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Please share an example of your flow writing in the Practice Circle. 

 7:45 am, Sat. Nov. 9, 2013 – FLOW WRITING (assignment for course)

 I close them, then I open my eyes and what do I see? My computer looking back at me.

 I have a Google morning schedule file. I am making a practice of filling it out for the day and beginning my morning practice of quiet and writing time with it. It is my practice time to connect myself to my soul, to my writing and to my guidance for the day.

 This morning my computer does not connect. I got into this moment without my “skeletal” schedule for the day. That’s ok. Flow Writing is not new to me. It’s been a long-time practice and many of my journals are filled with it. I am so grateful there is paper to run to so I can record “flow” I am hearing in the midst of other activity I am engaged with, for I know it is “flow” and does not necessarily come back by demand or whim. It is the message of the moment and that moment does not return and I will have to find its wisdom some other way.

 I’ve called Flow Writing by many names…Free-write, the Artist’s Way….Writing Down My Soul…..Soul Between the Lines. It is a trustworthy prompt.

 My life always “flows” more smoothly when I am in the practice of it; when I follow its discipline; when I yield to its guidance; when I open to its surprises; yes, when I enjoy its delights; and when I search from its challenges.

Today, once again, my hand takes the pen and my words and my moment of now flow onto the page.

 Christina Baldwin

Christina Baldwin

 I am all tied up in timelines. This is because I have begun the work in Restorying Our Lives, led by author Christina Baldwin, a leader of intertwining the mysterious spiritual with our human experience in this thing we call “our life”.  By the looks of my timeline, I think I am following the storyline that I came from Infinity and I shall return to Infinity. For now, I am concentrating on just the part that follows my birth up to my 70th year. A new chapter begins on January 2, 2014, my 71st birthday.

This course guides us to consider what stories in our lives still serve us. We try to discover what stories need revision, renewal or simply releasing. But releasing is not always a quick process. We may have to be intimately acquainted with the process of forgiveness in order to truly release…and set ourselves free. But that is a whole other course!

When we “restory” something that truly happened in our lives, we are not “lying,” nor  rewriting our factual past or present. We look at it, as honestly as we can and do a “time-lapse” picture with words that view this event and what it means to us at certain points over the course of our life. When we have learned enough from it and even discovered the gift given, even where there was pain or regret, we can transform our lives with words and new insights of understanding. We are changed in our present life today with this process.

It’s not all pain and grit either. There is much joy and delight that is recalled and appreciated in new and deeper ways. The oft-repeated, “if we knew then what we know now” is bound to release some real belly-whoppers and hearty, healthy laughter. “Someday, we’ll laugh about this!” And now we have the chance.

This type of reflection, both spoken and written, is sometimes referred to as “life review.”        

Life review is often viewed as hospice activity, end-of-life reminiscence. Maybe that’s the time most likely for people and their friends and families to slow down enough to make this process conscious.  This is a combined spiritual and writing practice. Sometimes, if this occurs at the latter stages of one’s life and during an acutely ill period of time, another person does the writing, but the writing comes from the subject’s life experience and reflection. And both receive a transforming grace of satisfaction and peace.

But there is no need to wait! Examining the stories that guide our lives is sustaining creative and spiritual activity at any point. The sooner the reviewing begins, the sooner our stories are set free to guide our inner compass to the rest of the life we truly want to create.  And the sooner we do this, the more opportunity we have to  reframe those stories in ways that liberate and empower us. Then we get to live the new stories!

 I knew the reasons why I wanted to do this work. It fits right into the work that lies ahead for me in writing books that have long been awaiting the discipline and my true effort to make them real. I also feel it will help me compose and round out some curriculum outlines for courses I want to offer in the senior centers to help people find the spark of themselves in the spark of their stories. Stories they can write, whether they think of themselves as writers or not. I am very excited about this.

So, now that the course has begun, it appears there are over 200 people who have introduced themselves and given their reasons for taking the course. These reasons, I find fascinating and I share some of them below:

        “Writing does not come easily to me! My intention for this course is to use its structure to re-energize me to continue the memoir I began last year for my 7 grands, and most of all, for me!”

 –        “As ‘writing’ has been calling to me for some time, I am taking this course as a beginning.”

       ” I knew I had to leave the victim mentality behind or perish.”

 –    ” This course appeals to me, because it offers a way to discover the story of my relationship with God. My intention is to open my eyes to and put words to Who God has been and is for me,..”

