Hello my Wendybirds!

I’m excited to be back in Neverland, Ohio – writing for The K-Chron.  My first book “Ask Wendy” was a success and I am now voraciously working on my second.  You can help me out by asking me any questions you’ve got (using the submission form in the sidebar) – I’ll answer some of them in my weekly column every Thursday  – and I’ll even answer some of them in a LIVE A.M.A. scheduled in a few weeks (more info to come.)

All is Fair in Love and Fashion

Hey all!  Morgan Skylights, here.  This year, I was so overwhelmed with the beauty of the Spring Fling that I didn’t think I could do it justice alone, so I’ve invited K-Chron favorite, Wendy Darling, to come dish on the fashion, food, and flowers that made the Garden of Light THE place to be this past Tuesday.

Morgan: Hi Wendy!
Wendy: Hey Morgan. This is so fun!
Morgan: What? My cubicle?
Wendy: No! (laughs) Getting to work with you.
Morgan: Awww.
Wendy: And getting to look back at such a wonderful night!
Morgan: Too true. You were there from the start, right?
Wendy: Absolutely! I’ve always been too punctual.
Morgan: And I’m always fashionably late.
Wendy: Well, it’s good you had me on the ground.
Morgan: Why do you think I asked you to do this?
Wendy: Ha! Crafty, crafty.
Morgan: Always. So what should we start with?
Wendy: Ummm…food. Always food.

Wendy: Amy Jolie of the Jolly Roger Soda Ship wowed everyone with a gorgeous (and delicious) array of crostini. Did you try the one’s with grilled figs, goat cheese, and honey?
Morgan: Goat cheese and I don’t mix. But the smoked salmon and I got to know each other very well.
Wendy: What about the one with all the peas?!
Morgan: It was pretty cute. And yummy.
Wendy: I had to stop myself eventually because I had to leave room for the petite princess cakes provided by Katie. They. Were. Divine.
Morgan: I may have had five.
Wendy: Don’t tell me that.
Morgan: Why?
Wendy: Now I’m jealous… (makes a sad face)
Morgan: Okay, moving on…decorations?
Wendy: Well! The Garden of Light is already such a stunning location. But somehow the committee managed to make it even more magical.

Morgan: Yeah, I think the theme was flowers.
Wendy: Really? You picked up on that? (smiles wistfully) But, really, it was an incredibly romantic setting. If only Jas could have been there…
Morgan: Well, as his employee, I can say one thing. He works harder than anyone that works for him. That’s a good quality in to have in a boss…maybe not so good in a boyfriend?
Wendy: Jas wouldn’t be the person he is if he didn’t work hard. I love that about him. But, yeah, I wish we could have shared a dance or two.
Morgan: I’m sure he was wishing the same. But I did see you out there on the dance floor!
Wendy: Well, of course. I’d never waste a perfectly good opportunity to shake it!
Morgan: Bet all that wine helped.
Wendy: Oh, it never hurts! So, hair?
Morgan:…today, gone tomorrow?
Wendy: Very funny. There were so many stylish coiffeurs the other night. I just went around taking pictures of the backs of people’s heads. I have to try all of them.
Morgan: (looks askance) Uh…with what hair?
Wendy: Lady, that’s why God created extensions!
Morgan: Touche.


Wendy: But the crowning achievements were the dresses. So unbelievable!
Morgan: They were more flowery than the garden.
Wendy: And sooooo elegant. The ladies of Neverland really know how to dress up.
Morgan: It really was a feast for the eyes. Any favorites?
Wendy: How could I pick a favorite? Everyone’s look was so tailored to their personality and tastes.
Morgan: Aw, you’re too nice. I liked—
Wendy: Aren’t you trying to be nice too?
Morgan: (chagrined) Yeah. Thanks for catching that, advice lady.
Wendy: No problem, gossip gal.
Morgan: But, honestly, I loved the look of the embroidered flowers weaving over chiffon or netting.
Wendy: Me too! There’s something so enchanting about it. The flowers look real.


Morgan: But the more whimsical takes were fun too. I liked Jane’s chucks.
Wendy: Ha, ha. And Peter’s matching ones!
Morgan: Yeah, they seem like a pair. (elbow jab) Get it?
Wendy: Yeah…I get it. And I’m happy for him. Them. You know.
Morgan: Sure.


Wendy: Actually, I do have a favorite dress of the night.
Morgan: Oh, really?
Wendy: Hands down, Lilly-Jane.


Morgan: No fair! She’s a baby. No one can be as cute as her.
Wendy: Toddler, and, all is fair in love and fashion.
Morgan: And on that note, I think we’ll wrap this up. Thanks for giving me your two cents.
Wendy: Of course, you can always ask me anything. Get it?

