The Truth of Your Shining Brilliance

I care a lot about radical self care, because I think it’s an essential ingredient to having a healthy, sustainable writing life. In every class I teach, and in my private sessions as well, radical self care is woven into the process.
I’ve also found that there are times when writing itself can be your most important practice of radical self care. Taking the time to write will heal you like nothing else. Staying with your goals, when you’ve made a commitment to finish a book, or post your blog, will stretch and challenge you and allow you to evolve.
It’s been a while since I’ve sent out a newsletter, and the primary reason is because I was so focused on completing the draft of my manuscript that I couldn’t do much else for a while. While I’m aware that I let a few things slide—like this newsletter—I’m proud of my accomplishment.
Taking that time to put my own writing front and center was an extraordinary act of self care in my life.  Yes, I was still teaching classes, still paying my bills and doing my laundry, but the writing came first.  Because of that, I think I became a better mentor and guide to my writing students. I learned to trust my self as a writer again, in a way I’d forgotten was possible.
Today, I’m glad to be connecting with you after some time away, and I want to use this opportunity to encourage you to bring your own writing front and center—even if only for the time when you read this newsletter.  Remember a time when writing nourished you. Imagine the power that writing has to care for you.
When I was last sending out regular newsletters, I was sharing poems with you. Poems are one of my deepest sources of inspiration.
The rest of the newsletter is in the form of a poem. The poem is part of the curriculum in my Trust Your Voice course. In that course, participants go deep into stories of how they learned to not trust their voice, and recover what got lost. Keep reading to be inspired to let your writing be the deepest act of radical self care you’ll ever practice.

Writing can be the deepest act of
radical self care
you will ever practice.

To sustain it requires
countless small

acts of self kindness.
Day by day
hour by hour
you pay attention
you call your self back home.

When it gets hard
you ask yourself
what you need to keep going

in the one body you have
this time around.

You make the choice
again and again
to turn toward
your own stories


When fears arise
you keep going.

You go deeper and deeper
until you finally
uncover the whole truth.

The truth is not the fear you feel.
It’s not the doubts
or that voice that says
you’re not good enough.

Those are just distractions
along the way.

The  truth you uncover
when you keep writing past your fears
is your shining light
your brilliance

the Hidden Light that is You
that has been you all along—
This is an act of radical self care.

If you allow your self
to keep writing
when it gets hard

and you allow yourself to finish what you start
then writing will become an act of self revelation
writing will be the medicine that heals you
the alchemy that transforms you.

 Maybe all writing is an act of forgiveness
for the great weight of being human

that breaks every one of us
and gives each of us
a chance to become blessed
by the power of our own souls.

If you’re lucky
You break open
Something finds you

That you could never have looked for
It’s  right in front of you
or maybe inside you
tucked into a corner of your
Broke-Wide Open- Heart

Because you’re All In
Finally, in your own body
in your own life
In your own voice

Which is the center of it all

The backlog of words
You couldn’t say for so long
Comes pouring out now

But configured differently
because you’re different
The hidden light is not so hidden anymore
It permeates everything
And you see your own story
in a new way.

Forgiveness washes through you
like the sun

You forgive yourself
For all your silences

all your mistakes
all the self-betrayal
You had no power to stop
because you didn’t see the whole truth.

Could you have imagined, way back then
looking in the mirror
to behold such beauty as you are?

You forgive and forgive and forgive
and each word you write is an act of atonement

Each poem you complete
an amends to the self you abandoned
Each story and book and play
You conceive
comes to fruition
In honor, now, of the self you neglected
Not knowing, for so long
that there was another way to live

You keep asking your body,
What do you need now, sweetheart?
How can I love you, today?

You keep talking to your mind
Like a cheerleader, or a coach
like a teammate
or a friend.
You’re on your own side.
You’re on the same team
with the voices in your head that want you to win

Complete the novel, the memoir, the screenplay,
Because it’s time.

You’re not doing this alone

The women
who had no voice
for thousands of years
who were forced into silence
They’re with you too

There’s a cacophony of witness
surrounding you

And it’s not all human

There are dolphins, and whales
Who have their own language
silent only to those with no ears to hear

There are oak trees
maples, aspen and white pine
Saying thank you
And yes

Our roots are deep in a soil that’s been poisoned
will you speak for us too?
And the penguin and sea otter, the bison
and the grey wolf losing their lands
their habitat, their home
They growl and sing, saunter and soar
graze and walk in fields and forests
Just beyond the horizon of what you can see

All the creatures are waiting for you
To say yes

Because when you come home to your truth
You will be no less magnificent than the golden eagle
or the regal lion

You will know yourself as beautiful as the trees
and become a voice to steward and protect this life
that’s interwoven with your own

Your humanity
Rests in your voice

It gets nourished when you tell the whole story
The broken places, the awful parts
the agonizing despair

The joyful rising back up
The singing that emerges of its own accord
The words that dance
On the page with sheer pleasure that you are writing them

Who would have thought that following the thread
of all the ways
You did NOT trust your voice
Would lead you, in the end
So exquisitely back home

You are home now
when you write
You are home
when you write
the truth
in your own voice

Welcome back.


  1. Audrey Jacobs says

    Thank you, from the depths of my soul, for this.