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Collette CottinghamWriter

Bio:

The Pacific Northwest is my home. My roots are located in the City of Spokane, Washington. I have traveled many different places and I loved visiting each and every one. I enjoy learning the culture and vibe of a new place, but it is always nice to come back home. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. I currently work as an Administrative Assistant. In my free time I write, read, dance, study my family history, help at charities and travel. I am divorced and have three grown children.

I was invited to join this amazing group of woman and joyfully accepted. This is a place of peace, love and kindness. Here women lift each other up. We celebrate the beautiful, unique, amazing women we are.

What is your Vision? What is your Dream?

My vision is help other women who feel trapped, stuck in darkness, have no voice, or are in pain. There are different paths that can lead us to this awful place. I want you to know there is a way out. I was there for twenty years. I lived in an abusive relationship and here I am today. I am stronger, more confident, living life and happy. I met so many amazing people on this journey who helped me discover life. I call those people my guardian angels; I want to be someone’s guardian angel too.

Latest Contributions

Perfectly Imperfect

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   My own thoughts can tear me up inside. I am my own worst critic. When my thoughts become exhausting, and get in the way of my writing process, I wash them away. When writer’s block happens, I tune into the one thing I do perfectly for me. I wash […]

I Am My Own Education

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   What topic are you currently studying? The subject I am currently studying is “me.” I am focusing on the woman I am and the things I truly enjoy. I am on a path of discovery for a peaceful mind, body and soul. The information I gain will be beneficial […]

Mind Scrabble

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I struggle with random conversation. I never know what to say and God forbid if there is dreaded awkward silence! I dive into panic mode, heavy breathing, heart palpitations, shaking, mind racing which leads to hyperventilating. In panic mode random weird thoughts pour out of my mouth that have […]

When I Dance

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   My mind is open, free, full of intellect and debate. My body is light, graceful and at peace. Dancing is my meditation. You may see me dancing…but I am not there. My mind and body are in a different space. A place where the conscious is open and cleansed. […]

Daydream Date

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I saw a commercial a long time ago, where a woman was sitting in her car day dreaming. A man appears and tells her to stop dreaming and to start living. I don’t even remember what the commercial was selling. Day dreaming is part of my creative process. To […]

Strength

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   The woman in the mirror has dark circles, and some new wrinkles. She also has a great smile and a twinkle in her eyes. Life has thrown her a few curveballs, yet she has persevered. She is strong. This isn’t a physical strength. This is a mental strength. A […]

Soul Connection

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I never know what to say or I can’t put the right words together. I am not a great on-the-spot talker. At these moments I take a deep breath. I focus on my gut instinct. All that I need is there. A friend said that she loves talking to […]

Lean In or Lean Out?

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   When someone says “lean in” my natural reaction is to lean out. Why? “Leaning in” feels like accepting something immediately. I can’t do that! I have to pause. I have questions. I become nauseous. I feel overwhelmed and just like that I lean out. Leaning out keeps me in […]

Smurfy Adult

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I can still hum the theme song in my head. The song fills me with happiness. I was given my first Smurf when I was six. My Aunt owned a toy shop. She bought the blue creature from a company in Germany. Aunt Doris was kind enough to gift […]

Kindness

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Kindness is the one word used to describe me the most…clear back into childhood… it is written in my school report cards. In Junior High one of my teachers did an exercise where we all decorated a box and placed the box somewhere in the room. Our classmates had […]

New Perspective

Written by: Collette Cottingham, Anontropolis   I realized by the end of the the book I was a Witch. Reading a good book can transform you into anything or anyone. You are in the thick of it all, just like the characters. I starting reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in 2002. Since I […]

The Great Divide

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   At times it feels like I am being ripped in two. There are so many pressures in life. Then you toss in decisions, resolving conflicts, body pains and let’s not forget about the worlds problems! I end up with a mixed salad full of stress. A few years back […]

My Lighthouse

Written by: Collette Cottingham   The current was strong today. I struggled to get upstream. I fought for hours only to have moved a few inches. I was exhausted. I finally let go. The current overwhelmed me and pushed me to the shore. I laid on the shore. I was paralyzed with no energy to […]

Love is Patient

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I hit a train. I knew what to do. I turned off my vehicle and pulled out a book. In my area you have to know the train schedule. It is a must, running a few minutes late can have devastating consequences. An hour later I was on my […]

