Posted on | June 8, 2013 | No Comments
The morning air is warm and the house is quiet. It is too early for the masses to be making noise by driving by your home. Everything is still. Your journal and pen are near. Write about the calm. When you finish writing about the calm, take a breath. What does calm smell like? Does its aroma smell delicate or heavy? Then move on to the taste? Does calm taste fragile or strong? Don’t think literally. Think metaphorically. Let yourself envision impressions. Once the inner eye can see some form and shape the pen will be able to come up with words.
Select an object. How about your desk? Describe its weight, then move on to its color, then how much it cost, and so on. Maybe your desk was your dad’s or you bought it at a yard sale. Perhaps it was a gift from someone you thought would never buy you such an item. Look for new aspects of the desk and write about each one.
Nothing is ever as it seems. Anyone can feel a calm morning and see that the desk is brown. Write your experience the way only you have it. Layer the descriptions.
Keep the pen moving,
Posted on | June 1, 2013 | No Comments
Working with a bully means chaos, abuse, and loss of productivity. Unfortunately, generic bullying is not illegal even though it is disastrous for the corporate world. For those being bullied know that a bully in the workplace is the problem of management.
In this 26 page manual, there are guidelines for both employees and employers on how to deal with a bully. Being bullied is a serious matter. There is no predicting how far a bully will go to get control of the power in the office. Some bullies can be controlled with an agreement while others might have to be terminated for lack of cooperation. Whatever the case is, a hostile work environment is the responsibility of the management teams.
This manual was written in the hopes of turning my personal experiences into a guide to offer help for others suffering from a bullying experience.
A Manual on How to Deal With a Bully in the Workplace is easy-to-read, comes in PDF file form, and costs $18. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to order a copy of this needed manual. Every office should be training out of it.
Posted on | March 28, 2013 | No Comments
I’ve said it many times: writing helps heal. I’m not just referring to healing the disappointment with a friend or the anger at a neighbor. Healing through writing heals the emotional and mental disturbances brought on by rape, war, and other assaults. Why does writing help heal the PTSD symptoms that arise from assaults? One reason is because writing, when entering the depth of the assault, releases and exposes aspects of the assault that otherwise would have remained hidden in the psyche.
Intensive, focused, and directed writing that begins with the assault and ends with a vision of a healed you, heals. This process is effective for the following reasons:
1. it enters the wound
2. it exposes the actual experience in all its nuances
3. it comes to grips with the grief
4. it addresses the beliefs, values, and decisions that have changed
5. it works with one’s healing imagination and creativity
6. it creates the map and vision for wellness with hope and change
These are some of the basic components of writing to heal. Of course, writing helps symptoms in other ways. Writing a letter to someone you hurt will make you feel better. Writing about what is keeping you up at night will help your mind get free of distress so it can sleep at night. Writing to heal not only helps you, but when you feel better, the people around you feel better too.
Write – it can be the best doctor you have!
Until next time,
Jan - to subscribe to this site click on Entries RSS on the right and sign in. Thanks.
Posted on | March 19, 2013 | No Comments
Continuous, obsessive, and bloodstained writing comes from love. The love of telling a story, the love of transforming the feeling into words into mental pictures that tug on hearts. To the eye of a writer every detail matters – visual and non-visual. The movement of an uncomfortable body made by a woman as she takes a tiny step back from her boyfriend leaning on bended knee, the beggar on the subway who holds out a dirty hat to men in pressed suits, each are noteworthy topics for a book but describing a scene alone is not the only skill the writer employs.
The writer who can write fresh copy about ordinary moments does not usually come by the words to describe powerful scenes from intellect alone. Most writers have written with blood more than ink as they set their intention to make an ordinary scene into an extraordinary story. And this transformation usually arises through the heart of the lonely writer. And don’t be fooled. It is a lonely act to enter one’s heart and uncover the story, the heart’s truthful telling that the writer is attempting to capture. The way the writer’s heart feels the ordinariness and writes it, enables the reader to enter its own heart. This is nothing short of hard work. Only an act of love can accomplish such an endeavor. Only the desire to tell the heart’s account is the true road for writers.
There are many writers who are experts at manipulating a phrase, finding a word not used in ordinary language, or playing with a new structure, but to find a writer who enters her own heart and translates it so another heart feels it too, that is the true accomplishment of a writer.
Skills can be learned. Get a mentor, take a class, study online. To develop the feel of the heart, go within, go deep- then go deeper. That is where fresh copy lives.
Until next time,
Posted on | February 28, 2013 | No Comments
PTSD symptoms are not symptoms experienced by just our brave men and women suffering from the effects of war. They are symptoms experienced by men and women who are victims of domestic violence, or children who have been molested, humiliated, bullied, or those suffering from seemingly unconquerable addictions, or first responders, and others. Perhaps your home was burglarized or you witnessed something that is giving you haunting nightmares. Life-altering symptoms can originate from any event that has changed your inner world. You do not have to live with these symptoms and there is no simple way to ‘get over’ them unless you uproot the beliefs, thoughts, and emotional sting from the original event or events.
In my workshops online and in person I have listened to testimonials from those who have worked with me and who are now able to lead a more normal life, begin to dream for their lives again, and have healthy relationships. As a psychotherapist who has used writing as a tool for healing for over three decades with mental health clients, I bring a wide array of skills to integrate into my presentations so that my clients receive the best quality of service and care.
If you are interested in writing to release the sting of the affect from trauma or other stressful events contact me through this site or at email@example.com for workshop, presentations, counseling sessions, or online writing intensive.
