[Coaxing Creativity Tip] How will you leap?

Monday, isn’t just an ordinary day. It’s a bonus day. February 29, 2016 Leap Year. The “leap day” of 29 February exists for purely astronomical reasons, but let’s talk about how to use the time to your advantage.

Now I ask you…How will you leap?

This is a special day which only occurs every four years. Don’t waste that extra time and take advantage of the luxury of an additional 24 hours.

What will you do to mark the occasion?

Is this the year you turn a significant number on your birthday? Spend some time reflecting on where you have been, what has happened in your life, all the shifts that have occurred, about dreams delayed, deferred or denied. Decide to make a new dream come true. Then take out the calendar and map out a strategy to make that dream a reality. Plan a celebration to mark the occasion. Have you always wanted to travel, publish, paint, or (you fill in the blank)?

Stuck and need a little help getting started? Grab your journal and ask at the top of the page – what am I dreaming about doing and haven’t shared it out loud? Write in your journal about how you will accomplish that goal. Be creative. Be bold. Be willing to leap!

Hop…umm…or you could skip, jump, leap, stroll, or rock’n’roll…to my Facebook page to share what you are doing to jump into 2016 and what you will do in honor of Leap Year in 2016!

What are your 2016 dreams?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image871073Dream a little dream with me and decide how you want to design a brand new future for yourself in 2016!

January offers us all a new beginning and an opportunity to start over. That’s why so many of us, approximately 40%,  spend Dec. 31 writing resolutions. 

  • 34% of us set resolutions related to money
  • 38% of us set resolutions related to weight
  • 47% want to do something geared toward self-improvement or education
  • 31% of us set resolutions related to relationships

Are any of these topics on your list?

How confident are you feeling about making the journey from resolution to reality?

Are you ready to do something about that dream to…

  • get the education you need to pursue your heart’s desire
  • start that new business
  • enter that marathon
  • launch your website
  • write that book
  • develop a lasting relationship
  • save for that dream…vacation, home, car, boat, horse

You don’t have to go it alone. Join a professional organization, or start one. Research your mentors to observe how they surround themselves with a team. If you’d like to brainstorm with me, schedule a complimentary time to talk.

In fact, human nature suggests that when we share out loud our hopes and dreams we are much more likely to achieve our goals. And people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

Little Mary

Little Mary photographed by E..A.Overland

As a child, I didn’t see myself living beyond 100 miles of where I was growing up. Today my dreams have taken me half way around the world writing, speaking and living in joy!

Hop over to my Facebook page and share where your dreams take you.




graphics photo credit:  Dreamstime.com


How ya’ doing in 2016?

Dancing Girls Mary & Tess

Ready to take the stage, Mary E Knippel and daughter


Has your enthusiasm disappeared for a brand new YOU in 2016 as easily as the confetti was swept up from ushering in the new year?

Are you feeling that your goals for 2016 are looking really big and unachievable? 

Are you wising you hadn’t said out loud that you wanted to learn a new skill, overcome a phobia, or kick a habit? I’ll tell you a secret…it’s a good thing when you say your dreams and desires out loud! 

A brand new year! I’m feeling goose bumps and chills and it’s not residual from the bubbles I enjoyed on New Year’s Eve–it’s excitement about all the glorious possibilities next year holds. Just think of it, each morning a chance to create something brand new–a brand new YOU! 

Long ago, when my prize possessions were a pair of white go-go boots and my transistor radio, I wrote a high school paper about what I wanted to do with my life. My career choices included: dancer, actress and secretary. Although I lived in a small town and my formal training had consisted of Square Dance lessons in the 6th grade, I loved moving to music and thought it would be a wonderful way to spend my life. Of course, it was ridiculous for anyone to consider my acting dream with any confidence as I was always seen as the shy, quiet one. The fact that I’d managed to land a part in the senior class play, and pulled it off, was brushed aside as just a fluke.

A secretary was the most likely path for someone who had no particular “realistic” ambitions. All my journals and my humor column for the Adams Tiger Tales did not qualify me as any serious writer. I enrolled at the local Junior College to earn a One Year Secretarial Certificate, got a job in the Credit Department of the “company” in our company town, and resigned to live my life. Along the way I got married, started a family, got a college degree, moved across the country–twice–and survived emotional and physical challenges.

My skills as a secretary have served me well in earning a living and allowing me time to follow my heart. I pursued dance lessons as an adult and thoroughly enjoyed them. I performed in a couple of recitals; including one with my 3-year-old daughter! I performed in several productions of the local Community Theatre and had the time of my life. All the while I was writing as a volunteer for my church as well as parenting newsletters and writing in my journal. When I reflect on where I am now, I am amazed at the synchronicity of it all and grateful that I have been blessed with everything I ever asked for — and more!