Green is the New Pink

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Have you lost yourself before? Spent time stressing over another person’s life? Or stressed over the life of a fictional character? This happens to me from time to time. Life has enough stress. Why stress over someone who is not real. Recently I was tangled in someone else’s life. […]

Kind Heart

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I am horrified by some of the comments I read on social media. These awful comments come from people who don’t even know me. The people who know me are kind or don’t say anything. My passionate friends and family come to my defense. I ask them to ignore […]

The Bridge

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I had lunch on a bridge. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. This place reminds me of my grandmother. I parked on Lilac. Why? Because it was her favorite color. Just seeing the word makes me smile. She is still here. I carry her […]

Wnztar’s Dance

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   The crunching of her footsteps on the snow filled the air. She realized her element of surprise was gone. Winter is a season of eerie quiet, even the storms carry a scary silence. As you venture out into the cold every move you make echoes through out the night. […]

I Dance

  Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I have the tools before me. I am ready. I have spent the last four years working hard to get to this point. I knew I would get here eventually. This was part of the plan, the process. It is time to learn to use my voice, time […]

Magic

Written by: Collette Cottingham, Anontropolis   There is magic in the air. Do you feel it? It dances around in the fresh falling snow. Its chorus sings through the air. It is in the flame flickering in the fire, a warm cup of tea, in a laugh, in a smile and soft hug. I love […]

Holiday in Motion

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Holiday in Motion The days are long with darkness all around. We are heading for the Winter Solstice. The darkest day of the year. The pre holiday, shopping, parties, to do lists and cooking often leave me feeling overwhelmed. Today was no exception. I am longing for the quiet […]

Size Up Your Baggage

  Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I was having “a day.” I don’t like to say “I was having a bad day.” The day wasn’t bad. I just had little things popping up. I had to work to keep my energy relaxed and peaceful. I arrived at the airport early. I was giving myself […]

Sam I Am

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   “Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens, snow flakes that stay on nose and eye lashes, silver white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things!” one of my favorite songs. I truly enjoy the simple things in life, skipping down the sidewalk, […]

Seek Alternate Route

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I love shopping local. I haven’t been to my favorite bakery in a while…Covid. I visually planned my Monday. I would spend my whole morning among the old wood floor, brick walls with the aroma of coffee dancing through the air. The writer in me was very excited for […]

Connection

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I had to be both a father and mother. Most times I went blindly into the dark. I played catch, explored the wilderness looking for Pokémon and was a Ghostbuster in training. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just trying to connect with my young […]

My Muse

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I lost my muse. He passed away on a warm October day. His passing sent me into an emotional fog. It was sudden and shocking. Did he understand how much he gave? I am at a loss. Can I write without him? I don’t feel like I can. The […]

Moving Forward

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Deja Vu, conflicts, change, heights, bad breath, and the unknown are all things I fear. My life is full of fear. The “what if’s” could completely take over my life. I had to step back and examine my life. I realized everything always worked out. Maybe not the way […]

You’re a Rockstar

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   You’re A Rockstar “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date, no time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”…Some days I feel like the rabbit in “Alice and Wonderland.” My day starts will a full calendar. How will I get it all done? I […]

Dumbo

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   “I am so dumb.” A phrase I uttered often. I would never say those words to anyone else. Yet I have no problem saying them to myself. I miss a turn, I make a mathematical error, I didn’t understand a joke or I feel inferior…the phrase pops in my […]

Happy Dance

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Ah, by the feeling of weightlessness, the freedom of movement, I am capable, strong and happy. I feel energized and happy. My mind, body and spirit come alive when I dance. My body is thankful. Dancing is a fun exercise I discovered five years ago at the encouragement of […]

Harvest Joy

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   They’re Alive! It’s a miracle! Last spring I planted seeds to keep a plant alive, since my home was where plants came to die. I was successful. I not only kept one plant alive, but two! What was my miracle? It was my friend. She taught me that knowledge […]

Balancing on My Toes

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontroplis   I listen to audio books in my car, plan my meals for the week, I clean my house every Sunday, my calendar is weekly guide. These are all the things I do to stay organized and provides order to my week. The most important thing I schedule in my […]

