"Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful."
~ Thich Nhat Hahn

Those of you who have been following me for a long time know that during the month of February, I usually focus on LOVE. For me, the significance of love is not only about romantic love, but it's all-encompassing and includes self-love, love for friends, family, colleagues, and the universe. Feeling love is about appreciation in all realms of our lives. First and foremost, we cannot love others if we do not love ourselves. It's about celebrating all that's good about you and shutting up the "barking dog," which we often resort to, but rather, to commit to positive thoughts. Loving oneself is also about self-awareness. Check out my article: "Self-Awareness and Setting Intentions."

Speaking of love and compassion, it would be amiss if I didn't honor one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh ("Thay"), who died on January 22nd at the age of 95. Thay has inspired and transformed many people with his wisdom and teachings. His work in the universe has been incredibly powerful. In fact, in the '60s, Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated Thay for a Nobel Peace Prize and called him "an apostle of peace and non-violence."

As a writer and activist, Thay wrote about 130 books on various subjects including Buddhist scholarship/philosophy, realism, poetry, guided meditations, Zen teachings, letters to politicians and prisoners, contemplation on love, and children's books. His wisdom and teachings have inspired people around the world, including me. In fact, for years I've carried The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh in my purse. I crack it open just to capture his wisdom intermittently during the day. It has been my little bible.

"Breathing in, I calm my body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment," says Thay.

With love,

The day my first story came to me
I started smelling roses around you
and suffocated in my own delight.

Friends do not meet one another
they knew each other
from the very beginning.

*From Lust by Diana Raab


My poetry collection, LUST, is a passionate and lively journey through intimacy and love's complexity with the understanding that every experience enriches our lives, whether it's a fantasy, or whether we perceive it as joy, pain, or the ordinary.

Over the years my readers, both men and women, have emailed saying how my poems have resonated with them. Some have read the poems aloud to their lovers and partners. Others have been enthralled by the audiobook, which is read by actress Kate Udall.

So whatever your fancy, please check it out.

Click here to order on Amazon.

To get a free autographed bookplate and bookmark, email me your snail mail address:

  • Write a love letter
  • Create a list poem called "What I Love"
  • Make a list of 10 things you love about yourself
  • Write about your most memorable Valentine's/Galentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2022
"Introduction to Memoir Writing"
To register: click here


February 14, 2022
Podcast Interview
Theme: Love
Click here to listen


March 3, 2022
7:00 PM EST
"The Art of Memoir Writing"
Richmond Community Library
Richmond, MI
Details and registration available here soon

"Lessons I Learned from my Grandmother." (article). You Might Need to Hear This. November 11, 2021.

"Garden Path." (poem). Vita Brevis. December 29, 2021.

"Self-Awareness and Setting Intentions." (article). Psychology Today. January 11, 2022.

"Intimate Communication: What's There to Know." (article) The Good Men Project. January 13, 2022.

"Nirvana Vibes," and "Lipstick." (poems). The Opiate Magazine. Winter 2022.

"Seduction." (poem). Superpresent Magazine. January 2022.

"Writing for Wellness." (article). Living Beyond Breast Cancer: Newsletter. January 19, 2022.

"Are You a Wounded Healer?" (article). Psychology Today. January 26, 2022.

"Why Do Some People Survive and Others Don't?" (article) The Good Men Project. January 27, 2922.
True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh said that there are four elements of true love: loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity or freedom. He explores these elements in this book while including practicing the all-important breathing techniques.

Thay discusses how the best gift you can give someone you love is your presence, meaning, body, mind and spirit. This means being "really here for someone."

He advocates the importance of mindful breathing, walking, deep listening, and calm, loving speech. These are all essential features of true love.

His final offering is this: "I wish for all of you to have a brother or a sister who is a serious practitioner of the Dharma, a spiritual friend who possesses solidarity, joy, freedom, understanding, and love." (102).
You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh (self-help/inspiration)

All of Thay's books focus on mindfulness, but this is one of my favorites. He opens the book by saying "every twenty-four hour day is a tremendous gift to us," and how true this is.

He discusses mindfulness as a path to transforming our lives and how it's not only about being in the present moment, but also about being totally alive during that moment.

While Thay advocates living in the present moment, he does not negate the past and the wounds and stories we carry. He recounts that the Buddha said we should not be afraid of the past, but not to lose ourselves in it. In this sense, Thay says, it's important to understand our past, but advocates not feeding our regrets or pains. In other words, "the past is still here in the form of the present."

As a memoirist, I find this perspective and his chapter on "Healing Our Wounds and Pain" very informative.
Top-selling course!

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

To register: Click here

An exclusive course!

Therapeutic Writing

To register: Click here

You’re receiving this newsletter because somewhere on this life's journey, our paths have crossed.