All posts by

Shawna Ainslie

If only this feminist hadn’t curved the nice guy, she could be a real woman! by Mila Salander Throughout my life, I have faced the challenges of working and living with men whose fragile egos required constant attention, pandering, and suppression of my own personality and strength in order to keep their masculinity secure. I spent many years married to such a man (we’ll call him David). The magnitude of capitulation required to prevent upsetting his self-image was all consuming, destructive, and oppressive. The challenges to David’s ego were omnipresent.

Faith and identity have been fluid experiences in my life. I am intersectional; a woman of color, born into Islam, raised in the Bible Belt, taught to view sexuality as static and holy. I grew up feeling I had failed. Was failing. I existed in a constant state of failure, sometimes for reasons I could not pinpoint. So I began writing outside my personal experiences to discover the outer limits of myself, those which existed beyond the packaged identity I’d been sold through parenting. To this end, fiction has long

If you live in Bloomington, IN, take a look around for the free publication, Bloomington Parent Magazine. I was contacted last year to write an article on local First Steps and Head Start programs. These programs offer educational and developmental resources for young children and their families. It was a pleasure interviewing parents and providers for this article. The best part was it made me feel truly at home in Bloomington. There is something about writing for your community that makes you feel part of your community. Bloomington Parent is

by Emily Nehus Today started a little late, because I set my alarm for 6 PM. This happens every so often, but today I compounded it by rushing through the making of pancakes. Never, never rush the making of pancakes. I burnt the cast iron griddle, and the stainless steel frying pan, and finally managed to cook my son’s breakfast on the cast iron skillet. It was that kind of morning. Dashing out an hour later, I grabbed my new favorite hat, crammed it on my head, and bolted for

by Jera Brown Long before I was sexually active, I was drawn to the Biblical stories of outcasted women—the woman at the well, the woman who anointed Jesus’s feet with perfume, the woman for whom Jesus drew a line in the sand. I think I’ve always felt isolated. I identified with those women because it took me a long time to accept myself as I am, and it took even longer to show others who I am so that they could accept me. A few weeks ago, I tattooed a

I joined Hoosier CrossFit (HCF) at my lowest point of body confidence in 2013. I couldn’t get my toes up off the ground when I jumped. I was out of breath from walking. “Healthy” was a pipe dream I decided to try for because not trying was the same thing as giving up. While I’m a cautious individual, often shy at the outset, I don’t give up easily. I left the gym in 2014 due to surgical complications, and rejoined in 2016. Again at my lowest point. Again, not giving

I’ve experienced vivid nightmares throughout my life. As a child, my mother taught me lucid dreaming. I began changing my dreams before they fully woke me, before I popped up in bed, heart pounding, sweat-soaked and choking back a scream. As an adult, I forgot how to alter my dreams. For a time I felt safe in myself and the dreams eased. This summer, the nightmares returned. I no longer felt safe. For three months I struggled to sleep. The fourth month, I began to pay attention. My dreams spoke of

I write myself a letter at the end of every year. While supporting a friend in writing her own letter, my 2015 epistle dropped into my hands. I was surprised. It was in a pile of stationery I sift through regularly, yet I hadn’t seen it until it materialized, one corner of the envelope poking into my palm.  For the first time I can remember, I was afraid to open it.  I didn’t want to see what I had written because 2016 was a very hard year. It was far

Dear Readers, Please excuse the silence on this site. I am currently developing other projects such as The Survive Your Story Holiday Writing Guide and my business site (link forthcoming). I’ll have new content up here as soon as possible in the New Year. In the meantime, please peruse the archives to find something old that is also new or find me via #LinkYourLife. Thank you for your faithful readership. I can’t wait to share my latest projects with you! xoxo, Shawna

You aren’t quite done with your holiday shopping and you are out of ideas for what to buy. Here are some great options for last minute purchases. Most of these items are available with two-day Prime shipping on Amazon, which means your picks need not be rushed. Take some time with this list and see what feels just right. For the Host/ess A diffuser is a wonderful gift for anyone’s home. It is simple to use. Just add water and, if you like, some essential oils. I wish I had one

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