“Don’t talk to my friend like that.”

Virgos (August 23-September 22) are known for their critical and judgy nature – especially toward themselves. 

Once, I was sharing with a friend, and I guess my inner critic was going to town on me because my friend winced and said (to my asshole critic), “Ouch – don’t talk to my friend, Alyse, like that.”

That scenario has happened to me more than once, actually. 

I’m grateful for the intervention.

You don’t need to be a Virgo to relate to Maya Stein’s 10-Line Tuesday poem below. It’s one of my favorites and speaks beautifully to this September, birthday-month theme: Self-Friendship & Free-Flow Writing.

“thread” 
~Maya Stein

You will know what to do, you tell a friend breathless at the ridge of trouble. Be patient. The answer will come, you advise. Stay open to the truth. Try for actual 
gentleness. Life will bring you back home, you continue, paraphrasing Rumi. Don't judge yourself so harshly. You can love your way through this, or Sometimes, the riskier step is no step. But first, Sweetheart, you've got to get a good night's sleep. Later, of course, you will rub sand on your own tenderness, convince a grand error from a simple mistake, make hard tracks in the room and stay awake, flicking 
the mud out with a toothpick. You will thrust too much weight on your back and refuse relief. Squaring off against another's pain, you have fistfuls of softness to give away. But in the eye of your own needle, how are you holding the thread?


Writing tip: When my inner critic is harsh and loud, I grab my notebook and write Darling Alyse or Sweet Alyse. Then I write to myself using words I’d naturally use with a friend who’s feeling tender. Or my daughter. 

Free-flow writing is a companion. It provides “fistfuls of softness” when we need it most. 

Next month, our attention turns to Presence & Free-Flow Writing. To join an in-person or online WTG Circle, click here.

Till then.

With love,






Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:


writing prompt

"fistfuls of softness"


1. Grab a pen & notebook. Write the prompt at the top of the page. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Or 5. Or 2!

2. Keep your pen moving as you write the thoughts, feelings, and images that arise. Don’t stop to think or edit.

3. Accept ALL that you write - the pretty + ugly; absurd + boring. Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...