I have fallen in love 623 times this Year. (A rerun.)

Beautiful Souls-

In honor of February, the month of love and (can you believe it?) my first wedding anniversary,

I wanted to provide you with a rerun of this article that I wrote that was originally published in Elephant Journal. Like most things, it’s a little sweet and a little sad and I hope it reminds you that no matter what your February looks like, there is always more love than what meets the naked eye:

I have fallen in love 623 times this year. I know that number because I kept count.

In a notebook, in my head, next to the list of sushi places that give extra ginger for free, and next to the list of books that have good covers with embossed titles, you will see this list.

My mental list is called People Who I’ve Fallen in Love With, or Places I have Held my Heart Outside of my Ribs, or I am not sure why, but I want to Touch your Skin. It’s weird—but so am I, and so is love and I think that only makes sense, given what we are dealing with.

The first time I fell in love this year was on New Year’s Eve (painfully typical, I know), but it wasn’t with my date. I didn’t even have a date, I just had a lot of champagne and a short skirt and a keen eye, and I watched how my best friend’s boyfriend held her gaze. In the corner, under a lamp that made her eyes sparkle, in the middle of music and laughter and spilled drinks, he just stood there and stared at her. And that was the first time I fell in love this year: with how his eyes fell on more than her body. He wasn’t looking at her clothes, or the skin under them. He was staring at her soul.

Then, I was in love with the doctor. He wasn’t my doctor, just a doctor. You know, the kind you meet at a whiskey bar when it’s early on Friday, and you are off work and so is he, and you both realize that your work is just words. Your work is writing them down, which is easy, because backspace. And his work is how to say those words like, “I’m so sorry,” “Congratulations,” and “We did everything we could.” He doesn’t have backspace. Words are permanent when you have to speak them like that. I’m in love with that type of courage; I want my words to be that brave.

I fell in love with the woman at the coffee shop with the braids and the perfect arms and fingers. She either twists the braids right on top of her head, or lets them swing loose when she reaches for the almond milk, or the coconut milk, or the phone. She dances when she talks, with her wrists and her hips. I’m not smooth like that and I can’t move like that, but I’ve tried when I’m alone in my apartment. I don’t know if I am in love with her or I want to be her. Maybe, it’s both.

The homeless man on the corner of Park and Stout. He flipped off the woman who honked at me when I rode my bike too close to her car. When she kept honking, he used two hands. The whole time he laughed and laughed; his eyes crinkled and he winked at me when the light turned green. There was so much joy in his space on that street corner. I love joy in strange, obscure places. I love people who show me that it’s okay to look for joy there.

To the beautiful girl who emailed me to say she read some of my writing and loved me for it: I love you, too. I emailed back on the day that I was overwhelmed by the doubts and critics (both in my head and on the comments section of my Facebook feed). Then, she sent this reply: “You are magic all by yourself. Don’t stop. Keep going. Always keep going.” And I was in love with the idea that normal humans were allowed to be magic, too—if magic is what they wanted.

The woman who flew across the country from New York to find me the moment my heart broke: I’m in love with her. She brought tea and candy and set it up in a semicircle around the hotel room she booked and said, “See? I made a home for us here. There is tea and there are Peanut Butter M&M’s and if you need, we can stay here forever.” That is love because Peanut Butter M&M’s are expensive. And so is flying to where I am from New York. And so is packing up everything I own in trash bags, and moving me out of my apartment because I couldn’t get up off the floor right then. Oh yes, I am in love with her.

My sister’s boyfriend? He set up a disco in her apartment when she couldn’t go out one night. She just jumped in the shower and when she came out, all steamy and pissed off because her friend didn’t want to go dance, the lights were turned low and Bruno Mars was playing. And she said that they danced right there…with her hair in a towel and him in his socks and I fell in love with her boyfriend at that very moment. She told me, “The real love isn’t in the perfect moments, it is in the unplanned ones when your hair is wet.” And then, I was in love with her, too.

The next time I fell in love was in a bookstore with a lawyer who used big words and laughed too loudly. He told me stories and we smelled the new books. That same hour, I fell out of love. He used big words and laughed too loudly, and I was tired of smelling new books. Short-term love counts too, you know.

