Piper Punches is an author of fiction and truth, tackling topics on social justice, mindful living, creativity, and the writing life. She is the Amazon bestselling author of The Waiting Room, and the short story, Missing Girl. Piper is also a regular contributor to Thrive Global. Her newest book, 60 Days (Missing Girl Series – Book 1) is currently ...available on Amazon. For a limited time, readers can sign up to get a free copy of Missing Girl here.   Want a weekly dose of inspiration and loving, positive energy? Sign up here for Piper’s mindful warrior newsletter. More

Untangling Ourselves from Parental Approval

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This month’s blog post is very personal, and I’ve been quiet about this area of my life because the truth is that I don’t have answers. And, those who know me well, know I love answers. I’ve tried to find them, but I only find more questions. Uncertainty and confusion walk alongside me nearly every day, making me feel very uncomfortable and exposed. But I feel drawn to share some insights I’ve had over the past few months about pleasing people and finding our true selves.

 

My father suffers from dementia, maybe Alzheimer’s. I don’t always get straight answers. I only know what I know based on the quality of the information I’ve been given, but no one can say for sure until after death. All I know for sure is that the man I see today is different than the man I knew yesterday. Tomorrow will be a different day too. Nothing’s certain with dementia. Then again, nothing’s ever been certain with my dad.

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3 Easy Ways to Practice Mindful Writing and Creation

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What do you think of when you think of the perfect creative space? The space where you have the peace and inspiration to write to your heart’s content? I’m not necessarily talking about writing a novel. It can be meditative journaling, creating content for your blog, or even writing a love letter to someone special. Is your perfect spot a sun-soaked beach with the sound of waves creating a thunderous soundtrack? Maybe it’s a coffee shop in the middle of a bustling European city where you soak up culture and sophistication. Or, perhaps it’s a mountain retreat deep in a snow-capped mountain range.

 

Now look out your window. Where are you? Are you in your ideal writing and creating location?

 

If the answer is yes, then kindly go back to what you’re doing and revel in the perfection. I’m sorry to have disturbed you. However, chances are that you’re not in your ideal writing location. Am I right? Your view may be of a dumpster, the neighbor’s swing set, or a front yard that really needs to be mowed.

 

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3 Ways to Clear Your Mind to Listen More

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Last year I practiced softer living, finding space to let myself be open to all possibilities. To say yes more often than automatically saying no when an opportunity presented that seemed too hard or uncomfortable to manage. As 2018 approached, I thought about what I wanted to achieve over the next twelve months to continue fitting into a skin that felt comfortable. What could I work on that would help me be a better version of myself and a better human in this world?

 

“Mom!” That’s the voice of my youngest dragging me out of my contemplation and forcing me back to the present. “Did you hear me?”

 

“Of course.” Truth? I did not hear her. She sighs and I pick up my phone. I scroll through a social media feed and notice a post from a favorite clothing boutique of mine. The post announces that the color of 2018 is ultra-violet purple. I get excited because for once I have something to say that my thirteen-year-old may actually be interested in hearing.

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A Year of Softer Living

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Last January at the start of 2017 I stood around a fire pit with my Saturday morning yoga group. Each of us held a piece of paper. On these pieces of paper were things that we wanted to let go of for the new year: fear, discontent, self-deprecating behavior, unhealthy relationships, negative self-talk. Some of the women shared what they were ready to burn up and leave behind. Others kept their intentions to themselves. Only the fire would consume and know everyone’s hopes for how their life would look in 2017.

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Have You Become a Mindful Snob?

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This year, I’ve shared a little bit of my mindful journey with you. I’ve written about how often this journey has been less blissful, more uncomfortable. I’ve shared how the process has felt inauthentic when I’ve slid back into old habits: getting into my head, giving in to melancholy, and hanging on to longing. Those are three things I must hold at arm’s length because they’re not good for me. Today, though, I don’t want to talk about these little bumps in this mindful trek. Instead, I want to talk about how others play a role in our mindfulness.

 

Wait. What? Isn’t mindful living about connecting with oneself and tapping into our own superpower?

 

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Why It’s Important to Let Go of Hobbies that No Longer Serve You

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Every year at the end of March I get excited about planting my garden. Whether the Midwest air has turned a corner toward warmer days or the threat of frost hasn’t quite left, it doesn’t matter. Once April is in my sights, I start thinking about what I want to grow in my small garden for the season. It’s a ritual I’ve enjoyed every year for more than 10 years. Watching the fruits of my labor (yes, pun intended) blossom into something nourishing for my family served me a tremendous amount of joy. The garden is where my youngest daughter and I experimented with different varieties of tomatoes, tried our hand at growing watermelon, laughed when we pulled vines from the ground and discovered potato-like roots (tubers, for those of you wondering), and were genuinely shocked the first time grape tomatoes grew from the previous years’ fruits that we left rotting away over the winter. Working in the garden was a new experience every year.

 

Unfortunately, though, time marches forward.

 

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5 Ways a Regular Yoga Practice Creates Easy Living

5 Ways a Regular Yoga Practice Creates Easy Living

Let’s clear the air.

 

First, I’ve never been one to receive messages with an open heart or mind. Accepting things at face value seemed too easy. Secondly, believe me when I say that taking the path of least resistance wasn’t a familiar trail. While others learned life lessons quickly, I seemed to stumble and make the same mistakes over and over again. I continued to spend money I didn’t have. I loved too much or too little. Let’s not talk about forgiveness – myself or others. I found it difficult to accept my shortcomings and I walked around angry so much of the time. This way of living ruled my life from the time I was in my mid-twenties to about two years ago when I started seriously practicing yoga and, even more recently, as I’ve embraced mindful living.

 

The lessons I’ve learned from yoga can be learned anywhere if you’re the sort of person who gets it right away. By “gets it” I refer to figuring out life with relative ease. For some of us though, we need those ah-ha moments. Those rare moments of clarity that seem to catapult you from ignorance to enlightenment in zero to thirty seconds. I found mine on the yoga mat somewhere between down dog and Savasana. In those moments, here is what I came to believe as my truth.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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