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Archive for April, 2013

This blog was a gift to me this morning; I share it with you.

About Shanee:

About

Journal writer, mother, friend, daughter, wife, sister, psychologist/counsellor with children and families…a few things about me. I currently live in an ‘earthquake active’ zone (Christchurch, New Zealand) which tends to dominate life at times. Hope to remove that detail from ‘about me’ at some stage in the near future.

‘Throw me to the sky’, the blog title, was said one day (again and again) by my four year old son whilst pushing him on the swing. I loved it, wrote it down and subsequently wrote a poem about writing, with that title. I still love the image…full of possibility, vastness, and imagining…just some of the words I associate with writing.

Although I am interested in many aspects, forms, purposes, and possibilities of a writing path, the following quotes speak to some of my writing passion.

‘Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong.’ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird.

‘If one woman told the truth about her life, the world would split open’ Muriel Rukeyser.

https://throwmetothesky.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/silence/#comment-211

THROW ME TO THE SKY –

Silence

Together in a silence
that holds a worry
about the absence of talk,
that holds a preference
in difference to the prevailing
speak;
not always companionable.
At times it shrieks
inside my head, giving orders
I cannot obey.
Silence is golden
talk is cheap.
Solitude and writing have become
my conversationalists,
is anything lost,
or gained for those we guide,
for those we love,
when words are sparse
and silence holds us all?

and again, the “sounds” of silence from Shanee

Breath(e)

20120825-200128.jpg
Dark, no place for shadows
Quiet, snow falls upon itself
Evasive light
Empty sound
Silence fills me up
I breathe it in
And breathe it out
Ah, bliss

 

 

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Advice from a Tree

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Earth

Lyrics by Bette Midler

From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It’s the voice of hope, it’s the voice of peace,
it’s the voice of every man.

From a distance we all have enough,
and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed.

From a distance we are instruments
marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
They’re the songs of every man.
God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.

From a distance you look like my friend,
even though we are at war.
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
what all this fighting is for.

From a distance there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
And it’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves,
it’s the heart of every man.

It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves.
This is the song of every man.
And God is watching us, God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance.
Oh, God is watching us, God is watching.
God is watching us from a distance.

On Earth Day 2013 I lift my heart, my voice, my hope, my actions and my love for my Cradle Earth home. I will live and acknowledge my deep, deep gratitude for her rivers and valleys, her mountains and lowlands, her islands and mainlands, her rivers and oceans, her flowing trees and flowering flora, her sunrises and sunsets, her gentle winds and rainbows. I will honor her storms and furies, her force of Mother Nature and I will listen to all messages given and try to follow any direction noticed.

I will walk my Earth home, with eyes of appreciation, feet of peace, intensified hearing, scrumptious taste of her harvest, and scents of presence all around me.

“The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind…And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:12

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candle flame

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have (not yet) reached. The world you desire can be won. It exists…it is real…it is possible…it’s yours.”
Ann Rand

In my quiet prayer time this morning, this song below broke through the silence. These are not my words. They are the words of David Haas. These words are my belief and I intend to live them the rest of my life.

I am determined to root out any and all forms of violence in my own behavior, to replace it with love for myself, for all others and for my home the earth.

I am committed to believing in the divine unfolding of the universe and to cooperating with the divine spark of all creation…..love.

I am holding you in my heart. All of you. That is what I feel called to do. I hear my calling.

We Are Called
David Haas

Come! Live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord!
We are called to be light for the kingdom
to live in the freedom of the city of God.

We are called to act with justice,
we are called to love tenderly,
we are called to serve one another;
to walk humbly with God.

Come! Open your heart!
Show your mercy to all those in fear!
We are called to be hope for the hopeless,
so all hatred and blindness will be no more!

We are called to act with justice,
we are called to love tenderly,
we are called to serve one another;
to walk humbly with God.

Sing! Sing a new song!
Sing of that great day when all will be one!
God will reign,
and we’ll walk with each other
as sisters and brothers united in love!

