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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.
Categories
Journaling heart and soul 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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Journaling Therapeutic Writing Prompts

7 June journal prompts to finish the year strong.

Journaling can be used for both reflection and projection. It can help us remember where we have been, what decisions we have made, why we made those decisions, how we have coped with challenges and what we have learnt from our recent experiences. It can reveal how we really feel, what we really want and the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving our desires. 

Although we can not control every aspect of our lives, these June journal prompts are crafted to help you be responsible for what you can control, navigate your next steps well and finish the year strong. 

What has been the thing you have enjoyed most so far this year?

Don’t think too hard about this one. It could be your job, your hobby, a new or old friendship, an event or vacation, a spiritual practice or a simple delight found  in your everyday life. This prompt helps point to not only the pleasure experienced, but also to the plan you should consider. What is life for if not to be enjoyed. To finish the year strong you will need to pack it with good times, the things that amuse you.

What goals did you set this year? How would you say that you are progressing with them?

You may want to resist this question. But don’t. It may cause you to feel guilt, shame or disappointment, but remember there is no room to judge your emotions on the page. Simply write out the goals you set and then without excuse assess if you are progressing towards achieving them. It’s a simple yes or no. If the answer is no, be brave enough to look deeper into why you have not made any ground. If your goals have changed, you may like to set another set of goals to be achieved by the end of the year. 

What does success mean to you?

I love this question. I love it because it allows us to define success rather than have it defined for us. It is important that your goals reflect what success means to you. Is success financial gain? Is it being praised by your peers? Is it spiritual growth? Is it community impact? Is it healthy relationships? Is it freedom to do whatever you want? Answering this question will help you move through the lessons you need to learn and towards your true north.

Write a few lines about each of the following areas of your life. Note the things you are proud of and the things you would like to change. 

Health. This includes your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. 

Relationships. This includes, romantic relationships, friendships, work relationships and other family connections.

Finances. This includes paying off debt, budgeting, investments, and your attitude towards money.

Creativity. This includes following your curiosities, solving problems, improving your craft and being inspired. 

Soul. This includes finding alignment, self-love, peace of mind, connecting to a higher power and being content. 

What area of your life do you feel needs the most focus in the coming months?

After answering question 4 you will be able to see what area of your life needs the most focus in the coming months. Write down a few ways you will do this. Remember it’s all about time and action. Select the time you will set aside to focus on this area and the action you will take within that time frame.

Imagine it is New Year’s Eve 2022. What do you want to be able to say about this year?

In light of the fact that we are still living in a pandemic and there are lots of concerning things going on in the world, many would answer this question with two words, ‘I survived.’ Although this answer is valad, think of something you would like to say that is in your control and would put a smile on your face,

Again, imagine it is New Year’s Eve 2022. What do you want to be able to say about yourself?

In essence this question is asking, ‘What could you do that would make you feel proud?’ The best way to answer it is to write out the kind of person you want to be and then take a look at the things you can practically do to cultivate personal growth. Do you want to overcome a fear? Improve your communication skills? Become more loving? Increase your capacity? Give more to others? Write down what you would like to say about yourself.

If you enjoyed these journal prompts and you would like to further engage in writing for therapeutic purposes, consider booking a ‘Write to Rise’ session with me, or taking a closer look at ‘The Remains of Burning Therapeutic Journal’ poetry and writing prompts for processing pain and loss. Available from bookshops.

Categories
life lessons heart and soul

5 expansive thoughts to lift your life.

A wrote a micro poem last year. It’s called ‘the memoir of stars.’ It goes like this.

‘Tell the story that makes you glow, freedom is in the mind you know.’ 

I scribbled it down after reflecting on a time that I had lost my glow. You know what I mean when I say ‘glow”? It’s hard to explain, but I guess you could say that it is a radiance that comes as a result of being free. 

Although there were certain pain points in my life at the time, the loss of glow wasn’t because of my circumstances. Jadedness dawns in the mind. My lack of enthusiasm began with constrained thinking. Thoughts like, ‘Things will never change.’ ‘I am inadequate.’ ‘Life is not fair’.

