A friend, who is mourning the death of her daughter, told me she is using the meditation CD in the back of my book. It is helping her grieve. Another friend has suggested my book to someone going through post-traumatic stress syndrome. I am pleased that the Guide and CD are being used for divergent needs because they are about healing…healing from anything…healing for anything. I have called it Writing & Healing: A Mindful Guide for Cancer Survivors, because I am a cancer survivor and care deeply about helping other during and after treatment. But it is for everyone. Even those who simply want to be happier.
Recently I used it myself to see if I can learn to take better care of myself. I used the meditation CD and Self-Care exercises from Writing & Healing Session 6:
Listening to my voice on the CD almost put me to sleep—but I felt relaxed and ready to write from a place deeper and more still than I could access before.
The first exercise is to complete the following line:
“I reached out my hand and something was placed in my upturned palm. It was ___________ and I knew it meant…”
I wrote: I reached out my hand and a feather was placed in my upturned palm. I knew that it meant that I was to make myself lighter; to be more responsive to the way life blows us into hard things, into work, but also lifts us into fun and rest (if we let it). “Trust the wind,” it would have said if it had a voice. My cardinal-red feather.
I am a terrific Caretaker, but taking care of myself is unnatural to me. Self-Care is hard to do alone. There should be groups for it, like weight watchers with the points and the choices and victory or, too bad but try again. For Self-Care their could lists of be specific things to and not to do each day.
Self-Care goes against something deep in me. When I am really honest I think that resting will cost me time. Time for what? Time to get it all done.
What is it? Finish my two books waiting to be edited. Time to market my published book—but that feels like pouring my time into a bucket with holes in the bottom.
And then there are the grandchildren. That’s not a matter of time but of heart. Being with them is good for my heart. Their hearts. To rest instead of seeing them puts time over love.
Then, there is a voice that says, “If you don’t rest you might lose time forever? Does this voice speak because I have had cancer?
Cancer makes me remember that I have put together a whole session in my book on Self-Care. That’s what I need to do. Do the session with the meditation CD in my book, Writing and Healing: A Mindful Guide for Cancer Survivors. When I’m leading groups I am much more careful of myself.
I’m going to use the writing techniques from my book and see what I have to say next….
Writing takes something inside of you – a feeling, an idea, a memory- and gets it onto paper so that you can see it, read it, re-read it, show it, save it, and even add to it later. All of this instead of holding it inside yourself or letting your words drift off into the air. Writing gives words lasting form.
Here I am. The prettiest of them all. More wonderous than the leaves on my climbing vine, more colorful than the grass at my feet.
I haven’t always been like this. Once a tiny dark seed, I was just a promise of something glorious. And before that I was genetically engineered to be just the right mix of red and gold.
But here I am, and you’d think I’d be happy, but I’m bored. I want adventure and freedom from this vine and, well, I want exactly what I don’t have. Isn’t that normal? Who wants to be a glorious rose all the time? Leave a comment. What would you want to be? You could start..”I want to be…”
I am fast winds and fury today. I am ancient and I sit outside a monastic ruin far away. But now I’m a picture, too, so you can look at me. Tomorrow I will be something else. I might be in the rain and my trunk and branches will glisten. I will be majestic.
And then on another day…what do you think? Leave a comment.
I am a crystal pitcher holding white tulips. I am quite old, but the tulips in me were almost newborn a few days ago. Now, daily, they are faltering. They have gone from standing up straight to choosing their own falling down angle. I still find them lovely, but soon, because they get no fresh water, they will dry up. I wish I could help. If I had a voice I’d remind the lady who owns me to take better care of things. Herself included. I’d tell her…
Leave a comment. Finish the sentence
There was a tree at my Grandmother’s that reminds me of this one. It had a bench underneath and my granny said that was because it was a storytelling tree.
At first I thought the tree talked so I listened but only heard some crickets and the wind. Granny said, no, IT listened while you told it stories. In our case, Granny told the stories and the tree and I listened. Granny said that all good stories and words, make everyone feel better. Even a tree.
Do you make up stories? Give it a try. What would story you tell the tree?
When I practice following-the-breath and trying to “Still” my mind, I realize how many words there are shouting to get my attention. Everything from “Have you paid that important tax bill?” to “Should I have chicken for dinner? Or should it be a veggier burger ? Maybe fish?”
Speaking of fish….
Have you noticed the clear and loving attention a baby gives to things. One fascinating thing at a time… What would we have to do to have this?
What do you do? Leave a comment..
It’s officially summer; the heat is high and heavy. I think of all the ways people responded to this sort of heat before air conditioning. They hung signs on shop doors “Gone Fishing”; pulled down shades and took naps; gathered on porches to fan themselves, talk and drink iced tea.
Now, we have outdoor heat alerts. But indoors if there is air conditioning, we are working, working, working. Maybe we need to pay attention to the weather; remember the rhythms of nature and how they helped us to slow down. I saw a wide patch of flowers this morning and they looked so soft I wanted to lie down in the midst of them. My eyes overlooked the weeds and paid attention to their feather-like blossoms. It made me want to be lazy- something I never am. Once I started writing this, the moment I wrote the word “lazy” I knew I’d try it out. Being lazy for the rest of the day. We move so fast; push ourselves so hard; worry about not enough time. If we rest, there will be more time.