Top Nav

Success is Feeling Good Enough

2014-07-25 13.12.38

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
J.K. Rowling

I feel like I am cheating. Cheating on my dreams. The ones that I wake up each morning and drag with me to the kitchen as I stand in the dim light from the hood above the stove and listen to the kettle boil water for tea. Lupe, my thin gray cat, meows loudly and looks up at me waiting for a morning treat.

I stand staring out the window above the sink into the dark morning. I feel the weight of my dreams, not the ones that dissipated when I woke tangled in bed sheets, my body slightly damp from midlife night sweats. No, these are the big dreams, the dreams of creative success. A huge book contract, 1000,000 followers on social media, an appearance on Oprah, raving reviews in the New York Times, speaking gigs. These dreams include world travel, polished homes decorated in glowing light, accented in turquoise, clean lines and absolutely no clutter. These dreams are leading writing retreats in places with palm trees, white sand beaches, pristine blue waters and perfect vegan gluten-free meals. In these dreams, my Instagram feed is filled with stunning photos of wonderfulness—all the time, 24/7. These dreams have nothing to do with reality like me waiting at a grimy service station last Friday because my back brakes were grinding so loud I thought the back tire was going to fly off.

These dreams are huge, compelling beacons—and heavy. I wake each day propelled towards achieving these dreams with their glossy definitions of success. I tell myself, stay the course and all these things will happen. If I work hard enough, put myself out there enough, do enough of the right things (which means figuring out what those things are, which is a full-time job by itself) I will arrive there.

More or less, if I am good enough, then these dreams will manifest in my life.

The problem is, I am not sure these are my dreams? Honestly I don’t see me, in any of these definitions of success. I don’t see myself living a picture perfect glamorous life. A life full of so much adventure you never have time to stop and reflect. I don’t see myself living in a house so light and airy there is nowhere to curl up with a book next to a basket full of laundry that needs to be folded.

I simply don’t exist in any of these ideas of success I see on the internet or in magazines. Does that mean I haven’t done enough inner work to accept fabulousness into my life? Or does it mean I want something else? Something more in alignment with me? Something more authentic?

What about waking up and feeling like who I am and what I do is good enough, right here, right now?  What if I got to choose my definition of success and not blindly accept what my culture tells me is success? What if success was not constant striving, doing more, being more, achieving more? I like considering this, it feels good. It feels like possibility. Like freedom.

Life doesn’t have to be a state of constant craving.

Yesterday morning I sat on the couch with my partner Jay watching our black cat fling a jagged ball of rolled up duct tape high into the air, I wondered out loud why this wasn’t enough. Why I felt I needed more? I admitted I was happy. Our cluttered house with weeds growing in the garden beds, a kitchen table piled high with books and the first ceramic pieces I have made in over 12 years, camera bags open on the loveseat, laundry baskets filled with wrinkled, yet clean clothes.

We have more than our basic needs met. We have a home that not only shelters us from the elements but also affords us space to have a music room, an art studio, a room to practice yoga and my own office to write in solitude. We can afford healthy yummy food. We have transportation that takes us around town. We have a great relationship filled with ease, mutual respect, support and love (Seriously, it is not hard, filled with drama or angst. I feel like the luckiest woman alive).

Hell, I if all I do creatively is what I am doing right now—blogging, putting new essays out there occasionally, dabbling in visual work and leading writing workshops—than that is super successful for me. Because I feel good. I feel satisfied. That is enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I love creating something new and following my curiosities. Yes, I would love to make my living one day from my writing and supporting and assisting others to honor and own their authenticity. Perhaps I will, but honestly I don’t want to manifest any super-duper dream success where I don’t even see myself in the results.

I want to do good work. I want to wake up in the morning excited about an idea and create it for no other reason than because it delights me. I want to write essays about what stirs me, makes me wonder, and stumps me about the human condition. I don’t want to worry if Oprah will like it  or if it is what New York Times will think it’s good enough.

So I am putting down these heavy dreams that are not mine. Success for me is releasing the suffering of always wanting more. Success is feeling good enough.

Here is this week’s Inspiration to Open Your Heart

Ask Polly: Should I Give Up on My Writing– This is the post that got me thinking about what is my definition of success and what is enough for me. I felt frustration rise up from deep in my belly reading this because all I could think was how wonderful, you live in New York and make a living from your writing. Sounds good to me.

The Hidden Reason for Poverty the World Needs to Address– This compelling TED talk by Gary Haugen I think everyone needs to watch. It changes the way I think of poverty and what we can do about it. Still seems so huge and I feel powerless.