We are called to act with justice,
we are called to love tenderly,
we are called to serve one another;
to walk humbly with God.

http://www.myspace.com/davidhaasmusic/music/songs/we-are-called-47161105

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Cairn - Bald Mountain Adirondacks

A cairn marking the peak of Bald Mountain, Adirondacks

Do you feel a little off-balance today? I have and it is an uncomfortable feeling. For me today, it is a little off-balance emotionally instead of physically, but it’s still enough to throw my gait off.

However, I was lucky enough to have had my body work massage already scheduled for today and that has me feeling much better at this later time in the day.

My physical body is undergoing a slow,  long-term weight loss pattern too so there is actually a constant rebalancing going on. Yoga and Poolates helps a lot with that.

Last Saturday, I invited my Yoga Class and Poolates class over for a little open-house gathering and I told them to bring a rock! And we were going to be talking about balance – the grace of it and the lack of it.

Tom and I collected rocks from around our property and washed them off to get them ready for the party.

We were going to experience balance through building cairns.

The attendees brought their rocks too.

Cairn  - Switzerland

A cairn to mark the summit of a mountain in Switzerland

A cairn is a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. It comes from the Scottish Gaelic càrn (plural càirn). Cairns are found all over the world  particularly on mountaintops, near waterways, and on sea cliffs. They also appear in barren desert and tundra areas. They also mark graves.

Cairn British mass grave South Africa

One of many cairns marking British mass graves in South Africa

They vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, and in complexity from loose, conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures and elaborate feats of megalithic engineering. Cairns may be painted or otherwise decorated, e.g. for increased visibility or for religious reasons.

So on Saturday afternoon, we were not shy at trying our “magalithic engineering” skills right in the middle of our living room.

DSCN0120

Julius goes first and gets it going. Wife, Leslie holds the vibration for the growing tower.

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The rocks are the star of the party and soon many creations build upwards into the stilled, quieted room filled with concentration and focus.

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Chris builds the beginning base strength of her cairn.

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Sandy builds several cairns of fascinating and balanced structure. They soared high before reaching the collapsing addition of “just one more rock will fit right in here” challenge.

I was working with a new camera and sometimes just missed the best height of a cairn before it crumbled. But some stood too.

DSCN0126

Sharon approached her champion cairn with the utmost of respect and “due diligence”.

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Also note that the cracker plate “cairn” is nicely balancing as long as the stone cairn stands!

“So,” someone asked me, “what does this have to do with balance and calm and becoming serene when we are just hoping like heck, the next rock doesn’t topple our cairn?”

“Good question,” I reply.  “How do you keep balance in your life, what helps it, what goes against it, what makes you become unbalanced, and what happens when you are out of balance, ” thinking this would be the start of a rewarding introspective conversation.

“When I’m out of balance, I fall down,” comes the plain and simple answer, and not much more discussion beyond that. Only laughter and agreement. They go back to building their cairn.

I found that joyful. And I know that a committed practice to both Yoga and Poolates helps me immensely to staying more balanced in my daily life with only a few stumbles here and there.

That’s encouraging. The afternoon came, it seemed, to a quick end and guests were soon on their way. It was a balancing afternoon of friendship and good will…..adding a little more balance to a world rocked with unbalancing acts like the one that would two days later occur at the Boston Marathon.

Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein.

So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.” Adam Acone.

Note: Photos of worldwide cairns were Wikipedia photos released to the public domain.

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HUBBLE nebula Cat's Eye dying star hs-2004-27-a-web

(Hubble Photo:The Cat’s eye nebula dying star creates fantasy-like sculpture of gas and dust.)

Teilhard de Chardin, a twentieth century philosopher, paleontologist and priest revealed the truth of our spiritual “wiring” in his ground-breaking work reflecting on the spiritiuality of the Universe.

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”  If you consider yourself to be a spiritual being, that means you are made of the “stuff of spirit”.

And what is that stuff? Light and energy, the intangible, ever present substances that flow effortlessly and instantaneously to places we cannot physically reach….like the light that flows through a prism.

