Writing Out Loud!

by CrisMarie on June 30, 2014

Today I get the honor of participating in my first writer’s BLOG TOUR!  I was invited to participate by Susan B Clarke.

Susan’s piece about Dark Spots Get the Needed Light to Live Forward, was touching and very human. Susan is a Certified Martha Beck Coach who helps women get to the other side of Crisis, Conflict and Change. Click here to visit her site: http://www.susanbclarke.com and read more!!!

=========================Now for my own writing journey ==========================

I discovered personal writing in high school. It was a path for me to connect, voice, process and validate my internal experience, which otherwise would have likely gone unspoken and unknown, sometimes even to me.



I was a military brat, moving every three years. Starting sophomore year of high school, my dad retired from the Army, getting a job in New York City. No matter where we moved, my folks made sure we went to the best schools. With this move, that meant living in Ridgewood New Jersey.

What you may not know is that the residents of Ridgewood are well, quite, wealthy.

We, were not.

Plus, if you haven’t lived in the NorthEast,  you may not realize that daily life is a constant competition for…everything!

Walking down the halls of Ridgewood High, I felt like an unsophisticated outcast, in a sea of beautiful preppies, wearing tailored, designer clothes, with the newest of everything, including cars, jewelry, and vacation homes.

I would come home and beg my mom to buy me Izods, which she refused. I would spend my after-school-job money on designer knockoffs from the outlet stores. Really, though, no matter what I did, I was bound to lose this look-good competition.

I finally found some friends that first year in, yep, you guessed it, Marching Band. I acquired a safe haven. Until the next year when they all went off to college.  I had two  more years! Home wasn’t much better. I felt equally alone with my older sister across the country from us.

In 11th grade, I was enrolled in Al Bennett’s AP English class. Mr. Bennett was a bear of a man, replete with a full auburn beard, barrel chest and deep timbre voice to match. He made the classics come alive.

Sitting in our desks placed in U-shape. Mr. Bennett would pick up his favorite, Moby Dick, and stride into the center, open the book, and boom, “Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale;”

We were transfixed as he gestured, acting out the lines, “to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee;” escalating he would lean in close to a student’s face, bellowing, and almost spitting, “for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”

His passion and aliveness, inspired me to want to live out loud!

When studying Henry David Thoreau, we kept a daily journal, like Thoreau, and turned it in to Mr. Bennett each week. This was transformational for me. It was my first meeting with writing as a way to process and share my internal experiences.

Next, he invited us to be “Thoreau-vian” for a day at school, meaning “walk to the beat of our own drummer.”

I took on the challenge with gusto! I knew I couldn’t win the dressing competition. So I went the other way. I wore giant sized sweatshirt, used when we painted our house, along with raggedy jeans. Proudly walking into 7th period English, I was immediately accosted with disgusted looks, snickers, followed by derogatory comments from the popular, rich, beautiful girls.

I cracked and shattered inside. All my gusto drained out of me, like water pooling at my feet. I had no plucky, confident retort. Instead, I instantly felt embarrassed, small and stupid, “What was I thinking?!”  Mute, I turned, ran down the hall, taking refuge behind a row of lockers. Huddled there crying, I decided then and there that it was safer to fit in, be invisible and “pass.”  I would speak on the journal page, but not live out loud.

Later in life I met Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way, and continued my journal writing through daily Morning Pages, which I still do to this day.

Next, I decided to pursue screenwriting at the The Film School in Seattle. Working with Stewart Stern, writer of the classics such as, Rebel Without a Cause and Sybil, I learned that I could infuse a character with my own pain to make the story come to life.

Later still, when I was in my Martha Beck Master Life Coach Training. We were each asked to write an article about our “hell-and-back,” which included three rounds of feedback from Martha herself. As I wrote and shared, it was liberating to see my story shift and change. I became lighter and saw a path to share my life lessons in the service of helping others.

Havin’ Fun Livin’ Out Loud!

After that, I asked to be a regular writer for our local women’s magazine, 406 Woman, which showcases my latest article: Confessions of a Chameleon, Going from Pretty on the Outside to Alive and Vibrant, Pg 62.

As a coach, most of what I write is self-help, utilizing my own struggles, and my clients triumphs to help people Take Back Your Life Coaching Program.

I find that when I tell my stories, I reclaim a part of myself and the energy that was locked away. As I have allowed my words to live more out loud, I have also found my voice, first on the stage, through acting in community theater.  Now, also through integrating more of my insides, and what matters most, into my work. I have shifted to coaching other women leaders.

I work with women who feel successful on the outside, but feel like they don’t matter on the inside; believe that can’t have what they want; and are convinced the only choice is to work hard and please others.

I help these women feel solid and confident in who they are; align their life and work to what matters most; and transform their relationships by showing up!

If you are interested in learning more about me, my experience, or my services please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

Thank you for joining me on this blog tour! It doesn’t end here….


Now, get ready for some fabulous ladies blogging next on the Blog Tour:

Susan Foster is an Executive Coach who has a passion for helping heal organizations and their leaders. She writes at http://susancfoster.com/blog.

Leda Asmar is a Certified Martha Beck life coach, she writes stories from her life to help others with theirs. You can find her blog at: http://ledaasmar.com/category/blog/

Sarah Yost is a coach, writer and teacher. She works with creative, soulful people who crave more of that in their lives. Learn more at: http://sarahwagneryost.com/

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