Me University

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Have you lost yourself? I lost myself six years ago. At the time I was utterly devastated. I had spent years building a false facade. It was time to return to University. I would study communication. My major was me. Like any degree it took a couple years of […]

Down the Rabbit Hole

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I went down a rabbit hole today. We all find our way into the rabbit hole from time to time. My desire to know more pushes me to go further. I ask questions and the exploration begins. My exploration leads to more questions that need to be answered, and […]

Season of New

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   There is a shift in the air. A new season is upon us, a new year is beginning. A fresh start, a clean slate. Everything from the past is forgotten and cleared away. Back to school brings dread, mixed in with excitement. Saying goodbye to the simple fun days […]

Message of Kindness

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   If you find a random note that says: “You are worthy;” “I am thinking of you today;” “You got this;” “You matter to me;” or “ You are loved,” …it could be from me. Why? Because it is my way of paying it forward. I am blessed to have […]

No to the Negative

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   “You look silly,” “You are not smart enough or pretty enough,” Do these words sound familiar? These words are the many negative thoughts that appear in my head each day. I say “no” to these thoughts. I chose to look at myself through the eyes of others. People enjoy […]

Walk it Off

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Deadlines, time crunch, weekly to do list that gets longer each week…when the tension builds I head out doors and go on a quick power walk. A good fifteen minutes to remind myself that I am capable. I got this. Everything works out, everything will be fine. In nature […]

I Dance

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   My thoughts are heavy, my chest is tight, my body is sluggish and swollen, stress tears and wears on my mind, body and soul. I could let all this consume me and fall into darkness. I have a choice. Instead I dance. The music starts I am a body […]

Allara

Written by: Collette Cottingham   Allara walked into my living room while I was enjoying a cool crystal glass of water. She sat down and started telling me her story. We all have a story. A story that can captivate your heart and steal your thoughts. A story that can take us worlds away or […]

Inspiration Vacation

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   She summons me, even from afar. She slaps against the sand, flows through my toes, dances into my sinuses and overwhelms me with her beautiful. I want to protect her, keep her clean and safe. She is mighty and for the most part can handle herself just fine. Her […]

So Cool!

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   “I’m feeling so cool Top to the bottom, just cool Every little thing that I do (ooh)” “Cool” by the Jonas Brothers has a fabulous summer vibe. I do feel cool from top to bottom, inside and out. I am at a good place. Do I dare say I […]

Simply Fresh

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis A warm breeze, the sun blanketing me with happiness, the perfect temperature, the smell of fresh cut grass…this glorious day filled all my senses. I nestled in the porch swing to write, but my mind was blank. I could panic and worry that my creativity was dying. Instead I checked […]

The Perfect Day

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I decided to let my emotions lead the way. I set aside my organized “to do” outline. I felt a little nervous. Could I get everything done without my outline? You sure bet I did. My emotions guided me. Not only did I get everything done I even got […]

Go With the Flow

Written by: Collette Cottingham I experience emotional outbursts from others on a regular basis. The horrible words are directed toward me, but not at me. I could take their words to heart and explode back at them. I don’t. I take a deep breath. I realize their anger is not towards me, it is towards […]

Power of Knowing

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   She is my rock! She has gotten me through some dark days, scary storms and the warm sunshine. I rely on her and she relies on me. I take care of her and she takes care of me. We listen to fabulous music and good books. Our knowledge is […]

Yes to Me

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   I like to go, go, go. I naturally offer myself up to help. I enjoy doing it. This last week was a fun busy week. Saturday morning I woke up with no voice. My intention this year was to find my voice, not loose it! I pushed myself through […]

Writer’s Intuition

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   She stepped onto the stage. The roar from the crowd lit up the theater, glancing left she quickly exited out the side door. My intuition guides me in every day life, and in my writing. Through intuition I can fully understand my characters. Sometimes as much as I want […]

Plant Growth

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis.com   “My house is where plants come to die.” I want to change this pattern. I bought a new plant and was given one as a gift. I must keep them alive! As I repot my new little plant my hands are moist in the soil. I look out and […]

Angel

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   She rocks her halo, her smile radiates joy, compassion and love. The Angel emoji is my favorite emoji, because she best represents who I am. I am a lady of light. I am full of happiness, love, and grace. I have an excellent listening ear and a body full […]