There is a nine-year-old who repeatedly refers to my apartment as a tree house, and I’m in love with her. First, because, I think of my apartment as a tree house, too, and I was happy that someone finally understood what theme I had been striving for. And second, because when I was nine years old, I told everyone that I was going to live in a tree house when I grew up. My nine-year-old self would be impressed: she may even have been in love with the grown up version of herself. I love that.

I’m in love with the poet with the curly hair and bright eyes. I wish I had her words and her style and her wardrobe and her confidence. Then I thought, “Is this what love is? Appreciation of all the things you admire, but haven’t yet captured in these bottles of life we call bodies?” I promised myself right there that my bottle would one day be overflowing. It would flow over so much that other bottles would be filled. I’m in love with that idea.

I’m in love with the person who knew I was in love with the poet with the curly hair, and convinced her to write me a message in a book. The message said this: “Dear young one, keep writing. I can’t wait to read your own work one day.” Right there I decided I would write in any loving stranger’s book if they ever asked me. With that, my bottle filled up a little more.

Then, I was in love with the rain because I want that smell to seep from my pores, even when I am inside.

Then, I was in love with the doctor again, but this time with his hands—the way the tendons moved when he spoke, the way he looked up through his eyelashes when he listened.

I was in love with the gardener at the community garden with the ink black skin and the perfect sweat and the soft face.

The man at work who calls his daughter every day during lunch to see how kindergarden went.

Adults who go barefoot in the summer.

The bartender with the loose pants and the belly button ring and none of the fear.

The feeling when it’s dawn on a Sunday and I don’t have to be awake but I am because I’m in love.

Teachers who worry with creased foreheads about who their students will become.

Babies with wet eyelashes.

Girls who laugh with their mouths open.

Boys who cry.

Humans who scream or dance, because screaming and dancing is very, very honest, and I am in love with honesty.

I have fallen in love 623 times this year, but I am going to bed alone tonight.

They say you give a piece of yourself to every single thing that touches your heart. But I believe the inverse is also true: we take a piece of the things we have chosen to love. If that’s the case, then when I lie in bed at night, I am the confidence, courage, joy, and passion of all of my lovers. I am rain when it’s sunny out, disco in an apartment, a flight from New York, and the words of a poet.

They know me for my graceful arms, my sure hands, and my smile regardless of where I call my home. What more could I ask for than that?

I’ll always be in love.

Business Stuff

I have TWO client openings starting February 1… for copywriting and content writing work! If you have been contemplating working with a professional writer (or know someone who is giving this idea some serious thought) let’s chat

Client openings don’t stay open for long (and isn’t it time the world hears your story?)

ILY

E

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I hope your word of the year is…

I hope your word of the year is hyphenated.

No, I don’t mean I want your word to actually be “hyphenated.” I mean that I hope it comes with more than one part.

Sure, “gratitude,” “breath” and “grounding” are all gorgeous things to claim for 2023.
But that is much too simple for a complex person like yourself.

For someone as deep and gritty as you, I think it could be a good idea to claim “saffron-infused” or “hell-bent.”
Or something like “tired-but-still-moving” or “editor-in-chief.”

I can picture your word being “choose-your-own-adventure” or “high-spirited” and “high-minded.”
(And before you go telling me that’s more than one word, I would just like to remind you that my word of the year happens to be “no-longer-taking-feedback-that-rains-on-my-art.”)

The intricacies of life are much too grand to fit simply into “patience” and “adventure.” I want the boldness of your year and the weirdness of, well, you, to come out in a poem that goes like this: “Shaken-not-stirred” and “shaken-but-unmoved” and “shaking-with-the-joy-and infinite-possibility-underneath-those-bare-feet.”

I hope your word is “well-known-and-well-loved-and-never-looking-back.”
I hope your word shifts and changes with the year, but the fire always stays.
And I hope you allow yourself the grace to be “complex-and-(oftentimes)-incorrect-yet-bursting-at-the-seams-with-the-light-this-world-so-deserately-needs.”

Take that, spell check.

I love you,
E

Business Stuff

Is writing a memoir, novel, or autobiography part of your 2023 to-do list? Then I want to talk with you! If you are considering taking on a large writing project and don’t know where to start, let’s chat. Narrative Creation Consultations allow people like you (yes, you!) to talk about the goals for their project, develop an outline, overcome stuck points, and achieve their book-writing goals.

