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heart and soul Journaling life lessons

Solo Steps: The Power of Personal Breakthrough

In life, every individual encounters moments that are pivotal to personal growth and transformation. These moments, or personal breakthroughs, are akin to reaching a new summit in one’s inner life.

Drawing inspiration from the poem “Because I Am Scaling an Inner Summit,” this blog post delves into the essence of personal breakthroughs and the role of journaling as a tool for personal growth.

Understanding Personal Breakthroughs

A personal breakthrough can be described as a moment of clarity, a sudden insight, or a profound realization that leads to significant personal development.

It’s like a lightbulb moment that illuminates a path previously shrouded in darkness, providing direction and purpose. These breakthroughs often occur during periods of adversity, reflecting the poem’s theme of overcoming internal struggles to reach new heights of self-awareness and understanding.

Journal Prompt:

Reflect on a time when you experienced a personal breakthrough. What were the circumstances leading up to it, and how did it change your perspective or approach to life?

The Role of Journaling in Personal Growth

Journaling is more than just a method of recording daily events; it’s a powerful tool for introspection, self-expression, and mental clarity.

Through the act of writing, we can untangle complex thoughts, explore emotions, and identify patterns in our behavior and thinking that may be hindering our growth.

Journal Prompt:

Write about a recurring thought or feeling you’ve noticed in your journal entries. How does it influence your actions, and what steps can you take to address it?

Embracing the Journey of Self-Discovery

Each breakthrough, whether big or small, is a step forward in understanding oneself and navigating the complexities of life.

Again, the poem “Because I Am Scaling an Inner Summit” encapsulates what the journey feels like for me.

I realized that my capacity had diminished. Simple tasks, such as washing my hair, now required a significant amount of energy. Despite my life appearing calm and manageable on the surface, internally, it felt like I was playing an intense game of “the floor is lava.” I had to spend a substantial portion of my energy navigating my emotions, in pursuit of a personal breakthrough.

Journal Prompt:

Imagine your life as a mountain you’re climbing. What does the summit represent for you, and what obstacles do you need to overcome to reach it?

Nurturing Resilience Through Reflection

Journaling not only facilitates personal growth but also fosters resilience. By documenting your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, you create a personal archive that can serve as a reminder of your strength and adaptability in the face of challenges.

Journal Prompt:

Look back on a difficult period in your life and write about how you navigated through it. What strengths did you discover about yourself, and how can they help you in future challenges?

The Summit Awaits

Personal breakthroughs mark our progress as we scale the inner summits of our minds and spirits. Journaling, as a companion on this journey, provides a space for reflection, learning, and preparation for the next climb. 

Take your solo steps with courage and conviction, knowing that some things can only be won by one. That’s you. You are the one that must climb to the summit.

Your breakthrough may be just around the corner.

The poem featured in this post id from the collection ‘The Remains of Burning’. Available from bookstores worldwide.

For more journal prompts click here

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heart and soul Poetry

Mercy and Starting Afresh.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I rise early. In the quiet moments of dawn, when the world seems to hold its breath, I find the gentle, yet profound, presence of mercy. There is no searching, no pleading. It comes knocking, seeking me out, wanting me to leave yesterday and start over.

As I navigate disappointments, errors, and unmet expectations, the concept of mercy  becomes not only a balm but a transformative force.

 I wrote a poem about mercy. Although it is quite simple, it is exactly how I experience it. The poem is untitled in my second collection ‘A Strong and Fragile Thing’, but for the sake of this blog post, let’s call it ‘The Dawn of Mercy.’

The Dawn of Mercy

'Morning knocks on my window.
I lift the latch 
And let her in.
Mercy, 
Mercy, 
Mercy spills into the room
And gets all over me.'

In these lines, I attempt to show how mercy is a daily renewal. The act of opening the window is symbolic of my need and willingness to receive, to be enveloped and changed by this gentle force. I have found that mercy, in its quiet power, does not merely visit; it transforms, covering me, offering a fresh start, a new perspective.