You can have a very fun exploration of how this is present everywhere and through all time by surfing around the Hubble website

http://www.hubblesite.org/gallery

Lotus and the Lily

Janet Conner, in her book, the lotus and the lily, calls our intention to this at the very beginning of the book and uses the stimulation of this (believe me, that Hubble site will stimulate you) to entice the reader to use her power as a spiritual being of light to influence her own “spot” in the universe. She can do this by mindfully setting her intention as being the light and energy of her own personal life.

I’ve taken Janet’s course on the internet when it was just called  I Am a Lily, three years ago. I was looking for the realization of the scripture that promises provision when you can’t quite see your own way or at least are significantly worried about it.

“See the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor spin, …Now if God clothes the flowers which are here today,…consider what God will do for you…You must not set your hearts on things to eat nor things to wear; nor must you worry…No, set your hearts on the kingdom and these other things will be given you as well.”

Thus I began the course, and thus I began a study in exactly how I would truly put the kingdom of God first in my life, live without worry and build trust instead. My first Intention mandala I created in that course was:

2010-2011 My Year of Free Falling into Spirit
“The Kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
I am ONE with that I wish to Be and have.

The conditions I promised to live by, which when fulfilled, would produce the manifestations of provision I wanted to create, were all images on my seashell mandala.

And I’ve been and continue to be greatly rewarded as I live what this means to me. It seems to have brought about a new awareness of the Universe, as itself, the source of learning about the Kingdom of God, within and without. Indeed, my 2012 Intention mandala was the image of the global Earth centered in surrounding space, with the fire of creativity at its very center.

I am in AWE….of cosmic and universal expression and our home upon this earth in our solar system. I don’t come near to understanding or grasping even a small amount of what my relationship to God, the universe and myself means, but I am open and openhearted to realizing as much more as I can.

It has brought me , without effort it seems, to learning more through other sources.  Master Chunyi Linn of Springforest Qigong expresses in a prayer:  “I am in the universe. The universe if in my body. The universe and I combine together.”  And he has a Big Universe and a Small Universe meditation on CD.

Yoga points to the way the the elements of the Universe being within our very selves. I don’t quote them here, but I am seeing more references that point to this same expression in my daily scripture readings. I just hadn’t read them from this perspective before. The open heart is a great teacher.

Hubble Image hs-2009-08-b-web

Hubble photo

Barbara Marx Hubbard is a leading proponent of  increasing our awareness of evolving consciously forward and being “causal” in our life at this time upon the earth. Her vision is a development of a Universal Humanity, a “new human” who begins to solve whole system problems with new system approaches…..one that leads toward sustainability of our earth as our home and new leadership practices that evolve as old systems of power and glory collapse.

Wheelof Co-Creation

She says this will be an “open-heart” system…one in resonance with all sentient beings and the Universe itself. I don’t sense we are close to that right now in history, but I do sense I would like to be on that wave toward the future for those who come after me.

The Wheel of Co-creation is a benchmarking image for Barbara. In looking backwards into the history of evolution, she moves forward into the future on the Impulse of Evolution, which we can feel in our individual bodies.

She defines the Impulse of Evolution as ever-moving forward and as Spirit itself. So Spirit, within me, is the impulse to always move forward. I am familiar with this feeling even when I want to drag my feet a bit.

Hubbard has Hubs of people formed all around the world working toward “birthing” this energy and solution-based way of living so that seeds are planted and consciousness grows within our minds, hearts and actions.

I think this is exactly what Janet Conner meant when she encouraged us to use our power as a spiritual being of light and to recognize the power of setting intention.

Speech has creative power, Janet reminds us, as even the stories of creation in the Bible are recorded as a series of spoken commands, beginning with “and God said.”

I am in the Universe. The Universe is in my body, the Universe and I combine together. We also have the creative voice through intention and speech.

Any word spoken with clear realization and deep concentration has a materializing value,” quoted from Janet Conner’s the lotus and the lily, from Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda.

I look outward and see and feel the vastness. I look inward and invite the same.

