Rewrite an ending

Mary E Knippel,Author and 2 of her many journalsIt’s not simple to say that most days I don’t recognize me…

The phrase above come from a song called “She Used To Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles from the musical Waitress. She goes on to talk about never being attention’s sweet center and asking for a chance to start over and rewrite an ending or two.

Do you ever feel like this? That somehow living from day to day and surviving whatever life brings you, somewhere deep inside a part of you longs to be someone else. I know I have.

Living from day to day and surviving whatever life brings you, that somewhere deep inside a part of you longs to be someone else. I know I have.

For me, remembering where I’ve been is not as important as looking at where I’m going. Yes, our past influences our future. It doesn’t have to define it and you can rewrite an ending, or as I am so fond of saying, create your own happily ever after.

Now, I don’t have a magic formula to accomplish this task. I do AND you do have the skills, techniques, and materials to begin to create your own happily ever after.

What? How do I know you can do this for yourself?

No, I am not clairvoyant, a medium, or anything of that sort.

I am being myself. I embrace the extraordinary gift of being me. I invite you to embrace the extraordinary gift of being YOU.

The secret to my confidence in creating your own happily ever after is in keeping a journal.

I am fiercely committed to inspiration, compassion, and synchronicity. I sincerely believe everything happens for a reason. Although when you are experiencing something, you certainly do not know the lesson or significant impact you will eventually come to understand. It is my belief that when you have on-going conversations on paper with yourself that you will be inspired by your own wisdom, connect with your dreams in a meaningful way, and gain compassion for who you were and the person you are becoming.

I’d love to have a conversation with you about what I’ve shared with you today. Please hop over to my Facebook page to chat.

 

 

 

Free Family Fun Creativity Workshop at the San Mateo County Fair

It’s county fair time and an opportunity for some serious summer entertainment. When I was little, the merry-go-round was my kind of ride; one gentle speed going around in circles. My in-laws used to plan their trip around the Midway so they can ride the Ferris wheel at dusk to see the swirls of carnival lights. My daughter and my husband like roller coasters. Are you someone who goes to see the latest 4H exhibits, stop by to see the baby goats, pigs and rabbits, and the award winning animals. Or do you eat your way around the fair? Strolling from one deep fried food to the next. Tom Thumb doughnuts are my weakness. Whatever your indulgence, I’ve got a suggestion that won’t add calories to your fair experience and is guaranteed to deliver a refreshing experience.

On Wednesday, June 14, from 1-3 p.m. Coaxing Creativity and the Writer Unleashed/Creativity Muse (aka yours truly Mary E. Knippel) is facilitating a Coaxing Creativity Workshop. This is a free, a family-friendly event for ages 10 and up. (Kids, please tell you parents you want them to play with your!) This is a fun experience for the young and the young at heart. During the workshop, we’ll explore the secrets of keeping a journal and discover how combining bits of paper, glue, and magazine images create magic!

Join us Wednesday, June 14, 1-3 p.m. in the Expo Building by the Literary Arts Stage. I’ll bring the materials. You bring your imagination and a generous supply of enthusiasm.

Coaxing Creativity Workshop is part of a series of readings, presentations, workshops and special presentations during the San Mateo County Fair (www.sanmateocountyfair.com)  sponsored by the California Writers Club-Peninsula/San Francisco Branch (www.cwc-peninsula.org).

 

[Free training] Share Your Success Story

story hereWhat do you consider a success story? Money in the bank? Fancy car? Big house, pool & staff? Vacations to exotic places? Children attending private school? 

I had a conversation with a fellow writer recently about works-in-progress.  This business of writing poses challenges whether you are writing copy for your business, working on your first book, or want to commit your story to words for your family to hear. Regardless of the label or category (workbook, self-help, memoir, non-fiction, or novel…keep in mind that all fiction is based on fact in some form), you are writing about the journey called “life”‘ and how you’ve coped.

 These are Your Success Stories!  A truly unleashed description!

Everyone has a story to tell. Each and every one of us has a unique story belonging only to us. And no one else can tell your story from the inside out because not another soul in this world has had your experience. They do not have the ability to speak from your perspective.

