• being human,  writing

    Happy Happy 2020!

    New Year’s Eve and Day are excellent times to do reflective journaling and I find that specific prompts best help me to direct my thoughts. Here are three journal prompts you can use today to get 2020 off to a great start.

  • being human,  writing

    Year End Reflection Journaling

    Journaling is all about reflection: thinking about where you’ve been, where you’re going, what you’ve done well, what needs work, what you’ve learned, what you might continue to do, etc. And if you’re not a current journaler, a great time to get started is at year’s end. The benefits of journaling are endless. Here are just a few great reasons to start.  Ready to set your 2020 resolutions or intentions? That’s great, but research shows we’re more successful if we look back before forging ahead. On this almost last day of 2019, take stock of the current year before moving into 2020. Here are a few questions to consider on your look back. Journal about one or more of them. Is there anything you’d like to celebrate or acknowledge about the past year? What in 2019 are you most proud of? What setbacks occurred in the past year? How have those setbacks helped you grow? What did you learn? Did you have losses in the past year? How have you facilitated healing from those losses? What things did you do well in the past year and how did you grow from those experiences? Happy almost-2020! Here’s to appreciating where we’ve been because it’s the ultimate catalyst to…

  • being human,  writing

    Journaling to Heal

    Our lives are living processes; we are human processes as much as anything. The only certainty is change. I reflect today about how things were a year ago. 2017 and 2018 were extremely hard years, and my goodness, did I fully participate in them. I didn’t run. I didn’t hide. I faced the ugly and the pain. I deepened my embodiment practices and I journaled and cried and journaled and cried some more. I practiced yoga and gratitude (as much as I could), I got outside a lot. But the single most impactful thing that facilitated healing was my writing/journaling practice. Seeing it all on a page in black and white made me face it, understand it, and gave me the ability to work with and to change what needed changed. Fast forward to today, 2019 has been a pretty good year. I’m ready to give back again regularly. (I stopped teaching regularly just before my mom’s passing because it was just too much, too personal, too of my heart.) Well, I’m excited to say I was accepted last week into an amazing program through the Center for Journal Therapy, allowing me to deepen my own practice and teach this healing art to others: a…

  • being human,  writing

    Reflecting + Sharing the Gift of Journaling

    I’ve been thinking about life in general and the things I share here and on social media. Social media is definitely a ‘highlight reel’ but I try to be real and write about the things I’m going through; I try to honor the human-ness that connects us. My writing life was built around these topics; its the reason my website, soul fabric, was born. But, there’s a lot I don’t share too. I journal almost every day. I have for years, and I see how much sense I’m able to make of life in the process. Things that don’t make sense in my head come to life on a page. The next step in the evolution of my soul is facilitating these experiences for others. I’m learning more about therapeutic writing and am in the process of becoming a ‘Write Your Self’ Guide and a ‘Journal to the Self’ Facilitator. I’m also building an embodied journaling email course that will be released in early 2020. (Sign up link isat top of the home page). I am so excited to share these healing tools with others! Are you a journaler? Writer? Do you make sense of life through writing things down? Reflecting about the deeper meaning…

  • being human,  featured,  writing

    Keeping a Commonplace Book

    I have collected and filled notebooks for years, mostly recording things I was learning, other times journaling or Morning Pages. Beginning in my teens, I continued sporadically, and by my late twenties, I was deep into yoga and yogic philosophy, filling several notebooks with wisdom. I didn't know there was a name for what I was doing until a few years ago. I ran across the Bullet Journal concept which covered bits of it, but it didn't address all of the note-taking I had been doing for years. A Commonplace Book is the name given to small notebooks that house notes, learnings, anecdotes and more. I consistently keep a Commonplace Book with Bullet Journal elements so all of my stuff is tidy in one space. 