Things became, well, a bit tedious. Hoping for more seemed selfish, yet what I had was clearly  being unutilized. What I needed was a new way of perceiving what is possible. Instead of entertaining doldrums, I needed to tell myself a different narrative; to enter the world through a different door. 

Expansive thinking moves us beyond ourselves and allows us to enter the realm of possibility. It is a marriage between the real and imagined. There are a fistful of thoughts that bring what’s possibly good, true and beautiful to the forefront. Meditating on them increases joy and wonderment. Believing these thoughts will cultivate a new sense of freedom in your life.

Expansive Thoughts to life your life.

1. I don’t always get what I want, but I have what I need. 

This thought helps me to pull my focus from what I do not have. When lack is loud. When shortcomings shout. When loss is illuminated from every angle of the mind, this thought provides space to breathe by moving the focus from what is perceived to be missing, to what is presently good. When I think, ‘I don’t have a million dollars’, concentrating on need says, ‘Oh, but look, I have shoes.’ Opportunity to grow and gain the things I want will come when I make the best of what I have.

2. The world is beautiful.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the noise, to be entangled by bad news, the horror of tragedy and the faff of gossip. Yes, the world needs our love, our fight and our focus.  However, believing that the world is beautiful helps to hold off fear and to appreciate being here. Instead of saying to yourself, ‘it’s dog eat dog’ or ‘nothing ever goes my way’, look at the brilliance that is your life, the miracle of your existence and allow the creativity of the natural world to inspire. 

3. Every end is a beginning.

Straight up, this thought doesn’t make moving on easy. It stings if said too soon; it is an agony if contemplated before the grieving process is fully engaged. But after years, or when the clouds have cleared, these are the words that put to rest real disappointment and regret. This thought allows imagination to take flight, and prompts us to remember that there is a story after the story; a party after the show. And after every ending, there is something new.

4. I am not my feelings.

On days when I feel overcome with emotion. When I am overwhelmed with feeling underwhelmed. When I sense inner tension, feel trapped or slightly terrified, it’s helpful to  know that my emotions do not prove who I am. They are neither good nor bad and only exist to be felt and processed. They are separate from spirit (the real me). This thought cuts me free from beliefs such as, ‘to feel good, is to be  good’. Or ‘to feel beautiful, is to be beautiful. Or ‘to feel worthy, is to be worthy’. 

5. I am guided by love.

Easily mistaken from being a little woo woo, there is no doubt, this thought has been the most freeing of all. Believing I am loved, that I can align with love and that loving others is really the reason I am here has certainly liberated me. Love is life-affirming. To give and receive it is a source of satisfaction. When my glow starts to fade, love turns up all the lights. Sure, hard things, bad things, sad things are possible, but love always always always leads me on. 

(‘The memoir of stars’ is from ‘A Strong and Fragile Thing‘, musings in reflection of the wisdom and wonder found in the natural world. Available from Amazon and bookstores world wide.)

Categories
life lessons heart and soul

How to have an ‘at home soul retreat’.

Recently I found myself yearning for rest. However, March for me is the month when things start to ramp up and getting away is harder than ever. How does one switch off when the season demands one to switch it up a notch?  

For me, the answer is to schedule an ‘at home soul retreat’. With a little planning, refreshment can be found right where I live, because retreating is not about time (how long) or place (whereabouts) it is about intention.

Now, I know everyone’s living situation is different. For some, home is an unsettling place. If you are caring for someone with high needs or live in shared housing, I acknowledge, it’s complicated, and finding space is extra difficult. Not being in your position, I don’t have all the answers, only a few suggestions that could work if you mould them to your own circumstances. 

I know sometimes, retreating doesn’t seem worth the hassle; for those who have considerable responsibilities withdrawing takes work. Don’t let the planning needed to retreat discourage you from it. If there is one thing I have learnt this side of my own ‘at home soul retreat’ it is that it is thoroughly worthwhile.

