How do we sort through all the variety and complexity in our lives and in our world? What do we focus on? How do we decide what tone to take?
Sometimes writing can be a wonderful way to make sense of the complexity. The exploratory nature of our writing can be a gift and can guide us to what we really think and believe; as E. M. Forster quipped, “How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?
We can discover ourselves through the writing process.
But too often in that discovery process, we can feel uncomfortably lost and overwhelmed, and we run in circles as a result.
To be honest, sometimes when I sit down to write I can feel caught up in the complexity itself, unable to find my way out. Where to start? What to focus on?
So before I sit down, I like to know what kind of writing I’ll be doing, what my goals are, and the direction I want to be headed in.
This is the case not only if we’re sitting down to write a short piece, but also and especially when we’re in the midst of a longer project:
How do we keep all the different strands going? How do we keep the tone consistent? Should we follow that other question or plot line instead of the one we were following before?
Many people ask me: Should I just start writing and let the writing guide me, or should I have an outline for my project/ book?
I believe that at a certain point 99 percent of writers will benefit greatly from an outline, a clear roadmap to where they are going!
My father worked as an editor and publisher in New York City publishing, and he always said that he could tell from the synopsis and one page of the author’s writing whether the book was a go or not. Even the most talented writer couldn’t write a good book if the synopsis didn't make sense, he’d say.
I used to find this discouraging. But now, the more I work with writers and see the writing process unfold across different genres and for many different writers, the more I see what good advice it is.
I’ve had students and clients come to me after wasting years on incompletely formed book ideas; because they don’t have a clear form or outline to guide them, they made a wrong turn and then headed in a wrong direction, sometimes literally for years.
If you want to stay on track and write with more direction and save time and energy, I encourage you to ask yourself these two simple questions:
1) What is the MAIN idea of the project you are working on. Try to boil it down to one page and then to one paragraph.
2) What HAPPENS in the book—in real time. Go through chapter by chapter and map it out. What is at stake in each chapter?
Often, you need to write your way to these answers.
It can also be immensely helpful to talk these questions out with a friend or coach. We can often hear things differently when we say them aloud to another person. And feedback is invaluable.
Once you really find your way to answer the two questions above, the writing process becomes much easier and more enjoyable. And the work itself becomes much more powerful.
If you’re interested in exploring this process of getting clear on your main idea and structure more, please join me March 2nd for an all day workshop at Grub Street in Boston.
There will be time to write from prompts, to do interactive exercises and to discuss your particular project and get feedback.
If you’re not local or are not free that day, I also have a limited number of spots available for new one-on-one coaching clients. A few sessions can help clarify ideas and save lots of time and energy!
I find this process of coming to and staying with our main idea not only practical, but also a good corrective to the way we often live. Books provide a beautiful depth of attention, knowledge and vision in contrast to the normal distraction and shortness of attention of our contemporary world.
Similarly, the writing process itself cultivates a beautiful clarity, attention and centering vision in an often de-centered world. This process of writing can be a powerful and transformative experience of focusing and clarifying.
I’m just back from Colombia, where Simone and I had a great time visiting friends. What a beautiful and complex country: sophisticated, unequal, stunningly beautiful and ecologically diverse, sometimes dangerous, friendly, and so much more.
Our time there reminded me that there is never, of course, one story of any place—or of any person. Sometimes the complexity can even feel overwhelming.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about looking inward, listening deeply to the more difficult parts of our own stories, and getting the kinds of support we need to do that work. How do we do that without getting overwhelmed? How do we make order of the complexity?
Do you ever feel like your body and your life is like a messy house? There are so many things everywhere, and you don't quite know where everything is or where it all belongs....so you just kind of make do with what you can find but sometimes you get tripped up on something left around on the floor?
That is how I lived in my body for much of my life: it worked, I could run and dance and feel okay, but when I really quieted, I could also see that it was messy inside and often that mess would get in my own way.
