Hi! I'm Nadia Colburn—writer, teacher, yogi, activist

Author of The High Shelf and founder of Align Your Story writing school.

At Align Your Story Writing School, we bring traditional literary and creative writing studies together with mindfulness, embodied practices, and social and environmental engagement. Join a community of over 25,000 other mindful writers. Get the tools and community to write your best work.

Featured Post

From “Attitude of Gratitude” to Authentic Appreciation

Dear Reader, First, I want to say that I am deeply thankful for your presence here in this community. Each Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking about authentic gratitude. I know that so many people around the world, as well as some close to me, are suffering. To simply express gratitude can feel blind to what is happening. And yet, cultivating a mindset of gratitude can be an expansive, generous, healing, and life-affirming practice. But I’ll be honest: my journey to understanding and...
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9 days ago • 5 min read

In difficult times...(and something for you)

Dear Reader, How are you doing? It's beautiful here in Cambridge—peak fall! The sky is blue, and the leaves are brilliant. So much splendor. And at the same time, around the world, there is so much deep suffering. Like many of you, I'm deeply saddened and horrified by the news from Israel and Gaza. I'm ethnically Jewish, so this struggle is closer to my heart than others. I have Jewish friends who have lost loved ones already in Israel and also Palestinian friends who have lost loved ones. I...
about 1 month ago • 3 min read

Wake up your writing :)

Dear Reader, The poet Mary Oliver wrote: Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.” Once a year, I offer a free one-hour Poetry of Attention Masterclass so I can share some of the wildness and wonder that poetry has to offer. I’d love to see you there! In our fast-paced,...
2 months ago • 2 min read
image of open window with field outside

August, Possibility, and More

Dear Reader, Happy August!​I spent most of July off my computer. I have to admit that coming back home and being reminded of the political and social realities is a bit of a shock to my system. There feels like a disconnect between the beauty and kindness of so much of the world and the often illogical, destructive realities of so many large-scale human interactions. As I try to make sense of it, I find myself turning again to poetry, which helps expand my perspective. For me, poetry is...
4 months ago • 2 min read

A poem, transitions, and a reminder

Dear Reader, Friday was my daughter Simone's last day of high school. I've been feeling, as you may expect, many different emotions at once—great love, pride, and also a lot of sadness. I'm going to miss having her here on a daily basis; she's been such a consistent light in my life. (She's taking off soon for a summer travel adventure with friends and then is going to college in Colorado. Below is a photo of the two of us visiting Colorado this spring.) I've been going back and re-reading...
6 months ago • 2 min read
beach, ocean and sky

What the ocean reminded me, showing up as yourself, and more

Dear Reader, One of the hardest things for writers—and perhaps for all people, whatever we’re doing—is to stay connected to ourselves, who we are, and what lights us up. Because we’re social animals, it's really easy to get distracted by everything happening around us. But though we sometimes disconnect from ourselves, we can also connect again–and that's an inside job that has nothing to do with numbers (or “shoulds” or technology). I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when we took a day...
6 months ago • 3 min read
drawing of tulips

Writing into Joy...the Challenges and Rewards

Dear Reader! It’s spring here in Cambridge and the sun is out. It’s a great pleasure. When we write into pleasure and joy, our writing comes more alive—just like our landscape. But one of the biggest challenges many writers have is writing joy (a word, which, by the way, shares a root with the word “jewel”—both are precious!) This week, in my Align Your Story class, we’re working on the Joy Module and students are often surprised at how tricky writing this emotion can be–but also how...
7 months ago • 3 min read

Intention, Implementation, and the Earth

Dear Reader, This weekend, I went to a visioning retreat with one of my favorite teachers, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, a doctor and native teacher who teaches narrative medicine. On the way here, I listened to a podcast by one of my favorite podcasts, Outrage and Optimism: Climate Change Podcast. In the podcast, Cristiana Figueres talks about this being a time of implementation. The most recent IPCC report, a final synthesis report, gives a very clear warning and timeline: this is our last chance to...
7 months ago • 4 min read
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