Tag Archives: Heal My Voice

Setting Intentions & Visioning Our Dreams 30 Day Writing Program Starts January 1st! Come Explore A Whole New You!

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SettingIntentions2016

I am thrilled to be collaborating once again with my colleague and good friend, Andrea Hylen, the founder of Heal My Voice, to lead you in a journey of self-discovery through the art of writing and reflection.  Our theme for January is “Setting Intentions & Visioning Our Dreams for 2016”.  

I’ve never been one who does well with New Year’s Resolutions.  They seem to end up begin short-lived or forgotten by Spring.  In recent years, I have chosen a word for the year (I am working on that for 2016, so stay tuned!) and have found that focusing on a specific energy has been beneficial.  But, it always seems kind of funny to me to try and be out of the starting gate with big changes right after New Year’s.  I think this has to do with the busy of the holiday season and just beginning to really recalibrate as we move in January.  And, in order to really create change and setting intentions, I find a need to tune in more deeply and reflect on where I am and where I would like to be.

Winter is clearly a time of stillness and self-reflection.  Nature goes within during this time of year and in many traditional cultures, it is seen as a time to connect with our own inner wisdom.  So, Andrea and I thought, why not take the whole month of January to explore our intentions and visions for 2016.  This journey will be an inner vision quest through self-reflection and writing.  In invite you to read more about it below and come explore!


New 30 Day Writing Program:

Setting Intentions & Visioning Our Dreams for 2016

A HEAL MY VOICE PROGRAM
(WITH TELESEMINAR SUPPORT)
LEADERSHIP TEAM: ANDREA HYLEN & BETH TERRENCE
JANUARY 1 – 30, 2016

Andrea-Hylen-150x150BethTerrence.photo_-150x150

“In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link.”

~ Carlos Castaneda


Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of one’s being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The focus of the January 30-Day Program is Setting Intentions & Visioning Our Dreams for 2016.  This program will create a space for exploring your intentions and dreams with writing as the vehicle for self-discovery, transformation and embodying your soul purpose in the world.

1069133_10201524100762513_1867891335_n1-300x198We will be harmonizing with the energy of the Winter season, which is seen as a potent time for stillness and self-reflection in many cultures around the world. It is a time to connect with our own inner wisdom. Through our willingness to tune in and listen, we are able to deepen our understanding of soul purpose, our life direction and our values. We do this by slowing down, taking time to reflect on the previous year and inviting our inner voice to emerge as the pathway for seeding our intentions and dreams for 2106.

Rather than taking just short time over the holidays or at the New Year to set goals and then jump into our “to do lists” on the 1st, we will be taking the whole month of January to dive deeply into our essential selves and birth our intentions and dreams for the coming year and beyond. This is a wonderful time to plant the seeds of our hearts longing.

It is said that a seed that will be incubated during the winter will quietly gain it’s power and strength until it’s time to germinate and to push out into the world when the light returns.

During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • explore your intentions, dreams and visions for 2016
  • discover and uncover new desires for your life and your work
  • receive daily prompts for your writing and self-reflection for 30 days
  • connect with a community of authentic women on a journey of self-exploration
  • participate in an on-line community and community phone calls
  • release and alchemize old patterns, feelings and beliefs
  • create new action steps to actualize your emerging intentions and your dreams
  • connect with the Heal My Voice Community of International Writers

“Intentions compressed into words enfold magical power.” ~ Deepak Chopra

This 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Tuning In, Listening, Discovering and Exploring.

As you take this time to reflect on your desires, words, and set intentions for the year, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing. This program creates a container for you to go within, get to the deeper layers and gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on setting our intentions for 2016.

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The January 30-Day Writing Program includes:

  • Four Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on setting your intentions.
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion
  • BONUS CALL Audio: Tips on How to Write a Book (or E-book)
  • 30 days of writing January

Four Teleseminars. All Teleseminars are recorded.

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Cost: $97.00 for full 30-Day Program

Facebook Group Opens on December 29, 2015.

REGISTER OR LEARN MORE…

See you then!

“Leave the door open to the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.” ~ Rebecca Solnit

 

Then, there will be 4 LIVE teleseminars with information sharing, meditations and community sharing. The calls will be recorded and available to everyone who is registered for the 30 days of writing.

  • Teleclass 1: Tuning In: Wednesday, January 6, 2016; 7pm Eastern time
  • Teleclass 2: Listening: Wednesday, January 13, 2016; 4pm Eastern time
  • Teleclass 3: Discovering: Wednesday, January 20, 2016; 7pm Eastern time
  • Teleclass 4: Exploring: Wednesday, January 27, 2016; 4pm Eastern time

Mark your calendars for LIVE listening. We will post the call info in the Secret FB group when it opens on December 29.

Optional Level:

  • Would you benefit from some individual support around grief, loss and change?
  • Do you need some coaching on your writing or specific areas of your life
  • Would you like to use this 30-Day Program to connect with soul purpose or life direction in a deeper way?  Sign up for the 30-Day Program plus…

One Intensive Coaching Session on SKYPE or Phone with Beth and Andrea

Cost: $197.00

30 day writing and coaching ~ $197

REGISTER OR LEARN MORE…

If you have questions or would like additional information about the January 30 Days of Writing Program, contact beth@bethterrence.com.

 

Writing To Heal 30 Day Online Writing Program Starts Today! Plus 7 Day Challenge Index…

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HealMyVoice

Thanks again to those who joined The Heart of Awakening Blog community for the 7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge focused on Cultivating Self-Compassion.  I hope you enjoyed the exploration and plan to bring this format back with other themes in mind.  Just in case you missed it, here is an index of the daily posts for you to explore or come back to in the future:

The next session of Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change 30 Day Online Program, which I co-faciliate with Andrea Hylen of Heal My Voice is beginning today with a special Autumn Equinox Ceremony & Telegathering at 3 PM ET.  This call will open the group energy and space to bring in our intentions for the 30 days of writing.  Daily prompts begin on Wednesday, 9/23 and our time will include 3 additional teleclasses and a private Facebook group for community sharing.  If you are feeling called to dive more deeply into a process of Writing To Heal, I invite you to join us!  See below for details…


 

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program

(With Teleseminar Support)

September 21 – October 22, 2015

REGISTER NOW

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ~ Rumi

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

Screen shot 2012-04-06 at 7.40.51 PMThis 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change and transformation
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (Audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion
  • BONUS CALL Audio: Tips on How to Write a Book (or E-book)
  • BONUS Fall Equinox Ceremony on the Phone. Live Call and Recorded. September 21: 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe

Three Teleseminars. All Teleseminars are recorded.

Wednesdays, 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe (September 30, October 7, October 14)

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Cost: $97.00 for full 30-Day Program

REGISTER NOW

Payment automatically Registers Your Email Address.

Facebook Group Opens on September 21.

7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge! Cultivating Self-Compassion ~ Day 6

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7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge!

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Day 6

HeartBeing

“To be great, be whole;
Exclude nothing, exaggerate nothing that is not you.
Be whole in everything. Put all you are
Into the smallest thing you do.
So, in each lake, the moon shines with splendor
Because it blooms up above.” 
― Fernando PessoaPoems of Fernando Pessoa

As we’re moving into our last 2 days of this 7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge, I feel like it’s important to include a post that explores writing as a support for self-care and wellness.  We live in a busy, chaotic world.  It’s often much easier to get lost in that then stay in touch with ourselves or others.  This needs to be a choice that we make. Writing is a way we can connect with what is arising for us, what we are struggling with and what we are celebrating – it offers a way to stay present with ourselves.  In a sense it can be a bit like a meditation or certainly a contemplative practice. 

As human beings, our life consists of four basic levels: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical.  In order to create a healthy, balanced way of living, we need to give attention to each of these aspects of ourselves.  As we do so, we become able to heal the specific parts of ourselves that are in need in any given moment and we begin to create a greater sense of wholeness by attending to all aspects of ourselves.  Life is always changing and so are we, but as we deepen in our experience of ourselves, all aspects of ourselves, we begin to create a foundation for living a more joyful and balanced life.

When go through life transitions, we tend to lose the structure of caring for ourselves or we may have never even had one.  Also, when we are desiring to create a certain change in our lives,  a new structure is needed and in the transition, we are lacking a foundation to support that change.   This is a natural part of the change process.   Although there may be discomfort with the  uncertainty and instability that accompanies  change, there is an opening for a new way of being to emerge.  By being willing to look at where we are, what we have experienced and what changes we wish to bring forth in our lives, we have a great opportunity to delve deeper into ourselves and to create a new structure for living life in a more loving and conscious way.

One of the ways that I utilize writing personally and as a recommended tool for my clients is as part of building and rebuilding a holistic self-care tool box.  I believe this is a essential for living a happy, healthy and balanced life.  One specific writing technique is to do a holistic self-care review.  I recommend doing this at least monthly but some folks like to do it weekly.  If you are going through a challenging time or transition, that may be helpful for you as you work to recenter and recalibrate.  I am offer a suggested practice here, but feel free to explore and create your own holistic self-care review, too!

Daily Prompt

Caring for our whole self- body, mind, emotion and spirit, is all equally important in order to live a balanced and healthy life.  We need to focus time and attention on each part of us and our whole self.  Most of us tend to develop certain parts more than others depending on our life experiences.   We may also have been supported or discouraged from developing certain parts.  At certain times in our lives, we may need to focus attention on a specific area to assist us in where we are and what we are experiencing or in healing traumas and wounds from the past that may exist on any level.  There is no right way to heal or change.  We can proceed by developing one area or working on all at once.  Allowing our lives to guide us by being present with where we are and accepting who we are is a major part of the process.  We cannot change where we have been, but by being gentle, loving and present with ourselves in the now, we can create positive changes in our lives.  And it is this moment, which creates the next.