Every Woman

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   She’s my cheerleader, listening ear, a place of comfort, the voice of reason and my dance instructor, every woman I cross paths with is an inspiration to me. Even when I see a woman having a moment. This is a great opportunity for me to reflect and learn. We […]

Light of Integrity

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis   Integrity appears around you throughout your every day life. It can be a person of clergy, the cashier at the local store, your mom, or a dear friend. You just have to be aware and look forward it. A person who holds true to the core of their being […]

Rain Walker

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis.com   I was feeling overwhelmed, not sure why, my life is pretty great. I was staring out the window as the anxiety burned inside. On the outside the weather was just as confused as I was. It couldn’t decide whether it wanted to rain or not. I really wanted it […]

Yes Please!

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis.com   I say “yes” to me! This can be uncomfortable for me, but I am doing it. I said I would use my voice more this year. I have been in a shell for many, many years. I have grown and become a woman of strength. With all I have […]

It’s the Little Things

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis.com I know what it is like to have your passion die…it eventually spreads to every fiber of your being. The journey to bring yourself back is long and arduous, but worth every step. Today my passion is alive in every fiber of my being. I keep it going by immersing […]

Strength

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Writer in Residence   Who am I? We all have a “thing” something that comes natural to us. My “thing” has been kindness. It is who I am, yet when I pondered this “thing” today “strength” appeared. As I replay the compliments I have received lately, kindness isn’t one of them…strength […]

Everything is Fine

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Writer in Residence   You feel blindsided…like being punched in the gut…when the unexpected has appeared in my life I do the most logical thing… I sit in the quiet. Alone with my thoughts, gives me the time to take everything in. I began to process, I feel all the rainbow […]

Kindness

Written by: Collette Cottingham, Writer in Residence I look around this beautiful world and see the random acts of kindness that happen every day. The world needs these acts of kindness to multiple and grow. We need to circle our world with the glow of kindness. Let’s celebrate our differences and honor all the elements […]

Creative Download

Written by: Collette Cottingham   “A surprise announcement will free me!” My mind went racing…oh the places I could go, the people I could see… My mind travels to hundreds of places a day and then circles back around. I write as fast as I can, but some great creativity gets lost in the transfer. […]

I am Kind

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip Kindness is the one word used to describe me the most…clear back into childhood… it is written in my school report cards. I rise every morning full of happiness and cheer. I feel like a cartoon character singing into the new day. I dance across the room with a […]

Emotional Writing

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I am an emotional woman. I always have been. It is a part of my DNA. As a young woman I was reminded to not show my emotions or to keep my emotions in check. Well I couldn’t do it. My emotions spill out quite easily. What is […]

Patience

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I let my schedule blow away in the wind. It was time. I was no longer controlling the schedule. It was controlling me. I am my best self when I give myself patience and time. With no schedule I am free. I am focused. I let others go […]

Following My Soul

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I never know what to say or I can’t put the right words together in my mind. I am not a great on-the-spot talker. When I close my eyes and follow my soul I know what to do and say. Sometimes I am pushed to reach out to […]

Writer’s Block

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   At times I don’t know what to write. Sometimes it is a lack of creativity and other times I hit a roadblock. Either way, I am stuck. In the past, this could last days, weeks, months or sadly years. I didn’t think I had the power to overcome […]

Dance Date

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I decided to do something I haven’t done in a while…Something I have never done by myself. I choreographed a new dance. Choreography is a beautiful creative process. You need the right music, the right moves and the right attitude. Your mind needs to be open to ebb and […]

Seeds of Creativity

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   My routine is out of wack. I hear people say, “When things return to normal.” Normal is gone. Change has been in the air for months. Now it is here, every aspect of my life has changed. I have to work harder to tap into my creative spirit. […]

Angel of Light

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   She lights up when she smiles. Her glow flows right into her halo. She is golden. I love the Angel Emoji. I saw her glow and I knew that is the feeling I want to send out. A feeling of love, light and joy. The Angel represents the […]

I’m Every Woman

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   Being a woman is a beautiful thing. We are so versatile, come with a full range of emotions, can tap into the core of our being, and are capable of greatness. Our gifts are inside us. The only problem is we don’t listen to them often enough. Imagine […]

Yes to Inspiration!