Your voice matters. Your story matters. Your story matters because it is your story to tell. Remember…there is someone waiting to hear your story. Your personal story has universal impact. For example, you may quote a statistic such as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. When I share that I’ve received form letters telling me of an abnormal mammogram…twice…then it’s not about a statistic…it’s about a real vulnerable and passionate woman…it’s about me and it’s about you. Stories of cancer touch many, many lives and mine is just one. (I’m fine now and have been cancer free for over 10 years!) 

Who you are as an individual is your success story. How you treat people with respect and compassion is your success story. When you share your gifts and live your life on purpose that is your success story. 

Put your passion into words…about what you do and why you do it, who you serve and how you help them…what lights you up! Grab a journal write it down. Let the words flow on the page as your hand moves across the paper. Yes, I recommend doing it the old school way with pen and paper. Tapping on computer keys puts you in another part of your head. Take dictation from your heart about the message you want to share with the world.

Start the year out on a high note with your own Success Story! Over the years as a journalist, I’ve honed my interviewing skills. If you’d like help putting your story together, sign up for a complimentary discovery session today!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Free Training] Holiday ideas for joy filled new year

candleYour day-to-day schedule is jam-packed…now add the shopping, wrapping, mailing, and holiday gatherings on top of it all. You may feel as if you are burning the candle at both ends!

Apart from considering cloning yourself, how do you manage it all? Consider creating a sort of Holiday Bucket list of things that you want to have happen and things that you aspire to:

  1. Acknowledge the important people in your life with a hand-written note, a thoughtful gift, or better still, make plans to spend time together.
  2. Delegate…get the team/family involved in as much as you can. Share the tasks and let others take ownership of whatever task or activity of the season.
  3. Design a plan to achieve goals that have eluded you, and discard the ones that no longer serve you.
  4. Spend time indulging in old movies with lots of heart…this time of year they are running holiday movies  (I want to watch them all!).  It is so much fun to tune in and find a classic where a popular actor/actress is playing a bit part with youthful exuberance.
  5. What was your favorite treat as a kid? Savor sugar cookies made with real butter with lots and lots of sugar on top.
  6. Prescribe water therapy for yourself. Sink into a sweet smelling bubble bath. Try it by candlelight…pure bliss!
  7. Let your mind drift sitting in the sunshine with a cup of something delicious and nothing to do but feel the sun’s warmth on your face.
  8. Confide in your journal as a source of great stress relief strategy. 
  9. Skim through travel brochures and imagine living in another part of the world. Not just visiting for a temporary taste of life there, but spending months at a time to become part of the community and really develop a rhythm of life there. (The power of visualization may lead to actualization!)
  10. Create a collage (Vision/Dream Board) to represent what want your life to be like next year.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

She used to be me…

Mary E Knippel,Author and 2 of her many journalsIt’s not simple to say that most days I don’t recognize me…

The phrase above come from a song called “She Used To Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles from the musical Waitress. She goes on to talk about never being attention’s sweet center and asking for a chance to start over and rewrite an ending or two.

Do you ever feel like this? That somehow living from day to day and surviving whatever life brings you, somewhere deep inside a part of you longed to be someone else. I know I have.

For me, remembering where I’ve been is not as important as looking at where I’m going. Yes, our past influences our future. It doesn’t have to define it and you can rewrite an ending, or as I am so fond of saying, create your own happily ever after.

Now, I don’t have a magic formula to accomplish this task. I do AND you do have the skills, techniques and materials to begin to create your own happily ever after.

What? How do I know you can do this for yourself?

No, I am not clairvoyant, a medium, or anything of that sort.

I am just me. I embrace the extraordinary gift of being me. I invite you to embrace the extraordinary gift of being YOU.

The secret to my confidence in creating your own happily ever after is in keeping a JOURNAL.

I am fiercely committed to inspiration, connection and compassion. It is my belief that when you have on-going conversations on paper with yourself that you will be inspired by your own wisdom, connect with your dreams in a meaningful way, and gain compassion for who you were and the person you are becoming.

I’d love to have a conversation with you about what I’ve shared with you today. Please hop over to my Facebook page to chat.