Shoot me a note if this is of interest to you, and we can schedule a free 20-minute consultation. This will give me a chance to learn more about your writing project, and ask any questions you may have about what it means to work with a Narrative Creation Consultant. (That’s me.)

Here’s to big-things, big-dreams, and writer’s-block-free-2023!

Yoga… for Storytelling?

Many of you know that when I am not writing I spend a lot of my time practicing and teaching yoga.

About ten years ago as a naive twenty-something I wrote an essay called “What Yoga Means to Me”  for a chance to win a yoga teacher training scholarship. When I won the scholarship, I was more excited about the chance for free yoga classes at my local studio than anything else. Little did I know that a regular yoga practice would have an integral role not only in my physical and mental health but as a writer and as a creative. This month, I am sharing with my community the connection I have built between yoga and the creative process.

On December 10, I am hosting a workshop at the Waimea Yoga Studio called “Yoga for Storytelling.” While the majority of those who receive my emails aren’t local to the Big Island and may not be able to attend a live workshop, I wanted to extend the chance for anyone near or far to uncover the connection between sharing a story and the art of yoga.

Without getting too deep into the weeds (and Lord knows, we could get deep into the weeds) about the concept of yoga and what it means to different people, consider this: different yoga postures can help you feel different things or elicit different emotions. And when it comes to writing, especially writing personal stories, poses can help us access the most creative parts of ourselves. 

Whether you are an experienced writer, a regular yogi, or simply someone who wants to bring a little more creativity into their day, here are a few of my favorite yoga postures to get the creativity flowing and bring inspiration into your writing (and just maybe, into your life!)

Activating Your Voice: Throat and Heart Openers

We all understand the power of body language: slumped shoulders can indicate smallness and a slouched posture resistance, or not wanting to be seen or approached. In the opposite vein, standing with your shoulders back and your chin high indicates a willingness to share your heart (and your voice!) with the world.

To prepare your body as well as your soul for accessing the creative energy around you, I recommend conducting a few “mini backbends.” Any posture that encourages you to straighten your shoulders, or elevates your heart and throat up to the sky, will help your body be ready to receive whatever inspiration may come your way.

Writing Prompt: To get your creative juices flowing, write for five minutes with the first line of your piece being: “I don’t want to ever forget the moment I….”

Creating the Details: Twists and Detox Postures

With an open heart and a ready voice, it can be easy to get into the swing of a writing project. But most creatives out there are familiar with the moment the dreaded writer’s block hits (and I promise, it will hit!) When your brain is convinced there is no longer any way you can continue to tell your story, it is time for twisting and detoxifying postures to get back on track.

When we twist in our bodies, we release any negative or stagnant energy stored deep within our muscles or tissues. That includes (you guessed it!) that pesky little concept of writer’s block. Detoxifying postures you can try to release stagnation and encourage idea and energy flow could include a seated twist or a variation of eagle pose.

Writing prompt: Release unused and unhelpful thought processes and energies. Write for five minutes using the first line, “Here is a list of things I don’t need anymore…”

Sharing Your Story: Power Poses 

Whether you are standing up before a crowd to share your creative voice, or simply sharing poetry with a friend for the first time, it can be nerve-wracking to let a vulnerable side of yourself out. When it comes time to share, focus on slow and even breaths, along with postures that allow us to feel big and bold.

Warrior II and Dancer Pose both require us to take up space. These pictures are a reminder to your body, as well as your soul that you are deserving of having your thoughts heard! Remember, the world needs more of the authentic creativity you provide. Sharing your words and stories is a gift for everyone who may receive them.

Writing prompt: Remind yourself why you started writing in the first place! Write for five minutes on this prompt: “The world needs more of my….”

Business Stuff

Is this the month you finally take writing that book or memoir seriously? What about revamping a webpage with high-quality copy and posts? My books are open and ready to take on 2 additional clients! Reach out if you (or someone you know!) are looking for a ghostwriter or writing coach. I believe your story is powerful and I can’t wait to help you tell it.

Big love,

E

P.S. If you are on Big Island and want to come to the LIVE Yoga for Storytelling workshop… there is still room, sign up here!

I am the art.

I think many grown-up artists can remember grade school art class (I sure can.)  