I am living my dream as Your Writing Mentor, I mentor reluctant writers to share their stories, I move gracefully and confidently across stages, and empower other women to speak up to let their voices be heard in the world.

My wish for you in 2016 is that you realize your childhood wonder in every joyous new day to come…


[Free training] One action can change your life…

Mary's first journal

Mary’s first journal

One action can change your life…

Keeping a Journal is saving a life…

possibly your own!  

Writing is another connection to working on your inner life and outer relationships. To that end, I share these thoughts about writing with you and invite you to explore writing as a tool for healing your body, your mind, and expanding your business.

These are my writing truths:
  • A Writer is someone who writes.
  • Everyone has their own unique voice.
  • Everyone is born with their own brand of creative genius.

The word journal comes from a French word meaning “day.” A journal is a record for you, about you. It is a record of a writer’s thoughts on various topics. Journal writing is a creative, empowering path to self-discovery and change.   A journal may be many things:  sounding board, collector’s cabinet, snapshot album, history, travelogue, letter to yourself, laboratory, jewelry box, treasury, or dream-catcher. It is a record, an entry book that is kept regularly, but not necessarily every day. A journal is not “Dear Diary.” Nor is it only a record of your day-to-day life. It is a chance to keep track of your thoughts, record information, keep ideas, and perhaps keep parts of newspaper or magazine articles you find interesting. A journal is not meant for publication. However, it it is often where anything from blog posts, articles…entire books begin…or a business plan starts to take root and bloom. Many people have discovered a trusted and valued friend in their journal.

By writing in a journal you will be better able to: 

  • Communicate with yourself and others
  • Ask for what you want
  • Retain clear thinking
  • Articulate thoughts
  • Express yourself clearly
  • Express your feelings
  • Translate your thoughts to paper
  • Get your point across
  • Become a better listener
  • Increase negotiation skills
  • Offer constructive criticism
  • Open your heart and mind
  • Create and chase your dreams

I began writing in my journal at age 11 and haven’t stopped. I vividly remember hiding it from my older brother so that he wouldn’t read the poems I copied out of books, or who I had a crush on that week. My first by-line was as the Humor Editor for the Adams High School Tiger Tales. I was sure I was in training to be the next Erma Bombeck.

Journaling changed my life…what is one action that has changed your life? Please hop over to my Facebook page and share that action with me.

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Falling forward naturally…

Young Woman Standing Under Falling Leaves

Are you falling forward naturally?

“…Let us draw a lesson from nature, which always works by short ways. When the fruit is ripe, it falls. When the fruit is despatched, the leaf falls. The circuit of the waters is mere falling. The walking of man and all animals is a falling forward. All our manual labor and works of strength, as prying, splitting, digging, rowing, and so forth, are done by dint of continual falling, and the globe, earth, moon, comet, sun, star, fall for ever and ever…” 

From Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essay 4 

Let’s take a lesson from nature and Mr. Emerson to simply accept the fact that we as humans will always be in a state of falling. It is an easy posture for us to be in to look back on where we have been…the mistakes that stopped us in the pursuit of our goals…the disappointments and hurts. Why not be grateful that we’ve had the chance to go after our dreams? Pick ourselves up and use the lessons we’ve learned to create a new plan. Move on one step at a time, one dream at a time, and build on the information we’ve gained and the knowledge we’ve acquired from the school of life.

Decide to keep your eyes on the horizon, and focus on falling forward into the future and not back into the past. 

Fall is a time of new beginnings…starting back to school…starting to harvest the crops…starting another quarter in the business world. 

What are you starting? 

Please share with me on my FB page how you will fall forward?


Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] To dream…wish your heart makes

Cinderella tells her little forest friends…

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re fast asleep…and that they should have faith…keep believing so that wish will come true.

Encourage your to Dreams!

Express the wish your heart makes out loud.

Embrace your creativity and extend a hand to reach for that dream!

Take time to let your mind wander in a daydream as you gaze into the clouds. Take a nap in the summer sun while you are digging your toes into the sand or the lake mud as the case may be. Give yourself permission to wish out loud for what is buried deep in your heart.

What are you guarding because it is too precious to you?

Are you afraid if you reach for your dream and express your heart’s desire out loud that you will be smacked with so much disapproval and skepticism your dream will die before it has a chance to take root and grow strong. 

A word of caution…guard your wishes from skeptics. Choose your support system wisely and share details of your dreams with those who will help you achieve your goals. If they are not physically in your life right now, write a letter to the Universe asking for what you need. Describe your Tribe and how they can support you.

More importantly, start being your own support system right now. Decide what one small thing you can do today to make your dream come true…and do it!

