Tag Archives: Writing

Spring Cleaning Inside & Out Virtual Writing Retreat Part II Starts on 4/18!

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Spring has appeared to begin with fits and starts this year here in Maryland.  We just had a bit of snow this past weekend! Now, it’s beautiful and sunny in the 50’s and we’re headed to 70 deg. on Sunday.  I’m not sure if that’s why the Virtual Writing Retreat also had some fits and starts; initially, it was my intention to go straight through but it turns out, we’ve have had a Part I and now it’s time to explore Part II.

I actually found that taking the time to tune in and reflect on Part I’s explorations, looking at body, mind, emotion and spirit, helped me to create a foundation for some of things I have a deep desire to plant seeds for in my life and begin to cultivate this Spring.  And, it took a few weeks of exploration in that way for me to feel the call for a full on “Spring Cleaning”.  I’m in the process of doing that now and it feels good to focus on my physical space as well as personal space.  There is such a powerful interrelationship with our inner and outer spaces.  We’ll take some time to explore this in Part II of this series, which will run from April 18th to 21st.  Stay tuned!

Here is a summary of the posts from Part I if you are just joining in or if you’d like to re-explore them:

Day 1 ~ Spring Cleaning Inside & Out – Body

Day 2 ~ Spring Cleaning Inside & Out – Mind

Day 3 ~ Spring Cleaning Inside & Out – Emotions

Day 4 ~ Spring Cleaning Inside & Out – Spiritual

If you have any reflections from Part I, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Looking forward to exploring more starting on Monday, April 18th!


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Spring Cleaning Inside & Out 7-Day Virtual Writing Retreat Day 3 ~ Emotions

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Day 3

So far in our Spring Cleaning Virtual Writing Retreat, we’ve explored body and mind. Today we’re going to take some time to explore our emotional body and how we can support it at this time of year and beyond.

We’ve been exploring the Wood Element, which according to Chinese Medicine is most active in Spring.  Let’s look at the some of the indicators of a Wood imbalance on the emotional level:

  • Anger
  • Shouting
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • “Stuffing” feelings
  • Control issues
  • Feelings of overwhelm
  • Sense of separateness

Take some time today to write and reflect on the following questions:

  • Are you in touch with your emotions?
  • Are you able to express your feelings appropriately?
  • Do you allow your self to experience a full range of feelings – anger and sorrow, love and happiness, etc?
  • Are you able to develop close and intimate relationships? 
  • Are there feelings your holding onto that it might be time to let go or work on releasing?

List 3 – 5 things that you can do to support emotional well-being.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Keep a daily journal list of your feelings
  • Share you feelings with a good friend or family member whom you feel safe with
  • Seek out a therapist, counselor, shaman or other guide if you need support in getting in touch with your feelings
  • Join a support group – there are many kinds available and sometimes it helps to connect with others dealing with similar challenges as you are
  • Move your body – dance, exercise, etc. are great ways to allow your emotions space to move through (talking in not the only way!)
  • Make a list in your journal of ways you can connect with and express your emotions and keep adding to it.

Have a  beautiful day!

See you tomorrow!

Spring Cleaning Inside & Out 7-Day Virtual Writing Retreat Day 1 ~ Body

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As each season arrives, we move through a period of change and transition.  This can be seen easily in  changes of the natural world all around us but it is also something that is going within us on many levels.  By taking some time to harmonize with the energy of each season, we gain an opportunity to look at the patterns in our own lives with a deeper perspective and insight.  And, we can be supported by the energies that are most active during the current time of year.

As Spring sets in, the days begin to get longer giving us more light.  We can begin to observe new growth in the natural world ~ shoots break through the previously frozen ground and buds pop up on plants and trees almost miraculously, all in preparation for the big Spring Bloom.  Spring is the truly a season of new growth and transformation. With all this happening, we may feel our own energy is expanding, flowing and blossoming with new ideas, too!

