Contributions from the Writer’s Retreat (March 2023)

In-Person attendees at Dr. Jamie Marich's recent day-long writer's retreat hosted by the Institute for Creative Mindfulness. Thank you to all who attended and who shared their work with us here for the blog.

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Intention by Julie H. Richards

My intention: I can be open to what wants to be expressed through me. 

Open receptivity

To be willing

To be present

To create

To express

To go slow

To savor

To linger

To bring more of myself to the world, to my family, to me

To be here now, to what unfolds and illuminates

Less doing

Less pushing

More pausing

More dwelling in the space

With breath

With movement

Reaching out and reaching in

In small doses

Flowing back and forth

In a timeless haven worth beholding
Julie H. Richards, MS, LPCC
Developmental and Relational Trauma Therapist

The Offering 

By: Angela Sillas-Green

She feels the sensation in her body to create and share it with the world, but she finds that there are so many challenges, either by her own doing or by the doing of the world. She hears the voice of non-acceptance. The world tells her, “You can’t do that because you don’t look, sound, or act the way the world thinks you should.” The tears welled up in her eyes. She knows she has so much to offer and so much to say, but she can’t see how to give it away to the world. She feels small, and it’s like she is the ugly duckling who is literally the most beautiful swan, but she has no idea. She searches for her worth outside herself, as the world has taught her to do. She desires love, passion, caring, and support, but instead she is met with shame, guilt, disgust, and frustration. All the things that continue to make her small. She thinks, “How can I fly when I have these chains?” They are invisible, but they are there. I just want to fly.”

These invisible chains prevent this beautiful being from hearing the alternate voice that she needs, which would tell her that she is powerful and that she needs to develop her powers. All of which exist inside her. She has never heard the wisdom that there will never be a point at which she will be fully accepted or heard, and that she needs to be brave and courageous to create her path any way. She’s never heard the words, “Spread your wings and you will soar, dear. You are an amazing, talented, and beautiful spirit who can heal the world.” She hasn’t been supported enough to know there are people waiting for her love and her ever powerful healing presence. She doesn’t realize that if she shares that with others that she will find so much in return, because she hasn’t learned how to use her gifts that will set her free and move her from the ugly duckling to the beautiful swan that she truly is. Why? Because she was never provided these lessons as a child—the tools that would tell her to just show up and just keep going, whether it’s small or large—you have to keep doing it.

However, as she moves into her adulthood those voices are becoming louder because she always heard them as whispers inside and curiously sought the truth. So, she has learned and created these tools to be brave and become fully herself.  She continues to be in this spiritual journey, and she knows there’s so much pain around her to be healed. She knows because she has felt it and repeatedly overcomes it. She now knows what is hers and what is others pain, so when people try to have her hold their pain so they don’t have to carry it, she doesn’t accept it as hers. This was the key to unlock the chains that bound her wings. Now, she can instead smile and thank them, but give the pain back, like a coat that can be tried on, and just like with a coat, she will say, “This isn’t my size or color; thanks, anyway. It’s not for me.” She then will continue to move forward.

Moreover, she discovered her healing abilities and now people can come to her because she can heal them with her gifts. She sees that this experience will be different from what she has dealt with before. The relationship will be different, because she can see the line between her pain and theirs. She can now take on their pain for a short time so she can teach them to do the same things she did. Be brave, feel the hard stuff, and let it go and breathe in the good stuff. She tells them that if they do so, they can be happy, peaceful, and grateful for the one life that they’ve been given. They will see that this one life will have so much to offer if they just let it.

She now teaches this enlightened perspective to the masses because there is so much suffering, and she can now allow herself to breathe it in and let it go because she understands there is too much joy to not give yourself the opportunity, no matter if it is big or small. You must allow the joy to shine through.

The moral of this story is that the world teaches us that we must fit in a certain way, such as being rich, having a college degree, or whatever the things are that will make us “successful, loveable, or have desirable riches”, and you are also taught this path isn’t for all. However, there is another path that is available for all if we can allow pain and pleasure to co-exist. Because it is found in the ordinary of a warm hug, a nice cup of tea, a small loving gesture from a loved one, or a conversation with a random person. Simultaneously, these are short, brief, and impermanent, and because of that can also create pain. The secret is to be present for the experience and allow your whole self to be in it. That is what will make it seem rich, rewarding, and the ultimate success. You will have gained all the success in the world by learning this alone—show up and be present.

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