So, what is a soul retreat? Seems a stupid question, as the answer is in the name, but the word ‘soul’, being a little mysterious, probability needs to be explained. Defining the soul is difficult and it seems every second charlie has a different definition for the soul, so let me clarify what I mean. When I say soul, I am referring to the mind, the will and the emotions. A soul retreat is simply finding space to clear the mind, rest the will and process emotions; it’s about nourishing the inner-self.

Once I have decided when I will begin and how long my retreat will last (it could be hours, days or weeks), I prepare by considering what I expect from retreating ahead of time. Much like I would pack my bag for a get away, I gather all I need for my retreat beforehand. This might include deciding on some reading material, creating a relaxing playlist, planning what nature walks I want to do, booking a massage or preparing meals so I don’t have to think about cooking. 

For me, learning to retreat without leaving home has helped me to consistently show up and fulfil commitments. I do this by using free-time in a way that is intentionally geared towards soul health. I also shuffle my work and responsibilities into three working days, leaving two days (in school hours) to retreat from time to time. I could not do this every week, nor is there a need to as retreating every six to eight weeks works for me.

Essentially a soul retreat is about following the soul and giving it what it needs. Your soul retreat will be as unique as you are. For me, a soul retreat involves deep thinking, journaling, reading, napping, being exposed to beauty and creativity, walks by the water, and time spent in stillness. You can include whatever makes you feel alive; from base jumping to baking, it’s up to you. However, it’s important to remember that a soul retreat isn’t just about having a good time; it’s about affirming positive thought, processing painful emotion, and allowing yourself space to dream a little. 

Normally I do not feel the benefits of retreating straight away, in fact, retreating can feel exhaustingly wasteful. However, about 5 days after I’ve retreated, I experience an  increase in focus and  creative energy. This I’m sure, will be different for you, as we all seem to respond to rest and refuel differently. 

The purpose of a soul retreat is to nourish the soul. This is important because neglect at a soul level affects not only our health but also our relationships, our overall well being and outlook on life. If you are weary, lack creative clout, feel jaded, or overwhelmed by a never ending cycle of busyness, a soul retreat may be what you need. There are curiosities to chase, dreams to journal, healing to heed, hope to surrender to, if only you’d stop for a moment to mine the soul. 

Categories
life lessons Journaling

8 ways you can support yourself through pain and loss.

Firstly, let me  say, I am a certified therapeutic writing coach, not a therapist.  As a therapeutic writing coach I am unable to diagnose or work in depth with psychological or emotional health concerns. I focus on helping others improve their lives through the practice of therapeutic writing. The eight ways you can support yourself through pain and loss discussed in this blog post have been curated through study, research and personal experience. 

We often seek to know how we can support those in our lives who are going through hard times. However, learning how to support ourselves is just as important. Care from our loved ones can do wonders, but real progress happens when we show up for ourselves, take time to grieve and do the brave work needed to heal.

Once I realised that I was the one I was waiting for, I felt empowered to create my own healing plan. This looked like extended time spent in nature, journaling, counselling, nurturing my creativity, time with trusted friends, contemplative prayer and reading, water and exercise.

I also became mindful of my surroundings, was careful to not judge my emotions, became selective in who I took advice from, was open to receiving practical help when I needed it and cried a lot.

None of these things provided a quick fix. We all know healing doesn’t work like that. I don’t think I’ll ever be done with the restorative process, simply because we live in an imperfect world. In saying that, it is clear that learning how to support ourselves through pain and loss is vital to become our true best. And it all starts with being present.

Be present.

Although distracting ourselves from pain is tempting, we need to be present to it. This means turning towards it and gradually moving closer, step by step, till eventually we are able to enter into it. The only way to move beyond it, is the walk through it. There is no road around, no tunnel under, no way above – only through. We must feel it, before we can be free of it. 

Cultivate your surroundings.