Take a few moments to answer these questions.  The intention of looking at each of the four levels of existence is to see how you are experiencing these aspects in your life at this time.  Notice any areas that may need attention and notice those areas that feel developed and balanced.  Also, be open to noticing and exploring any resistance that may come up about any of the levels.  Write down any ideas you have about how you can create more balance in any specific area or overall.  Also, write down anything you have done in the past, particularly before recent transitions, which may have supported you in any of these areas.

Spiritual:    Do you feel a sense of connection to your spiritual source?  Do you have a relationship with your own inner wisdom or intuitive guidance?  Do you feel you are a part of a greater whole?  Do you spend time alone just “being”? Do you have a spiritual practice, which supports you being?  Begin a list of things you can do to nurture your spirit…

Mental:  Are you satisfied with your intellect?  Can you think and express yourself clearly?   Do you have a belief system that supports you and works for you?  Are you open to new ideas without being overly impressionable?  Do you have clarity?  Are you able to stay focused? Begin a list of things you can do to strengthen you mentally…

Emotional:  Are you in touch with your feelings and able to express them appropriately?  Do you allow yourself to experience a full range of emotions or do you find you shut down certain emotions if they arise? (E.g. fear, sadness, anger, joy, love)  Are you able to set appropriate boundaries with others?   Are you able to be open and honest with others and your self about your feelings?  Can you relate to others in a close, intimate way? Begin a list of things you can do to balance and support your emotions…

Physical:  Are you physically healthy and active?  Do you feel comfortable in your body?  Do you like your body?   Do you eat a healthy, balanced diet?  Are you comfortable in the material world?  Are you practical and down to earth?  Are you financially stable?  Do you enjoy your sexuality? Begin a list of things you can do to nourish your body…

Also, consider what it is that may help your with integrating all parts of yourself.  For some people this comes from rest and relaxation, meditation, time in nature, talking with a counselor, shamanic healing, body or energy work, etc. Create a list of things that help you integrate body, mind, emotion and spirit, too!

This review can be useful in the process of creating changes in your life.  It can also be used regularly as part of a holistic self-care plan.  It is a great way to do a check-in or review of where you are in the change process.  I tend to use it monthly just to touch base with the various aspects of myself and to see where I may have moved out of balance or need to give more attention based on what is arising in my life.  It is also great to see the progress and how I have grown in certain areas as well. Begin a list of things you can do to nourish your body…

As always, please feel free to share you thoughts, feelings and reflections.

Until tomorrow.

Love & light,

Beth Shekinah


If you are enjoying this exploration of Writing To Heal, I invite you to join me and my Writing To Heal partner, Andrea Hylen for…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

September 21 – October 22, 2015

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ~ Rumi

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

Screen shot 2012-04-06 at 7.40.51 PMThis 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change and transformation
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (Audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion
  • BONUS CALL Audio: Tips on How to Write a Book (or E-book)
  • BONUS Fall Equinox Ceremony on the Phone. Live Call and Recorded. September 21: 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe

Three Teleseminars. All Teleseminars are recorded.

Wednesdays, 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe (September 30, October 7, October 14)

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Cost: $97.00 for full 30-Day Program

Payment automatically Registers Your Email Address.

Facebook Group Opens on September 21.

See you then!

REGISTER NOW!

We will begin the program on Sept 21 by opening the doors to the secret Facebook group and by offering a Fall Equinox ceremony on the Instant Teleseminar Line. Come LIVE or listen to the recording.

Then, there will be 3 LIVE teleseminars with information sharing, meditations and community sharing. The calls will be recorded and available to everyone who is registered for the 30 days of writing.

Teleclass One: Listening: Wed, Sept 30 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

Teleclass Two: Discovering: Wed, Oct 7 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

Teleclass Three: Exploring: Wed, Oct 14 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge! Cultivating Self-Compassion ~ Day 4

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7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge!

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Day 4

handheart

“Learn to trust your
Feelings and, most of all,
allow yourself to
grow;  perpetual expansion
is the way of the
Heart and the Soul.” 

– Maria Lucia

How to do we learn to trust our feelings and allow ourselves to grow?  There are many practices and techniques that can support us in connecting to our feelings and learning to trust them. First, we must be willing to uncover them and writing offers us the space to allow our feelings, to bring them from deep inside of us out into the light. If we are willing to slow down and listen, there is so much we can learn about ourselves. This is a big part of cultivating self-compassion and expanding Heart & Soul.

A major focus here on The Heart Of Awakening is accessing and allowing our heart wisdom to be our guide.  A powerful way to do this is to practice Being Still.  This helps us to drop out of the busyness of our minds and into the quiet space of the heart.  Today, I am going to share a short stillness practice for you to explore as part of the daily prompt.  This is a practice you may wish continue to use to cultivate self-compassion in an ongoing way. After the practice, take some time to free-write about what you noticed during the experience of Being Still.  

Daily Prompt

Being Still.  Connecting with the heart, with the deeper aspects of oneself requires slowing down and going within.  Just as the turtle pulls into it’s shell when it needs to feels safe, we need to go within to begin to create a different relationship with our self.  Taking time each day to slow down and to be still allows us to connect more fully with the heart and to access the parts of ourselves that need love and healing. 

Find a comfortable position either sitting or lying down.  Place one or both of your hands on your heart and focus your breathing in the center of your chest, your heart center.  Allow yourself to feel your heart and be open to being present with what is arising.  No where to go, nothing to do, just being there in the heart. Spend 5 – 10 minutes, more if you like, just being still in this way.   Eventually, you may wish to use this practice 10 to 30 minutes each day, particularly when working actively on connecting with the energy of the heart and on cultivating self-compassion. 

Free-Writing. Writing is a way to connect with the deeper aspects of ourselves and particularly to track what comes up in still time or as we are working to cultivate self-love.  It is a way to begin to work with the beliefs and feelings that keep us from loving ourselves more fully.  Take some time to write about anything you noticed arising during your Being Still time.  Perhaps certainly feelings such as sadness or frustration arose. Perhaps a particular memory surfaced or you felt resistance to allowing time for yourself in this way.  Simply write whatever you may have noticed.  Maybe you noticed certain sensations in your body or a busy mind. What were you feeling? What were you thinking? Were you able to enter into stillness? How did it feel to allow space to connect with your heart? Just write and then write some more!

Whether you continue with this Being Still practice or explore other meditative, contemplative or even restorative practices such as yoga or tai chi, taking time to free-write afterwards about your experience is a wonderful way to practice writing or journaling for healing.  In reflecting in this way, you often gain deep insights into who you are and what your deeper desires or needs are.  Also, you are showing your inner ones that you matter and that you deserve the time and space to heal! 

Until tomorrow…

Love & light,

Beth Shekinah


If you are enjoying this exploration of Writing To Heal, I invite you to join me and my Writing To Heal partner, Andrea Hylen for…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

September 21 – October 22, 2015

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ~ Rumi

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

Screen shot 2012-04-06 at 7.40.51 PMThis 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change and transformation
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (Audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion
  • BONUS CALL Audio: Tips on How to Write a Book (or E-book)
  • BONUS Fall Equinox Ceremony on the Phone. Live Call and Recorded. September 21: 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe

Three Teleseminars. All Teleseminars are recorded.

Wednesdays, 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe (September 30, October 7, October 14)

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Cost: $97.00 for full 30-Day Program

Payment automatically Registers Your Email Address.

Facebook Group Opens on September 21.

See you then!

REGISTER NOW!

We will begin the program on Sept 21 by opening the doors to the secret Facebook group and by offering a Fall Equinox ceremony on the Instant Teleseminar Line. Come LIVE or listen to the recording.

Then, there will be 3 LIVE teleseminars with information sharing, meditations and community sharing. The calls will be recorded and available to everyone who is registered for the 30 days of writing.

Teleclass One: Listening: Wed, Sept 30 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

Teleclass Two: Discovering: Wed, Oct 7 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

Teleclass Three: Exploring: Wed, Oct 14 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge! Cultivating Self-Compassion ~ Day 3

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7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Day 3

HafizLightImage

Today, I am excited to share about one of my favorite tools for transformation and healing.  It is also one that can be misused or utilized in a way that sets us up for feelings of failure if we don’t consider the full scope of the practice. Writing offers a way to really utilize this technique. It’s AFFIRMATIONS!

Affirmations offer a powerful tool for transformation and healing. To affirm means to “make firm” and with regards to affirmations that making firm is a quality, energy or message you are working to cultivate.  Affirmations offer a way to change our inner dialogue, in a sense to short-circuit the unconscious messages or tapes that are always playing in our minds and to create new ones. This practice can transform our attitudes and our expectations.  It can also show us the negative or unconscious messages that we are carrying within us.  Affirmations can be done silently, spoken aloud, written down or even chanted. They can be posted in places you will see them, tucked in hidden places where you will find them unexpectedly or recorded so you can listen to them repeatedly.

Affirmations offer a technique to begin to transform energy and shift our feelings, patterns and beliefs.  I feel they work essentially on two levels and it’s important to include both aspects when working with affirmations to get the most benefit.  And, writing can really help us in exploring this fully…

1. Affirmations help to bring in an energy or feeling that we wish to cultivate, e.g. love, peace, joy, etc.

2. What arises when we work with affirmations shows us the feelings, patterns and beliefs, which are keeping us stuck and in pain.

This two-fold process can be a powerful way to uncover the voices of inner critic and work to transform them. There are many ways to work with affirmations including mirror work, repeating out loud, making a recording, creating a piece of artwork and of course, writing!

Daily Prompt

For today’s exercise, since our focus is on Cultivating Self-Compassion, I am going to suggest you use an affirmation similar to one of these:

  • I love myself.
  • I love and approve of myself.
  • I love myself completely as I am.
  • I am beautiful and lovable however I am feeling.
  • I am deserving of love. 