We got it! Thanks, Wendy! So glad you let me kidnap you and your column so we could bring a fresh perspective to this fantastic event.  Happy Spring, Neverland!

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on March 23, 2017

Gather No Moss

Hello, Wendy birds!

I was so inspired by our Ask Wendy Live session that I wanted to revisit some of the questions I touched on then, mixed with some new ones that have come in. Often times, I wish I could answer every single one of your questions, but I only have so much column space. This week, I thought I would try grouping a few questions together that were linked by a similar theme. Maybe hearing other people’s stories can help shed light on your own!

The theme of this combined column is feeling lost. I’ve received quite a few questions touching on this issue. Elvanlady wondered how she could stay in the town she loved when she couldn’t find work there. Both Vicky Angel and Shelby Loren wondered how they could get unstuck. Carol and Lost Girl Looking wanted to feel more connected to their lives. To me, all of theses questions have the same common core: how do I find my place in the universe?

Oh, Wendy Birds, my heart goes out to you. As human beings (and fairies too), we all have a desire to be known – this means finding the place and the community that fits us best. When we don’t know how to find this (or how to stay there once we have found it), we feel unavoidably lost. This can manifest in feelings of stress, loneliness, and depression.

I know these were some of the things I felt when I was 27 and wondering if I would ever leave Neverland. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my hometown (I wouldn’t be back here if I didn’t!). It was that I couldn’t grow into who I needed to be by staying here. I had taken advantage of every opportunity and mentor I could in Neverland – and it was time to follow my heart and make a change.

It sounds like everyone who wrote in this week is feeling that call – you’ve found yourself in a mindset or situation that has caused your soul to stop growing. You feel the urge to change that, but you don’t know how. You want your inertia to become momentum so that you can become the best you that you can be. Seems to me you have starting point, a path, and a destination.

If a traveler has a destination are they really lost? They just have to do what every explorer has done before them: chart the path from point A to point B.

I knew I wanted more than my little town could offer (and Elvanlady, I think you know that too). I was feeling stuck, so I needed to give myself the opportunity to change. My first step wasn’t quitting my job or packing a bag (those things came much later) – it was exploring what other possibilities there might be. Lost Girl Looking, maybe you could start reading about other programs, consider taking a class or two in another field. Shelby, maybe you could vow to try something new – rock climbing, sushi rolling, learning to knit – every week. The surest way to stall your progress is to scare yourself by not starting small. Just take that first exploratory step.

Because here’s the thing about momentum, it grows and grows. Once you see that you can do that one thing (and not die!), you will feel confident, Carol, to try something else, maybe two other things. Eventually I went from looking at new jobs to applying to them. I also started telling people about my dreams. And once you start taking more and more actions, you’ll see more and more change. It will be exciting and invigorating and, sure, just a tiny bit scary. But I bet you won’t want to stop.

The funny thing about finding yourself, Wendy Birds, is that you have to do it on the move. The more you try, the more you fail, the closer you’ll get to finding out who you are and what you want. The more I allowed myself to explore and stretch my boundaries, the more at home I felt in my own skin and the less I needed to identify with one place or person. One day, I would like to truly be able to say I feel at home wherever I am. That’s a destination, and I’m still on that journey.

There’s a reason Ralph Waldo Emerson said life is a journey not a destination. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to that level of confidence, but I’m going to enjoy trying. And the only way to enjoy it is to actually do it. So, Vicky, start trying one thing after another and eventually you will find yourself on a path you’re excited to be walking.

But remember the first part of my advice: follow your heart and make a change. The further afield you go from your heart’s desires, the less you’ll enjoy the path. Kind of like a cross country skier choosing the beach just because everyone else is doing it. She may get a terrific tan, but she’ll be forever longing for those snow-capped mountains.

Always yours,

Wendy

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on March 16, 2017

Your Pot of Gold

Hey Wendy!

How do you deal with time management and motivation? I always plan my days out based on what I have to get done, but I never accomplish anything because I get distracted or bored! Thanks!

Sincerely,

Halli P.

Dear Halli,

This is an interesting question. When someone has to get something done, I would usually tell them to make a plan, mapping out how to get from point A to point B step by step. But, you, my dear, have the plan but are having a hard time sticking to it.

You say you either get bored or distracted. I wonder, Halli, do you feel connected to what you are doing? Sometimes we have to have the why before the how. Even though my work load seems overwhelming at times, I always endeavor to plow through it because it is the work that I love. Helping people in creative ways is my calling and I get to do it every day through writing this column, making a vlog, and working on my next book.

