Interview on Butterflies of Wisdom

We have all experienced challenges in life, and how we deal with these hurdles is one way to choose between a lifetime of happiness and one of despair. I enjoy reaching out to as many people as I can and offering words of hope and inspiration; I recently had an interview on Butterflies of Wisdom radio show which discusses these topics, in addition to insight into finding reasons to laugh and be more grateful. Listen to it here!

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Finding Power and Strength in Lasting Friendships

Throughout your lifetime, chances are you’ve had some great friendships that stick with you in your memory; hopefully, you are still friends with those individuals. A strong friendship can be one of the greatest gifts of life; having supportive people around you who help you endure hardships, celebrate victories and lend an honest ear is supremely important to lasting happiness.

A strong friendship can be one of the greatest gifts of life.

A strong friendship can be one of the greatest gifts of life.

What is a True Friendship?

Friendship is the creation of soul-to-soul love and caring; it enters into one’s emotions, feelings and actions. Without losing their identity, a friend is able to give love, honesty, playfulness, dreams, visions, understanding and compassion to another. It lasts forever; true friends are enduring in time, steadfast, loyal and committed to each other through the various and unpredictable ups and downs of life.

Friendship requires the food of mental stimulation, emotional happiness, adventure, shared experiences and good old-fashioned fun. It includes both relaxation and healthy laughter, and a shoulder to cry on during tough times. A friend is not:

  • Competitive
  • Careless
  • Envious
  • Judgmental
  • Rude
  • Taken for granted
  • Selfish
  • Un-reciprocated
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Transform Your Life Through Gratitude: 7 Solutions

As I shared previously in my article, Gratitude: What it is and Why it Matters, gratitude has the power to transform your worldview, and in turn, your whole life can change for the better. It can lead you on the path to happiness, help you to love yourself more and improve the quality of your current relationships. Sometimes practicing gratitude is difficult due to circumstances beyond your control; that’s why I encourage you to read on for seven practical and actionable tips to help you make a change.

Silhouetted woman leaping at sunset

Make gratitude part of your daily routine!

Being Grateful is a Choice

Did you know that being grateful and thankful for the things you have is a conscious choice? However, sometimes that’s easier said than done. According to the New York Times, “For many people, gratitude is difficult, because life is difficult. Even beyond deprivation and depression, there are many ordinary circumstances in which gratitude doesn’t come easily.”

These ordinary situations can be negative, but they can also be positive, and often as inconsequential as getting a closer parking spot, having the perfect amount of milk for your breakfast cereal or emptying your email inbox. When tasks appear hard or time consuming, it can be easier to get hung up on how annoying the task may be, rather than feeling overwhelming gratitude as soon as the task is complete. Sometimes all it takes is a change in the way you view the situation, and gratitude can come much more easily.

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Have Hope: 3 Ways to Improve Your Outlook on Life

Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to; people, relationships and situations can change just like the seasons. As humans, we are naturally resistant to these changes and are hesitant to accept shake-ups, so it can sometimes be difficult to accept new routines when life begins to morph. When these changes are especially negative, it can cause even the best of us to lose hope in the future. These three strategies can uplift your spirits and give you the hope it takes to hold on.

a woman by a sunset

Always have hope!

3 Ways to Feel More Hopeful

  1. Get Out of the Rut

When we feel hopeless, we are less likely to have the motivation to try and become more hopeful, which leads us to lose even more hope; it is a Catch-22. Being stuck in this endless loop can cause depression, low morale and negative health problems. All of us have felt like there’s no hope at some point in our lives; it’s a completely normal feeling. To combat this, try shaking up your life and your routines. You don’t have to make huge changes to make a huge difference; your efforts can be as simple as taking a different route on your morning commute, picking some new music for the drive or trying a new beverage in place of your usual morning coffee.

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Gratitude: What it is and Why it Matters

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

Do you make a daily habit of gratitude? Expressing and recognizing what you’re grateful for is something you should be doing more often than just during the Thanksgiving season; the happiest people make gratitude a daily habit and something they practice over and over again. True gratitude isn’t a destination; it’s a journey. Read on for a guide to being grateful: what it is and why it matters.

