During the Pandemic, I discovered a new direction for writing and teaching

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Born Writing Stories

Like many writers, telling stories has been a vital part of who I am for as long as I can remember. I spent most of my early childhood making up plays and puppet shows with my dolls. I was fortunate to have an eager grandmother, who had studied theater in college, always ready to both listen and offer her feedback on my stories. In third grade, I had a smart, caring teacher who noticed that though I struggled with math, I could write longer, more complex stories than most children my age and she gave me extra time in class…

Yom Kippur for me-and I’m guessing for many of you-feels like a hard day to access. Even as someone who is actively engaged with Jewish spiritual learning and ritual in my own life, I struggle to connect with the traditions and meanings of Yom Kippur. Maybe it has to do with living with Type 1 diabetes for 40+ years (which can make fasting a challenge) or facing feelings of mortality as a cancer survivor. Whatever factors contribute, I search every year for some kind of teaching to make Yom Kippur feel meaningful in some way-and often come up empty.


Join us for gentle writing prompts, poetry, music & more, focusing on the richness and beauty of Autumn

A large tree with colorful autumn leaves stands near a pond. The tree is reflected in the pond. In the distance fallen leaves scatter over grass.

Over the summer, I was so delighted to launch Feed Your Spirit Writing and had the opportunity to engage almost 50 participants in both one-time workshops and also a 4-part ‘deep dive’ series. It was great fun writing and learning with all of you who joined us!

Today, I am happy to share with you that enrollment is open for my new online workshop Writing with the Seasons: Autumn Harvest.

The timing feels right: with the world around us so full of crises, the rhythms of nature offer us grounding and a way to be present and tune in to…

How the practice of noticing joy through the month increases my joy

Turning 50 in June inspired me to begin a new spiritual practice: simply making note of all of the different kinds of art, nature, and community that inspire me through each month. Many of us experience time as ‘moving too fast’ and especially after living through the Groundhog Day-like experience of the pandemic when days and weeks blurred together, we may need a way to distinguish one month from the next. Reaching this milestone age, having survived cancer, and continuing to live well with a chronic illness, I feel an urge to savor my time on earth. …

What I’ve learned 40 years in to living with Type 1 diabetes

Photo by Mykenzie Johnson on Unsplash

When I was ten years old, weeks went by when I woke up through the night to go to the bathroom and guzzle water from the warm faucet we used to rinse our mouths after teeth brushing. My mother knew something was wrong. We went to the doctor where I was told to pee in a cup. The doctor sent us quickly and firmly across the street to the hospital when they saw how much glucose was spilling from my body.

In the early 80s, when a child was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, they taught you how to give…


The month of Elul is here! It’s a time leading up to Rosh Hashanah when we have the opportunity to tune in to our spiritual concerns, reflect on our dreams and challenges over the year that’s gone by, and consider areas for change and growth in the coming new year.

I didn’t grow up with an awareness of a month of preparation leading up to the High Holy Day season. But in discovering Elul as an adult, I embrace this time for spiritual reflection, and I’ve noticed how it’s deepened my experience of the holiday…

by Tali Torres

I have recently launched Feed Your Spirit Writing, online workshops focusing on the intersection of writing and spiritual growth. I am so excited to share a beautiful piece of writing from one of my first writing intensive participants, Tali Torres.

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

While I was growing up, I always listened to my parents and older people around me, complain that things were not made of high quality anymore, and times were not as good as before. I thought that they didn’t want to accept that life changes and time passes. …

One of my new spiritual practices is to notice all of the different things in art, nature and community that move and inspire me through the month. I keep a list going in my journal and then enjoy reflecting on my favorite experiences at the end of the month. It takes some discipline for me to pay attention to the ways that I experience joy, pleasure and satisfaction — like so many of us, I’m more naturally inclined to get caught up in negative news, personally and globally.

As I deepen this practice, I am reminded that I have a…

A reflection practice about what to hold, what to release

Sunset reflection in Ithaca, NY. Courtesy of the author

September, with the return of the school year, always feels more to me like the start of the New Year than January 1st. The turning from what seemed like endless summer days, the fireflies and kickball games of my childhood to the time for buying pencils, notebooks and new shoes, signaling the start of a new school year, rests deep in my core. In the Jewish tradition, our new year holiday of Rosh HaShanah generally falls in September — this year it begins on the evening before Labor Day itself. On Rosh HaShanah, we celebrate by eating sweet foods like…

With so many of us Americans back on the road this summer, friends and I started talking about the family road trips we took when we were kids. My mom did not like flying, so everywhere we traveled as a family was in a classic wood-paneled Pontiac station wagon or later a giant white Buick LeSabre that we dubbed “The Tank.”

I grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania but our extended family lived far and wide. Our road trips took us to and from Chicago, Toronto, and the Jersey Shore and sometimes tourist destinations like Washington, D.C…

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Writer, Educator, Mom. Disability advocate. Dog Lover. Teaching online workshops at the intersection of writing + spiritual growth. www.gabriellekaplanmayer.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store