If one pops out you might like to jump in and use it.  Or, you can begin by free-writing a list of potential affirmations that relate to cultivating love and compassion for yourself.  Creating your own affirmations helps you to feel connected to it and amplifies the energy around it, so if you don’t do this today, add it to your Writing To Heal toolbox for the future!

Once you have chosen an affirmation for today’s exploration, get out a blank sheet of paper.  One the front side you will begin to write the affirmation repetitively.  This is cultivating the positive energy.  Whenever you notice a “response”, you will simply turn the paper over and write down whatever that is.  For example, you may have a voice that says, “this is selfish, to take the time for myself”, you may feel tightness in your shoulders or a headache coming on, or you may feel a wave of sadness or even tears come over you.  Jot down on the back of the page, any and all responses that you have.  Then, return to the front and continue writing your affirmation until you have another response or complete one whole side of a page.  You may even like to do this on more than one sheet. 

A few things to consider.  It’s good to take your time with this; it’s not about speed writing but actually noticing what’s arising and so sometimes slowing it down helps. Be gently and loving with yourself – lots can come up and sometimes you are just grooving on the affirmation itself. It’s all a process.

Yesterday, we explored lists or catalogs and this response list can be a great one to keep and add to your journal. You may wish to take time to write more about each one at some point – what does it feel like?, where does it come from, how might you begin to address it or respond to it in a loving, nurturing way?

One of my favorite Zen teachers, Cheri Huber, who teacher and writes a lot about working with our critical voices, suggests responding in this way when you notice a critical voice, “Is that so, how do you know that?” .  Responding in itself and questioning it, rather than just letting it have it’s way, begins to diffuse the power of this voice.  Another list you may wish to write is a list of responses to your own critical voices.  It may be a blanket list or you may wish to create a response for each voice that you identify that stops it in it’s tracks!  Be curious and explore!

Also, you may like to put your affirmations on Post-Its and put them in various places so you will see them throughout the day such as on your mirror or on the dashboard of your car.

Until tomorrow.

Love & light,

Beth Shekinah


If you are enjoying this exploration of Writing To Heal, I invite you to join me and my Writing To Heal partner, Andrea Hylen for…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

September 21 – October 22, 2015

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ~ Rumi

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

Screen shot 2012-04-06 at 7.40.51 PMThis 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change and transformation
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (Audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion
  • BONUS CALL Audio: Tips on How to Write a Book (or E-book)
  • BONUS Fall Equinox Ceremony on the Phone. Live Call and Recorded. September 21: 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe

Three Teleseminars. All Teleseminars are recorded.

Wednesdays, 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe (September 30, October 7, October 14)

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Cost: $97.00 for full 30-Day Program

Payment automatically Registers Your Email Address.

Facebook Group Opens on September 21.

See you then!

REGISTER NOW!

We will begin the program on Sept 21 by opening the doors to the secret Facebook group and by offering a Fall Equinox ceremony on the Instant Teleseminar Line. Come LIVE or listen to the recording.

Then, there will be 3 LIVE teleseminars with information sharing, meditations and community sharing. The calls will be recorded and available to everyone who is registered for the 30 days of writing.

Teleclass One: Listening: Wed, Sept 30 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

Teleclass Two: Discovering: Wed, Oct 7 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

Teleclass Three: Exploring: Wed, Oct 14 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/ 21.00 Central European Time

7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge! Cultivating Self-Compassion ~ Day 2

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 Quanyin

7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Day 2

Today’s exploration will involve a form of writing called a catalog or list poem. By catalog poem, we simply mean a poem that looks like a list.  And, in case you’re already thinking you can’t write poetry, just know all you need to do is create a list of something.  Sometimes writing a list is a way to get out of our heads and into hearts, to slow down enough to hear our inner voices and to gain clarity about what we are feeling and experiencing.  I’m a big fan of list writing as a tool for healing and will share more about this as the week goes on.

Take a few moments to consider all the lists that we make – grocery lists, to do lists, wish lists, waiting lists, top ten lists, etc.  Think about how the order of the items that are on the lists matters in some cases, e.g. waiting lists and top ten lists are usually ordered by importance.  Grocery lists, wish lists and sometimes to do lists may be in order of how they are linked to other items (all the fruits, next all the vegetables, last all the cleaning supplies). And, sometimes, it really doesn’t matter at all!

Daily Prompt

Take a few moments to slow down and take some deeper breaths.  Once you feel centered, begin to make a list of 10 – 15 emotions or feelings that you are aware you experience.  Notice what comes right up and also be willing to move beyond the most obvious feelings (i.e., happiness, sadness, fear, etc.) toward some that are more complex or you might not like to admit you experience (i.e., guilt, frustration, resentment, shame, etc.).  This is a way to begin to cultivate greater self-compassion – by being open and honest with yourself about your feelings, you begin to love and accept yourself in a deeper way.

Out of this feelings list that you’ve just created, choose one emotion that feels strongest to you today.  You may wish to go down the list and circle or mark the one or ones that speak to you the most right now.  You can explore all of them going forward but choose just one for now.  Use this feeling or emotion as a prompt to make a more detailed list or catalog.  For example, “confusion about my life purpose”, “sadness about my friend moving away”, “resentment for how hard life has been for me”…  Use the same one emotion or feeling and write 10 – 15 ways that you experience it now or in the past.  

Here is a great example of a catalog or list poem about a single emotion or feeling.  It’s called “Fear” by Raymond Carver…

Fear
By Raymond Carver

Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I’ve been told won’t bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children’s handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they’ll die before I do, and I’ll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.
I’ve said that.

Additional ideas for working with lists or catalogs: 

  1. Create a feelings inventory listing all of your feelings.  You may wish to do a list of all positive feelings and all challenging ones (I don’t like the word negative around feelings as it tends to create a judgement that we shouldn’t feel that).  I do this every night as one part of my journaling process and it really helps me to get clear on what I am feeling and how I may need to support or care for myself the following day. 
  2. Make a list of all the awareness you have around your life overall or around a specific situation, relationship, etc. 
  3. Create a list of all of your positive actions for the day.  This can be helpful especially when you are having a hard day or not seeing your progress. 
  4. Look over the lists you’ve made and circle or highlight any words or phrases that pop out that you might like to explore more.  Make a list about each of those things…
  5. Create a list of all the lists it would be helpful for your to write, e.g. all your strengths, all your celebrations, all your challenges, all the supportive people in your life, etc. 
  6. Share your ideas for other list or catalog writing that you feel will be helpful as part of your writing to heal practice…

Until tomorrow!

Love & light,

Beth Shekinah

 

 

Join HOA’s 7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge! Cultivating Self-Compassion ~ Day 1

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7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Day 1

Member-JournalingAs I have been diving into the preparation for the next session of Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Online Writing Program, I felt called to share an introduction of writing to heal here on The Heart of Awakening Blog.  Writing has been a part of my personal healing journey since I was a teenager.  If I didn’t have the sacred space of my journal, what seemed at times to be my only true friend, I am not sure that I would have survived some of the life challenges I faced.

I’ve continued to write in the form of journaling, poetry, personal essay, and articles related to holistic healing and spirituality.  Some of my writing is more public but it is a practice that continues to be at the heart of my own healing journey. And, it is one I love to share with others in a variety of ways as a tool for transformation and healing.  I invite to join us here on The Heart of Awakening Blog for 7-Days of Writing To Heal.  Each day, I’ll be sharing some thoughts, reflections and a writing prompt or two for you to explore.  You may wish to go day by day or just come back to them whenever you feel drawn to.  It’s your journey!

We live in exciting times when science can help us to understand tools which have been long practiced. Recent scientific evidence has discovered that the act of writing actually accesses your left brain, which is the analytical and rational part.  When you begin writing, your left brain becomes more strongly engaged which then frees your right brain to create, intuit and feel more deeply.  So, in a sense, writing takes you out of your head and into your heart; that’s a big theme here on HOA! This shift allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. And is one reason why writing can be such a powerful tool for healing!

Writing and journaling can help you to:

  • Clarify your thoughts and feelings.
  • Know yourself better.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Be healthier.
  • Solve problems more effectively.
  • Resolve disagreements with others
  • Practice good self-care
  • Access your creativity
  • Release and Express Held Memories & Emotions
  • Set Intentions

You may be saying to yourself, “But, I’m not a writer, so how can writing or journaling work for me?”  There are many ways to explore journaling and many types of practices.  Writing offers an opportunity to explore who you are, what are your likes and dislikes, and your strengths and weaknesses.  It is a vehicle to find your voice and explore ways you can flow more easily with life.

Over the next 7 days, I’ll be sharing a variety of ways you can begin to use writing and journaling as a tool for healing.  Feel free to share in the comments your thoughts, feelings and reflections as well any other ways you might work with writing as a tool for healing.  I have chosen a theme for these 7 days that has been coming up strongly in my own personal work as well as my work with clients most recently – Cultivating Self-Compassion! Sometimes it may feel like we’ve done so much of that work and then suddenly it’s clear there is more to do. There are always deeper layers to explore!  As we discuss during annual May Is For Metta practice, it is in cultivating self-compassion that we create a foundation for offering it to others and the world.  And, so we our journey begins…


 

Day 1

You might like to take some time today to decide where you will write both physically in terms of your location, e.g. your desk, out on the deck, on a cozy chair in your living room, etc. And, also, in terms of your writing space such as in a notebook, journal or on your computer.  You may just like to play around with a few options during these 7 days to see what feels best for you.  Also, do you want to write first thing in the morning, before bedtime at night or at another point in the day.  I encourage you to be open, creative and explore.  

