Tag: CNN

Accessing Your Power Toolkit In the Eye Of A Storm

If I could magically make all hurricanes, cyclones, tropical storms, tsunamis disappear, I would do so instantly, and I am sure I’m not the only one. With an onslaught of activity pre-season and during season, I am feeling a bit frazzled to be honest.

Last night as Hurricane Michael battered the very city where my father and all of my sisters and most of my nieces and nephews reside as well as many relatives, I felt anxiety get its grip on me. Having been in touch with my father via FaceTime until the lights went out literally, I quickly gave into the dreaded anxiety.

But instead of remembering that it all starts with a menacing thought, I just kept on thinking and second guessing whether my family would be safe or not, whether Albany, Georgia, would even be a city by morning. Thankfully I only focused on one city, though you might say this was selfish thinking, when so many lives were and still are at risk. But let’s face it, I am only human, and it was this focus that kept me from a complete melt down. Imagine if I had thought the Florida panhandle, Southwest Georgia and so on would be totally ruined, how my night might have gone. It could have been worse.

Make no mistake about it, it was bad. After a bit of frustration with the delayed progress of CNN and The National Weather Channel, I happened upon the local television station—WALB. Viola! At last I received consistent communications and interestingly my thoughts begin to calm down. It was in this instance that I, from the outside, could see how bad the storm, if you will, actually was and could then send my family, who are held up in secure areas of their houses, text messages telling them that though the Hurricane was still dangerous, it had gone from category four to three and then to two.

And when I got a few pings back, I had a big sigh of relief but not quite big enough. But it was enough relief to access my power tools for abating anxiety, which was well on its way to panic. The first tool for me happens to be prayer and it works a jewel but to be able to pray peacefully and mindfully, I have to do a bit of practical preparation, which leads to the second tool—shutting down my devices. How very practical.

You might remember in Your Online Wellbeing Inside Out that guest Nicola Morgan suggests signing off at least one hour and thirty minutes before going to bed even in the best times. And here I was in the worst of time, glued to WALB on my iPad. It was nearly 2 a.m.

So, I sent the last text to Daddy and sibs and off the devices went but admittedly, I did stash them nearby instead of in another room as advised. Then I commenced to prepare my mind. In our latest podcast, Rising Above Odds, Hannilee Fish talks about the importance of mindfulness, staying in the moment. So tactfully and gently I reminded myself that I was in London, England, in my bed and not in Albany, Ga, and none of these horrible things that I feared had actually happened.

And only then did I remember a hot tip from Eleanor Segall, our guest, from our second podcast, On Undiagnosed Mental Illness—talk to someone, don’t keep the stress bottled up. I looked over at Paul, who seemed asleep and decided against talking to him, so I talked to God. Good idea and found myself being grateful for the strength to support my family during a stormy time and the actual mental and physical capacity to take care of myself. Off to sleep I went if only for a couple of hours.

As I reflect upon the episodic night, I am so grateful to the women of UIO for sharing their experiences, the good and the bad. What a wonderful tool box to go to in the time of need. So glad I had it not only at my finger-tips but in my thoughts, too.

And the biggest lesson I learned had to do with managing me when I had no control of managing Hurricane Michael, precisely the tip from Cat Williams, guest of our next podcast coming up in late October, On Dating Inside Out. Author of Stay Calm and Content No Matter What Life Throws At You, Cat knows a thing or two about keeping cool in the eye of a storm, okay so I wasn’t in the eye, but it sure felt like it. Stay tuned!

Two more days to snag first edition novel

You might recall that mine was a big decision to independently publish The Barrenness. A writer friend reminded me a few weeks ago that the idea of self-publishing intimidated the daylights out of me.

But true to my determined nature, even if it did take me years to get around to it, I found the courage to take the plunge and set-up Prymus Publications. And once I dived in, I gained high hopes, despite all the doom and gloom around the publishing industry–publishers collapsing, book stores closing left and right, and e-books bridging any gaps that came open.

The latter, of course, created opportunities for self-publishers. But I still had to think about the stigmas associated with it, hence some of my turmoil. Now a few months just short of a year since the novel was released, I can’t say I am totally at peace but I am happy to have immersed myself into this project.

Maybe I still haven’t learned how to swim properly, but I am floating, keeping my head above water. Basically, I had three major goals in publishing: to get the novel published (including writing, editing, design, etc…), to promote it, and to sell it.

The first one I achieved on target, thanks to a fantastic team including my editor and designer and of course, printer/distributor. The latter two–promoting and selling–are ongoing, and I must say that while I’m still expecting sales to surprise me any day now, I am delighted with the results of press coverage. In this area, I am a pretty good swimmer.

Since last April 2011, The Barrenness has been featured in some forty media outlets, most of them listed on my website. Still there are others in the making, including FOX News and ARUN, a national radio network in the US. In addition, there are many copies of the novel out there that still might be reviewed. Let’s hope so. In the meantime, here are some highlights:

CNN with Pam Oliver, as well as The Tom Joyner Morning Show, ABC Let’s Talk Live, CBS This Morning, Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys, The Toronto Star, and The Voice.

Many thanks to the media in the US, in particular, for supporting the changing face of publishing and covering vibrant, new voices, even when they don’t come from one of the big houses.

And in general, thanks to all outlets who gave The Barrenness some quality time, including my hometown television station and newspaper in Albany, Georgia. The biggest thanks, of course, goes to Janet Shapiro of Smith Publicity. She’s the one who totally immersed herself. What a star?

Now, back to this countdown–just two more days left to secure the first edition this debut novel! In the meantime, I absolutely must learn how to swim, properly.