Tuesday Tickle: Losing the Ball

I literally had a ball this past weekend at the Skyline Writers Conference  http://skylinewriters.com/  in southwest Cleveland where I gave a presentation (“Your Brain on Yoga: How Exercise and Nutrition Make You A Better Writer”). The thirty participants were attentive, energetic, and focused. They have serious plans to be writers! I applaud them all.

First , let me congratulate the other three presenters at Skyline who gave wonderful, interactive lectures on topics important to writers today.

                Mara Purnhagen http://www.marapurnhagen.com/  offered a well-informed session about young adult fiction. Her books published with Harlequin Teen http://www.eharlequin.com/catalogsearch.html?keyword=mara+purnhagen&tab=items&vcname=Catalog_Search lend power to her premise about the “five page rule for young adult.” If you can’t hook a teen reader by page five, say good-bye to them. This is good to know.

                Kelly Boyer Sagert http://www.kbsagert.com/index.html gave a fabulous presentation on non-fiction writing. Her personal story of “accidently” becoming a boomerang expert is hilarious and informative. She is living the life of a non-fiction writer to the fullest and doing it well. Her words are golden.

                Lisa Roecker http://lisaandlauraroecker.com/index2.php#/home/and her younger sibling, Laura have recently released a young adult title through Source Books http://www.sourcebooks.com/ . Lisa gave a wonderful presentation on the basics of social media for writers. Lisa got the most questions of the day proving that the topic is hot, and her presentation was excellent. Audience participation says it all at these conferences.

                I spoke about the five practices of Writer Wellness and recent developments in the world of brain research and how the new information applies to writers. For an “ice breaker”, I tossed out a beach ball covered in questions I wrote on the ball in permanent marker. I think everyone had fun with this activity and it got them thinking. They had to answer questions like, “Do you track you salt intake on a daily basis?” and “Did you eat any fruit today, if so what?” The most laughs happened when someone threw the ball hard enough to dislodge the lights overhead or when someone totally missed the ball even with both arms stretched overhead. Of course, we did breathing exercises squeezing stress balls, and I guided everyone through the basic alignment principles of Standing Mountain Pose.

                The Skyline Writers Conference  http://skylinewriters.com/ was really well organized, and I’m honored to have been a speaker this year. Look it up. The information and the setting are stellar. 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held https://www.joyeheld.com

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Monday Meditation: Getting Lost In Your Own Mind

Getting lost is a disconcerting sensation. For many goal-oriented people, being lost means something, somewhere broke down along the lines of their motto, “I cannot cope with the worst case scenario, so I will over-plan to be prepared if the worst happens.” While making a plan, then working that plan is a valid approach to achieving success, the best of us get lost. Coping with the reality might be easier if we practice meditation because the feeling of being lost in our own minds and bodies but not experiencing panic is possible. Then it’s a matter of transferring that lesson to real life situations.

The key is surrender. The first few minutes of sitting in meditation are normally a challenge almost every time we go to the cushion. That’s because we are so used to holding on to things. It’s a natural sensation to want to hold on. In my opinion, everyone is born with the desire to hold on because our bodies are constantly pulled on by gravity. It makes sense to me to hold on to things, people, and myself simply because it’s how we function in relationship to the earth’s pull on our beings. Surrendering to this awareness of being held onto by gravity is a first step when sitting in meditation.

Up to the first ten minutes of meditation practice is basically about noticing gravity’s hold over our bodies, organs, and senses. Simply notice, then intentionally start at the source of the pull and work upwards through the body to relax or let go of the worry about being pulled down all the time. It’s very normal to feel everything settling downward (some people note this as being “grounded”), and it’s at this point of everything being settled down we try to surrender it all to a feeling of weightlessness. We let go of the worry. Surrender to gravity’s pull then allow the anxiety about whether or not it’s working to surface and face it. At this point it’s possible to get lost in the lightness of being and just breathe until the session is ended.

It’s surrendering to the power of being lost and letting go of expectations that we practice on the cushion then try to recall when we get lost on the highway or in a tricky plot pattern we’re writing. In meditation we keep breathing and follow the breath to the end. In real life, we should apply the breath to keep us calm and working toward correcting the wrong turn or the wrong speech or the wrong choice. Everyone gets lost. It’s easier for some than others to deal with being off-track. A few moments of being lost in your own mind everyday and surfacing to a better place in the end is one possible way to learn how to deal with the real world situation of losing your way no matter how much you plan in advance.