Our surroundings can assist the healing process. Good surroundings make us feel safe and calm. Beautiful sights, sounds and scents can create spaces that nurture and care for our body, soul and mind. Being intentional about what we watch and listen to is beneficial not only to our mental health but also to our physical and emotional well being. For me, this looks like purposely putting myself in the path of beauty. Propping my camping chair beside the lake and watching the sun go down, filling my house with flowers and plants, listening to orchestral music while walking beachside, and being attentive to the wonders happening in my own garden are all ways I seek to bring more beauty into my life.

Validate your experience.

When processing pain it’s hard not to judge how we feel. This is because we have learnt that certain emotions are bad, and to feel them makes us bad too. While some emotions do have a negative effect on us and those around us, to feel negative emotions is to be human. It is important to know that feeling an emotion and acting upon it are two different things. Whether it is shame, anger, frustration, guilt, resentment, sadness or jealousy it must be felt, noted and validated through nurture and understanding without condemnation. 

Write and reframe your personal narrative.

Journaling has been imperative in my healing journey. Numerous studies have proven the value of therapeutic writing. Research shows it strengthens mental, emotional, and physical health, by reducing stress, regulating emotions, boosting memory and improving overall wellbeing. Writing through pain is a way to not only dump negative emotion but also to reframe personal narrative through observing unhelpful beliefs and lies. For those seeking a guided journaling experience, ‘The Remains of Burning’ poetry and writing prompts to process pain and loss, is a tool I created to assist healing through journaling.

Avoid advice.

Obviously when I say avoid advice, I mean that we can limit the amount of people we give permission to speak into our lives. Accommodating a myriad of opinions about what happened to us, how we should feel and what we can do next can be exhausting. It is wise to shut out some voices and prioritise others. Having a few trusted confidants versus listening to anyone and everyone helps us  to feel safe and prevents the unnecessary triggering of pain.

Ask for help.

Pain and loss do not only have an effect on our physical, emotional and physiological state. They can also change our social connections, relationships, financial circumstances  and future goals. Asking for practical help while you deal with the fall out is okay. Maybe there is someone who can provide child or domestic support. We can support ourselves by asking for what we need.

Seek professional guidance.

Seeing a psychologist, therapist or counsellor is commendable. Although it is important to know the right help may not always be convenient. Finding a professional suited to address your concerns can take some time and adjustment. When it comes to pain and loss, it may be beneficial to seek a therapist and counsellor who  specialises in grief and trauma. The important thing to remember is if the therapist is not the right fit for you it does not mean you are at fault. 

Intentionally increase care and nourishment.

Basically, spoil yourself. Create extra time for the things you like. Buy expensive bath bombs. Go for that massage. Take a nap. Order in food. Do what makes you feel beautiful. Reduce your schedule. Make more room for what you find fun. It is okay to say no to things you once did that you now find stressful. Do not feel guilty for giving yourself the time, attention and support you need.

Categories
Journaling life lessons Therapeutic Writing Prompts

5 Journaling prompts to help find your sweet spot.

In my most recent newsletter I shared that my first journal is just weeks away from being published. I told subscribers that in creating the journal I found my sweet spot: the marriage between what I love to do and helping others.

The sweet spot

In the newsletter I also included a few journal  prompts to help subscribers  find their sweet spot. Today I’d like to unpack these questions. So lean in lovelies, we are about to take a deep dive into the honeyed core of who you are and take a look ( if only a glance) at your very significant purpose.

1. Who are you a tad jealous of?

All my life I’ve been told that jealousy is a sin. What I was not told is that jealousy is a useful way to figure out what is in your heart.  You see, when we are jealous it is for a REASON. Usually we want to succeed in the field another is succeeding in.  Feelings of envy are in essence, nothing more than a sign that says – YOU ARE IN THE VICINITY OF YOUR PURPOSE. Think of it this way, those whom you are jealous of are doing one thing – holding up a mirror. That’s right, jealousy does not have to be about creating idols, being resentful, holding grudges or becoming bitter. Although jealousy, if left to itself, can produce these unpleasant thoughts and emotions, when harnessed, it  becomes an indication of what you want to do with your life.

