If you have opened this link,
know that you are loved beyond belief.
May you be infused with the Light of Possibility.
Keep the fire burning inside of you and disconnect
from anything that attempts to blow it out.
Remember, where there is smoke there is heat waiting to ignite so
be patient with yourself and others.
Get still, get quiet, and write about your experience.
It can save your life.
With Love, Shawn
My election watch party happened in my back yard in front of the fire. It ended at two in the morning when the air around me began to shift. It was cold, it was dark, and I was alone. But when I woke up, I knew that the fire had kept me. There weren't any emotional outburst and because I hadn't watched any of the election coverage the night before, I chose not to turn the television on. Quiet yet somber, all I could think about were my children and other children who had to wake up too.

Then, I saw a post from a friend who happens to be school teacher. She went to work, gathered her students and had them to write about their feelings. She told them never mind about any grammatical errors or language that they chose to use. She just wanted them to write and to get it up and to get it out! I smiled knowing these kids were in good hands.

The Magical World of Writing

There is a secret world of writing that you didn’t learn about in school. It is a world filled with incredible insights and magical powers that can transform your life! Whether you are traveling the high tides of life seeking more inspiration, traveling the dark night of the soul seeking light at the end of the tunnel, or whether you are being pulled by a legacy you wish to leave behind, writing can be your ticket.

Life is a trip either way you look at it, but be inspired! Buckle up and grab a pen and some paper. Your heart was meant to travel this world!

Most of us learned to write in school. We were taught penmanship and cursive writing. We learned techniques to make our letters perfect and how to stay on the line. And regardless of whether we liked it or not, writing was a way of life. We wrote until our hands hurt! Every idea, assignment, term paper, revision, and letter were all written by hand.

You might be surprised to know that many schools have stopped teaching the art of writing. It’s sad that entire generations won't be able to read the history found in all those papers and letters that we’ve left behind. It’s also sad, that while we learned to go through the motions of writing, we never learned about the benefits of writing.
Writing Heals
As a child survivor of sexual abuse, I have come close to death. I understand how traumatic experiences can leave imprints that follow you like pieces of luggage. More than an instrument of healing, writing is as close to me as the air that I breathe - it is a source of life. I write to live!

Talking through a traumatic experience can be a way to ease emotional pain, but research shows that expressing those emotions in words can help to speed up the healing process. From his book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel van der Kolk, MD, “Writing is one of the most effective ways to access an inner world of feelings that is the key to recovering from genuine trauma and everyday stress alike.”

When you’ve been hurt, it is normal to have a myriad of feelings including anger, guilt, shame, hopelessness, betrayal, anxiety, or fear. Though these feelings can often hide behind the mask of your smile, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, maybe they are being suppressed.

Suppressing your feelings can lead to other problems including dis-ease in your body or depression. It can cause you to form the habitual tendency to lie to yourself and others about how you really feel. Unresolved, suppression could place you at risk of projecting these feelings onto other people, new relationships, or even feed repeat experiences.

While writing about emotional turmoil is not for everyone, it can be a beneficial tool in the healing process. Learning to express the truth of how you feel in words and being honest with yourself will not only set you free, but it will bring you back into alignment with your source of power.

Writing Inspires
While history is being made around the world, shifts are requiring us to examine our internal landscapes with tough questions that are causing great turmoil in our environment, governing systems, communities, and within ourselves. Being a source of light during this period can be exhausting, but writing can help you access and connect with this powerful energy.

In her classic, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume introduces us to an 11 year girl who experiences puberty and the growing pains of life after being forced to move to a new city away from her family and friends. On a quest for answers and too embarrassed to take them to the adults around her, Margaret takes her very private and awkward questions to God.

Got milk? Got questions? Children are great teachers. Be inspired by Margaret. As a result of reading her story, many of my journals, then and now, begin with Dear God. Finding a prompt that resonates with you can serve as an exercise in the art of journaling toward your enlightenment! Take advantage of this free service that you can give to yourself.

In his Huffington Post blog, Thai Nguyen shared a list of 10 benefits of journaling:
Stretching Your IQ
Evoking Mindfulness
Achieving Goals
Emotional Intelligence
Boosting Memory and Comprehension
Strengthen Your Self-Discipline
Improve Communication Skills
Spark Your Creativity
Writing Transforms
When my 18 year old son was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a few months ago, my heart was broken. His diagnosis came the same week his twin sister was moving into her college dorm. While writing has always been therapy for me, there are some experiences that are not easy for me to talk about or to write about. This was one of them! However, the load that I was carrying was so heavy that I just wanted to drop it in the hands of something greater than myself. So, I wrote about my experience in a blog. It transformed my experience.

Staying in the spiritual fire until it cooks you as Rumi suggests will undoubtedly transform your life. Your new life will cost you your old one. Michael Bernard Beckwith explained that the dark night of the soul is that transition between the old you and the new you when "Pain Pushes Until the Vision Pulls".

The mythological bird, the phoenix, sat in this dark night! Its story symbolizes the resiliency of life after death. It can help remind you that regardless of how lonely or excruciating your experience may be, you have the power to rise from the ashes. Because just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it became a butterfly.

This year may not been have been a cake walk for you either. In life, there are highs and there are lows. Learn to ride them all! Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Let the wonder working power of writing guide you to your transformation, awakening, and renewal!
Writing Moves the World

When my daughter called me a few weeks ago from her dorm to tell me that she was going to hear Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton speak at an area college, I could feel the excitement in her voice. But when she told me that she was going to write one of them a hand written letter, she could feel the excitement in mine! I cheered her on and said, "Yes! And don't forget to tell them about the With Love Movement!" Well, not only did she get to experience history by also becoming part of a Washington Post video, she got to put a letter in their hands too. Yep, a letter!

"Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

In 2010 the people of Haiti had just experienced a devastating earthquake. Much like the hurricane that ravished the country this year, I could feel the pain in the eyes and in the tears of the men, women, and children who had lost everything. My heart went out to each of them. I wanted to give more than just a monetary gift. I wanted to give a gift from the heart. I wanted to let them know that I cared and I could feel their pain. I wanted to lift their spirits. I wanted to reach out and send each of them a letter signed- with love!

I later sent an email to my family and friends and shared with them that while the commercialization of the season was near, I reminded them of a gift that didn't cost a thing. It was a gift that kept on giving- the gift of a written letter. The With Love Movement – an annual world day of healing through letter writing was born. In four years over 10,000 people in over 45 countries have joined this global movement!

I never imagined traveling would be like this. One day I will travel the world, but today I am traveling with my heart, with love.

Photo credit Jeane LaRance   


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