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Posts Tagged ‘birth and death’

About the Book

Journey Girl is a story about motherhood and a memoir about secrets– more specifically, it is about breaking them. First-time author Hajec unfolds her journey of becoming a courageous family secret breaker and defeats her fears that she will pay a price to do so. Her quest is to disintegrate the generational silences that surround the death of her mother shortly after her own birth and explore the mysterious childhood memories that still linger as she reaches adulthood. As the author unwinds a tightly-held but harmful family silence, she also introduces to the reader simple, ordinary, and helpful types of silences they can use in their everyday life to bring them peace and balance, not harm and mystery. These are the Islands of Silence that begin each chapter before continuing her own story.

About the Author

Susan Heffron Hajec finds her happy place in everything that has to do with words. With an early start of faithful letter writing to her grandparents, she began to play with themes and stories on paper and loved all English, writing, and theater scripts throughout her school years. After her college graduation, marriage, and motherhood, her personal life followed a natural path to quiet ways of life, contemplative prayer, holistic health, soul writing, and the arts. She then served these interests well in her professional and business life which included: being regional newspaper correspondent, becoming founding editor of a religious newspaper; being an international video spirituality producer; owning A Way with Words consulting and workshop production company. She accomplished extended training and practice with the Masters in SoulCollage®, Labyrinth facilitation, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, and Reiki healing arts. With a newfound passion for watercolor art, she states her purpose in life as being faithful to the small things and giving glory to God for the largeness of the gift of life. And most of this is centered in her loving life with family and friends.

 

Journey Girl, Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary is available for order on http://www.amazon.com and http://www.balboapress.com/bookstore —under new releases.

 

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“Meaning does not come from what we do. It comes from what we are. If we are lovers of beauty, then beauty will fill us all our days. If we are committed to justice, then justice will drive us past all fatigue or failure. If we are devoted to building human community, then we will find meaning in the people whose lives we touch. It’s when we are driven by nothing other than our daily schedules that life becomes gray, listless, and dour.

Life happens quickly but the meaning of it comes into focus only slowly, slowly, slowly. The challenge is to keep on asking ourselves what it is.” These words are taken from author and Benedictine nun, Joan Chittister, in Songs of the heart, Reflections on THE PSALMS.

She offers a simple and profound book of poignant and challenging reflections on twenty five of the 150 songs of praise found in the psalms. Each of the twenty-five chosen reflections offer a spiritual oasis away from the stresses of a world that demands more than the human soul can sometimes bear and have rich meaning for people today.

In my memoir, Journey Girl, Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary, I too offer at the beginning of each chapter a brief pause for the reader that is like the spiritual oasis Joan Chittister speaks of. I call them Islands of Silence. They are easy and accessible to the at-home mother who needs a private pause from combined child-care, taxi driver, medical emergencies and unending upkeep of home responsibilities.

They are equally beneficial for the students of all ages (we are all students of life) and business and corporate ladder climbers who can find an instant cubby-hole within to take stock and quiet the busy and overworked mind.

The first Island of Silence I offer in Chapter One is…..

 

The Breath
The Easiest of All Practices of Consciousness
Wherever God lays his glance life starts clapping.
Hafiz

Your breath is an Island of Silence that is with you at all times. You cannot live without it. A baby’s first important work to do when he/she arrives and separates from the maternal umbilical cord is to… breathe.

There are many meditative practices that focus on different ways to engage with your breath for stress relief and relaxation, but taken down to its simplest level, one may just choose to watch one’s breath.

If you don’t want to go to a gym, if you are not ready to engage in Pilates or Yoga (where the attention is put on the breath), you are perfectly free to sit comfortably alone, turn your thoughts inward, seek the quiet and simply breathe… in… out… in… out.

You will see this Island of Silence will come to you and you will appreciate the restoration it gives. Beautiful scenery will not take your breath away. It will give you more breath.
If you don’t wish to sit, you may walk in one of your favorite landscapes, amidst flowers and trees, birds, and animals, still focusing on your breath coming in… going out… coming in… going out.

You may be stuck in traffic with things to do, but still… you are stuck in traffic and you can breathe in… breathe out… breathe in… breathe out.

Return to this Island of Silence many times during the day. It is perfectly fine to take short stay vacations of breathing tranquility. It is low cost, efficient, and brings rewards of renewed energy and purpose. Turn your attention to your breath daily and give this a try.

This is an Island of Silence that begins the first chapter of an at-risk emergency birth where the child is saved, yet the young twenty-nine year old mother dies. Life and death do, indeed, both happen quickly. I am the child who lived. The meaning of it and the grace held within the loss of my mother all happened very, very slowly

 

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