How writing can help the healing process

How writing can help the healing process

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ~Anne Frank

Recently, a dear friend of ours lost their little baby just a few days after her birth. In spite of a healthy pregnancy, the baby had suffered severe brain damage. She was kept under treatment in possibly the best neo-natal intensive care unit in the country, yet ironically her recovery was beyond the finest team of doctors. The family had been distraught to learn that she will not survive.

During this traumatic period, the parents had resorted to penning down their thoughts, which they subsequently shared with us. It was heart wrenching to read their account of emotions as they helplessly saw their little daughter dying in their arms. A life event of this nature can be extremely painful to deal with and their agony only unfathomable. Yet, it was heartening to know of their strength to express the flood of sentiments raging through their hearts and their courage to eventually share their reflections.

Writing about any traumatic event we face is known to have helped the healing process and lower stress hormones. Be it in the form of logs or diaries or blogs, writing down our thoughts is therapeutic. Especially to help us deal with bereavement, traumatic events and setbacks, the daily practice of maintaining a journal or a diary has proven to be cathartic. This I can vouch for with my own experience of blogging here.

Keeping a personal journal

Writing a diary or journaling is akin to having an honest conversation with our true self. It can even take the form of ranting or venting or rambling anything that comes to mind. It is the flow of words in sync with the flow of our true emotions. Writing in confidentiality knowing that this will not be read by anyone can provide great relief. There is no one to judge or question our thoughts. No what’s and why’s asked. There is no one to impress or please. No grammar or writing skills or fancy language required. It could even include drawings, scribbles, doodles or pictures. It is simply for us to know what and why we are writing.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say. ~Flannery O’Connor

The beauty of journaling is that it tends to say it like it is without any flair or fluff. It is a beautiful and relaxing way to connect with our self. In a way, it is time spent in listening to our inner guidance that helps express our thoughts. And as we let them out, our perspective of looking at certain things goes through changes eventually.

An aid to healing

This uninhibited dialogue with the self often unravels feelings that were hard to face or even brushed under the carpet. It helps us recognise the reality that was difficult for us to face initially. It opens up the process of acknowledging the hard feelings in the first place, thereby opening up our hearts to healing. The process of wording our feelings, coping with them and internalising them brings in clarity of thought.

Writing changes the way we think. It serves as an all-important outlet to express our feelings. The darkness that accompanied our cluttered emotions slowly gives way to light. This release is essential to organise our emotions. We are then ready to learn from them, go past them and move on gradually in peace.

Journaling acts as our own therapy session with the self. By touching upon the various intra-personal dimensions, it indirectly aids in knowing ourselves better. It is, thus, a personally empowering way to self-heal. With this handy coping mechanism tool, we can be well equipped to confront challenges that lie ahead.

Keep a diary and someday it will keep you. ~Mae West

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: Writing Tools by Cheryl Sterling #BlogchatterEbook

#BookReview: Writing Tools by Cheryl Sterling #BlogchatterEbook

The A to Z Blogging Challenge in April saw many bloggers like me transform into authors with their first eBook. The Blogchatter platform was instrumental in encouraging this transition. As a part of the #BlogchatterEBookCarnival, each of us have to pick 3 ebooks for reviews on our blog. So here I am with my first eBook review:

Why I chose this ebook for review:

During the challenge, I got to know of so many bloggers blogging about various things across a whole lot of topics. Some of the bloggers did leave an impact, whether through their content or comments or connection – Cheryl Sterling was one of them. I enjoyed reading her posts, though couldn’t read them all in detail and told myself – I would like to revisit her blog. Her eBook ‘Writing Tools’ with 26 tips for improved writing and marketing surely seemed very appealing to the newbie blogger in me. Thus this first pick for my reviews.

My take on the ebook:

Cheryl has been an author with a career spanning eighteen years. Her experience and professionalism is very evident in her writing, an essential aspect of the book that first came through. The ebook encompasses essential tips required for writers to learn and market their content. The language is simple even for the non tech-savvy to comprehend and the content flows well.

While the author impresses upon us what one should do during the process, she is also candid in expressing what did not work for her so that we do not pursue the same thing. The author’s personal learning experience with certain tools acts as a foolproof testimony.

