[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Go get ’em squeezed…

October is not only a month for pumpkins, ghosts, goblins and pretty fall colors, it is also breast cancer awareness month. A subject many of us are very familiar with. One in eight women will be diagnosed with this disease in her lifetime. And all of us are touched by it because I’m willing to bet that someone you know…maybe even someone you love…perhaps you yourself…has been diagnosed. 

Embracing creativity as a healing tool helped me on my wellness journey and I’m sure it can do the same for you. 

I’m being playful talking about showing your love by getting them squeezed, but I’m not kidding around. An important part of self-care is preventive measures. I know it is uncomfortable to get a mammogram. Believe me, I know. I’ve been squeezed and pulled more times than I care to remember.

The benefits, however, far outweigh the barrage of excuses women may come up with to avoid this appointment: 

  • I don’t have time (how can you not have the time to do something that has the potential to change your life)
  • I’m not old enough
  • I’m too old
  • I don’t have any symptoms (that’s great!)
  • It sounds painful, my insurance won’t cover it because it’s preventative
  • My insurance only allows it with a doctor’s order
  • I’m afraid if I go they’ll find something so I’d rather not know

Whether you are a small business owner feeling the pressure and stress of fulfilling high-quality product orders, delivering outstanding services, or a CEO Mom performing her transportation and requisition duties in between dentist appointments and soccer practice, taking the time to take care of yourself must be at the top of your To Do list.

Please, schedule that mammogram! Your life depends on it!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Open Your Heart

flower heartMay you be at peace,

May your heart remain open,

May you awaken to the light of

your own true nature,

May you be healed,

May you be a source of healing for all beings.

Today’s tip is actually part of a meditation by Dr. Joan Borysenko, a noted author and lecturer who brings spirit, science, medicine and psychology together in the service of healing. While February is the month with lots of talk about love, being in love and acts of love, these beautiful words  speak to the true spirit of love.

Now, how do you go about awakening to the light of your own true nature?

I suggest you grab your journal, copy the meditation at the top of the page, and then write what comes to you. Making a list of all the self-nurturing options you already indulge in to be at peace…what about exploring something new on your healing quest?

What does it look like to be a source of healings for all beings? While you may not have a certification to dispense medical advice, you do have the capability to be compassionate to everyone you encounter in your life. Showing you care about others with a smile, a nod of recognition, or exchanging of small talk about the weather. You have the ability to make a difference in the life of others.

 Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Loving…

dreamstime_xs_7211296When was the first time you were aware of the emotion in connection to a specific person, a place, or a thing? The very first time your heart fluttered? The first time you wanted to rush to be close to them. The first time you focused all your attention and lavished your affection in one specific direction.

Love in it’s purest form.

Was it your teacher? A pet? A character in a book? A sport? An activity? The latest technology gadget/game?

What about your first crush as an adolescent when you just had to send them a valentine and desperately hoped you’d receive one in return? You risked making the first move because you wanted to get their attention. Think back to your rush of anticipation when you examined the valentines you received on those occasions.  Were you thrilled to receive the sweet, pretty sentiments and didn’t trouble yourself with who sent what? Or, did you keep score to see if you received as many valentines as you had distributed.

How is your life on the passion scale today?

This is your life, not a competition to see who receives the most valentines.

On a daily basis does your heart flutter at the thought of jumping out of bed in the morning to do what you love? Are you able to share your gifts, impart your wisdom, lavish your compassion, and connect with those who would benefit from your expertise? Do you hesitate to speak up about what you love to do because you are afraid how you will be received? Let’s take writing and sharing your message as an example.

Sometimes writing can feel like sending out those valentines.

You have to risk making the first move…sharing what you write…in order to get their attention. You hope to receive some sort of response or sign that your writing has been understood. Whether you get a response or not, you have made the important first move to share your message with the world.

You have to take the risk of speaking up because if you don’t, you will remain unheard and your message will remain undelivered.

What are you passionate about? How do you show it and how do you share it?

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] I believe in you…

 

Mary "Writer Unleashed" Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

Mary “Writer Unleashed” Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

Have you ever received a note of encouragement in the mail at the exact moment you needed to hear positive words?