In second grade, Fridays were art days. On those afternoons, the class was ushered into a magical room filled with baskets of yarn, popsicle sticks, and toilet paper rolls and told to just go ahead and “create.” For someone with plenty of ideas and an affinity for glue sticks, this was my idea of heaven. I was a second-grade Frida Khalo, a light-up Keds wearing Georgia O’Keefe, with big flowers reflected in my eyes as I painted the inside of a paper towel roll with as much ferocity as an eight-year-old could muster. I loved art class.

And every time I stepped into that paint-smeared art room, this song from church came to mind, and I’ll bet you can guess why. It went like this:

“Then sings my soul….

How Great Thou Art.

How Great Thou Art.

I liked to imagine God up in a giant studio, but instead of simply paints and markers, he had drawers and piles of all sorts of things to create with: yellowing autumn leaves, curly hair, perfect teeth, water as smooth as marbles. So the fact that the art teacher interrupted me mid-song on one of those art class Fridays caught me by surprise.

“You know ‘art’ in that song isn’t referring to this kind of art,” she said, gesturing to my gluestick fingers and a tiny row of sequins I glued on a paper plate. “Art in that song is another word for are.’ It’s basically saying, “How Great You Are.”

I’ve never been one to correct anyone’s grammar unless they explicitly ask, and to this day this comment rubs me the wrong way. Who cares if a child thinks a hymn is about art? Maybe it should’ve been. 

Perhaps she was genuinely curious but all I heard was laughter behind her words for not understanding old English at the ripe age of eight. The art teacher continued, “What art did you think they were talking about?”

“What kind of art deserves space in a God song?”

I don’t know if I ever responded to the art teacher’s question that day. And even if I had I am sure it would be something generically sweet for a second-grader. “These clouds are art. These flowers are art. This sunset is art, too.” But I have never forgotten the question. Maybe because it took me years to have the right answer.

I grew up and became an artist in my own right, though I have left the toilet paper rolls behind for the most part. I decided to live in a world where we can choose what the songs mean when they fill our lungs and fill our ears, even if others disagree. In this world, we don’t only embrace the beautiful but also the hard and hardened and ever-softening.  Because I don’t believe we can know bravery if we haven’t known fear, and we can’t feel big joy without the quiet stillness of the dark. That’s the kind of art that deserves space in a God song: imperfect, but still deeply loved. 

Sometimes, I wish I could step back into that second-grade body so I could confidently say:

“It’s me! I am the art. (And how great that art has become.)”

Business Stuff

As a freelance writer and creator, many of you wonderful souls have asked how you can support me. And I am going to take you up on that! If you have ever felt moved or inspired by any emails you receive, forward them to your friends or family, and share them with your broader community. Not only does this help me share my words, but it also connects me with people who can benefit from writing services. (And for all of you who take the time to read each month, I am genuinely grateful for that precious time you share with me.)

And keep in mind, my doors are always open if you want to chat! (Whether that is bouncing around ideas, exploring book ideas, or sharing your latest burst of inspiration.)

I love you,

E

Does This Move Your Soul?

Resolutions aren’t just for New Year anymore (and thank the Goddesses for that.)

I don’t know about you, but the last few months of 2022 are feeling heavy. Not heavy in a bad way, like your heart and your chest after a day filled with watching the news. Heavy in a good way. Like the Costco shopping cart. It may be slow going but you know it’s filled with good things.

Several people in my life have expressed this heaviness, too. Friends, clients to colleagues, have all been filling me in lately about the latest piece of inspiration that seems to have hit them out of nowhere. And not casual inspiration. Inspiration that requires drastic change.

And they all say the same thing, “It’s not really a good time for an abundance of new inspiration.” And I don’t blame them. Summer came to a close, the sun is setting soon and the majority of us are planning on how we can slow our lives down, and get cozier, not busier. (Because really, truly, who wants to work when the sun’s not out?)

It reminds me of a portion of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk where she mentions Ruth Stone, an old-school American poet. Ruth was convinced that ideas for her poetry would chase her at the most inconvenient of times, usually when she was working in the fields. There she would be, knee-deep in roots and soil and leaves, and the inspiration would smack her right in the forehead. She had no choice. She had to answer the call. She would sprint back to her house, and drag the mud right into her office where she would frantically write down the inspiration that had struck. It was her nature as a poet to take advantage of the inspiration, embedded right there in her metaphor-filled bones.