This video gives me that sense of vastness.

Websites of Interest:

http://www.hubblesite.org/gallery   (just the photos are great meditaitons!)

http://www.janetconner.com

http://www.evolve.org/
(Barbara Marx Hubbard)

BMH Sacred Story of Creation

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Connections

April 13, 2013 –  As I continue to rearrange and organize my creativity room, I am feeling more and more connected with myself, my work and my joy!  Later this week, I will post the results. I am feeling so much better about being in this room.

So today, I will repost a blog from a couple of years ago about Connection.

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I realize that part of the moving experience is losing my current techy and communication connections and addresses and acquiring new ones in their place. I don’t like this part of moving because I don’t understand how these are done and undone. 

 

So this brings me to think about the connections I want  to keep in my human life, some of them have been hard worked for, others tested and found to be valuable, some are pure gifts. May they all come through this physical move in good health and spirit.         

 

          Connections

 

Connect my heart to my life,

            my life to my being.

Connect my day to my joy.

Connect my prayer to my Source.

 

Connect my family to my love.

            Connect my eyes to all of creation.

Connect my soul to the good, the true, and the beautiful.

            Connect my taste to the digestion of justice and peace.

 

Connect my direction to just the next right thing.

            Connect my sorrow to the well of transforming waters.

Connect my intolerance to the channels of change

            needed to be made within me.

 

Connect my prayer to the power of the Word

            which makes it so when united

                with the highest Will of Good.

Connect my bodily health to the divine molecular structure.

 

Connect my will to the Divine tasks

            assigned to me. 

Connect my persistence to the trust in the labyrinth path

            that always leads to the center and back

                        out into the world again.

 

Connect my sitting bones to different couches so that

            I don’t forget I am on a journey.

Connect my gratefulness and gratitude for life

            to each morning sunrise.

 

Connect my confusion to the patience that the answers

            lie within and will not be kept from me.

Connect my tears to the memory that I am always

            nurtured, supported, and guided just

                        for the asking.

 

Connect me to the asking.

 

Connect my work with only that which is mine to do

            And then connect me with the courage

                        and love to do it.

 

Connect me with the awareness and truth

            that I am part of all that is –

Connect me with the Oneness of me

            and the Oneness of Thee.

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Soul Whisperings

I want to share with all Napkinwriter readers who love to play and work with a camera the latest offering from Catherine Anderson. This is an amazing On-Line Course that will greatly enhance both your skill and your fun with your camera. I am beginning to think I left a passenger behind now anytime I get in the car without my camera. And I really grieve the image that “is not taken” because I was so hasty or forgetful to have it with me. Learning from Catherine Anderson, perhaps, is why I feel this way.

https://ruzuku.com/courses/1860/about

Go to the website above to read about the course now available to take in your own feasible timeframe.

Also from Catherine’s website, below is a blog about creativity. Enjoy.


I was excited to be a guest on Janet Conner’s Soul-Directed Life Radio program on Unity Online Radio yesterday, February 14th.  One of the questions that Janet asks all her guests is what words of wisdom they would like to leave with the listeners on how to can create their own soul-directed life.  My soul-directed life fell into place once I began living my joy, once I began choosing to spend time doing things that had meaning for me. But how to translate this into “words of wisdom”?

Then I remembered my “Soul Whisperings” which I had translated into images and words to remind me of the flow of my creative process. I thought these might help others with their creative process and so this is what I shared as my “words of wisdom”.

The first word is BREATHE.  This is to remind me to slow down and become conscious of my body and to thank it for how it supports me in doing the work I love in the world.

The second is LISTEN.  This reminds me to make time to listen for guidance by making time to meditate and to sit quietly and allow a sense of spaciousness to surround me.

Next is TRUST.  This is probably the most important word, as it is a reminder that I am not in the creative process alone.  I don’t have to force anything, and I can relax when life takes a detour I wasn’t expecting, as TRUST reminds me that all is happening perfectly.

