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Page 1, Scene 1, Chapter 1, New Book.

As a writer, I think of things in writer’s terms: pages, scenes, chapters, books. You write your life. You choose the characters who will populate it. You set the scenes. You end themes, start new chapters.

New Year’s Day is the first page of a new chapter in your life. 365 fresh pages stretch out in front of you, blank and inviting you to fill them how, and with what, and with whom you choose. How will you fill them? What will you write?

#whereintheOMamI #YouWriteYourLife OM and WW mug

 

I’m THRILLED to announce I was chosen by Sleep Innovations to share how I Found My Fit, along with the AMAZING Kuro Tawil of Kuros! Project, who provides free pepper spray to women in developing nations, Tiffany Reid, Sr. Fashion Editor at Cosmopolitan, & Skyler Bouchard of Dining with Skyler  ❤️

As you know, THIS is the topic of my book, “Where in the OM Am I?” and a topic I’m truly passionate about as I travel around now speaking & teaching others how to find THEIR fit and step into their most fulfilling lives. ❤️

Sleep Innovation’s motto, Be Rested, Find Your Fit, totally aligns with what I teach and how I live. I’m just so thrilled to be part of this important project, alongside this inspiring line-up of folks, about a topic I love.

Produced by the amazing OnSlot Creative Team.

I’m thrilled to be leading a workshop again this year at Grub Street’s Muse and theGrub Street Typewriter Mark Twain Marketplace. This is my third year teaching and fifth year attending this nationally recognized writer’s conference and every year I leave full-up on the excitement of new knowledge, connections, friendships, and energy, ideas, and tools for my writing.

Here are my 5 reasons you won’t want to miss it either:

  1. It’s a writer’s buffet of teaching talent. This veritable smorgasbord for writing allows you to take classes with a wide variety of teachers, learning from their unique experience and background.
  2. You can take classes on anything–ANYTHING and everything about the craft and business of writing. Want to drill down to the sentence level? We have a class on that. Wrestling with multiple points of view in your work in progress? We have a class on that. Not sure if your agent is right for you? Well, we just so happen to have a class on that. Not sure if you want to go indie or traditional? We will walk you through the pros and cons. If you can think of it, dream it or ask it, YES, WE HAVE A CLASS ON IT.
  3. It’s specific time to dedicate to you and your craft and that matters. As writers, we often squeeze our writing into the times we’re not doing everything else in our lives. I believe while that is unavoidable, it also sends a message to some deep level of your psyche (and your Muse). Taking time and making time to dedicate to your craft also sends a message: This matters to me and I will lovingly tend to, nourish, and dedicate myself to you.
  4. You will learn things you don’t even know you need to. See #2 above. Now peruse the list of classes here. Take something unexpected. Leave with your #mindblown.
  5. I will teach you tools you can use at home to bust through blocks and boost your creativity. You will leave feeling empowered and looking at creativity in a whole new way. Also, I will have snacks. :)

 

I took a chance and wrote a piece about why I left my high-powered (and soul-sucking) PR career to teach yoga…and was THRILLED when Marie Claire accepted it!

Then Cosmopolitan picked it up…!!Marie Claire 2

Then Elle picked it up…!!

Then Dr. Oz picked it up…!!!

And then Redbook picked it up!!!

OH HAPPY DAY!!!! I’m so thrilled to share my story with even more seekers, the growing tribe of people that are looking for more than a paycheck. Who want to make a difference, serve the world in their highest way, and find more fulfillment as they do. Keep seeking, seekers! We’re all in this together! <3

Logo Elle

 

 

 

Logo Dr Oz Logo Cosmo Logo Redbook Logo Marie Claire

 

 

 

 

Cup and Journal

Back in my corporate days, I dreaded the annual year-end review with my boss. Who doesn’t? But sitting down with her to go over what I’d accomplished and set goals for the year ahead gave me major anxiety. Of course, this probably had something to do with the fact that my boss was a lunatic known as “Vomiting Vicky” 😉

Now that I’m out from under her corporate dictatorship, I actually love finding some silence and solitude to sit down with a cup of tea and reflect and set goals for the year ahead. Here’s my take on the previously dreaded, now delightful process: I hope it works for you too!

  1. Set aside some solo time: You in a quiet place with a cup of tea (or coffee or wine!), your favorite pen, and a journal.
  2. Take 5 minutes to calm and center with meditation. Set a timer. You can focus on your breath or use a mantra. Centering first is the key to clarity and focus so take the time to do it.
  3. Begin journaling. Think back to a year ago and, without censoring or judging, just write about your year. What did you do over the past 12 months? Highlights? Challenges? How do you feel about your year? What did you accomplish? What did you love? What did you wish you did–or did more of? As you take stock of the year behind, you’ll flow naturally into thinking about the year ahead. Write about what you’d like to do and…
  4. Set concrete goals. How will you know when you’ve achieved a goal unless you make it specific? “Write magazine articles” is a little vague. At the end of next year even if you wrote “more,” it may not be enough to make you happy. Try “Write my first article” or “Write 1 article per month” –it’s more specific. You’ll KNOW when you’ve done it and can celebrate that success! (Remember to celebrate!)
  5. Dream big…and keep it real. I always support dreaming big. Write your book. Launch your business. Travel somewhere exotic. But don’t try to write and publish 3 books, launch a business in a month, and travel to all 7 continents. Antarctica, Asia, and Australia in one year would be pretty darn ambitious, but one of those sounds great! You get the point.

