Stories

Take a few minutes for some inspiration, humor, and connection. Peruse the excerpts from all our featured stories below, and click a title to read more.

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Anna Elkins

“WE CAN READ!” by Anna Elkins

And there on her doorstep, I had a revelation. When we tell our stories of gratitude—the anecdotes—we create the antidote to the bad stuff: fear, anxiety, annoyance, all the nasty et ceteras. I can testify: it works. Continue reading ...
Kelly Dobbins

A BODY OF WORK by Kelly Dobbins

I should see a psychiatrist about this because I work my ass off, but I'm uncomfortable going out in public! I'm kind of a freak in public. I joke about this, but it's true. I stay covered up. I'm getting a little more comfortable with it now, but even when it's hot, I'll probably cover up. Continue reading ...
Ali Rushfield

A COMEDY WRITER’S STORY by Ali Rushfield

In 2001, when I just started out working in TV comedy, I worked in one of the most difficult writer’s room there is, Judd Apatow’s, on his show, Undeclared. It was difficult in the way you want a writer’s room to be difficult—everyone was so good at what they did, it was hard to make a dent. Continue reading ...
melissa haynes

A LIFE-LONG DREAM REALIZED: VOLUNTEERING WITH THE BIG FIVE IN AFRICA by Melissa Haynes

I turned down the job and dared to do what I had wanted to do my entire life. A spark of passion that was ignited in kindergarten while daydreaming within the pages of National Geographic magazine - I would go to South Africa and save the animals. Continue reading ...
Kristin McCloy, novelist

A NOVEL IDEA by Kristin McCloy

When I'm writing I often ask my small charges to help me channel the genie, and so often they will curl up around me (on the arm of a couch, on the floor at my feet, nearby on a windowsill) and fall into the trance-like sleep I so envy, creating an atmosphere of deep serenity into which my mind can drop. Continue reading ...
Wendy Tokuda

A SHY TV ANCHOR by Wendy Tokuda

I was a living stereotype of the nice little Japanese girl: quiet, polite, and obedient. My mom worried that I would spend my life being stepped on like a doormat. She told me that she spent much of her own life as a doormat, and the idea of me repeating that experience saddened her. Continue reading ...
Molly Doane

AGORAPHOBIA AND ANTHROPOLOGY by Molly Doane

I cannot precisely place the transformation. I feel however that I have less and less interest in what goes on outside of my house. I have no interest in meeting new people. I don't like to try new restaurants. I don't know what this is exactly. A creeping fear or shyness, sensory saturation, diminishing returns? Continue reading ...
Sohini Chakraborty

AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN by Sohini Chakraborty

The traditional way of life in India is that children continue to live with their parents or their families until they are young adults, usually until they marry. I was single, and I wanted to stay single, but I also wanted complete independence. Continue reading ...
Leslie Caplan

BORN TO ME by Leslie Caplan

As he boarded the plane at midnight, tears fell like a monsoon of emotion flooding the terrain of my motherhood. Submerged in my own fear, my own absolute amazement of his courage, his rite of passage, I took a deep breath. Continue reading ...
Kim Cooper

DEAR TOKYO, MEET YOUR NEXT POP STAR by Kimberly Cooper

So who says a 5 foot 1, pudgy redhead can't go to Japan to become the next pop star singing in Japanese? Well, most people actually. Reactions to my venture were predominantly full of laughter. Continue reading ...
Penny Ross Burk

FEAR CITY by Penny Ross Burk

The traffic going up Route 81 was a little heavy but pride kept me on the highway and passionately directed. I was scared to death, an introvert flying down the road trying to function in an extrovert's world. Continue reading ...
Renel Brooks Moon

FINDING MY VOICE by Renel Brooks-Moon

I've been in the business for over 25 years and it's not easy to see my male counterparts make more money than I do, and be treated with a great deal more respect and professionalism. But I stay true to myself and keep on pushing, and so far it has served me well. Continue reading ...
Terri Lyne Carrington

FULL CIRCLE by Terri Lyne Carrington

Due to the fact that I am a drummer, playing an instrument predominantly played by men in the male-dominated music world, I have had to be fearless and daring; otherwise, I basically would not have gotten anywhere in this business. Continue reading ...
Karen Wolf

