What I Learned By Doing The Grandparent Program

Over Christmas weekend, I hand-delivered gifts to a nursing home. My husband, sister, mom, and Gma came with as well. We dressed up in fashionable Santa hats and came to town to bring cheer, love, and presents to all of the residents at the rural MN.

What I learned…

1. Residents are extremely thankful and just want to be loved.

It was amazing to be there the day before Christmas Eve. We were able to just spread joy with them all. I wanted them to know we cared.

My mom handed out a gift to an elderly man in a wheel chair and he started to cry. At that moment my heart broke all over for them.

I’m so glad we were able to go see them.

2. People MOSTLY, want to help out!
I’m seriously blessed with knowing so many of the right kinds of people. People who just want to help and bless! So blessed.

3. You find out who you want to be like and who you don’t…
Christmas season tends to bring out the best and worst in people. And when you are in charge of a charity, you tend to see both sides.

I tend to just use that as an example of who I’d rather be like! One person I know jumped and said “Oh, sign us up for three!”

I want to be like that! I want to help those in need without worrying about how it’s going to affect me and just know that because of it, I will have blessed someone else.

4. I felt so good after delivering the gifts!

I am definitely going to do this again next year! Who knows, maybe I’ll do it again in a few months! It really felt good to give back!

Thank you to all of my blog followers who adopted a grandparent! It meant so much to them and I’m glad I was able to be a part of this!! <3

How To Write Your Personal Words Of Affirmation

I just got back from a women’s retreat a little while ago. One day, we did a small activity that at first seemed simple, but the more we worked at it, it seemed harder that I’d originally thought it would be.

That activity was writing a list of affirmations that you should revisit daily to encourage yourself.

In life, we give compliments and speak nice words to people around us and yet, we say the worst things to ourselves in the morning when we see ourselves in the mirror. Isn’t that true?

So I want to go over a couple things with you, that’ll help you raise your confidence and achieve the life you’ve always wanted to live, by writing your own personal affirmations. This project is similar to creating a vision board  for yourself, but with words.

What You’ll Need:

Some of your favorite pens and paper. It can be lined paper or even something fancy like scrapbooking paper. 

Some Things You Should Know

  • Start by thinking of an intention you’d love to have manifest in your own life. How will that result feel? And how will it affect your life? It is going to be your target.
  • Begin your personal affirmations with “My” and “I.”
  • Write them in present tense. This will help you see it happening now. If you write it in future tense you will just be creating hope for those things and not actually creating those affirmations into existence.
  • Give it a time frame such as, “In a month” or “by the month of December.”
  • Write shorter affirmations so they are easier to remember.
  • Don’t write affirmations like you are asking the Genie to grant you a thousand wishes. Steer clear of wording like “I really want…” or “I need ____.”
  • Stay away from negative words such as: not, can’t, don’t, won’t, am not, or doesn’t.
  • Insert emotional words into your affirmations to add the emotions you’d like to experience more often.
  • Believe in your affirmations. Writing them is just step number one, but in order to make them real, you have to have a little faith, trust, and pixie dust… wait… wrong story. But you get what I’m saying.

Devin Joubert

More Prompt Ideas

  • Pick out something that you have negatively expressed about yourself and then write down the opposite. Make it positive so that is counteracts that negative belief.
  • Use your authentic voice. In other words don’t write it like someone you admire or want to be like. Write it like you.
  • Are your affirmations believable? If there is an affirmation that makes you feel uncomfortable use phrases like “I choose to…” or “I am willing to…”
  • Are you desiring what you are affirming?

How To Break Down Your Affirmations:

What you want: Lose weight so I feel healthy again.
What you’d say to defend yourself: I am not fat! (If this were your affirmation, you’d be focusing on the word fat.
What you should say for your affirmation: My body is healthy and fit. You are now focusing on the words healthy and fit.

I was encouraged by a mentor to write 108 personal affirmations. I want to encourage you to write 108 personal affirmations to change and improve your life.

Now, it’s your turn. Get some light and relaxing music on. Sit down in a comfortable spot. Write your affirmations. Ready. Set. Go.

Want A Chance To Help Improve Life & Writing Wanderlust?