All the outlines, maps, and global positioning devices in the world cannot teach us how to cope. Those are tools for dealing with and correcting the problem. Applying lessons learned on the meditation cushion to daily realities is one method of coping with being lost along the journey. It happens to everyone occasionally. For those goal-oriented folks like me, the key is adding “get lost” to the plan.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Wednesday Workout: The Consequences of Exercise

Wednesday Workout: The Consequences of Exercise

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Lots of people look at exercise as punishment for eating. That’s too bad because the brain can be overwhelmed by the message of payback for the triple cheeseburger and might not recognize the good side effects of the workout. If we regularly view physical activity as retribution for taking in nutrition, then our workouts and mental attitudes about them suffer. Eating and exercise should go hand-in-hand, but we taint the value of the workout by thinking about it negatively before taking the first step on the treadmill.

One of the many benefits to anyone who exercises is a positive outlook on life. After an exercise session the body is pumping all kinds of good stuff around and around inside like blood and oxygen helping revive and cleanse internal organs. The brain is super happy because it’s churning out endorphins and spilling them into the bloodstream contributing in part to the good feeling also known as “the runner’s high.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin

As an extra bonus, the brain literally grows new cells as the result of a good, heart-pumping cardio session because exercise breeds brain derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which, according to Dr. John Ratey in his book SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, is like “Miracle-Gro for the brain”. http://johnratey.com/newsite/index.html

Happiness, improved muscle tone, weight loss, and cardiovascular support. Why look at exercise as the demon and not the darling? Regular physical exercise isn’t a penalty, it’s a privilege, and the consequences of exercise far outweigh the side effects of avoiding it. But it’s important to go into a workout with a positive mental attitude. The negativity associated with regular exercise could easily negate the benefits.

Keeping a fitness journal for a short while might help when we see the positive results written down. Note these things for a few days or weeks then review the notes. Think about the positive results while tying on the walking shoes and add extra benefits to those workouts.

Date

Feelings/thoughts BEFORE working out

Describe the workout (i.e., twenty-minute walk in the park)

Note anything interesting that happened during the workout

Feelings/thoughts AFTER working out

Do you just dread working out? Why?

Happy Note: Book signing and hatha yoga demonstration Saturday, June 25 at Borders in Vienna, WV, 2-4 p.m. Will I see you there? Bring your yoga mat!

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

Thursday Thought: Stuff

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

I’m convinced we hold onto our Stuff because in some awkward way it validates us. In a world crammed with people and their Stuff, our Stuff gives us proof that we exist. If we have Stuff and proof of our existence, we can claim some sort of history, some kind of evidence that we matter now, did then, and will matter in the future. Even if we aren’t physically here (in the future.) Our stuff will be proof that we were here.

Stuff is also a symbol. Some people and weird, scary television shows about people unwilling to let go of their Stuff, say that the Stuff is a status symbol, a message to others that we have succeeded on terms supposedly acceptable to the general populace. “I have Stuff. Therefor, I am.” Am what? My sister has a coffee mug in her sewing room that says, “She who dies with the most fabic wins.” The reality TV shows about people with piles and piles and room after room of Stuff are popular because deep in our bellies we all know it’s a symbol of greed. The contestants in life who race to have the most Stuff are afraid they will be forgotten. It’s a natural sensation. We’re afraid that after we die, no one will remember us except they will have our Stuff to clean up for us so they’ll never forget us. Huh?

I visited the home of an elderly woman once who had been retired from the U.S. Postal Service. She spent the next fifteen years shopping yard sales. You could not walk through any room in the house. Even the bathroom was stacked with things so you had to walk on piles of sheets and towels to get to the throne. After she died, it took her daughter eleven years to sort and sell just the Stuff. The house sold in a matter of months once people could see the ceilings.

As the executrix of my father’s estate, it’s my job to simplify his belongings and liquidate the property and convert everything into cash for the heirs. I love my Dad, but he didn’t do the best job organizing his Stuff before he passed away and I’m still wading through paperwork and details and bureaucratic b.s. almost four years after his death. Believe me, once you have to do all this work after someone has passed away, you will organize and simplify your own life and paperwork in a hurry…unless you want to leave a nightmare behind. That isn’t how I want to be remembered. To be fair, my poor father died suddenly and the work to “clean house” and organize his estate was in progress at the time of his death, but it wasn’t complete. The work is amazingly complicated and depressing. I am doing everything possible NOT to leave my children the same Stuff.

