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It seemed to me many of my friends were feeling more down than usual the past couple of weeks. Blame it on the weather or the fact that Mercury was in retrograde or the ever-present worries about the pandemic. One of my friends apologized for “complaining,” saying that since I write novels about World War II, I’d probably remind her we have it better than people did then and tell her to count her blessings. But that’s not what I was thinking at all.

Hardship is never easy, and these have been really tough times for so many of us…


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This week marks the seventh anniversary of this blog. Someone asked me how I had maintained the stamina for such an endeavor and how I came up with new ideas every week. I told her it all comes down to passion and permission.

In 2014, friends had been urging me to start a blog for years, but since so many writers had blogs I didn’t want to attempt one until I felt I had something unique to say. …


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The first thought that comes to mind when I see a woman’s stiletto shoe is “Oh, hell no.” This modern form of torture device might be sleek and beautiful, but it puts undue stress on the foot causing sometimes permanent damage to bones and nerves, not to mention blisters, swelling, and pain in the Achilles tendon. That’s to say nothing of the increased risk of twisted, sprained, or even broken ankles.

When I see these shoes, I see an industry that has worked for centuries to create fashion that holds women back. Wobbly high heels leave women unbalanced. They have…


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A friend shared this quote with me: “Inspiration helps to limit your infinite choices.” It’s by designer Marc Jacobs, whom she said was commenting on the various directions a designer could take each season and how they should choose. She said his conclusion was any direction could be great, but it’s the one that inspires you that you should follow.

I recently did an abundance mindset exercise produced by coach Christine Kane in which she mentioned a scarcity behavior called “obsess.” Prior to her exercise, I thought the word obsess typically referred to one thing or maybe one person one…


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I’m taking a Spanish class right now. I’ve been meaning to do so for ages. I studied Spanish for five years in junior high and high school but — like most people who only studied in school — I never did get fluent in the language or comfortable with my skills.

Our teacher has been encouraging us to turn off the translator in our minds and just listen. Listen to the context of a sentence or conversation, listen for what we do know. If we don’t recognize a word, rather than saying it in English, in Spanish she tells us…


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It was pointed out to me by a trusted source that “uncertainty” has settled into my body in unhealthy ways. I wasn’t surprised to hear it. After all, there’s been a lot of uncertainty these past few years for all of us, especially in 2020. In order to loosen the hold uncertainty has had on me, I went first to my mind, of course. That’s just my nature. I started listing all the things in my life and the lives of those I love that feel uncertain right now. It was quite a long list.

In doing that exercise, it…


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I’ve never been one to declare New Year’s resolutions or make lists of quarterly objectives. As an artist, I like to keep things fluid so I can embrace opportunities as they arise. Plus, my definitions of “success” have little to do with quantitative results.

I’ve tried doing vision boards but could never understand why I needed a visual to spur me on when the pictures in my head are plenty vivid. I make lists only when I have to. So, you can imagine I felt a bit of trepidation when one of the women’s groups I belong to decided to…


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Every year we buy a live Christmas tree, although this past year, due to the pandemic, we did not. We’ve always patted ourselves on the back for taking our trees to be mulched after the holidays, but this year I read a blog post about holding on to your tree. The writer suggested propping it somewhere in the backyard to serve as a winter home for birds and small critters. They noted that the falling needles would be good for the soil and the branches could be used to protect perennials from snow and frost.

Part of me loved this…


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A friend mentioned this year she’ll be setting “values-based goals.” This was something I could get behind. I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions or long lists of specific objectives. I typically have one or two big goals but, as an artist, I prefer to stay fluid, able to pick up or let go of my goals as opportunities arrive. I acknowledge, though, that most of my goals, and certainly my most successful efforts, have always been tied to my core values.

In 1991, I started a simple freelance writing business. In 2009, I decided to launch a company…


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If I were a visual artist, I’d be a fiber artist, using the tools and traditions of all the women who came before me and whose artistry was often overlooked.

If I were a singer, I’d be a folk singer or maybe a soft rock artist, the type who tells stories in their songs.

If I were an actor, I’d gravitate towards the stage. There’s nothing wrong with film or television, but nothing beats the energetic connection between an artist and a live audience.

If I were a poet, I’d write poems about history and the unsung individuals history so…

Teresa Funke

The world needs an army of creative thinkers, and you’re one. Ignite your inner artist/“Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life” www.burstsofbrilliance.com

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