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   The sun said hello bright and early this morning. She called me outside to a warm spring morning. I soaked up all she had to offer. Sitting in the backyard swing swaying to cool morning air I was taken back to childhood. A place for jump rope, sidewalk […]

The Bridge

  Written by: Collette Cottingham; Guardian Angels   I had lunch on a bridge. This isn’t the first time. It won’t be the last. I like to eat here. This place reminds me of my Grandmother. I park on Lilac. Why? Because it was her favorite color. Just seeing the word makes me think of […]

Passion

  Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   As I began contemplating my intention for 2020, I had many ideas and thoughts floating around in my mind. I got to the point of overthinking. I had to stop. I needed to just be. I began to stretch and let my mind and body go. I […]

That Photo

written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   My day can be quite overwhelming at times. I could let my thoughts consume me. Or let my mind wander to the many piles mounting on my desk. How can I possibly get all this done and learn my new duties? I look past my piles of work […]

Rockwood Bakery

written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   Nestled in a quiet neighborhood, just a block away from Manito Park is the Rockwood Bakery. I love coming here. I walk around the park and then pop in for lunch. It is not commercialized. It is an old building from the turn of last century. The floors […]

Shawn Michael

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   For this week’s discussion topic, I am celebrating my brother. At times it seemed like he lived to drive me nuts. He jumped out yelling “boo,” turned my air mattress over— sending me into the water, or blocking the TV so I couldn’t change the channel. Yet it […]

Making Memories

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I sought inspiration this week by spending quality time with my mom. My schedule becomes hectic at times. It is important for me to schedule quality time fostering relationships. I spent time with my mom making a photo calendar. This is a project we do every year. Before […]

Letting Go

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I am afraid of letting go. The fear cripples me. Letting go sounds simple to do, but it isn’t. When you grasp a rope it can be difficult to let go. If I let go someone could fall, or if I am hanging on for dear life then […]

Kindness

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I saw the discussion topic for this week and I shut down. Any compliment I have ever received seemed to disappear with a poof. Yet, I could list all the negative comments easily. Those negative words never disappear. I only have myself to blame for holding on to […]

Uniquely Me

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I am not smart. This wasn’t something ingrained in me as a child. I grew up knowing I was smart. I enjoyed school, although it didn’t come easily to me. I had to work hard and I enjoyed the rewards. My hard work paid off. In college, I […]

Thankful for Love

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   What are you grateful for? I am grateful for the ones who loved me when I couldn’t love myself….to be honest, I wouldn’t be here without them. I had days where I couldn’t get out of bed. He said I would be nothing. I believed him, so I […]

Promises

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   Last spring I planted seeds, in these seeds I made promises. One for my son and the other for a family member. A promise is a declaration of improvement. I made a promise to my son as a thank you for all the love he has shown me. […]

Balance

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip   I have a habit of overbooking myself. Apparently, I think my future self has lots of energy and can do anything. I must see my future self as some kind of superhero. I admit I have purposely double booked myself a few times. It is difficult to say […]

Ask for Help

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I survived a storm I didn’t see coming. When the storm hit it hit hard. The waves surrounded me. The power of the waves knocked me off my life path. I was sucked under. When you are underwater there is nothing but darkness. You lose your way. You can’t […]

I Am My Own Education

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, I am spending this year on a journey of renewal. A renewal of my mind, body and soul. I didn’t realize how much I neglected myself for twenty plus years! The subject I have been studying and learning about is […]

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I love to learn, and I try to learn something new every day. I get excited about the process of learning. I will spend my life learning, how exciting. I love when I learn something new that blows my mind! I still remember the excitement I felt when I […]

Big Heart

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I never thought random acts of kindness were something people called “pay it forward,” until high school. I found the term endearing, even the smallest gesture can have a big impact. You should pay kindness forward, kindness is a beautiful gift to receive. I was raised to volunteer and […]

No Can be Beautiful

Written by Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip “No, no, no! Not again. I get asked to do things all the time,” my friend vented to me. She is not being singled out. I hear others speak about being roped into things they’d rather not do. This is a natural part of life, so we had better […]

I Got This

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip My chest gets tight, breathing becomes difficult, my thoughts bounce in a state of panic… I feel like I can’t control anything, not even my body, but this is a lie. I inhale and exhale slowly. I got this! Even in the worst of times hasn’t everything worked out? […]

Do I Have to?

