a healthy lifestyle and nurture yourself?
    * EVERY SINGLE DAY I struggle with this. I’ve read books, educated myself and started off down the path to a healthy lifestyle a kazillion times. I have a tape that runs through my head and it contains several phrases: Why bother it won’t change things, I give up this is too hard, I don’t really care if I am healthy. That is only three but the theme runs along those lines. I take time to nurture myself but then I go overboard and do nothing for days. Weekends are always busy and hectic so I tell myself its okay to sit around and do nothing. Yikes!

    * Have you had to re-invent yourself recently?
    Not recently, but when I got divorced about 19 yrs ago. I had been married for almost 10 years in an abusive relationship. One day I was organizing stuff in my closet and ran across some assignments I had written when I was in University. I sat down in the closet and read them all and said to myself, “What on earth happened to this woman? Where did she disappear to?” Amidst my tears and papers I pulled myself together and realized I didn’t have to reinvent myself. I had to find out who I had once been because I had LIKED myself then.

    Which books do you wish you had written? Why? Which elements of that book could you model with integrity in your own writing? What do you have in common with the author?
    It is a fiction I came upon ages ago. Its called “Days & Nights on The Amazon” by Darlene Barry Quaife. She lives west of Calgary and I was living in Calgary at the time. It was an incredible book and I’ve wanted to go on a trip up the Amazon ever since.

    • Hi, Maureen,
      Thanks for such an honest, open response! Don’t you find it’s a common problem, getting the exercise part of a healthy lifestyle balanced with a craving for rest after whirlwind phases? I don’t go to a gym or anything, but at the moment, caring for the family keeps me pretty active, which is just as well, as I don’t enjoy gyms. I just have to make sure I don’t get addicted to being online. I noticed today that I felt physically better for spending the whole day away from the computer. As a result, I didn’t crave easy comfort food, but enjoyed the chopping and preparing that went into making a mixed fruit crumble.

      I am so glad you found those old essays in the cupboard! That’s such a great point, the difference between re-inventing ourselves and re-discovering our old best selves. There’s a lot we could all learn from that, questions we could ask: When and where were you happiest? What were you doing? What makes you feel like you were born to do this?

      Luckily, I re-discovered, just in time, my teenage love of writing or else I would have drifted into the greyness of low grade chronic depression caused by mineral malabsorption and the side effects of my thyroid replacement medication.

      So, when do you start writing your book about where you live? 😉

  7. I’m not re-inventing myself; I am RE-re-inventing myself.

    Caring for my father at the end of his life and dealing with the emotions that experience brought up prompted me to start looking for answers to questions I’d never voiced, not even inside my head. It took years, but I created a life I really liked.

    I lost a lot of it a few years back. I made the decision to go back to school, into a program that required 40-50 hours per week in the class and lab. I drove an hour each way, and spent my nights studying.

    At the end of the 24-month program I had a big surprise – a new baby! I learned to be a parent at the same time I climbed the learning curve at my new career. Both of these were meaningful ways to spend my time, but I literally spent 5 years with my nose in either a diaper or a textbook.

    I’m working my way back to who I was, and hopefully into an even better version of me.

    Like Nadia, I am pretty healthy but have little time for self-nurturing. Or perhaps I have the time, but choose to sepnd it in otherways. 🙂

    • Hi, Ann Elise,
      Thank you for inspiring us! So many life changes, each one of which could easily topple the strongest of folk. I watched my mum die and never underestimate the effect that caring for an elderly parent can have on someone. There are others in this comment box who can deeply empathise with you. But personally, I have NO idea how you coped with a baby and a course and the exhaustion that probably trailed you like a shadow!! I don’t think you’re going to be “an even better version” of you; I think you’ve already evolved into an awesome version of you! I wish you strength on the rest of your journey. Please let us know how you get on.

  8. I love the title of the book: Living A Charmed Life. I certainly was, though I did not appreciate the life I had: a great job, excellent pay, two great daughters, a great place to live, great friends. I was too overwhelmed with work and tired to really sit down and take a breath and enjoy everything and everyone around me. I was not even writing, one of my passions or reading for that matter. I got married and thought it best to leave all the above behind (I took my youngest daughter with me, my other daughter is old enough to be on her own) and start a new life in different surroundings. I went from city living to country living. It was an adjustment and I found that the grass is not always greener on the other side. The change of pace was refreshing, however, it has been hard to find employment and like everyone else, I have financial responsibilities that do not go away. I also miss my friends and people to talk to. I have my husband and daughter but I can’t talk to them like I can talk to my friends. It has also been an adjustment period in my marriage (since my husband and I were living apart, in two different states, before I moved to where he lived. I had been divorced 5 years prior to remarrying) and a learning period for my daughter. She has experienced racism and has been exposed to kids her age that are into things they should not be.

