#MayCultivate2016 Day 2 Response

What would your voice finally be able to say or do if it were finally freed of the backspace?

I would express my thoughts and opinions without censoring myself. Oftentimes, I find myself backspacing words because I feel they may be too provocative or offensive. Of course, this doesn’t stop the inner censor from considering how to word everything carefully. I pause before speaking at times because I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing or — worse — jumbling my thoughts, leading to confusion. My pinched nerve likely has some effect on my thought processes, although I could be placing blame where it’s not needed.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 1 Response

What challenges do you face? How can you turn them into blessings? What can you do to do to live a life you love?

I’m challenged by my financial situation, current location, and overall GPA. I’m not able to afford much, which allows me the opportunity to pause and consider whether a product or service is truly worth the amount of time spent earning the money to pay for it. This blesses me when applying for aid for schools. I’m currently living in a rural community with limited resources, but I’m also able to enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature. It’s blessed me with an idea of acreage and long term goals. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to become a recognizable member of the community, as well. My overall GPA, while a little frightening, only proves that I excel when taking the right courses — my major GPA shows that applying to graduate school to earn my PhD in English and teach college level courses is quite viable. It’ll allow me to rule out schools and narrow down my growing list of programs to research.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 14: Life

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Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. — Prince

Tomorrow is never promised. Are you merely trying to get through life, or are you really living it? How are you cultivating a life worth loving?

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 13: Love

Luna Moth

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. — Thich Nhat Hanh

How can you honor and accept yourself, flaws and all?

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 11: Stepping Stones


For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

What is one risk that you have taken this year that was difficult to commit to, but in the end helped you become more stable?

Rowena L. Briones writes:

As of August 2016, I will no longer be an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

As of May 2016, I do not have a new job lined up even though I just quit my current one.

I decided to walk away from the career I thought I had wanted forever to walk toward something that in my mind is more stable and fulfilling: an amazingly supportive partner and future husband, friends, family – MY community. MY home.

I will admit that it was super scary. According to some folks, it was very risky (or even a bit dumb) to give up a tenure-track position when I just started my career in the academy.

But in my heart, I knew it was right.

When you are out there in the choppy waters of uncertainty, of life, sometimes you are SO scared to take that first step, to dip your toe into something that you aren’t quite used to.

However, based on this recent experience, dipping my toe in and finding that I had stepping stones to help me find my way was not only comforting, but it also gave me the confidence and peace I needed to move forward with my decision and walk boldly and unapologetically toward this new chapter in my life.

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 10: Shadows

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler. Friedrich Nietzsche

Nearly everything casts a shadow, but we often ignore the shadows around us. In the same way,  we often brush aside certain feelings, thoughts and ideas. Take a moment to look around you, and if possible, go outside. Pay attention to the shadows you see, and as you do, take a moment to observe your own background thoughts.

What’s lurking in the shadows of your mind today? What ideas, feelings and creative urges have you been brushing aside?

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Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 9: Step Back

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You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by. ­James M. Barrie

Do you need to take a step back? Is there anything in your life that might benefit from being left to take care of itself for a little while?

Kathleen Jowitt is: author of Speak Its Name, English graduate, cyclist, eco-worrier, bisexual, Christian humanist of the Broad Church Anglican variety, liberal socialist, trade unionist, lover of hats, Quaker sympathiser, and slightly bewildered Cambridge resident.

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 8: Fear

The only way to get rid of the fear of something is to go out and do it.

Has there been anything that fear held you back from? What helped you overcome that fear?

Today’s prompt was written by Patricia Lynne. Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. She writes New Adult under the name Patricia Josephine.

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 7: Simplicity


“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with-that’s poverty-but how efficiently we can put first things first… When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar. (148)”
― Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

Do you know what your purpose and priorities are? How can you, “put first things first” to live simply as you live the life you love?

Morgan Dragonwillow: Poet , author of Dancing within Shadow and Wild Woman Waking,  massage therapist and facilitator of magical journeys who (mostly) doesn’t let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. When she isn’t working with clients, writing or dancing, you can find her encouraging and supporting her writing community at #StoryDamm #OctPoWriMo and #PoetsonthePage.

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.


#MayCultivate2016 Day 6: Commemorate


Between January 1940 and August 1941, German Nazis murdered 70273 disabled people. Though they never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, the Nazi doctors read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society”, the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed. Most were murdered within 1-2 hours. I am commemorating these 70,273 voiceless, powerless people who were so callously and casually murdered by gathering 70,273 blocks of white fabric (representing innocence and the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing one person), and I will stitch them together into quilts. It’s called The 70273 Project, and I’d love to have you join us. But first, let’s write…

Remember a disabled person you’ve known, loved, interacted with. What is/was it like to talk with them? How do/did you feel when you were with them? Do/Did they teach you anything? If so, what?

Now remember someone who’s been significant in your life who has died. How do you/will you commemorate them? How will you keep their memory alive? Why is it important to you to commemorate them?

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers is a mirthful hymnist who can’t carry a tune. She does, however, write hymns of people and places . . . stitch hymns of cloth . . . perform hymns of stories . . . and she’s the creator and founder of a big ole’ hymn called The 70273 Project that has more verses than “Just As I Am.”

Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #Cultivate16.