How to Reduce Stress By Doing Less and Doing it Slowly by Toni Bernhard- If you have never read Toni’s work, I highly recommend it. She offers wise, practical, and compassionate approaches to living.

This is How Instagram Users Show the Best Side of Their Life by Benjamin Starr- So when I start to compare myself to the outsized perfect lives on Social Media, I need to remember how much staging and cropping goes into each photo. Holy cow, this is stunning and funny.

Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich- I love this poem beyond words. This is one I will tape on the wall next to my desk and read out loud to remind me of what is important.

May you find and embrace your own definition of success. ~Kira


Efficiency is Complicated

Kira Elliott Comparing

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~Socrates

I am efficient. At least I think I am. In most areas of my life I plan ahead so I can get tasks completed quickly, with minimal steps as possible. No matter if I am cooking dinner, driving to work, taking a shower, getting ready in the morning, cleaning the house—efficiency is the goal.

Every task needs to have a purpose. Every step in executing each task needs to have purpose. There is little space to wander, get lost, take a different path. Which means there is no space for delight, joy or play.

Efficiency feels like running. And I am running. I run from my heart and my needs to slow down, savor, delight, have fun—play.

I remember the first time Jay and I went grocery shopping together. I thought I was going to lose my mind. When I go food shopping, I have a list, even if it is only in my head, and I mentally map out where in the store all items are so I can plan the best route. To avoid wasting time, I leave my cart at the end of each aisle and walk with a brisk clip down the aisle, grab what I need and return to the cart. It is simpler than trying navigate the other shoppers dwaddling, trying to decide what kind of jello to get. My goal is to systematically make my way through the store so I don’t have to retrace steps.

Jay, on the other hand, likes to wander and has no plan. He often remembers cheese when we are in the produce section and the cart can never be left alone, for even a moment.  Up and down each aisle we slowly make our way dodging a mother with two young children sitting in a blue cart with can goods and boxes of Hamburger Helper stacked around them. We wait patiently while an older woman stands in the middle of the baking aisle blocking everyone trying to decide what kind of cake mix, double chocolate or french vanilla. I normally stand there annoyed and try not to be rude but I want these people to move out of my way.

Why am I driven to be efficient in everything I do? So I can do as much as possible in the time that I have. I can do more, achieve more and most importantly —I can be good enough. For me efficiency allows me to move through my life detached. If I am running, planning and focused on doing the task at hand efficiently than I am not feeling what is happening in the present moment. Not a the way I want to live my life.

I hate to admit this but I often approach my self-care practices with the same rigid detached approach. Be as efficient as possible with self-care has become the unspoken mantra. I often view self-care as yet another task I need to mark off the list. Get it done and move on to the next item on the list.

Sometimes I do not hold myself with tender care when I sit in the dark quiet morning and write in my journal or follow my breath when I am sitting on my black zafu meditating. I feel rushed, no time to sink in and feel the experience. Yes, I will note, tension, anxiety and go back to my breath. I will note I feel rushed and disconnected and go back my breath. There is no time to feel the ache in my heart or my yearning for softness. When these feelings arise, I quickly note them and get back to my breath.

Which are the mediation instructions, note what arises and go back to your breath. Sort of, expect I am using the practice to stay on the outskirts of what I am feeling. I don’t allow myself to enter the depth of my longing. The point of meditation practice is to be with what arises, allow it to be. Feel it rise and pass, like my breath. Not make it pass as quickly and efficiently as possible. I am not so good at sitting still, it feels like a waste of time. Perhaps that is why I have taken so well to meditation, it is sitting still with a purpose.

Efficiency is complicated. It helps me get stuff done, to stay on task. It helped me raise my son while going to school full-time and working. It helps me finish projects, like writing this blog. Efficiency is good when balanced with a wise motivation driving it. Right now, I neither balanced nor do I have wise motivation regarding efficiency.

What if my motivation to be efficient was to create more space for play and joy instead of trying to prove I am good enough? How would that change how I approach my self-care practices or hanging out on the couch reading a book with Jay?

I am working on changing my relationship with efficiency so it does not have free reign over my life. I am taking baby steps, even if they are not efficient. I want, no I need, more space in my life for joy, for play, for time to wander and find delight in the unexpected. When my life is bound in efficiency, I have no space for these things. That feels yucky and unsustainable.

