Archive for April, 2012

I recently began my newest journey: biblio/poetry therapy. Starting in September I will be training to become a poetry/literature/journaling coach, basically using the written word to facilitate expression and healing for people. Although my start date is not for a few months, I am in the application process, and have begun attending the monthly group meetings. I have found these meetings inspiring and cathartic. I love to write, but lost faith in myself years ago after some bad criticism. I am just now beginning to open up again to writing creatively, and have found that the words come easier than I thought. I’d like to share something I wrote during my last group meeting. The facilitator gave us a bunch of images to choose from, that would spark us to write. I chose an image of underwater plants moving toward the surface of the water for sunlight:

Twisting stems reach up from soggy earth, craning their necks for sunlight. The sunlight pours in, a continual cycle of life, rebirth. Light is what I reach for, even if heavy is what I sometimes feel. How many pounds of pressure push at us from all sides every second of our lives? Yet still we open our mouths to the sky, yearning to taste a drop of light, light that may allow us to brighten, illuminate the dark spaces, lessen the pressure. Perhaps one day we will be so light that the ground will be a place we once knew and the sky will be our home. I try each day to create this lightness within, so that without even noticing it, my feet barely touch the ground.


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While my students are on spring break, I am taking this week to rejuvenate and connect with myself. I scheduled my own mini-retreat for three days to rest and only do things that make my heart sing. I decided to take an hour today to go down to my local beach. I love being near water. With the beach only five minutes away, I don’t take advantage of it nearly as much as I should. I bundled up, since it was only 55 degrees out today!

I wrote in my journal and read a bit. I’m currently reading The Grace in Dying: How We Are Transformed Spiritually as We Die by Kathleen D. Singh. I had my hospice volunteer orientation a couple of days ago and got a couple of books out of the library on the process of dying. This is tough stuff to face! It’s not everyday that we sit around and contemplate death for hours at a time. However, I think our lives would actually be more fulfilling were we to be honest with ourselves about the end, before we’re face to face with it.

For now, I am thankful that I am able to sit on the beach, enjoy the view, and feel grounded in nature. What a blessing!



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I recently received my attunement as a Reiki 1 practitioner! I found it to be an extremely relaxing, peaceful, and sacred ceremony. I grew up Catholic and never felt connected to that religion. The Reiki attunement felt more special to me than any sacrament I received in church. This felt for me, personally, like a great transformation.

I feel so thankful to be able to access Reiki energy whenever I need it. The hand positions are simple and most of them are quite discreet, so I can use them even while I am at work. I have noticed that I am quite fatigued. If anyone has had Reiki attunement, is this a common side effect? I imagine my body is detoxifying and is going through a deep, energetic change.

I’m looking forward to using it on myself and on friends and family, as well as in my hospice volunteer position (my orientation is next week)!

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One of my students recently brought me Persian black tea with cardamom, knowing how much I love tea.

This is a delicious tea and it smells amazing. She brought me in several bags, but I’d love to either make or buy loose tea with the same flavor. I found this recipe from Juls’ Kitchen, a beautiful website with stunning photography and delicious recipes. I can’t wait to try this!

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I found this poem today and I fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful philosophical and spiritual piece. I’ve italicized the lines that speak to me the most.

Fear of the Inexplicable

But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished
the existence of the individual; the relationship between
one human being and another has also been cramped by it,
as though it had been lifted out of the riverbed of
endless possibilities and set down in a fallow spot on the
bank, to which nothing happens. For it is not inertia alone
that is responsible for human relationships repeating
themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and
unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new,unforeseeable
experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope.

But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes 
nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation 
to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively
from his own existence. For if we think of this existence of
the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident 
that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a
place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and 
down. Thus they have a certain security. And yet that dangerous
insecurity is so much more human which drives the prisoners in
Poe’s stories to feel out the shapes of their horrible dungeons
and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their abode.

We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about
us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us.
We are set down in life as in the element to which we best 
correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of 
years of accommodation become so like this life, that when we
hold still we are, through a happy mimicry,scarcely to be
distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to
mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors,
they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abuses belong to us;
are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if only we
arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us
that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now
still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust
and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those
ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into
princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses
who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps 
everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless 
that wants help from us. 


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Forgiveness is one of the hardest, yet also one of the most important things we can do as human beings. As I have heard from Oprah, and as many others have said, forgiveness does not condone a behavior, but it releases you from the energy of that pain. I recently heard about the book Forgiving the Unforgivable: The True Story of How the Survivors of the Mumbai Terrorist Attack Answered Hatred with Compassion: The Power of Holistic Living (2012, SelectBooks) by Master Charles Cannon. It details his reaction to the attacks in Mumbai where he was present with a group of his followers. Two of the members were killed and four were injured. However, the group displayed only compassion and forgiveness toward those who attacked. In this interview with Master Charles, he details the attacks and explains his reaction to them. I especially like his description of how to forgive, “We allow everyone to be the way they are…because that’s the way they are…and if they are suffering we have compassion.” Forgiveness actually seems much simpler when we remember that people act out of their own pain. Because each of us has experienced pain, we can feel empathetic toward others, no matter how horrible their act may be.

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