The Echoes of Forgiveness

In another piece, poet Maya Angelou offers a reflection on the nature of mercy through the prism of forgiveness:

"The sun has come.
The mists have gone.
We see in the distance...
our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out of time."

Angelou’s words speak to the enduring quality of mercy that exists within the fabric of love and forgiveness. The imagery of the clearing mists and the dawning sun parallels the process of moving through pain and misunderstanding towards a place of clarity and reconciliation. It is a reminder that mercy is not just about the forgiveness we extend to others but also about the grace we allow ourselves, acknowledging our shared humanity, our capacity for error, and our potential for redemption.

The River of Compassion

The poet Rumi offers another facet of mercy in his work:

"The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
Don't turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place.
That's where the light enters you."

I love this poem. Rumi’s perspective invites us to view our wounds, our failures, and our disappointments not as mere sources of pain but as openings for growth, understanding, and ultimately, mercy. It is in our most vulnerable moments that the possibility for true compassion—towards ourselves and others—emerges. This poem encourages me to embrace my imperfections, to see them as the very sites where healing and mercy can begin their work.

Starting Afresh: The Mercy of New Beginnings

The common thread that weaves through all these poems is the transformative power of mercy. It is a force that does not ignore our flaws but lovingly acknowledges them, offering a pathway to healing and renewal. Mercy invites us to turn the page, to see every sunrise as an opportunity to start afresh, unburdened by the past.

In my life, this means forgiving those who have wronged me, or perhaps, more challengingly, forgiving myself. It involves a commitment to seeing the world through a lens of compassion, recognizing that everyone has their struggles, their ‘bandaged places’, and that we are all, in one way or another, in need of mercy.

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heart and soul life lessons

The Healing Power of Humility: Why Being Broken Can Be a Blessing

In a society that often glorifies strength and success, the concept of embracing brokenness and humility may seem counterintuitive. However, there is a profound healing power in humbling experiences that can transform our lives for the better. Rather than seeing brokenness as a bad thing, we can view it as a blessing—a pathway to self-discovery, growth, and healing.

Embracing Vulnerability

When we are broken, either by the pain we cause or the pain projected on us by others,  we become vulnerable, and vulnerability opens the door to profound personal growth. Admitting our flaws and acknowledging our limitations allows us to connect with others on a deeper level. By embracing vulnerability, we create authentic and meaningful connections that are built on empathy, compassion, and understanding. This genuine connection with others fosters a sense of belonging and provides a fertile ground for healing.

Letting Go of Ego

Being broken strips away our pride and ego, revealing our true selves beneath the facade. Humility compels us to let go of our attachment to success, recognition, and external validation. In the absence of ego, we can focus on inner transformation and self-improvement. By releasing the need to control or manipulate outcomes, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and allow the healing process to unfold naturally.

Cultivating Empathy

When we experience brokenness, we develop a deeper sense of empathy and compassion towards others who are suffering. Our own pain becomes a bridge that connects us to the pain of others, enabling us to provide genuine support and understanding. Through this newfound empathy, we learn the importance of kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance. In turn, the act of extending compassion to others contributes to our own healing, creating a positive feedback loop of growth and resilience.

Seeking Help and Support

Being broken teaches us the value of seeking help and support from others. We come to realize that we cannot navigate life’s challenges alone, and reaching out for assistance is not a sign of weakness but a display of strength and self-awareness. Humility enables us to recognize that we can learn from the wisdom and experiences of others, and their support becomes a vital component of our healing journey.

Rediscovering Inner Strength

In the process of being broken, we often unearth a wellspring of inner strength that we never knew existed. Adversity has a way of revealing our resilience, determination, and capacity for growth. By embracing humility, we tap into our inner resources and discover the courage to rebuild our lives. We emerge from brokenness with a renewed sense of purpose, empowered by the knowledge that we have overcome challenges and can face future obstacles with resilience and grace.

Being broken is not a permanent state of despair; rather, it can be a transformative experience. Yes, the process can take us to an intensely painful place, but we must recognise that that same process does not destroy us, in fact, it builds us. So, let us view brokenness as a blessing— a bleeding, beaten up, soul battered blessing that beautifies us the way nothing else can.

