Two are better than one. Thank you for your amazing support this year. I cannot believe winter is upon us. What a beautiful journey having you in my corner, cheering on Essie’s Roses as it reaches more readers. Thank you for everything you have done to spread the word about my debut novel. Feeling so blessed! As a new year approaches, I wish you everything that is beautiful, edifying, and good.
The holidays can be a hard time for many. Whether missing lost loved ones, feeling a little down as the year comes to an end, fear of the unknown, pressures from work, family, and the holiday rush . . . all of these things can take their toll.
It is beautiful to have a giving heart, but constantly neglecting your own needs becomes stressful. It is essential to give yourself permission to set boundaries and say the word we all have problems saying, "no." Personally, as I embraced balance in my life, I realized much of the pressure on my shoulders came solely from myself.
Sometimes we set our expectations so high for ourselves, and toward others. I’m the first to shout: challenge yourself, grow. But at what cost?
I never realized how much of a perfectionist I was until my first novel was published. I knew I was no longer writing for myself, but for you. I highly respect my readers, and value if you took your hard-earned money and time to invest in reading Essie’s Roses, I wanted my debut novel to be as perfect and to the best of my ability as I could present it.
So many challenges came my way. They still do, but sooner or later we have to step back and remind ourselves we cannot control everything. Peace comes when we let go and toss those unhealthy and unrealistic expectations out the window.
How do we truly let go?
No more churning those worries in your mind. Believing more in the good than the negative around you. Be willing to change your perspective. Trust that good is right around the corner. Take your eyes off the negative and start looking for and being thankful for the blessings in your life–no matter how small they may appear to you or the world’s standard.
Often a small moment of gratitude can make a huge difference in moving forward out of despair. From someone who has been through her share of hard times and holds one crazy imagination, I fully understand that is easier said than done. Where do we start? How do we step out of chaos into peace?
Embrace the quiet. Start listening to that still small voice. Many times that first inclination or directive is the answer, but it can become buried in the barrage of worries that follow. Decisions made in peace bring solidity. It may not always be an easy choice or experience, but through the difficulty, you have the peace you need to move forward. There is a difference from decisions made in haste, pressure, and noise to those done in quiet, patience, and peace.
My prayer for you this holiday season and for your coming year is that no matter the turmoil around you or in your mind, you know undoubtedly peace is there for you. It’s all around you. It’s encompassing you in whatever trial you face. It is there to guide you and to bring you wisdom.
May the peace and love of God comfort you this holiday season and every day after. I wish you and your family joy, happiness, health, and abundance for your new year to come. Get ready. Good things are coming your way.
Happiest Holidays! <3
Michelle Muriel is the award-winning, bestselling author of ESSIE'S ROSES. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, magna cum laude, and after graduating, she worked as a professional actress, a member of Actors’ Equity and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists for almost twenty years, doing theater, voice-over, and commercial work. She is also a songwriter and musician. Michelle lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and two quirky Border collies. She first developed ESSIE'S ROSES as a screenplay. This is her debut novel. She is currently at work on her second.