For A Beautiful Life: Take Two & Go To Bed

I write this to you from the 2nd day into my weeklong (city) writing retreat. On my first night (Saturday), I planned on going to the comedy club on State Street. A woman comedian seemed like a perfect fit for what I needed. Going solo meant I would be placed with a table of strangers. An opportunity to meet up with either a good social experience or material to write about. Likely both. As I unpacked and then went to the co-op to get food for the week, I felt I was having an allergic reaction to my space at the airbnb. I … Continue reading

How to Write (and Live) “IT.”

How do we write about grief, beauty, endings, beginnings, missed opportunities, luck, divine intervention, spiritual experiences and epiphanies? Today’s Writing Wednesday blog shares how I write about such themes and scenes in both my spiritual nonfiction books and in my (yes, I’m working on my) novel. When I am having a particular experience, I write about it. I  have been writing in my journals since the age of sixteen. (A friend promises to burn them on my death). For my nonfiction, I can write from the present experience and use some teaching point as a thematic thread throughout the piece. So if I am writing … Continue reading

Privileged with Time (to Write)

“We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny.” –John O’ Donahue’ from Anam Cara Each morning I use passages from favored books to inspire my meditation practice and to direct my attention throughout the day. This following passage is a great read and reminder to help us in this New Year, taken from John O’donahue’s Anam Cara: One of the Greatest Sins is the Unlived Life   In the Western tradition we were taught many things about the nature of negativity and the nature of sin, but we were never told that one of the greatest sins is the unlived life. … Continue reading

A Love Letter to You, Me, and the World

“Here, take this gift, I was reserving it for some hero, speaker, or general, One who should serve the good old cause, the great idea, the progress and freedom of the race, Some brave confronter of despots, some daring rebel; But I see that what I was reserving belongs to you just as much as to any.” —Walt Whitman, “To a Certain Cantatrice”   I take time in my morning meditation to consider simple and recent things I am thankful for. The other morning I was grateful for a simple email a friend sent me recently. Here are some extracts … Continue reading

The Reshaping Light

 “Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”  –Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac I write this message to you on Solstice Eve. Tomorrow brings the longest stretch of darkness, with a promise of the returning light. My favorite time of day is the crepuscular hour before all goes dark. True twilight. Dusk. When I lived in Minneapolis my large picture window happened to be placed so that I could enjoy the light as it crossed the room in its departure. I would regain energy and purpose in … Continue reading

Just For Today

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, considered the father of quantum physics Each morning I begin with some inspirational reading, scripting, and meditation. This gives me an internal compass to navigate my day, rather than being pushed around by outside circumstances. Lately, with so much uncertainty, I have been doing my best to turn everything into the path. I meet up with what arises with gratitude and curiosity (as best I can). Throughout the day I may use a slogan to help me focus. These slogans typically come … Continue reading

Staying with Uncertainty Translates into Great Narratives

This month’s Zero Point Blog was on The Paradox of Uncertainty. This week’s writer’s blog is on this same theme. Well, let’s just say there is a lot of uncertainty these days to acknowledge. While listening to public radio the other day the guest shared how we need to be careful not to “grab on to certainty” as a false security during such times of uncertainty. These “certainties” can seem like an anchor when in fact they are an illusion, a lie. We feel settled in and okay with something certain when in fact nothing has really happened that legitimately could render … Continue reading

The Paradox of Uncertainty

The Present   Much has been said about being in the present. It’s the place to be, according to the gurus, like the latest club on the downtown scene, but no one, it seems, is able to give you directions.   It doesn’t seem desirable or even possible to wake up every morning and begin leaping from one second into the next until you fall exhausted back into bed.   Plus, there’d be no past with so many scenes to savor and regret, and no future, the place you will die but not before flying around with a jet-pack.   … Continue reading

Tonight! Peacefully Demonstrate through Meditation

PEACEFULLY DEMONSTRATE your True Nature, touch the heart of reality through meditation and through daily practices of skillful means. I will be offering meditation practices that you can use to meet, move through, and host uncertainty and adversity. There are ways to hold space for our self and others so that we are not swept away from external negativity. We can make a difference, every day of our life, and we can build on the skillful means and wisdom that we all hold within ourselves. The practices will be on how to explore and have an emotion without surrendering to it … Continue reading

During Such Times, What Matters?

Many of my writerly friends and students have contacted me recently discouraged and confused. What does any of “this” matter?, they ask. “Who cares what I write about?” Besides, they claim, “my story is not unique.” Let me respond first with a personal story. I found myself looking in the mirror lately with dismay. I see an old woman.  At the core of me I know a truth: that I am aging, and that I am doing a fine job of it. With the awareness that all judgment involves projection I looked around me. What do I see when I look at others? Do … Continue reading