Being Without Skin

May 30th, 2024 by Kelly Kienzle

For the last few weeks, I have felt deeply vulnerable.  As Zoe Keating, a genre-defying cellist has described, I have been “being without skin.” I feel vulnerable because I put a draft of my writing out into the world.  Specifically, my coauthor and I have shared a

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Darkness is the Absence of Light

April 19th, 2024 by Kelly Kienzle

Below is a post, different from my typical essays.  I was thrilled to be invited to include the following essay in The Shadow Anthology, a collection of works that explores the question: What happens when we finally address the darkness we have tried to hide, avoid, and

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Broaden as You Shorten

February 2nd, 2024 by Kelly Kienzle

As I enter the back nine of my life, I am deeply focusing on how to age well.  I am focusing on not necessarily extending lifespan, but instead extending healthspan. I love the idea of increasing my number of healthy years, instead of just any-old-type of years.  But

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The Plus of Subtraction

December 5th, 2023 by Kelly Kienzle

We have spent our whole lives adding.  We have added expectations, goals and beliefs to our plans for the future.  We have added jealousies, regrets and unfulfilled desires to our evaluation of our pasts. The sum result of these additions is an overbearing load that we

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The Purpose and Promise of Story

November 2nd, 2023 by Kelly Kienzle

Humans have told stories to each other since we could first communicate.  We told these stories for the purpose of understanding how the world worked and to understand loss, anger, joy and love. Then and now, we also tell stories to ourselves to understand our own

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Fall Behind Their Words

August 25th, 2023 by Kelly Kienzle

The paragraph ended with “Fall behind their words.”  And that’s when the book’s whole message snapped into place in my mind.  Don’t engage with what others say when they speak harshly to you.  Instead, drop down into a space just behind their words.  Here’s what I

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Being Present to the Push

July 13th, 2023 by Kelly Kienzle

being present to the push

“A part of me really wants to be fully in the present moment, but a bigger part of me just wants to push past this period now because it sucks.” I whined out this plea to a friend recently and she responded, “What if you were

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Empathy As a Source of Pain

March 16th, 2023 by Kelly Kienzle

The stranger at the gym raises her middle finger at me as I approach the empty treadmill next to hers. What?  Did I just see that right?  Yes, I did, she just did it AGAIN.  Wow.  And then I move on, onto that very treadmill of course.

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When Regret is Assumed Regret

January 31st, 2023 by Kelly Kienzle

“I wish I had chosen vanilla, instead of chocolate.  Now I have a brown smear down the front of my shirt where it spilled.”  I now spend the rest of the afternoon regretting having chosen such a messy ice cream flavor. This fictional, yet entirely possible, scenario illustrates

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Retreat is Resilience

December 16th, 2022 by Kelly Kienzle

I have always thought of resilience as having only one definition: to bounce back or spring up.  It sounded like it required effort and energy.  Or that an obstacle existed that had to be overcome or at least stared down. Yet I recently read in a

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