2. What does a perfect day look like to you?

For many of us the answer to this question would include the people and things we love. However, when I say ‘what does a perfect day look like to you’ I’m talking about rhythm and routine . Is your perfect day fast paced, energy fueled, with your fingers in lots of pies? Maybe your perfect day looks like  being alone with time to focus and produce deep work. Do you like the surety of a fixed schedule or are you better pleased with a day that is flexible and full of variety? Your sweet spot is not just about what you do, but also, the way you do it. 

3. What energises you?

The meaning of the words introvert and extrovert are often mistaken for being associated with personality. In truth, these two words refer to where energy is sourced. Do you gain energy from solace or from interaction? From inward reflection or activity? If you are introverted you will feel refreshed by contemplation and drained by things external to you. If you are extroverted you will feel refueled when you are around people and drained by a lack of interaction. I am introverted. That means time alone revives me. What it does not mean is that I am shy or I don’t like people or I’m fearful of public speaking. In turn, extroverts are not always the life of the party and do not always have a ‘bubbly personality’. Knowing how you are energised will help you find your sweet spot.

4. What kinds of conversations do you lean into?

Imagine you are sitting in a cafe. At the table beside you are two people in deep conversation. You can hear what they are saying. You have two options. Tune them out and focus your attention on something else or lean in and indulge in their exchange. What topic(s) would they be discussing for you to want a seat at their table. What  are you insanely curious about? What are you intrigued by? What do you often find yourself googling? What are you hungry to learn about? The sweet spot is not a place in which we arrive, but a road we journey. Your sweet spot will leave you room to breathe, grow, and become.

5. Who do you empathise with the most?

It’s true that not everyone notices who you notice. Who you see is often largely dependent  on your own experiences. It’s likely that you have wisdom and insight into how to serve certain people because simply put, you’ve been there. So, Who can you relate to? What have you been through that you hope others won’t have to? How can you use the things that have hurt you to help others? Maybe you have a heart for people of a particular race or culture. Maybe the people you wish to help all have the same kinds of struggles or are in a similar season in life. Your sweet spot will be a place of impact, a place of healing, a place that benefits others as well as yourself.

Now it’s your turn, finish these sentences:-

  1. I’m a tad jealous of…
  2. My perfect day looks like…
  3. I am energised by…
  4. I lean into conversations about…
  5. I empathise most with people who…

From here, you are well on your way to figuring out what you want to put out into the world, how you will go about doing it and who it will help the most. Sweet as honey, delicious as pie!

Great News! You too can become a LOVE-Mail subscriber and receive inspirational words and writing prompts like these on the regular. That’s right, my monthly newsletter is jam-packed full of lots to think about. Sign up today and receive my FREE beautifully illustrated digital chapbook, ‘Never Far’, poetry about peace.

Categories
Poetry

Tattoo inspiration: 10 meaningful poetry verses.

Tattoo’s have long been used as a way for people to express themselves. They can speak of our personal narrative and help us to identify each other. They are used to remind ourselves and others of our cultural or spiritual traditions and values.

However, sometimes it is hard to find exactly the right words. Finding a verse that is appropriate and void of cliche is not easy. Need tattoo inspiration? Here are 10 suggestions that are simple, poetic and meaningful.

  1. Forgiveness is the fairest of them all.

There is nothing more liberating than forgiveness. This verse celebrates the beauty and strength found in the lives of those who take the steps to emancipate themselves through forgiveness. It is a statement that cements what is valued above all else – personal freedom.

2. Not a day is wasted when love is at work.

This verse is for those who truly believe that love is the answer. Forget ticking off a ‘to do’ list or achieving world domination, loving others is where it’s at. Spending our days (our lives) with love as the focus, is the only way to abundant living. If you believe it, these 10 little words are for you.

