7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge!
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.
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!
Love & light,
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!
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 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!
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