I was amazed with the depth she goes into for certain aspects of writing. For example, developing her fictional characters using Myers-Briggs personality test and Numerology. Her analysis across comparative tools (e.g. Draft2Digital vs Smashwords) is well-articulated. The book highlights the various social media channels and how to use them optimally including networking, importance of groups, scheduling, etc.

The ebook indicates the author’s passion as well as expertise in the field. I only wish that the related links were highlighted in a separate colour or underlined for a quick reference/click.

Ebook recommended for:

‘Writing Tools’ by Cheryl Sterling is a valuable collection of tips for all aspiring authors, content writers, digital marketing students and anyone who wants to know the precious tools in the content marketing world.

My rating: 4.5/5

About the author:

Cheryl Sterling is an American author of several paranormal and contemporary romance novels and short stories. Her first novel, What Do You Say to a Naked Elf?, was a finalist in the TARA contest and was later sold to Leisure Books, an imprint of Dorchester Publishing. Cheryl is a co-founder and past president of Grand Rapids Region Writers Group in Grand Rapids, MI. She has conducted several workshops that focused on the writing craft and co-chaired their first “I’ve Always Wanted to Write a Book” regional conference. Her passion is learning and improving her craft, but mostly, she is a teacher. Cheryl currently lives in Phoenix with her husband and their cat, Coco Xena.

Connect with her:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Email

 

Read more about Blogchatter: https://www.theblogchatter.com/

 

Reflections on my first #AtoZChallenge 2017

Reflections on my first #AtoZChallenge 2017

 

Challenges excite me. Perhaps one of the reasons why I accepted my first #AtoZChallenge of Blogging, April 2017. The thought of doing 26 posts in the month seemed arduous and time consuming, what with a busy month ahead. But I chose to think of the positives on the other side of completion. And surely, it did turn out to be some experience. Takeaways from the challenge:

Time Management

The #AtoZChallenge served as a lesson in my time management skills. When something’s got to be done no matter what, it always gets done. Sure, it requires planning and scheduling and setting deadlines. Like all important and urgent tasks do. Writing a few blog posts before their posting date was a big time saver. (Something I got to remind the procrastinator in me about not waiting until the last minute to complete stuff). It also enabled me to discover so many wonderful blogs, read and comment on them and share the posts I had liked.

Talent galore

Versatility was a striking feature of this challenge. A plethora of themes was available for readers with all kind of interests. Shailaja churned out suspenseful flash fiction pieces with oxymorons; Modern Gypsy  expressed the beauty of art journaling, rekindling the artist in me; Destiny’s Child demonstrated 26 yogasanas with stunning flexibility; IsheeriasHealingCircle impressed upon the holistic aspects of living. How heart-warming it was to read another blog on divorce in India -there was an instant connection with Kalpanaa as I could relate to what she had to say. Then there were so many travel tales with gorgeous photographs. So also lots of new recipes being dished out for different tastebuds. It indeed is a blogosphere with oodles of talent.

Blogging camaraderie

Being a newbie blogger, I enjoyed the attention my blog received amongst several other accomplished blogs. I was noticed. I felt heard. Isn’t that such a basic human need – to be seen and heard? So it is in the online world as well! It was encouraging to read the comments from talented bloggers, conveying appreciation and encouragement. The blogging camaraderie kept me going.

Connections

The stories in our life form a big part of who we are and is the basis of all our expressions. The challenge helped me identify with bloggers I would definitely like to follow and stay in touch with. These connections made online seemed as significant and special as our friendships and associations in real life.

Gratitude

Personally for me, doing the challenge meant revisiting and reiterating all the experiences that touched my life. By writing about my spiritual growth influences helped me reconnect with them. It was a pleasant reminder of how I have evolved along the years along with life’s many other challenges!

I feel great to have completed the #AtoZChallenge and am thankful to it’s organisers and promoters.

 

 

 

Z – ‘Zen’ by Osho #AtoZChallenge

Z – ‘Zen’ by Osho #AtoZChallenge

“Zen is another word for zest…living life passionately, making life a joy, a festival, a love, a laughter…for zip and zap and zing.” ~Osho

I like the word ‘Zen’. It has a distinct energy to it. I can imagine only flowing with this word. It exudes an upbeat feeling, something constantly on the move. So when I saw this book amongst Osho’s several other books at his Commune, I chose to make ‘Zen – living the fire of life’ my first Osho read.