Until next time,
Posted on | February 14, 2013 | No Comments
Got a story to tell but find it is too painful or aggravating to write? Give it away. Choosing a name from someone in your past will work. If you can’t come up with someone you know, make up a name. Then give them your story and let them tell it.
Although this idea might seem trivial, it has a wonderful way of freeing up the subconscious mind so that information held back because of the fear of exposing, gets easily typed onto the page. Not only that, but this gives the creative muse a way of transforming information into healing and awareness.
This technique also allows the mind to go deeper and creatively decide outcomes that the conscious mind has inhibited because of its reluctance to tell the story. So two things can happen by just allowing yourself to give it away:
1. you might find yourself writing a creative outcome
2. you might find your energy lighten and heal.
Until next time,
Posted on | January 24, 2013 | No Comments
Yesterday I had the pleasure to speak to a woman who teaches art therapy. In our discussion she asked me about writing. As we were discussing the benefits of drawing and writing we noticed that we were each describing the same thing, that is, that both writing and drawing help individuals uncover what lies deep within. In discovering what lies deep within, we offer ourselves the opportunity for healing, a connection to our core light, the voice inside us that speaks of our ‘real story’, and wholeness.
If there is an experience you would like to expose to the light, one that has a negative effect on you, meditate on it to see if you can create a vision of the experience. When you have a picture you can hold onto in your imagination for a few minutes, draw it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you can draw. It doesn’t matter what you do with the drawing when you have finished it. It only matters that you express it on paper – releasing it from inside you.
If you believe that you have drawn only half the vision, keep it and work on it as other pieces get revealed to you.
Until next time,
Posted on | January 2, 2013 | No Comments
“Everything a writer writes is memoir.” That’s what a writer on the show Writers said yesterday. What a wonderful thought. No matter what we write, who we are gets written on the page. This begs a whole new tone for those who want to write about their experiences. Writing memoir takes courage and a willingness to step out into view where others can see who lives within the self. When we write about our lives, we write far more than the experience itself. We write what that experience means and how we build our lives because of it. For those who take on writing the personal and direct voice of memoir, they offer themselves and others healing and understanding about the human experience. But for those who want to write, and yet want to cater to the frightened muse within, there are other ways.
Often wanna-be memoir writers remark that they cannot bring themselves to write memoir because they are afraid of hurting those they love. No personal story involves just one person. Memoir does require a certain amount of exposure in order for the reader to follow the story of a life. Every reader enjoys the challenge a life has overcome, the one that brings authenticity to his own life and reawakens the courage to continue. Readers of memoir are not just voyeurs; they are seekers of healing, connection, and understanding of their own lives too.
So, what if only the salient parts needed to be written? What if the actual people, events, and history could be left out? What if memoir were put into a poem and the feared parts were hidden within metaphors? Fiction, too, is a wonderful genre for transforming the pain of truth into someone else’s story. Fiction allows the imagination to create wild and subtle personal challenges through another character. Take the experience, give it to a character, play it out with a wild mind that allows the character to seem like anyone but you.
Every person has a story and every story matters. That sounds far too simplistic, doesn’t it? When we write about our lives we reach into our human experience to claim validity to that experience. When we translate our experiences onto paper, readers discover, recover, and uncover parts of themselves. We are each connected. We do not live in this world alone. We live within ourselves alone. When we voice who we are – we find the true way to connect both with ourselves and another. Discovering the higher purpose and meaning in our experiences builds a road to self love. When we love ourselves, we can love others more deeply, with compassion, tolerance, and patience. Why? Because we have changed our relationship to what it is to be human through the writing of memoir.
Writing suggestion to go deeper: Do you live with or without God and why?
Until next time.
Keep the pen moving,
Posted on | December 4, 2012 | No Comments
“I must accept the reality that you …”
You go home for Christmas again this year. You have promised yourself that you aren’t going to get sucked into your mother’s criticisms about your life. You have read affirmations off your mirror for weeks preparing for the holiday with your mother. You have promised God you’d stop doing, whatever, if only this time the holiday was intimate, supportive, positive, so you could relax and enjoy yourself.
How many woman have shared with me the difficult holidays with their mothers. No matter what they try nothing changes because what they really want to do is change their mothers. Impossible. Trying to change our mother’s view of our lives is like trying to make her 6′ tall when she is only 5′. Let’s get realistic. In times of stress during the holidays instead of going into the bathroom and crying into a towel try this:
Write about ten minutes on the incomplete sentence above.
Accept that your mother is who she is and that the only thing you can change is how you respond to her criticisms of you. You can say something different than what you usually do, something that doesn’t start a fight. You can ignore her comment knowing that fighting might be the only way she knows how to be intimate with you. Change your perspective. Pretend she is someone else’s mother. If she were someone else’s mother, would you react the same way? I think not. And you always have the option not to go home.
The above sentence assignment comes from my book, Echoes From the Womb, a Book for Daughters.
It can be purchased on this site or at www.createspace.com/3546083. It is also an ebook.
Keep the pen moving,
Until next time, Happy Holiday
Posted on | November 27, 2012 | No Comments
Everyone has untold stories that can change a life, maybe even yours, if they were told. Memoir is a powerful way to reveal those stories. Tell it as one life story or reveal it in short passages. It doesn’t matter. Everyone reaches for the connections with others that help them realize that their humanity is shared and valued.
Write about a first moment that brought you to realize you had to change something in your life. What was it and what had to change? What did you do about it and how did it work out? Did that realization or choice lead you to new opportunities?
Write it out and share it on this blog if nowhere else.
Keep the pen moving,
Until next time,keep looking »