If you’ve taken a workshop with me, you know I custom-blend corporate tools, yoga tools, eastern thinking and western thinking to create what I’ve found to be the most effective (and enjoyable) processes. So…I guess tou can take the girl out of the corporate world, but this girl is taking the best of the corporate world with her. And one of the most effective tools I still use is this year-end review…with a twist. I hope it works for you too. :)

Got questions? Comment below or message me on social media! I love to chat about this stuff!

 

Here’s my latest from our National Yoga Month Q&A: Two Quick Ways to Relieve Neck & Shoulder Tension. (Watch the vid here: https://www.facebook.com/SaraDiVelloOM)

1: Release the Upper Back with Eagle Arms
Bring the arms in front of you at a 90-degree angle, elbows at shoulder-height. If this is enough of a stretch for the shoulders/upper back, stay here. If you need more of a stretch, drop the left elbow below the right and twine the forearms, pressing the back of the palms together. The key to releasing the upper back muscles is to keep the elbows lifted–equal height to the shoulders–and the shoulders as relaxed and low as possible. Take five to ten deep breaths and switch sides.

2: Release Tight Neck Muscles with a Gentle Stretch
Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder and hold for 5-10 deep breaths. You can then gently turn the gaze toward the floor and hold there for 5-10 breaths. Don’t forget to do the other side too!

Bonus: Schedule “Breathing Breaks” throughout the day! Set your phone or calendar to remind you several times through the day to take cleansing and calming breaths!

Call me nosy, but I love to know about the writing processes of other writers. How do they do it? What are their challenges? Any secret tips? How do they work…and what can I learn? To that end, I’m happy to participate in summer blog tour sponsored by Sheri Andrunyk of IC Publishing, as a writer talking about her writing process.

Last week, author Heather Hans, LCSW, MSW, MBA, CPIC, gave us an inside peek at her writing process (click over if you missed it).

I connected with Heather after we were both quoted in this Forbes article on how to leave your unfulfilling job. Then, last week, we met in-person and she is just as utterly lovely, radiating wonderful energy, as she seems.  If you haven’t met her yet, Heather is a Visionary, Healer & Teacher, and the author of The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with Confidence.  It is Heather’s firm belief that loving oneself is necessary to have fulfilling relationships and a successful life, and her book is an ingredient list that teaches people the steps to self-love and radiance. Connect with her on her blog or Twitter: @HeatherHansTV

How do you start your writing projects?
It depends on the project. For my book (Where in the OM Am I? One Woman’s Journey from the Corporate World to the Yoga Mat) it was a percolating process—different ideas or a passing thought would pop into my head for months and I’d file them away for later. Then I finally sat down and started writing. At first, it was all inspiration-driven—no boundaries, no discipline, no schedule. Sometimes, I wouldn’t write for days and then I would sit and write for hours and hours, sometimes late into the night. These were the best times. I felt totally connected—like a conduit for the words that were flowing through me and out onto the page. It was the actual experience of what you read about some “real” writers who are total artists, at one with their craft.

But it wasn’t (and isn’t) always like that. For smaller projects, for instance an article or blog post, it’s usually more structured. I have a topic in mind (or assigned) and I write to it. There are those moments of inspiration and flow, but the process feels different overall—more “assignment” and less “when the Muse shows up.”

Now I’m writing my second book and so far it’s been more functional and structured. Is this because I’m a more disciplined writer now or because the Muse is on vacation? (It IS July after all!)

I’ve been considering this topic a lot lately: do you need inspiration to write books? Is it possible to be as disciplined and structured with the book process as it is with articles? If it is possible, is it desirable? Isn’t there something wild and lovely about waiting for inspiration to strike (“The Muse has arrived!” I can imagine a mental courtier announcing with a ceremonious thump of his ornamental staff), and then flow with it?

Of course, that necessarily means we have to wait for the Muse to arrive (aka inspiration to strike)…which could involve a lot of waiting and therefore be inherently limiting.

I visualize this like surfing—waiting for a wave or creating your own waves. If it is possible to create your own waves, are they just as good as a wave that just came to you from its own organic origins?

I’m puzzling through this and would love to hear your thoughts!

How do you continue your writing projects?
I need to keep myself fresh and invigorated, which usually means mixing it up with a change of scenery (cue me, taking my rescue dog Peluda for walks throughout the day or going to the gym). But once I’m on a roll, I find it easier to keep rolling. I keep going back and finding loose threads and weaving them in until it’s as tightly knit as possible.

Once that’s in place, I go back over it and over it and over and over it, rewriting, refining, rewriting, refining, until I want to pull my hair out…uh, I mean until I feel a wonderfully delightful sense of being “done.”

How do you finish your projects?
It’s a carefully concocted mix of incredible discipline…and delicious treats. (Sometimes, more treats.) The finishing stage for OM was definitely the hardest part for me. By then, I was four years into the process and I was energetically drained. I had to really dig down—deep down—to stay steadily with it through those last few months.

The treats are the better part. I like the sesame seed sticks and baked cheese sticks from Trader Joe’s. I also like the gummi bears and black licorice. If I’m dreading something, I pour myself little bowls of whatever I want, set them beside my laptop, and get to work.

What’s one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could benefit from?
Find a practice that re-energizes, focuses, and refreshes you. My yoga practice was key to writing my book. Perhaps you prefer running, knitting, painting, tai chi…whatever it is that helps you release stress and help you focus, find it and do it.

When you feel overwhelmed, break it down into more manageable bites. Reward yourself for small steps (treats!). Breathe deeply and often. Remember that there is only one thing that is going to make you feel better and that is to actually do it. So sit down, take a deep breath, and do it.