I can say I no longer treat grocery shopping like a sport I have to win. I now savored the time I am with Jay when we go shopping. We take our time in the grocery store. The staff know us by name. We linger, taking time to explore new products. We connect with other shoppers and make small talk as we wait for them to finish making their choices. And yes, we take the cart up and down each aisle, weaving our way through the experience.


Here is this week’s Inspiration to Open Your Heart-

3 Things Mindfulness is Not by Ruth Lera- Love, love, this post about how mindfulness is not another means to beat ourselves up but rather to be with our humanness and what is happening now, no matter how we judge it.

Some Notes on Your Manuscript by Marc Philippe Eskenazi- Want to cultivate some joy in your life? Read this article. Super funny, that’s all I will say. Every time I read this I laugh out loud.

The Buddha Loves Boundaries by Daisy Hernandez- A wonderful essay about learning to take care of ourselves while staying with what is present. We can acknowledge how it feels when someone is yelling at us but we can also take care of ourselves.

The Problem with Stock Photos of People Meditating by Sarah Rudell Beach- What meditation really looks like. Honestly, there is nothing glamorous. I sit at 6:30 am in my wrinkled nightgown, my hair disheveled from sleep. My meditation cushion sits in my tiny office, which used to be a garden shed off the garage. It is on the floor in front of my desk. Because the space is so tiny, my chair often runs into it but I leave it out so it is easier for me to sit each morning. No altar, no candles, no empty room. I sit daily and that is what matters.

Art Versus Craft- The Final Word by Suzette Wearne- I admit I have struggled with wanting my creative efforts to be considered art, and that is art with a capital “A”. Important and serious art. I think it was my art school training that left me with the feeling craft is somehow a lower class or not worthy. And yet, as this post points out, I would rather be filled with joy from my creative efforts than be all high-minded, unapproachable and serious. And I am still going to call my efforts Art damn it.

May you linger and savor your daily tasks and know the joy in each moment. ~Kira


Authentic Abundance

Kira Elliott At Night

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Summer in Michigan means longer days. While not as long as Alaskan summer days, but still long. In Michigan, the sun rises around 5 am and sets well after 10 pm at the peak of summer. I relish these months of extra sunlight to not only feed my body nourishing vitamin D and boost my mood but to offer extra hours to ride my bike most nights after work.

However, as summer wanes and the days begin to shorten, my partner Jay and I have found ourselves out in the woods riding our bikes as the sun sets. The first time this happened I felt panic rise up from deep in my belly. It is funny how the woods and trails, so familiar and safe during the day, turn into unknown dangers awaking all kinds of fears once the sun goes down.

I also felt something else, something delicious and missing from my super responsible adult life—awe and wonder of being outside after dark. Some of my favorite memories of my childhood are playing outside late into the night while my mom sat on the front stoop drinking and gossiping with the neighbors. I played hide and seek with other kids, where we hid behind pine trees and large granitic boulders and ran through the damp grass to touch the green electrical box before we were tag to be the next seeker. I never liked being the seeker, I always wanted to find spaces away from the other kids to sit quietly and listen to the crickets and sounds of the night.

Last night I felt a return to my innocence when I coasted through the empty parking lot by the picnic pavilion on my bike, my arms stretched wide, my strong body balancing the bike, the cool night air rushing past me. Everything silent expect the crickets and the sound of my bike rolling on the pavement. The empty park and woods felt like my own oasis and yet I was not alone.

During the day when the park is filled with disc golfers, walkers, other cyclist and large family picnics, I forget the wild inhabitants of the park who hide from human invaders. At night when the people leave white tail deer come out and graze on the side of paths as we coast by on our bikes. We slow down and try not to disturb them. Often we stand still for a few moments watching the deer grazing on foliage before they finally turn and leap into the dense woods.

We see the flash of raccoon eyes running across the field to the picnic pavilion in search of left overs from the birthday celebrations and family reunions. We see bunnies, lots and lots of bunnies. Every time I see a bunny hopping across the tail, I yell “bunny!” with the excitement I felt when I was child and saw a wild animal. We have even seen a few owls swooping down from the high trees looking for mice and other food for the night.

Riding my bike at night feels magical. It makes me feel abundant.

Abundance is one of my Core Desire Feelings. And it is my most neglected one. I don’t think about it much when I write it down every day in my planner. My other CDFs, like Peaceful, Authentic, Creative and Connected are easy for me to wrap my head and heart around. I can say with confidence, I know what my other CDFs feel like, but Abundant, is a bit elusive for me.