GO WITH THE FLOW by Karen Wolf

My life's headlines might read like a National Enquirer front page: KILLER BEES ATTACK SAILORS IN VENEZUELAN JUNGLE; HURRICANE FLOYD SWAMPS COUPLE IN NEW JERSEY MARSHES. Continue reading ...
Kelly Crowley

GOLD MEDAL MERMAID by Kelly Crowley

When you're the odd kid out at a small Catholic grammar school, you're destined to get picked last for every kickball game. In my tiny class of 17, the odd kid out was me. Continue reading ...
Julia Butterfly Hill

HEART by Julia Butterfly Hill

The root word for courage comes from the French and means “heart.” True courage can only come when we are speaking out or taking action from the heart. For me, this seed of understanding took root and began to grow in December of 1997. Continue reading ...
Jill Robinson

HER NAME WAS HONG by Jill Robinson, MBE

There can be no more proud or joyous feeling than to look into an animals' eyes, knowing that you have made a difference, rather than turning away, ashamed, at each new vision of despair. Continue reading ...

HOW DOES A FLOWER DARE TO BLOOM by Ilse Noir

I was growing deeper and deeper into a funk. I stood there, wanting so badly to just jump in the lake. What was wrong with me? Why was I frozen with inaction? Continue reading ...

IN VINO VERITAS by Ginny Lambrix

I had to convince the French owner of the company, Jean Charles, that I could be completely happy in grubby clothes, with dirt under my nails. My Colgate friends would have been so proud! I think I even said "I can be really dirty" and then turned eight shades of red as I back pedaled. Fortunately the opportunity was granted. Continue reading ...
Jenna Jolovitz

ISN’T THAT FABULOUS by Jenna Jolovitz

I knew no one, and no one knew me. I was completely anonymous. So I did it. Like a banana, I peeled down the top of my tank suit (Did you really imagine I owned a bikini?) and into the water I went. Quickly. Continue reading ...
Barbara Stitzer

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CLICK by Barbara Stitzer

When I was a little girl, every shooting star, every coin tossed into every fountain, every candle blow of the birthday cake candles resulted in the same wish: to be the same as everyone else. Continue reading ...
Jo-Anne McArthur

LOVE MADE VISIBLE by Jo-Anne McArthur

It's summer in the Antarctic and on sunny days I can venture out onto the bow of our Sea Shepherd vessel, the Bob Barker, to let the warmth penetrate my bones. Continue reading ...
Moina Shaiq

MEET A MUSLIM by Moina Shaiq

It was standing room only and it was pretty overwhelming. I invited people to ask me any questions that they might have. No question would be off limits. I wanted to let them know that I am an ordinary American, just like they are. Continue reading ...
Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

MOIST: A JOURNEY OUT OF CHAPSTICK ADDICTION by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

Since discovering lip balm at age ten, I put it on my lips between 50 and 100 times a day. These are real numbers, by the way, not fuzzy math. Continue reading ...
Lillian McCloy

MRS. SPOOK, SPAIN, 1965 by Lillian McCloy

Once, there was an intriguing assignment for me. Frank had been meeting with a Spanish-speaking Russian (Boris) who was being highly paid for his information by the CIA. Frank was suspicious that Boris was a double agent, working both sides, as it were, so he asked for my help one evening. Continue reading ...
Michele Maggiora

ODE TO GRAY by Michele Maggiora

I made the decision to stop, many times. But I kept at it; the ritual of dyeing my hair. I have colored my hair since my twenties, long before I started to gray. Continue reading ...
Anne Singer

OF MEN AND A MACHINE by Anne Singer

You live in a city like New York long enough and you learn to ignore things. The urban cacophony – sirens, horns, music, and that relentless commentary on you and the body you walk around in. You know, those verbal flares men send up that illuminate you in the crowd and alert everyone to the woman over here with the audacity to unbind her feet and venture out
Gloria Steinem

ON SELF-ESTEEM by Gloria Steinem

It was the late sixties, those days that were still pre-feminist for me. I didn’t question the fact that male journalists with less experience than I were getting the political assignments that were my real interest. Continue reading ...
Alison Levine

ON THE EDGE by Alison Levine

I knew what it was like to get the snot kicked out of me high up on the summit ridge in a storm. And I wasn’t afraid of that this time around. I knew what my risk tolerance was, and I knew what my pain threshold was. Had I not had that failed experience eight years prior, I very well might have turned around when most others did...
Simon Chaitowitz

