Diane Gottlieb writes open-hearted stories about people in pain who choose to grow.

Awakenings: Stories of Body & Consciousness

The body! The Body! THE BODY!


Read those three short sentences again. Maybe read them aloud this time.


Take a breath.


How do you feel?


For many people, reading, saying, or hearing the words “the body” brings up feelings of joy, gratitude, and a desire to move, stretch, run! For others, however,  those same words create a tightness in the chest or belly, a sadness, self-deprecation, and/or shame.


The word “body” can make us want to celebrate—or hide. Maybe both—depending upon when or where you encounter the word or from whose lips it’s uttered. For some of us, whether we celebrate or hide depends on the number appearing on the bathroom  scale.


The scale is just one way we measure bodies—and our worth. Unfortunately, we often give too much “weight” to those numbers—whether they be pounds, inches, clothing sizes.


“When the Opportunity Arose for Me to Edit an Anthology About People’s Experiences Living in Their Bodies, I Jumped!”


While I have had health concerns in the past—I’ve had three cancers (yes, three!!! I am–knock on wood, poo poo, kinehora–cancer-free now and have been for the past nineteen years), my biggest struggle with my own body has been my weight. Even as I write this, I realize how silly this sounds, how privileged, how much precious time I’ve wasted worrying about a number. Yet, I can’t—and won’t—discount the pain this tired and tiring struggle has caused me and so many others who have ever felt the pang of being too big or too thin–or too anything!


I know I am not alone—just look at the multi-billion-dollar diet industry.


I’ve felt the connection to others around weight issues most deeply when several essays I’ve written about my body and body image received much love. (Here’s one of them.)  I was moved by the many notes people sent me, inspired by how many people shared their own body stories.


So …. when the opportunity arose for me to edit an anthology of essays about people’s experiences living in their bodies, I jumped at it! I wanted to read how others felt, experienced their bodies, how they celebrated them and how they turned their pain into art.


“May You Always Feel at Home in Your Body”


ELJ Editions and I first put out a call for submissions to Awakenings: Stories of Body & Consciousness earlier in the year, and the response was astounding! Essays poured in from across the world. I read each one with care, responded with feedback to every single submission, and, finally, offered publication to 49 brilliant authors. They live in England, Belgium, Japan, Canada, and across 22 states—from Arizona to Wisconsin. All of them bravely and beautifully shared their body stories.


The result: a book that I am grateful and honored to have played a part in bringing to the world. I am so very excited to announce that Awakenings: Stories of Body & Consciousness is now available for preorder.


For more information about Awakenings, to read excerpt from the Foreword, written by the amazing Gayle Brandies—a goddess of body writing—to check out a host of advanced praise, the see the list of contributors, and …. to place your pre-order, please go to the ELJ-Editions website. (You can also order on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble..) Those who have already pre-ordered, thank you!


Thank you, everyone, for your support and love, as always!


As always, please write a comment or send me an email. And may you always feel at home in your body.


See you soon!





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For one-on-one support in uncovering your voice on the page, please consider working with me! I’d love to join you on your journey!




  1. Janet Rodriguez on October 9, 2023 at 11:16 pm

    It is like partaking in a conference, where a group of my favorite teachers are congregating! This book is already in my top ten list for 2023! Well done, Diane!! I look forward to interviewing you for The Rumpus!! xoxo Janet

    • Diane Gottlieb on October 10, 2023 at 11:20 am

      Oh, Janet!
      Thank you!!!
      I can’t wait to speak with you about Awakenings for The Rumpus too!

  2. Anna Polis on October 9, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    I didn’t know that you conquered cancer three times. While that is wonderful and inspiring, I can’t imagine the dread and worry you had to go through three times. Thank God all is well. Yes, the news out of Israel is terribly sad, disgusting, disturbing. It’s mind boggling how humans can have both extraordinary compassion and extraordinary evil.

    Congratulations on your new both. I wish you much success, and look forward to reading it. It’s interesting how woman are the gender with the most body issues. Does the book have any stories of men?

    • Diane Gottlieb on October 9, 2023 at 2:00 pm

      There’s nothing more scary than hatred and what it can do to people–and what it leads people to do to others. Compassion is the saving grace.

      Thanks so much about the book, Anna. There are several essays from the male perspective included in the anthology. I’m so grateful to the men who submitted their stories. I think women have had a much longer and broader history of being valued (or not) according to their bodies and their physical appearance than have men. I wish for both women and men to be free of toxic body judgements.

      And, you’ll be happy to know that while the book has plenty of stories about body judgements, there are also many other types of body stories included!

  3. DeAnna Beachley on October 9, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    I cannot wait to read this book!

    And I echo your desire for peace.

    • Diane Gottlieb on October 9, 2023 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you, DeAnna, and so grateful to have your lovely essay in the collection.
      And my heart is very heavy right now.

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