This makes Spring a wonderful time to reflect, refresh and renew.  It is a time for new beginnings and offers us a time to tune into our whole self – body, mind, emotion and spirit.  It’s also a great time to review and update our self-care plans as well as explore what might support our well-being during this transitional time and beyond.

I am excited to be sharing this Spring Cleaning Inside & Out 7-Day Virtual Writing Retreat with the HOA community.  I’ve started to offer a number of virtual writing retreats throughout the year as a way to tune in through writing and reflection; and to support transformation and healing in ourselves, our relationships and our world.  I invite you take some time to explore as you feel called to.  It’s not always easy to take time off for a retreat, however it is something we can always create for ourselves in our own way.

I just finished my early Spring Cleanse last, a nine day fast of juicing and master cleanser, which I find helps me to detoxify and recalibrate my system.  It may seem like a fast is focused on the physical, but it is actually a way to clear ourselves on many levels.  I was amazed out how much more spaciousness I found in my mind and how many emotions were moving through during that time.  We often tend to think of spring cleaning in terms of the physical – our bodies, our houses, etc.  However, this is a perfect time to really look as all aspects of ourselves inside and out.

Each day for the next seven days, I’ll be offering a reflection and a prompt for you to explore how you can work with the energy of Spring to support transformation and healing in all areas of your life.  We’ll be looking at body, mind, emotion, spirit and space – inner, outer and sacred.  Come Explore!


 

Day 1

Spring is a great time to look at your life and make a new self-care plan.  Take some time this Spring to look at how you care for yourself, consider where you may be out of balance and where you need to give greater attention to support your overall health and well-being.  Consider what you may need to let go of and what you might like to create in your life – this is what Spring Cleaning Inside and Out is all about!

According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season of the Wood Element.  The organs most active are Liver and Gall Bladder.  The color is Green.  So, this makes Spring an ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation of our overall health and well-being.

A person with a balanced Wood Element would experience much of the following:

  • Sense of Connectedness to Nature
  • Clarity
  • Organization
  • Energized
  • Ability & Capacity for Control
  • Spiritual Connection
  • Enthusiasm
  • Healthy Expression of Emotions, especially Anger,
  • Mentally Relaxed
  • Creative

Wood element imbalances may be experienced in a variety of ways.  Let’s take a look at the physical today.  These many include:

  • Spinal Problems
  • Poor Flexibility
  • Headaches
  • Poor Resistance to Illness
  • Allergic Sensitivities
  • Skin Problems
  • Irritated, watery eyes
  • Muscle Fatigue and weakness

Whether or not you notice that you have some type of Wood imbalance or not, now is a good time to reflect on your physical well-being.  Take some time to reflect on the following questions:

  • Are you physically healthy and active?
  • Do you feel comfortable in you body?  
  • Do you have health issues that limit your life?
  • Are you eating a diet that supports you where you are and where you want to be?
  • Are there certain things it might be time to let go of from your diet that you are aware aren’t healthy for your body?

Take some time to write and to explore how you might change this area of your life.

Here are some suggestions to explore:

  • Begin to develop your own program to keep you body fit and healthy (this may involve trying different things to see what works – be creative!)
  • Take a walk for 15 to 20 minutes daily.  
  • Try a yoga or tai chi class.  
  • Eat a balanced diet (explore and discover what diet best supports you today!)
  • Listen to the messages that your body is sending to you.  
  • Go for a massage.  
  • Drink plenty of water.  
  • Fast or cleanse to detoxify and rejuvenate your body.  
  • See appropriate health care practitioners or get supports as needed.

Make a list of 3 – 5 things you can do to support your physical well-being.  And, keep adding to this list as you learn more about yourself.

I hope you’ll take some time today to write, reflect and explore a whole new you!

As always, you are welcome to share reflections and thoughts in the comments below.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

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

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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

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“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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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 7

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7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge!