There’s so much ahead that I want to do on Life & Writing Wanderlust and that includes you. In order to do that, I want to get to know you all better so I can serve you all better with great content.
Life Writing Wanderlust Poll Devin Joubert Devin Berglund
I’ve created a poll. If you could take just a couple minutes to fill out the poll, that’d be great!!

If you fill out the poll, you’ll be placed in the hat to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Who doesn’t want more books? So, be sure to fill out this poll and mark all that apply. I promise it will only take a couple minutes. 🙂

This poll will be open till February 27th.

Thank you!

Leaches, Mosquitos, And Other Vile Things That Want To Drain Your Energy

When I was little, I was at a friend’s lake-house and had been swimming in the lake with the other kids. But when I got out of the water I noticed I’d picked up something that hadn’t been there before getting into the water. It was black and icky looking and to make things even creepier, it was attached to my ankle. I freaked out as an human would. It was a leech. My dad took it off and doused it in salt. That was one of my first experiences with a leech from the lake.

My first experience with a human equivalent of a leech was quite different, because I didn’t notice until way later that a leech was using me to get energy. It isn’t fun.

A leech can be any sort of person, workplace, or situation that takes the energy and life you want to live away from you. After running into that leech you feel like you don’t have what it takes to take on your dreams and goals. Everything seems too big.

How Do I Know If I Have A Toxic Leech In My Life?

One of the best ways to find the answer to this question is by looking at your life. Are there any areas in your life where you feel completely and utterly out of energy. Is it in your writing, your personal life, or maybe even in the work place?

In 2016, I dealt with a couple of leeches myself. It wasn’t easy to pick them off, but once they were disconnected from me everything was easier. It was easier not to care and to leave them for the healthier and happier life you want to live.

Are you dealing with any toxic people? If so, here are some ideas on how to deal with them. It’s never easy to get rid of your leech, but sometimes some are easier than others.

The Toxic Friend

In 2016, I learned what it takes to have and be a good friend. Good friends care about you no matter what and aren’t selfish when it comes to your time. I once had a friend that wanted to hang out every week for a couple hours at a time.

It wasn’t possible for me to spend that much time with her, because I work full time and also have a couple of side-gigs as well. But she didn’t understand that and because I couldn’t give up a couple hours every week to get together with her she kind of disappeared and stopped asking me to always get together. I was glad when that happened, because I would have kept meeting with her and letting her drain me of my passion and excitement.

If you have a friend, who you absolutely must get together with once in a while, set aside a couple times when you can meet up and have it set for a strict amount of time. If your leech friend is more energy to keep as a friend, it may be time to say buh-bye to them.

A sign that you may need to say bye is: Whenever you plan a meet up, you sigh and feel like you’d rather not.

If she or he continues sucking your energy or being toxic, it may be time to talk it out with them. Tell them that you can’t be their friend any longer if this attitude continues.

Some people will want to fix things, because they don’t want to lose your friendship, while others will get offended and avoid you later on.

The Toxic Workplace

A toxic workplace usually comes from having a leader that doesn’t know how to lead or doesn’t want to.

“Often times in a toxic workplace there is an abundance of tearing others down, passive aggressive leadership, destructive gossip, conniving politics, and abundant negativity.” said Amy Rees Anderson from Forbes.

It’s unfortunate to be in this kind of situation and honestly I believe that companies should walk their team leads through sessions and lessons on how to be a good leader.  A leader doesn’t become a good leader by getting a promotion, they become a good leader when they listen and communicate well with their team. And when they encourage a healthy atmosphere for working and creating.

Unfortunately I’ve dealt with this kind of atmosphere in the past and it wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fair. Some of the things that helped me reconnect to myself were:

  • Take walks when you need to get out of the office.
  • Have a positive quote as your computer screen decoration.
  • Hang positive quotes and sayings up in your cubicle. Have pictures of family on your desk.

Ultimately the best way to deal with a toxic workplace is to be constantly looking for a different workplace. Because, at least you have a job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking for something else. Because you can.

You aren’t a tree. Get up and move if you don’t like where you currently are.

The Toxic Family Member

I’d have to say this is the toughie when it comes to toxic people and situations, because toxic family members are people you love or have a close connection with, so it can be really hard to know how to deal with that.

