January: What If You’re Too Tired to Begin?

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Artist: Flora McLachlan

Starting right were you are is often a great place to begin. How else to move forward? What would arise if you invited your weariness to speak?

For full details on this prompt, visit: https://writingandhealing.atavist.com/months-1-2#chapter-752892

So often I find myself wanting to be somewhere else. Feeling something else other than what and where I am. What a guarantee for suffering. To want things to be other than they are. Even now, as the sun shines after days of rain, I am repelled by it, wanting the clouds and rain to be here instead. I’m not ready for sun and the emotions it implies.

For months I have been feeling varying levels of low, and I feel fortunate to be able to pin-point why. Several reasons, layered upon others, and of course, I would end up feeling this way. The inertia is both comforting and frustrating. The “shoulds” appear physically and cognitively. I should go out more. I should be more active. I should…should…should… All this does is birth regret and physical pain.

What I have is a constant desire to nest. To curl in a ball on top of soft pillows, covered in soft blankets, and sleep. In a clean space free of dust, dirt, and clutter. Clean air that is not too cold, nor too warm. Instead, I claim the couch as my safe place to shut the world out.

Today, like most days, my head feels congested and weighted. My body is heavy and tired. Its aches and pains seem premature, which worries me. I feel like an echo of my father this time last year. Is this my way to being in relationship with him? Communing with him? Or just what happens when what you knew, and hoped for, is chipped away? Like most things it’s probably all of the above.

Since nesting is the preparation for new life, I can say I have been here before. But if I pull that thread I’m off into thinking of what the new life is,  rather than being in the now. I suppose hope has it’s purpose. To hold on and stay adrift in the mystery of what is to become. So I come back to now, and allow what is.

This is the place where I write from this morning. Exactly as it is.

 

 

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January: A Shopping Spree

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Let’s suspend disbelief again. If $5,000 were handed to you tomorrow to spend towards your healing, what would you do?

Write about how you would spend the $5,000  in any format (create a list, detailed sentences, identifying importance, etc.). BONUS! After writing, did you realize that you need more than $5,000? Write about that.

Original prompt: http://writingandhealing.org/2006/09/02/writing_idea_5_

If I were given $5,000 for healing (self-care), I would go on a road trip where I stay in locations where I can write and create art, alone or with others. I am needing to see places I have never seen before, and I am needing the energy of these places for inspiration. Simply having time away is enough for me right now, however being able to travel, by car, train, plane, is something I am craving. I would also spend some time visiting friends, and familiar places that carry strong memories. I think its basically a road trip travel journal endeavor. And yes, I would probably need more money to pay for gas, lodging, and food. I want this to be limitless.

 

January: The Easiest Writing and Healing Exercise Ever

0602-1-683x1024I can’t find the original link to this exercise, but what I remember is that this is an “end of the day” writing prompt.

Sometimes I forget that writing doesn’t have to be complex or full of content. Sometimes I forget that I don’t have to feel pressured to write paragraphs or feel bad if I’m not “writing”. We can simply choose one word, and that word can be rich in itself.

Choose a day and set some time at the end of that day to reflect of the following and answer the questions:

  • Write a single word that describes the day:
  • An adjective perhaps:
  • A noun that could describe a moment from the day:
  • A verb:

 

Here’s what I have for the day of 1/20/2017

  • Write a single word that describes the day: Aligned
  • An adjective perhaps: Unafraid
  • A noun that could describe a moment from the day: Hail
  • A verb: Discerning

January: Freewriting

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Today’s activity is a free-write, which I chose to do this morning with a set time of 10 minutes. For more details on this exercise go to: http://writingandhealing.org/2006/08/16/writing_and_hea_1-11