  • being human,  embodiment,  featured,  writing

    Embodied Writing

    How often are you in your head, and can you, instead, reside in your heart or gut, or even your feet? Embodiment, in its simplest sense, is being present and ‘in’ the sensations of the body on a moment-by-moment basis. Another simple definition I recently heard is “living life informed through the sense-experience of the body.” Most of us, unfortunately, are foreign to this idea and we are in our heads quite a lot. We are thinkers and doers and overachievers (me included), but learning to drop into the body actually provides us with more information, more choice, a fuller life, and gives the brain a much needed break. Often we are participating in life but not fully participating. Have you driven somewhere and realized that when you got to your destination, you couldn’t recall the drive? Or been in conversation but didn’t hear what the other person said? Were you thinking about what you’d say next? What about being somewhere and simply wishing you were someplace else? All of these situations point to a disembodied state. Head is primary. Body is someplace else entirely. Practicing mindfulness is one solution; practicing embodiment gives depth and richness to mindfulness. Depression and anxiety are head-space ailments. Though they…

  • being human,  featured,  writing

    Five Simple Tips to Make Writing an Everyday Priority

    Write first––and I do mean first. Write before email, tv, social media, a book––everything. Writing first gives us the opportunity to check in with ourselves. We are the most meditative early in the morning, before the day takes hold. Write first. All forms of writing count. Journaling, blogging, emailing, love notes, letters, writing articles for others. Any writing IS writing. Of course, you may set goals for yourself about the types of writing you want to accomplish each day, but all forms count as writing if you are counting the number of days in a row you write. Use ‘free form’ or ‘flow writing’ as your go to in stressful situations. When the mind won’t stop, write. Get it out. Set a timer for five, ten, fifteen minutes and just write whatever is on your mind. After spilling the contents of your mind, you may find it is easier to write about what you want to write about. Make writing a ritual. Pour a cup of tea. Light a candle. Use the same book and pen. Write from the same space each day. Eventually it will become a habit. Be gentle with yourself. Recognize that you will have distractions. You will be tempted to not…

  • being human,  featured,  writing

    The Benefits of Journal Writing

    Reflecting about your life is one of the most self-healing activities you can undertake, and probably the least expensive therapeutic avenue to healing available in our modern world. You need nothing more than pen and paper to journal, and you can do it literally anywhere. I can personally testify to the healing work that journaling has done in my life, and I realize after more than twenty years that it’s been the one mainstay in times of crises and change. Journaling saw me through my mom’s terminal illness and subsequent passing. The practice was a trusted ally on many darks nights of the soul. I also discovered some new things about myself throughout that time, all from putting pen to paper. But don’t take my word for it. There are hundreds of academic reviews that prove reflective writing is healing. Here are just a few of the effects therapeutic writing/journaling can have: lowered blood pressure reduced stress increased clarity a sense of calm more balanced emotions the ability to better find answers within instead of seeking help (though seeking help is NEVER ill-advised!) increased ability to learn and retain info strengthened immune system better overall health lowered anxiety and depression Interested in beginning a journaling…

  • being human,  featured,  writing

    Writing to Heal

    Life gives you plenty of material to write about. Whether mad, sad, full of joy, rage, curious, life is full of surprises and writing helps us make sense of the confusion. As I sit to write today, I feel regret … for how I behaved yesterday. While I have reason to feel angry and frustrated with a particular situation in my life, I unloaded on someone else. It wasn’t fair to her and I told her so today, but the feeling in my heart remains heavy. I feel shame for my actions and for discharging them through the spoken word. For me, writing and saying ‘I’m sorry’ are the only ways to move past them. One testament to daily journaling is to simply let it out. I can’t undo what I did, but I can not let it continue to affect me. I can also choose a new story for myself. That new story is that my past trauma and wounds are healing as I write this, that I am better for writing this and that today is a new day. Instead of drowning in doubt and fear, I choose empowerment, better words and better thoughts, the ones the make me a better me, ones…

  • being human,  featured,  writing

    The Art of Slow Writing

    In our digital age, we’ve moved from everything slow to everything fast; anything and everything we need we can get now: food, news, a new relationship, the delivery of goods (directly to our homes); you name it, you can have it immediately. We are changing as a race because of it. Our brains are adapting to the speed at which we can get everything, and I’m wondering if that speed is also creating a constant craving and setting us up for future failure. There have been studies of such things. You can read two articles here and here. Perhaps a slowing down is in order. Perhaps it will balance our nervous systems. Perhaps we’ll become kinder people when we slow down enough to pay attention to ourselves and others? Perhaps. As a yoga and embodiment educator, I’ve seen firsthand the effects of a slow conscious breath. I teach people these tools every day. And today, I want to introduce the concept of slow writing as another practice of embodiment. While I write here and other places professionally (on a keyboard), ‘slow writing’ has been a lifelong practice of mine. Simply put, ‘slow writing’ is putting pen to paper, writing by hand. I’ve kept a commonplace…