One tool that has helped me enormously is yoga: yoga helped me come to more order, more peace and more energy.
Though a lot of contemporary yoga focuses on the external qualities, yogic philosophy and practice gives us really powerful tools to look inside and create more peace and health on a deep internal level.
I’ve found the teachings around the chakra system especially helpful. The chakras are energy centers that run up the body from the base to the top of the spine and above, each correlating to a different physical and emotional quality.
Often when we experience challenges in life, the energy of that challenge gets blocked in the body, and specifically in the correlating chakra.
When the chakras are in balance, we have greater understanding of and freedom with our stories. Balancing our chakras also strengthens the immune system and gives us more energy and vitality—on both the physical and emotional levels.
The philosophy of the chakra system also teaches us that we need to establish security—in the lower chakras—before we can release the upper chakras and be more heart centered.
We’re like trees: we need to be well grounded in order to be open to the winds and flexible.
This profound lesson helps us with our writing—we can’t look into those difficult places in our own stories or be our most creative and playful unless we feel grounded and supported.
It also helps us have more compassion—for ourselves and for others; when people don’t feel that security they are less flexible, open and heart centered.
I'm really excited to help share the teachings and experiences of working with the chakras this coming Saturday at Simply Yoga in Belmont!
If you're local, please join me this Saturday and next for a powerful two part series:Journey through the Chakras.
The first week, we’ll focus on the lower three chakras, to develop strength and a sense of security; the second week, we’ll move to the upper chakras for heart opening and more aligned communication.
This class is appropriate for people with any level of yoga experience or for complete beginners.
And it’s great for writers or creatives of any type—learning how better to work with the energy systems not only gives us tools to tap into our stories but also to tap into deeper levels of creativity.
We'll practice together and I'll also give you practices to take home with you!
I’d love to see you!
And if you’re not local (or are local and can’t join), I invite you, nonetheless, to pay attention to your own energy system. Over time you can notice where you are out of alignment, what needs to be cleared in your body and get the energy flowing more freely so toxins don’t build up.
I invite you to start through focusing on the lower chakras—on what gives you strength and security. You can practice with my video here.
You can also get some results simply by bringing your mindful attention to that area of your body and paying attention to feeling grounded and supported.
As I said, if you’re local, I’d love to see you this Saturday to give you more tools to work with the chakras. And as always, I'd love to hear from you.
Let me know if you have any questions or observations. And please pass this on to any friends who might be interested!
Have you ever started doing something and then found yourself questioning why you are doing it?
Or have you started out doing something with one set of expectations and then found yourself doing something quite different?
In my last video, I told you a bit about how I came to the more integrated coaching and teaching of writing that I do. Today, in this new video, I want to share some thoughts on how to stick with writing even when you don't know where it's going or when you want to stop altogether.
I share some of the experiences of two of my clients and the ways in which their most uncomfortable moments led to real growth. I discuss how isolating that particular moment when you feel most uncertain about your writing, sitting with it, instead of running away, and really listening to the messages coming up in your body can lead to exciting creative breakthroughs.
And I offer four practical tips to help anyone deepen their writing practice—especially when it's getting uncomfortable.
Next week, I'll send out another video with more tips about how to write with greater ease, but today I want to honor MLK day—and offer my own small push back against the disheartening and upsetting things we’ve been seeing and hearing from the White House.
Over the past weeks I offered both a Communicating with Courage Yoga Workshop and a Writing with Courage Writing class. I knew that courage wasn't something that could be "taught" but that something that we can cultivate by listening to and strengthening ourselves. How is that done?
Martin Luther King, Jr and the many leaders and participants in the Civil Rights movement knew that to speak and act with courage, they needed to attend not only to the mind but also to body and to the heart--"courage" comes from the French word “coeur,” heart.
They also knew that courage is cultivated by learning from and surrounding oneself with courageous people (either in person or through books).