For poetry that walks through the process of being broken, from the moment your flame is snatched right through to when grief fold into gratfulness, take a look at ‘The Remains of Burning‘ available from bookstores worldwide.

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Journaling Therapeutic Writing Prompts

Exploring the Struggle to Articulate Inner Turmoil.

As hard as it is to admit it, sometimes words fail. 

The inability to effectively communicate the depth of emotion we feel or truly recount what we have been through with its layers of complexity and multiple subplots can be disheartening. 

How do we speak of the death of a loved one, the journey of fighting cancer, or the pain of abuse? We find ourselves on an ineffable path, grappling with the challenge of expressing our inner turmoil. 

The Weight of what cannot be said: 

Unspoken experiences can  weigh upon our hearts and minds. It’s not that we lack the desire to talk (although at times, talking may be undesirable), but rather the challenge of  expressing the inner turmoil we face. Speaking about our struggles can sometimes heighten stress, anxiety, and a feeling of isolation. There is a fear of being misunderstood, particularly when we ourselves are unsure of how we feel. 

The Limitations of Language: 

Often what we have been through defies easy categorization in which words can encapsulate. The nuanced and intricate nature of our internal struggles hinder effective communication. Words prove to be too weak, shallow and inexact. 

For me, experiencing this conundrum (not having the words) was extremely perplexing. Words are boxes, with neat bows. Words are anchors and ladders and doors. Without them there is no way to organise my thoughts, no way to get from a to b, no way to release the myriad of things that crowd my mind. 

Consequently, I developed an intense thirst for them—an insatiable desire for poetry, analogy, and metaphor. I wanted to unearth a means of expressing the seemingly inexpressible.

Exploring Expression: 

Led by my inner turmoil I took up pen and paper like my life depended on it (because actually to me it felt  like it did.) Instead of trying to find the right words (because I came to the conclusion that it was in fact impossible) I settled for first noting down the story as I experienced it. I then played with different points of view. I asked myself, ‘how would someone who understood exactly what I experienced and how I felt about it tell the story?’

This practice allowed me to gather the intricate details—those seemingly insignificant wounds that intertwined with larger pains—that hindered my self-expression. Throughout several years, I filled numerous pages, slowly uncovering the sources of my anguish and uncovering the words that came closest to conveying my unique journey.

This practice, although sometimes disordered and chaotic, is called restorative writing or journal therapy. 

Embracing the Mystery and Complexity:

Despite finding therapeutic relief through journaling, there are certain facets of my distress that elude precise articulation, and they may continue to do so indefinitely. This

This is both a humbling and liberating realisation that enables me to accept the limitations of language, while simultaneously granting me the freedom to embrace the  indescribable nature of my experiences.

Mystery is often overlooked. However it  allows us to cultivate a humble recognition of our limited knowledge, and to remain open to the vast possibilities that lie beyond what we understand.  It is through embracing mystery that I am able to release myself from the unending quest of finding the right words.

If you can relate to the struggle of being unable to articulate inner turmoil, know you’re not alone. Acknowledging the weight of unspoken emotions and the limitations of language is a good place to start. 

After that, you may find it helpful to bravely pick up a pen and write your own story over and over until you feel some kind of release and an ability to embrace the mystery and complexity of what you are experiencing. 

For those who feel they may benefit from some assistance, a writing tool to help process pain and loss, you can grab ‘The Remains of Burning Therapeutic Journal’ here. It includes a series of reflective writing prompts to help readers navigate suffering. The prompts within firstly focus on expressing painful emotion (finding the words) and slowly nudge the reader towards new hope.

Well wishes to you my friend as you go where no one has gone before – into the depths of who you are.

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heart and soul Poetry

How poetry can help us cope with Life’s Challenges: Reflections on World Poetry Day.

It’s no secret, I love poetry.

It  is  an art form that captures the beauty of language, but it is also a powerful tool that has  helped me cope with life’s challenges. In honor of World Poetry Day, I’d love to share with you how I have used poetry to navigate difficult times.

