Handling The Bully


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Sometimes the voice of the inner bully is deafening. It screams so loud that I can’t hear myself think, let alone receive the creative inspiration I need when I’m writing. On those days I take my inner artist by the hand, walk her to our writing desk, and stand behind her as she gets started.

I have your back, I tell her.
Don’t worry.
Just write.

I’m getting pretty good at handling the critics that live in my head. Sometimes I simply let them have their say. I sit on the floor in my office while they drone on and on about how I’m a good writer, but not great, and I do my nails until they get tired. Other times I go to my computer, open my journal, and type everything they say until they notice that I’m merely taking notes, not taking it in, and they quiet down.

The best tactic of all is when I call a fellow artist and spill the beans about what’s going on. I tell her what my inner critic is saying so I can hear her tell me that she has the same voices squawking in her head, too. We laugh and cry, coach and console each other, and then we both get back to work.

For years I tried to silence the inner critics by fighting them tooth and nail. But with every battle they just got stronger, meaner, and more skillful at getting in the way.

So I gave up the fight. I surrendered to the reality that anything worth doing is going to rouse critics (both inner and outer, by the way), and since I’m only interested in doing worthy things, I’d have to learn how to live with them.

And now I do. When the artist in me is being suffocated by the voices of doom, I gently whisper in her ear…
Trust yourself.
Keep going.
The groove you’re looking for is just around the corner.

Fortunately, she listens. Because in the end, that’s all we really need – a loving friend to host our fear until it feels seen and heard and ready to dissolve. And it will. The power of creativity is too strong to be held hostage.

A committee of critics will always be on the attendee list of any significant creative event. Just make sure you invite way more friends.

Cheryl Richardson is a NYT bestselling author of many books, including her most recent Waking Up In Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife. Treat yourself and join Cheryl for a daylong workshop about practicing extreme self-care at midlife at Circles of Wisdom in Methuen, MA, Sunday Feb 24. www.circlesofwisdom.com.

See also:
Automatic Brain: The Magic Of The Unconscious Mind
Self-Esteem Might Boost Our Egos, But Self-Compassion Opens Our Hearts

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July 20, 2019

The waning Moon is taking a magical mystery tour through the enigmatic sign of the fishes, Pisces. Her early morning sextile to Uranus fosters wild dreaming and for some souls, sudden awakening. Listen to inner guidance if you are up and about…
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July 2019

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This meditation we'll do a brief chat about holly for the 8th month of the Celtic Tree Wheel of the year cycle. We will be working with holly and deer essences tonight. Please note this is only...

Cost: Pre-registered $10 or $15 at door

Where:
Healing Power Of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Suite A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: Healing Power Of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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Join author Lois Hermann for the exclusive pre-launch of her book, Chronicles of Hope. Author meet-and-greet Presentation Book reading and Q & A Exclusive opportunity to purchase an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hunt Memorial Building
6 Main Street
Nashua, NH  03062
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Sponsor: Lois Hermann & Associates
Telephone: 603-566-2193
Contact Name: Christine Snyder
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In collaboration with Sail Satori Instructors: Captain James Ashton and Peyton Pugmire Tuesday mornings, 7/9, 8/6, 9:30am-11:30am Thursday evenings, 7/18, 8/15, 6pm-8pm Sail away,...

Cost: $85 (Tuesday morning)/$97 (Thursday evening)

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Telephone: 781-797-0389
Contact Name: Creative Spirit
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Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in America. This two hour workshop will talk about how yoga can provide gentle and safe movement for all your joints with gradual progression....

Cost: $30 early-bird ($35 after 7/15)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough Shopping Center
Westborough, MA  01581
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Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
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Are you separated, divorced, or in the process of divorce? Whatever stage you are in—just considering divorce or many years post divorce—our Divorce Resource Nights have something for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Leading Edge Real Estate
1756 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA  02420
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Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
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You can find love through online dating, if you know the best ways to approach it. At this dynamic workshop facilitated by Susan Trotter, Ph.D., you will learn how to have more fun and...

Cost: $39

Where:
Newton North High School
457 Walnut Street
Newton, MA  02460
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Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
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July 19–22 Thai Yoga Massage (TYM) is an ancient healing art that combines the alignment of the breath, yoga asana, and mindfulness meditation of Metta (loving compassion) into a flowing...

Cost: $550

Where:
Frog Lotus Yoga
189 Beaver St. #207
North Adams, MA  01247
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Sponsor: Triple Gem School of Thai Massage
Telephone: 508-510-0241
Contact Name: Jennifer Yarro
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July 19–23, 2019 Share family quality time together in a supportive community amidst the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. The retreat is open to parents, grandparents, and guardians with...

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
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Telephone: 866-264-5139
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July 19–21 Organic lunches, Friday night dinner, then 10-4 both days. Identification, product-making, direct experiential connection with the plants on 30 acres. Essences, self-care,...

Cost: $350

Where:
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Networking / Supervision / Support  We are a varied group of holistic practitioners in metro-west Boston and we welcome new practitioner-members. We invite any local practitioner,...

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Lincoln, MA


Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur Annamaria

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Learn both the hands-on healing and the spiritual self-development applications of Reiki. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher) This one-day class covers the basic...

Cost: $150

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
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Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
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July 20–21, 2019 Why Take Level I: Marconic ‘No-touch’ Healing Protocol? Marconics is hailed by spirit as ‘The Vehicle of Ascension.’ Whether you...

Cost: $450, $150 deposit holds your space.

Where:
Crystal Essence
39 Railroad St
Great Barringont, MA  01230
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Sponsor: Marconics Southern New England Teacher Team
Telephone: 203-533-9633
Contact Name: Julie Oakes
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The Nourished Festival brings together over 100 brands exhibiting the best specialty diet products! The Festivals have five zones to visit: Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo, Keto and Plant-Based....

Cost: $5-$15

Where:
DCU Center - North Exhibit Hall
50 Foster Street
Worcester, MA  01608
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Sponsor: The Nourished Festivals; Enjoy Life Foods
Telephone: 847-284-9997
Contact Name: Laura
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July 20–21, 2109 This program will run from 9:30am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. A 90 minute midday break is included. Class size is limited to 20 students only, be sure to...

Cost: $135

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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