Books One - Seven are now available through JudithAshleyRomance.com, Windtree Press and your favorite e-retailer.

Check out my website: JudithAshleyRomance.com for more information about my books and appearances.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Intention and an Easy, Effortless Life - Update

This post was first published June 10, 2010 but I've added to it!

I have a list of Intentions I focus on at the beginning of each day. I've been diligent (only missed one) since I started January 27th, 2010. And even on that day though I did not sit and read and ponder each statement, the ideas swirled through me as I sat at my computer working on my current novel.

My Intentions include words like 'easy' and 'effortlessly'. I've lived over half of my life from the point of view that if I work harder I'll have better results, I'll get ahead faster, I'll produce more, I'll make more money. This view of the world is a kindred spirit of 'no pain, no gain'.

The term 'hard work' is often associated with long hours, pushing through, getting it done which are not necessarily bad but when there is a heaviness, a 'have to' mind set that creates stress, then the joy of the work is lost. Think about the time you were engrossed in a project and the time just flew by. That is what living a life with ease and effortlessness is about.

At this point I want to have it all. I want a life of love, joy, happiness. I want to be productive, writing and publishing my novels. I want time to be with friends and family. And then there is the reality of working until my income from writing increases. With only twenty-four hours in a day, how does that come about? How do I have a life of effortlessness and ease and have all that, do all that?

Shifting my belief that life has to be hard to be good, that I have to struggle to be successful is my starting point. Since I've started my daily Intention work my life is easier, more effortless. I find myself leaving late for an appointment but arriving on time. I find ideas flow into my mind when I relax. I find people who are blessings to me show up without my having to search for them.

The experiment I'm committed to for at least a year is to see how easily and effortlessly I can live my life. How little effort it actually takes to have what I want if I'm clear about and focused on what I want (Intention). To be open to and aware of the world around me and the Synchronicities that support my goals, dreams, and desires.

I'd love to have you join me.

April 25, 2015

Almost five years have passed since I wrote this post. Where am I now?

+ Retired except for my writing and some teaching for The William Glasser Institute.
+ More focused on my own health and fitness than ever before.
+ Still working on eliminating stress/tension from my life - while I've made progress, I've still a ways to go. 

Recently I started working with a new Rehab program because of pain in my hands which is exacerbated with typing. What I really like about the two people I've worked with is they do Not endorse the "no pain, no gain" perspective. In fact, they are on the opposite side of the spectrum. "If it hurts, stop!"

They broke down all the exercises given to me to three simple concepts:

Move
Pace Yourself
Rest

*** If I don't get all the exercises done but I've moved throughout the day (I wear a step counter and my current goal is 5K steps a day), I'm good.

*** Am I taking breaks every hour from the computer? I'm good.

*** Am I getting a good night's sleep? I'm good.

My life is easier and more effortless as I go through each day. I still tend to over plan my days but not as much as I once did. I still tend to be a perfectionist, but I'm catching myself and reminding me of my priorities.

Move
Pace Myself
Rest

I've already seen the results of those three life-style changes and remain committed to stay on this path. 

Are you committed to an easier and effortless life-style?
What changes are you making?
I'm always open to learning from others, so please share!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Speaking of Friends!

I'm not a "joiner" a person who belongs to many groups or even enjoys spending time with lots of people. This past weekend was an exception. I attended the Spring Meeting of the Northwest Region of The William Glasser Institute. Not only did I see long time friend (37 years) but several newer friends but met 7 new people. 

I also belong to three romance writer chapters. I attend monthly meetings of my home chapter and annual or bi-annual conferences of my two long distance chapters.

You might think that members of The William Glasser Institute and romance writers don't have much in common. On the surface that may be true.

However, what they do have in common from my point of view is a common interest. I know when I walk in the door to any event sponsored by The William Glasser Institute whether it is a local gathering, a regional event, a national conference or an international convention I will have something in common with every other person. We are all connected through our interest, commitment or passion with Dr. Glasser's ideas.