I have friends and family members who have had to deal with this one. It seriously isn’t easy, because you love your family.

If your family member is someone who is really important to you then you’ll still see them but set cut off dates for when you choose to see them and for how long.

It’s Important That You Take Care Of Yourself

When it all comes down to it, you need to take care of yourself. You only have one life and you need to keep yourself healthy and happy. And if something is causing you to be drained and low on energy or sad, then you need to say good-bye to it.

Want To Know How To Deal With Copycats? Here Are 5 Helpful Steps.

Has anyone ever copied you? It’s not a nice feeling to have a part of you mimicked  by someone else. To have your soul yanked out and acted out by someone who isn’t you, isn’t fun.

Keep reading to find out some helpful tips on how to deal with copycats.


How To Deal With Your Copycat

You are unique. Be confident in it. Take a stand for who you are.  

“A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything.” -Malcolm X

[Tweet “Stand for something.”]

1. Don’t Share Your Secrets With The Copycat.

This may be hard depending on how close you are to the copycat.

You have to think whether it’s really worth sharing your ideas with people who you know are copycats.

I’ve chatted with people about writing ideas before and a few days later I find out that they are writing something a little too similar to my story.

Sometimes it’s just not worth it.

So from experience, If they ask you about your story don’t tell them about it. If they asked you where you got your shirt, be discreet and say you don’t remember.

2. Sell Yourself The BEST You Can

If your copycat tries copying things that you are doing or creating, don’t let them sell it better than you.

It was your idea originally.  Be the unique person you are and sell the idea the best you can. They won’t be able to fight against it, since you are the one who go the ideas in the first place. There is only one – you!

3. Encourage Them In Their Own Uniqueness

Maybe you are shopping with them and see some awesome clothes that you want to get, but you know if you point it out in front of them they will be buying it before you can even say “But, I was picking that out for me.”

Point out outfits you think might look nice on your copycat. Say things like “Wow, this outfit would look amazing on you!” or “Green really makes your eyes pop.” You’ll find that they’ll eat all your compliments up.

When you do this, you are helping them see what is unique and original about them. Then when they are in the dressing room trying it on go get the clothes you wanted to try on.

4. Which Kind Of Copycat Do You Have?

There are a few different kinds of copycats: One is nicer to deal with, while the other can be a thorn in your side. But those two can admire you or be jealous of you for either your appearance or your ideas or even both.

How To Deal With Copycats

One just admires you. For this kind of copycat, try to be gentle and kind. Encourage them in finding and showing off their own unique person.

While the other is just jealous of you. For this copycat, if you can, try drop them. They really aren’t good for your health or well-being. I know it can be hard, especially if you have a relative who is this kind of copycat.

Have a relative like this copycat? If they bring you down and make you feel horrible, I recommend trying not to see them as often as you need to. When you do see them, just keep your mouth shut and smile. That will bother them. If you do anything, encourage them in the things that might make them unique.

Appearance Theif: This one wants to be you when it comes to your style and personality.

Idea Theif: The idea thief loves your ideas so much that they want them for themselves.

How To Deal With Copycats

5. If Nothing Works… Talk Them 

Sometimes the only thing you can do is talk to your copycat. If you’ve tried other things, but it doesn’t work you may just have to talk to them straight up.

Sit down and talk to them. Tell them that you didn’t appreciate it. And then distance yourself from them.

How Do I Talk To Them?

Sitting down to confront your copycat can be scary.

Here are some helpful things to tell them:

  1. It really bothers me that you copied me _________________ (State the time).
  2. You are a unique and creative person. I just don’t understand why you feel like you have to copy me. I love __________, _____________, and ________________ (name characteristics about them that you love or see could be great if they focused on it.) about you!
  3. I really love you as a friend, but I can’t continue to hang out with or talk to you about these things because you just steal my ideas and I don’t appreciate that at all. So if you can’t stop copying me, I can’t be your friend anymore. (If they stole your idea and don’t want to stop copying you, you might have to tell them something like this. It may be difficult.)