Reach for the stars! Reach out to find those sympathetic souls who will be the wind beneath your wings. 

[Free Training] Your heart holds your future…

Your future is in your own heart…physically, emotionally and professionally.

Are you heartsick because you know what it is you want to bring forth into the world and are struggling?

Physically…because, let’s face it, without a healthy heart no one can function at full capacity. Heart disease killed more than one in every four women last year; however, there is more than one way to suffer the dis-ease of being heartsick.  

Emotionally…because without a strong connection to our feelings, a key ingredient is lacking in everything do. As if you are living in a grey scale world instead of brilliant color.

Professionally…because if you don’t know your own heart and your dreams for the future, your business can’t move forward.

How do you unleash what is in your heart?

That’s easy. Start writing things down. Keep a notebook by your bed and record your dreams and/or solutions to problems you’ve unraveled while you were sleeping. Carry paper and pencil with you everywhere and jot down random thoughts, insights, inspirations, and flashes of brilliance. For those who are deeply attached to electronic devices, tap the mental downloads into your phone or computer. Or, use your smart phone’s  tape recorder and capture your ideas on the go.

How do your dreams become real?

Keep dreaming BIG, but start small. Breaking down what you want to accomplish into small chunks allows you to have immediate success. And what happens when you are successful? You have immediate gratification and are inspired to go on to the next step to reach that goal, then the next, another, and another, and so on. For example, you don’t call everyone in your phone book on the same day to invite them to your next event. You break it down into small bits; five to seven calls or devote half an hour to making calls at a specific time.

sunrise purple flowersHow do you know you can do this?

As part of my daily writing ritual, I also read inspirational material. Several years ago, I added a wonderful quote below to my collection.


Your haunting visions of a full life are real. They will come true. You can count on it. You can put your hope in it. You will not be disappointed. Why? Because God, who fashioned your dream, is the generator of your hope. –John Kerivan 

That quote helps me take the leap to do the next scary thing…whatever it is, be it writing an article, posting to my blog, attending a networking event, or showing up to do speaking engagement. Whatever your belief system, you must be emotionally engaged to share your passion for your business. That is where you find your drive to continue. That is the spark that allows you connect with others and draws them to you.

My vision is to support women to be able to embody their story…to unleash their impact on the world, and to be a resource as they rewrite their legacy.

That is what is in my heart.

Your future is in your own heart.

Are you listening?

What is your heart telling you?

Please hop over to my Facebook page and share what your heart is telling you.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com.





Reach out to an independent you…

Dreams and independence…

What do your dreams have to do with an independent you?


If you fail to dream about the things you want to do, you will end up never doing what you want to do.

And you won’t know what to pursue in order to achieve the kind of excitement and joy on this little girl’s face. Imagine having that kind of thrill upon launching into your day…every day! Imagine…approaching life with self-confidence and enthusiasm knowing you are the architect of your life!

How do you keep track of what you want to accomplish and how you will make things happen? What is your favorite method to capture everything from flights of fancy wondering how they positioned such a great car on a mountain peak to your  brilliant business plan, from what you’ll do next weekend to a fabulous vacation destination next year, or __________________ (you fill in the blank).

The first thing I do is make a list. Surprised? Of course, I’m going to suggest that you write it down. From the biggest dream to the smallest whisp of an idea, to achieve it…you first have to describe that dream. Plot it out with as much detail as you can so that it is as real as anything else in your life.

Writing it down is excellent advice.

But don’t take just my word for it. Here are some numbers to help you decide. Statistics from Tom Corley’s RichHabits.net blog revealed:

  • 67% of the wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for the poor  
  • 81% of the wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of the poor
  • 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal vs. 12% of the poor do this

Now…what about you? Let’s hear about those dreams of yours!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com


Here I am…from hiding to hallelujah!

Spring in bloom

Spring in bloom

April is a time of new beginnings and new growth of plants, animals and people.

Spring is also a beautiful time of spiritual reflection and many experience a personal resurrection during this season. I feel I’m coming out of a long winter of learning life’s lessons into a spring bursting with electricity, charged with enthusiasm and boundless energy. 

What does hiding have to do with rebirth and new beginnings? Well, this is what I’ve observed.

Not matter what era you were born, women have expectations drummed into them from the time they are in the womb. Growing up in the 50’s, I assumed I’d work until I got married, have babies and spend the rest of my life taking care of my husband, house and grandchildren. It didn’t quite work that way for me, nor has it turned out that way for many women…


http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-curious-housewife-cleaning-home-window-love-image29455477 http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-businesswoman-asking-expression-image13614360

Wives, Mothers and Caregivers…


Have you been hiding in the background and spending your whole life making sure that everyone else in your life basks in the glow of being the center of attention?  Have you been hiding by holding back for fear of rejection, ridicule or repercussions?
Have you been taking a backseat in your own life to allow others in your life to shine, while you defer to them…wait for your turn…acquiesce to what everyone else wants to do? Have you been hiding your true hopes, dreams and desires while encouraging others to pursue their passions?
Have you been hiding by telling yourself it doesn’t matter if you don’t get what you want as long as everyone else is happy (fill in the blank of who everyone else is: ______)? Have you been hiding your longing to break from the routine and assumptions?


