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Tend to the Roots [Writing Yoga® Prompt #2022: The Opportunities of Unseen Action]

Finally, the weather cooperated and New Yorkers were able to get outdoors and not get soaked. We've had many weeks of rain on the weekends so whenever the sun appears, we go to mountains, beaches and parks and welcome the warmth. 

We go to the trees. 

Weekends indoors were "productive" for us. We could catch up on reading, laundry, and cleaning out the garage. We could reconnect with creative projects: write, paint and slowly cook a meal. 

I made a tree: https://linktr.ee/stefaniemaura

The Bryant Library in Roslyn, NY planted a Linktr.ee recently and introduced me to online silviculture. Share your tree with me if you have one! 

Anyway, thinking of trees, which I do a lot, my attention goes to the roots. They grow in winter when the trees are bare. They live under our schools and houses. They do the unseen work. 

This week's prompt is all about the roots. 

WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2022: The Opportunities of Rooting

Do...

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How to Craft Your Own Instruction Manual for a More Positive Outlook [Writing Yoga® Prompt #2006]

The cranky man on the supermarket line has a lot to say about you and the terrible state of the world. Everything is going to "hell in a handbasket." The lines on his face detail decades of serious frowning. When someone he knows says, "Hi, how are you today?" The man replies, "Could be better" and goes on to list all the terrible things in his life and the world.

Of course it could be better and there is plenty wrong with the world, but what if you never answered, "I'm great, how are you?"

My nephew always answers this way, "I'm great! How are you?" It makes me smile and say, "I'm great too." Even if I am not great, at that moment I feel great, because optimism is contagious. Our brains go with the information we put inside them. Our bodies follow those instructions. You make your own instruction manual. Are your instructions: a) be great or b) go to "hell and an handbasket."

I am not encouraging forced happiness, fake laughter, and blind positive thinking. That can...

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Valentine's Day Self-Care with Journal Writing, Mindfulness and a Good Book!

What does your Valentine's Day look like?  Maybe you are having an overpriced meal with someone special or perhaps you are staying home with the cats and reading a page turner. This holiday can be rough or wonderful depending upon where you are in life. 

What I love about mindfulness practices and yoga philosophy is that it teaches us to be with "what is" and to not judge ourselves or others. There are so many mental and physical associations with this particular holiday, but what if you could just celebrate the day as it is without any expectations? 

Take a few minutes to focus on your breath if you are feeling anxious today. Allow your thoughts and feelings to pass through you without judging them. If something feels uncomfortable, can you simply notice that feeling, take a deep breath, and watch it pass? 

Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a mindful way can also be a big relief. It is better to have uncomfortable thoughts as energy on the page...

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A Word for Every Teacher and Student at the Start of the New Year: Abundance

Our principal asked us to pick a word at the start of the school year. The word would be our North Star to guide our goals, inform our lessons, and inspire us to do great work. School initiatives sometimes fall away as the year progresses, but a good administrator won't let that happen.

She didn't let that happen. We revisited our words at the start of the new year. What would your word be?

It feels poetic to pick just one word. No long lists, no big visions, no novels. I thought about it for days. Nothing felt right. If you know my work, you know that there are three words I think about a lot: calm, creative, and compassionate. It is my desire to see all students, teachers and classrooms feel that way in every school around the world.  But these words can't be separated. 

Why?  It is easy to be calm if we feel safe. When we feel safe, we are free to find creative solutions, work harder, and take big risks. Safety means we are not threatened...

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10 Journal Writing Ideas To Get You Writing! [Writing Yoga® Prompt #2001]

After working with thousands of students over the years, I know for certain that most people believe they do not have enough time, talent, or energy to live the life of their dreams.  I also know it's just not true!

Keeping a journal helps us to consider our deepest desires, dreams, goals and challenges. People love writing in journals, but where to start? If you feel overwhelmed or unable to connect to the part of you that has big dreams, The Writing Yoga® Method can help. It is based upon the philosophy that life does not have to be overwhelming and complicated. In fact, we work best when feeling healthy, confident, and joyful!

Here are some simple things you can do NOW to get started with a dream-building and journal writing practice. 

Sit:

Before you start writing in your journal, take a "Lumi Breath."  This is what I tell my young students and this is what I will say to you. A Lumi Breath is a deep breath that makes you feel luminous. When you take a...

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Now That’s Creepy! A Child Hidden in a Tree at the Ringling [Writing Yoga® WritingPrompt #208]

It wasn’t the golden trimmings or the opulence of the mansion that struck me. It was the child strapped between roots, light hitting just the right way to reveal what nature had tried to hide.

The Banyan tree took over, growth by growth. A statue of a child is hidden inside it, on an estate that was made to look like Venice, Italy in Southwest Florida. Such is America.

Ringling (aka Ringling Bros. Circus) was a walking circus. His home has that clown-like feeling, creepy and disturbing, but mesmerizing.

What is the creepiest thing you ever saw? Did you ever visit a place and not even care what the brochure had to say? Did you ever find your own circus? This week’s prompt is dedicated to all the creepy things found in unlikely places. Write about what that means to you in the past, present or future.  Or you can tell the story of this child who has been stuck in a tree for decades.

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