In addition to this being my birthday month, it's also the month we celebrate mothers and grandmothers. Given all that we've been through of late and the fact that we might not be able to connect in person . . . what can we do to honor our mothers and grandmothers, many of whom have made huge sacrifices for, and contributions to, our lives? Whether they're alive or deceased, this might be a good opportunity to write them a handwritten letter. W hether you’ll be connecting across the miles, telling them you're thinking of them, or simply making amends, a letter is a beautiful way to connect. 

Those from past generations are quite familiar with the letter form. As a grandmother of four young children who don't even read yet, I've made a habit of mailing them letters. It's wonderful to watch their excitement when they see their names on envelopes arriving in the mail. I look forward to the day when they can actually read my letters, and not have their parents read to them! 

The practice of letter writing goes back thousands of years and served as a way for people to communicate with one another, at least until the invention of the telegraph in the 19th century. Years ago when my eldest daughter was in grade school, we went on a field trip and visited the home of Thomas Jefferson in Williamsburg, Virginia. We learned about Jefferson’s inherent passion for letter writing. In fact, he used a device called a polygraph (patented by John Isaac Hawkins) to make copies of all his written letters. Jefferson called it “the finest invention of the present age.”

Studies have shown that we tend to dig deeper into our psyches when we use the handwritten word, as opposed to using email as a form of communication. Writing stimulates and engages the brain to a greater extent, and some say that the most authentic writing is done with a pen or pencil. Crafting a handwritten note can also encourage us to slow down and take some deep, relaxing breaths. This is an excellent way to practice mindfulness during these uncertain times!
Creatively Yours,
  • Write a letter to your mother or grandmother.
  • In your journal, write about your relationship with these two women.
  • If you are a mother, write about your children.
  • If you're a grandmother, write a letter to one or more of your grandchildren.

“Southern Blues”  (poem). Blue Mountain Review . April 2020.

"Truth Redux" (poem). Poemeleon. Spring 2020.

"Tonight I Will Write" (poem). Sunspot Literary Journal. Spring 2020.

“The New Pandemic: Loneliness.” Psychology Today. April 5, 2020.

“Beginnings,” and “Lonely Death” (poetry). RavensPerch . April 7, 2020. 

“How to Deal with Grief Using Poetry” (article). Psychology Today. April 10, 2020.

"The Secret to Rituals: A Sequence to Ground Yourself" (article). Medium. April 13, 2020.

“What Is Centering? What Is Grounding?” ( article). The Good Men Project. April 17, 2020.

“The Pandemic and Dark Moments” (article). Psychology Today . April 19, 2020.

“Memoir Writing”

Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Sunday, June 14, 2020, to Friday, June 19, 2020
Santa Barbara, CA
Details to follow
To register: Click here

The Book of Ichigo Ichie by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles (self-help)

This book is a gem, especially during these times when many of us are having difficulty focusing. It's a reminder to look at life in the Japanese way--simply and gratefully, knowing that each moment happens just once and we shouldn't let it slip away. From this concept, modern-day mindfulness emerged.

Ichigo Ichie means "once in a lifetime encounter, in this moment an opportunity." In other words, whatever we experience is a unique treasure, never to be repeated again.

This is a wonderful gift for others, but make sure you read it yourself first!
Check out my exclusive DailyOM course:

Write. Heal. Transform:
A Magical Memoir-Writing Course

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