Each day I will be sharing a few prompts for you to use to spur your exploration in writing to heal.  This will include a variety of types of prompts so you can continue to create your own writing to heal process going forward.  Our theme for this week is on Cultivating Self-Compassion.  Here are some prompts to explore today…

Quotes ~ If you’ve followed HOA for any bit of time, you know that I absolutely love quotes! They inspire me in so many ways but I have found them to be particularly helpful when I want to begin writing on a certain theme or just need a thought to get my words flowing.  I have shared two quotes and prompts below on our theme of Cultivating Self-Compassion.  Feel free to use the prompts or just write stream of consciousness on what arises as you consider the quotes…

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
― Gautama Buddha

When you read the Buddha’s words, what thoughts and feelings arise?  Do you feel you are deserving of your own love and compassion?  What have you been taught about loving yourself?  Are there any negative messages you have received about cultivating self-compassion like it’s selfish or wrong?  Are you willing to begin to cultivate self-compassion in a bigger way? If not, what’s stopping you?

“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” Pema Chodron

Make a list of all the parts of yourself that you are aware of need more self-compassion. Perhaps there are some wounded parts, your inner children or maybe some parts you just don’t like to see.  Begin to write stream of consciousness or create a list of any parts of yourself that you think might need a big dose of love and compassion.  Be willing to list any feelings, patterns and beliefs that you might like to keep hidden, even from yourself.  This is a way to bring light to the shadow parts of ourselves.  Be gently and loving with yourself as you explore…

Feel free to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below.

See you tomorrow!

Love & light,

Beth Shekinah

Writing To Heal September Program Starts 9/22 Plus 7 Day Writing Challenge Starts Monday on HOA

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“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” 

~ Rumi

HealMyVoice

As I shared prior to the June Writing To Heal Program, writing and journaling has been a tremendous blessing in my life. As a child and teen struggling with an incredibly chaotic and dysfunctional family life, I found my journal and writing poetry to be a way of staying connected to myself, of exploring a world beyond what I knew and a safe space to express who I was when there seemed little room for that in the life I knew.  As an adult, writing has become an important part of my life and my work.  It is at the top of my list of “healing tools” and one I recommend to all of my clients.  Even after many years addressing trauma, I’ve found that writing and sharing stories has allowed me to heal on a much deeper level; and, it is something I continue to do.  It is a joy to be able to support others in exploring this powerful healing tool as well. I am excited to be continuing my journey of co-facilitating with Andrea Hylen, founder of Heal My Voice, for a September Writing To Heal 30 Day Online Writing Program beginning on September 22nd. I’ve shared all the details below if you’d like to learn more or register to join us!

7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge Starts 9/14!

Additionally, I will be offering a 7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge starting on Monday, 9/14 right here on The Heart of Awakening Blog.  This will be a way to explore writing as a tool for healing and change and offer an introduction for anyone interested in the full 30-Day program.  So stay tuned for posts starting on Monday morning with reflections and daily writing prompts to jumpstart your own writing to heal! I hope you’ll join us!


I invite you to join myself and Andrea Hylen for a 30 Day journey to explore writing as a tool for transformation and healing…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

September 21st – October 22nd, 2015

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

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This 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (12 audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion

Teleclass Time: Wednesdays, 3 PM Eastern time with a special Autumn Equinox Ceremony to open the space and set intention on Monday, 9/21 at 3 PM.

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Investment: $97 for Full 30-Day Program 

or $197 for Full Program plus one Individual Coaching Session with Beth & Andrea.

To learn more or register, visit http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/.

Here are some of my stories featured in Heal My Voice book projects for you to explore…

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

I’m Okay, Really!

Day 29 ~ May Is For Metta 2015: Deepening Our Metta Practice

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“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.  Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.  Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

 – Pema Chodron

One of the great gifts of Metta is learning to move beyond our personal experience into the understanding that all beings experience suffering just as we do and additionally, all beings wish to be happy and peaceful just as we do. I find 30 days to be a great container for exploring a new practice or creating a change in our lives.  As we move toward the end of our container, we have a much stronger foundation than when we first began.  This is a wonderful time to re-examine our practice and how far we have come.  It is also an opportunity to see where more of our work lies.

At this point you know that you can always do your practice in a way that you feel guided to; so your guidance as you feel to.  My suggestion for  today is to deepen in two areas:

1. Loving-kindness For Ourselves

2. Loving-kindness For A Difficult Person

Take some time today to practice for yourself for a bit longer than you may have been doing since we moved on to the other categories.   Also, take some time to offer Metta for yourself throughout the day, perhaps as difficult feelings arise or just when you think of it.  Metta can be both a proactive and responsive process, so it is beneficial to work with it in both of formal practice and “on the spot” practice.  If there is a particular issue or struggle you are dealing with or that you may have noticed  as you moved through the month, such as difficult feelings, outmoded beliefs or unhealthy patterns,  bring this into your practice by offering loving-kindness to yourself with a more specific focus.

Additionally, take some time to work the category of Difficult person, referred to in traditional Buddhist texts as the “Enemy”.  There are clearly varying degrees of difficulty and this is something to explore as part of the practice.  At the most basic level, the Difficult person is someone whom we find it challenging to like or feel friendly towards.  It is someone towards whom we may have varying degrees of negative feelings.  Sometimes, just thinking about this Difficult person causes us to feel upset or frustrated.

Working with the category of Difficult person offers us the opportunity to go to a deeper place within ourselves.  Oftentimes, when someone causes a reaction in us, there are feelings and issues we need to resolve within ourselves.   As always, we begin by cultivating loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves.  We acknowledge that something is arising within us that is causing discomfort and in a sense, we comfort ourselves with our attention and our compassion.

There are often people and situations that challenge us and cause uncomfortable feelings to arise; this can occur in our work life, our families, and just in moving about in the world.  Often, we need to deal with seemingly difficult people and situations but there is nothing we can do to change the fact that we have to relate with them.  This is one of the places we can shut our heart down as we feel there is nothing to do with our feelings but stuff them inside.  By offering Metta, we begin to work with our resistance, which supports having a more open heart and mind.  It also gives us a vehicle for dealing with something that we may feel we have no power to change.  Perhaps we cannot change this outwardly, but we do have the power to create change within ourselves.

As we begin, we recognize that the Difficult person is suffering just as we are suffering.  Even though we struggle with this person, we acknowledge that they deserve to be happy as all beings do.  You may wish to choose someone whom you have struggled with for some time or just notice a situation that arises during the day, such as a frustrating phone call or stressful interaction with a coworker.   In the beginning, it can be helpful to choose someone to work with who you find is only mildly difficult rather than someone who stirs up very strong emotions.  However, if a very difficult situation arises, this can be a good time to explore responding with loving-kindness and compassion.  Remember you can always bring your practice to yourself first.  Once you are in that space of loving-kindness you can then explore extending it to the Difficult person or situation.

Daily Practice:  

Do your foundational practices.  Find a comfortable position. Imagine yourself in the center of a circle of loving beings or enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness.  Connect with your own heart center and begin your practice by offering the Metta phrases for yourself:

  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be free of suffering.
  • May I have ease of well-being.

Even if you did your practice at home, take a few moments as you as you go about your day to center yourself in the heart and repeat a round of two or phrases for yourself.  Remember to do your foundational practices several times throughout the day, especially when you are experiencing stress or difficult emotions.

When you feel ready to move on to practicing for all of the categories you feel to  for today: Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, Difficult Person and All Beings.  As you begin, say, “Just as I wish to be peaceful and happy, so does this being wish to have inner peace and joy.”   Repeat the phrases for each category you are working with:

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.
  • May you have ease of well-being.

As you become distracted or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning the practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns.  When you feel ready, return the practice to where you left off or move on to the next category.

At some point either in your sitting practice, as you go about your day or in both ways, take some time to explore the category of a Difficult Person more deeply.  Offer Metta for this person and also notice what arises within yourself.  Are there certain qualities about this person that you, too, may carry?  Maybe yes and maybe no; it’s all about exploring.  Remember, it can be someone whom you often struggle with or someone who has annoyed you or caused difficult emotions for you today.  Do your foundational practices and say, “Just as I wish to be happy and peaceful, so does this being wish to have peace and happiness”.  Begin to offer phrases for your Difficult Person, remembering to return your practice to yourself as you need to:

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.
  • May you have ease of well-being.

To complete your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.  Really allow that feeling to sink into you, let every atom and cell of your being be filled with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.

Take a few moments to reflect on your practice.  Ask that the merit of your practice be for the benefit of all beings knowing that in sharing this merit you, too, are receiving immense benefit.

Daily Journal Reflection:  

Take some time to reflect on your practice of Metta for yourself and for a Difficult Person.  Have you noticed any changes since you began?  How did it feel to take some more time to offer Metta to yourself?  Are you able to see a change as you work with the category of Difficult Person?  Do you notice anything about the Difficult Person that may be something for you to explore within yourself?  Are you remembering to be gentle and loving with yourself as you practice?

May you have a day filled with happiness and peace.

Namaste.

Beth


Are you ready for another 30 Day Journey? Have you enjoyed the journaling process of May Is For Metta? Is there a story or part of  your life you’d like to explore and creating healing around? 

I’d like to invite you to consider joining me for a new 30 Day Program I will be co-facilitating starting on June 1st  – Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief Loss & Change.  The intention of this program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

Screen shot 2012-04-06 at 7.40.51 PMThis 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (12 audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion

Teleclass Time: Mondays, 7:30-8:45pm Eastern time (4:30-5:45pm Pacific time) on June 8, 15, 22

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Cost: $75.00 for full 30-Day Program

Learn more or register at http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program.

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30 Day Virtual Writing Program Starts June 1st!

