Wednesday, December 30, 2015

WATCH: Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

I love how Lisa outlines how humans are wired for story. She reminds us that every society on Earth has story. "We think in story because story provides a context for the facts so we can make sense of them." We live our own stories but we also can learn through life via story. 

She says story is a super power. Because we love them so much, we don't see their true power and potential but they truly are what helps us survive and thrive.

Watch and think about how stories have impacted your life. Think of just how powerful story is. And ask yourself how might telling your own story help others. But not just any story - what is that story deep within you - the raw, true story that might be hard to tell, but that others might connect and learn from. 

Sometimes we overlook the power of story. Don't overlook the power of your story. 
Your story is worth exploring. It's worthy of being set free.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

JOIN: Celebrate This Week - Two Months of Baby Steps

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

I can't believe December is coming to an end...and 2015 as well. Two months ago I launched Story Exploratory and I've made baby steps since then towards bringing it to life. But in my heart, it feels like giant leaps, big, bouncy skips through a dandelion field because this work is so close to my heart.

This December I joined Linda Urban and her Write Daily 30. I've been writing (almost) everyday. My goal was to put in 20 minutes of drafting my middle grade novel every single day. I did a pretty good job except for the week before winter break when I barely managed to eek through the week in general. I doubled the number of pages I already had and added over 9,000 words. That feels pretty awesome. 

It's not actually a lot but eventually all those words will add up to be a whole book. And that feels phenomenal.

On December 12th, I held the first Story Exploratory workshop - Setting Your Story Free. We met at a local coffee shop on a brisk Saturday morning and I took brave story explorers through a series of activities to help them find the story they need to tell right now in their lives and to help them brainstorm how to take steps towards telling that story. It was an emotional few hours but I left feeling empowered after talking with people who were so honest and introspective when it came to writing and their lives. 

It was only a few hours but it was the first Story Exploratory workshops and I'm planning more for 2016. And that feels exhilarating.

This months marks two months of Story Exploratory fun and one month of having our puppy Perdita in our family. Through yoga, I found how to calm my thoughts. By writing, I found how to be mindful of my thoughts and how to propel myself forward by listening to everything going on in my head. From spending time with Perdi, I've learned how to slow down and be in the moment. She loves to sit at the end of our driveway and take note of everything going on in the culdesac. I've come to love just standing there and soaking up the moment. It's helped me be more mindful in other areas of my life. 

It's all these small additions to my life in this short time that have helped me know that all the energy I put into Story Exploratory are worth it. I have a story to tell and part of my story is inspiring others to find their stories. And that feels wonderful. 

Celebrate with me! 
What do you have to celebrate from this week? 
This month? This year? I would love to hear about it!

Friday, December 4, 2015

WRITE: We Are Here!

What does the number 7,000,000,000 mean to you?

There are over seven billion people on this planet and you are one of them. 
That’s a whole lot of people!

What about the number 400,000,000,000,000?

Scientists have figured out that the odds of you being born are 1 in 400 trillion.
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When I see these numbers, I want to cheer, “We are here! We are here!” like the Who’s on the little speck in Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who. We should be celebrating life, celebrating that we are here, celebrating this chance to live and make a difference. We don’t need a special occasion to celebrate life, life is a special occasion.
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Every Saturday, my friend Ruth Ayres, hosts a Celebrate link up at her blog. Everyone is invited to share celebrations of the week. Sometimes I have something big to celebrate, sometimes I have a little thing to celebrate. Sometimes I have one thing to celebrate and other times it’s a handful of things. I love the sentiment of this meme because it helps remind me that I do have a lot to celebrate. Even if I’m feeling cranky, frustrated, tired or overwhelmed, I still have something to celebrate. I love reading what other people are celebrating as well. I discovered the picture above while reading a Celebrate blog post by Jaana at Janna’s Writing Blog.

Let's Write! Explore your thoughts about what you consider a special occasion. Does a special occasion truly have to only be something momentous and earth-shattering? What are some special occasions we might take for granted or overlook? How might writing be a way to celebrate a large or small moment?

You are a special occasion. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WATCH: Street Art With a Message of Hope and Peace by El Seed

Over the years, I've encountered so many different types of people in my work. I've learned to recognize each person's strengths and to appreciate them for what they bring to our interaction. Sometimes it takes longer to get to the heart of a person - what their passions and values and beliefs are - what guides them and the decisions they make. But I believe in finding the best in everyone. I believe we all have a story inside of us that makes us who we are.

And I believe we all need to live our story. 

El Seed talks about his work and how he's spreading a message and hoping to impact the world through his art. He calls is a blend of calligraphy and graffiti. I call it stunning.

Watch and reflect on how you are sharing your message with the world. What are some ways you might help others see your message? How might sharing your message make a positive impact on you? On others?

Watch and think about how El Seed responded to the man who was upset about his artwork. He initially wanted to write a message that said, "In your face," but instead he wrote, "Open your heart." How might you help yourself take time to pause before reacting to someone? How might taking time to think help you be more thoughtful in how you respond?

Thanks for opening your heart and exploring your story with me!
I'm glad you are here.