A change of tide in October is like getting hit with creativity in the middle of the rural Virginia fields. It’s just not really… convenient.

If you are anything like me, I find these first few days of fall in an abundance of gratitude that black nail polish is once again seasonally acceptable and that being in bed by eight means it will be appropriately dark outside. I even teach a slower flow in my yoga classes when the days shorten and the light turns more gold. Our bodies and mind seem keenly aware the world softens in the winter months.

And still, amid this slow down, this question smacked me in the forehead and asked for change: “Does what you’re doing move your soul?”

In every moment of mindless scrolling, in every conversation, in every word I wrote for myself or another, this question entered my brain, “Does this move your soul? Does this move your soul? DOES IT?!”

The question was poignant. Sure, there were some soul-sucking aspects of my life, but everyone had those. But the question would not go away. A piece of my life was begging for change, albeit, at the least opportune moment. And yet, when inspiration struck, it was my duty as a creator and storyteller to answer that call. So I paused. And I let the change in.

This is how a new resolution came to be at the start of fall, miles away from a “good time” to shift my focus. A distinct call for change that hit me out of nowhere and begged me to pluck things that no longer filled me up like the dried-up head of a rosebud. Sure, I could’ve left it there. But that would’ve prevented something bigger, brighter, and more soul-filling from taking its place.

For those who feel the heaviness of this part of life and feel change smack you in the forehead, I see you. Hell, I am you. We don’t choose when inspiration strikes or when change hits. What we can choose is whether or not we run towards this inspiration. More often than not, it will hit you when you least expect it, causing you to run across the field, through the mud, with hair tangled behind, while you yell wildly into the breeze, “Yes! This fills my soul!”

I love you,
E

Business Stuff

Books are open and creativity is running high! If you have ever thought about:

▪ Starting a blog
▪ Sending a newsletter
▪ Creating an email campaign
▪ Writing your memoir
▪ Re-working the copy on your website
Now is your chance. (After all, October is the new January when it comes to setting goals and getting things done.)

Interested? Me too. Let’s talk.

I Should’ve Come with a Warning

Did you know: the most popular time for babies to be born is at the end of August or the beginning of September?

It has something to do with a December conception date (TMI, I know, but these are the facts.) People just love having babies in the late summer. This is especially true for my family: so many celebrations piled within the same week and a half, filled with busyness and love, but sometimes little room for reflection. This year especially, I feel like I was rocketed into year 32 of my life with my wheels spinning and my mind trying to catch up while sipping “shots in the dark” for breakfast.

Add to this hectic schedule the fact that we are headed out of town for our honeymoon (finally!) in the coming week. And while it is all big and bold and exciting, it does feel like September came on like a train with no intention of slowing down or giving us time to enjoy the view.

These moments can be challenging for me because while I am a Type A Virgo Businesswoman, I am a poet first. No time to slow down and smell the rain, hear my neighbor’s (highly unlikely) stories, or ask the barista what her tattoo means… that takes a toll. I need my daily dose of strange inspiration. The weirder the better. I like my beauty with a little edge.

Which led me to this song on a late-night drive home from work and responsibility. This lyric kept replaying in my head: “I should’ve come with a warning. I should’ve come with a warning.”

I identify with that. I think a lot of us might: the knowledge that their big and beautiful often comes with grit and sand between the teeth. For people like that, a warning only seems fair. So, in the midst of a hectic moment in space I found my heart cracked open just enough to access the strange creativity that seems to keep me afloat and write my own warning for whoever may need it:

Warning: Does not perform well while seated.

Do not over caffeinate and
Do not over complicate and
Do not make small talk unless you want to talk about your soul.

Do not put sugar in the coffee
But you can put it on your words and
For best results, allow for slow mornings
For best results, we recommend laying on the floor and
For best results put courage over comfort and
For best results, say I love you often.

And then, say it again.

Until next month!

I love you,
E

Business Stuff

Want to talk story?
Want to talk strategy?
Want to write a book?
Shoot me a note… I will get back to you in mid-September when I am back from my travels!

Please Read Gently.

There is a story in Greek Mythology of a woman named Cassandra.

