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

When Being Yourself Goes Against The Grain

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To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody else, means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight—and never stop fighting. ~ e.e. cummings

How authentic are you? At work? At home? In your friendships?

Do you live according to your values and who you truly are on a daily basis?

People seem to be asking this question a lot nowadays, including myself. Authenticity is one of my core values, and I would say it’s at the heart of The Gift of Writing, so I’m pretty passionate about the topic.

But I’m asking the question, not only because I believe in authenticity and its power to change the world, but also because it is a continuous battle for me to live it out.

It’s a battle for all of us.

Every day we are challenged to learn not only how to be our true selves but also who that true self really is.

The person I was at 20 is a far cry from who I was at 30. And now at 40, I barely recognize that 30 year old woman. As we age and learn more about life, we become more of who we truly are at the core.

Along the way we can choose to conform to the “norm” around us, or we can stand up and be one note in an orchestra of many diverse and beautiful voices. Sadly, many of us choose to allow our voices to be drowned in one rising crescendo.

But what if we stopped all trying to reach the same note, and instead played our own harmony? (tweet that) What would the world look like then?« Continue »

How To Find Freedom From Your Past

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We all have them: those parts of our lives that claw at our hearts. Like the holes in a worn piece of fabric, we try to patch them back together. But that fabric is never quite the same.

These are the holes of our story; the wounds that keep us from moving forward, the events that tel us to self-protect. They are mired in guilt, shame, anger and unforgiveness, and sometimes we feel like we’ll never be whole again.

But those holes are also the things that strengthen us. They shape our character, deepen our compassion, open our eyes to the things that matter.

If we allow them to.

And that’s the big question: will we allow it?

There’s so much advice out there about keeping our eyes on the present and dreaming big about the future. “Don’t cry over the past,” they say, “forget it.” And it’s true that we shouldn’t allow a difficult past to steal the beauty of the present, but until the past no longer has the power to hurt us, we can never truly leave it behind and move on.

An unresolved past equals a half-lived present (tweet that!)

When looking back is necessary

I knew looking back was necessary in my life when the same old fears and wounds kept coming back to haunt me. When I was flaring up at my mother in anger, being defensive at the mere mention of my father, or fearing losing the people I love for no reason.

And my depression: what was that all about?

Old wounds will keep coming back to haunt us until we deal with them (tweet that!) We can try to outrun them, but sooner or later they catch up. Avoidance doesn’t stop the pain; it only forces that pain to manifest itself in other ways.

Truth is, living in the present moment may be the ideal, but there’s work to do before it’s possible.« Continue »

Unpacking Your Creative Life Part 4: Connecting and Sharing

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As we close this series, the hardest work is over. You’ve returned home to your creative self. The boxes you left behind have been reclaimed, the contents sorted. You have stories to tell, truths to uncover. You are a writer. Perhaps this has always been the case, or maybe this is a new concept for […]

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10 Journaling Techniques to Kick-Start Your Creative Writing Practice

Are you someone who hears the word “journaling” and switches off? It’s true, it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “bungee jumping,” “parachuting,” or “kayaking” as far as activities go, but did you know journaling has been scientifically proven to improve both mental and physical health?  Not only does it decrease stress levels, improve […]

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