When I face challenging situations, I can sometimes find it hard to articulate how I feel. Poetry gives me the freedom to express myself  in a way that is both personal and universal. Through poetry, I explore my emotions, fears, and loves in a way that helps me  process and make sense of them.

For example, in her poem “Still I Rise,” Maya Angelou writes about overcoming adversity and discrimination. This poem inspires me to keep going and reminds me of the strength within me. 

 "You may shoot me with your words, / You may cut me with your eyes, / You may kill me with your hatefulness, / But still, like air, I'll rise." 

Secondly, poetry provides me with a sense of comfort.  When I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances, reading or writing poetry helps me to  find a sense of calm. Poetry has a way of connecting me to something greater than myself.

In his poem “The Guest House,” the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi (one of my absolute fav’s) writes about the importance of embracing all emotions, both positive and negative: HIs poem reminds me that all emotion, everything I feel is part of the human experience I am having here on earth and that I should not judge or shame myself for feeling what I do. It encourages me to take every circumstance, whatever comes across my path and see it as a teacher. 

"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." 

Poetry also  helps me find meaning and purpose in my life. It can be hard to find a sense of meaning or purpose in difficult times. Poetry connects me to the beauty and value of life that can still be found during painful seasons. 

In his poem “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost writes about the importance of making our own choices and forging our own paths in life. His words remind me I can choose how I deal with what I am going through. Though things may not always go the way I want them too, still, I possess the power to make decisions that hold me back, keep me stuck or move my life forward. 

 "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference." 

Poetry assists me to connect with others who are going through similar challenges. When I read or write poetry, I become part of a larger community of people who share the same  experiences and emotions. Through poetry, I can find a sense of belonging and feel seen and understood.

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heart and soul Poetry

Healing words: How writing poetry can help you find meaning.

Writing poetry has long been recognized as a powerful tool for self-expression, creativity, and communication. However, for me, poetry has also been a valuable tool for healing. It has helped me to process my feelings, find meaning in my experiences, and move forward in a positive way.

One thing I love about writing poetry is that it allows me to express my feelings in a way that is both creative and structured. Unlike other forms of writing, such as journaling or free writing, poetry requires I pay close attention to language and form. This helps me to articulate my feelings or experiences in a clear and concise way. By working within the constraints of poetic form, I can distill complex thoughts and emotions into a few powerful words or images rather than just dumping everything onto the page.

Poetry also allows me to explore difficult or painful topics in a safe and controlled way. When I write poetry, I have the freedom to create a world that is entirely my own, and to explore the deepest recesses of my heart and mind. This can be especially helpful when dealing with trauma, grief, or other forms of emotional pain. 

Writing poetry can serve as a powerful tool to help discover hidden truths and insights in experiences. Personally, during a challenging life transition, I found solace and the silver lining through poetry. Although it did not offer an immediate solution, the process of writing poetry guided me towards recognizing the significance of the journey.

‘Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.’

Mary Oliver
Writing poetry

Here are my tips on how you can use writing poetry as a tool for finding meaning.

  1. Capture how you feel.

Start by jotting down a few words or phrases that capture how you’re feeling and build from there.

2. Concentrate on word choice.

Sometimes it can take a while to find the words that express exactly what we are going through, but the search is worth it. There is something so powerful, so liberating, about finding language that validates our experiences.

3. Write regularly. 

Like any form of writing, poetry takes practice. Set aside a few minutes each day to write, even if it’s just a few lines. One of my favourite forms of poetry is micro-poetry. It consists of only a few lines or even just one single line and communicates a range of themes in a concise way. You may find that writing one line has more impact than writing sixteen lines.

4. Don’t judge yourself or what you write. 

Sometimes we can feel ashamed of the emotions we feel. Sure, it is hard to admit we are jealous or that we have hatred in our heart, but remember, the page is for healing and finding meaning, not convicting ourselves. It’s ok if you don’t like what you have written or the emotions you feel. They are simply a reflection of what you are experiencing in that moment, not a summary of who you are or what you can do. 

