Three daily practices to escape the rut of unconsciousness and live to your fullest potential — even during COVID.

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By now, many of us have been stuck at home for weeks. The initial rush of a new way of living during COVID has worn off. We’ve worked out how to work-from-home and learned how to distance learn. We’ve settled into routines that may only be broken up by takeout meals and walks around the park. Even those of us who’ve continued going to jobs are feeling less essential and more just plain worn out.

What once seemed novel and scary and a little exciting is now…ordinary. When things become routine, we can start to lose focus and motivation. …

Hint: experience lots of angst and then take a multiple choice quiz.

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As I prepared for a novel revision webinar provided by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to help us get through this pandemic, I decided to look up the instructor’s website. Her name — Kate Messner —was familiar. When I came to her Books page, I saw why.

Kate Messner has written a LOT of books, including a dozen or so titles in her popular Ranger In Time series. …

Or: I’ve been training for shelter-from-home all my life.

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On the second day of working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, my husband was walking with me around the neighborhood to get some exercise. He confessed that he was feeling frazzled and unsure of how to balance work and our busy household with three little boys, who are off school until returning to online classes on April 23rd.

“Any way,” he said, “thanks for listening. So, how are you?”

I didn’t have to think about it. “I’m an introvert whose been a stay-at-home mom and work-from-home writer for fifteen years. I feel like I’ve been training my entire…

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As women, we are often really good at dreaming big and working hard to achieve those dreams. Unfortunately, many of us also self-sabotage on the regular. Here are five common ways you may be self-sabotaging without even realizing it, and what you can do instead to get closer to your dreams.

Sabotage #1: Believing the lie of “not enough.”

Inside each of us is an ego. The ego thinks its job is to keep us alive. What it really does is make endless lists of all the things we still need to do to belong, the ways we can prove our worth, the stuff we still need to…

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I’m not afraid of the fire any more, because I know now what I didn’t know then.

Fire imagery has been present in my life for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve been afraid of it.

As a little girl raised in evangelical Christianity, fire meant hell. Fire meant the bad place where people went if they didn’t obey Jesus. Fire meant wrath and punishment and suffering.

As I grew older, I tamped down the fear of hell by following all the rules. If I followed the rules, I was safe from the fire. So I studied the Bible. I went to church. I prayed. I believed. …

How this mantra got me through a year of changes (and will see me through 2020 too).

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2019 was a bear. Not gonna lie. Every time I thought I had things figured out, the universe threw me curve balls. Again and again. I often felt not up to the challenge.

Words have always been my talisman against fear. When I was religious, those words were most often scripture. These days they’re more likely to be quotes and mantras. Here’s a sampling from 2019:

“What you practice grows stronger.” — Shauna Shapiro

“Show up. Tell your truth. Let go of the results.” — Susan Stabile

“Mindfulness is paying attention with abounding faith in a loving universe.” …

What I learned about my writing and my process when I stepped back and listened.

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I used to take the sledgehammer approach to writers block. Uninspired, stuck, burned out, I would sit down at my computer and write any way. I pounded on the keyboard as if I were chipping away at a wall, one word and one brick at a time. But the results were often less than stellar or enjoyable.

So I started to get curious about writer’s block instead. What if writer’s block wasn’t the universe’s attempt to stop my creative flow and thwart my dreams? What if writer’s block was trying to help me? …

Because that’s where you’ll find your best creative life.

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Building a creative career is as much about business as craft. Marketing. Social media. Networking. But making epic stuff is still at the heart and soul of what we do, and that creativity requires an entirely different kind of energy.

Hustle-and-grind eventually leads to burnout and negatively impacts mental and physical health, not to mention relationships. However, it can be an effective, short-term way to move the business side of your career forward.

The trouble happens when we try to apply those same hustle principles to our creative process. …

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This is a meditation for the days or seasons when you lose your creative flow and feel blocked or stuck. You can also think of this as a visualization instead of as a meditation if you’re more comfortable with that language.

This meditation is a version of a body scan and is designed to root you in your true purpose and reconnect you with the universal Source of all good things through gratitude and acceptance.

Read through this meditation once and then feel free to adapt it as needed. …

Mindful tools to help you build a more sustainable, prolific writing career.

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Writing can take a toll on writers’ physical and mental health. We sit for hours, days, hunched over computers and notebooks. We have the spine, neck, shoulders, and wrists of octogenarians. We spend most of that time alone, in our heads. And if we want to be published, we’ll face the discomfort of rejection, which inevitably produces the garden-variety bundle of insecurity and anxiety. All that negative emotion can lead to paralysis (writer’s block) and long creative dry spells.

Or maybe that’s just me.

This past year I’ve been exploring the question, “Is there a healthier, more sustainable way to…

C. Hogan

Veteran freelance writer and author. Future yoga and mindfulness meditation instructor. Passionate about helping fellow artists and caregivers thrive.

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