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Stretch Your Mind

Welcome to the space where I’ll share some of my thoughts, tips and exercises to keep you motivated in your writing.

As someone who has been journaling for thirty years,  stretching the mind by writing about topics we may not ordinarily write about is important. Pump up your creative writing skills by journaling to untraveled territory in your mind rather than falling into the same old patterns of thought.

The following writing prompt was featured in the Well for the Journey‘s  “Daily Listening: A Summer of Reflection-Collection of Meditations.”

Join me in writing about How your spirit is moved through nature.

  • Make a list of your experiences in nature and the outdoors.
  • Which aspects of nature most connected you with spiritually?
  • What does experiencing nature teach you about life?

Ready…set…go!

picture of the mind

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It takes the dark to see the stars…

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Summer’s arrival brings treasured opportunities to view the stars in all their wonder. I recently finished a fascinating biography of Wrinkle in Time author Madeleine L’Engle, in which the author explained L’Engle’s belief that it takes the dark of night to see the stars, and we ALL must reckon with darkness in our lives.

Life is full of moments when we must “reckon with the darkness” and find the strength to move forward and capture the light. My journaling ministry was the result of overcoming a personal challenge. During my time of darkness, I started journaling as a way to understand my inner self and become more confident and resilient. More than 30 years later, I continue journaling to understand the balance of darkness and light in my life.

What about you? Has an unexpected illness given you new insights and perspectives on life and health? Has a relationship tested your compassion and revealed new understandings? Did a new job bring anxiety along with a much-needed fresh start? Did moving to a new town challenge you to establish roots and meaningful connections? Did saying goodbye to a loved one bring both sadness and opportunities to relive special memories?

Try journaling about a time of darkness that led you to the stars:

  • What was the experience?
  • Who or what helped you through?
  • What blessings were a result of the journey?
  • What did you learn about yourself and others?
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You are the Gardener…

The beautiful spring came;

and when Nature resumes her loveliness,

the human soul is apt to revive also.

                                                                           Harriet Ann Jacobs

The arrival of spring awakens our souls. Let us reach within our own ‘soil’ and germinate the gifts we have been given. Are you a great conversationalist, do others enjoy your sense of humor, does creating a meal bring you pleasure, does sending messages and cards bring you joy and satisfaction, does the company of children bring joy and purpose, or do you enjoy creating craft/art projects?

You are the gardener… What gift are you using and what are you cultivating?

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Journey to Greatness

Hello, welcome to flight #2019…

We are prepared to take-off into the New Year. Please make sure your attitude and blessings are secured and locked in an upright position. All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt and discouragement should be put away. Should we lose altitude under pressure during the flight, reach up and pull down a prayer. Prayers will automatically be activated by faith. Once your faith is activated, you can assist other passengers. There will be no baggage allowed on this flight. Our spiritual captain has cleared us for takeoff. Our destination is Greatness. Enjoy the flight.

Consider writing a prayer to help you on your journey to Greatness.

What requires faith?

What baggage do you need to let go?

What help do you need from your captain?

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Thanks and appreciation to my yoga instructor, Dagmar Bohlmann, for sharing this selection. Her website is http://dagmarbohlmann.com/yogahikes.html

 

 

 

 

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Experiencing gratitude through JOY…

In the New York Times Bestseller, the book of JOY, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu discuss the meaning of JOY.

“Joy,” as the Archbishop said during the week, “is much bigger that happiness. While happiness is often seen as being dependent on external circumstances, joy is not.” This state of mind – and hear – is much closer to both the Dalai Lama’s and the Archbishop’s understanding of what animates our lives and what ultimately leads to a life of satisfaction and meaning.

The book encourages us to connect gratitude with Joy. The practice is simple. Each day recall three things from which you are grateful. Write these in your journal. They can be as simple as the smile of a grandchild, the colors of a bird, the generosity of a stranger. Keeping this simple list has been shown over time to have emotional and physical benefits.

What are your three things today?

 

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Seasonal Change

Saying goodbye to summer is a time to reflect. With the passing of a season we experience memories, surprises, regrets but more importantly new opportunities.

As you reflect on the ending of summer consider journaling on one or all of the questions:

  1. A happy or special event or moment…
  2. A regret of missed opportunity…
  3. An act of kindness – done by you or for you…
  4. A goal that was met…
  5. A new experience or ‘step out of your comfort zone’ experience…
  6. A change for better or worse, by choice (or not)…

Summer, the last smile…

summer end