5. Look deeper.

It is my conviction that the most life changing words you will ever read are your own. This is because our own words act as a mirror showing us what we truly believe. Read your own work, learn from it, look deeper and ask yourself why of all the poems you could have written is this what you were compelled to write.

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heart and soul life lessons

Discovering your power: 4 ways to overcome feeling cornered.

My guess is that you’re here because you’re hurting. You may have come across the title of this blog and thought to yourself, “Yes, that resonates with me. I’m struggling with feeling powerless to rectify an unjust situation.”

Perhaps someone has taken something from you and is refusing to return it, or maybe you were promised something that was never fulfilled, leaving you feeling manipulated.  Maybe you have been bullied, isolated, pushed out, cut off by people you were loyal to. 

When we find ourselves backed into a corner, we feel like we’re under attack, trapped, and being subjected to abusive treatment. We search for a means of escape, a way to claim what is rightfully ours, and a method to overpower those who are leveraging their power against us.

We push back, but nothing changes. We attempt to appeal to people’s humanity through kind words, but to no avail. Despite our best efforts, the circumstances persist, and we have no option but to accept that hearts turn, promises break and life is sometimes unfair.

At times like these it’s important to know although we feel powerless, we are not. Sure, we may not be able to change the situation, but we still have power. We have the power of agency, the power of resilience, the power of community, and the power of hope. 

feeling cornered

The Power of Agency

We have agency. We have the ability to make choices and take actions that can shape our lives and the lives of those around us. Even in situations where we feel trapped or restricted, we still have the power to choose how we respond to our circumstances. We have power over our mind and can decide what thoughts we allow to govern our emotions. 

It’s easy to become fixated on a single opportunity that’s unavailable to us when a door has been closed, and we’re unable to attain what we desire. This fixation can prevent us from recognizing the abundance of other possibilities available to us. We can choose to approach a challenge with a growth mindset, seeking out opportunities for learning and growth. 

The Power of Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult experiences and to adapt to change. When we face setbacks or obstacles, we can draw on our resilience to keep moving forward, to keep trying, and to keep believing that things will improve.

Building resilience requires developing coping skills, learning from past experiences, and building a strong support system. It is a key factor in achieving personal and professional success, as it allows individuals to adapt and thrive in the face of change and uncertainty.

The Power of Community

As social beings, our well-being is enhanced by having meaningful connections with others. In times of distress, we often seek out allies to advocate for us. However, it can be deeply distressing when those we rely on to speak up for us remain silent, leaving us feeling unsupported and mistreated.

Experiencing such a situation can lead to feelings of mistrust and a desire to withdraw from social interactions. However, it’s crucial to recognize that with billions of people on this planet, there’s a high likelihood of finding someone who can empathize and offer support if given the chance.

Whether it’s through our family, friends, or broader social networks, we can draw on the strength of community to help us overcome challenges.

The Power of Hope

Hope helps us to envision a better future. Even in the darkest of times, hope can sustain us and motivate us.  When we hold onto hope, we open ourselves up to possibilities and opportunities that we may not have otherwise considered.

Hope says, ‘I know you’re hurting, I know this situation is unfair, though there seems to be no way you will come through this.’

*Sometimes we are pushed into corners so we will learn to break down walls.
-a pathway no-one knew was there.

*poem by Lauren Lott from ‘The Remains of Burning.

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Books Journaling Therapeutic Writing Prompts

A guided journal for navigating wild new ways.

The process is becoming a little easier, which is not to say that it is easy.  This latest creation required a willingness to write with more vulnerability than I did in my previous books, but hey, ageing is for becoming more courageous right?

That’s what I think readers want – courageous writing. Poetry that isn’t protective or coercive. Language that breathes and beats its fist on your chest. Authentic writing, void of the highlight reel; because we all know there is no way to speak ‘nicely’ when your mid metamorphoses. 

