I feel like this book’s Heroine, Jenna, is about to take me to a journey with her. And I like it.
Learning To Bend by Michelle Davis released last month in the Women’s fiction genre.
Jenna Moore’s flawlessly orchestrated life and engagement to Ben Kelly, “the perfect man,” vanish when she discovers a controlling side of her fiancé. Confused and unsure of who she is without Ben, Jenna decides to uproot from her safe, predictable life in Boston and move to Bend, Oregon, hoping to find her answers there. It’s when she meets Jackson, a former Navy SEAL who battles demons of his own, that Jenna finds the courage to let go of being perfect and embrace uncomfortable risks, transforming her life through forgiveness, compassion, surrender and acceptance. Yet the rewards from discovering her true self exceed Jenna’s expectations – not only does she find the greatest love of her life, but she also understands what’s kept her from learning to bend.
I’m drawn to a solitary man with shoulder length thick brown hair sitting alone at a café table. I try not to stare, but I can’t help myself. When I get closer, I see a faint scar on his cheek. It intrigues me. He intrigues me. Yet it’s his captivating green eyes that truly catch my attention. I look in the opposite direction and make it appear as if I’m about to walk away. But I can’t, he pulls me toward him. I pause, actually freeze in my tracks before I find my body shifting in his direction. He’s drinking coffee and gazing at me. Who is he and why am I feeling this way? Doing my best to regain some composure, I try to avert my eyes, but they won’t stop staring at him. What is it? He’s not traditionally handsome – he’s more of a sensual “bad boy” type – nothing like Ben. Suddenly, I feel my throat tighten and butterflies appear inside my stomach. I become conscious about my hair. I’ve had a helmet on all day. It must look awful.
Stop it. He’s just some stranger.
Although he’s sitting, I quickly assess his height and notice his chiseled muscular build. I’m guessing that he’s older than me, by at least five or more years. Something deep inside of me begins to stir as I pass by his table. That’s when I hear, “Place the weight on your inside toe when you turn. You’re using your knees too much.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Michelle Davis, whose career path includes banking, teaching, and college admissions consulting, holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a M.S. in Education from St. Joseph’s University. Through her blog, elevate, Michelle’s goal is to inspire others to shift their perspectives and welcome change as they realize their life purpose. A Pennsylvania native, Michelle and her husband enjoy visiting their sons in Boston and spending time in Bend, Oregon, the settings of her debut novel, Learning to Bend. To learn more about Michelle and how to elevate your life, visit www.michellemdavis.net.
Beautiful Mind It
by Michelle Davis
During a conversation with an amazing massage therapist named Zonia, I asked which holistic healing practices might best benefit my tight muscular system. Her response was, “Beautiful Mind It.” This totally confused me. I had no idea what she was talking about.
When she saw my perplexed look, Zonia shared that whenever we have multiple choices in front of us, we should view what is available and then simply choose what feels best. While she did not explicitly say this, my takeaway from the conversation was that it was all about trusting yourself and not relying on another for the answer. Therefore, I had the solution within. I just needed to have faith in my decision.
Perhaps the “Beautiful Mind It” expression stuck with me because I’ve always had difficulty relying on my intuition. Instead, I want proof – clear cut solid evidence to reinforce that I am on the correct path. And if I can’t have that, then I want a dependable individual to confirm my thoughts. While I’ve been working on listening to that inner knowing, doing so remains a challenge. I continue to seek external validation instead of believing that the answers lie within.
Why do we often need another to rubber stamp our decisions? Even when we believe that we’re headed in the correct direction, it’s human nature to want someone else’s approval, confirming that our choice is the right one.
When we “Beautiful Mind It,” we utilize our toolbox of possibilities. These are the answers that are at our beck and call, waiting for us to employ them so that we can live fuller, happier, and more productive lives. So often we’re hesitant to pick and choose, hoping instead that there is just one best response. But that’s the beauty behind it… each of us is bound to opt for something different, or perhaps even combine several practices together. The key to “Beautiful Minding It” is to realize that the perfect answer does not exist. Instead, we need to go with our instinct and trust.
But choosing is only half the battle. The second step is to remain committed to our decision and not doubt ourselves. Perhaps another’s comment, helpful “suggestion,” or criticism easily derails us, forcing us to question why we ever made our original choice. But it is at this exact moment that we must have faith in ourselves and resist the urge to alter what we’re doing to gain another’s approval.
This is not to say that we cannot change course. If things start to unravel, it is wise to revisit our decision-making process. Is there new information available? Perhaps a better way does exist, and we should consider that possibility. Take the time to truly question, ponder, and ask what is in our greatest interest. Given enough introspection, we will know the best action, whether it be to stay the course or shift our path. But the biggest challenge is to trust our knowing, believing that our beautiful mind has it covered.
As I came closer to publishing my first novel, Learning to Bend, I found myself questioning various aspects of this project. Are my characters authentic? Is the plot plausible? Which cover should I choose? I want someone who knows to tell me that I’m on the right track – that this book will be a success.
But if I put all of the weight in another’s hands, then I might head down the wrong path, following his or her journey, not mine. The first time I shared the rough draft of Learning to Bend with others, I had conflicting feedback. What one person loved, another did not. That’s what makes this writing thing so damn confusing. I found that when I appealed to the reader, I wasn’t being true to myself, ultimately losing my voice in the process. So, I began to “Beautiful Mind It,” even though I had no idea that was what I was doing. I decided to trust myself and listen to my intuition, allowing it to guide with my writing.
While completing the book’s final edits, I put the novel under a microscope. Rereading each chapter, page, paragraph, and sentence, I found myself critiquing everything. But doing this would neither help the book become better nor assist me as a writer. I had started doubting myself. So, I needed to stop, pause, and reestablish trust in myself as an author, acknowledging that releasing a manuscript is scary. Not only do I continue to be nervous about typos and printing errors, but I am still terrified about baring my work to the public. It would have been so much easier to keep Learning to Bend safe and secure on my MacBook.
But that is not what life is about. Living in our fullness requires us to “Beautiful Mind It” – trust ourselves, commit, and then seeing what happens. Sure, I want readers to like this book. Yet I’m beginning to realize that if they don’t, it may bruise my ego, but any criticism won’t define me as a person. (Equally, any positive feedback will not change me either.)
Maybe ask yourself what you can “Beautiful Mind” today. Whatever it is, let go, trust, and see what happens. My hope is that when you have faith in your knowing and choose what is best for your growth, you will experience something magical!
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LearningtoBend/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/michellemillerdavis/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Davis/e/B083ZLXBXS/
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