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“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” 

~ Rumi

HealMyVoice

Writing has been a blessing in my life.  As a child and teen struggling with an incredibly chaotic and dysfunctional family life, I found my journal and writing poetry to be a way of staying connected to myself, of exploring a world beyond what I knew and a space to express who I was when there seemed little room for that in the life I knew.  As an adult, writing has become an important part of my life and my work.  It is at the top of my list of “healing tools” and one I recommend to all of my clients.  Even after many years addressing trauma, I’ve found that writing and sharing stories has allowed me to heal on a much deeper level; and, it is something I continue to do.  It is a joy to be able to support others in exploring this powerful healing tool as well.  I am excited to be joining with Andrea Hylen, founder of Heal My Voice, to co-facilitate a new 30 Day writing program.

I invite you to join me for this 30 Day journey to explore writing as a tool for transformation and healing…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

June 1 – 30, 2015

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

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This 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi


This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (12 audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion

Teleclass Time: Mondays, 7:30-8:45pm Eastern time (4:30-5:45pm Pacific time) ~ June 8, 15, 22

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Investment: $75.00 for Full 30-Day Program

or $175 for Full Program plus one Individual Coaching Session with Beth & Andrea.

To learn more or register, visit http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/.

Here are some of my stories featured in Heal My Voice book projects for you to explore…

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

I’m Okay, Really!

 

I’m Okay, Really! ~ A Healing Story…

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I recently had the opportunity to share some of my healing stories as part of a shamanic healing workshop while my mentor, shaman Ross Bishop,  was visiting in Maryland last month.  As I read the stories, I realized how much I have changed since I have written them and even more so, how I have changed since the time I was a child.  The other thing that I realized is that I am still healing and this is a lifelong journey for me.  There is certainly today a lot more balance, joy and ease of well-being than I have known throughout my lifetime, but there is no “magic pill” and there is no “this work is done”.   I share this as a survivor and thriver of trauma, but I know that it’s not just my story – healing and transformation are part of the ongoing journey of being human.

Our stories may differ.  Yet, what I have learned through my own healing journey, and my work supporting others as a shaman, holistic practitioner and recovery coach as well as a writer is that there are universal themes that we as human beings experience, especially those of us living in a modern world.  These include feelings of unworthiness, disconnection, isolation, shame, abandonment and the list can go on.   I touch a lot on these themes in my story, “I’m Okay Really!”, which was featured in Harmonic Voices: True Stories of Women on the Path To Peace, a Heal My Voice collaborative book project.

I had the honor of supporting this project as a facilitator in training for the Heal My Voice process and will now be co-facilitating a new project with HMV Founder Andrea Hylen starting this Fall called, Recovering Voices: True Stories of Women and Men Healing Grief.  This will be the first HMV project open to men as well as women and we are kicking it off with a Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief Workshop in Annapolis, MD on Saturday, May 2nd and a 3-Session Teleclass in June, dates/details TBA.

Here is my healing story from Harmonic Voices...

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“I’m Okay, Really!”

by Beth Terrence

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon when I headed down to my favorite coffee shop with my journal in hand.  It was just a few weeks after joining this Heal My Voice Peace Project and I was ready to begin to invite in an idea for my story to emerge.   It wasn’t until I actually sat down and began to write that I realized it was Mother’s Day.  It’s usually a day or two before that I realize this day is here; and as others begin to celebrate in various ways, I feel this huge wave of sadness and loss wash over me.  It still seems to catch me by surprise each year.  

It’s been 11 years since my mother passed away and yet, this feeling of loss was one I felt long before.  My mother died when I was 35 but I really lost her when I was about 8 years old.  Whether I actually knew it then in a conscious way or not is a question, but I remember when things began to feel different.  On the outside everything seemed pretty much the same and as any good suburban family would do, we did our best to keep it that just that way.  As time went on, it was evident that something was wrong.

The “something wrong” became clear for me one day when my mother forgot to pick me up from school.  I lived too close to school to be bussed and too far away to walk, so part of our daily routine was my mother driving me to and from my elementary school.   On this day, I was only in the 2nd grade; and I stood waiting for her, just waiting outside the school.  I waited and waited until everyone else was gone.  Still, she did not come.  

I was an only child, but I don’t think I had ever been “forgotten” before.  As I stood waiting by myself outside the school, I began to ponder my choices.  Could I walk home on my own?  It wasn’t that far to my house, but I knew for sure that I was not supposed to walk alone.  And, yet here I was all alone.  Perhaps this was the first time I really felt alone in this lifetime.  

Oddly, I remember wondering, rather quickly, if I had done something wrong to cause my mother not to come.   I couldn’t think of what that might be.  I began to question if I was in the wrong place or if I was supposed to go somewhere else that day.  I couldn’t think of where.  I just felt alone, afraid and abandoned.  I don’t think I was old enough yet to know that I would be okay.  

Alone.  Afraid.  Abandoned.

As I waited and waited, I wondered where a teacher was or why no one had noticed I was there.  I was at the back of the school where I usually met my Mom, so not many folks were often there.  Still, I thought, “how could no one know where I am?”  As I reflect on this, I wonder why I didn’t seek out a teacher or think to ask someone for help.  It didn’t occur to me to ask for help – that’s how old that pattern goes.  

I remember feeling a wave of shame come over me and somehow I knew I should be able to figure this out on my own.  A few times I made the move to walk home but wasn’t sure the best way to go.  One way was through the woods; the other was on a street with no sidewalks.  Both were options I knew not to take alone.  As I struggled to find a solution in my mind, I felt scared, really scared and all alone.

Ashamed.  Don’t ask for help.  Not knowing which way to go. 

At some point I began to cry in that silent way that I had already learned.  Instead of letting the tears flow, I tried to suck them back and be brave.  A “brave little soldier” was a phrase I had heard.  Maybe folks said that more about boys than girls, but somehow I knew this was a good quality to have.  As I stood there alone and scared, I tried as hard as I could to suck back my tears.  And, I did!  I told myself to just act like it was okay and I felt the façade of “I’m Okay” wash over me, perhaps for the first time in a conscious way.  

Brave little soldier.  Hide your tears.  The façade of “I’m Okay”.

As I reflect on this, it seems so strange because I stood there alone, all alone.   There was no one to hide my tears from, there was no one to be a brave little soldier for and there was no one to put the “I’m Okay” façade on for except me, just me.  There I was, at only 8 years old, standing alone and putting on a mask of protection that I would wear for decades to come as I told myself that life was okay when I knew deep inside it was not. 

I know that something changed in me that day.  I stood alone trying to prove to myself and to the world that all was well, when in my heart I knew it was not.  Thinking back, I have often ”accused” my family of this very thing.  After all, I was a child and they were adults.  I don’t know what I could have done, but as I grew older I thought “they” could have done something and didn’t.  Now I know they were doing all they could do to be okay with a situation that was truly not “Okay”.  

Denial.  Protection.  Isolation. 

It is this kind of unspoken truth that can destroy families and lives, and yet seems to happen so often.  For me, it was a truth that remained unresolved for many years as my mother descended into  the depths of mental illness untreated.   Although she remained present in body, the mother I knew was gone long before her death.  This created a deep thread of abandonment and loss I carried with me throughout my life.  It was not long after that day of being “forgotten” at the school that I remember beginning to feel abandoned by God, too.  

I had always felt a strong connection with God.  I still continued to pray each night;   sitting by my window, looking up at the stars and asking for that same support, protection and love.  Yet, I had a sense no one was listening and in some odd sort of way, I felt like I had to make it “Okay” for God, too.   Like what I was carrying was too big for the Creator.  It’s hard to imagine how I could come to that conclusion at only 8 years old, but I know it’s true.  Today, I know I was not the only little one who made that conclusion, many of us do.

When my mother finally arrived that day, how late I cannot say, she was very angry.   She blamed me; somehow this was my fault.  “I was a bad child” was a message I was already familiar with; it was intermingled with messages of love and caring, at least still at that time.   If something went wrong or my mother did something not quite right, it was usually not her fault but mine.  This was a pattern I learned early on in life.  Later my mother’s words got harsher and ultimately, my own words to myself were just as harsh – I came to believe that I could do no right.

It’s all my fault.  I am bad.  I am wrong. 

I took on the belief that I was a mistake.  I was not the perfect angelic child that my mother wanted and needed to be healthy and whole.  Somehow, I was defective.  I came to believe that I had failed her needs and so she left.  Her body stayed but her spirit went to dwell somewhere else, leaving space for other energies and entities to reside.  For many, many years, I truly believed this was my fault.  If I could become the perfect child, the perfect daughter and the perfect woman somehow I might be able to save her.  This mission became a driving force in my life, one that caused me much suffering – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

Be Perfect.  Sacrifice yourself.  It’s up to you to save her.

Living with the legacy of a mentally ill parent is one that you carry with you each day.  For many years, I wondered if I would lose myself in this same way, too.  I carried the burden of feeling like I had chosen to abandon my mother just to live in the world.  Often, the pain was so great that I honestly didn’t know if I would survive.  Through it all, I continued to wear the mask of “I’m Okay”.   I was like a soldier walking alone through my own internal war.  

As I write these words my tears flow as they could not flow back then.  For many years, I shed no tears or when they bubbled up, I sucked them back in.   Now I can shed tears and often do.  I know this is growth, progress and healing.  It wasn’t until I was willing to take off the mask, lay down my head and shed the tears of this lifetime that the healing began.  I came to understand that by being a “brave soldier”, I had continued to abandon myself just as my 8 year old had felt abandoned by my family, by God and by the world.  

It took a great commitment to healing for me to stay present the pain of my inner ones long enough for them to feel safe and loved.   Today, I can hold that 8 year old in my heart and soul and tell her it was not her fault, she is not alone and she can let her tears flow, too.  It was in building this relationship with myself that the façade of  “I’m Okay” finally melted away and my true self emerged in a deeper way. 

