“To live several lives, you have to die several deaths.” —Françoise Giroud Looking back on your life, have you lived “several lives?” Have you ever re-invented yourself? What did you have to let go of in order to do so?
“Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.” —James Baldwin Tell me about a time you experienced this in your life—or you witnessed someone else having this experience.
“I set out to dispel daily depression. Every afternoon I get low-spirited, and one day I discovered the walk. . . . I set myself a destination, and then things happen in the street.” —Vivian Gornick Tell me about something that happened on a walk.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days.” —Annie Dillard, The Writing Life Tell me about how you structure your days.
“We should not feel embarrassed by our difficulties, only by our failure to grow anything beautiful from them.” —Alain De Botton Tell me about a time you grew from your difficulties. Or what your difficulties are teaching you now.
“When someone is struck by loss, there’s an openness to that which is beyond this world. When you really feel loss, when the ground is shaken, the veil thins and there is more access to the timeless, the eternal.” —Tara Brach Tell me about a time loss led to an opening or awareness you didn’t
“I don’t fully understand my life until I write it.” —Robert Frost Think back through your life and think about what you are most proud of. The items on your list could be things you accomplished “out in the world” or things that happened internally. Knowing who you are and where you’ve come from, what
“There’s this moment in creation, when you’ve made something truly special, where you become euphoric. And then, utterly lonely.” —John Mayer Tell me about your loneliness. Tell me about all the different kinds of loneliness you have known. Begin each paragraph with the words, “There is the kind of loneliness that…”. Make each paragraph a
“This is the bright home in which I live, this is where I ask my friends to come, this is where I want to love all the things it has taken me so long to learn to love.” —David Whyte, The House of Belonging Tell me about the things it has taken you “so long