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Day 7

Gratitude Heart

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life is “Thank You”, that would suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart

No exploration of Writing To Heal would be complete without some focus on Gratitude practice or journaling.  Gratitude practice has been one of my core healing practices for many, many years now.  Sometimes I keep a special Gratitude journal. At other times, I just include a list in my daily reflection and I also practice on the spot Gratitude writing when I need to focus on the positive and shift my perspective.

I’d like to share some words on Gratitude by one of my most beloved teachers, Angeles Arrien, whose book Living In Gratitude is one I come back to again and again.

“The practice of gratitude bestows many benefits… Anger, arrogance, and jealousy melt in its embrace.  Fear and defensiveness dissolve.  Gratitude diminishes barriers to love and evokes happiness, keeping alive what has meaning for us.”

I’d also like to share some words by Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. Yes, there is scientific evidence that practicing Gratitude is a healing tool!  Emmons explains that gratitude has two key components (Source: Greater Good essay, “Why Gratitude Is Good.”)

“First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. In the second part of gratitude, he explains,“we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. … We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”

Emmons’ findings, along with a number of other researchers, suggest that grateful people may be more likely to:

  • take better care of themselves physically and mentally
  • cope better with overall stress and specific challenges
  • feel happier and more optimistic 
  • have stronger immune systems
  • have healthier behaviors and better health maintenance
  • get more regular exercise
  • eat healthier foods
  • have improved mental alertness
  • maintain a brighter view of the future
  • feel a greater sense of connection to self, others and the world

And, writing offers a powerful way to practice Gratitude and cultivate a grateful attitude in an ongoing way…

Daily Prompt

As today is the last day of this 7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge, I am going to suggest that you take this last prompt and utilize for an additional 7 days. The practice is to simply write a Gratitude List.  List everything you are grateful for today.  This may include the people in your life, successes and celebrations, things you love to do, things that inspire you, things in nature that you love, etc.  It’s up to you and it can be as short or as long as you like.  Especially for this first list or as a returning practice, I suggest writing stream of consciousness and taking some time to list everything and anything you feel grateful for. 

Then, for the next 7 days, write a daily Gratitude List.  You may wish to designate a special notebook or journal just for your gratitude practice.  Some folks like to write 3 or 7 or 10 things they’re grateful for everyday or just keep going.  I have been in some wonderful groups where we share our gratitudes in an online group and we’d start with 1 on the 1st of the month and add one for each day of the month finishing with 30 or 31.  Be creative! Create your own Gratitude practice and see what emerges!

I hope you have enjoyed this 7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge.  I plan to do some more throughout the year with different themes.  You may wish to take some time today to reflect on your writings and how taking this time has supported you in cultivating greater self-compassion.  Sometimes just giving ourselves the time and space to be open and present with ourselves is all that is needed!  I encourage you to continue to explore what has arisen here for you and most of all, I honor you for be willing to connect with and explore YOU on a deeper level!

If you are interested in continuing to explore, tomorrow is the opening of Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30 Day Online Writing Program Co-Facilitated with Andrea Hylen.  This time of year, as we enter Autumn, is one that is very connected to the feelings of loss and grief as well as transformation.  We can see that with the leaves turning and falling, the cooler days coming and the shorter amount of daylight each day. In many traditions, this is a time to connect with and honor our ancestors and lineages.

I am excited to be diving into this container with the Autumn Equinox and our program begins with an Autumn Equinox Ceremony and Telegathering tomorrow, 9/21, at 3 PM Eastern Time.  This will give us some time to invite in an intention for the 30 days of Writing To Heal and daily prompts will begin on 9/23.  There will be 3 Teleclasses to support the journey as well as a private Facebook community group for sharing.  I’d love for you to join me as you feel called to!

To learn more or register, visit http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/.  Registration remains open through 9/28 prior to our first official Teleclass. And, feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me to discover the healer within through self-reflection and writing!  It is a joy to have you as part of  The Heart Of Awakening Blog Community.

