#MayCultivate2016 Day 12: Consistency


I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows. ~ Drew Barrymore

Consistency is something I continually strive to achieve and yet time and again, I fail.
It’s a constant process of which I just can’t seem to get a handle. I know I will never stop trying. I think for me I need to add more structure to my day to day. Perhaps that will help me.

What is your “Achilles heel”? What is one thing you just cannot seem to do no matter how hard you try? What can you do to get over that hump?

Tracy Mangold is a former television news producer, now freelance wordsmith. She has an insatiable hunger for books, a good cup of coffee (proud drinker since age three) and intellectual enlightenment. She has a passion for photography, writing and kettlebells.

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 4: Crisis

Red and White Emergency Sign --- Image by © Lawrence Manning/Corbis
Red and White Emergency Sign — Image by © Lawrence Manning/Corbis

Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own. – Charles de Gaulle

Everyone responds differently in a crisis. Some people shut down completely. Others jump in and deal with the situation as it happens, only to fall apart later.

Think about some event of crisis in your life. How did you deal with it at the time? How do you view your behavior now that time has passed, and what did you learn about yourself?

Brandee Baltzell is a liberal-moderate wife, mother, career woman, fledgling writer and artist with a grand sense of curiosity.

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#AprilLove2016 Dear Sanctuary

Dear Sanctuary,

This month you’ve greened back up into my favorite place once again. We probably need to replace your tiki torches and add some potted plants (a to-do we’ve had for over 4 years now…), but you bring me such peace. I listen to the birds, cicadas, crickets, wind, and squirrels chattering here. I soak in the ultraviolet light of the sun. I breathe in the fresh mountain air. I delight in the wind playing with my hair and the birds flitting through the trees. I watch my children play on your soft grass. I cozy up by the fire with a refreshing drink and marshmallows. Fireflies — or as I knew them growing up, Lightning Bugs — come out at dusk, lighting up the evening with neon green flashes. I cast off my worries out here and find tranquility.



#AprilLove2016 Dear Laughter

Dear Laughter,

I’m sorry it took me so long to write to you. I’m sorry I didn’t capture a picture of you. You were with me today as I tried to use you as the best medicine. You helped me cheer up my husband during a difficult time, helped to diffuse the stress that exacerbated his already compromised health. You’re a wonderful companion in life, and I’m so glad you’re there for me when times are tough. Thank you!


#AprilLove2016 Dear Change

Dear Change,

You are a large part of my life. I’m always growing and changing. You’re right there, tightly in the bud, ready to burst forth with new life and possibilities. Sometimes you bring painful endings and frightening unknowns, but you always seem to work out beautifully. Your new beginnings lead to happier times, and I live with the reality that life is an evolving creature. Change, you are a big part of life for all of us.



#AprilLove2016 Dear Heart

Dear Heart,

You guide me through life. You stay open so that I can empathize with others. You allow me to feel so deeply, which is both a blessing and a curse. Literally, you pump my blood throughout my body, beating away to keep me alive. You let me know when my stress level’s too high. Thank you for giving me life.

-Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.- Margaret Lee Runbeck


#AprilLove2016 Dear USA

Dear USA,

My ancestors came here seeking freedom, opportunities, and a fresh start. The majority saw Lady Liberty welcome their tired, their poor, their huddled masses. You welcomed them with open arms and let them find each other to create my family tree. You blended cultures across Europe to create the body I possess. While these days I struggle to see how they found such opportunities, I realize you’ve grown older and expanded quite a lot. The times have changed, and so have you. I haven’t ventured outside of your borders just yet, although I wouldn’t mind visiting some other countries some day. You’ve sheltered me from the famine and diseases other countries hold. You’ve sheltered me from the war-torn countries. Thank you for being my home.



#AprilLove2016 Dear Truth

Dear Truth,

When we come face to face, I see somethings I may or may not like.  You always let me know when I’m straying from my path. Sometimes you’re crystal clear; others you’re vague and mysterious. But like a rainbow after a storm, you’re there to remind me that everything will work out as it should.



#AprilLove2016 Dear Magic

Dear Magic,

I see you everywhere. Some people say you’re not real, but I know that’s false. You’re as real as the sun and stars. You show up unexpectedly at times and bring a smile to my face. You’re there in the twinkling eyes of children on Christmas morning. You’re there when lovers unite. You’re there for so many special occasions. You make my life so much better.