Hello, my name is Lisa Jakub and I used to be an actor (Or: The answer to “why did you quit acting?”)

This is a weird thing for me to write about. You see, I’ve been spending the last 10 years running from my past. A friend said that I’m so dodgy about my old life, that I behave like someone who killed her entire family and moved out of state.

I’m that elusive about it.

But I didn’t kill anyone.

I was just an actor. Continue reading

Meditation for People Who Can’t Meditate: an audio guide

“Meditation suffers from a towering PR problem.”

-Dan Harris, 10% Happier

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People tell me all the time that they can’t meditate — they tried it and their minds are spinning wildly and they can’t stop their thoughts.

I’m sorry to break this to you because I’m sure you are an absolutely delightful person: but your brain is not special. It’s not.

That is what everyone’s brain does. It’s your brain’s job to always look for problems. That’s how it has kept you alive.

Saying you can’t meditate because you can’t stop your thoughts is like saying you can’t play basketball because you aren’t a unicorn. And of course you are not an unicorn and of course you can’t stop your thoughts.

Luckily, we’re not trying to stop our thoughts when we meditate. We’re just trying to shift our relationship with them and realize those manic thoughts don’t have to run our whole damn lives. Continue reading

New online memoir writing class starting soon!

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Hey all,

I’m starting up my online writing class again and I would love for you to join me! The class is starting to fill up already, so I wanted to make sure that you guys had a chance to sign up if you were interested.

This class is for everyone –  from those with no writing experience to professional writers. We’ll read great work, workshop pieces, explore ways to get the most from your creative process and have a super fun time. I’ll give you feedback and help you shape your story. (Don’t worry, I’m Canadian, so I’m always really nice about it.) It’s a relaxed environment where we all learn from each other. Best of all, you’ll finally get your story down on paper.

The class will be held ONLINE – seven Sunday afternoons, 12–2 p.m. PST/3-5pm Eastern. You log on wherever you have an internet connection and a webcam – then, it looks like the Brady Bunch! We can all see each other, which creates a lovely sense of community. (Click here to see a demo of what a class looks like.) Continue reading

What do you say?

“You have great hair.”

I was putting down my yoga mat at the studio. I turned to the woman who had spoken to me, she was sitting on the floor, stretching. I had never met her before.

“Pardon me?” I asked.

“You have great hair.”

My hair had been up in a ponytail all morning because I had been writing – fighting, really – a troublesome section of my new book and so now that my hair was out long, it had that weird kink in the middle where I had secured the elastic too tight. As I was writing, I had thought maybe the words would come more easily if I could feel some air on the back of my neck. It hadn’t really worked.

My last haircut was seven months ago. I’ve recently started using this special shampoo in an attempt to combat my eternally oily scalp and it leaves the ends of my hair feeling dry. But I hadn’t even washed my hair in two days. Continue reading

Mostly I write but sometimes I say the words out loud

Hey all,

I wanted to share this clip from a talk I did in June – all about anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Even though I don’t entirely love living with these things – I love talking about this stuff. It makes me feel less alone, it reduces the social stigma around mental health and above all, it reminds me that healing is possible when we can connect and laugh and say to each other oh my God, I totally know what you mean.

Hope you enjoy this short clip. (I have been doing more talks lately, so I should have more clips to share soon.) And if you’re interested in having me come talk at your school, organization or conference – you can see my speaking kit here!

Authentic creativity at Hippocamp: a whole fancy PowerPoint talk

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I’m super excited about the Hippocamp nonfiction writers conference in Lancaster, PA this weekend! I’ll be giving a talk about how to find your own unique creativity: how to refine it,  own it, and how to make sure you never get blocked from it. I’ve got PowerPoint slides full of embarrassing old photos, helpful tips and cartoons. It’s gonna be fun.

There are still some tickets to the conference available, so come hang out and talk about words with me and a whole bunch of extraordinary writers.

And no promises, but last year at this conference – they had a mashed potato bar.

Just saying.

with love,

~Lisa

(If your school, conference or company is interested in having me come speak – you can see my speaking kit and contact me for more information.)

“To be completely honest…”

“I hate that phrase —  ‘to be completely honest.’ Why do people say that? As if I want you to lie to me.”

My friend was saying this as he and I were sitting at an outdoor bar that has swings instead of seats. We were trying to solve the problems of the world over beer and french fries. So why do people start off this way when they are about to admit something difficult about their lives? Continue reading