Archive for Authors – Empower Your Life

Musings of a Struggling Writer

I confess that I am a struggling writer. I often struggle with my writing because I have so much to say but need to organize and structure my thoughts in order to convey exactly what I really mean. Other times I struggle because I have an idea in the recesses of my mind but I struggle to find the right words to communicate or express it. Still other times I can write an entire chapter or a poem in my head while taking a shower.

Creative writing sometimes needs a catalyst. You feel something inside; you can’t quite make it out but you know it’s there. I am struggling right now with writing a book, a spiritual memoir, to be exact. It’s a book that has been inside of me for years, wrapped up in childhood trauma, guilt and fear, a progressively changing identity, deepening spirituality and a hotbed of emotions. I realized there was something there after making a monumental decision to leave corporate America. Towards the end of 2012, I found myself in a difficult situation with a new manager who had a very different work ethic than my own. It happened at a time when I was already at a crossroads in my life—I was at the right age with enough years of service under my belt to seriously consider early retirement. I was also yearning for independence and a real shot at building my own business.

As a matter of fact, I had a vision one day while leaving work; a vision of stepping off of a cliff and just soaring in the air, not falling but soaring forward and upward. Shortly thereafter, I had an incredibly distasteful conversation with my manager. When it was all said and done, when the steam stopped coming out of my ears, I knew it was time to move on. I gave myself a few days to mull it over then penned a rather lovely resignation letter—no struggle with that piece of writing. Suffice it to say, as of February 1, 2013, I no longer had a 9-5 job. Breathe.

Several months after my resignation, something unexpected happened. I had met a woman on Facebook who was hosting conference calls about mothers living their dreams and aspirations while being mothers, wives, caregivers, etc. She had gone through some dramatic life experiences that left her broken until she realized that she still had dreams and aspirations she still wanted to achieve. She was also the compiler for an anthology of 30 writers, all women, and she invited me to be a contributing author. I had always been pretty good at writing in general and had suspected for years that there was a book inside of me—though by no means did I actually identify myself a writer.

After hearing the concept for the book, in the midst of pure uncertainty and bonafide fear, I said yes. The book, Motherhood Dreams and Success: You can Have It All, published in 2014, turned out to be a gem, a collection of 30 incredible stories; stories of heartbreak, struggle, and pain juxtaposed with victories, triumphs and breakthroughs. Two things came out of that experience; first, it was an honor to be counted amongst the fellow authors and, second, that 1500-word chapter was the creative catalyst I needed to begin the journey towards a solo book project, the spiritual memoir I mentioned earlier.

I started writing the memoir in 2015. I developed a rough draft for the first chapter, then stopped dead in my tracks. I struggled. I simply couldn’t go any further. Then I attended a one-night women’s revival at my church. At the end of the service we were like a river, all standing around the altar and praying, like women do. It was one of those serious, God-is-in-the house moments, where all these women were praying, praising and weeping together. Right in the midst of that day-of-Pentecost moment, God spoke directly into my spirit, informing me that the reason I was unable to write is that I was simply not digging deep enough. He reminded me that it’s the depth of the journey that matters and if I do not dig through all the layers of trauma and emotion, I will never be able to write the truly authentic story that is in my soul. Like a dedicated anthropologist, I started digging, peeling stuff away to reveal the real story that is my life.

Though the struggle continues, my goal is to have the manuscript completed by spring of this year. I am learning some very valuable lessons as I write. Hopefully these lessons learned will help other struggling writers out there. Happy struggling…I mean writing!

  1. As a writer, it is often a struggle to get the raw data out of your head. (My friend Lynn told me that.)
  2. Embrace the struggle, envisioning the life and the structure of your story as you write.
  3. The pool of human creativity never runs out, the more you create the more you have to create. (Maya Angelou taught me that.)
  4. Life is a never ending story and we are each a unique book in God’s eternal library.
  5. Writing is a function of your identity—know that only you are you and you must understand who you are to tell a truly reflective story.
  6. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper when you write; that’s where the golden nuggets lie.
  7. If writing is your gift, then you are a writer 24/7.