You have the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth…Oh, I believe in you. I believe in you. Lyrics from the musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

 For many years I have attended a women’s retreat in Northern California. On the final morning of our retreat, our beloved workshop leader passes out envelopes and 3 x 5 index cards. We are then invited to follow a set of simple instructions:  address the envelope to yourself, write something on the 3 x 5 card, put the index card in the envelope, seal the envelope, then drop the envelope in the box provided in the front of the room. The note can be one word or a paragraph. It could be congratulatory words about how far we’ve come in realizing our dreams, simply a question asking what have we done to bring about the fulfillment of our goals, or a loving reminder to practice the nurturing spirit we experienced while on retreat.

Our retreat leader then takes the box home with her. Six months from the end of our retreat, she stamps the self-addressed letters and mails them. Many, many times I have been delighted to receive the pleasant momento of that spirit-filled weekend and astonished at the prophetic words I’ve written by the Fragile Me attending the retreat to console, inspire and reassure the Future Me who so appreciated receiving the loving gesture.

What better way to honor Effective Communications Month than to communicate with someone we are extremely close to, yet seldom acknowledge her strengths, talents, and passions.

Today take out a pen and some pretty paper, a note card, a post card,  (an index card in an envelope will do) and write a sentence or two in praise of YOU! Not sure what you want to say? OK, write down a favorite quote, or a line of poetry. Something that will inspire you, gives you pause, or evokes a sigh of delight.

What about song lyrics…I believe in YOU!

I’d love to hear what this post has brought up for you.

I can’t wait to see what the mail will bring… 

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] No matter what…

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

No matter what…

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 – No matter what... 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

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] My heart’s desire…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image13221972

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

My heart’s desire…

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 – My heart’s desire... 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

[Coaxing Creativity Tuesday Tip] May Your Heart Remain Open

flower heartMay you be at peace,

May your heart remain open,

May you awaken to the light of

your own true nature,

May you be healed,

May you be a source of healing for all beings.

Today’s tip is actually part of a meditation by Dr. Joan Borysenko, a noted author and lecturer who brings spirit, science, medicine and psychology together in the service of healing. While February is the month with lots of talk about love, being in love and acts of love, these beautiful words  speak to the true spirit of love.

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] I’m falling for…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image13221972

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

I’m falling for…

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 – I’m falling for... 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

February…what do you love?

February is about loveMake a list and write about a new subject you love every day this month…

1.  Family and friends

2.  Writing in your journal to remember, reconcile and ramp up

3. Tea

4.  Any romantic movie with Cary Grant

5.  Learning how other women have lived by reading their own words

6.  Volunteering for your favorite cause

7.  The smell of a real Christmas tree

8.  Crisp fall days with the crunch of leaves under foot

9.  Getting a pedicure or having your feet rubbed

10. A tub full of hot water and  scented bubbles

11.  Hearing the words “I love you”

12.  Hearing the words “you’re going to be fine” after surgery

13.  Receiving the “all-clear” on your mammogram reports

14.  Walking on a nature trail or along the beach

15.  Feeling the salt on your lips from the ocean breeze

16.  Eating clam chowder

17.  Eating pop corn with real butter and watching old movies

18.  Snuggling on the couch with your Sweetie

19.  Getting a phone call from your daughter/son/special child

20.  Sharing a cuppa with your Tea  Cronies

21.  Attending/performing in live theatre

22.  Playing with stamps and beads

23.  Hearing personal stories

24.  Traveling around the world and hearing all the stories people have to share without knowing each other’s language

25.  Sharing what you learned from your mentors

26.  Crawling into your cozy bed at the end of a long day

27.  Getting up in the morning to have another chance to make a difference

28.  Relishing Life

29.  Witnessing a sunrise

30.  Savoring a sunset

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Love to make stuff…especially…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image13221972Love to make stuff…especially…

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 – Love to make stuff…especially…
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

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Words of love…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image13221972Words of Love…

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 – Words of Love…
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

Lovin’ You…

ross maryHappy Valentine’s Day! How will you be celebrating? Whether you are gearing up to meet a special someone for a romantic interlude, treating yourself to an indulgent adventure, or snuggling on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a favorite flick, enjoy feelin’ the love. Loving you for who you are and the fabulous person that you are.

Who knew years ago that you would be experiencing the life you have now? 

I certainly had no idea over 40 years ago when I agreed to a blind date to go motorcycle riding that I’d marry the “hippie” who showed up that summer evening with long hair and faded blue jeans. Funny, he still has long hair and wears blue jeans. We’ve navigated life through job changes, two major moves across country, deaths of family members and my breast cancer.

Take the time today to show some lovin’ to the most important person in your life…YOU! 

We nurture each other and that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about. Wishing you a day full of love and light this Valentine’s Day and every day to come. 

 

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