These three words are essentially about how to show up in my studio.  Then when I am creating, I need to remember that I am merely a conduit and I have a partner in the unseen realm, so I do not create on my own, I CO-CREATE.

And finally, I need to SHARE, as creating, whatever form this might take in your life: cooking, bringing up a family or gardening (all life is an opportunity to be creative), is about sharing a part of you, and when you share from the heart you never know when you might be giving someone exactly what they need at that moment in their lives.  So don’t judge your creations as not good enough or not big enough.  Everything you create makes a difference.

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Amy's MandalaFive Year Old Amy’s Mandala

It is said that chaos precedes creativity. Today is a day when the chaos in my creativity room has overtaken even the simplest of my creative activities, so I have had to STOP. And “retool” my room with some peace and divine order.

So I am doing this. Some of the chaos comes from inspirations coming in at a fast and furious pace, the stocking up of “I can use that”, but don’t quite have a place or a “tab” for that now, plus an overindulgence in a buying habit of new resources.

Again, I stop. I will relegate some of my “not using at this time” book shelf stockpile to the lower level of the basement (oh no!) but tend to them in time.

I am centering the papers, files, and hanging folders of my main projects at hand now, and within the next 48 hours have a much better chance for a systematic approach to each.

This task of ordering is always elongated in time, as I stop to read materials I’ve either written or saved, rather than to just put them in order. The temptation is too great and so I “take a rest.”

Well, I am back and I will post a writing I came across in a Science of Mind Skills book. In lesson Three — In The Name of God, it lists some interchangeable terms for God. When writers use these words, they often capitalize the words to give an indication of their divine meaning.

In the Skill Builder section, it asks the student/reader to use each of the synonyms used for God above in an affirmative claim.

Here is what I wrote, August 29, 1999. The synonym will be italicized bold:

God – In God, I live and move and have my being.
First Cause, Creator of all, creator of me, you live in me.

Creative Process, I trust we are united as one and I co-create your will.
Divine Intelligence supplies me with all I need to know to do what is mine to do.

Divine Mind, you are my mind now.
Divine Givingness, I give thanks for your generosity and amply fulfilling my needs.

Divine Intelligence, never-ending, you flow through me and guide right thought and action.
Infinite Wisdom, how sweet and precious, more precious than gold or silver, how you console me and how welcome you are.

Creative Power, it is you I hear in my heart and imagination.
Universal Power, I am One with you.
Higher Power, you guide and sustain me in my gift of recovery.

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

 

Father-Mother God, alpha and omega, masculine and feminine, be-all over all as One.
One Life, One God, One power, I am you.

I continued writing on “the empty page” a short essay.

My image of God today is that the purple flame that burns in the center of my forehead in the third eye area during the quiet of Centering Prayer. My image of God is One who is always inviting me to come closer and wants to make itself known in more ways than I now know.

My God is a river that flows endlessly, nourishing all life with sweet water. My God is a fire in a rock that flames forever with a passionate, consuming flare. My God is the Bread, the sustenance of all life.

God is light and in God there is no darkness. My God looks to me as the Light of the world. My God looks to me as the Incarnate — my flesh bringing forth His Word of Truth in my life and bids me to bring forth The Good News to others.

Now in 2013, I’m glad I took a rest to read through these words of mine almost fourteen years ago. Between that time and now, I have experienced heights of joy and the depths of defeats and everything else that falls somewhere in between.  And this I know.

I described what God, has been, is and will always be to me. And I am most grateful for your Oneness.

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Eating the Write Foods {Guest Post with Cari Kamm}

03 Wednesday Apr 2013

Posted by Kristin Conroy in Food For Thought, Health & Well-being, Interviews/guest posts

Kristen says: I met Cari Kamm at a wellness event in Soho about 3 years ago. Intuition told me I had to get to know this lovely lady…and I was right! Not only has she become a friend, but she’s also become a writing buddy and mentor to me as I embark upon my first novel. Cari knows a thing or two about those–she just published her second novel, For Internal Use Only, which made the list on my A Few of My Favorite Things post in February. Her writing is witty, entertaining, and just plain gorgeous, and her stories have meaning you can chew on. I highly recommend you get to know this future best-seller!