 

 

 

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Your Love Bucket List

 

Love Bucket List from the Writer Unleashed

Love Bucket List from the Writer Unleashed

You’ve heard of the Bucket list…well here’s a new twist…a Love Bucket List! 

 List the of ways you can lavish nurturing on yourself. Self-care is self-aware and no matter what your inner critic tries to tell you, it is not selfish to spend quality time with yourself. Think about the proper maintenance of your car. Would you attempt to go on any kind of trip, the grocery store or across the Golden Gate Bridge, if you didn’t know that you had enough gas and the engine was functioning properly because you had the oil changed etc. If you start driving along and continuously ignore the check engine light on your dashboard, you know you are asking for trouble down the road…literally. Maintaining your body/mind/spirit connection is equally as important.

Don’t wait until you have a health crisis to take care of yourself! 

Self-care is being aware of how you are balancing everything in your life. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. luxuriate in a bubble bath
  2. take a walk in Nature
  3. buy yourself a bunch of flowers
  4. have tea somewhere new
  5. visit a garden center
  6. explore a craft store
  7. stop and smell the roses
  8. take in a museum and just wander
  9. schedule a field trip to an art supply store
  10. experience texture at a fabric store
  11. give yourself a foot massage
  12. nap in the middle of the day
  13. do some yoga moves
  14. read for pleasure
  15. light a candle and meditate
  16. play with paint, stamps or fun papers
  17. catch a movie on the big screen
  18. work up a sweat exercising
  19. get a new hair cut
  20. write in your journal
  21. invite your inner child to create a dream board
  22. eat chocolate
  23. ride the merry-go-round
  24. give yourself a hug and a pat on the back
  25. listen to inspirational music/books
  26. dance
  27. savor your favorite ice cream treat

Now…go write your own Love Bucket List! And please share your ideas on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear how you nurture YOU!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

A quick question…

question normalQuick question for you…

Which of these describes your usual morning routine?

1. Did the morning begin with a gradual awareness because your internal alarm clock started you stirring minutes before the mechanical (or human) alarm signaled it was time to get up?

2. Did you hear the alarm, immediately hit the snooze button – once, twice, perhaps three times – while covering your head with the pillow?

3. Or, did you awake refreshed, stretched leisurely, spent a few minutes visualizing the day’s activities, then jump out of bed eager to start your day?

I know all of those mornings.

On the days when I am well rested, I have no trouble moving from my cozy nest of warm covers to the daily routine of my writing ritual of tea, journal, inspirational reading and meditation before I shower and check in at the “office,” AKA – turning on my computer.

The days when I have not had enough sleep, I hit the snooze at least once, tell myself it doesn’t matter if I write in my journal every day, and who would notice if I answered those e-mails today or tomorrow?

Does that sound familiar?
Yes, I know you are nodding your head in agreement.
What can be done about this dilemma?

Anxious thoughts make sleep difficult and cause you to wake up during the night. A racing mind fueled by anxiety is not easily turned off.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Disorders, 65% of Americans lose sleep due to stress

The stories we tell ourselves do matter.
YOU can do something about the stress in your life.
Change your story and you’ll change your life. By story, I mean the chatter in your head. The rationalization, the reasons, or the blah, blah, blah (you fill in the appropriate “the dog ate my homework” phrase).
I’ve changed my story many times.
  • Coping with my two breast cancer experiences and sharing my strategies with you.
  • Overcoming the challenges of uprooting our family and moving across the country – twice – because of my husband’s new jobs. Learning how strong and resilient I am – and helping you realize that YOU ARE TOO.
  • Discovering the power of tapping into my creativity and how it has made a difference in my healing process and passing those tips along to you.

I know it is next to impossible to eliminate all stress in your life. However, here are a few suggestions to help you at least get quality time with your pillow:

1. Put away your “to do” list and give yourself permission to go to bed.

2. Go to bed by 9 p.m. at least once a week with the intention of doing a relaxing activity…no channel surfing or video games. 

3. Create a sleep ritual. An evening routine before bed (bubble bath, meditation, inspirational reading) signals your body to settle down for the night.