I've been asking myself how I can be more courageous. This is an ongoing question and pursuit, but one thing I can do is help share the courageous work of inspiring people. And in that spirit,I'd like to share a poem, "WHO UNDERSTANDS ME BUT ME," by Jimmy Santiago Baca.
Baca grew up in an orphanage in New Mexico and ran away at 13. At 21, living on the streets, he was incarcerated for drug possession and he spent the next six and a half years in prison, three of those in solitary confinement.
Those experiences may deaden, or break even the best people, but Baca tapped into something else. In prison, he learned to read and write, and, inspired by the books he read, began to write poetry and to access his own deep courage.
In the many years since then, then Baca has published more than twelve books , including poetry, memoir, novels and more. Today he helps bring writing and literature to disadvantaged youth.
This poem is about courage of the greatest sense: the courage to be oneself, not to give up on oneself, or on beauty and freedom even in the face of the greatest obstacles and injustice.
WHO UNDERSTANDS ME BUT ME
BY JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA
They turn the water off, so I live without water,
they build walls higher, so I live without treetops,
they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine,
they lock my cage, so I live without going anywhere,
they take each last tear I have, I live without tears,
they take my heart and rip it open, I live without heart,
they take my life and crush it, so I live without a future,
they say I am beastly and fiendish, so I have no friends,
they stop up each hope, so I have no passage out of hell,
they give me pain, so I live with pain,
they give me hate, so I live with my hate,
they have changed me, and I am not the same man,
they give me no shower, so I live with my smell,
they separate me from my brothers, so I live without brothers,
who understands me when I say this is beautiful?
who understands me when I say I have found other freedoms?
I cannot fly or make something appear in my hand,
I cannot make the heavens open or the earth tremble,
I can live with myself, and I am amazed at myself, my love,
I am taken by my failures, astounded by my fears,
I am stubborn and childish,
in the midst of this wreckage of life they incurred,
I practice being myself,
and I have found parts of myself never dreamed of by me,
they were goaded out from under rocks in my heart
when the walls were built higher,
when the water was turned off and the windows painted black.
I followed these signs
like an old tracker and followed the tracks deep into myself,
followed the blood-spotted path,
deeper into dangerous regions, and found so many parts of myself,
who taught me water is not everything,
and gave me new eyes to see through walls,
and when they spoke, sunlight came out of their mouths,
and I was laughing at me with them,
we laughed like children and made pacts to always be loyal,
who understands me when I say this is beautiful?
The repetitions of the first stanza enact the shutting down that “they” enforce upon the speaker, turning the water off, building the walls higher, locking the cage around him.
But in the second stanza, the speaker finds what he calls “other freedoms” that are beautiful, and the poem is an invitation to the reader, too, to imagine the freedoms that come from being able to fully accept the self and “live with [the] self.”
Within ourselves is a wisdom and freedom and beauty that is transcendent. When we attend to our writing, can we also attend to that deeper wisdom and beauty?
Sometimes we can feel that taking time for our writing is “self indulgent,” but as Audre Lorde says, “poetry is not a luxury.” Writing—others’ and our own—is a gateway to freedom.
I invite you to join me this Friday at 12:30 (eastern) for a FREE meditation and writing session.
Please sign up for the access code, which I will email you.
I'll also send a recording to the people who sign up
I’ll start each fifteen minute session with a short meditation and optional prompt.
The session will guide you to tap into your heart and your courage.
Most of us write in some way against external boundaries, Are there cages that you want to bring down? Perhaps you want to take the time to write a political letter.
Or perhaps you just want to play with the courage and freedom of being yourself.
Feel free to come on all or only part of the call. And please share with any friends who might be interested.
Every day, I hear from people who wish their writing were going more smoothly, or who wish they were writing and aren’t.
I want to give you some tools to make the creative process unfold with more ease.
Many of the tools and techniques that I’m going to be talking about can be helpful in all areas of life!
