A Bit of Tough Love

Our lives are rich with pivotal moments and themes that have become the very fabric of our lives. Your mother’s narsistic, you grew up in abject poverty, you were sexually abused, your losses out number your gains, you survived cancer, twice. Your heart has been broken and shattered. You’ve been abandoned, ignored, humiliated. Or (and), you have had spiritual visions, epiphanies, you have saved lives or witnessed others’ heroics. You are the first to climb the mountain and survive. You have traveled to exotic places, alone. You have a unique skill. You have saved numerous abandoned animals or people. You are … Continue reading

The Writer Friendly Life

At last weeks Writers’ Institute I gave a short talk on how to be disciplined and inspired as a writer. I began my talk on how to make our life “writer friendly.” Really the entire thirty-minute talk got down to how we do this, –– how we can actually fulfill our writing dreams and intentions. Making our life writer friendly is the simplest part of the writer’s life. I said simple, not easy. So whose life is writer friendly? Yours. Mine. Every writers. The simplest way to have your life be one where you write is to write within the context … Continue reading

Be The Cause of Your Life

“It’s your life – but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else . . . you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.” – Eleanor Roosevelt I work with a lot of writers, mostly creative nonfiction writers who want to share personal experiences … Continue reading

Grasping The Opportunity

“Whichever step of the staircase you enter upon, the journey will, in its own way and own time, lead you to all the other steps. The only requirement is that you continue to put one foot in front of the other—one thought, moment of interest, and effort after another. That is all teachers really require of their students. They have trust that the teachings will unfold their results naturally, if the student will only grasp the opportunity.” –Geshe Lhundub Sopa with David Patt, Steps on the Path to Enlightenment As I write this I am surrounded by my beautiful home and … Continue reading

Transformational Writing Techniques for Health Care Professionals

On Friday, April 22, 2016 I will be teaching: Transformational Journal Writing Techniques for Health Care Professionals This workshop gives professionals evidence-based journaling techniques and journaling prompts to help clients transform negative states to more positive ones and to increase success in treatment. The techniques help clients dealing with pain, depression, resistance, self-abuse, anxiety, and panic disorder. Please bring a journal so that you may participate in the practices presented. Friday, April 22, 2016 9am-4 pm Credits: 0.6 CEU/ 6 hours of instruction $150 Level: Beginning to Advanced  For more information and to register, contact Christine DeSmet at christine.desmet@wisc.edu or 608-262-3447 … Continue reading

The Importance of Being

If “well-being” — [defined as] functioning well as a person, not as an instrument — is the supreme goal of one’s efforts, two specific ways stand out that lead to the attainment of this goal: Breaking through one’s narcissism and breaking through the property structure of one’s existence. –Erik Fromm, The Art of Being What Fromm means by “breaking through the property structure” is for us to focus less on doing and having and more on being. In my view, if we are secure in who we are, strongly rooted from a sense of self, our actions and “property” (stuff) will … Continue reading

Why Write? Ask William Robichaud

All of us have or will be there–– we wrestle with whether or not we should keep writing. Here is one writer and poet, William Robichaud, answering this question for himself, and perhaps for all of us: I write so I don’t have to think about it anymore, and to think about it more.  I write to get things out of my head, get them archived onto paper, and thus free room in my mind to think about the next things. At the same time, the process of assembling my ideas and prejudices into a cohesive and cogent piece of writing … Continue reading

Writing is Good For Us

Writing is like stretching. It is a good thing to do and something we are naturally inclined to do. But as we get older we forget to stretch. This forgetting has consequences. If you want to write (like your body wants to stretch), then write. Resistance, doubts, fears, forgetfulness can stop us from writing. It is not a lack of talent that stops us––if you want to write this is reason enough. But, Who am I to write this book? What right do I have to share my story? Who cares? What difference will it make? You are a human being. You have … Continue reading

Finding What We Already Possess

Truth is within ourselves, it takes no rise from outward things; whate’er you may believe there is an inmost center in us all where truth abides in fullness; and around, wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in, this perfect, clear perception which is Truth. A baffling and perverting carnal mesh Binds it and makes all error; and to know rather consists in opening out a way whence the imprisoned splendor may escape than in effecting entry for a light supposed to be without. Robert Browning, from “Paracelsus” I have written in journals since the age of 16, which is … Continue reading