3. All the wild is yours.

These words remind us that adventure awaits. If you believe the earth is a bounty of discovery and the wild is not to be feared this little verse will suit you perfectly.

4. Something magnificent is going on.

Here are 5 buoyant words for those who love to be positive. A reminder to always be on the lookout for wonder and to believe in the bigger picture, it is a celebration of trust, beauty and goodness.

5. The storm is a drumroll for the sunshine.

Though the tempest rage and all seems lost, the thunder is nothing more than an announcement that ‘better days are coming’. It is a stanza of hope that again you will feel the warmth of love and experience the brightness of joy.

6. Pain is the hand that holds the lantern.

Pain illuminates. This verse is a great reminder that pain shines a light on all that is true. It is a hopeful sentence that emphasizes the good found in difficult times.

7. Tears are the prelude.

Tears not only mark the end but also the beginning of beautiful new seasons. They are water for unseen seed within our hearts. These 4 powerful words are a reminder that we fall only to rise up stronger.

8. I cannot hold what wants to run. What is mine is free to come.

This micro poem is a statement of confidence and trust. For those who do not believe in forcing anything, but instead allow all that is true to find its way to you, these words say it perfectly.

9. Surrender is the only way I know how to be strong.

Surrender, releasing control, and letting life flow is an act of courage and a sign of strength. These words are a statement of freedom and faith.

10. Love is always up to something.

Love is the last one standing! If you believe that love can heal the past, change the present, and shape the future then this tattoo design is for you. An acknowledgement of the power and possibility found in letting love take over, these words are perfect for the one who is ready to surrender everything to love.

All these verses are taken from my first poetry collection, ‘The Remains of Burning’. Available worldwide from all good book stores.

Categories
Journaling life lessons

Why you should absolutely journal your dreams.

On the night of the 10th of January, as I laid my head on my pillow, I thought about a family predicament. Once again, we had to move. 

Finding a rental in a certain high school catchment area is really tricky. Good houses don’t come up often and when they do, they can be pretty pricey. I was worried, yet also watchful. Past experience told me that the most unexpected things can happen at the last minute – in a good way. One moment I think we’ll have to bunk in with my parents, or live in a caravan park, and the next, a house is offered to us. 

That night as I slept, I dreamt. (I dream a lot, well at least two or three times a week.) In my dream I saw a math equation, 25+13=38. Random? Yes, but as I woke I got the impression that it had something to do with our next house. I told my husband. He didn’t make a big deal of it. After all, it was ‘just a dream’. 

A month passed to the exact day, and well, you guessed it. We are moving to number 38. 

Some of you are not shocked. This kind of thing happens to you too. Like me, your dreams come true. Others of you think it’s a coincidence, but what are the odds really? Maybe you wish this would happen to you. Maybe you would like a few dreams to hold onto.

In November 2019, I had another dream. In it I saw things being delivered to my door. Packages wrapped in brown paper were piled high on the front patio. When I woke I wrote it down. The dream was so vivid, I had a feeling it might mean something. 

The following January, Covid 19 hit Australia. In February my husband (the main breadwinner) lost his job, and by March we were experiencing our first lockdown. Like many others, things looked dire for us.  

Slowly, objects started to turn up on the doorstep. First, a box of chocolates. Next, a stack of books. Thirdly, bread and milk, followed by an expensive designer jacket, a dyson vacuum cleaner, toilet paper, wine and cheese. We were literally living my dream. 

With the help of many earth angels (kind people) both known and unknown, we scraped through; we found our knees and then our feet, but it was my dream that helped to ease the tension. 

Why you should absolutely journal your dreams
journal your dreams

Dreams have long been associated with insight, solving problems, creativity and finding clarity. (Did you know author Stephanie Myer first dreamt the premise for her uncommonly successful novel ‘Twilight’.) I don’t know how it works. Some say it’s physiological, others deem it to be spiritual. Personally I think it’s a bit of both. Likewise, I don’t know how the telly works, but I use it, I believe in it. And I believe average Joe Blows’ and Plain Janes’ like me can be comforted and directed by dreams.

