• Oakland Press columns,  Personal growth,  Where I'm published,  Writing workshops

    List-en to yourself

    “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park Did you know that the root of list actually means listen to? When we get quiet and listen to ourselves, we often discover the answers we’ve been seeking. List-making can be a life-changing tool for continuing this inner dialogue. Next Wednesday (Oct.5), I’ll be leading a free community workshop on list-making in the Friends Auditorium at the Royal Oak Public Library. (We’ll have some fun writing a variety of lists in the class.) Meanwhile, I wrote a new article on the benefits of list-making, and you can…

  • Inspirational quotes,  Personal growth,  Rest and leisure

    Take a breather

    “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” ~Etty Hillesum Are you the person who needs to be running 24/7 in order to feel valuable? Are you ever ashamed to admit you need a nap? Is your conversation usually weighted with references to how busy you are? Rest is good for body and soul, and wonderful things happen when we allow ourselves to unwind. Our muscles recover, our stress levels drop. We’re more receptive to fresh ideas when we sit still, breathe deeply, and welcome the silence. When we’re relaxed, we’re also more fun to be around. What would happen…

  • approval seeking,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Health & wellbeing,  Self-care

    Putting yourself last?

    “Sometimes you have to put your own needs first, even if that doesn’t please others. You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.” ~Shannon Olson  Like a lot of people who know better, I still tend to put the needs or wishes of others before my own. Even if someone lets me off the hook and gives me “permission” to put myself first, I might feel a bit guilty when I do so. It gets tricky sometimes, because I truly enjoy helping others. Somewhere between selflessness and selfishness is a healthy balance. One thing I know for sure is this: When I set myself…

  • Criticism,  Personal growth,  Writing advice

    Owning our mistakes

    “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.” ~Nikki Giovanni, American poet and activist It’s one of the realities of being a journalist or a published author: The mistakes you make on the job are glaringly public and might remain in print forever. I recall times I made errors that were, luckily, caught by my editors before they made it to print. But sometimes they weren’t caught — and I was humbled when readers pointed them out. (You really need to grow a thick skin in this business.) As sociologist Brene Brown advises, if you’re going to put yourself out there, expect to…

  • Domestic arts,  Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Musuem,  Home & Family,  Personal growth

    Domestic arts

    “I no longer call such tasks ‘housework.’ I call them the ‘domestic arts,’ paying attention to all the ways they return me to my senses.” ~Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith One of the things I’ve admired about Martha Stewart is the way she elevates homekeeping to an art form. Along these lines, Episcopal priest and author Barbara Brown Taylor finds the sacred in her everyday tasks. In her book, An Altar in the World, she approaches the “domestic arts” with mindfulness — and the belief that cooking our own meals, washing dishes, and taking care of our personal space can be a pleasure and…

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