Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Turn off the lights the party is over for 2014…but wait!

Jolene Navarro here and I'm going through my end of year reflections and find this has been a great year for me, but I have dear loved ones that just want to close the door on 2014.

So what are my resolutions inspirations for the next year?

I could say lose weight be healthier, no impulse shopping  save money, & write more words, but I think I want a bigger life then these imply (plus I like to keep it real).
What do we need to find our life's purpose?

I thought about the lessons I try to teach my students that will take them past high school and into life. In a mirror moment I realized I still need these lessons too. A great check list for us all as we head into a new year.

Embrace Failure. Failure is an integral part of being human. Failure means you’re trying, learning, and growing. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from living fully. Do you know who Sara Blakely is? She was raised by a father that taught her to celebrate failure. That was put to the test when she failed her state bar to become a lawyer – more than once. What she became was the world’s youngest female billionaire by developing a product called Spanx. You should look up her story and all the failure she used to fuel her dream. You can’t let fear of rejection or ridicule hold you back, you might actually need to embrace it. 

Create your own community. In the mid 1800s there was a movement that changed how the world would forever look at and judge art. Impressionism was incubated at Café Guerbois.
How did a small group of people accomplish this fete? By meeting together regularly, challenging and debating with each other on the idea of art and what makes it art.
They had heated disagreements over the “rules” of art. Artist such as Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Degas made up this widely diverse group, and their creative energy paved the way for generations of modern artists.  
Steve Jobs said collaboration works best when ideas are met with brutal honesty and are forced to explore a deeper purpose. I doubt Degas ever patted Manet on the back and said he had pretty pictures. They didn’t just dream of being artists, they wanted to set the world on fire with their passion despite what the established art world told them.

Six years ago I made the resolution to try and write for commercial publication. I went online and found SARA (San Antonio Romance Authors), and my writing greatly improved because of their questioning and tough critique.  I also learned about the realities of being published. Like selling one book would not pay off my mortgage.
I believe I’m published today because of them. They also introduced me to others that changed my life.

In June, for the last three years I have made my way to West Texas A&M to a writers week sponsored by Jodi Thomas.
The first year I made the five hour trip alone and it was worth it. For five days, ten of us met for almost five hours a day in a class led by Alexandra Sokoloff. It can border on magical. It was a full week of brainstorming and being pushed by this small group to find that twist in my story to make it unique. I learned that the ideas are there, the details buried deep within my brain.
Side benefit? Lifelong friends that “get me” in a way no one else ever will. And most of all, urge me to get it written and put it out into the world.

Resilience – this might be the most important. The ability to keep going on faith alone when it might seem you have no reason to. 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. We want to know why life isn’t fair, why this or why her. We want to know why certain things have happened.  I believe in most situations it is senseless to deliberate, to spend hours pondering why. Instead, it is more powerful and ultimately healthy to trust God and use our time meditating on his word to ensure we are on a God-ordained path. A journey only He understands.

 “…Weeping may endure for a night. But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5. Tough times hit us all and some so much harsher than others. But this too shall pass and joy will be yours. Even death has its own victory.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. We might shut him out, but he never leaves us. God is always with me so I don’t have to submit to fear and discouragement! We were created to be courageous. So be bold in strength and courage that God will give to you if you only ask.

As you go into 2015 may you:
            1) Embrace Failure
          2) Create and Support a Community       
      3) Be Resilient

Don’t be afraid to turn on the light and expose your dreams to the world. May 2015 be your best year yet. 
We were made to be courageous -Casting Crown


  1. Great post, Jolene!!! I think I might have been the one to give you the bad news about your mortgage. ;) ha ha. Love you, T

  2. Good thoughts to contemplate for the end of the year. I think your first example of embracing failure sounds more like thinking outside of the box and trying something new when the old way doesn't work. I've certainly done that with my life.

  3. Christine history is full of people that were not afraid of failure. I also want to know who put us in a box. I have never liked boxes. :)

  4. Jolene, this was such an amazing post. I'm going to print it out and use it as a reminder. Thanks so much!

    Best wishes to you for a fabulous 2015.

  5. Mary, thank you so much. May your 2015 exceed all your expectations.

  6. Great post. I want to go to school with you!


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