 –     ” I journaled and journaled until the grief began to write itself. Then I took a writing retreat with Christina about four years ago and the experience allowed me to find my way when I was feeling lost…”

 –     ” Uncover, through my own writing, where I’ve held myself back from experiencing the fullness of my life and spirit and to discover the keys to my freedom.”

 –      ” Keys to my freedom. I know they are inside of me waiting to be seen, acknowledged and seized.”

 –    –  “I am wondering how to move my story forward.”

           “Some of my old stories have strings to my present life that I want to “cut.” I have new stories to tell and can’t wait to write them.”

         “I am in year two of coming to grips with the loss of my husband. In the first year, I coped by being busy and moving forward in my life. Just now I am in an open, empty place and allowing more feelings and reflections. I journal, but this course may help me focus, frame and discover myself in a new way.”

         “My INTENTION is to honor my 79 years with writing and reflection from a positive, compassionate and loving perspective. I hope to see my life as a whole, woven and patched, perhaps beautiful like a crazy quilt, and to get some new perspective on the painful parts. But I also deeply desire to see more clearly what is my sacred work now in this place and officially retired.

         “My intention for this course is to explore what the future holds. I will be 63 in a few days and am not sure what path to take at this point. I am hoping that writing will open my heart to spirit and possibility.”

        “Create a quiet space, and the time to write.”

         “Realize I am not alone in my searching for who I am, who I can be, who I will be

       I think I am in good company.

 

 

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Grounds - Fetzer Center

I have just begun working on my timeline, one of our first assignments in my new E-Course with Christina Baldwin on Restorying Your Life. I think I have a lot of work to do because so far I’ve only made it UP TO the event of my birth on January 2, 1943.  It seems like I’ve reflected upon and traced my timeline back to Infinity, itself. The first four sections of “little Sue’s” timeline are Infinity, Big Bang, Evolution to Homo Sapiens, and Ancestors.  Then my Human Timeline begins as conception in April of 1942.

Talk about “reframing and restorying”. This is going to be exciting.

The major reframe of my story has already emerged (and I have 29 days to go) as: I came from God and Infinity. My birth mother gave me expression as human on Earth, bringing me forth from Infinity and God, where she, herself, returned shortly after my birth. Her expression of this event (being pregnant with me) was given to me by her best friend so many years later. She had told her friend, upon knowing she was pregnant with me, “Now I know the purpose of my life.”

This is not the first time I have worked with this story. My spiritual and writing mentors and guides tell me, and I think correctly, the first story that needs to be written is the mother story. I have many facets of this story down in words, for there are truly many facets and secret silences around my birth and heritage. I am going to welcome the tools I will be given in this course to open up this story more than ever before and let its graces fall upon my life today.

Now I share Joyce Rupp’s poem of birth with you — Every word is a word of truth for me; I have asked permission from her before to reprint her in my work and received a surprising personal note back from her that it is ok to do so for my writing purposes.  And I will share her website with you. I see she has a book, published in 2002 Cosmic Dance, where she knows what I am just discovering, that we are truly made of the stuff of stars, and we date back that far, so I feel very comfortable and confirmed in the timeline for me that appeared on my paper this morning.

http://www.joycerupp.com/

In her book (one of her many, many books), Joyce Rupp, in the tradition of the Wisdom Writers, opens the path to the inward journey to a deep awareness of Sophia, the Spirit of Wisdom.  She is a member of the Servants of Mary, a free-lance writer and retreat director. And a most prolific writer, to which she remains true.

The words in bold text in this poem speak to me and of me deeply; the truth of these words resonates warmly deep, deep in my heart of all knowing; all the words wrap around me and flow through my soul, but the words in bold text are places in the poem to which I will return in silent meditation.

This poem expresses so joyfully for me the true magnificence of the nature of all of our births. This is what I want to remember in my dying hours.

Gathered together am I
from a history-held mystery,
a bundle of memories am I.

Caught from smiles and heartaches
of faces and places past cherished,
given in love from the heart of life.

From kisses and lovemaking,
from caring and growing,
from vibrancy and vitality,
the gathered memories of my own named person
have been gifted into existence.

Surprises from seeds and secrets,
gifts from unknown voices and events;
here am I, so ordinary, so unique.
here am I, so simple, so complex.
knowing that the seed of myself
has the touch of gathered memories;
gleaned from the ages of another time,
seed and sperm seeking, making known.

a birthed bundle surprised into life
light filling the center of a new spirit;
the blessing of eternity passed on:
urgency always to seek the face of God,
first gatherer of all good memories.
(c) Joyce Rupp

 

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