Now I realize that not everyone gets to spend their days doing exactly what they love. But, I also believe that we all deserve to be working towards that. So what is your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? What dream are you chasing? Do you want to be your own boss, do you want to travel the world, do you want to buy a house and make it your own?

I want you to really spend some time thinking about this and when you have an answer (or a few!), I want you to post reminders of that goal all around your work space. If you are more of a left-brained person, that may just be notes that say “Trip to Spain!” or “Opening my own yoga studio.” If you are more right brained, you might want to make a vision board or pick out an inspiring song to listen to any time you need a boost. The point is, if you keep reminding yourself of the ‘why’, the how will be easier to navigate.

Once you have your dream or, in other words, your motivation in mind, try some of these tricks for how to stay focused and avoid distractions. You say that you plan out your days already. That’s great! Now take that list of tasks and prioritize them. You can do this by urgency, but I suggest doing it by complexity of the task. The reason for this is that our first hour of working is when our brain is firing at all cylinders.  The longer we’re at it, the more tired our noggin gets.  So, use that magic time to get the most creative task accomplished.

Here’s an example. Let’s say this afternoon I have to shoot out some emails, clean my desk, and write an article. Well, often I am tempted to start with the mindless task first (most likely cleaning my desk) and build up to that hard one! But, unless one of the emails is URGENT, I should really start with the article while my brain is the least tired.

Recognize that even when you get your goals in order and you have your motivation, there will be times (probably a lot more than you’d like) when you just won’t feel like working. This is called resistance and it’s natural and annoying. You just have to recognize it for what it is and push through it. The difference between a professional athlete and an amateur is the former’s ability to work and practice even when they don’t feel like it.  Setting timers for yourself and putting your phone on airplane mode can help keep you on track.

Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year. Recognize that you are only human and only have so much energy, focus, and stamina. Be realistic about what you can feasibly accomplish in a day and spread your bigger projects out over weeks or months. If you whittle your todo list down to 3 items for the day rather then the never-ending list that just rolls over and over, you’ll have a much better chance at feeling a sense of peace and accomplishment rather than stress at the end of the day. Then you can rest, rejuvenate and be ready for your 3 items tomorrow.

All in all, be kind to yourself, Halli. Remember that you are more than your todo list, more than the sum of your achievements. You are a very human person who is probably delightful in lots of human ways just trying to figure it all out. The more you can be your own cheerleader rather than your own bully, the closer you’ll get to becoming the woman you want to be.

Always yours,

Wendy

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on March 9, 2017

A Lively Night

Hey Wendybirds!

I am so excited to bring Ask Wendy back to the new K-Chron!  Sooooo excited that I spent an hour last night giving advice live from my office at the new JH Media building visible from…well, everywhere in Neverland.  The last year has been a whirlwind and it was so magical to return to the place where it all began.  Me, you and a web cam in good, old Neverland, Ohio.

Always yours,

Wendy

PS) Hope you enjoy the input from my trusty assistant as much as I did.  Remember, darlings, no matter how hard life gets, a good friend can always make it better.  (And a good laugh, too!)

 

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on March 2, 2017

ASK WENDY – Excerpt 8

We’ve talked about a lot of things. Success, love, hardship, family, happiness, we’ve covered so much! But there’s one thing that I feel is essential to navigating the ups and downs of all of those: Integrity. Now my dear readers, my Wendigos, we know that getting to know yourself is key. But that self knowledge can give you something more valuable than a path to happiness. It gives you the tools you need to develop your integrity. Personally, I have used my love for my family and my passion for advice to shape mine. I know that I will never stand by and let harm come to those I love. I will speak my mind and offer up the best, most honest counsel I can to anyone looking for help. From years (but not too many years, mind you) of challenging myself to stay consistent with those truths, they have become the core of my integrity. And when I find myself lost at sea, surrounded by fog and uncertainty, that integrity becomes the light that puts me back on track.

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 23, 2015

ASK WENDY Excerpt 7

Have you ever been down and had someone tell you to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”? Well, unless you happen to always be wearing strappy boots…this saying doesn’t help much. Sometimes life won’t be kind my Wendigos. It’s full of break ups, rejections, tragic loss, long lines, and empty pots of coffee. Whether your problems are big or small, it can be easy to draw your curtains, curl up into a ball, and decide you’re never washing your hair again. It’s important to know how to dig yourself out of these tunnels. This comes from a certain kind of self awareness.

Do something for me. List 3 things that always make you smile…got them? I’ll bet simply picturing them in your mind made you smile a tiny bit! It’s important to know what makes us happy. For me it’s moon pies, bookstores, and an A-line dress with a great print. When I’m having a rough time I pull out one of my mood miracles and remind myself that life has downs, but they’re only in between the ups.

