For the past 9 months, I have been working on a pilot project that brings writing, journaling and creativity to women who are in long-term residential addictions treatment. This project grew out of my work with two non-profits that I volunteer with – Heal My Voice and Chrysalis House. This program developed organically when I shared some magazines with the Chrysalis House that had an article I had written on 7 Ways To Cultivate Love & Compassion For Yourself, based on a post from this blog. It also featured an article about Heal My Voice founder Andrea Hylen. One of the clients at Chrysalis House was so interested in the Heal My Voice program that she reached out to Andrea and this led to us offering a 3-hour writing and creativity workshop at Chrysalis House.
Little did we know at the time that this one event would open the door to a whole new Heal My Voice program. The mission of Heal My Voice is as follows:
Heal My Voice empowers and supports women and girls globally to heal, reclaim their voice and step into greater leadership in their lives and in the world.
I have participated in several Heal My Voice writing programs and over the last year joined as a facilitator and board member as well. After our initial workshop, there was such an amazing response from the clients at Chrysalis House, that we were asked to come back on a regular basis. This has led to me leading a weekly writing circle in addition to a 3-hour monthly creativity workshop, which is supported by other local Heal My Voice authors. Adapting the original Heal My Voice program model to a residential treatment program has been an expansive experience. During this time, I have been working closely with Heal My Voice Founder Andrea Hylen. What has emerged is the foundation for a program model that can brought to other addictions treatment programs and recovery centers around the country.
I have truly been awed by the words that have emerged from the women of Chrysalis House. Journaling was something that was always recommended but without facilitation the staff found it wasn’t really happening. By creating a space for writing and creativity, and offering tools and techniques to support self-expression, journaling has become an important part of the each women’s journey in recovery. This is something that is initiated in the treatment process but offers a powerful tool to support ongoing healing and recovery.
Here are some of the words from one of the women in the program:
My Own Prison
I’ve built my own prison inside of me,
It doesn’t consist of a warden or a key.
The walls are layered with bricks of emotions,
The bars are made of rage,
You couldn’t imagine the hell and commotion.
First a foundation built from addiction,
Then the floors are laid of abuse and confliction.
Every brick in the wall has it’s own tale;
I was warned to change but to no avail.
So I ask myself now,
“Was it all worth all this pain?”
The deteriorating life I tried so hard to sustain.
The very reality of being confined;
Holds no comparison to the shackles on my mind.
I know my day will come when I’ll be released,
But the question still lies, “will I really be free”?
Not free from confinement but free from the chains,
That are linked from my heart to my mind that remains.
The power of these words speak to the impact of this project and how writing can be a vehicle for freedom through self-expression. At this point, we are ready to take this project to the next level by developing a program workbook and trainer manual so the project can be brought to other women and even men in recovery from addictions. To grow this program, Heal My Voice is currently running an Indiegogo campaign. We are in the final few days of this campaign.
I am making a special request to those who follow The Heart Of Awakening Blog to help me and Heal My Voice grow our vision. Ways you can help:
- Make a donation to the campaign (there are perks including the Inspired Voices Book which features my story, “Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman” and more…)
- Share this post or a link to the campaign with your friends and family (Have you or someone you know been impacted by addiction? – this is a great way to support people in recovery) ~ Heal My Voice Indiegogo Campaign
- Share about the campaign on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. You can even join our Countdown event on Facebook and share that. FB Event.
Here is a link to the campaign to learn more about the project or make a donation:
Thank you so much for your support in whatever way you feel to participate. I am grateful for the community that participates here on The Heart Of Awakening.
Love & light,
P.S. May Is For Metta 2014 is coming soon to a cushion near you! Learn more…