Now on to the guest post…

I finally got the message years ago that what I eat affects how my mind and body performs. Whether we realize it or not, the quality of food we take in permeates all aspects of our life. It either gives us the energy, attitude, and fortitude to help us get through the day…or it doesn’t. Cari’s post is a fantastic example of just how extreme a difference eating the right food makes.

Eating the Write Foods

by Cari Kamm

When I’m not writing . . . I’m eating. Well, I’m thinking of eating or where I want to be eating.

I’m a self-proclaimed foodie and seriously enjoy every bite. My rule is “don’t pick before pics.”  I love to look at food. Take pictures of food. Dissect food. And of course eat food. A chef is an artist and unlike admiring a painting or absorbing words, you get to literally bite into their work and digest it.

So . . . how does this affect my creativity? The saying is you are what you eat. I find the same goes for my writing. My eating habits are different when it comes to the writing stage and editing process.

I begin writing first thing in the morning. Before anything can shift my mood or motivation, I make coffee and boost my body with breakfast before I hit the keys. Writing is my morning stretch. I write from home or head out to one of my spots in New York City. Sometimes, I just walk into random restaurants, bookstores, or coffee shops. I find inspiration in the unexpected. Not having a plan is sometimes the perfect plan for creativity. For eating…that’s not so productive.

My breakfast always includes a fresh pressed juice, scrambled eggs and oatmeal or wheat toast. My favorite morning juice includes apple, pear, pineapple, wheatgrass & mint or carrot, beet, apple, pear, lemon & ginger. Also, eggs contain Choline and that helps my memory and builds strong mental muscles. The benefit of this is keeping my characters and scenes straight!

There are foods I eat to nourish my mind. However, when emotions come into play during the creative process, I try to remember that I need to write my feelings…not eat them. Depending on which stage I’m in during creating my manuscript, food definitely contributes positively or negatively to my writing health. Knowing this allows me to be a better writer.

The creative process. My favorite part of the writing process is creating the outline of the story I have in mind. Then several months down the road realizing where the characters actually took me while reading the story they created. My creativity tends to crave carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this can lead to a food coma. Sugar becomes a big saboteur and doesn’t help my writing or my waistline! At first, eating sweets tends to make me feel happier and comfortable when I beginning a new project. One thing I know is that with all of the unknowns in developing a new story…I get nervous. When I hit the emotional rollercoaster peak and quickly come crashing down off the sugar high, I tend not to feel proud about a scene or a character even if it’s terrific. My characters’ emotions somehow control my food cravings. Well…I like to blame it on them! A romantic scene may call for chocolate and wine; a stressful scene made lead to Twizzlers or Thai takeout. If all else fails, I drink more wine.

The editing phase. This stage requires concentration, patience, and attention to detail. Protein keeps me on point! My characters cannot afford any food mood swings. I tend to focus on protein, fruits and vegetables! My favorite foods that are rich in antioxidants, folic acid and omega-3s include salmon, walnuts, blueberries, goji berries, cantaloupe and kale. I’m addicted to the deliciously dark green leafy guy! My favorite recipe at the moment is from the New York City restaurant Lupa.

The only culprit left is Mr. Coffee. I’m striving to lower my cups per day and sip more green tea or calming teas, especially during those late nights of writing or revising my manuscripts.

So…what’s the bottom line?  When I eat better, I feel better. When I feel better, I write better!

Cari Kamm has worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, building brands, working behind the scenes, and even selling her own skin care line. She has a master’s in clinical nutrition from New York University. Kamm currently works in corporate social media management with clients in the beauty, fashion, and restaurant industries. Living in New York City with her mutt Schmutz, Kamm loves finding inspiration in the most unexpected places, being a novelist, and convincing her fiancé that ordering takeout and making dinner reservations are equal to cooking. More information can be found on her website, CariKamm.com. To check out the book trailer, click here: http://tinyurl.com/bdr7bfn.

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