The First Copy-Cat That I Remember

I encountered a copy-cat for the first time (I believe) was in 5th grade when I was sitting on the bus with my best friend. We were bundled in our fluffy winter jackets with our backpacks at our feet as we spoke. I was so excited to show my friend an idea I had. I trusted her. Of course, she wouldn’t steal my ideas. I reached into my unzipped backpack and brought out a small locked journal.

This was one of the first times I chose to share something I had written with someone other than a teacher or my parents. I opened the clasped journal with a kitty on it. I flipped the page to the spot I wanted to show her. Small pictures of little fairy people who I’d drawn along with a story that went along with it.

How To Deal With Copycats

I got onto the bus the next day and then she showed me a picture she had drawn. She said, “Devin, I am writing a story too.” A hint of panic struck my stomach. Her story was identical to my story. I didn’t think this kind of thing could happen. While looking at her drawing on the paper, it was an exact replica of the drawing in my story.

When I saw the picture she’d drawn a hint of panic struck through my and curdled my stomach. Her story was identical to mine and the pictures of the fairies resembled mine. At that young age, I experienced the fear that came along with someone stealing your ideas or work.

This is something that I never thought would be possible. I thought everyone had their own unique ideas and that they wouldn’t ever think of stealing other people’s ideas. I sure know I wouldn’t.

Continue reading “Want To Know How To Deal With Copycats? Here Are 5 Helpful Steps.”

How To Encourage Someone To Travel Abroad

travels abroad, writing, study abroad, long distance relationships, writer, Devin Berglund
See the little green drop point? That is where I studied abroad. In Sippy Downs, Queensland Australia (Near Brisbane)

I never thought I’d fly half way around the world. The idea of it frightened me.

In High-School, I met many exchange students. I could describe most of them in this way: full of life, young, living with families they didn’t know, and most likely they spoke a different language. I am sure you know what I mean?

Me, Silvia, and Cassidy (My sister) with Leif Erickson (A Viking Statue, in Minot North Dakota)
Me, Silvia, and Cassidy (My sister) with Leif Erickson (A Viking Statue, in Minot North Dakota)

I was always drawn to these people because there was something drastically and beautifully different about them. Not just because they were from other countries and that their accents were gorgeous! But because they’d seen so much of the world and in my eyes they were much further ahead than those who had never been out of their state.

It was one day in the library at my Middle School that changed my  8th grade year. Her name was Silvia Atanosava. And she became my best friend that year!

My family took her under our wing. It was almost like I had a big sister. She was an exchange student from Bulgaria which, before meeting her I had never even heard of.

After seeing her come here on her own, I found myself thinking, “Maybe, I will go study and travel abroad someday as well.”
[Tweet “Have you ever wanted to study abroad?”]
[Tweet “Do you want to live abroad?”]
[Tweet “Have you ever had someone you know well tell you, they want to study or live abroad?”]

(If you have twitter, choose which option you fall under (above). I would love to know if you have lived abroad or not! Either way! I get excited when I talk about these things.)

If your answer was yes to any of these questions, read on – because I have some things that will help you reach your dreams. 

While in Mexico on a family vacation in 2009, I decided I wanted to stay there and maybe study abroad. As soon as I got home I looked into the qualifications of studying abroad in certain countries.

I’d studied Spanish in High-School, but hadn’t been speaking it or listening to it for a few years.

Which got me thinking… Hmm… where is it warm… and where they also speak English.

Only one place hopped into my mind as swiftly as a kangaroo.

It was a continent and country of it’s own. A red country full of desert, a country full of accents, Kangaroos, Koalas,  Dingos, and giant poisonous spiders and snakes. Or at least that is what I thought!

Click to Continue

Why Are People Encouraging Division?

I have been thinking a lot about Facebook recently. There is so much negativity, hate, and division on there.photo-1453974336165-b5c58464f1ed

I can definitely see the division in our country when I’m on there. And what makes me so mad is that it really seems like Facebook isn’t doing anything to make matters better. Why is the country so divided?

Why is it okay to be rude if you don’t agree with someone?

There is a young lady, Tomi Lahren, who is speaking out. Finally, someone is speaking out about all the problems that most people are either avoiding or aren’t speaking out about on main news channels.

