Fire Ceremony

It’s time for a fire ceremony! Do you feel it too? Do you have something to release into the fire to help make room of what’s next in your life? On FRIDAY OCTOBER 7th I am offering my final (free) WRITERS’ RETREAT at my home and retreat center for this year. Click here for more information: http://www.julietallardjohnson.com/calendar/41 Following the retreat on October 7th, at 4:00,  we will have a FIRE CEREMONY. Before coming to the fire circle, create an offering out of burnable materials, typically a small stick. This “spirit arrow” can represent an issue or something that needs to be honored in order … Continue reading

Our Secret Lives

My soul talks to me through my writing, through stories passed on to me and through my slips and falls. The danger comes in not listening to my own writings for the clues they hold. The danger comes in forgetting the stories passed on to me. The danger comes when I keep some personal truth cognitive or trapped on the page and begin to live a secret life. I have written much about living a life of possibility – of knowing that there is so much more available to us than what we see with our personal limited views, views … Continue reading

Go With It

Rarely is the muse a fairy-princess or a prince charming. Or if so, they show up a few decades late just to stir things up for you. Spirits great messengers come to wake us up. They come ready to shake things up enough so that we sit our butts down and write. They are here to help us continue or return to the spiritual path we once committed to. They come to answer prayers. Sometimes we carry these prayers secretly in our hearts, others, we mention every day.  These messengers intend to get our attention, move us beyond our self absorption and self-criticism. They don’t like pity or … Continue reading

A Risky Thing

How do we choose what to write and then what to share? What do we want to put out for public consumption? Once we have put ourselves out there in print we have moved through a doorway. From a writer’s perspective, sending our thoughts and stories out to be read can be a life changer. At the very least it represents a turning point, dramatic or not. Readers may or may not be altered by what the writer has shared. But the writer will be, for what we share becomes more alive, more real and tangible. We have committed ourselves … Continue reading

Life follows Our Gaze

When I catch myself struggling in relationships I find that I may be caught up in what I am not getting, what is not working, and focusing in on what I don’t want. In reality, when we meet the “other” we are always meeting our self. To receive the other is to receive our self. And in all our relationships, in which we have chosen to remain in, there will be qualities about the other that rub us the wrong way. So I am pointing to struggles that arise between you and others whom you have chosen to be in … Continue reading

When Writing Becomes a Train Wreck and How To Get Back on Track by guest writer, Patrice Peltier

(This blog is written by journalist and gardener, Patrice Peltier): Sometimes my brain is like a train barreling towards its destination. When I get to where I think I’m going, I realize somewhere along the line I switched to another track. Just recently, this runaway train of a brain derailed my writing process. About three years ago, when I planted a new garden I began keeping notes. At first, my entries were brief. “Watered today.” “Added leaf mulch.” “Planted three ‘Cajun Fire’ heuchera purchased on sale.” It was record-keeping more than anything. A way to refresh my memory if I decided … Continue reading

Stolen Words

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.  –John Lennon Words are being stolen right out from under us. What happens then is we find we are going right when we thought we were going left. We find ourselves believing without reservation that North is up and South is down. We find ourselves being … Continue reading

Living and Writing in the First Person: ASSUME This!

“It is the nature of the mind to become addicted to certain ways of seeing things.”  -Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Transforming Problems into Happiness When we write in the first person there are boundaries of what we can claim to know about the other people in our story. In fiction and nonfiction alike, the same boundaries apply. In first person we can’t assume what others are thinking, or their motives for their actions. At the same time, what we the writer or first person character assume about the others in our stories and scenes are critical to our message and the reader’s experience. … Continue reading

Everything Is Waiting For You

MY QUINTESSENTIAL LESSON FOR MY WRITING STUDENTS IS THIS: STAY IN THE CONVERSATION. FROM THIS ADAGE I OFFER ESSENTIAL WRITING PROMPTS AND EXPLORATIONS TO HELP WRITERS STAY IN THE CONVERSATION WITH THEIR SUBJECT AND THEME. Presently a subject I am writng about is spiritual teachers and the theme is around what makes a good teacher. I carried this question as I went on my morning walk. On several walks this summer I noticed how a Blue Bunting sat on the top branch of a dead tree. I recalled how a friend of mine mentioned how it seemed that birds liked to occupy dead trees. From here i got … Continue reading

Give Your Self A Day: It’s Free

On this coming FRIDAY AUGUST 5th  and then on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd I am offering my (free) WRITERS’ RETREAT at our home and retreat center: Thundering Clouds Center for Creative Living, LLC. Begins at 10:00 am and goes till 4:00. Bring own lunch. Write, walk the labyrinth spiral in the restored prairie, stalk the woods, visit with the horses. Take a spot on the deck. Enjoy the awakening inside and out. We have 40 acres to explore. Or, sit comfortably in the Writer’s gazebo. At 3:00 we have a sharing circle. The prairie spiral is in full August bloom.  This is an opportunity too … Continue reading