    Have you had to re-invent yourself recently?
    I had to re-invent myself and go from a human resources professional to a housewife. I had to learn how to cook again (I used to order out or cook once in a while), take care of a dog ( I never had a pet), do the usual household chores, see my daugher off to school and be home when she got back, be a step-mom (this was also new to me), and be a wife all over again. Since I had the time to invest, I started my writing blogs (The Writer Today and Just To Write) and started reading again. My dream is to write and publish a romantic suspense novel one day. I have also attended some business seminars on starting your own business. I have been playing around with the idea of starting a home-based business in order to generate some income, while still looking for regular employment. I have definitely learned to appreciate and not take for granted anything anymore. I value my friends, family and life more now than ever . This change in my life has led me to a path in which I can enjoy each moment of each day more and pursue my goal of writing.

    Ana´s last blog post..Q & A With Wendy – The Query Queen

    • Hi Ana,
      What a wonderful, personal response – all of these comments are delighting me, like reading a blog within a blog! We have so many resilient, resourceful people in our ‘café community’, people who’ve been through so much learning and so many personal evolutions.
      Writers, parents, wise men and women who maybe don’t realise just how many people they’re helping every time they comment here. (We have a lot of silent readers.)

      I’m so sorry your daughter was exposed to racism – not one of the best aspects of small/town country living. I hope she’s been able to tap into your strength and has your love of writing, too, to help her get through it and grow.

      Blogging’s a great way to feel part of a community – I live in a rural area, too, and it widens my world. Have you started on the romance novel? Why does it have to be “one day”? 😉

  9. I loved the book Lit From Within. I also saw her on Oprah when she first authored it.

    I’ve been self employed my entire life except for two years after grad school. My life has been one constant reinvention.

    I was pregnant and got married at 17. I had 4 dughters by age 22. The last pregnancy twins. So I reinvented myself from teen to mom and wife.

    I transitioned again and began a flower business from home to provide fun money as my husband worked 2-3 jobs to support us.

    When my twins went began school I went back for my bachelors degree taking 2-3 classes at a time. This transition was fun. I got a break from my other roles and loved learning! It took 9 years to graduate!

    The girls were in high school when I began graduate school. I finished with a master’s in counseling psych with a specialty in substance abuse.

    I transitioned again working in a professional environment for the first time. After two years of working with addicts I realized I had what it took for building my own counseling practice. I did this at the same time I began professional speaking.

    About that book I wish I would have wrote? Same as Nadia, Marrianne’s “Return to Love.” I called my husband the day I saw her on Oprah with that book and said, “I could have written that book!” He replied, “Tess, no one is stopping you from picking up your pencil.!”

    I decided that day I would write. That is how “Flying By The Seat Of My Soul” was born.

    Next transition “empty nester.” We always wanted to move to the South West after our kids were grown. 6 years ago we bought a home in AZ.
    Less than 2 years ago we moved here. I knew my license wasn’t valid in this state and that’s how I transitioned into coaching (part time).

    This was the short version of my life’s transitions. We’ve been married 37 years.

    I know there will be more transtions to come. Life goes on. This too shall pass. And I will wake up in the mystery of life and be open and joyful as I walk into my future.

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Mondays = 1/7 of Your Life

  10. What a yummy long post, Tess – thank you! The response to this has really astonished me; it’s like being gifted with a beautiful boxful of guest posts!! To be honest, I’ve been really moved; the comments boxes continue to reaffirm for me that I did he right thing following my heart when it came to naming the blog and not focusing on a niche. I really wanted to hear all about other people sharing their journeys and there are so many stories I might not have heard.

    Every time I think of you with four girls under five, it blows my mind. Talk about sink or swim! Reading your story above, though, is an insight into how you came to name your blog. Anyone who goes through this many re-inventions and evolutions can’t help but become bold; as Victoria says in the quote above, sometimes we forget just how amazing we’ve been to come through so much stuff and not only survive but thrive. I’m absolutely convinced you and your husband will come through this latest phase even stronger, with the love of the wonderful family you’ve created.

    PS – It was lovely to discover you’re a Victoria fan, too.

  11. Have you had to re-invent yourself recently?
    -Over the past five years, I have shifted from working in the space industry, to moving into marketing in academia, then in for a company in the creative arts before starting my own company and publishing a book.
    (Google my name and you come up with a diverse insight into some of this)

    Do you struggle to live a healthy lifestyle and nurture yourself?
    -Taking time away from what I love to do is a challenge. I could rest more.

    Which books do you wish you had written? Why? Which elements of that book could you model with integrity in your own writing? What do you have in common with the author?
    -I agree with the author that the concept of living a charmed life changes in the wink of an eye. It is not grounded in what you do but how you feel. Some of my completed manuscripts simply await the right moment to be published. Dreams can prevent people from awakening or, act as the catalyst to jog the mind and spirit out ot a timeless temporary slumber.