Of course a few little life favorites aren’t always enough. It’s important to still apply problem solving skills to whatever your facing. And if you find what your facing is simply too much, know that it’s okay to reach out and find someone to talk to.

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 16, 2015

ASK WENDY – Excerpt 6

“We accept the love we think we deserve” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The best advice I can give when people ask how to find love is to look inside. It doesn’t matter if your profile is 99% compatible, or if you spot them reading your favorite book while drinking your favorite tea. It doesn’t matter if the stars aligned and everything is perfect! If you don’t love yourself, your heart isn’t available to anyone. And your heart knows when you’re faking it. It can sense if you’re thinking “Fine. I’ll love myself just long enough to get a boyfriend, then it’s back to criticizing and self hate.”

If you’re seeking a romantic relationship because you think someone else’s love is going to replace what you deny yourself, you, my sweet friends, are in for a painful ride.

Imagine your heart is a baby kitten. What would happen if you waited for someone else to come along and give it food? Your heart-kitten might starve before you even find a partner! Not to mention, if your boyfriend or girlfriend realizes they’re the only one taking care of it, they could get tired of seeing the neglect and it might make them want to give up.

So before you can even think about getting into relationships with others, you need to start with a good relationship with you and your heart-kitten. Or heart-puppy if you happen to be allergic.

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 9, 2015

ASK WENDY – Success – Excerpt 5

We often think of success as this finish line, this conclusion, an amazing finale with fireworks and cheering and general good times. What we don’t realize is that it isn’t a conclusion at all. I’m sure you’re all expecting me to say “it’s actually a beginning”, but what I’ve realized, my Wendigos, is that it’s not quite that poetic. If you succeed on a Monday, you wake up on Tuesday and life continues. The great, new life you pictured becomes your everyday and even though you thought you never would, you get used to it. This is the stuff that movies aren’t made of, the experience of waking up having achieved a life goal and asking yourself “What now?” I must tell you, I asked myself that question this very morning. And the answer to that, for me personally, is an enthusiastic “Who knows!”. But the dialogue has been opened and I’m excited to see where it leads me.

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 2, 2015

ASK WENDY – Setbacks – Excerpt 4

Life is always amazing and everything goes according to plan and nothing bad ever happens!

If that sounded like the silliest thing you’ve ever read, good! You’re a real person! Life isn’t always amazing, things rarely go to plan, and bad things happen…a lot. It’s important to know what to do when life hands you lemons. And it ain’t making lemonade! When life hands me lemons, I take a good look at those yellow jerks and throw most of them away! Seriously, who needs that many lemons? How much lemonade could one person possibly make!? I keep a few, like a reasonable normal person amount of lemons, and the rest? Chuck ’em.

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s important to know when hard times are useful, and when they’re just keeping you down. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger my Wendigos! And there is knowledge to be gained when life kicks you down. But sometimes, you get knocked down and you just have to get back up. Not every hardship will come with a valuable lesson, but each one will come with the opportunity for you to come back harder! Sometimes after a bad day full of useless lemons, you just need to dust yourself off, put on a power dress, and hit back yelling “You can’t beat me lemons! You’re just fruit!”

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on July 26, 2015

ASK WENDY – Doubt – Excerpt 3

Doubt isn’t necessarily bad, in fact, it’s inherently healthy. It is a bi-product of fear and fear is designed to protect us, to stop us from playing with that seemingly friendly grizzly bear, from eating the wrong color berries. Doubt is essentially a precursor of fear – Is this safe? Is this right? Is this wrong? Doubt is designed to jump start our reasoning, to ask us to examine the situation and weigh the outcomes. It’s like a Stop sign. Doubt gives you pause, asks you to check both ways, and proceed with caution.

The problem is when it becomes a roadblock. We can’t allow doubt to shackle us in place. I experienced this first hand with my move to the city. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we can’t allow doubt to transform to fear and paralyze us. If I had fed into my feelings of doubt I wouldn’t have moved, wouldn’t have met my new friends, many of whom I now care for deeply, and wouldn’t be writing this book! And that would be a tragedy! (Don’t forget to recommend this book to your friends and family)

I’ve seen what can happen when you’re afraid. You plateau. You think convince yourself that the risk isn’t worth it and you deny yourself an entire world of possibilities! Some people claim to want adventure, but only in the abstract. When faced with an opportunity to actually get out there and have experiences, the doubt monster says “Whoa, whoa whoa! We don’t know what’s out there!” And instead of recognizing that that is exactly what makes it an adventure, fear takes hold and says “Let’s just stay here where it’s safe, where it’s comfortable”. When that happens, we run the risk of being left behind. And that would be a true tragedy.

 

Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on July 21, 2015

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  • 10:00 pmAsk Wendy Live!
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