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I fell into the river. The rough water quickly surrounded me. I received blows from all sides, and the river overpowered me. I was sucked into the current. All light faded from existence. I became disoriented. Where was the surface? I didn’t know where to go. I spent the […]

Life’s Precious Gifts

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I looked at my list and felt happiness. I live a very simple, quiet life. When jotting down the ten most important things from my day, I figured there wouldn’t be much. Nothing exciting or important by society’s standards today. In looking at my list, I realized how important […]

Memories That Travel

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I remember every one of my childhood vacations. I remember the bad things that happened with fondness. In the moment they were not pleasant. Today those memories are the ones I look back and laugh about…getting the camper stuck on a dead-end road, mom losing the camera, throwing up […]

I Dance

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I am an all-round patient person. It is who I am. I don’t get angry. Now with that said, I am emotional. I cry. I cry behind closed doors when no one is around, usually in my closet. I don’t like people to see me cry. I am vulnerable […]

Chilled to Perfection

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip Summertime is here. I always look forward to summer; it fills me with a peace I can’t explain. I am more relaxed in my mind, body and soul. My stress level is lower. I feel happier, and smile often. I try to enjoy every moment of summer. I rise […]

Strong and Full of Love

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip The storm rolls in sometimes; some storms are mild while others are more severe. My emotions are my weather system. I can’t control them. I have learned to live with them. I know the pattern. Sunshiny days are the most frequent and glorious. I wish all days could be […]

We Are In Harmony

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip As far back as I can remember I have been emotional, even as a child. I remember my parents trying their best to understanding me. I couldn’t explain. The problem deepened as I could pick up on others’ emotions. I was an emotional mess. As I grew into adulthood, […]

No Such Thing as an Ordinary Flower

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip Negative thoughts are easy to believe. Realizing you are a beautiful unique person can be difficult. I have been in a dark place this week. In order to change my attitude, I reluctantly went to lunch with a friend. I decided before I arrived to let go of my […]

My Lighthouse

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I have an inner light. I can’t see it, but I can feel it. It shines through even when I am in a dark place. The light is my protector and shield. It gives me several warning signs: hair standing on end, coldness or a sick feeling. The light […]

More Than Consequences

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip My beloved dog Neika was well loved and cared for by my family. In return, she loved and cared for us. When she was ten I noticed her right eye was cloudy. I knew something was not right, so I took her to the vet and said I thought […]

Make Over

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip For my artist date, I decided to be a blank canvas. I would let the artist design me. My daughter had a makeover and loved it, so I decided to try. I am not a young hip woman like my daughter. I am middle-aged and my taste is conservative. […]

A Promise

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I curled up on the floor of my closet. I didn’t know what to do. In pain and afraid, I cried. A chubby little hand with tiny fingers appeared under the door, “Mommy I love you.” I couldn’t speak, so I took his hand and held it. Choking back […]

Dementor

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I study people. I have since I was a small child. The women I observed were my role models. I learned how I wanted to behave and how I did not want to behave. I decided the kind of woman I was going to become. By the time I […]

Natural Instinct

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip I never thought I would be a mother. I didn’t feel this maternal instinct woman talked about. When I discovered I was expecting a child I was terrified. I had no idea how to be a mother. I wasn’t someone who could hold a baby. I was awkward with […]

Emoji Angel of Light

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip She lights up when she smiles. Her glow flows right into her halo. She is golden. I love the angel emoji. I started using her before I even knew what she meant. I saw her glow and I knew that is the feeling I wanted to send out, a […]

Rain Walker

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip There is something about rain. I am called to it. I step outside and begin walking. I have no idea where I am going. I just walk. My mind spins. I begin to think about all the things I have to do, my plans for the future, if I […]

Frank’s Rose

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Guardian Angels I love roses. I get sad when their season is over. I see a beautiful rose and light up. The rose is delicate, refreshing, peaceful and beautiful no matter the color. I went through a painful time a few years back. A friend presented me with a beautiful metal […]

With Thanks

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Guardian Angels This is so hard to believe.  It has only been one year and three months since I said yes to me. I was a broken woman lying on the floor. I gathered up all my pieces and carried them to someone I never met. At the suggestion of a […]

Bring Your Own Sunshine

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Guardian Angels Ah… passion. The fire that burns intensely through you. It gives you motivation and excitement for your dreams, your goals and the person you want to become. I want passion to be there every day. I love getting up in the morning full of passion. It is a great […]