“Healing means making yourself vulnerable by exposing the core of your being and admitting how you really feel about yourself.  The decision to heal requires the willingness to accept that you may be as flawed as you fear (we never are).  It also requires an almost ruthless commitment to find and live in the truth, irrespective of the cost.”  – Ross Bishop, Healing The Shadow

Alone. 

Afraid. 

Abandoned.

Ashamed.  

Don’t ask for help.  

Not knowing which way to go. 

Brave little soldier.  

Hide your tears.  

The façade of “I’m Okay”.

Denial.  

Shame.  

Isolation. 

It’s all my fault.  

I am bad. 

I am wrong. 

Be Perfect.  

Sacrifice yourself.  

It’s up to you to save…

Through the shamanic path I came to see that although we each have different life experiences, there is a much bigger picture at work.  Our individual struggles may vary, but the feelings, patterns and beliefs that emerge are a natural and necessary part of the journey of a soul on earth.  Becoming conscious of our feelings of separation and healing through them is the path back to source and to reclaiming the essence of who we are. 

The Big Picture.  Separation.  Coming Home.

Today, I know now that peace begins with being true and honest with myself.  As I allow my authenticity to shine out into my life and into the world, I continue to move into greater harmony; this is my path home.  Rather than feeling alone or abandoned, I feel a deep connection to the greater whole.  This always begins and ends with my relationship with myself.  As I am willing to love, support and embrace all of me – body, mind, emotion & spirit, I grow in my ability to experience peace and joy in my life.  Even when it doesn’t feel okay or when painful feelings or difficult situations arise, I know, “I’m okay, really!”.


If my story speaks to you in some way and you’d like to explore Shamanic Healing, feel free to contact me for a Complimentary 20-Minute Consultation to explore what’s possible!  I am available for Shamanic Healing and Integrative Holistic Healing Sessions both in person in Annapolis, MD or virtually by Phone/Skype?  Learn more at www.bethterrence.com.

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

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The following story, “Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman“, was first published in February 2013 in Inspired Voices: True Stories Of Visionary Women.  The writing of this story came through my participation in a 9-month Heal My Voice program.  The mission of HMV is to: empower and support women and girls globally to heal, reclaim their voice and step into greater leadership in their lives and in the world.” (www.healmyvoice.org)

Since that time I have written several other stories found in Heal My Voice collaborative books including:

“I’m Okay, Really!” in Harmonic Voices: True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace

“Afterword: Becoming Peace” in Harmonic Voices: True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace

“Foreword” in Tender Voices: True Stories by Women on a Journey of Love

“Recovery Is Possible” in Feminine Voices: True Stories Of Women Transforming Leadership

In addition to writing these stories, this program has helped me to step forward as a leader and share my voice with the world.  I am excited to share my first Heal My Voice story, Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman, with you here.  Later this year, I will be co-facilitating a program with HMV Founder Andrea Hylen called “Recovering Voices: True Stories of Women & Men Healing Grief“. We will also be leading some local workshops and virtual teleseminar classes on Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief.  Visit www.healmyvoice.org for more details.

In my story, I talk about how my life experiences, particularly those of trauma, loss and grief, led to my path of becoming a shaman.  I mention my teacher, Ross Bishop, who I came to meet a decade ago; he helped me to understand and integrate what I had experienced as a child in a profound and healing way.  This led to my apprenticeship as a shaman; and this work has become a foundation in my life and my work with clients today.

Ross will be arriving in Maryland tonight to spend some time offering healing space in my community.  If you are local to the MD/DC/VA area, I invite you to join us on Saturday for a Community Talk and Sunday for a Half-Day Workshop at The Zen House in Annapolis, MD.  To learn more visit azenhouse.com or Ross’ website, www.rossbishop.com.

 

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Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

By Beth Terrence

Dedication:

I write this story in honor of my inner children, the ones who were willing to travel into the darkness to find the light. The ones who walked through fire and instead of emerging charred and burned, transformed themselves into the light of illumination which carries me through this life, allowing me to be happy, whole and filled with love.

It has been 10 years since my mother died. My life has transformed so much in that time; I might not even recognize myself if I passed the former me on the street. So many blessings and journeys have emerged since then that were unimagined. Around that time, I didn’t know it but I was about to experience what I consider to be my first soul retrieval, the return of a soul part that has been lost through life experiences. Looking back, I now view this part of my life journey as the gateway to stepping forward on my path as a shaman.

Prior to ten years ago, I had spent a good part of my life exploring spiritual and holistic practices. This was both through a deep sense of calling and also, in response to the struggles that came from dealing with anxiety, depression and the physical condition of fibromyalgia. In retrospect, I can see those imbalances were due to the effects of the severe trauma I had experienced as a child growing up with a mentally ill parent. I had made tremendous progress by the time of my mother’s death. I felt a sense of health and well-being that I previously never imagined was possible. Still, I felt something was missing.

For as long as I could remember, I had felt such a sense of extreme loss. Like there was a hole inside of me that could never be filled. It felt so deep and vast. When I was willing to look at it, all I could see was the darkness of an infinite abyss. Most of the time, I tried to pretend the abyss wasn’t there. Sometimes, I attributed it to the loss of my mother to her illness and to the wound of not really having a mother. Even stronger was the nagging and recurring feeling that some part of me was missing. I truly believed that a part of me was lost to the past and I doubted that it would ever be found.

From a shamanic perspective, it is believed that a portion of the human soul is free to travel and leave the body. Our souls are thought to travel during our dreamtime or as we enter into a shamanic journey. Also, a soul part may leave the body to protect itself from potentially threatening or dangerous situations whether they may be mental, emotional or physical. In situations of trauma, the soul fragment may not return to the body on its own and a soul retrieval or other healing process may be needed to assist it. However, a soul part may return on its own once a sense of safety has been established.

As I invited the story for this book to emerge, I found myself waking early one morning thinking about Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Telltale Heart”. As I imagined Poe’s story, I began to feel my own heart beating and pounding so strongly. It felt like it might shoot right out of my chest. That was an old and familiar feeling that I had known for much of my life. Living in fear and intense fear – fear of the unknown, fear of the unseen, and fear of the unpredictable was something I had experienced on a daily basis.

Although the memory I was having could have been many nights of my life, I realized it was the first night I spent alone in my mom’s house after she died that felt reminiscent of the Poe story. This was the house I grew up in, often a place that people cherish and love to return to, but for me it felt more like a house of horrors. I hated to go there for even for a few hours. I went as infrequently as I could, always feeling a sense of guilt for not going there more. I hadn’t slept there in over 15 years; one of the last times I had to be rescued by the police.

My mother had died very unexpectedly. I was shocked and really not sure how to feel. Energetically, she had been gone for so long. I felt like she had died when I was a child. I had mourned that loss in many ways. There was this woman who was my mother; she was not a real part of my life. Yet, she profoundly affected it. I longed for a mother to turn to for guidance, support and sharing; sometimes I still do. My mother was not that mother. Even if some part of her wanted to be that mother, her mental illness prevented it.

I found myself inheriting my mother’s house, my house of horrors, a place that still truly terrified me. Soon after I got the news, I had to go up there to deal with legal paperwork, go to the courts, and become the representative for my mother’s estate. There was no will, no instructions, just a mess, a big mess and a lot of pain emerging. I had the daunting task of cleaning and preparing the house to be sold. It felt utterly overwhelming even though I had a lot of support from friends and family. The house was in total shambles and filled with clutter in almost every room. I felt so much shame about that house, about my mother and about all of the memories surfacing as I merely thought about going into that house, let alone actually walking through the door and spending time there.

Surprisingly, I found myself feeling a need to spend a night alone there. I needed to know that the house and my memories couldn’t kill me. That’s how it felt for so long, like if I went in there and spent time there, it would kill me. I imagined going in and never coming out. I felt like it could just swallow me up whole never to be seen again. I believed it was a miracle that I had made it out of that house before.  Going back seemed like going into the lair of a dragon whose breath of fire could annihilate me in an instant. This house was the place that terrified me most in this world and yet, I knew I needed to return.

I had to sleep on the couch in the living room that night because there were no beds left in the house. My mom had died in her bed. I imagined my mom dying in her bed, lonely and alone. Just her and Percy, the sweet, sweet, loving Percy; the cat who had blessed our lives in so many ways. My mother dying lonely and alone isolated from the world at only 62. It seemed like that house had kept her prisoner, too.

As the sun descended and night arrived, my fear began to crescendo. My heart started beating like it used to, harder and harder until it beat so hard it felt like it would jump out of my chest, possibly even explode. I sat on that couch. I lay on that couch. I tossed and turned. I knew that sleep wasn’t going to be possible. I lay there hoping and praying for the night to come to an end.

Many memories began to surface. The knife fight. Locking myself in my room, again and again. Barricading the door. Hiding in the closet. Crawling under the bed. Sleep walking. Hearing the voices. Seeing the entities and not knowing what they were. Knowing my mother was gone and finding this being who seemed like a monster in her place. Constantly, fearing for my life. Hearing those familiar words that played, over and over again, in my head for so many years – “I will kill you, I will kill you, I will kill you”. Again and again. And, knowing that for so long those were not voices in my head, but words my mother would say to me, over and over again.

It truly felt like the words “I will kill you” came not from my mother but from some part of her that was not her true self. And eventually, it felt like it was the voice of the house. Every time I thought of it, whether I imagined being there or actually was there, I heard that voice. It was like it was captured in the structure or the energy of the house, just like the heart beating in Poe’s story. And, when I thought of those words and those memories, my heart would beat like Poe’s, too.

As I lay on that couch, I could feel that energy, hear those voices, and see those memories playing like a horror movie in my mind’s eye. I knew I was me now. I knew the house couldn’t kill me. I knew my mother was gone and she couldn’t kill me. Still, my heart continued to pound. I felt a full on flight or fight response arising.