The first thing I think of when I consider abundance is chocolate cake or glittery gold or a big pink feather boa. Surface abundance, which may be a good place to start, but honesty dressing up in a sparkly gold dress with a fluffy pink feather boa eating a huge chocolate cake would not be too authentic for me.

So what is authentic abundance for me?

My default thinking says abundance needs to be something big, expensive, or spectacular. Something that realistically is not sustainable to maintain over the long haul. Or on the side of realistic, I simply get used to the goodness and forget it makes me feel abundant. I used to feel abundant when I got my first new car. Now I am used to having a car that starts every morning, is safe for me to drive all over the state and has a moon roof. I take it granted.

Perhaps abundance is small experiences that adds richness and depth to my life, like riding my bike at night. I think this is a good place to start. Nothing flashy or loud, just me pedaling through the woods, witnessing wildlife come alive. Or perhaps it is me sitting on my meditation cushion in the early morning just as the sun is rising and the song birds start singing. That makes me feel abundant. Spending the day reading and writing feeds my sense of abundance too. As does a really good yoga practice. Or fish tacos with sautéed kale and mushrooms.

Feeling abundant is like gratitude, you have put forth effort to cultivate it. You have to look for it and stay in the present moment to feel it. Honestly when I am feeling my other CDFs, I feel abundant. I am going to keep thinking about what authentic abundance is for me and how it shows up in my life.

Here is this week’s Inspiration to Open Your Heart.

Metabolic Versus Cosmetic Fitness by Dana Sturtevant MS, RD.- Thank you Rachel Cole for sharing this awesome post about accepting our bodies. I personally had never heard of metabolic fitness and this makes so much sense. Since D. died over 3 years ago now I have gained closed to 20 pounds. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think, at least once if not more, I need to lose this weight. And yet, I feel strong, healthy and most days balanced. I eat healthy, move my body (hello epic bike rides and yoga) and sleep enough. Just yesterday as I riding my bike at dusk up a huge hill I thought, it doesn’t matter what I weigh, look I can do this. Than I read this today. Awesome. Perhaps I need to learn more about Health at Any Size.

Oliver Sacks on Writing– As many of you know Oliver Sacks passed away last week. Here is a video where he reads from his book, On the Move: A Life. His work is extraordinary and I first learned about Oliver Sacks listening to Radiolab. Here is a final interview with Mr. Sacks and Radiolab.  

The World’s Oldest Trees by Beth Moon- These photo’s of some of the world’s oldest trees are breathtaking and haunting.

7 Reasons to Meditate if You Write or Make Art by Jo Malby- Without my daily meditation practice I can not function. Meditation has literally changed my life. I prioritize my daily practice above everything else in my life. This post lays out why it is so important as a creative to develop a mediation practice. I meditate simply so I can get up out of bed each day and interact with folks.

100 Self-Expression Therapy Activities by Shelley Klammer- Here is a great list of creative activities to explore your inner world.

May you witness abundance in your life this coming week. ~ Kira



Comparing Diminishes My Authenticity

Kira Elliott Comparing

“Don’t always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. “I will not Reason and Compare,” said Blake; “my business is to Create.” Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable. ” ― Brenda Ueland

The morning is heavy. The air  thick and damp as blue jays squawk and screech high in the trees. I smell remnants of the neighbors bon fire from a party that went late into the night. Fog hovers low to the ground. Summer is waning. I see the signs as I ride my bike through the woods. Patches of leaves at the far end of branches turning a yellow or orange hue. A single golden oak leaf on the dirt path. Canadian Geese flying in formation high in the sky. Or simply the fact I had to start wearing sweaters and jackets when I left the house each morning last week.

I feel myself shifting too. I took last week off of writing, or really any creating, for the most part. It was not intended. It was as if I needed to recalibrate after a month of intense creative activity. I wrote in my journal but other than that, I was empty and still of words. Even in my meditation practice, my normal bouncing, planning mind was conspicuously quiet and still. I found myself sitting each morning on my black cushion following my breath with relative ease.

Yet lurking in my belly was a nagging anxious feeling. Not my normal anxiety that stomps around and yells loud and clear most days. No this was deep, more primal, almost a low growl. All week I felt uneasy and flat. Like I shut down and was hiding.

On Thursday morning this unease finally came into focus. I caught the edge of this deep low growl in my belly writing in my journal. I heard the fragments of a story I know so well. The weekend before I had co-hosted a Kindred Connection workshop with Jen Lee and Anna Oginsky. It was an intense and awesome day. I met so many brilliant, fiery, creative women making not only beautiful and powerful art but wonderful lives as well. I left inspired and connected. And I left drained and questioning my own validity as a maker.