So many of us have areas of our life that aren’t going as smoothly as we want, or we can’t even find the time to do what we want to be doing. Something’s blocking us.
Sometimes those blocks are external. But very often those external blocks have become internalized.
So the first thing that I invite you to do is ask yourself:
What external blocks are keeping you from writing the way you want to write? Or is the challenge internal?
In this series of videos I give you tips for this process.
I talk about how I came to the unique method that I have--it wasn't always easy for me!—and why I'm so passionate about it.
Here is the first video (the text is below and you can also get a audio link when you click on the video)
(You can click on video or this link here to watch)
The holidays are upon us. In my house, Simone is particularly excited; we’re going to do a lot of baking together, and next weekend, we’ll string up our lights in our living room.
But the holidays are also a time that bring many of us into stress—to top all the stress that so many of us are feeling in the larger world.
As an early holiday gift and a sign of my thanks for you all for being in my life and for being part of my community, I want to share a short video to help you come back to your center and get through the season—or any time that is challenging for you.
I’ve found that one of the biggest stressors in our lives is the disconnection between mind and body.
This disconnection helps explain our nation’s current health problems, our sexual abuse epidemic, and our environmental crises, to name just a few things, and it affects us both as a society and as individuals.
We live in such a segregated, siloed way that there are very few practices that help us bring mind and body back together.
But when we bring meditation, yoga and writing together, we can begin to make connections again between the different parts of ourselves.
Click above or watch here: https://youtu.be/hL0liGYAGeQ
In this video, I offer a balancing meditation, some gentle yoga to awaken the spine, and a writing prompt. Done together, the practice invites you to listen to yourself, reconnect with your integrated self, and tap into your inner knowledge and creativity.
This is a nice, gentle practice that you can do every day.
I hope that you’ll enjoy the video and the practice. As you practice more, you’ll find the experience deepens.
The poem I read in the video, Guest House, by Rumi, translated by Colman Barks, is one I often use because it’s a good reminder to be present with whatever arises and to cultivate gratefulness. And every time I read it, it brings something else up for me.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
I’d love to hear any experiences you have with the practice. And of course, please share with any friends who may be interested.
The past weeks, I’ve been hearing from many clients, students and friends about the impact of the #metoo stories that for a while took over our newsfeeds.
Now the news has largely moved on. But we may not have moved on. Many of us are still processing, slightly thrown off our center, responding. Whether you were affected by the #metoo stories or not, this raises a larger question:
How do stories still live with us? How do we give them space to change us?
I want to offer some guidelines for how we can continue to process these #metoo stories and how we can deal with any other difficult stories in the future.
After a while, reading so many #metoo stories, I felt thrown off my own center, as if other people’s stories had entered my own body, and I was living in more stories than I had the capacity to handle.
I needed to step back and become more mindful of my media consumption.
Here are four tools that I find useful for listening/reading hard stories:
1) Ground: stay connected to your own body and breath as you read.
2) Don’t push away emotional reactions. Feel them. Feel them fully. The short form and fast pace of so much media often seems to preclude emotional response, but that we need to respond emotionally to process.
3) Take breaks. Step away and let the material settle before you read more. This is like shavasana in yoga practice. It’s in this period of deep relaxation that our body and mind are able to process, digest and incorporate the information we have taken in.
4) Reach out to others. We connect through stories, but sometimes we need to connect to more than just the page. Talk to friends, to family members. Be physically present with one another. Give each other a physical hug.
Our media makes it seem “easy” to share our story. But I know from personal experience it’s not.
The first times I told people—my husband and my much trusted therapist—I had been sexually abused, I had a panic attack.
I didn’t write about my own abuse story publicly for many years. I needed to take time to process the information through the safety of the private page first.
When I started to think about publishing and sharing my story, I worried about the different reactions I would get: I worried people would judge me differently. I worried I would be less respected, more victimized, more at risk.