Cassandra was a Trojan priestess, with big beauty and a big heart and such a stunning presence on the earth that the god Apollo took notice. He liked Cassandra. He wanted her as his own. In fact, he liked her so much that he decided to woo the Priestess with a strange gift: the gift of prophecy and insight into the future. The story goes that Apollo and Cassandra had a deal, that she could keep this power as long as she was committed to loving Apollo, and never turn her back on him.

But, as humans often do, Cassandra changed her mind. She eventually decided she did not love Apollo and realized that perhaps the only reason she had ever loved him in the first place was because of the appeal of such a strange gift.

Cassandra backed out of the deal. And Apollo raged.

It wasn’t enough for him to simply take her gift of prophecy away and allow her to return to her old way of being. Apollo twisted her gift of prophecy into something new and darker: she would still hold on to the gift of prophecy, but now she would no longer be believed by anyone, even those who loved her. And I am sure Cassandra wondered, time after time if it was better to share her truth and not be believed, or never share her truth at all.

I have been thinking a lot about Cassandra lately, probably because I hear so many people tell me their truths in the form of stories each week. They often tell me what they have heard or seen or felt, and ask me to help them write it down in a way that makes sense and in a format that the world is ready to receive. And more often than not, I notice an inflection in their voice or light in their eye that asks me the same question that Cassandra must have asked those who heard her truth, “Do you believe my story? Do you think there is value in my words?”

I received an email from a client recently who asked me to “please read gently.” I was helping them create a personal narrative, and they wanted to ensure the material being shared was received in a soft place, not with careless edits and not on auto-pilot. The story needed a soft place to land, and I appreciated the sentiment. In a way, they were asking me to take in their story for what it was, not just another work assignment but a piece of heart and soul that was shared because it needed to be given to our world. It needed to be seen and believed.

I like the request to “read gently” because generally, we don’t associate gentleness with our thoughts, only our actions. Only the tone of our voice when we argue or the way you pick up the baby or pack the suitcase or hug goodbye. But the more I become familiar with the intimate stories of others, I realize the power of gentleness in our thoughts and not just our actions.

The fairytale side of me wishes that Cassandra had come to me with an email. I wish she had said, “You aren’t going to believe this, but someone needs these words, so please help me put them down on paper.”

And I would read her words gently, and handle them with care. Because at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can ask for: a safe place for our stories to rest.

Business Stuff

Our books are open! Our team is currently taking on new clients for ghostwriting, content writing, and copywriting. Know someone who could benefit? Is that person you?
Let’s talk.

With Big love,
E

One More Paddle.

I gave a talk last month about overcoming writer’s block to a group of entrepreneurs.

My main piece of advice? Write about what excites you. If you bog yourself down with topics that don’t give you goosebumps; chances are writer’s block is going to come knocking at your door (and quick.)

I figured I’d take my own piece of advice and gear the Wild One world up for another surf analogy. Because right now smooth green waves are one of the only things giving me goosebumps. The world feels a little sad and a little heavy right now and I tend to feel what the world feels. I like the weightlessness of water and surf and the idea that sometimes the elements and I can collaborate instead of conspiring against each other all the time.

There is this moment when you are waiting for a wave and you see it darken behind you and prepare to paddle. If you are positioned right, it will glide up underneath you and work with your strokes to keep you gliding forward, tenderly dropping you into its fold and allowing you to ride down its face.

A lot has to go right for this to happen. If you are too far forward the wave will break and whitewater will crash down on top of you. And if you are too far back? Well, then it won’t catch you at all. The wave will swell below your board and go on its way – alone.

There are times, though, when you find yourself paddling hard, and think you have missed the wave.
“I’m too far back.”
“I can’t catch up.”
When this happens, frustration builds: you have spent all this energy furiously paddling for a wave that seems to have slipped away.

But that’s when you give one more paddle.

You put all your strength into one more stroke, and you know what?
Usually, that does it.
Usually, that gives you the momentum you need to catch the wave… and ride.

Sometimes I sit out on my surfboard and watch someone furiously paddle and I can tell their arms are getting tired. The wave swells under them, and they think they’ve lost it.
They give up.
They stop paddling.
And the waves go by.
But I’ve been there before, and I know. I know if they had given it one more paddle they would’ve been golden.

I write this today because I believe each of us has the right to choose what is good and healthy for us as individuals, and I believe we should be granted the freedom to take care of our bodies. I write this today because many of us have been told that we are no longer allowed to make decisions about ourselves as human beings and our own health. And finally, I write this today because I know a lot of us are tired of fighting for something that is (quite frankly) unbelievable.
But please don’t mistake this battle for war.
And please don’t tire too quickly.