For this reason, journaling dreams is powerful. We gain a new perspective around issues that concern us and can become more in tune and at peace. Recording dreams can assist us to make decisions and explore meaning.

When I journal my dreams, firstly I write down what happened in the dream. Next, I identify how I felt in the dream and whether those feelings linger after I wake. It’s important to record even the smallest detail because those seemingly irrelevant things may add layers of meaning to the dream. For example, I once dreamt about a tree bursting with pink flowers. I had the same dream three nights in a row. I got the impression that the colour of the flowers represented ‘love/relationship’. Without this small detail of colour, the dream’s meaning would be lost. 

Dreams don’t have to be profound; mundane dreams can reveal more than we first assume. And of course, there are dreams that do mean nothing. I have dreamt about things that haven’t come true. Not all dreams become evident in real life.

And so, I encourage you to write down rather than right off your dreams. You could be onto something.

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life lessons Books

Thoughts on Thankfulness.

The pandemic has changed a lot, namely, me. Two days ago I went to sleep thinking how lucky I was to cook dinner every night for my family. Prior to 2020 it was a task I complained about a lot. Now it seems this chore has turned into something I feel privileged to do. That’s the thing about thankfulness, it turns inconvenience into honour. And so to celebrate thankfulness, I thought I’d share  6 of my most favourite quotes about thankfulness. I hope these words inspire you to see what you have and say thank you to those you really appreciate. 

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.

Albert Schweitzer.

I wanted to share this quote first because most of us can relate to having been stuck in a place where our inner light, our spark, our zest for living has seemingly vanished. Certain ones, friends, family maybe, nurtured us, sat with us in the pit of our despair, tried to understand and did not judge our pain as merely melancholy. They stood when many sat down on their hands and did nothing. They validated our hurt and told us we weren’t crazy for feeling. They passed on light and rekindled our own. I am thankful for the ones who remained when my flame was snatched, and sat with me  among cooling coals until I saw the value of ashes and my sparked again.

Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.

Marcus Aurelius

Wise words if there were any! Think of one thing you have. Think of what it would be like not to have it. Many of us immediately feel a sense of reverence, humility even and can do nothing more but whisper or shout a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to the sky. When I am awake to the beauty and abundance around me, wanting turns to thanking every time. This is how I feel when I’m near the ocean. Its expanse somehow makes me see how privileged I am to be alive, to be here.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

 L. M. Montgomery

Beautiful words from an illustrious writer. This quote makes me breathe deeply and exhale with a dreamy sign. The natural world is so beautiful and being thankful for the wonder and awe of seasons, landscapes, seaways, and all the weird and wild expressions of nature, makes life so much more enjoyable. Not only does thankfulness for the earth make life more pleasant, it also compels us to want to care and preserve the part of the world in which we live. Our native flora and fauna need us to care and care is created through thankfulness.

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

William Blake

A poet never lies and William Blake is no exception. A grateful heart knows no poverty. Thankfulness allows us to see what we receive as a harvest. There are no small wins, no tiny miracles, no little offerings. There is only ever a reaping. Imagine if everyone on earth had the perception that there was no such thing as a morsel; there was only plenty. Greed would not exist and every heart would be joyous. 

Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.

Thomas Goodwin

In this quote, Goodwin states that when we receive things that are ‘won with prayer’ meaning what we can not gain by our good efforts or buy for ourselves, it is as sweet as anything received with thankfulness. Being grateful brings a kind of relief, an ease, a sense of peace. Most of the time, when I think I need more things, really all I need is more thankfulness.

Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.

Harry A. Ironside

Thankful people are happy people. They are resourceful, hopeful and creative. I  love this quote because it doesn’t just talk of the disease, it also offers the cure. If you are discontent, thankfulness is your ‘get out of jail free card’. Start with being truly attentive to all the ways goodness turns up in your life, be thankful and watch disgruntlement slip out the side door of your soul.