I decided this is going to be the year that I live out loud.

For me, that means that certain parts of myself that I have kept hidden will now be out in the open. One of the ways I can be more open is to write things out, like on this blog. For those of you that don’t know, I have been a blogger in one way or another for over nine years. I took about as much time as That Book Store has been open off of blogging and I feel myself getting off track. I no longer have a running log of my hopes and accomplishments both in my reading and my real life.

I think it is a natural instinct to keep certain things private. No one wants to be mocked for their beliefs or risk scrutiny. As a business owner, this is even more important. I hate this part of my life. I am an open book, excuse the pun. That means that I am proud of who I am, and what I have overcome to get here. That’s not to say that I don’t still struggle, but I better than I once was. I also feel very fake plastering on a smile, when I really need a hug.

One of the things I really need more of this year is quiet time and spiritual time. My days are jammed with bookish items, but it has been a minute since I read something just because it would help improve my spiritual connections. Self-improvement doesn’t happen unless I actually take time to study, immerse myself in new ideas, and make those improvements in my life. I started off this year reading various religious books and it has my head in the right place to guide me.

Having quiet time is something I really struggle with. I’m a Gemini, so sitting still is already difficult. Also, like most people, I am really busy. I have everything happening at That Book Store, four kids, a husband, a new puppy, and my mother and mother-in-law under the same roof. I’m struggling with all of that. Admitting that I have a “being busy” problem is my first step. My second step is finding a realistic solution.

I started meditating for the first time in my life this year. What a difference I feel in my soul! It seems so obvious that the answer to my inner chaos was just to sit and do nothing, think nothing, for a while every day. If you already meditate as part of your life, you know the feeling I am talking about. Mediation is the first thing I want to do when I start my day and the calm stays with me long after I am done.

The best part about meditating is that it doesn’t require anything special. I just need to sit and shut the world out for a while and I feel peace. Between intentional reading and meditation, I think I am off to great start with living out loud.

Do you meditate? If not, why not!