It seems pretty simple to say, “Get rid of it,” but reality is a bit more of a hard bite when it comes to choosing what to through out. I have the same problem everyone else has with getting rid of Stuff, but I’m working on it. Got three boxes in the van for Goodwill right now. I driven there twice and haven’t dropped it off yet. I’ll do it. I’ll do it. Will you remember me without my Stuff as a reminder?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

Be well, write well.

 

Wednesday Workout: Bare Footin’

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Ever seen an infant stick their toes in their mouth? Later, those same infants are adults who are challenged to bend over and touch their toes, and they certainly would never stick their toes in their mouths even if they could reach them. Ick. These facts are a sad statement on how little we tend to care for our feet once we are adults. Yoga is a Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) word loosely translated to mean “union” or “yoke”. It’s a program of bringing into balance the body, mind, and spirit including the feet. But the bare feet principle is a turn-off for many people who would otherwise glean benefits from yoga if they would only take off their socks and shoes and try it.

There is mythology and science surrounding the practice of yoga in bare feet. It’s the oldest known practice of organized physical exercise dating back to the days when shoes weren’t as popular or as readily accessible as they are today. Maybe just because the originators of yoga didn’t have shoes that’s why it’s still done without them today. Many, many yoga poses require balance, even with both feet on the ground, and it is better with bare feet because the student can equally press down with all parts of the foot thereby increasing stability. Perhaps the reason is balance.

Advancement in yoga calls for attention to the feet in all poses and learning to arch the feet, point the feet, and/or spread the toes is important to succeeding in certain levels of poses. Perhaps shoes get in the way when moving from yoga pose to yoga pose as smoothly as possible. Maybe shoes and socks represent a shroud, a curtain separating the student from a part of the body that is important to every pose, even if the feet are in the air! Is going barefoot in yoga a lesson in awareness of all factors when practicing? Is it just simpler, lighter, and more economical not to require special footwear for this form of exercise? Are there yoga poses where the student is required to grab their toes (eventually!!) Do bare feet send a natural, wholistic message?

All of these factors are important on some level to the need to practice yoga bare footed. It’s been part of the practice for thousands of years but it remains the one thing that’s a deal-breaker for many would be yoga students. “I am not taking off my socks.” So I wait. Sometimes years for some students to remove their socks and practice yoga. If the student practices for a long time with the socks still on, I am quiet, but I don’t change the lesson plan to accomodate their socks. I still insist they grab their toes through their socks for Reclined Head to Big Toe Pose. It isn’t easy with socks on and neither is balancing or holding Warrior I pose because their knees are out of alignment because their feet are slipping because they still have on their socks. But I wait.

And if they continue to attend class, one day, quite without fanfare, they sit on their mat at the start of practice and quietly slip off their socks. They (the socks) are always rolled into a neat little ball and placed right next to the yoga mat…never far away. But once they try a yoga class barefooted one time, they never go back to the dark place of unenlightened feet.

NAMASTE*NAMASTE*NAMASTE

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 Be well, write well.

Tuesday Tickle: Love/Hate Relationship

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Found this on a group recently and just had to share whether it’s fictional or not. It’s just for giggles.

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives,  read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, ‘If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.’

In response to Bill ‘s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash……. ..Twice a day.

2.. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3… Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to
drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single ‘This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation’ warning light.

I love the next one!!!

7. The airbag system would ask ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the ‘Start’ button to turn the engine off.

PS – I ‘d like to add that when all else fails, you could call ‘ customer service ‘ in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!!!!

Thanks to Joyce Henderson for sharing this.

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 Be well, write well.

Monday Meditation: Ruby Slippers

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

“If I’m such a legend, why am I so lonely?” ~Judy Garland

I decided a long time ago my alter ego was ‘Dorothy’ from the Wizard of Oz. As I grew, I found one dog that would be my only dog and three men with exactly the issues of the Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man. Like Dorothy, I attached the most to the Scarecrow. I love a man with brains. I have always loved red shoes. They don’t have to be sparkly, just red. And I have never stopped believing love is the answer to every question. And again, like Dorothy, I have recently encountered wickedness and overcome it with love.

