February 27, 2011

The Opposite of War

The opposite of war is not peace, it is creation. Art. I can't find who to credit for saying this first, but it seems to be well known, and also well ignored most of the time.

I had a realization a few days ago that in The Writer's Mind class, I am helping to heal some very great writers--from fear, from blocks, from the negativity that surrounds us--and in doing so, I am helping to heal the world. When a dictator takes over, the first thing they do is get rid of artists because writers and artists speak truth. We add beauty and clarity to the world. We create out of a place that says, "I must" and through it, there is a transfer of inspiration, wisdom, healing, and a knowningness that one is not alone in this world.

Especially memoir. That which is the most personal is also the most universal. Who said that? It's true. Every time a writer accidentally lapses into the second person "you" I immediately start to want to argue with them. But when they stick with their personal experience and their truth, I see myself on every page.

I am thinking about doing a little social experiment. I can't say too much about it right now, but the goal is greater communication, inspiration, and healing on a community level. If you are fan of this, pass it on. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. I'll keep you posted. We're going to heal a great wound.

February 25, 2011


Last night was the fourth meeting of my Beta class, The Writer's Mind. After every class I feel so inspired and want to blog about it, but do something else instead, like my own writing, or bathtub reading, or sleeping. Last night one of my students shared a piece about swimming nude and other outdoor water related recreation. She mentioned rope swings, cliff diving. There was one phrase I am thinking of now and that is the "flinging oneself into oblivion." This is how I feel about teaching this class. As far as I know no one has ever combined a writing workshop with hypnosis, imagery, EFT, dream therapy, and all the tools I am using and giving to this cozy group of willing subjects. I have no tracks to follow, I'm just flinging myself into open space. I do this often in life and sometimes there are bruises when I fall on my elbow, but other times, the payoff is wonderful. As in this case.

Basically, we go in and out of trance sometimes several times a night and then we workshop writing and I teach them cool stuff about the mind--like how to re-frame some of those negative internal voices, how to release negative emotion, connect with their muse. Last night I taught them how to interpret dreams and stimulate dreams to give them information. They all left a little skeptical that it would work, but this morning I got 2 emails and one call by surprised and excited dreamers.

February 13, 2011

Re-use, Recycle, Renew - A Video Diary About Cutting Up My Wedding Dress

To give you an example of video diary, here is one I made about what I did last week. As you can see, it doesn't have to be fancy. But it's different than home videos in that it tells a story directly to the camera. Video diaries are usually short. They are moment or slice of time. But a series of them can piece together some cool insights over time. And like a poem or a personal essay, they can be about anything--about tripping on the sidewalk, riding your bike, or watching your neighbor's move.

These days everyone has a video camera in their pocket. Either as part of their point and shoot camera or on their phone. So if you don't have a pen and paper, whip out that camera and record your thoughts or experiences this way. Memoir and personal stories are not limited to paper and ink. And each new way of recording our stories has it's own unique value. This two and a half minute video tells a lot more about me than what I did this week.. I hope you enjoy it and that you make your own and send us your links.

February 8, 2011

Send Us Your Video Diaries

In the spirit of expanding the genre of memoir, we'd love to see your video diaries. What's a diary? I'm not sure I want to be pinned down in to a definition. But let's just say it is a video, or series of videos that documents some part of your story. Maybe just a moment in time, or something that captures a larger range of moments--but all in a few minutes. Send us your links and if we like them, we'll share them. They don't have to be fancy or professional. Of course, we'd love to see those, too--but what we are most interested in is what is real. What is your reality. Your truth. And hoping that this inspires others. Hooray!