I remembered all those nights, lying in my bed, begging and praying for God, for the angels, for someone or something to come protect and save me. Many nights, I wondered if I would make it to see another day. I wondered if this was the night she, my mother, would fulfill her words and kill me.

I longed for someone to hold me, to rock me, and to tell me it would be okay – I would survive. I wanted to cry for my mother, my mommy to come and save me, but she was the one I needed saving from. I was scared and terrified all the time. I was confused and lost.  I felt totally lonely and alone.

So often, I wanted to run. I wanted to run from that house. Or scream, scream really loud. When I heard those voices, when I awoke in the middle of the night to my mom’s paranoid ramblings and to the one voice that always wanted to kill. “I’ll kill you”. He’d say it, over and over again. I say he even though the voice came from my mother. I don’t know why, that’s just how it felt. I knew the voice wasn’t really my mother, but some other energy or entity that possessed her, encased her and suffocated the beautiful, loving being that she was inside. Even then, as a child and later, as a teenager, this was something I knew, something I saw and something that would lead to me to the shaman’s door.

So many nights I awoke to her standing over my bed, staring at me and saying those words, over and over again. “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you”. I’d try to remain perfectly still and invisible, because that seemed like the safest thing to do. Eventually, I knew if I did that it would pass; she would return to her bed and usually not even remember what had happened during the night. In the morning, she would sleep late, often into the afternoon. When she finally awoke, for a short time, she might actually seem like the sweet mother that I knew before her illness took over.

It was scary and tricky. I didn’t know when to trust. On the occasion when she was a sweet loving mom, the one I longed for and wanted to share my life with, I was guarded because I knew in an instant she could turn. Just one wrong word. One funny look. One thing said that she didn’t like and KABOOM! Explosions, rage, anger, attack. And those words – those vicious, hurtful, and terrifying words, “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you.”

I wanted to run and I wanted to scream. But my legs seemed to always be frozen or not even there. My voice was gone or frozen, too. Even if I would open my mouth to scream, no words would come, just silence. I told myself over and over again, “Just be still and be quiet and maybe, we will survive.” I know it was on these nights that I learned to travel or journey within. I found places I could go inside that felt safe and secure, where I could hide parts of myself for protection.

However, in the world of people, I came to believe that silence and invisibility were the safest places. And, having a voice and being seen were very dangerous places. I learned to put on a cloak of invisibility that was nearly impenetrable. I learned to silence myself even when I was crying inside. Even when I was screaming at the top of my lungs inside for Help! Help! Help! no one but me could hear it. And, when I wanted to run, all I knew to do was to stay. Stay frozen and stay still. So I stayed. As my life went on, I stayed in many situations when I should have run or at the very least, walked away.

Spending the night in that house alone changed me. I am not sure if I slept a wink that night. So much fear arising; so many memories swirling around. I feared I might not make it through that night. But I did! When morning came, I was still alive! I finally knew that house could not kill me, my mother could not kill me and memories could notkill me. I was alive! I could get up; I could walk or run out of that house and still be alive! I could take the part of me who thought we might die if we went into that house and begin to create a new life. And I did! I could finally live my life. I didn’t need to stay. I didn’t need to be invisible. And, I didn’t need to be silent anymore.

As I look back, I view that day, in the morning as the sun rose when I “woke’ on that couch, alive and well, as my first soul return. I had lost myself there in that house and that it is where I found myself for the first time in this lifetime. I had survived that night and that life. As I walked out of the house that morning, I walked into the sunshine of a new life. I was awake enough to know that I was safe, supported and whole.

It would be a few years before I fully entered the shaman’s path. My own healing continued and eventually, led me to apprentice with a shaman. I finally came to understand on a deeper level what I had experienced. I came to know and view my childhood experiences as an initiatory process. I had learned to journey on those terrifying nights, to find places within that were safe and secure. I had left parts of my self in those secret places and it was in learning to journey with my inner children that I became whole.

I learned that loving myself is the key to healing. And, honoring and embracing the inner ones, the soul parts, who carry the memories, pain and traumas of the past, is what brings them home. As my healing progressed, I learned how to support others in reconnecting with their lost soul parts and in healing their core wounds. I consider this the gift of my past. I now know that it was those experiences that opened the door to a deeper understanding of life, one that allows me to walk between worlds with an awareness that is grounded, centered and open to the beauty of life as it unfolds.

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If my story speaks to you in some way and you’d like to explore Shamanic Healing, feel free to contact me for a Complimentary 20-Minute Consultation to explore what’s possible!  I am available for Shamanic Healing and Integrative Holistic Healing Sessions both in person in Annapolis, MD or virtually by Phone/Skype?  Learn more at www.bethterrence.com.

Woman Talk Live 5 Interview

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I am thrilled to have been featured this week on Ann Quasaman’s WomanTalkLive 5 Segment.  The mission of WomanTalkLive is “to give women everywhere a bigger voice and a platform for growing, celebrating and living more fully.”  This segment includes five provocative questions answered by an inspiring and fabulous woman – a woman with something to say.  What an honor to be included!

I found all of the questions to be not just thought-provoking but soul-searching.  Here are two of the questions and my answers:

What are you most conscious of today?

I really see life on earth as a school. We come to learn and grow; this is the journey of our lifetime. We may be trying to get somewhere or achieve certain goals we have set for ourselves, but often life has its own ideas. I try to stay very conscious of the need to be open and willing in each moment — to surrender to the path of life as it unfolds. Even if it is totally different from what I may have envisioned, the present moment is where the true blessings of this life are to be found.

What part of you have you yet to give voice to?

I am still working to give voice to aspects of my inner children. Healing from the trauma of growing up in a family with mental illness and addiction has been a big part of my journey.  Ultimately, it led me to my path as a shaman, healer and recovery coach.  Today, I find there is more that my inner ones need to say.  I see this as part of the spiral of healing. Loving and accepting oneself is, in my view, the key to change and healing ~ as I deepen in this, more of my voice is able to flow!

Read The Full Post With More Provacative Questions On Woman Talk Live

New Release ~ Harmonic Voices: True Stories Of Women On The Path To Peace

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It’s been such a full week with the completion of May Is For Metta 2014 and some other events I was facilitating that I did not have a chance to announce the release of the latest Heal My Voice collaborative book, Harmonic Voices: True Stories Of Women On The Path To Peace.  Most of you who have been following the blog for a bit probably have heard me talk about Heal My Voice and some of my posts this past year have been connect to this project, known as Voices Of Peace.  I had the privilege and honor to co-facilitate this year-long writing project as well as write a story and the afterword for the book.  This is the second project I have participated in; the first was Inspired Voices: True Stories Of Visionary Women.  As you can see from the titles, each book project has a theme.  The project consists of a group of 18 – 25 women coming together for 9 months – 1 year to explore the theme in their writing and their lives.

The mission of Heal My Voice is to “empower and support women and girls globally to heal, reclaim their voice and step into greater leadership in their lives and in the world.”.   For the past two years, this project has been at the heart of my journey of transformation and healing.  Through writing, finding my voice and stepping forward in leadership, I have had so many incredible opportunities and experiences.  My first published story, “Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman” was released in 2013.  Also, over the last year, I have had the opportunity to bring the Heal My Voice model to Chrysalis House, a residential addictions treatment program for women and their children in Crownsville, MD.  This grass-roots pilot project has been a joy to be a part of and has once again brought me full circle back to bringing holistic tools and resources to the addiction and mental health recovery community.  

When I began my first HMV project, I had stepped away from that path, feeling uncertain of how to bring my gifts to addictions and recovery programs.  I had no idea where I would end up when I began, but writing my two Heal My Voice stories has helped me to make peace with my life experiences, to learn and grow as a facilitator and to reconnect with my passion to serve those who are struggling with addictions and mental health challenges.  Over the last year, I had the opportunity to become certified as a Recovery Coach through CCAR (Connecticut Community For Addiction Recovery) and to complete my application to become a Certified PEER Recovery Specialist in Maryland.  The timing of all this was just amazing – I  completed my application on May 29th and Harmonic Voices was released on May 30th.  

I also found myself immersed in this work that I have been feeling called to do all this week.  On Tuesday, I lead the Heal My Voice writing circle at Chrysalis House.  On Thursday, I had the opportunity to give a presentation to the Maryland Association of Chemical Dependency Nurses at Johns Hopkins.  Our topic was “Holistic Resources For Addiction Treatment & Recovery”.  Then, on the weekend, I returned to the Unity Women’s Recovery Retreat where I have had the honor to speak and do holistic healing sessions for the last 5 years.  On Saturday, I spoke on “Accessing Your Essential Self”, a topic that emerged through my writing and explorations over this past year.  I feel like things are coming full circle and I am excited to see what emerges next.

Harmonic Voices: True Stories Of Women On The Path To Peace was a challenging project to bring to completion.  I share a bit about this in the afterword from the book.  Here is an excerpt that speaks to the nature of the project and our experiences:

Participating in a Heal My Voice project is a 9-month process, which is akin to birthing a child. We invite our stories to come into being by listening and receiving ideas. Then, we carry them inside of us and work with all that is arising through our group sharing and explorations in writing. Finally, our story is born – it is written and published. It is then that we begin to move out and share our voices with the world.

Each project is different, having a specific theme or focus and in who shows up to participate in the circle. It took some time for Voices Of Peace to get going, longer than we imaged when the project began. Who wouldn’t want to focus on peace? Well, although it sounds like a simple thing, we noticed it was slow going in actually having people sign up for this project, more so than other Heal My Voice projects. It required a strong commitment of the facilitators to hold the space for “Peace” to emerge. We kept the gateway of the circle open longer than usual and slowly but surely more women joined the project.