While this may sound like an over simplification, that’s exactly the point. Life is complicated, hectic, erratic, and staccato for just about everybody. Applying a simple principle to every aspect is one way to achieve a sense of “I can do this.” We all have moments and days and hours and weeks where we think, “I’ll will never get this done.” By adopting a simple mantra or basic idea such as love, truth, or beauty, our lives and our brains will relax because we have a built in coping mechanism. No matter what the question is, having a base foundation to approach everything is comforting and provides tranquility and strength. When you have one or two primary ideals and you strive to achieve every goal with them in mind, then everything has some degree of positive outcome.

It’s similar to the “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon” theory or game.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation. The idea for the game came from Bacon claiming he had worked with everyone in Hollywood. To play, you name people, places, etc. to connect with Kevin Bacon in no more than six steps. It is taken from the theory of six degrees of separation popularized by Hungarian author F. Karinthy who called it a chain. We are all connected, goes the theory, by no more than six steps or degrees or concepts. It’s a small world.

To adopt and apply a simple life principle such as beauty literally colors your perspective so be careful not to pull the wool over your own eyes. Be realistic, but regardless of the trouble, try to see how your guiding life principle can eventually be applied and see if your reactions and stress levels diminish. No matter how ugly, find a quiet moment to see the better, hopeful side of the situation.

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

Be well, write well.

Copyright Joy Held 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday Feast: Celebration Dessert

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Food and celebrating often go hand-in-hand. We celebrate a night of rest by having breakfast. We pay homage to a morning of work with lunch. Accomplishing another full day of love and work is recognized with dinner. Every meal can and should be savored and respected. That equates to healthy choices and moderation coupled with plenty of exercise to monitor the effects of over celebrating, if you know what I mean!

It is a documented and publicized fact that many chronic diseases in America can be challenged successfully with proper nutrition and exercise. Good nutrition does not mean cutting out all the tasty, fun flavors that are naturally found in fruits and juices. This recipe can help those who are looking for ways to honor good food choices with a light, refreshing dessert that doesn’t over-do the celebration factor of a good meal. While this dessert contains sugar, it is not in excess. In food as in life, it is excess that sometimes leads to problems. If you can’t eat sugar, try using a sugar substitute and choose juices without added sugar. Again 100% juice without added sweeteners is the best. To avoid the sugar in the sparkling juice, use club soda.

For a festive, easy, and inexpensive treat, Celebration Gelatin Dessert is the winner. It looks like a glass of chilled champagne but is friendly to everyone because it’s made with sparkling juice. The sparkling juice naturally makes a fizzy top that resembles the bubbles in champagne and everybody will get a tingle on the tongue as the gelatin sparkles all the way down. Cheers! 

Celebration Gelatin Dessert

1 package or 1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin

1 cup 100% white grape juice, chilled

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 cup non-alcoholic sparkling white grape juice (any flavor sparkling juice will work)

4 chilled champagne glasses

Pour the chilled white grape juice into a sauce pan. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin on the surface of the juice and let sit for one minute. Preheat stove burner to medium-low while gelatin is dissolving. After one minute, heat the gelatin mixture stirring with a whisk. Once liquid is slightly hot, whisk in and dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. 

Slowly add the sparkling white grape juice while whisking into the gelatin mixture. Room temperature sparkling juice creates more foam and adding it slowly retains the foam for a bubbly champagne appearance. Pour the mixture into chilled champagne or dessert glasses. Chill in refrigerator for approximately 6-8 hours. Serves 4.

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc. 

Be well, write well.

Thursday Thought: The Writing Life Is Unique

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Writers wrestle in solitary confinement to create work worthy of distribution to the masses.  We listen to our guts writhe and dare to write down the utterances.  We literally tap into the deepest seams of human components and release the secrets of the spirit in print for everyone to see.  Such creatures would be “pedastalized” in a truly free and creative world.  But we aren’t.

Writers are eccentric.  Writers are different.  You never know where a writer’s mind is even if you are standing in front of her looking into her eyes.  Significant others just get used to it. Even though the whole world relies on some aspect of a writer’s abilities, the writer is sectioned off “to work”, but really to put us where they can keep an eye on us!  Lest we indulge in daydreaming, talking to ourselves, or something worse like the historical bad writer habits of alcohol or drugs. 

Almost everyone knows of Hemingway’s alcohol problems or Poe’s drug abuse.  Why does the world have this negative image of writers?  Because history has a passion for emphasizing the foibles of the greats in an attempt to claim, “He was a great writer in spite of his flaws.” 