As adolescents, maybe we grew up with a negative notion of sorts about Osho. Perhaps that prompted me more to explore his teachings at the Commune in Pune. And lead me to his fabulous variety of active meditations.

Energy. Movement. Dance.

This was in abundance in all his discourses as well as meditations. Moving with the constant flow of life and in full awareness of the present moment is broadly the essence of Osho’s teachings.

There are three L’s of my philosophy: life, love, laughter. Life is only a seed, love is a flower, laughter is a fragrance.

‘Zen’ encompasses his beliefs in a question and answer format with his disciples. The caption sums up the core of this book beautifully: Living the fire of life with zest, zip, zap and zing. Not the one to conform to any tradition, scriptures, religion or political grounds, his views are bold and revolutionary. With my own built up of courage over the years and experience with the unconventional, it is easier to make sense of Osho’s philosophy –now.

Key Highlights:

“Silence is not empty, it is very full. The moment you are absolutely attuned with nothingness, the whole descends in you, the beyond penetrates you.”

“Freedom is the ultimate desire of man. Man comes to flowering only in freedom. Meditation will bring freedom.”

“If God is the creator, then the only way to worship him is creativity.”

“When you are utterly empty, the whole of existence enters you.”

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam
  22. Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley
  23. What I Know for sure by Oprah
  24. X (cross) roads of life
  25. Yogshakti and Shilpa

 

 

Y – Yogshakti and Shilpa #AtoZChallenge

Y – Yogshakti and Shilpa #AtoZChallenge

Some souls are God’s chosen ones to touch upon other lives in the most wonderful ways. Their life’s calling is to spread the light that enlightens their very being. The cosmos works itself in a way by beautifully connecting these souls to the ones that truly need them. I am blessed to know and have one such soul in my life –Shilpa, founding owner of Yogshakti and my spiritual mentor!

Yogshakti is an integrative yoga centre based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. What differentiates this centre from other yoga centres I have known is their holistic approach towards all facets of health and well-being. Their courses and workshops include various modalities of asanas, breathing, mindfulness, relaxation, diet, meditation and more. Yogshakti is driven by a passion to help students find their inherent power and unleash their full potential. The centre exudes a sense of personal warmth and calm amidst the beautiful environs.

Shilpa has been teaching yoga since 1993 locally and internationally. Over the last 26 years, she studied different styles of Yoga to include Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, Yin and Scaraveli Inspired Yoga and delved deep into the practices of Meditation, Mindfulness, Pranayama, the Buteyko method, Yoga Nidra & Advaita Vedanta philosophy. She has studied directly with masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Swami Veda Bharati and Advaita sage Ramesh Balsekar.

Personally for me, Shilpa has been instrumental in my own journey of spiritual pursuits. Her wisdom and clarity of thought has had a strong influence on the way I have perceived and dealt with my innumerable challenges. It is not very often that you find someone who inspires and resonates with your core so powerfully. I am truly blessed to have Shilpa as my guiding spiritual force. I dedicate this blogpost to convey my gratitude to her and my best wishes to Yogshakti. Stay blessed!

Do visit their website to know more: http://yogshakti.com/

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam
  22. Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley
  23. What I Know for sure by Oprah
  24. X (cross) roads of life

 

X- X (cross) roads of life #AtoZChallenge

X- X (cross) roads of life #AtoZChallenge

Facing the crossroads of life ahead,
Not sure where to head…
So often I feel at loss…
Which bridges to burn and
Which ones to cross.

Mind wanders more there than here…
My inner voices I turn to hear
Some choices seem like regrets
To forgive or to forget?

Perhaps I’m looking for some sign
Or an intervention from the divine
Should I see how far I have come
Nah, its time I work for what’s yet to come.

For what lies behind is simply gone
And what eagerly awaits you at dawn
Is a new day…every day here on..
So just go tell life – bring it on!

~SoulMom (me)

How many times do we all reach the various crossroads in our life! The temptation of looking back and the fear of moving forward keep us stuck in many ways. It happens to me oh so often. Decision-making becomes tough. What do I do at such times? From all the positive influences in my life’s journey, I have learnt to make the following choices:

  • Become still
  • Listen to your inner guidance
  • Trust your intuition
  • Take one step at a time
  • Move forward in complete faith
  • Don’t ever look back

What choices do you make at the X-roads in your life?

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam
  22. Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley
  23. What I Know for sure by Oprah

 

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/2porJwt

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