The same is true when I walk into a gathering, meeting or conference of romance writers. We all have one thing in common. We write romance. Our romances can span time, be set in real and created places, be dark, be light, be funny, be serious, be in cities, be in small towns---you name it and a romance can be set there. But at the core, the story is about the relationship between the main characters - what challenges they face and how they overcome them.

My own stories are set in the fictional Fremont, Oregon based in part on Portland, Oregon. My heroines are seven women who join a sacred women's circle and create their own spiritual practices. They face everyday challenges: domestic violence, single parenting, career changes, abandonment, unwed mother, fighting physical illness, healing from the past, death of a spouse and other minor and not so minor challenges that are familiar to my readers.

Through the ups and downs of finding and falling in love with a man who accepts their independence and their commitment to each other as well as honors their spiritual practices, they rely on the support of The Circle to see them through the dark times and into the light of love.

Being a part of a group that accepts you as you are, supports you and your dreams and encourages you to move forward with your life is a gift. I'm fortunate to have two resources for that.

I'm currently in the final editing stages of Hunter, the fifth book in the series. Because of other commitments, it most likely won't be available until June 1st. Check out my website to learn more about The Sacred Women's Circle series.

I also have an author page at Windtree Press.

Where do you belong that you know you are accepted, supported and perhaps even loved and cherished?

Monday, April 13, 2015

To Friend or Not To Friend, That is the Question

I'm Judith Ashley, author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices the nourish the soul and celebrate relationships to romance.

Right now I'm working my way through edits and revisions of Hunter, the fifth book in the series. I have promised myself that when this book is published (late April or late May), I will spend some time focusing on Social Media.

Every author knows how important it is to be visible, to be discovered by new readers who love your stories so much they tell Everyone about your great book(s), they write glowing reviews that draw other people to your stories and sales grow because of it.

While Lily the first book in the series was published last March, I've not been "out there" much at all because I've chosen to spend my time writing - as of today I've four full-length novels, short stories in three anthologies, and another short story independently published as well as #5 in the series almost ready to go.

I've been encouraged to be more active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as well as LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Goodreads. I look at all those options and see my writing time dwindling. Actually I see it evaporating because in addition to my writing, I'm also a co-founder along with Sarah Raplee of the international group blog Romancing The Genres. And, I make an effort to upload a post here once a week.

And with Romancing The Genres celebrating our 4th Blog-O-Versary next month, we are hosting an international Facebook Event on April 29 and April 30. Stop by and meet award-winning, best selling authors, comment for a chance to win books and gift cards. Click on the link and like us!  https://www.facebook.com/romancingthegenres

How to find balance between my writing, social media, my other commitments? That truly is my question.

My question today is if you picked two ways to connect with other people, to become friends with them, to share your ideas, thoughts, passions on line. Which would you choose?

My website
My Windtree Press Author Page

Monday, April 6, 2015

Compassion

I'm Judith Ashley, author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nurtures the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. 

The other night as I was scrolling through television program listings before turning the set off (yes, I know that's a bit strange), I saw that Monica Lewinsky was on Ted Talk. Now I've probably watched fewer than a half dozen Ted Talks---ever---but this one caught my eye.

As I watched, Ms. Lewinsky talked about public humiliation and public shaming and how it has become a big business with the advent of social media, etc.

Imagine my mouth dropping open in shock when she quoted research that showed the emotional impact of humiliation is stronger than anger much less a positive emotion.

While my recent focus has been on relationships, I encourage you to listen/watch her Ted Talk on "Compassion".

I've never been one who clicked around the internet very much but after watching Ms. Lewinsky, I do it even less.

Why do I need to know about someone's embarrassing moment?

Why do I need to know the details?

How is clicking through to "find out more", helping me or society at large?

Hunter, the fifth book in The Sacred Women's Circle series, is 
due out the end of April. As a single, unwed, teen mother, Honey Knight Compton, chooses to run away rather than subject her unborn child to a life where the threat of exclusion is constant. In The Circle she finds acceptance and compassion as her story unravels.
Check out my website.
For more information about my books
To learn more about Dr. Glasser's concepts.