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"Your life is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be opened." ~ Wayne Muller

Permission to Write Your Story

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“Stories have to be told or they die. And when they die we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” ~ Sue Monk Kidd.

We all have a story. You. me. The neighbour down the street we rarely talk to.

But much of the time we hide, either in shame, denial or a misplaced belief that what we’ve experienced doesn’t matter to anyone else.

This is what I believe: your story has to matter to YOU before it will matter to anyone else (tweet that!) If you don’t give yourself permission to write and share who you are because of all the fears that keep you silent day in day out, your story will die with you.

That’s the hard truth.

And none of us really wants our story to die with us. We all want to leave a part of ourselves behind, something that says we were here, we mattered and we did something purposeful.

Often our stories are hard.

Sometimes our stories are full of shame.

And sometimes we want to run as far away from them as possible.

But when you give yourself permission to write your story, you lay claim to your truth (tweet that!) and what brought you to the place where you stand right now. In writing it down, you own it.« Continue »

How to Keep Your Creative Flame Alive

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I have a cork board in my writing office that is crowded with quotes, photos, and inspirational messages. This one has somehow made its way to the center:

“Most of us would do better if we became more adept at watching the fire under our work… The fire bears, requires, watching, for it is easy to let the flame go out.” 

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

It’s a reminder, a warning, because I’ve let my flame go out before, more than once.

The first time was in college.

At the end of my senior year I met with my creative writing professor to discuss my plans for the future. Mr. F was an intimidating figure whose impressive degrees and sardonic attitude fostered fear rather than inspiration. Nervously, I told him about my plan to apply to MFA programs. He shot down my idea as unflinchingly as he might have flattened a bug.

The irony was he was right. I did need life experience more than another degree, but his delivery lacked compassion, to say the least, and I left his office disillusioned and shattered.

Who hasn’t experienced a moment like this, when our dreams are suddenly extinguished? Worse still, at the hand of someone we trust. But as much as I resented Mr. F, as much as I “blamed” him for my plummet in confidence, it wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t put out my flame.

I had.

The creative embers that stir within our hearts are sacred. We will all encounter obstacles and challenges, but ultimately we’re responsible for protecting and nourishing the flame within (tweet that!)« Continue »

Lean. Love. Learn.

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“Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.” – Charlie Jones The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging and painful of my life. I’ve been […]

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How Writing Catapults Change

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Two years ago, my chest was continually throbbing, as though my heart was beating outside of my chest. The weight of stress and anxiety controlled every aspect of my life. I was in one of the deepest and darkest moments I have yet to experience. My wife and I owned a small business. It was a […]

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