PLAYING THE CANCER CARD by Simon Chaitowitz

So no, I'm not into pretending that cancer isn't horrible. But the Big C does have one little perk that doesn't get publicized much. And I'd like to make sure that no cancer "survivors" guilt-trip themselves out of using it. (Like yours truly, until recently.) Continue reading ...
Rebecca Chamaa

REVEALING MY SECRET: I HAVE PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA by Rebecca Chamaa

Sure, living with paranoid schizophrenia is difficult, but so are millions of other things. Cancer is difficult. Diabetes is difficult. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are difficult. Who is to say which challenge is harder? Continue reading ...
Laura Madson

ROLLER DERBY: THE NEW SELF-HELP SPORT by Laura Madson, aka Pippy Longstalker

Let me introduce myself. My name is Pippy Longstalker. My number is 36aa and I skate for the Dominion Derby Girls. Continue reading ...
Carter Helliwell

SOLA PEDALING by Carter Helliwell

I’ve read that growth occurs in the space outside one’s comfort zone. I’m not sure why I had to go to the other side of the world to leave my small comfort zone, but that’s when I learned to listen to my own voice. Continue reading ...

SOMETIMES IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS by Sara Arason

One day, though, it occurred to me that what I want might matter. What makes ME happy might be important, worthwhile, acceptable, or, at least, OK. So, with more than a bit of trepidation, I refused to schedule a meeting that would have forced me to cancel my manicure. Continue reading ...
Dianne Reeves

TALKING TO THE DEVIL by Dianne Reeves

Ironically, one song in particular Endangered Species, which I wrote with a good friend, seemed to sum up the situation with which I was now faced – recording for a record executive that not only did not understand jazz, but had no affinity for my personal artistic style of jazz. Continue reading ...
Tabra Tunoa

THE ADVENTURE OF CHANGING ONE’S WORLD by Tabra Tunoa

I am Tabra Tunoa, Fabulous, Creative, Jewelry Designer, Artist, and Very Courageous World Traveling Adventurer. That's how I like to think of myself…. Continue reading ...
Alcoholic Anonymous

THE FABULOSITY OF SIMPLICITY by Alcoholic Anonymous

He was baffled and horrified by the amount of alcohol I was consuming, but he was devastated by my lying about it. It all came to a heartbreaking showdown that got me into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1997, where I gratefully remain to this day. Continue reading ...

TRUCKIN’ by Johanna McCloy

When he graduated to the 18-wheeler, it felt like we’d become freeway royalty, bouncing with soft air suspension above everyone, in big comfortable easy chair thrones. The first couple of times we rode in those trucks, we'd inevitably break into British accents, pretend waving as if on a parade, "greetings to the minions." Continue reading ...
Nalini Nadkarni

VIEW FROM THE TOP by Nalini Nadkarni

I have a great job; I climb trees to study the rainforest canopy. My journey to understand trees started early in my life, when I climbed the eight sturdy sugar maples in the front yard of my home in suburban Maryland. Continue reading ...
Granny D

WALKING ACROSS AMERICA IN MY 90TH YEAR by Doris “Granny D” Haddock

Well, was that me? Old Doris? It was not the Doris who had sat meekly among them a year and a quarter earlier. Even at my age, I had changed quite a bit. For the first time in my long life, I was clearly not afraid of what someone might think of me - I cared more about the issue than my vain self. Continue reading ...
Molly Caro May

WHAT I NEVER EXPECTED by Molly Caro May

Pregnancy may have knocked me over, but I had labored like Wonder Woman. If the upswing trajectory followed, postpartum would be manageable, maybe even a breeze. Continue reading ...
Caroline Paul

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S FIRE by Caroline Paul

Join me now at a fairly typical fire. That’s me, crawling down a hallway. I’m hauling hose, but you can’t see me because the smoke is so thick. I can’t see me, either – not my hand in front of my face, not the beam of the flashlight on my shoulder, not the floor beneath me Continue reading ...
Chodron

WHY I BECAME A BUDDHIST by Pema Chödrön (a story told on video)

In this short video, Pema Chodron candidly and humorously shares the story of her broken marriage and how it ultimately led her on the path to Buddhism. Continue reading ...

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