Breathe. Write. Breathe. - 18 Energizing practices to spark your writing and free your voice by Lisa Tener

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Breathe. Write. Breathe.

18 Energizing Practices to Spark Your Writing & Free Your Voice

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Day 29: October Journaling Adventure with The Joy of Writing Journal

Lisa Tener journaling
I don’t have a picture of me journaling in bed, so this will have to do!

Wow. I wrote some really embarrassing things in my list of “things you don’t know about me.”

I settled upon something mundane—that I like to garden barehanded, pulling on the roots of [what I believe is] mugwort.

I journaled about my experience gardening that day—transplanting Hosta with the help of my son and his friends and digging out weeds that were suffocating the Hosta already there.

I learned a few things about gardening from two of his friends, one whose grandmother is a horticulturist who planted rooftop gardens in New York City, and has a lovely garden of native species here in Rhode Island.

Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

We pulled out many plants to support the Hosta—goldenrod, mugwort (so I am told), wood sorrel, porcelain vines and many plants I do not know. I argued with myself in my journal about whether I was tampering with nature.

At the same time, many of these vines and weeds were non-natives, pushing out the native plants.

In the end, I wrote:

I shrugged off these thoughts, dug my hands into the soil, tugged hard at the orange root lifted from its home and parted the loamy, dark earth.

Your Turn

joy of writing journal

Did you find it easy or hard to list things that most people don’t know about you?

How about picking one to explore?

What was it like to write about it?

Share an excerpt, an insight, a struggle or question. Comment below.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Mary Ann L says

    The mechanical sounds of metal hitting metal; the grinding of gears, the clackety clack of wheels on a track sets my heart aflutter. Aerosmith or rock bands pound out beats setting the stage for the wonder and thunder of cars hurtling at breakneck speeds that make me ache with longing for the thrill of the ride.

    As I wait my turn in a serpentine line I ponder the physics behind bodies in motion. I try not to think about the mechanics of theme park rides and the statistics of peril. I am mere steps away from exhilaration and surging adrenaline. It’s a little embarrassing at my age, I think. Then it’s my turn to get in the car, fasten my seat belt, listen to engines rev, and feel the thrust of air smoothing my wrinkles and whoosh like a rocket man …

    • Deborah Louth says

      You are a brave soul Maryann. I saw the image of an elder riding a bronco waving a cowboy hat, interestingly enough. I loved the rush of air smoothing out your wrinkles – so funny.

  2. Deborah Louth says

    Lisa, your earthy poem and hand photo signifies you are not afraid to go deep, in order to get at those tenacious roots of a matter. Many of your ancestors had their hands in composting their wounds away.
    You know you look like Aunt Stella

    Day 29 – You didn’t know this about me – Prompt -Talking to Elementals in a Storm

    Every time the weather forecasters fire people up with the impending doom of horrific weather patterns coming towards us, I batten down the hatches in another, unusual way. First, I have to stop my mind from dwelling on the dire images these reporters warn could happen. Many people are realizing our thoughts create our reality and if we spend time focusing on the fear of what could happen, we can create our minds drawing it to us. So I wondered, if the news and weather media continually amps up the warnings of possible impending disaster, how can that effect the outcome of the storm’s danger? Perhaps if several thousand people vibrate with fearful thoughts, they may actually create bringing the worst consequences of the storm to them, without realizing they brought it upon themselves personally and communally. As a culture, we have not been taught how powerful our minds truly are.

    For many years before a storm descends, I have appealed to the weather gods – the Elemental Kingdom in Nature, which consists of Earth Water Air Fire and Ether. It’s called conditioning the space. The following is what I say verbatim: “We welcome you Dear Elements of the storm – rain, water – wind, air – fire, lightening – earth, thunder and spirit, ether. Thank you for gracing us with your presence giving us your wonderful gifts of nourishment, cleansing and movement. We offer you this love on the the land to fortify you on your travels and we ask you to be kind to this land and this entire region, as you frolic within our space displaying your powerful energy and Dear trees, if you have to drop some limbs, please do so away the the structures, power lines and vehicles. AH HO”!

    Sometimes, I make it up depending upon the severity of the storm. When Hurricane Ida approached I got a creepy feeling something’s not right, though I did not know what. In my mind’s eye, I traveled to the eye of the storm picturing myself sitting on a saddle attempting to soothe and calm the ferocity of the swirling energy. I sensed I was not the only one there. The Elements are neutral and can be conditioned by loving thoughts and feelings. They hear us, on some level, since we are all one. They can also respond to angry fearful manipulation. Imagine if many people collectively directed their thoughts and feeling away from fear towards creative action, what a different world we could create.

    PS – I have some stories of storms, where I was unaffected, while others nearby were impacted. And, I am studying Astro-meteorology – predicting the weather the old fashioned way, used by farmers, pilots and fisherman, as well as being handy for Kings in wartime. Real time, radar weather forecasting predicts a week in advance. Astro-mets can choose a date a year and more into the future, in order to find a date that promises a sunny day for a wedding.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Deborah, this reminds me of how polarized and divided we have become as a society and how, rather than resisting it and therefore focusing on it, the most productive and creative thing we can do right now is envision the world we wish to create – where we treat each other with dignity, where we do not let the media and politicians convince us that we need to fear our fellow Americans/humans. where we embrace different points of view and try to find our commonality rather than focus solely on differences and fear. Fear is the drug that disempowers us. Love is the cure.

      • Deborah Louth says

        Beautifully said Lisa. I thought of the state of the world beyond the weather, fear-wise too, while writing this.

        I just went back to check a post for something and saw some of Maureen’s postings and noticed I missed a post by Mary Ann too. I will have to go through them all to read all that was written, soon.

        A mantra I say daily – I want to live in a reality, where goodness, kindness and truth prevails.

  3. Maureen says

    You all have been so amazing!

    Lisa, I love your poem. I can smell the soil and feel it under my fingernails.

    Mary Ann, I smiled as I heard the grinding metal and felt the pounding of your heart. And I also loved the smoothing wrinkles image, you rocket gal, you…

    Deborah, you have taken the opportunity to go really deep and make spiritual and emotional connections come alive for us.

    This has been such a great experience. You have all shared so generously, and you have given me the courage and inspiration to do the same. Thank you so much!

    My piece today was directly inspired by Lisa’s video. I laughed out loud when Octavia Randolph talked about the snowball collection she kept in her freezer. It reminded me of my 7th grade science class, where we dissected a sheep’s heart. I thought it was so cool that I brought mine home. My mom wouldn’t let me keep it in the fridge or freezer, so I kept it in my bedroom between the window and the storm window. I kept it all winter, admiring it periodically, until spring came. Then the stench got so bad that my mom made me throw it out. I was so sad…

    • Deborah Louth says

      Hi Maureen, I wonder if you became someone who took things apart to examine what can’t be seen.
      A Doctor or Psychologist or other – perhaps a mechanic of sorts, hee hee. I’d say cherishing a sheep heart is going deep. Your winter window monitoring sent you on your way….

      This is my last post – I’m letting go. It’s been fun…

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