Remember, you were born to do something great!

The Place to SOAR
SOAR Coaching Academy


Awakening to the paradigm shift , the Aquarian age


The Aquarian Age will be dominated by networks, and information. We are living in a time of huge transformation, transforming into networks of information and life in the matrix. The key phrase for this age is “Be to be.” The statement of the astrological sign Aquarius is “I know.” This is the age of information. Nothing is secret anymore. All information is available at your fingertips. Where the Piscean age was organized in a vertical, up and down structure of hierarchies, the Aquarian Age is organized in a horizontal network, opening the world up to true equality.  We will be called to stand in our authentic nature and to be in our truth. 

What can you do to help make this transition into this new age of information and consciousness? Here are some suggestions:

1. Have a daily spiritual practice. Every spiritual tradition has one thing in common: a daily practice. This can be many different things: yoga, meditation, chanting, prayer, contemplation, exercise, journaling, etc. It is not important what you are doing, but that you do something almost every day, and do it with an intention to let go of your blocks and focus your consciousness. Kundalini yoga and meditation are the most powerful tools that I have found, but everyone must find their own pathway and collect the tools for their own toolbox.

2. Don’t give in to fear, despair, or anger. There is so much happening that can trigger these emotions: the media, the environment, politics, terrorism, etc. If you understand that these emotions are all symptoms of the Aquarian shift, then you can go through them without losing your center. I allow myself a lot of healing space and regularly have Theta healings, Barrs Access Healings and receive hypnotherapy.  

3. Don’t be a victim. You have the power to change your life. Don’t give that power away to anyone through blame or resentment. You are responsible for your happiness and grace. Don’t buy into any view of reality in which you are not 100% responsible for making your life work. STAND IN YOUR POWER!  The Aquarian Age is all about empowerment and consciousness.

4. Be a source of light. The more people who consciously choose to embrace the Aquarian shift, the easier this transformation will go for humanity. It is a spiritual truth that a small percentage of people who have shifted their consciousness can influence the rest of humanity. If you are reading this, then you are most likely one of these pioneers. Find a way to spread your light: teach, heal, create community networks, serve, sacrifice, love. TURN ON THAT LOVE LIGHT AND LET IT SHINE! Welcome to the Aquarian Age!

Jane Del Piero
LOVE LIGHT Illuminator
LuvLight Alternative Health
Shamanic / Distance healing


Shamanic Healing / Sacred Plant Retreats / Workshops

Shamanism: A Shaman is an individual that has access and influence in the world of the benevolent and the malevolent spirits.  During ritual or ceremony the Shaman enters into a trancelike state. In these altered states of consciousness they encounter and interact with the spirits world and channel these energies into this world. It is a technique of religious ecstasy, as Shamans they are the intermediaries / messengers between the worlds of human and spirit.

The Shaman enters a supernatural dimension and can mend the soul to treat illness, traumas, injuries, and ailments restarting balance and wholeness.  Shaman are spiritual beings with the ability to heal, work with energies and ‘see’ visions. The essential characteristics of shaman are mastery of energy and fire as a medium of transformation. Shamans have been credited with the ability to control the weather, divination, the interpretation of dreams, astral projection, and traveling to upper and lower worlds. Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living.

Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition and moreover, a way of life. It is a way to connect with nature and all of creation, the Shaman is the Medicine Woman or Man. The word originated among Siberian Tungus (Evenks) meaning S/He who knows.  Anthropologists coined the term Shamanism, and have used it to refer to the spiritual, ceremonial leaders among and ancient spiritual practices of these indigenous cultures.

Shamanism is the universal wisdom inherent to all indigenous tribes, where spiritual practices are rooted in nature, tapping into the power of Mother Earth.  Shamanism is concerned with the health all the people, animals, plants and all of life..The practice of Shamanism is to enlighten and heal using ceremonials that can include, mythic journey’s into the subconsciousness, drumming and rhythmic music, dance and movement, plant spirit medicine and mind altering drugs. Shamanism is the oldest worldwide spiritual practice, one shared by all our ancestral heritages. Shamans view the full spectrum of life – animals, plants, stones, earth, stars, ancestors, and dreams – as a living, spirit-based continuum.

Professional shamanic practitioners are highly trained through years of study, and are authorized by their shamanic teacher(s) to do client work when their training is successfully completed. They are trained to go into different realms and interact on the client’s behalf to assist in personal transformation through energy work, healing, and the transmission of information which they bring through into ordinary reality.

What are journeys, and what are remote journeys?  We attend to your concern(s) through taking a shamanic journey with a specific intent that we create together beforehand, and doing the work we are shown to do, with helpers.

What sort of concerns can journeys address? Really anything that is concerning you and your soul’s well-being. The work is healing, clarifying, inspiring, relieving, and transformative. Some people are working on themselves, getting or strengthening their connect with nature, with spirit, with their guides and helpers, releasing old patterns and fears, finding out about their purpose here on the planet, and so on. Some people are facing major turning points or crises. Some work is about a location, clearing or blessing a property or house, protecting or doing boundary work. It doesn’t have to be working through a crisis or healing major wounds or physical states, although it can be that too.

Do remote journeys actually work? Yes! They actually do, very much so. In fact, the client’s sentient experience of the work as it happens, and talking about what was happening on both ends afterwards is pretty conclusive. What follows from the work in the client’s life or in the situation shows that the work is effective. Changes and realizations continue, and continue.

Jane Del Piero
LOVE LIGHT Illuminator
LuvLight Alternative Health
Shamanic / Distance healing

FORGIVENESS: Let Go and Be Free

Are there people in your life who have wronged you in some way? I am sure there are. We have all been hurt by someone at sometime or another in our lives. Are you waiting on an apology from that person or persons? Even those who have apologized to you, have you accepted their apology?
Forgiveness is a difficult concept for most people because we as human beings find it difficult to forgive someone who has wronged us – we feel we are allowing that person to get away with something, that we are excusing them for their behavior. In some instances, the person that has committed a wrongful act, will see the wrong they have done and will step up and apologize. Some of us will accept that apology, content that at least the other person realizes what they have done and are remorseful. Other times we are so bitter that we are unwilling to accept the apology.

Here are some things about Forgiveness to keep in mind:

• God has forgiven us – so we must forgive others
• Forgive those who have hurt you – let God fight your battles
• Ask God to help you soften your heart and help you to forgive those who have wronged you. Also pray for healing from the pain and hurt you are feeling. God loves you
• Forgiving is not about the person who has hurt you – it’s about YOU. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you condone what they have done or even accept what they have done.
• Not forgiving the other person binds you / chains you to the person and the pain they have caused you.
• Not forgiving allows the person who hurt you and the pain they have caused to have power over you.
• Not forgiving allows you to wallow in your pain and bitterness thereby, allowing you to continually remind the person who has hurt you what they have done. You never allow yourself to heal and move past the hurt because you are too focused on “punishing” the other person.

The other difficult part of forgiveness is being able to forgive yourself for things you have done. Some food for thought about forgiving yourself:

• If you have hurt someone, ask that person for forgiveness.
• Confess your behavior to God and ask His forgiveness – He will forgive you . Pray for help in forgiving yourself. Give it to God and let it go!
• Don’t be imprisoned and chained by your behavior. What you have done is not who you are, but an unfortunate choice that you have made in your life – don’t allow it to define you.
Forgiveness is your “get out of jail free card”. It releases you from the chains of hurt, pain and bitterness. You weren’t meant to live in chains – so often we live our lives in chains, and we already have the key. Let go and BE FREE!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Dillard is a Certified Professional and Stress Management Coach passionate about helping her clients become the best version of themselves. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York and a master’s degree in Guidance & Counseling from Long Island University, also in New York. In the past she has worked with abused children, substance abusers, and parolees. Inspired by her own life experiences, she seeks to assist others suffering from poor self-esteem realize their inherent worth and value as human beings and make emotionally healthy choices in all areas of their lives.

Michelle Dillard
Dawning Light Coaching