AND at the same time, I also thought that I should just stop making such a big deal of it and just jump right in and share the story.
I needed to take my time and work with all of my contradictory responses. Now I know that all of my feelings around sharing or not sharing were normal. Our feelings around writing and sharing difficult experiences are complicated, contradictory, intense and take time to process.
If we know that about the process, it makes the process much easier; we don’t need the process to be other than it is.
Here are five tools that are helpful when we come to write our stories:
1) Expect the process of writing and sharing to be messy, complex and emotional. Don’t be surprised or blame yourself for the messiness of it.
2) Stay connected to your body and breath as you write,
3) Take breaks and be patient. Allow the process to unfold on its own timetable.
4) Keep the writing process and the publishing/sharing process distinct. You get to decide what and how much you want to share with others—and how and when.
5) Check in with friends and people you trust to support throughout and don’t be afraid to ask for emotional support.
Our stories are precious. They are also very complex. We need to honor them with space, respect and patience. Only then can the transformation power of story telling really come into being.
OPENING FOR CHANGE
We are used to being passive consumers of much of our media. We get up in the morning with a cup of coffee and read the paper. We scroll through our facebook feed when we wait in line. There is little expectation that we become responsible participants in our media consumption.
But each new story affects us, and each new story, ideally, has some impact not only on how we see the world, but also how we act in the world.
What if we consciously work to assume some responsibility for what we read? What if, for each thing we read, we ask ourselves a series of questions.
I suggest we ask these three questions in response to what we read:
1) How did what I read/hear affect me?
2) How did what I read/hear change some part of my vision of the world or of myself
3) How will I act differently as a result? What is even one very small way that I might do something different? It might simply be to remember, next time I talk to someone, that her/his story very likely was complex and challenging. Or it may be the decision to take a particular action as a result of my reading/listening.
In my own case, listening to the #metoo stories has had a number of effects: I reacted with pain and also with some hope on reading the stories. I sat down and written out a new #metoo story that I hadn’t ever really formulated before. I made a point of having some good conversations with my thirteen year old daughter and seventeen year old son that I probably wouldn’t have had this week or in exactly the same way had it not been for the stories I read.
Writing this piece makes me wonder if there is more I can do, from having more conversations with individuals to resisting the reactionary policies of DeVos to advocating again for an equal rights amendment.
We are the stories that we tell—individually and socially. The more we can embrace their real power, the more we have the capacity to make real change.
As always, I love to hear from you. And please share this with anyone who might find it helpful.
At the heart of my work is the belief that the stories we tell, about ourselves and about others, matter. They carry weight, and they have real world consequences.
As Trump pulls out of the Paris Agreement, what we see is one story competing, with enormous globe-changing consequences, with another story.
Trump tells a story about America First. He tells a story in which there are winners and losers, a story in which it is possible to roll back the clock to the past, a story in which “success” is measured by accumulating physical things and by economic gain.
But nothing more clearly shows the limit of that story than the global, environmental facts that now face us. These facts tell a different story:
They tell the story of a global reality in which we are all in this together, in which we are inter-dependent and one community’s or one nation’s wellbeing cannot be isolated. They tell a story in which the future is already upon us, in which the icecaps are already melting and in which our own human consciousness is already waking up to the global realities. Similarly, these facts tell a story in which success can no longer be tied to extractive practices of more and more physical things, because we live in a world with finite physical resources.
This second story offers us a new way to measure success: not in hoarding more things for a few, but in recognizing the inherent value of all life and the ways in which we all depend on one another, the very large and the very small, down to the bees and plankton, without which we could not survive.
This moment is a challenge to us all: to take charge of the narrative.
After all, we live by narrative. Narrative arranges how we make sense of our lives and how we organize our days and our societies.
In some indigenous communities in the amazon, for example, it was and still is considered heroic to give everything away and to share with others. Some communities structure their lives around a story of God. Some around stories of seasonal change.