Well, it does matter! And it’s time to stop hiding. It’s time to take center stage in your life, shine and be seen, unleash your voice, share your story, and lavish yourself with all the nurturing you have generously bestowed on others.

I am no longer hiding!

After years of  being afraid to show up as me, for fear of rejection, or that I wasn’t good enough, hiding took its toll on my body, mind and spirit. Our dreams and desires may be out of sight, but they do not stay hidden. They manifest in ways as small as an uneasy feeling, to the stress that leads to a cancer diagnosis.

I have weathered my dark night. I am an amazing human being because of those challenges and determined to claim my place in the world.

Hallelujah! Here I am!

Hop over to my Facebook page to let me know what you think about this hiding thing…is it serving you?

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com


What is your dream?

Dreaming with Mary E. Knippel.authorAs we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, let’s talk about his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech. I have to admit that as a 12-year-old Minnesota farm girl, I don’t remember much about what went on in Washington then, or the Deep South for that matter. Today, however, I do identify with the passion and courage that speech represents as a source of inspiration for a better life…a call for action…an invitation to make a difference. 

My dream is to help reluctant writers to polish their words so that they sparkle and shine and connect with those destined to hear them. First those reluctant writers, women who know they have a message to share with the world, must decide they will no longer be silent…to go from making dinner to making a difference.

It’s a scary thing to have a dream and feel so overwhelmed with the enormity of having to to do it alone.

The truth is we are never alone. Not really. Over and over, one individual has affected the lives of many…beginning with the God who instilled that dream in the first place!

Yes, making dinner does make a big difference to the people you are making it for. I do not deny the impact of relationships and being part of a “family.” I am asking you to consider what is the cost of your role? Are you keeping silent and deferring to whatever everyone else wants to do? Has it becomes part of the routine rather than the exception in your day-to-day? There is a difference between being someone who is agreeable and being invisible. Invisible people live in the shadows and learn to avoid confrontation by not speaking up for themselves.

Do you have a dream of your own? Pursuing that dream is crucial to your well-being… if you do not try; you deny a part of yourself.

It’s time to stand up for yourself and speak up to let your voice be heard…your opinion matters. Whether a woman works outside the home, or not…she is a homemaker. We are all homemakers in the sense the same way the little turtle carries her home on her back, we carry our “home” inside…it is our spirit…our heart…our emotional well-being.

You want to know that you matter…what you do matters…your voice matters…and your story matters. There are all kinds of ways to make a difference in your lifetime.

How are you speaking up for yourself and making a difference?


photo credit:  Dreamstime.com



[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] 2015 here I come…


Five-Minute Writing Prompt from Mary E. Knippel, author

2015 Here I Come…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period of time.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – 2015 Here I Come… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and/or fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Birthday wishes for You to be YOU!

Little Mary

Award winning photograph of Mary E. Knippel – Photographer: E.A.Overland

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr. Seuss

Although I won’t be blowing out any birthday candles this year (don’t want Smokey the Bear to get upset), however, I do have birthday wishes for You!

Counting all my blessings and feeling very, very grateful, I wanted to share my good fortune with everyone near and dear to me along with anyone who is reading this web message to the universe. I feel so fortunate to be living at this amazing time in the world. 

I feel fortunate to be living at this incredible time because I’m being prepared right this minute to share my unique message with the world. The message only I can deliver because no one else has my perspective. No one else can talk about what my breast cancer diagnosis did to my world and what I did to recover from that blow. And how you too can benefit from my coping strategies. 

Opportunities are open to anyone who wants to go after their dreams. The catch is that there has to be a willingness to work for along with the wanting to go after your dreams. I’m passionate about serving those who need me…to help them unleash their voice, claim their message, leverage their impact through writing… to deliver a great presentation…a thoughtful, well-crafted, informative, and meaningful presentation…to make a connection…and build relationships.

What is a dream that you are wanting to and willing to work for? What do you have to do to become the person who is truer than true and Youer than YOU?

Do you have one? Or can’t you decide on which one to commit to going after right now?

My birthday wish for you is that you not wait another minute to follow your dream. Your life happens in an instant. Don’t hesitate…grab for your dreams NOW!

Hop over to my Facebook page and share your dream with me.