The Ice Queen

When you think of me I hope you smile, in a memory, after a quick conversation or a passing in the hall. I go out of my way to say hello to people in my morning routine. As I have mentioned many times now, it all happened during my darkest time. I was wrapped up […]

“Mom. Don’t Freak Out…”

I freak out. I don’t want other me people to know this, so it will be our little secret. My son lives over five hours away from me. He couldn’t get the time off for our Thanksgiving Holiday. I worried about him being alone on the Holiday. He told me it would be fine. A […]

Heart in the Sky

I have a vision of a world filled with many unique individuals. These individuals don’t look the same, talk the same or see things the same. Yet these individuals do something remarkable: they are kind to each other. A world with kindness, a peaceful place; if we were all kind I think fear would disappear. […]

Future by My Design

A surprise announcement will free you… My surprise announcement came three years ago. “Surprise! I am selling the house and moving to another State, but I don’t want a divorce.” What? I was in total shock. This was my whole life. It was all I ever knew. After he left, I was lost. He did […]

Toot Toot… Haeyyy… Beep Beep!

Beep, beep, beep…this is how I start every day, waving my hands around trying to find the snooze button. I lay there in the darkness…I love my bed: soft, warm, cozy and safe. I hate leaving it, but I must. I lay face down and stretch my arms out. My bed gets a big hug. […]

Love is Kind

I believe in love. He hurt me every day… with words. Yet I still loved him. A husband is supposed to love a wife. He did show me occasional kindness, but it came with an ulterior motive. Yet for twenty plus years I gave love. I dreamed of him loving me. I laugh at the […]

Garbage Patch

I have read stories and seen pictures of the garbage patch that lies in the Pacific Ocean. It is quite shocking. The garbage patch has an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. How embarrassed I would be if some of my garbage ended up there? I would feel ashamed. And the truth is some of […]

Music of Joy

I doubt myself some days. My vision seems far away. I won’t be able to renew my mind, body and soul. I will be crippled here forever. I don’t want to go anywhere. I will lay on the floor in my own self pity. I force myself out into the bitter cold world. It is […]

Visions of Joy

I can’t focus on just this year. I am already jumping to my future. I have a clear idea of who I want to be. I have a clear legacy for myself. My vision is that 2019 will be a year of renewal. I am on a path of discovering the woman I once was. I […]

Perfectly Clean

“What do I do perfectly?” My nighttime skin routine. At the end of the day I feel dirty and tired. I tie my hair up. I set the water to an ice cold temperature. I rinse my face. I can feel my pores opening. As I rub the soap into my pores I feel every […]

Mind Boggling

I have no idea what I am doing, but I love to write. There is no flow or cohesion. It is just me enjoying my story. Years ago I sent them in to several publishers. After many rejection letters I realized I had mastered the art of rejection. Now my stories are stored in a […]

50 New Chapters

I am staring at a blank page. I am ready for 2019. I am an organized lady. My notebook is before me. I begin filling the blank pages. Dance, toning, and massage are scheduled. Healthy food is in the fridge. I already have the tools. The physical me is set. The mental me is still […]

Renewal: And So She Did

2019 is here. Another year in the books, there was a time I didn’t think about years. I lived day to day, moment to moment. I didn’t think about a future. I didn’t dream or set goals. I was someone who was empty inside. I was numb. I lived in a daily fog going through […]

The Windows of Joy

As a child Christmas began with a trip to the “Crescent Window.” I stood outside the window in awe…on the other side of the glass were musical moving displays. It was magic. Each year there was something different. I was excited to find out what would be moving behind the window. It could be anything […]

The Tree of Joy

I was raised with the spirit of giving; I enjoy giving my time and money if I am able. Every Christmas I help with the “Tree of Sharing.” The tree is decorated with colorful tags, each one lists a gift which a child in foster care would like for Christmas. Tags on the tree range […]

The Christmas Spirit

I love Father Christmas. He spreads “The Christmas Spirit.” As a child I was full of the Christmas Spirit. I loved everything about the holiday: Christmas decorations, cookies, presents, music and spending time with my family. Christmas was not complete without a visit to the “Crescent Window.” It was tradition. Our family would go to […]

