All posts by

Shawna Ainslie

Whether you are observing a holiday or not, this time of year can be spirit crushing. Memories tend to rear their heads. Accessibility to (and desire to access) family becomes a point of reflection. Old patterns arise and we get mired in the struggle not to play them out again. We are rediscovering, redefining and setting our goals as we enter the next chapter of our lives. It doesn’t help that 2016 has been rife with conflict and disaster. Many of us would strike this year from history if we could.

I’m excited to be hosting this week’s #LinkYourLife Community Roundup! This roundup was born of a challenge posed to the #LinkYourLife community through our Facebook group several weeks ago. The idea is to highlight the amazing voices within the group through an elective share thread. This has been wonderful because our Twitter share community has grown so large it is a very difficult to pull every share into a roundup.  A smaller pool of shares allows for deeper reading of each piece. This, in turn, allows for deeper connection. Now for

I cannot recall what prompted me to write this post originally. I am happy to say since its conception I have become better at trusting others. It isn’t easy to expose my vulnerabilities, but it has proven worth the effort more often than not and even when relationships go off-script into uncharted, painful territory. There is much we can learn about ourselves by considering our reactions. I am resharing this because it had a very positive reception–several thank you emails appeared in my inbox in response.  As we move deeper

I adapted this recipe from the Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook Frijoles Charros recipe. This cookbook has been a staple in our family for three years now. I bought it during a period of financial difficulty and have not had any regrets. Slow cookers can greatly reduce the weekly grocery budget in addition to allowing you to “set it and forget it” but still have a meal at the end of the day. If you were to flip through my copy of the book, you would find I have

I am so excited because I am FINALLY launching an email campaign. The Survive Your Story Holiday Writing Guide is all about freeing yourself from the stress of the holiday season (and the end of 2016, right?) by using some of my favorite prompts and tools to release and recover. Wondering if this is for you? You DO NOT need to have ANY experience writing to take advantage of this course. You engage the prompts on your own terms. If this sounds good to you, you can join the Survive

This poem arose from racial violence incited by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. The fervor with which individuals responded to his stoking the fires of white supremacy reminded me of a period in my childhood when the KKK was a neighborhood player. My family was not exempt from their profiling and terror tactics.  In Case of Fire (for Donald Trump) White sheets march off the laundry line at sunset Your mother across the alley of our yards twists shut her blinds. Her thin fingers do not shake like my

In 2014, I was back from an extended blogging hiatus and trying to find my writing legs. It was when I first realized I needed to make the shift from Fiction to Nonfiction. Prior to that time, my Fiction was a jumble of the anxieties I was trying to sort without accepting or owning. In fact, I wrote a 192 page cycle of short stories as my MFA thesis that was based mostly on my family’s nonfictional experience with the Lebanese-American diaspora on both continents. It is a series of

Raising Mothers is a publication devoted to deepening the conversation around issues parents of color face. They are currently publishing writing on the next steps in parenting post-presidential election. When the Founding Editor, Sherisa de Groot contacted me, I knew I wanted to write something on this topic. It felt and feels very alive to me. It’s a curious thing, writing when we are afraid. I was afraid to tackle the subject even though I was excited about it, but here’s the thing: I could stay inside the fear or

by Jessica Boyce It would a simple thing, to take the pain away, to end the battle of my mind, And yet I choose to stay. My mind, so quick to anger, and pain cuts to the bone, yet I force myself onward, For I am not alone. One soul, he is my other half, would be broken and bereft, and children that are precious, would not know why I left. I am proud of my survival. It is my saving glory. The beasts that smeared and stained me, They

This post was written almost a year ago and never published. At the time, I was working to come to grips with expectation versus reality when it came to my recovery from surgeries and illness and what that meant for my body and the way I see myself. I never published it because I wrote several pieces around this issue, the strongest of them being “Female Seeks Power” which was published on Open Thought Vortex Magazine. This piece is much more interior and is true for me today as I work

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