Flaws.  Imperfections.  Blemishes.  This is the stuff that makes us individuals, that makes us lovable, that gives writers a different perspective on the world.  A writer’s vantage point is precisely where her voice emanates.  What makes a writer is someone who notices that their voice and their turn of mind come from the same immeasurable place.  When I wrote my first short story in grade school from the outlook of two shoes talking to each other in a dark shoe box, I heard my voice for the first time.  Writers can see, feel, think, smell, and hear the worlds of other people and objects.  It’s what we do.

“I’m a writer.  I use everything,” said Truman Capote.  To truly be a writer, regardless of genre, you must ‘muse’ everything in your world and in your mind to the advantage of your craft.  It’s a task that comes easier for some writers than others.  It’s a question of listening and being open to what you hear.  How can you evolve into the grand writer you desire to be?  By leading a daily life devoted to expanding your body, mind, and spirit in every sense of the word.  By following the way of Writer Wellness.

The idea of Writer Wellness happened to me because of a hectic schedule and the natural instinct to “use everything” around me to create my writing.  When I was expecting my first baby, I published a magazine article about continuing to run a dance studio while pregnant.  When a guest artist taught classes at our local community theatre, I published an article about his career on Broadway.  When my life got wonderfully full of children, a household, work, and writing deadlines, I organized a system that would allow me to listen to my inner and outer worlds and maintain my writing voice.

Writer Wellness is composed of regular practices of journal writing, exercise, relaxation, nutrition, and creative play.  For example, depending on my schedule, my daily journal entry may be three pages long or just the front of an index card.  Exercise is either walking the dog, yoga practice, cardio equipment, or walking.  I ALWAYS find at least five minutes a day to close my eyes and meditate.  The food I eat is simple and grown as locally as possible.

Writer Wellness evolved from a personal habit to a community program and then into a book.  I follow the principles and guide others to do the same.  It’s a simple, developmental approach that any writer can try in any degree.  The results are tumultuous productivity and long term good health.  And triumph over flaws by using what you know as a writer to make your life and writing better.

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 Be well, write well.

Wednesday Workout: Energy Balance

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

The food you eat equals the energy you have to burn. Food in, energy out…supposedly. What happens more often than not is more food/energy in than we burn off daily. This is the cause of weight gain. There is no secret to losing weight. The human body requires food to produce energy to function. When someone eats more food/energy than they need on a daily basis, the food/energy is converted into fat and stored for a day when the body “might” use it up. It’s an ancient process that all people experience. It’s called survival.

Our bodies need energy to operate. Food is the source of the energy. Energy from food is what our bodies utilize for basic metabolic functions like batting your eyes and pumping blood through your veins. Our bodies cannot function without the energy provided through the foods we eat and digest. The problem arises when we drive by a fast food restaurant and think, “A cheese burger would really hit the spot right now,” even though it’s only been two hours since we ate a taco salad for lunch. It’s okay to eat every two hours because that practice keeps metabolism in high gear (burning calories) and that helps us loose or maintain weight. The problem arises from eating a cheese burger at noon and again at two o’clock and then a full course meal at six after an afternoon snack of popcorn.

The secret of the universe is balance, but people don’t know what balance means these days. That’s why the principle of energy balance doesn’t make an impact on our thinking or our diets because we don’t have a clue what it means. What is energy balance?

To maintain a certain weight, people need to burn or expend all of the calories they eat in a day. This is energy balance. To lose weight, people need to burn or expend MORE of the calories they eat DAILY. This is a tough job. 

This sounds like The Hunger Games, if you ask me, but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t need calculators or scales or premeasured food. We need more exercise. The number of people who sit for a living is staggering I’m sure. If you include telemarketers, the most sit-worthy group in the working world, I’m sure the percentage of people whose jobs require them to SIT hour after hour is astronomical. When you sit for a living, fat has nowhere to go but down…into your bum and thighs. The only hope we have for redirecting the calories is exercise. Exercise daily for thirty minutes and eat every two hours if you want to, but watch what goes into your energy calculator. Too much energy in coupled with too many hours of sitting for a living equals too many pounds of body weight which can lead to all sorts of trouble. Heart disease, obesity, cancer, brain sluggishness, and size 24W pants to name a few problems.

Where is my recumbent bike?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 Be well, write well.