In all our actions and in all our lives, we are living within narratives that have as their center certain assumptions about what matters and how we shape our lives.
I have seen in my work with clients and in the field of narrative medicine that if we don’t listen to and tell aligned stories about ourselves, we may get sick and not be able to heal.
The same is true of the stories we tell about the earth: if we don’t tell the correct story about it, we will all be in trouble.
We each have the power to tell the story that we believe in, the story that rings true for us. And we each have the power to find the places—on the state level, the city level, the local level, in our homes and in our hearts—where that story resonates and can find traction.
After all, stories are amazingly dynamic and democratic; though an authority figure may try to control them, stories can’t be controlled from the top down. We each have power over our own story.
And each of our own stories involves our relationship to the earth and to one another. So when we do this work of coming into our own truth, we do it not only for ourselves, but also for our collective narrative, for our values, and for the earth.
In these weeks and months and years ahead, it is all the more important that we come into our power to speak our truth and bring about real narrative shifts. Because action follows narrative.
As always, please reach out to me with your thoughts, questions, observations!
And check out my upcoming programs. On Friday June 16th, I’ll be leading a three hour workshop at Grub Street “Writing With Courage” where we’ll look at strategies authors use to speak their truth, often despite pressures to do otherwise, and where you’ll have the opportunity to strengthen your own courage and voice as a writer.
And if you’d like a deeply nourishing weekend of yoga, writing and meditation, please consider joining me at the Copper Beech Institute for a full weekend retreat August 18-20.
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with writing: we value writing; we want to do it more, but it also brings out our fears, frustrations, disappointments.
Over the next months, I’ll be writing a series of posts about how to approach your writing and your creativity with more openness, joy and freedom.
Today, I’m opening the series by addressing two common fears I’ve been hearing again and again from students and clients. Maybe you can relate to them:
These fears both have to do with not having control over your work.
It is true that you can’t control the reaction readers have to your work. But you can control when readers read your work and when readers don’t read your work. And that makes all the difference.
Get very clear on this: no one is going to read your work until you are ready for them to read it!
Many people’s private writing was read by a parent, friend, sibling or teacher as a child, casting a shadow over their writing life. But now you are an adult.
If you don’t want anyone to read your writing. make sure you keep it in a safe, secure and private place. This may seem obvious, but sometimes our unspoken fears limit us, and so instead of finding a safe and secure place for our writing, we don’t write. This is unfortunate!
If you like to write by hand and don’t want anyone to read your writing, put your writing in a locked drawer. If you don’t have a locked drawer, get one.
If you write on the computer, create a separate user account with a code that no one can access but you.
Take the time today to be sure that you feel that you have a secure place for your writing and that no one else will read it without your permission.
Once you have addressed the first fear, let’s turn to the second: your writing might hurt someone you love.
I get it. Generations of writers (usually male) have not seemed to give much thought to this question, and their writing often was deeply hurtful to family, friends, community members.
I applaud writers for thinking about the impact of their words.
But many writers today, especially women, let this fear of hurting others stop the writing process even before it begins. We don’t speak our own truth, we don’t even come to know our own truth, because we worry it might hurt others. Often we internalize others’ censorship of our truth. We can become mindful of this pattern and claim our truth first before we worry about its impact on others.
It’s important to remember that the writing process is not the same as the publishing process. Professional writers, as well as newbies, need to remember to keep the creative process and the publishing process separate. Our first, second and even third draft won’t be read by others unless you invite them to read it.
Before you are ready to publish, you can revise, a lot.
If you don’t want to hurt people in your life, you can also show a draft to the people you love and invite them to a discussion about it before you publish. These can be powerful conversations that develop greater trust and understanding.
Or, once you have come to write and realize your own truth, you might decide that the truth can speak for itself, and it is not your job to protect others from it.
But unless you are getting close to publication, this is something for the future and separate from the process of claiming your own truth and power and creativity for yourself and on the page.