Love & light,

Beth Shekinah

 

 

 

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 5

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7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge!

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Day 5

 

Dervish

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond. 

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

I love this poem! It speaks so beautifully to the journey of awakening and embracing all that is showing up in our lives as our teacher or guide. As you can see by now, I tend to use poetry, quotes and other writings as inspiration for explorations. Just simply reading a piece like this and doing some steam of consciousness writing can be a wonderful way to practice Writing To Heal.

Daily Prompt

Part I ~ Read the Rumi poem 3 times – once to yourself, once out loud and once while writing it in your journal or on a blank page.  I encourage to use hand writing for this rather than typing it on your computer.  How you write overall is a personal choice but there is a lot to be said for how the physical action of writing opens us or helps us connect in a deeper way.  And, remember to take your time, feel the words as your write them.

After writing the poem, highlight or underline any words that light up for you, that stir something in you or that just make you curious.  Write those words down separately in a list. I’ll share my list of what lit up today:

  • This being human
  • Every morning a new arrival
  • Some momentary awareness
  • As an unexpected visitor
  • Even if they are a crowd of sorrows
  • Treat each guest honorably
  • The Shame
  • Meet them at the door laughing
  • Be grateful for whatever comes
  • A guide from beyond

Once you’ve written your list, repeat the process of highlighting or underlining the phrases or words that light up for you.  

In case you’re wondering what I mean by “light up for you” – this is different for each person.  Part of exploring the healer within is beginning to notice how we respond to things and learning about our own inner guidance system.  So you may respond with a feeling of excitement, of joy, or even of sadness.  You may feel something in your heart or even your stomach. You may just feel a sense of aliveness when you read these words. You may simply know they are something you wish to explore more of.  You may feel a sense of expansion or even a sense of contraction and know there is something for your to look at there. 

I am suggesting to practice noticing in this way as part of this Writing To Heal exploration, however this is a practice you can carry with you into your daily life.  Begin to notice what “lights up for you”, what speaks to you and where you feel drawn to.  

So with your list of phrases marked up, continue today’s practice by choosing one or two or all of your chosen phrases or words to explore even more. As you write, be willing to connect them to your own life experience. Maybe they stir certain memories or feelings.  Maybe they are something you want to cultivate in your life. Be curious. Explore.

Part 2 ~ Exploring Shame

We can’t have any exploration of Cultivating Self-Compassion without some exploration of shame!  Since these words lit up for me today in Rumi’s poem, I thought to touch on Shame here.  Shame can be a normal healthy emotion. It kicks in when we make a mistake or do something that goes against our values.  For example, maybe you’ve teased someone in a way that was hurtful to them and then you feel badly about it.

But often, shame can become a toxic.  In this case, it not’s really a feeling anymore but a state of being.  Toxic shame is the internalization of shame to the point where the emotion shame becomes our state of being.  This leads to feelings of extreme unworthiness, isolation and self-hate. In order to Cultivate Self-Compassion, at some point we need to address our shame.  You may wish to work on this now, or you may wish to come back to it later on.  I offer this exploration as an ongoing Writing To Heal practice.

Write a list of experiences or memories from childhood and earlier adulthood that you connect with a feeling of shame.  Note whether you feel this was a “healthy” sense of shame or something that you at the time or later internalized.  Keep this list in your journal and when you have time and are willing explore each one.  Don’t hurry with this as it is pretty deep inner work!

For now choose one experience from your childhood in which you felt shame to write about.  Describe the situation.  Notice what thoughts arose with the feeling of shame. Write down any and all feelings and thoughts that you had during the experience as best as you can recall. You will probably be surprised how much can arise as your words begin to flow.  What feelings followed the experience?  Was it something you let go of or do you feel you’ve carried it with you?  How did it affect your relationship to others or the world?  Finally, write down how you think that experience of shame continues to influence you today in your life.