4. Keep regular hours. Going to bed around the same time each night and waking up close to the same time each morning (and that even includes weekends) keeps your biological clock in check.

5. Sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room and invest in not only a supportive mattress, but also comfy sheets, blankets and pillows.

6. Regular exercise can help relieve daily tension and stress, but experiment to see if gentle exercise before bed relaxes or stimulates you. Some people love to have their work out in the evening, others need to do it in the morning to kick start their day.

7. Before you go to bed, create a routine to put the day behind you and prepare for the next. Perhaps write down five things that you are grateful for from the day. Below your gratitude list, write a sentence or two about something you are looking forward to tomorrow. Set the scene for tomorrow and go to sleep with positive, up-beat thoughts.

The stories we tell ourselves do matter. They matter a great deal!

Unleash Your Authentic Self! – Go to my online calendar to set up your complimentary 20-minute Discovery Session appointment.

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Look what’s blooming in your life!

Are you blooming?

Are you blooming?

Blooming? Last week I’m talking about baking and this week I’m asking about blooming…does this mean I want you in the kitchen or in the garden? Well, maybe. 

They both center on you diving in to explore your creativity.

What I invite you to focus on is blooming…as in flourishing…prospering…thriving…opening…growing.

Flourishing – are you doing well? Have you discovered what you love to do and finding that when you share your gifts with others they flourish as well?

Prospering – are you fortunate in your abundance of relationships, knowledge, expertise, human empathy? Are you jumping out of bed in the morning to greet the day and all of what it holds in store for you, or do you pull the covers over your head and groan because you are already overwhelmed with what the day holds for you?

Thriving –  are you successful in body mind and spirit… the state of your well-being is in alignment…you are moving forward daily with a positive attitude in body, mind and spirit?

Opening – have you witnessed an awakening? An awareness of another way of thinking and opened yourself up to new experiences? Let yourself step over your limiting beliefs and enter into what is beyond your known into the great unknown. Start to take note in your journal where you step over that invisible line and the results of that action.

Growing – are you stretching beyond your comfort zone…expanding your limitations. When was the last time you chose something outside the box of your usual behavior?

Also, I love the English slang version where “blooming” means that you are brave, a little cheeky and perhaps even outrageous. Now, that’s the kind of blooming I really want to be associated with. Outrageous in growing out of my boundaries and opening into a new way of thinking. I want to thrive at being the best I can be and encouraging you to be your best YOU!

So I ask you…Hop over to my Facebook page and share…What’s blooming in your life?

photo by:  MEKnippel

[Free training] Writing without writing…

 

Gratitude journal by mary.e.knippelHere’s an idea to encourage writing without actually doing any writing…Intrigued? Sometimes you have to keep your hands busy so that your head will stop spinning those “what if” scenarios and your heart can catch up with what you are really feeling. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just need to have a task to do that involves a practical result, a dash of intuition and generous dose of creativity. In other words…here’s a perfect mixture of play with purpose when want a little down time (you can do this in a half hour to an hour) without guilt or drama.

I’m sharing this in honor of National Craft Month. Its a simple and useful craft – collage a cover on a small journal. No special equipment or tools necessary. You have everything you need without fussing with exotic supplies or detailed instructions:

  • start with a notebook (any size will do…you probably have one hiding in your desk drawer)
  • collect bits of interesting paper (junk mail, magazines, gift wrap, copy a favorite picture – add a bit of whimsy with a rubber stamp if you have some hanging around your desk drawer)
  • tear pictures from the magazines, line up the gift wrap in a design, use the junk mail to create a short poem or slogan
  • arrange the bits of paper to be pleasing to your eye
  • attach the paper to the notebook cover with a glue stick and your creation is complete
  • Bonus:  Combine the embellished journal in a pretty gift pouch along with a small pen and you have a thoughtful token ready for any number of occasions.

Photo credit:  MEKnippel  (yes, that is one of my hand-embellished journals)

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] What’s your HERstory?

March is Women’s History Month! Celebrate your story…let’s hear your HERstory. Your story does not revolve around waiting for someone to rescue you. You are figuring it out for yourself. You are writing your own happily ever after.