Indeed, one of the great beauty of the page is that no one else is watching you. You get to use language to process thoughts, experiences, emotions, fears, rages, lusts. You get to explore, make mistakes, start over, without anyone judging you.
The page’s feelings can’t get hurt. The page can’t yell at you, judge your or decide no longer to be your friend.
So today, I invite you to look carefully at your own fears around writing.
If you can make the page your safe place, it can become your best friend; you get to establish deep trust with yourself.
This trust gives you enormous freedom: your writing process can go from being tortured to being joyful; old blocks might fall away.
You might even find that the things you were so worried about keeping private don’t need to be guarded so closely.
This week, I’ve been thinking again about transitions: how do we deal with change? How do we know when we’re ready for it? and how do we deal with it and incorporate it into our lives even if we’re not fully ready?
It’s April vacation for my family, and we’re touring some colleges with Gabriel. The first stop was Columbia, where I was doing my graduate work when Gabriel was born, so coming back and doing a tour was like going full circle.
At twenty-seven I was really excited to be a mom, but also not fully prepared for it. Motherhood made me rethink and re-orient myself to myself and to the world—it was a big and wonderful summersault. It was only after becoming a mother that I felt sure that I not only wanted to but needed to write: I needed to make sense of my own story, to put words to my own experiences. I moved to Cambridge the next year to work with Jorie Graham, a poet (and mother), whose work I loved.
Now 17 years later, I’m feeling similarly grateful to writing as a place to make sense of my story and of the shifts in identity that happen just by living in time. While Simone is still only in sixth grade (she turns 13 this summer—a teenager!), I’m very aware that I’m entering another chapter of my life—that we’re all moving towards new chapters.
The name of my online course is Align Your story, but in some ways that is misleading. We don’t have just one story. We have countless stories, and those stories continue to change. Aligning our story is work that we need to continue to do throughout our lives.
Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? The answers to these questions continue to morph.
Sometimes we think that we don’t have time for writing. But we are always living inside of stories. Sometimes those stories write us. We swim in them. We can’t always make sense of them.
But if we can get comfortable in them, we can have a different orientation to our own lives—and to the lives of others. And I believe that this process of getting comfortable is not just something that we do in writing—but something that we do with our whole mind, body and spirit.
We are always living in change—personal change, physical change, political change, global and environmental change. We are always living with forces bigger than ourselves.
When we try to makes sense of these changes only with our mind—and with our left brain, which wants to control—we may become more lost. But when we can allow ourselves to enter into the space of creativity, where change is always happening, when we can drop into our bodies and quiet our mind, we can access a greater freedom and vivacity.
I’ll be starting Align Your Story again on April 24th. I’d love for you to join me. It’s a ten week online course with reading, writing, lessons, yoga and meditation. There are weekly live optional conference calls and a private facebook group. You get plenty of support from me, but you can also go through at your own pace because once you enroll you have access to the course and community for life.
See more here: http://www.nadiacolburn.com/please-join-me.html
Here's what one person said about Align Your Story:
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that taking my first workshop with Nadia was a life- changing event. I had been struggling to get back into my writing, and stuck in some old challenging patterns that I couldn’t break out of. The yoga and writing workshop was the first way of breaking that pattern, and then Align Your Story was like going from making a drawing with colored pencils to oil painting.
Align Your Story was a much richer and more fulfilling experience, simply because there’s so many more resources and much more time. But taking the course didn’t just help me come back to my writing; it also restored a faith or belief that I hadn’t realized I’d lost—and that’s the belief in the possibility of transformation. I had had a lot of hard experiences in a really short period of time in my life. And I hadn’t recognized how those experiences had hardened me and even made me cynical about my own future. I felt like I was stuck and just spinning my wheels. I know that working with Nadia through Align Your Story has been instrumental in moving beyond that phase in my life. (Read more at http://www.nadiacolburn.com/praise.html) —Tyler P.