I majored in English/mass communications and I was taught that the media is supposed to be society’s “Watch Dog” but lately it’s seems more like the media is acting like the president’s play poodle lap dog.

When are more Americans going to stand up?

I decided to reach out to Tomi to tell her that she is doing the right thing. If I were getting attacked for doing good, I’d have wanted people to stand up next to me.

So I wrote on her Facebook page and then…

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And I never said anything mean.

But then these two people wrote under my comment. It was hate speech. How could someone say such rude things. These are words that separate people and don’t unite people.  Why is it that when it comes to all of these Black Lives Matter and radical groups that they are extremely hateful and mean.

These are words that separate people. They don’t unite people.  Why is it that when it comes to all of these Black Lives Matter and radical groups that they are extremely hateful and mean.

I reported the comments to Facebook to have them removed. But to my surprise, I got a response that said that Facebook doesn’t consider that hate speech. When was it ever right to tell someone to eat a D***? Or saying that someone’s dad is a clansman? Or when was it ever right to say that all whites should burn? To me, that sounds like racism and hate speech.

Seriously? Is this what humanity has come to?

A few other people also reported those FB comments but got the same responses from Facebook.

I seriously can’t support something that is so evil. I am thinking about taking a break from Facebook for awhile. I can’t support a platform that doesn’t stand behind the values of America or that supports hate speech and the act of tearing apart the country.

Visit Tomi Lahren’s Facebook page and you will be sure to find more trolls speaking out hate against her. Give Tomi some love. And if you get a chance… report the trolls who are doing “hate speech”. Maybe Facebook will finally do something about it.

This has never been an okay way to act.

Shame on you Facebook!

Are You A Cupcake In A Cookie Cutter World: How To Be A Linchpin

how to be a linchpinThis is a very cookie cutter filled world, but what if you are a cupcake with icing and sprinkles instead of a cookie? If you aren’t like everyone else there is a good chance that some people will think you are “different” or “weird”.

At CoSchedule, where I work, I read Seth Godin’s book LinchpinFor anyone who hasn’t read it, it’s a brilliant piece of artwork. I loved it.

In his book he speaks about how some schools “stamp out insight and creativity” now that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good teachers out there because there are good teachers out there, but as Seth said much of society wants and trains people to be cogs in a machine. And that goes against being a Linchpin.

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher told my mom that I was creative and that people would want to change me. She told my mom to not let them. And sure enough when I got into higher grades some teachers thought It was weird that I was always dreaming and using my imagination. Some didn’t, but some did.

The world couldn’t use a cookie cutter on me. Continue reading “Are You A Cupcake In A Cookie Cutter World: How To Be A Linchpin”

My Spectacular Reading Resolutions For This Year

If you want to be a writer you need to read a lot.

This year I am planning on reading a ton of books. Here is my reading list for the upcoming year. And you know what? I’d love to read more than just the books on this list. But I am starting out with this book list first.

reading list

1- 13. Unfortunate Events Series (Books 1-13) – Lemony Snicket

14. Something Strange and Deadly –  Susan Dennard

15. Lake House – Kate Morton

16. Six of Crows –  Leigh Bardugo

17. The Name of The Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

18. Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

19. Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss

20. The Distant Hours – Kate Morton

21. The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton

22. The House At Riverton – Kate Morton

23-30. Reread Harry Potter Books  (1-7) – J.K. Rowling

31. Truthwitch – Susan Dennard

32. Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard

33. The Man In The High Castle – Philip K Dick

34. Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

35. One Second After – William R. Fortchen

36. The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J. Maas

37. The Night circus – Erin Morgenstern

What books are on your 2016 reading list?

Top Reasons Why You Should Do What You Love

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 10.56.53 PM

Love what you do. Do what you love.

Are you doing what you love?

I recently got a new job, which I love. If you’ve been in the WordPress club for awhile you may have heard of them. They are CoSchedule.

It’s an amazing editorial calendar that you can schedule both blog posts and social media posts through.

Their motto is, “Do what you love and love what you do!”

But ever since I got this job, I’ve been thinking more and more about this small and prolific saying.

Do what you love. Love what you do.

I want to always be able to do what I love and love what I do. Continue reading “Top Reasons Why You Should Do What You Love”