Sit down with your journal and write something you’ve been meaning to write about for ages but just never got around to do it. Or, spend some time writing about that incident you’ve been puzzling over.

The pages of your journal reveal who you were, who you are and who you are becoming. Journaling will help you dive deep into what makes you extraordinary. Help you discover how sharing your uniqueness is the key to finding your niche. And when you show up as your authentic self, you make it easy for your ideal clients to connect with you.

So grab a fast-writing pen and open your notebook…write about whatever you feel like – just make sure you are the central character and don’t skimp on the details. Did you get up the nerve to sign up for those tango lessons? Did you fill out the application for the certification you need to advance in your field? Did you take that long anticipated exotic vacation? Did you actually take some down time after promising to do it for so, so long? Did you finally run a marathon?

Let’s hear about it on the pages of your journal. Relive the event with every delicious taste, lilting sound, or drip of perspiration you experienced. 

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Free Training] Some writing advice…

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-woman-writing-her-diary-secret-image33942382Writing in a journal is great advice for anyone…in my opinion it is an especially good idea for those who think of themselves as non-writers!

Writing is another connection to working on our inner life and outer relationships. I can remember trying to find safe places to hide my journal as an 11-year-old pre-teen from my 13-year-old brother. Writing in my journal as an adult has helped me to:
  • cope with the frustrations of infertility
  • calm my anxieties as a 30-year-old college freshman
  • record my joy at the adoption of our daughter and receiving my B.A. degree
  • witness my grief at the loss of my father and brother
  • hold all of my fears and questions during both my breast cancer episodes

My journal is a safe place to vent and a trusted friend who always keeps my confidences. To that end, I share these thoughts about writing with you and invite you to explore writing for just 15-minutes a day.

The word journal comes from a French word meaning “day.” A journal is a record for yourself, about yourself. It is a daily 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:  a sounding board, a collector’s cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue, a letter to yourself, a laboratory, a jewelry box, a treasury, or a 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, capture ideas, and perhaps stash parts of newspaper or magazine articles you find interesting. A journal is not meant for publication…although blog posts, articles and books have started within journal pages. 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
  • Create and chase your dreams
  • Open your heart and mind

What will you journal about today?

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Free training] Your Success Story

story hereWhat do you consider a success story? Money in the bank? Fancy car? Big house, pool & staff? Vacations to exotic places? Children attending private school? 

I had a conversation with a fellow writer recently about works-in-progress.  This business of writing poses challenges whether you are writing copy for your business, working on your first book, or want to commit your story to words for your family to hear. Regardless of the label or category (workbook, self-help, memoir, non-fiction, or novel…keep in mind that all fiction is based on fact in some form), you are writing about the journey called “life”‘ and how you’ve coped.

 These are Your Success Stories!  A truly unleashed description!

Everyone has a story to tell. Each and every one of us has a unique story belonging only to us. And no one else can tell your story from the inside out because not another soul in this world has had your experience. They do not have the ability to speak from your perspective.

Your voice matters. Your story matters. Your story matters because it is your story to tell. Remember…there is someone waiting to hear your story. Your personal story has universal impact. For example, you may quote a statistic such as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. When I share that I’ve received form letters telling me of an abnormal mammogram…twice…then it’s not about a statistic…it’s about a real vulnerable and passionate woman…it’s about me and it’s about you. Stories of cancer touch many, many lives and mine is just one. (I’m fine now and have been cancer free for over 10 years!) 

Who you are as an individual is your success story. How you treat people with respect and compassion is your success story. When you share your gifts and live your life on purpose that is your success story. 

Put your passion into words…about what you do and why you do it, who you serve and how you help them…what lights you up! Grab a journal write it down. Let the words flow on the page as your hand moves across the paper. Yes, I recommend doing it the old school way with pen and paper. Tapping on computer keys puts you in another part of your head. Take dictation from your heart about the message you want to share with the world.

Start the year out on a high note with your own Success Story! Over the years as a journalist, I’ve honed my interviewing skills. If you’d like help putting your story together, sign up for a complimentary discovery session today!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com