Metamorphoses let’s talk about that word.  According to the word hippo app on my phone (one of my many writing tools) it can be defined as ‘a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.’ In my experience this process cannot take place on familiar territory. One needs a cocoon of sorts, somewhere away from the patterns of old. 

We may think that a cocoon is always a small, protected hide away. However, I have come to see that living through a wilderness experience is a kind of cocoon. Simply, it is a space where familiar ways don’t work and to survive you must surrender to your undoing. 

Nobody volunteers for such a task. The unravelling of life is something no one asks for. Change happens and sometimes we can’t help it. How do we unknow what has been made known to us? How do we unfeel, unsee, undo experience? Trying to do so would be to miss the point of being here. All we can do is surrender to the lesson and walk on.

Although surrender is the only way to endure the process, tools are handy. ‘Beyond the Safety of Trees’, is a tool. Use it like a spade. Through expressive writing, dig up what lies in your subconscious and explore how your wilderness experience is shaping you; even if you think you’ve walked through it. This guided journal contains 74 wilderness themed poems and 40 writing prompts to help readers navigate seasons of unexpected, and at times, unsettling change. Document your becoming, discover what lives deep in your heart and re-write your story. 

My wilderness came in the form of a story. A page was turned and I found that I had been killed off, written out of a narrative I was mistakenly told I belonged in. This made me question everything, including why I had spent most my life playing a part in my own life instead of holding the pen. Suddenly I could see, ‘Those who hold the pen hold the power’ and that is how I discovered that journaling isn’t just a way to offload negative emotion, but a life altering creative practice that requires us only to show up with honesty and embrace the process. 

And so, if you are found in an unfamiliar place, a desert of lost dreams, an ocean of grief, a hinterland of heartache, a city of uncertainties. It is my intention that the words and writing prompts in this book will bring a sense of empowerment and make you feel seen, understood, and celebrated. 

Guided journal
Guided journal
Dear Wild One, 
On the edge of a new beginning.
It’s time to undress.
For there is not place 
for high shoes and tall hats
where you are going.

You will need to be
light on your feet,
led by your heart,
alert in your gaze.

You must learn to love
not the day,
nor the night.
Both must become meaningless to you-
The moment is your prize.

For the wild wants 
to teach you joy,
independent of dreams fulfilled
free of your certainties,
despite what happened to you.
Guided Journal
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heart and soul Journaling News

3 Reasons Why Everybody Should Attend a Therapeutic Writing Retreat.

Last Friday, 9 women gathered in lovely Stroud NSW for the first ever ‘Write To Rise’ Therapeutic Writing Retreat. These women all came for varied reasons and left with something unexpected. As they worked both together and alone, they discovered the power of honest expressive writing and the clarity and life enhancement it brings.

‘Write to Rise’ is a program I wrote to not only introduce others to therapeutic writing but to showcase the role narrative plays in our lives. The takeaway, ‘to restore we must re-story’, how to do that is where the writing comes in. As I reflect on this day, for the purpose of both celebrating it and improving the program, I can see great reward in a retreat of this nature. Here are three reasons why I think everyone should consider attending a therapeutic writing retreat. 

Write To Rise Therapeutic Day Retreat
  • To step out of routine and reflect on life.

Most of us live full lives. Busting out of the daily 9-5 and taking time to reflect on what is working or not working, as well as focusing on the emotional or psychological blocks that prevent us from processing pain, fulfilling our potential, and finding the fulfillment we seek, is worth upsetting the routine.  As we write, prompted by points of view, questions, quotes or the sensory details we find in nature, we start to see patterns, and the steps we could take to move forward. Re-reading, reflecting and analyzing our work is an important step in therapeutic writing. Having time to do this makes retreating extremely valuable. 

  • To learn skills that will improve life and foster well being. Therapeutic writing is directed. It usually starts  with a prompt or exercise. Certain techniques foster certain outcomes. It is writing based around healing, development and growth and seeks to highlight what can be found in the moment as well as how to move forward. It is more purposeful than simply keeping a diary or dumping your stress, anger and anxiety onto the page. It is a way to practice self compassion, foster gratitude, solve problems, build strategy, nurture mind and spirit, enhance creativity and imagination, record  dreams and of course, process pain and loss. Retreating for me is not only  about leaving with a fuzzy feeling in your chest, but also with tools to take home and use when needed.
  • To make new connections and foster bonds.