Part 3 ~ Celebrate You!

We’ve touched on some pretty deep explorations today. A big part of Cultivating Self-Compassion is honoring ourselves for the hard work we are doing to be more conscious and awake.  Celebrating yourself is important as you move through any healing process. Take some time today to Celebrate You!.  Perhaps there is something fun you’d like to or somewhere you’d like to go. And, if you’re not sure what a good idea is – then it’s time to create a list in your journal of Things To Do To Celebrate Me!

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 30 ~ May Is For Metta 2015: Metta As Medicine For Heart & Soul

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“ONE GREAT QUESTION underlies our experience, whether we think about it consciously or not:  What is the purpose of life?  I have considered this question and would like to share my thoughts in the hope that they may be of direct, practical benefit to those who read them.
 
I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.  From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this.  From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.  I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves.  Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness…

From my own limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion.”

– H.H. Dalai Lama on Compassion and The Individual

Our journey together through May is for Metta has been an opportunity to explore ways to create happiness and peace in ourselves, others and the world.  As the Dalai Lama indicated above – at the core of being human is the desire to be happy.  This is a bond we share as human beings, regardless of our outer differences.  Our sense of separation, from ourselves, others and the world, is an obstacle, which most of us face as we try to create happiness in our lives.  By developing and deepening our connection with our own heart and generating a foundation of loving-kindness and compassion, we have begun the process of bringing more happiness to ourselves and to all beings.

In a sense, we can view our practice of Metta, of loving-kindness and compassion, as the “medicine” that brings happiness into being.  What better medicine can there be?  In many cultures, the term medicine refers not only to drugs or substances, but to wisdom and the guidance of spirit.  Metta is medicine for the heart and soul;  it’s natural, it’s free and it’s beautiful to experience.  And, as we work with the “medicine” of Metta, it’s energy pours over into others and the world.  As we heal ourselves, we heal our world!

Daily Practice:  

As we move towards the end of May Is For Metta 2013, I hope you will take some time to honor the efforts you have been making to be more loving and compassionate.  Do you foundational practices.  As you begin your practice today, take a few moments to reflect on any changes you may have experienced since you began May is for Metta.  How has your ability to connect with and generate the qualities of loving-kindness and compassion evolved?  Spend some time in your circle of loving beings or imagining a time you were held in unconditional love.  Really allow yourself to feel those energies enveloping you.  When you feel ready, repeat the phrases for yourself:

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

When you feel ready move onto the other categories as you feel to for today:  Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, and Difficult Person.  Acknowledge that in practicing for this being, you have benefitted by becoming more open-hearted and loving.  As you begin each category, 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 remembering to come back to your own heart center for a few moments between each category:

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

If 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.   When you are ready move on to the category of All Beings.

When you feel complete, move on to the broader category of All Beings.  As we extend out our practice today, let us remember the words of the Dalai Lama, that at the core, all beings wish to be happy.  Let us dedicate our practice for the benefit of all beings without exception:

  • May All Beings be happy.
  • May All Beings be peaceful.
  • May All Beings be free of suffering.
  • May All Beings 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.  Let every atom and cell of your being be filled with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.  Feel these qualities filling you and surrounding you.  Know that you have created a strong foundation of loving-kindness and compassion within yourself and you can now carry that wherever you go.  You are a beacon of loving-kindness and compassion.  Take a few moments to dedicate the merit of your practice. 

Take some time today to reflect on your practice and to explore how you would like to continue as we prepare to move into our last day of practice together. 

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.  Are you able to embrace the idea that all beings wish to be happy and free from suffering.  What does Metta as medicine mean to you?  What have you noticed about yourself and your practice since you began?  How will you work with Metta going forward?  What other practices would you like to explore?  Have you taken time to honor yourself for your efforts?

Have a happy, peaceful and loving day!

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 or $175.00 for Program plus Individual Coaching Session With Beth & Andrea.

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

 

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.