Setting aside time to free-write feels daunting even though there is a sense of liberation in it. What do I write about? Where will my stream of consciousness lead me? Maybe that is the bigger fear. Anyhow here it is and I am doing just that. Letting what ever wants to be said and written just be. As a child I wrote to the limited capacity that I could. I liked to make books based on storied read in class, or make books on things I liked, But it wasn’t until later, my pre-teen and teen years where the writing took more space. I think it’s common for adolescents to find comfort in writing because it is a vehicle for voice, something that teens have so fiercely and yet adults in their lives try to extinguish or tame. So writing allows for the intense creativity and voice to be present. There is something about those years where child-like creativity and fantasy meets energy and manifestation. What powerful years. What powerful energy. There is a naive bravery about adolescents that I wish I still had. Years have done it’s work on me. I’m so much more cautious than before. So much more doubtful. I wonder what the middle ground is? Because in youth there is a powerful energy that will not be containing It runs into the street and jumps off bridges, and exists in action. People would consider that manic to be so bold. Why does that scare people? So this writing journey is a way for me to not lose touch with that safe and liberating space of voice and creativity. Because being an adult is so full of responsibility, which I welcome even though I complain about it. By nature I am driven, but too much of that burn me out and creativity allows for that respite and replenishing. What can I do to keep moving through creativity  so that I don’t burn out? Writing can also provide insight and space to release those things in me that I hold back. I notice I d that a lot. Which is strange because I’ve been doing it for so long, I only just now realized how much I keep locked inside me. I live in my head and I like it there. It’s enticing and hard to let go of. The outside world feels flat and boring and lackluster compared to the world in my mind. If I do it enough, and am not careful, I assume others are on board with my agenda. It’s like I forget to include others into my internal conversations, plans, and such. It feels so loud in here and hard to express sometimes. Most times. So getting all this out of me on paper or with voice, is a part of my own healing. That and insight.

January: Designing a Healing Retreat

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Have you gone on retreat? Would you like to go again? What are the list of reasons why you haven’t (yet)? What if you could set those reasons aside, design the retreat of your dreams, and GO!

On day 1, I’ve received an invitation to go on retreat for 6 weeks. All responsibilities are being taken care of in my absence. Nothing is in the way of me going. Bonus: I get to design this retreat. Here’s what I came up with. What would yours be? I invite you to comment below on what elements you would add to your perfect retreat.

See the prompt at: http://writingandhealing.org/creating-a-healing-place for full details and list of questions.

Where would you like the retreat to take place?
Esalen at Big Sur, California. I previously created one from scratch, but after going to Esalen, it’s hard for me to think of anything better,

What weather do you like?
Mostly mild with a mix of warm clear skies and overcast skies. Not cold or hot in either case.

What kind of light?
Indoors would have natural light and dimmer switches for the evening. Candles are available as well. Lots of candles.

What resources would you like available close by?
Within the retreat is a small and affordable general store with basic necessities like toothpaste and socks.

Walking trails?
Yes, several that lead to the ocean, into the hills and mountains, across the fields. They are safe and accessible.

A swimming pool?
There are hot tubs and pools. They are very clean and well taken care of.

What kind of accommodations do you prefer?
The perfect bed and bedding that is supportive yet comfortable. The bathroom is large with a big jet tub. There is a kitchenette in my room and it has fresh fruits and snacks. There is also a plush recliner and fireplace and a table for creating art.

Will the place have a porch?
Yes, the porch gets enough sunlight to stay warm and is spacious enough to have people over to socialize.

A window?
Yes, several large windows that have an ocean view.

Would you like to be alone in this place?
Yes. I am on retreat right? So I am flying solo. But I also meet people there and socialize as I feel comfortable. However at the end, I would like at least 3 people I know who I think would love it, to be there and experience a full day and nigh of this retreat.

Do you prefer quiet?
Yes. Quiet days and nights, with some evenings open for celebrations.

What sounds do you imagine in this place?
The ocean pounding against the cliffs and whales breaching the ocean. Some birds. Light wind through the trees.

What about smells?
The ocean, and greenery that surrounds the premises. Mild natural smells.

What will you eat?
Fresh organic vegan food is supplied daily. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided, with snacks, coffee, and tea available at all times.

How will the refrigerator be stocked?
My refrigerator is stocked as needed by the on-site food service. All vegan, and organic.

Who will prepare your food?
Food is prepared on site by chefs who specialize in vegan cuisine,

What would you like to do on the first day?
First day is unpacking, then taking a stroll on the premises. Taking the next yoga and meditation class, then going to the hot tubs. After a shower I go to dinner then nestle in for some reading by the fireplace before going to bed.

On a typical day?
Early morning going to the hot tubs, showering, going for a brief walk, breakfast, meditation, sit outside and read or write, go for a walk, go to yoga class, lunch, nap, create art, sit outdoors to read or write again, have dinner, listen to live music, dance, hot tub, shower, light a fire and go to bed.

Is there anything else that’s important to the design of this retreat?
Everything is as natural and organic as possible. There are no children, and only a few people are in attendance. The offer classes all day for free. It’s away from the city and towns noise. It’s on the cliffside of the ocean with forests and fields surrounding the premises. It’s got rolling hills and is lunch with greenery and plenty of places to sit. There is designated time for wi-fi use. It is overall a safe place to be. It’s basically Esalen.