NOTE: Registration opened today for The Breathe Intensive, Online! Register (or learn more) here.

 Wether you’re a “writer” or not, I’m a big believer in writing your way to a better life. (I should disclose that I subscribe to a school of thought that believes— if you are a human being, with a brain that thinks and a heart that feels, like it or not, you are a writer. You may be a writer who doesn’t write, but you are a writer, nonetheless.)

I’ve been journaling consistently since I was a tween, and the process has never failed to enrich my life and bring clarity and peace to my soul. Daily writing has offered me greater purpose, passion, companionship, fulfillment, clarity, equilibrium, connection, encouragement, direction, gratitude and peace (and that’s only the tip of an inexplicably expansive iceberg).

Even through my greatest tears and fears, even amid my most soul crushing challenges, even during the times when there was no hope to be found and despair threatened to overwhelm me completely, writing delivered hope. Writing shined a light on the dark and stormy places in my heart. Writing carried my heaviest fears and lifted my most horrifying burdens. Writing offered me respite from debilitating resistance and searing pain.

The bottom line? Writing will bless your life.

There are no rules. Simply put the pen to the paper, and go. You’ll be amazed by what you find.

Whether you’re new to daily journaling or you’re a seasoned pro, here are a list of 20 prompts to get you started or keep you inspired:

1. Think of a time when you felt deeply centered and connected. Describe that day (or that week or that month or that moment) with as much visceral and emotional detail as you can.

2. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

3. Make a list of inspiration. Include people, places, things, smells, events, colors, activities etc. There are no rules.

4. What are you very most afraid of? What is the worst case scenario if that greatest fear were realized? Would you survive? How?

5. Describe your ideal work day: include as much detail as you can.

6. Describe your ideal personal day: include as much detail as you can.

 7. What are your greatest strengths? How are you currently using these strengths to bless your own life and the world? If you aren’t currently engaging your strengths in the ways you know you could, what shifts could you make in order to engage these strengths more completely in your life?

 8. What are your greatest weaknesses? How can you work to intentionally embrace and/or overcome them?

9. What are your greatest weaknesses? How are you still “perfectly enough” despite of them? How have these weaknesses blessed your life?

10. If you could sit down to lunch with 5 people from any time in history or the present, who would you invite to your table and why?

 11. Who loves you unconditionally, and why?

12. What is the greatest success of your life thus far? What are you the very most proud of?

13. Write a list of gratitude: include everything you have been blessed with, down to the most simple things: like air to breathe in and out all day long.

14. How do you measure your value? What determines your worth?

15. When you think of the word “love” what do you see? and/or What other descriptive words come to mind?

 16. When you think of the word “strength” what do you see? and/or What other descriptive words come to mind?

 17. Describe the natural environment that most embodies who you are as an individual. Example, I am most like a meadow, because. . .  describe the scene with as much sensory detail as you can.

18. How patient and compassionate are you with others? How patient and compassionate are you with yourself? Do you treat yourself with the same care with which you treat others? More? Less? How does this exploration make you feel?

19.  What is the one thing you wish someone would say to you? What affirmation are you most eager to hear? Start with a paragraph if you need to and then whittle it down to just a sentence or two. Write this affirmation at least 20 times in both second and first person, respectively. Example: You are . . . 20 times AND I am . . . (2o times).

20. Project yourself into the future 2, 3 or 5 years from now. What kinds of memories do you hope to have created in your life?  Be as specific as possible. For example: “I hope to have had happy memories” isn’t gonna cut it. ;)

 Happy writing, friends!

xx,

Natalie

IMAGE: SLOAN PHOTOGRAPHERS 

Gah! I cannot wait! The Breathe Intensive: making it work for mother entrepreneurs is FINALLY online! And it’s going to be AMAZING! 

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

What: a 5 week online course for mother entrepreneurs.

When: class begins April 7.

Where/How: The beauty of this class is that you can read, watch, practice, and participate throughout the week whenever it is convenient for you—from any timezone, anywhere you have Internet access, at any time of the day or night. Most students should expect to spend an average of 3-4 hours per week “in class” and/or completing homework assignments.

Sign Up: Registration opens here March 24.

Note: Bookmark the registration page and mark your calendars! Unlike other online courses that simply open registration to an infinite number of participants, I’m limiting class size significantly to ensure I can give you the individualized attention you deserve. 

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SYLLABUS

WEEK ONE: Cultivation: define the why. Clear clutter, cut fat, purge garbage, and deliberately map the course.

WEEK TWO: Curation Part I: examine existing patterns of work/life passion, purpose and profit and get clear about what’s working, what’s not, and why.

WEEK THREE: Curation Part II: examine the existing environment, support and structure of your work/life—establish your individual Rules of Engagement for balance and success.

WEEK FOUR: Initiation: focus, define and implement a practical and immediately actionable “how” that’s destined for sustainable success.

WEEK FIVE: The Power of YOU (alternate title: It’s Totes Buddha, Yo): stepping in to your authentic artistic voice, maintaining momentum, and achieving (and celebrating!) measurable results.

SCHEDULE

All participation and interaction for this class will take place in a private online forum. (Registered students will receive instructions on how to access the forum a few days before class begins.)

On the first Monday of class, I will share Lesson 1 in the class forum as well as e-mail it directly to every student. Throughout the week, as you read the lesson and work through the homework assignments, feel free to post thoughts/questions in the forum space. I will be available to answer questions and facilitate discussions, and I invites and encourages all class members to collaborate and work together to offer feedback and facilitate discussion as well! (Note: I will be accessible via the forum M-F only.)

Each week will follow the same pattern.

Q and A calls: because I believe real human to human connection is such a powerful thing, I’ll be facilitating 4 question and answer calls throughout the duration of our 5 weeks together. Questions may be emailed in advance or asked during the live call (calls will be recorded and links provided for those who are unable to participate live). Conference call in information will be provided within our class forum and via email, and calls are scheduled as follows:  Friday, April 11 from 10-11am PST | Friday, April 18 from 10-11am PST | Friday, May 2 from 10-11am PST | Friday, May 9 from 10-11am PST.

NOTE: As each group has it’s own unique dynamic, a few days before class begins, I will send out a simple questionnaire to help me get acquainted with the specific challenges and needs of the students enrolled in the course. Feel free to share as much or as little as you would like, or don’t fill out the questionnaire at all. This is your rodeo, partner! Remember, anything you share in this questionnaire will be held in the strictest of confidence.

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IMAGE: SLOAN PHOTOGRAPHERS 

A Quick History

The moment The Breathe Intensive was conceived, I knew the most logical format would be an online course. It is, after all, a curriculum developed for mother entrepreneurs—the irony of requiring time away from family and work in order to learn to better manage family and work was not lost on me. However, I maintained, and still do, that sometimes you have to take a few steps back in order to take leaps and bounds forward. Plus, I feared that the intimate nature of Breathe would be lost in an online community.

However, after Breathe officially launched in 2011, week after week, month after month and year after year I fielded dozens upon dozens—if not hundreds—of requests for an online variation of the intensive. I haven’t turned a deaf ear to these requests. I’ve spent the last couple of years sincerely considering how to make this work in a way that would preserve the integrity of the material—no, the integrity of the entire Breathe experience—while simultaneously allowing participation by those who are desperate to attend yet find it (during this particular stage of life) logistically impossible to do so.

Long story short, we’re finally there, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  In fact, now that I’ve done the work to convert the material to an online format, I’m seeing all the ways this will be an even BETTER Breathe experience than ever before!

I can’t wait to see you in class!!!!