February 2018


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."

~Lao Tzu


Greetings from Santa Barbara where the past two months have been laden with two evacuations following devastating natural disasters (fires and fatal mudslides). As we're gradually allowed to re-enter our community, which for more than two weeks has been barricaded with police cars, fire trucks and mud-removing vehicles, we're slowly beginning to feel a sense of balance again. I feel blessed to be safely at home with clean water and a working internet, but I cannot stop thinking about and mourning for all the loss of loved ones and structures to our magical community (read my article below in the Montecito Journal). While it's normal for PTSD to surface at times like these, it seems like a good time to honor and count our blessings as well.

In honor of this month of love, I vow to consider new beginnings and saturating our world with love. A good intention for the month of February is to fill ourselves with compassion. Compassion may be defined as showing  love and concern for others who are suffering or going through some type of turmoil. In recent weeks, I've felt a deep sense of compassion and profound need for interconnectedness in my community. I've hosted dinners at my home for evacuees, held healing circles, and facilitated Writing for Healing workshops. 

When we have compassion for others, we're inspired to go out of our way to help them, whether that is on a physical, mental or emotional level. When we're compassionate, we're sensitive and have keen observation skills. Most poets are compassionate because they need to be in touch with their feelings in order to write compelling poetry. They also have to be keen observers of the human condition. The Dalai Lama often speaks about having compassion and the importance of having compassion for both ourselves and others. As he once said, "Compassion is a necessity, not a luxury."

Creatively yours,
February Writing Prompts 
  • Write a love letter.
  • Write about those times when you feel most loved.
  • Write about how you can love yourself more.
  • Write about a time when you were a recipient of compassion.


Recently Published Works

" Drunk as Drunk,"  "Tied Hands " (poem).    Blood & Bourbon.  2017.

"An Intimate Way to Help Cope with Loss During the Holidays." (blog).  Psychology Today.  December 25, 2017. 

"Holiday Refrain" (poem). Poets Unlimited. December 25, 2017.

"Biopsy My Thoughts "  (poem). The Literary Nest.  2018.

 "Here's a Way Around New Year's Resolutions" (blog) Psychology Today.  January 9, 2018.

"What Story Are You Being Asked to Tell?" (article).  New York Free Spirit Journal. January 23, 2018. 

  "Writing is My Spiritual Practice " (blog). Thrive Global . January 23, 2018.

 "Fires to Mudslides and Apocalyptic Feelings" (article). Montecito Journal. January 25, 2018.

  "What Everybody Should Know About Survivor's Guilt" (blog).  Psychology Today.  January 26, 2018.

"Here and Now" (poem). The Elephant Journal. January 29, 2018.
Workshops + Appearances

February 2, 2018
6-8 p.m. 
" Writing for Bliss"
 (Reading and Celebration)
Ikat and Pearls
40 South California Street
Ventura, CA
February 3, 2018
2-4 p.m. 
" Writing for Healing"
Yoga Soup
28 Parker Way
Santa Barbara, CA
To register: Click here

February 17, 2018
Writing for Bliss

Vroman's Bookstore
Pasadena, CA
To register: Click here

February 23-25, 2018
" Writing for Bliss"
1440 Multiversity
Scotts Valley, CA
To register:  Click here
June 17-22, 2018
" Memoir Writing"
Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Santa Barbara, CA
June 30, 2018
" Writing for Bliss: Finding Joy Through Personal Writing"
Open Center
22 E. 30th Street
New York, NY
To register:  Click here


" The Stuck Story

The Science of Magic with Gwilda Wikaya
January 16, 2018

   "Writing for Bliss and Healing"  
Empowerment Radio with Dr. Friedemann Schaub 
January 17, 2018


Love and Will by Rollo May (nonfiction)

This classic book was originally published in 1969. A year later, I turned 16 and my family physician gave it to me as a gift, saying, "In the years to come, this book will come in handy for you." I went home, sat in my reading chair and flipped through its pages. The discussion was way over my head. It seemed too grown up, deep, and incomprehensible to me at the time. I filed the hardcover book away on my shelf.

Numerous times in subsequent decades, I've picked up the book up, only to realize that it is indeed a gem, not to be read at once, but in small doses. Rollo May, one of my favorite humanistic psychologists is a seeker who looks to examine the inner reality of the way things are, whether he writes about, love, will or creativity. He says that our task is to unite love and will, but will often fights against love, because human will often starts with a 'no,"' and this willing begins against something. May says, "Will comes in to lay the groundwork which makes a relatively mature love possible," (p. 285). Finding a balance or agreement of love and will is indeed a human achievement that ultimately leads to integration and wholeness.


Lust by Diana Raab (poetry)

Although my book of poetry was published four years ago, many people tell me that it's still one of their favorites, which they confess to keeping on their bedside table.

Here's a review from Amazon:

"A passionate journey through private emotional moments, Diana Raab's Lust voices the pain of loneliness and the heart's yearning for love while transcending the depths of human desire. In her fourth book of poetry, Raab employs narrative verse that is alive, titillating, and seductive. Lust examines the emotional and physical complexity of love, helping readers navigate the risks of intimacy as we move toward the realization that every experience enriches our lives, whether we perceive it as joy, pain, or out of the ordinary. Yet for all their psychological richness, the poems's simplicity and accessibility will resonate with women and men across all walks of life. Lust is a book you won't put down and won't soon forget."

Diana blogs for:

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