I hate to admit this but I struggle with comparing my writing and other creative work to others all the time. It is a constant nagging thought. I think it is endemic of my chronic not good enough feelings I acquired growing up. For me, I worry my writing is too messy, not clear, and oh, too many images streaming along not making sense. I worry my visual artwork is just scribbles and crap, that I am deluding myself thinking it is beautiful. I get frustrated that I continually seem to return to images and ideas from my childhood. I tell myself, I must grow up. Make something pretty, simple and clear.

Yet what shows up in my work is somewhat messy, not so mainstream, not so happy most of the time. So I embrace what does show up and I allow it to grow. That is who I am, what is in me. My writing style is not a standard literary style, it is not going to win any great awards, but the point is I love writing, it helps me to clarify. I love the images that pour out of me. Many times these images  and words will stay with me for days. Writing and drawing are almost like dreaming on paper; they me help figure out my insides.

I have found the more I embrace my voice the stronger it becomes and the less I compare. I show up for me first and honestly that feels really good. There are not too many places in my life where I can put me first—on the page or canvas I can. I need to remember that comparing diminishes my authenticity.

It is so easy grab hold of the habit to compare and think we are doing it wrong or have to be different. It is easy to think that who we are or where we came from is not good enough. Letting go of this habit, impulse or whatever you want to call it, is hard. I am not sure the habit ever goes away.

I think we learn how to recognize comparing when it shows up, say hello to it and then tell it not today as we move on with our work. The hard part is we still know it is sitting in the corner of our hearts, just out of sight and we have to muster the courage to forge forward anyways despite the annoying comparison habit still there growling low in our bellies.


Here is this week’s Inspiration to Open Your Heart.

Is There a Time and Place for Authenticity? by Claire De Boer- This is a thoughtful post exploring where, when and how much to share about ourselves. This is something I grapple with tremendously. Transparency is important to me and I struggle with being seen as I really am. The habit of hiding in plain sight still lives in my cells.

Meditation on Gratitude and Joy by Jack Kornfield- Strange but gratitude and joy can be difficult emotions for me to sit with. It is through deliberate cultivation I have learned to grow and allow gratitude and joy to flourish in my life. I love this line from this meditation, “Gratitude is confidence in life itself.”

How Painting Can Transform Communities by Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn- This TED talk explores how art empowers and transforms entire neighborhoods.

Make Your Laziness Be Real Rest by Caroline Knox- I love this poem. This is one I would be well served to read everyday as a reminder of how productive rest can be.

Interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on Other People Podcast– Two things about this: 1) Lidia Yuknavitch is beyond an amazing author. Read her now. I had to pull over and take notes while listening to this interview. One of my notes, self-expression is better than self-destruction. Yes, that is why I must show up and write. 2) I know I have said it before but Brad Listi’s Other People podcast is by far one of the best podcasts out there. Engaging and always interesting. Go listen to it.

And finally, Registration for Writing to Open Your Heart is open. Register now and save. We start writing together on September 16, 2015.

Do you have questions about if my writing workshops are right for you? Or any other questions you want to ask?

Join me for Open Office Hours! I am holding open office hours on Wednesday September 2, 2015 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm EST to answer your questions via live video chat (same system I use for workshops). Send me a private message HERE and I will send you the link to join me.


 May you find the courage to create what arises this week and kick the habit of comparing to the curb. ~ Kira


I Tell Myself Stories

Kira Elliott Stories

“The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.”
― Jack Kornfield

I tell myself stories. Even when I don’t know I am whispering deep inside my mind. If I pay attention and listen, the stories I tell reveal what motivates me, scares me and holds me back from my dreams.

The other day I saw a homeless couple camped out on a street corner before a freeway ramp. He was standing on the curb holding a cardboard sign scrawled in black marker saying, Need Money for Food. She was sitting on the dry grass behind him, her hair thick dreads that hung down her back. She looked annoyed and seemed to be yelling at him.

I sat in my car waiting for the light to turn and assumed she was telling him he wasn’t begging for money right. I found myself feeling sorry for the guy and getting mad at her for not getting up and begging herself. Soon I was thinking about how many times I see women defer to men and doubt their capabilities.I also told myself they were junkies and if I gave them money it was going to go for dope. All this from watching a homeless couple sitting on a corner for about 2 minutes.