My encouragement this month is simple: don’t stop yet.
Give it one more paddle.
May it be strong enough so we can rise.

I love you.
E

Community, Commercial Breaks, and a Pack A Day

I read once that loneliness is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

When I first read this, I instantly thought that this means for every “frozen dinner for one” or evening of mindless scrolling through Instagram, you could be chain-smoking at the pool table with a few of your closest smoker friends, lighting up another one, and calling the damage neutral.

But I don’t actually think that’s the case.

I think, instead, it’s a commentary on the power of community. 

Of course, we don’t need someone to approve the outfit choice, the paint color for the bathroom, the name for the new cat, and the best place for Mexican food that throws in chips for free. 

Yes, we are completely capable of making these decisions on our own.

But connection is built on the small finite details that make up life. 

We live in a country where independence is not only tolerated but applauded. (Trust me, as a small business owner and full-time writer, I know the value of solitude and making my own decisions.) But in the midst of independence, at the very core of every self-starter, type A personality, bold and determined solo world traveler, there lies a need for relationship.

We were not created to be solitary creatures. 

We were created to bask in the warmth of another body nearby on the couch  or the pleasant familiarity of small talk during commercial breaks and arguing over pizza toppings and someone texting:

“Did you make it home?”

“Will you pick me up?”

“Do you want to come?”

“I love you.”

To overlook these small spaces of conversation, and assume you don’t need them, don’t crave them, that they aren’t the very fibers of your being… well that’s just like smoking a pack per day.

My wish for you as we enter into summer is that connection is found in phone calls and stories and genuine interactions with strangers. 

I hope you feel the need for your presence within your own community.

I hope you reach out to the lonely and when the lonely is you.

May loneliness be nothing more than a passing breeze on the way to your best friend’s house.

ILY 

E

Business Stuff

I always believe the summer months are when I become my most creative. (Something about longer, sunnier days tends to bring inspiration to the surface.) If you have ever thought about writing your own story (whether that is a fiction piece, how-to, or autobiography) let’s chat! I may have a few resources up my sleeve to help this become your summer of creative writing.

This song isn’t meant to be pretty. Don’t sing it like it is.

The most influential book I have read this year is Daisy Jones and the Six

by the stunning Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s not a self-help book, and the storyline is not even that inspiring or motivational. The book is about a fictional rock band from the ’70s and their relationship to drugs, love, and music. But there were several lines of the story that kept sucker-punching me in the gut.

The battle in the pages was this: some of the band members wanted to sing their truth no holds barred, no matter how ugly or broken it was, and others wanted to write down whatever words they thought the crowds want to hear. In the end, most everyone concluded that pretty and perfect may get you radio play, but it doesn’t touch people down deep in their soul. And the real thing people are craving, all around the world and in every generation, is to know there is beauty in the fractures and complexity of this life.

I’ve had a whirlwind of a February – and it had me feeling more like a 70’s rockstar than ever before (sans the drugs and smashing guitars.) I got married and felt a wave of emotion that comes with letting go of the deeply powerful feeling of singleness and independence and stepped in the role of a wife. I felt the wholeness of seeing family and friends all together in one place, and the ache of them getting on the plane to fly home once again. And, of course, there was a heaviness in celebrating love during a time when the world is experiencing such fear and division.

Love is not always pretty (no mascara is that waterproof), but we weren’t put on this earth to be pretty. We were created to be rough and strong and soft and deeply feeling. We were meant to be filled with water and tears, taking the shape of whatever load we are asked to bear today.

One of the closing lines in Daisy Jones is this:

“You are all sorts of things you don’t know about yet.”

A blushing bride and independent woman, a lover and a fighter and a heartbreaker and a soft voice and a loud presence and a million other things I can’t even imagine until they come knocking on my heart.

It may not all be pretty, but it sure is beautiful.

Business Stuff

I’m back in biz after a few weeks away, and so excited to jump back into writing projects with a clear mind and about a million new thoughts, ideas, and ways to craft words. If you are ready to take your content creation, copywriting, or another writing project to the next level – let’s chat. The world needs your stories. Let’s write them together.

I love you.
E