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

How to Quiet Your Inner Critic

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I don’t know about you but my inner critic shows up on a regular basis.

Probably daily in one way or another.

If I was little better at recognizing her, I would kick her to the curb before she could whisper her venomous words. But she’s good, and she’s been around for a long time, so she quite often sneaks up on me unknown.

When she’s on a roll she can be rather cruel:

“Do you actually think that piece of writing is any good?”

“You look like crap today.”

“You’re a terrible mother.”

It was this same inner critic that held me back from writing for 15 years, who told me I shouldn’t even attempt to write because I couldn’t possibly meet the standards set by any other author out there.« Continue »

On Writing Memoir: Where to Begin

Beach rock by Deana

I have a writing partner who is dear to me. We send writing to one another bi-weekly and in the off weeks we critique one another’s work via Skype.

I put a lot of trust in this relationship. I must—she is literally holding my story in the palm of her hand. Sometimes our words are messy: raw, vulnerable and lacking direction. And we must hold them respectfully before gently setting them down.

And therein lies the beginning of the process. The part where we lay down the broken pieces of ourselves on the ground and examine what we have, like emptying a pail of collected stones and shells from the beach. Some of the collection is smooth, beautiful and shines when we hold it up to the light. Other pieces are dark, jagged and ugly.

At times we want to throw those ugly pieces out—discard them for being too boring, too sad, or simply not “enough.” But we know we can’t. We mustn’t; those ugly, jagged edges have so much to tell us about who we are, where we’ve come from and where we might go from here. They are the pieces we hold on to until we’re ready to let them go.« Continue »

How 15 Minutes Per Day Can Change Your Life

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How did life become so full? How did it get to the point where we feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do anything really really well? We have become expert multi-taskers (which, by the way, apparently makes your brain smaller) but in the process we aren’t giving our full selves to [...]

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Why Do You Do What You Do?

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“Lost.” That’s how I would have described myself seven years ago. I wasn’t writing—or at least, not publicly—and I wasn’t growing. I felt like I didn’t know who I was or where I was going. I seemed to be drifting without purpose. I was in a very intense period in my life; the kind that involves diapers, [...]

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How Writing Your Story Can Help You Forgive

Forgiveness

We had just been listening to a newscast when the topic of forgiveness came up. The story was one of those that that has your heart aching with sympathy for the bereaved parent. A story about a murdered teenager, used and left with no regard for the value of her life. For those who knew her [...]

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Write and Believe you are Worth it

Dream By Sunset Girl

My baby clung to me and I clung to her. Natural and right, that’s how it felt in those early months, that first year. But time went by and neither of us let go. When she was two years old we hired a babysitter so I could have time to write, but my daughter did [...]

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