And then I stopped mindlessly thinking about this couple and brought myself back to the present moment. I don’t know how they found themselves sitting on a street corner in Detroit begging for money? I don’t know if they are “faking” at being homeless to get money for dope. I don’t a thing about that woman or why she yelling at that man, I assumed was her boyfriend. In a short span of 2 minutes I made a lot assumptions and filled in a back story for these people.

I tell myself stories to make the world around me fit in with what I know and believe. So while this example of telling a story to myself seems harmless I also tell myself other stories that aren’t so harmless.

I am in the process of gathering courage to submit some of my writing for publication. This terrifies me. I procrastinate. My anxiety levels boil over. I feel like I am standing on an edge of a cliff and it is time jump. It feels like life and death. I know these feelings are blown out of proportion for the reality of submitting my work to websites and journals for publication. And yet these feelings have stopped me for years and have created a lot of unnecessary drama.

After writing for what seemed like weeks in my journal about these feelings, looking at them in every which way, I realized I was telling myself a story, deep in my marrow, about what happens when I submit my work.

In my version of the story I see all the smart, preppy girls from high school. The honor students with matching pink and green sweater sets and Jordache jeans. The girls with shiny long blonde hair. The ones who actually read the reading assignments and could answer the questions when asked. The girls who moved to the other side of the hallway to avoid walking next to me. (I was the girl who skipped school at least once a week and went outside everyday at lunch to smoke. I dreamed of writing great essays and stories but life was too demanding for me to show up for writing beyond my journal.)

In the story I tell myself about submitting my writing, these are the girls, now women, who are the editors of the world. They are reading my submissions. I see them rolling their eyes, laughing out loud, saying oh hell no and throwing my words into the gray garbage can with scraps from yesterday’s lunch. I see them printing out my words and passing them around the office, everyone double over, clutching their bellies laughing at me and my words. Yes, this is a powerful story I tell myself and most likely not true. Yet, it has stopped me for years from submitting my work.

Here is what I know is true. Submitting my work is me sitting alone in my little office, writing cover letters, uploading files and clicking submit. Nothing more than that. The crickets and cicadas sing in the overgrown garden, the fan gently oscillates, my gray cat sleeps on chair next to me. There are no mean girls from high school laughing at my audacity to think I can be a writer. Nope, just me alone doing my work. Sure I have no idea what happens when my work is read or even if it is read. But that is none of my business at this point, if ever. My business is to submit my work.

Last weekend I submitted 5 separate pieces to various journals and websites. This week I plan on submitting 3 more. This is my next step for myself as a writer. It is scary and thrilling at the same time.

I don’t think I will ever stop telling myself stories. Stories are the way I navigate and try to make sense of the world. I need to be mindful of what the stories are and check with the reality of what is actually happening.

Here is the this week’s Inspiration to Open Your Heart

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime by Nadine Burke Harris- This TED talk by Nadine Burke Harris discusses the importance of screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences. She talks about how she is making changes in her practice to have better health outcomes. She maintains this is a great threat, if not greater, to public health than smoking. I have to agree. As someone with an ACE score of 9 (which is really high) I know that intervention and lots of self-care can change long term health outcomes.

On Confidence and Community- Women Who Submit by Ramona Pilar- As I mentioned above, I am working on submitting some of my writing to places for publication. And this scares the crap out of me. I am another cat under the bed but only I am hissing at anyone who gets remotely close. Reading this post infused me with confidence and let me know know I am on the right track.

Feral Body Wisdom: Another Layer by Kimberly McGill- This is a beautiful, lyrical post about befriending our bodies and listening to the deep wisdom stored inside. The line, “ After that incident in the pool, seemingly out of nowhere, a full sentence formed in my mind: Your body isn’t the culprit. It isn’t the trauma.” has stayed with me all week. This is worth hanging up on the wall above my desk so I see it everyday. My body is partner, my friend. I am not at war with it.

Columbia Record and Tape by Allison Joseph- I found Lumen Magazine looking for places to submit my work and I have fallen in love. I love this poem and all of the specificity of details that take me back to my early teen years. Can anyone else relate?

Come Closer by Brenda Miller and Lee Gulyas- I love this collaborative essay written from a series of photographs. The idea of writing from same photographs and seeing what happens is intriguing. Stories are contained in images.

An Interview with Lee Gulyas and Brenda Miller by Carmella-Guiol- Interesting to read how the process worked to write a collaborative essay.

May you uncover the stories you tell yourself and let them go this week. ~ Kira



Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes