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Jill Jepson's Blog

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No spoilers here, so if you haven’t seen the movie, read on! This weekend, I saw Gravity. The movie is about two astronauts stranded in space, their communication with Earth cut off, their oxygen dwindling, their craft destroyed. It has been getting spectacular reviews, and I felt it deserved...
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What makes the difference between someone who writes and someone who is a writer? I’ve thought a lot about the distinction over the years. Like many writers, I can’t think of myself without the word “writer” attached to my identity, yet I sometimes wonder what that means. Almost everyone I know...
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“The toughest part about showing up is the sit down part. It seems that the moment you declare your intention to engage in real spiritual practice, the world and ll the people in it start coming up with new and sometimes quite novel things you should do instead.” Janet Conner, Writing Down...
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Here are three radical statements: 1. You don’t have to be miserable to write.2. The term “happy writer” is not an oxymoron.3. Being happy is not only possible for writers, it actually helps them write better. So many blogs and books about writing focus on the challenges—what to do when you get...
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There is a cacaphony of voices in your head. They do plenty of talking, but none of them listen. This is the description of the mitote in Toltec spiritual practice according to one of its leading exponents, Gary van Warmerdam. The first time I heard about the mitote, all I could...
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Fifteen years ago or so, I taught a course on critical thinking at a community college with a wonderful textbook called Thinking for Yourself by Marlys Mayfield. One of the exercises in the book presented a picture of a young man with a mortarboard cap on his head walking with a middle-...
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Today, I'm sharing three interesting blog posts on Toltec wisdom. Check them out! "... the Toltec ways are not prophecies to be fulfilled or opportunities to instruct others on how to attain mastery in awareness. To attempt to teach these ways as a means of salvation does nothing except dilute and...
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A few months ago, I started dipping into Toltec spiritual practice to see what it might offer writers. Last week, I posted about some of what I found, based largely on the writings of Don Miguel Ruiz, the leading proponent of Toltec spirituality, and today I’m continuing that thread. In 2010,...
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Don Miguel Ruiz has been the leading proponent of Toltec wisdom since publication of his best-selling book, The Four Agreements, in 1997. He has a fascinating history. He grew up in a family of modest means in rural Mexico, attended medical school, and practiced neurosurgery for years. It was...
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On Friday, I will be posting more about the Toltec wisdom tradition. In the meantime, I would like to share this awesome video. 
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500 years before Columbus set out for India to make himself rich—and bumped into the Americas on the way--the Toltec culture dominated the high plateau of central Mexico. The Aztec culture that came later regarded the Toltecs as the forebears upon whose shoulders their own civilization was built....
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This morning I was reading an old issue of The Writer’s Chronicle, when I came across a great article by Alice Mattison. “Where Do You Get Your Ideas?” She starts out talking about how often writers are asked this question—and how we all cringe when we're asked. For the most part, we have no...
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Last month, I blogged about 10 ways you can make writing your spiritual path. I’ve been asked to elaborate on some of those ways, and I’m going to start today with writing as meditation. Freemeditation.com defines meditation as “thoughtless awareness”. It is a stepping away from the constant...
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One day back in the 90s, I was writing late into the night, when I looked up to see my reflection in the window. It was not a pretty sight. My lips were pressed grimly together. My jaw was hard. My forehead was creased. I looked worse than tired and stressed: I looked miserable. It was only when I...
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Twice a year, I have the wonderful privilege of announcing the publication of the latest issue of The Whirlwind Review. For those of you who may not have seen or heard of the review, it is an online literary journal focusing on the relationships between writing and spirituality. Published...
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