Retreating gathers like-minded people. There is nothing like coming together with those interested in similar things, and walking through similar seasons. In the case of this writing retreat, (‘Write to Rise’)  all that gathered were processing hard things, keen to discover how to heal and the role that writing could take in that journey. There were tears, and by the end of the day, exhaustion. However, there were also multiple ‘aha’ moments and the discovery of truths (no matter how painfully liberating that may be). We wrote in musical silence, had some laughs over lunch, engaged in discussion and deep conversation. Some car pooled with friends, others bravely ventured on their own, but all had a seat in the open circle. How sweet it is to retreat with those who are committed to connection and consideration. 

Already I have had numerous people say that they would love to come to the next retreat (whenever that may be). That makes me extremely excited not only because I love coaching people and showing  how to use writing to heal and rise, but also because I believe in reflection, connection and the joy found in writing your own wild and beautiful story.

For news on upcoming retreats and to receive monthly progressive writing prompts sign up here. 

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heart and soul Poetry

5 comforting poems for the bereaved.

Poetry at best is a pomatum, prayer or protest. For me, the healing quality of the right words at the right time, has been the most restorative thing in my life. 

And so, with no need for a long intro, here are 5 poems that can be used as a light and liniment in times of sorrow. 

Death Is Nothing At All
Henry Scott-Holland

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

5 comforting poem for the bereaved.
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
5 comforting poems for the bereaved
Seasons Of Grief
Belinda Stotler 

Shall I wither and fall like an autumn leaf,
From this deep sorrow - from this painful grief?
How can I go on or find a way to be strong?
Will I ever again enjoy life's sweet song?

Sometimes a warm memory sheds light in the dark
And eases the pain like the song of a Meadow Lark.
Then it flits away on silent wings and I'm alone;
Hungering for more of the light it had shone.

Shall grief's bitter cold sadness consume me,
Like a winter storm on the vast angry sea?
How can I fill the void and deep desperate need
To replant my heart with hope's lovely seed?

Then I look at a photo of your playful smiling face
And for a moment I escape to a serene happy place;
Remembering the laughter and all you would do,
Cherishing the honest, caring, loving spirit of you.

Shall spring's cheerful flowers bring life anew
And allow me to forget the agony of missing you?
Will spring's burst of new life bring fresh hope
And teach my grieving soul how to cope?

Sometimes I'll read a treasured card you had given me
And each word's special meaning makes me see,
The precious gift of love I was fortunate to receive,
And I realize you'd never want to see me grieve.

Shall summer's warm brilliant sun bring new light,
And free my anguished mind of its terrible plight?
Will its gentle breezes chase grief's dark clouds away,
And show me a clear path towards a better day?

When I visit the grave where you lie in eternal peace,
I know that death and heaven brought you release;
I try to envision your joy on that shore across the sea,
And, until I join you, that'll have to be enough for me.

For all the remaining seasons of my life on earth,
There'll be days I'll miss your merriment and mirth,
And sometimes I'll sadly long for all the yesterdays;
Missing our chats and your gentle understanding ways.

Yet, the lessons of kindness and love you taught me,
And the good things in life you've helped me to see;
Linger as lasting gifts that comfort and will sustain,
Until I journey to that peaceful shore and see you again.
The healing Facts

Lauren Lott.

I know it seems impossible
But we can hold in our hearts
Peace and pain together.

We can feel the rain of sorrow
While wrapped in sheets of calm.

We can grace the depths of grief
Linked with relief, arm in arm.

We can ache while arching backward
Bathed in soothing sun.

We can feel the light in darkest night
And hope when death has come.
When Great Trees Fall
Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,

promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

For poetry and writing prompts to process pain and loss take a look at ‘The Remains of Burning’ Therapeutic journal.

Comforting poems