    Liara Covert´s last blog post..5 Ways to strengthen self-worth

  12. I am constantly re-inventing myself. When I least expect it I gain some quirky need to reinvent. In Yoga class in December of last year, I twisted and torn the ligament that holds the stomach and pancreas in place…what a pain – slept in a chair for months. No one could find relief except a massage therapist and now a medical intuitive.
    Old dog always new tricks…now I feel free to invent a new way to loose weight because nothing is working from the experts, who all say I should be underweight right now and they are frustrated – they think I am this way because I eat too much and too fat food and so I must be a lazy liar…
    I will check out her books
    Thank you for the comments on my post.

    Patricia´s last blog post..Hesitation

  13. @Liara,
    Nice to finally ‘meet’ you! Thank you for this insight into your life. I’ve enjoyed your comments in other blogs on our common blog routes and this is a great gift to leave on your first visit to these boxes.

    What a lot you’ve crammed into five years! I’m really intrigued about the work you did in the space industry and am not surprised you find it hard to take time for self care. It sounds like your life is fuelled by love and inspiration.

    @Patricia,
    I wanted to visit your blog to wish you a wonderful time in Scotland; it tickles me to know that someone I know a wee bit about through comment boxes – will be discovering the sights, smells and sounds of my homeland!

    You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it is very common to put on weight when your eating is drastically reduced after a trauma. In situations like yours, where your whole system can start to associate eating with pain, the body goes into starvation mode and holds on to every last calorie, thinking it may be the last.

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us; I hope you heal and get back to all the things you love doing very soon.

  14. I am in the process of reinventing myself. We closed our preschool in December because we felt a ceiling placed on us by our business that we would never be able to lift and breathe in the fresh air. I loved teaching our little friends in the little pink schoolhouse and giving parents solace that their toddlers were receiving a dynamic, creative and stimulating education at such a young age. It was a priceless experience rearing our children in the learning environment Sean and I had created. We interviewed 45 families and hand picked the 14 families we thought would be the best fit. At the end of the day we were happily exhausted, delighted that we had left our jobs to start our own business so we could be with our children more, but we would only be able to maintain 14 clients at any given time due to the requirements of our license. We could never expand and the ceiling was capped. Now with 20 years of teaching and the experiences that range from public to private, other continents and languages and various grade levels from Pre-k -7th grade I am at a crossroad to reinvent myself. To speak my voice to the “www.com” audience and open up to a larger audience without a ceiling or boundaries. It is liberating and at the same time I feel like a doe staring at the headlights. It is amazing how vast the information is and how fast it moves. Most days I am inspired and some days I feel completely overwhelmed and unsure which way to navigate my efforts. I remind myself every day to enjoy every moment and remain mindful that my life is filled with vitality and a beautiful family to share this great journey we call life. A charmed life? I think I am on my way.

    Cindy´s last blog post..Mothers Who…

    • Thank you, Cindy. I know how precious every moment of your time is at the moment, creating and building your own ventures, supporting Sean in his, working on your joint projects and most importantly, cherishing every moment of your time with your family so I appreciate every comment you share. Part of me is sad that you couldn’t clone yourselves and keep the wee pink schoolhouse as well as the new online school you’re building, but creative energy will always find a way to flow in new directions and we have to go with it or drown.

      Most days I am inspired and some days I feel completely overwhelmed and unsure which way to navigate my efforts. I remind myself every day to enjoy every moment and remain mindful that my life is filled with vitality and a beautiful family to share this great journey we call life.

      That describes many of my days, too, but the people who take a few moments to catch their breath in our ‘café’ are making this a life affirming place to be. I know in my heart that you and your family are poised, on the brink of something wonderful, bought with hard work, innate talent and the careful channelling of creative energy. You’ll survive and thrive. Most writers do, because every single day we re-invent ourselves and have the power to recreate beauty and bring the world to life with words.

  15. Thanks so much for the intro to Victoria Moran. I’m putting her on my summer reading list, even if I don’t win. 🙂

    I had to reinvent myself two years ago when my husband said I could quit work. Suddenly, like Ana, I had to switch from being a business professional working 60 hours a week, to stay-at-home mom. Even though I had then been a mom for 23 years, I was never a stay-at-home so I had to learn over again how to cook and to arrange my home time to get everything done. I overdid it the first summer because I was so used to have my days filled that I ended up babysitting 7 children for free out of sympathy for other working mothers. Then I wondered why I didn’t have any more time staying at home than I did when working.

    This year, I have learned. I’m not babysitting. I’m doing 2 hours of school each day with my son. And I’m having time to do my favorite thing of all–writing. I finally feel, after 2 years of changing gears, that I am where I want to be.

    Randi´s last blog post..

    • Hi, Randi. I know you’re going to love Victoria’s work. This bit of your comment made me happy that blog owners get to shout “Yay!”

      I finally feel, after 2 years of changing gears, that I am where I want to be.

      This post has been a total eye-opener for me, a real lesson in how niche-less blogs attract who they’re meant to. My friends gave me concerned advice about the dangers of blogging for three groups of people but it’s dawned on me from my comments boxes that I’m really happy around people who have strong foundations of aunthenticity and integrity but are constantly re-inventing themselves!

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