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I feel blessed that I can do a variety of writing styles.  For a living, I write for business.  Marketing, technical, and content.  Which is, if I may say so myself, a nice range.

But I also really love writing from my heart for this Blog and some of my other projects like the book I’m working on called “Love Letters From Your Soul.”  I hope someday to publish a commercial personal/spiritual growth book.

Fiction probably brings me the most joy and delight.  I love to write rock fiction, or what I like to refer to as romance and passion in the exciting (and now relatively extinct) music business.  With, I always hope, a bit of growth mixed in.

I have to admit, more often than not, I am reading a spiritual/personal growth book.  I do get  into fiction now and again, though. I count myself as a Harry Potter devotee.  And I can gobble up books on Arthurian legend.  Not averse to a good cozy mystery either.  I have seen more than my share of movies and amazing films.  Soap operas have been my secret pleasure for years.  And am proud to count many fine story tellers among my close friends.  So I do know a thing or two about story.

For many years I held the notion that nonfiction expands and fiction is merely an escape.  But I am changing my mind about that.  I’m coming to see that fiction plays an important role in our growth as human beings.

Fiction, when done right, gives an intimate views into the minds and hearts of others.  We feel a connection with well crafted characters.  We see parts of ourselves acting through the story. And parts of others we know.  We may not like them all, but we can come to understand a little more about why they do the things they do. Good fiction makes clear the character’s motivation.  If you don’t buy that you’re unlikely to enjoy the story.  It’s like Science Fiction:  If they give you a good basis for belief, you will follow a good writer just about anywhere out there.

It is a study in understanding.  In the best cases, it can open us up to the experience of being the same. Seeing how we all share the same DNA and our motivated by many of the same things.  Even someone who appears to lead a live very different from ours.  It creates bridges into other worlds.  And has done so long before the Internet.

Story is a very powerful tool for learning, history, growth and motivation.  At the heart of all stories is a person, an entity, a living, breathing creature.  Relationship and struggle are the playthings of story, reflecting life as we know it.

At its best good fiction gives us a view of oneness. It talks of unity and how we are all the same.  The more we can feel that the better for all of us (for the one of us.)

Giving presents is what everyone does – especially at this time of year.  Can we be more creative and find other ways to give?

What may come to mind first is giving money.  That’s an easy one to do, if you have it. You don’t have to have a fortune to give money, though.  In some spiritual circles, you’re encouraged to give, even when you don’t think you have it. Giving money can make you feel abundant.

Another one that comes readily to mind is giving time.  This kind of giving can manifest in many different ways.  You could, of course, give your time to help someone with a chore.  Sometimes just showing up and spending time with someone can be a gift.  It might only be your company that makes someone feel less alone.  Other times your presence might support what someone is doing.

Giving time, of course, can be about volunteering.  So often our time is taken up in self-centric activities, such as earning our wages or tending to our surroundings. Volunteering your time, giving it freely for the good of someone else can be very freeing.

Giving can mean handing over some of your possessions to those with less.  Maybe it is a gift you’ve purchased just for someone special. A phone call or letter might touch someone’s heart at just the right time and be a gift.  As I’ve found recently, giving my attention to a project can make a real difference.

An area of giving that doesn’t get talked about much is giving to yourself.  Maybe there’s something you’ve really been needing lately.  If you take the time and the money to go out and get it for yourself, that can be considered giving.  You might just decide to give yourself permission to go after what you want or to be sad because you didn’t get something you wanted.

Giving can happen spontaneously.  It can be so fast you could miss it, if you’re not watching. You could be walking along the street and come across someone who’s dropped their packages, stoop over and help them gather their things. Opening the door for someone who’s struggling. Giving someone space to express their opinions without interrupting or arguing could be a generous gift at times. Others may just need you to give them permission to be who they are or your acceptance for what they’re trying to do.

Perhaps you could give of yourself – something you know, what you’ve learned or what you think.  You could give a recommendation, a referral or a kidney.  I often like to give compliments. Giving encouragement can also be very helpful.  You could give a day off, a free pass, or a leg up.

Whenever you can give something to yourself or someone else, most particularly something of your own, it warms and expands your heart. And strengthens your giving muscle.

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