Being grateful makes you happy!

Being grateful makes you happy!

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is about more than just saying grace before dinner out of habit or saying thank you to your spouse for helping clean up; while those are wonderful things to do, true gratitude is much deeper. As Angeles Arrien shared with Gratefulness.org:

“Of all the universal themes that have been transmitted through perennial wisdom, the expression of gratitude continues to be the glue that consistently holds society and relationships together; its opposite – ingratitude – contributes to societal dissolution and separation…Gratitude’s stabilizing and healing effects, which have been researched from multiple standpoints—cultural, psychological, physical, spiritual, even financial—have made it abundantly clear that the benefits of living a grateful life are irrefutable.”

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Article About Inner Peace on Everyday Power Blog

I frequently talk about the power of your mind to control your happiness, but did you know that you can manage your emotions to find inner peace? Sometimes the stresses of life and the fear of judgement from others can hold us back, making us feel stuck or out of control. I recently shared my insight and tips for calming your inner fears and achieving a lifetime of happiness on the Everyday Power blog. Find out what I think the five best pieces of advice are here.

http://everydaypowerblog.com/2016/08/02/manage-your-emotions-to-find-inner-peace/

LizUpton.MC.EverydayPower.8.2.2016

Presenting At Home Among Sinners

I’m pleased to announce that I just published a new book, At Home Among Sinners! There are tough choices to face if you’re a clergy member, especially one at a corrupt parish in New York City. After being taken from his peaceful life as a monk following the death of his wife and unborn child, Father John Callahan finds himself tempted by sin and banished to a derelict church where he faces a lack of support and outright disdain from his colleagues.

6.29 Cover for At Home Among Sinners - jpg300dpi

Stemming from his teenage past in Belfast where he was a street thug and IRA killer, Father Callahan finds it difficult to resist the temptation of the Big Apple. You’ll wonder, “Will he have the strength to remain a good man, or will he return to the dark, criminal life he once knew so well?”

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3 Tips for Harnessing the Power of Your Creativity

Not all of us can be concert pianists or world famous artists, but we all hold the power of unlimited creativity deep inside of us; it’s the ability to take on whatever challenge comes our way and use our vast amount of life experiences to gain insight into what steps to take next.

Your creative mind is something to be nurtured, respected and encouraged. How can you unleash the incredible power of yours? Read on for my three tips.

How do you harness your creativity?

How do you harness your creativity?

Harness the Power of Your Creativity: 3 Tips

  1. Find Your Muse

Like the scorned lover who pens a famous rock song, everyone should find their muse. Your muse is a mentor, friend, enemy, inspiring person or even intangible things like the weather that you can use to help inspire your creativity. Maybe they did something courageous you’ve always wanted to try; maybe it’s a tree you find strength looking at on your morning commute.

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Interview with David Clarke

Are you aware of how your thoughts and beliefs are impacting your wellbeing? Our minds are so busy and overloaded with information that it can be hard to focus on the simple things in life like movement, the weather and gratitude. I recently shared my insight on how awareness can lead us on the path to happiness on my interview with David Clarke. Listen here.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authordavidclarke/2016/07/01/former-nun-elizabeth-upton-is-a-motivational-speaker-author-call-in

LizUpton.MC.DavidClarkeRadio.7.7.2016

Book Genres: An Overview of Fiction Categories

In an earlier blog post, I shared an overview of major non-fiction book genres to help aspiring writers determine which genre their text should fall under. While non-fiction book genres are pretty straightforward, the lines are a bit more blurred with fiction. What’s the difference between these two main categories? Read on to find out.

a stack of books

What’s your favorite fiction genre?

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction

Fiction literature is pure fantasy, written from the mind of the writer and created solely using their imagination. Any facts or research in fiction writing can be loosely based on real life, but the events taking place in the novel are not true. Although fiction books can be based on these facts, the author often invokes creative license to change past events or embellish details as they see fit. On the other hand, non-fiction is always factual. Read on for a guide to the most popular fiction book genres.

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