Tag Archive for vulnerability

A Blunt Object To Ease Self Doubt

Anne.Hathaway.Golden.Globes.2013Accepting her Golden Globe statuette for her performance in “Les Misérables,” Anne Hathaway humbly thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association “for this lovely blunt object, that I will forever use as a weapon against my self-doubt.”  A humble admission of her truth from this graceful, poised movie star.

As writers, we are just like Hathaway — creative people who do our best work when we access the whole of our being.  The brightest side is often the easiest; the balance to that is found in the dark places.  Like the brave explorer or mythical hero, we have fierce dragons to face and steep mountains to conquer.  Those are the hills and valleys of our lives.  The conflict and resolution is what makes our stories inviting, relatable and captivating as the reader gets a feeling of camaraderie or perhaps simply a reflection into who they are, where they may go and what they may overcome.  This brings the laugh, the smile, the tears.

Don’t wait for an award.  Claim one.  I claimed one early on – my first bylined published feature article.  When I felt that I couldn’t move forward through the insecurity, I would look at it, know I’d achieved, and I could go that far and take, maybe, just one more step.

Perhaps it’s a note from a teacher or an editor, even one bit of feedback you’ve penciled on a post-it from another writer you respect.  Maybe it’s a quote that inspires you.  Maybe it’s a soulful message you affirm for yourself from the depths of your inner truth.

Whatever it is, you don’t have to use it as a weapon.  You don’t have to hit yourself in the head with it.  But get it into your head as your truth.  No bludgeoning required.

Stand up and take the stage as your creative heart enthusiastically applauds your progress.  Firmly grasp your award, smile victoriously, and with all the happiness that pours from you, sincerely say ‘thank you.’

Then move forward and write some more.

Affirm:  I seek and find an honest declaration to motivate writing from my heart.  I gracefully write from both light and dark places as all contain the many colors of my truth. 

The Last Line: Writing Through Grief

Friday morning before dawn, my mother’s life came to a peaceful end after a 12-year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

“Dad,” I said on Saturday evening after the visitation as we sat in his home blankly watching TV.  “The minister asked if we wanted to prepare something for her eulogy.”  I mentioned I’d talked to my brothers, and I briefly shared their stories with him.  I asked if he had something to share, adding how hard it is to sum up a loved one’s life in a few paragraphs.  He said nothing.

I went upstairs and delved into 40 pages of remembrances I’d written over the last six years of Momma’s life.  Through my tears, I pulled representative stories into a cohesive order, and then wrote the opening 600 words to tie it all together.  However, when I went to save it, I somehow lost what I’d written.  On this night before the funeral, I felt deflated and guilty, but intuitively knew the words had already served a higher purpose.

In the morning, I found Dad typing at his computer.

“It hit me when I woke up,” he said with a grin.  “She was an only child, and when we married, she became part of a large extended family.  She loved that.”

When he finished, he asked me to read it, then polish and add to it if I wanted.   His written words were simple, yet profound.

I sat alone with only moments to add a few details, including the final sentence he couldn’t write about how the two of them stood side by side, heart to heart for 59 years, a statement about how much she loved him.

He smiled and nodded as he read the piece.  When he got to that last line and began to tear up, I realized that all my years of writing about her, along with the reading and writing the night before, had deepened my healing, clarity and compassion.  My contribution added something to Dad’s words that touched his heart while honoring my brothers’ stories and my mother’s life.

My union with writing and the Creative Spirit I feel through the intimate process of journaling and memoir brings me home to my center and helps me extend to full presence with others by knowing myself more fully and deeply.  Writing nurtures my heart and spirit, then facilitates confident expression in times of sorrow and in times of love.

Affirm:  I allow my writing to serve my spirit, to clarify and lift me through my own words. This process, even when kept private, benefits me, as well as those in my family and community.




Writer’s Story & Affirmation: Vulnerability

Full Exposure

Suddenly, the blistering summer gifted a surprise August afternoon with uncharacteristically low humidity and temps in the 80s.  I couldn’t wait to take an afternoon walk.  Immediately upon exiting my car at the park, I did something I rarely do outdoors when swimming isn’t involved:  I stripped off my shirt.  The air felt so good on my face and in my lungs that I wanted to be consumed by it.

Baring myself to the sun’s dangerous rays felt threatening, yet so did being almost naked to the world.  I chose to not stay out too long.  I also chose to feel good about my body, strolling while shedding worries about my pale skin, few extra pounds and nonexistent six-pack abs.

I reflected upon my writing, about my decision to expand what I share with the world via the internet on my new blog.  The vulnerability is exhilarating and horrifying at the same time, but without taking the chance, I’d never expose my truth, exercise in the energizing climate or experience the rewards of expanded community.   I know my best writing comes from an empowered place, a tender strength inspired by the feeling of aliveness as it moves through the scary parts and into the light of a new path.

Affirm:  I choose to hold vulnerability as tender strength, a vital tool in sharing my true self through honest writing with the world.