A Hat for Every Occasion

Every person wears many hats. The hats can change depending on the year or the day. Some hats you inherit, some you earn, other hats you may not want like my divorced woman hat. We change into our various hats throughout the day. Some hats we dance around in, other hats we hide behind. Hats […]

I See All of You

My stress level can become so high I feel like a 25 lbs weight is resting on my chest. I have learned over this last year how to de-stress, to relax and know that I will be okay, everything eventually works out. When you are in the mist of everything, it is difficult to see […]

Home Sweet Home

I started building my dream home in high school. My father is a kind man and helped me with the construction. I couldn’t have asked for a better person, after all, he built the home I grew up in. I am not sure what drew me into wanting to build a doll house. Maybe I […]

Classic Elegance

As a child I loved playing dress-up. I had an aunt who every time I visited, opened up her closet to me. I wore heels, fancy scarves, hats, dresses, and jewelry. I still love to play dress up, but now the clothes I chose tend to fit my mood. I love curling up by a […]

Reflection

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?” It’s sayings like this that set women up to compare themselves to each other; just be you, your best unique self. Use the mirror to remind yourself how great you are, how far you have come, and love yourself. In the past I looked […]

The Pleasing Aroma of My New Life

“Do you want to meet me for coffee?” This is a new expression for me. In my old life I didn’t have any friends where I lived. Now, with my new life I have friends. I love meeting for coffee. I love the smell, the atmosphere of the coffee house, the comfy furniture, the fire, […]

You Matter to Me

I was broken in pieces lying on my floor, I couldn’t stop the tears. I sobbed uncontrollably; I felt alone, I was no one anyone cared about. I wasn’t needed or wanted. The words I heard from a man who said he loved me played over and over in my mind, “You are a failure, […]

Crossing to the Other Side

I like the path I am on. I look over to another path, but why switch? I like this one. Crossing over to another path is scary to me. I am so uncomfortable with this topic that I don’t even want to write about it. I haven’t been on a date in 25 years. The […]

Smile Often

“Why are you so happy?” This is a question I often get asked. I have over-heard people say, “Why is Collette so happy?” My co-worker’s response, “Collette is always happy.” Why am I happy? Why not? Even during the pains of divorce, I put a smile on my face. Just because I am hurting on […]

You Are My Sunshine

I was resting in the park reading a book, and I observed a woman who looked upset. I tried to focus on my book, but my attention kept drawing to her. She wasn’t trying to get my attention, she was trying to hold it together. I got up from my bench and walked over to […]

The Train Knows its Destination

I live by the train tracks. When my children were little they would go outside and wave to the train engineer. He was kind and blew the whistle for them. Their faces lit up with delight, as did mine. I love trains. I see a train and become relaxed. It’s the clickety-clack sound they make […]

For the Love of Apples

Did you know there are more than a hundred types of apples, and that some of these varieties of apples have become extinct? An apple detective set out to possibly find these so-called extinct apples. He came to Washington and found that five types of the apples thought to be extinct, still existed. He used […]

Going the Extra Mile

I was going through a box filled with old school papers. Some of the papers belonged to my sister, and some were mine. A set of papers from the second grade stood out. Mine read: My name is Collette, I am 7, for fun I like to ice stake. My sister’s paper read: My name […]

Dance Like No One is Watching

I spent over 20 years feeling like a failure. Every day I woke up, I was failing before I even got out of bed. Then, with deep sadness and despair, I lost the one person who I used to define myself. I felt successful just being with him. When he left I was in a […]

Next Step’s On Me

I am on a porch swing, but I am not looking at the view. I am looking at what is beside me, grandchildren. They are being their own unique characters, smiling, wiggling and giggling, as I read them one of my silly stories. A story I wrote and created. I am sharing with them a […]

Guardian Angels

If you find a random note that says, “you are worthy,” “I am thinking of you today,” “you got this,” “you matter to me,” or “you are loved,” it could be from me. Why? Because, on one of my darkest days I cried all the way to my car. I couldn’t even see where I […]

Treasure Between the Lines

He fought with the pages, the children wiggling with excitement, causing the pages to fast forward. Spending time reading to his grandchildren was an adventure. They giggled with each page and of course the questions. “What a silly boy, grandpa.” “I know, I was that silly boy.” “What?!” “Yup, this story was written about grandpa, […]