One of the things we noticed early on in our group sharing was that most of us were not experiencing a whole lot of peace. In fact, there was a lot of chaos going on in many of the women’s lives. I witnessed something that I so often come across in my own journey and in my work with others. When we invite in a positive energy or vibration such as peace or love, we begin to stir up everything inside of us that is not that energy or vibration. This is something that happens a lot when we are working with intention or affirmations. We are essentially creating an alchemical container for transformation to occur and this is really what a Heal My Voice circle is – an alchemical container for transformation and healing.”

So for those of us who were brave enough to enter the Voices Of Peace project, we were faced with coming into conscious awareness of all that we were holding inside of ourselves that was an obstacle to peace. Much of this stemmed from our personal experiences, both current and past, as well as unresolved feelings and beliefs we took on about life and the world itself. I am not sure if we were aware of how much was coming up right away but over time our discomfort was evident.(Click Here to read the full afterword or buy the Harmonic Voices book on Amazon.)

For me, entering into this container for the second time, opened the doorway to pain and trauma I had been carrying for far too long.  Even with all of my personal work and my work as a holistic health practitioner, shaman and guide for others, I had not been willing to accept the depths of my pain.  I thought I had, but it was in journeying into my deepest wounds that I found those parts of myself that were still feeling isolated, abandoned and unworthy.  They needed not only for me to accept the depths of their pain, but to embrace them and bring them out into the light – to stop hiding in shame.  Participating in this Heal My Voice circle, offered me a space to share my heart and soul, and to bring all of me into the light.  The journey will always continue but I am so happy to share my story, I’m Okay, Really! and the words of all of the 18 amazing women featured in Harmonic Voices: True Stories Of Women On The Path To Peace

In my story, I shared a quote from Healing The Shadow, a book written by my teacher and mentor, Shaman Ross Bishop. I’ll leave you with those words:

“Healing means making yourself vulnerable by exposing the core of your being and admitting how you really feel about yourself. The decision to heal requires the willingness to accept that you may be as flawed as you fear (we never are). It also requires an almost ruthless commitment to find and live in the truth, irrespective of the cost.”Ross Bishop, Healing The Shadow

If you’d like to order the book, paperback copies are now available on Amazon.com and Kindle edition will be available next week.  All proceeds go to support Heal My Voice projects including the Chrysalis House Pilot Projet for women in addiction recovery.  

Order Now!

 

Day 28 ~ May Is For Metta 2014: Cultivating Peace On Earth

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My life blazed

with the desire

To serve as a thread

Joining Heaven and Earth

                                                                      ~ Haiku by Masahisa Goi

May Is For Metta 2014

One of the things that may happen when we are cultivating loving-kindness and compassion is that we become more attuned with these energies and may be drawn into connection and community with like-minded others.  As each being becomes more of an embodiment of these positive qualities, they are not just bringing change to themselves but to those around them and the world itself.  Perhaps you have experienced this is in some way as you have been working with May Is For Metta or holding this intention it is a part of your ongoing personal practice.

One of the qualities we often work with in the Metta phrases is PEACE.  May I be peaceful.  May you be peaceful.  May all beings be peaceful.  In Metta, we see peace as an aspect of loving-kindness; when we feel held in love and compassion, most often we are at peace; and when we are at peace we become more able to be connect with energy of loving-kindness.  These qualities go hand in hand.

Last year at this time, I participated in a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony with one of the communities I am a part of, Heal My VoiceHeal My Voice is an international organization whose mission is to “empower and support women and girls globally to heal, reclaim their voice and step into greater leadership in their lives and in the world.”  Although I was familiar with the concept of Peace Poles, I didn’t know the origin of them until I attended this event. 

The Peace Pole Project was started in Japan by Masahisa Goi, who was greatly affected by the destruction caused by World War II and the atomic bombs which fell on the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  His desire to assist in the creation of world peace was answered when in 1955, the Peace Message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth”, came to him in a moment of great inspiration and deep prayer.

After Mr. Goi authored the Universal Peace Message in 1955, a great number of people gathered in support of his vision and activities to spread the Peace Message were promoted throughout Japan.  Soon after, Peace Poles inscribed with the Peace Message began to appear in various locations across Japan initiating the start of The Peace Pole Project.  The year 1986 was designated as the International Year of Peace and since then Peace Poles are one of the most recognized international peace symbols with more than 200,000 Peace Poles standing in almost every country throughout the world.

10298376_10152122370960168_563882781120428117_oI am excited that the project that began with the HMV Peace Pole planting last year is coming to completion this week with the release of a book based on our one year journey into peace.  Harmonic Voices: True Stories Of Women On The Path To Peace features stories by 18 women who joined together to explore the journey from chaos to inner peace, harmony and transformation with the intention of bringing greater peace to ourselves, others and our world.  It will be available this Friday on Amazon.com.

Reflecting on the synergy of these experiences has made me reflect more deeply the idea that as we cultivate an energy or quality such as loving-kindness or peace, we are actually becoming an embodiment of it.  So for today’s practice, I felt to focus on peace specifically as our exploration.  When we focus on peace and being peaceful, we are allowing ourselves to become a “living” peace pole, one that is moving about and radiating the energy of peace wherever we go.  I hope you’ll join us in this exploration today.

You may wish to work with the full practice, choosing someone for each category or you may just wish to practice Metta on the spot today.  Take some time to feel into what feels best for you.  As always, our foundation comes from cultivating Metta for ourselves, so be sure to spend some time cultivating peace for yourself so that you may then extend that energy out to others and the world.

Daily Practice:

Find a quiet place and a comfortable position.  Imagine yourself in your circle of loving beings or enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness.  Imagine a time when you felt held in that way.  Also, for today, tune into a place or a time when you felt a deep sense of peace.  Really allow yourself to feel that peace.  Breathe it into every atom and cell of your being on the in breath and as you breathe it out feel it surrounding and enveloping you.  You may wish to continue to work with all of your phrases or just work with “May I be peaceful” for today’s exploration; it’s up to you.

When you feel ready, move on to practicing for all of the categories or the ones you have chosen for today: Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, Difficult Person and All Beings.  Remember to come back to your heart center for a few moments between each category and reconnect with the feeling of peace you generated for yourself before moving on.  For each category, offer “May you be peaceful“.  If you feel to work with other phrases, please do.

As always, if you become distracted or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning the practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns.  Use a peaceful time or place as your anchor for today.  When you feel ready, return the practice to where you left off.   To complete your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in the energy of peace that you have been cultivating.  Really allow that feeling to sink in to you, let every atom and cell of your being be filled with peace.

In honor of the Peace Pole Project, let us also add this round of phrases, “May Peace Prevail On Earth“.  Knowing that as we do so we are supporting and embodying a vision which,

  • Symbolizes the oneness of humanity and our common wish for a world at peace
  • Reminds us to think, speak and act in the spirit of peace and harmony
  • Stands as a silent visual for peace to prevail on earth

May Peace Prevail On Earth

Finally, take a moment to honor yourself for creating the space to cultivate peace in your own life and in the world.  Can you feel how this is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves and for our planet?

Daily Journal Reflection:

Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today.  How did it feel to focus on peace today?  Did it feel difficult to work with one quality?   Did you notice areas of your life where it is challenging to feel peaceful?   How did it feel to offer peace to others?  to the world?  What will you do to continue to cultivate peace in your own life, in your relationships and in the world?

Wishing you a most loving and peaceful day.

May Peace Prevail On Earth!

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If you are interested in receiving additional support to develop or deepen your Metta practice or work on cultivating greater loving-kindness for yourself during May Is For Metta, consider one of the optional levels:

Level I: Blog Posts + 31 Daily Audio Message/Guided Meditation Practices delivered to you through email each morning ~ $31

You will receive a index of audios from Day 1 to present which can be accessed online or downloaded.  A new message will be delivered each day thru May 31st.

Sample Day 2 Of May Is For Metta Audio Message

Level II: Blog Posts + 31 Daily Audios +  One-On-One Integrative Transformational Healing Session with Beth Terrence in person in Annapolis, MD,  or by Phone or Skype  ~ $108

Register Now

May Is For Metta ~ A Journey In Loving-kindness on Heal My Voice Radio

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I had a great chat about May Is For Metta today with Andrea Hylen, the founder of Heal My Voice, on Blog Talk Radio.  We discussed how May Is For Metta developed, what it’s all about and explored a guided meditation practice.  This is a great chance to learn what May Is For Metta is all about and see if it’s for you!  We also talked a bit about the Harmonious Voices Project, which is a collaborative Heal My Voice book that will be released May 28th and includes my story, “I’m Okay, Really!”

Listen Now!

There are a number of ways to participate in May Is For Metta 2014.  The daily guided practice is free and is featured on The Heart Of Awakening Blog from May 1st to 31st.   New this year are two optional levels for those who would like additional support during the practice time.  Options include:

Level I: Daily Blog Posts + 31 Daily Audio Message/Guided Meditation Practices ~ $31

Level II: Blog Posts + 31 Daily Audios +  One-On-One session by phone or skype with facilitator Beth Terrence ~ $108

To participate:

  • “JOIN” The Heart Of Awakening Blog community through the sign up box on the top right of this page to receive free daily posts through  Wordpress or email
  • “REGISTER” through Eventbrite to receive free daily posts via email or to sign up for optional levels which include daily audios and/or a one-on-one session to support your practice and exploration.  There are additional fees for the optional levels.  Register Now!
  • “LIKE” The Heart Of Awakening Facebook page
  • “DONATE” – If you have enjoyed May Is For Metta and The Heart Of Awakening Blog, consider making a donation to support this year’s event and all of the offerings on HOA.  Donations can also be made through Eventbrite.  Learn more…

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to drop me a note.

Looking forward to our journey together this year!

Namaste.

Beth 

Help Me To Empower Women In Addiction Recovery Through Writing & Creativity

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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:

Heal My Voice Indiegogo Campaign

 

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,

Beth

P.S. May Is For Metta 2014 is coming soon to a cushion near you! Learn more…