Posted in forgiveness, friends, memoir, self improvement, stream of consciousness writing, writers, Writing for healing

What People Say: Dealing with Word Wounds and How to Heal

 

Oh the things people say: “You’re good with the customers but you’re not management material.”

Why do some people react to hurtful comments while others seem to have a thicker skin? The only reason for approaching the topic in writing is that I used to be one of those sensitive types. I learned through needless suffering to deflect the jabs by setting boundaries and kicking out the insult-bearing squatters from my head. Writing a memoir or life story does bring up some of those nasty memories.

The opening scene in the rough draft of my memoir is a one-line zinger that somebody slapped on me at a family function. I got zapped. Verbally tasered. I fired back with what I thought was a classy response. The offender and I never talked about it.

Put-downs, maligning and one-upping happens to everybody. What years of being a parent, grandparent, wife, sister, and friend has taught me is that others have similar experiences. Everyone is sensitive in varying degrees, and that being a “sensitive” is actually a skill. When I earned my degree in psychology and participated in years of workshops, what I learned is that if I don’t get a handle on reacting to people who bully, I risk becoming bitter and resentful.

Writing is a good way to deal with the hurts and move on from the jabs and insults.

While I wrote jokingly in one of my blogs about men being Neanderthals, it is women, it seems, who have a special talent for murderous competition designed to make another woman want to quit. For those of you who have been the recipient of digs and jabs, please take heart and learn to fight back or move on. You’re worth it. I know, because I’ve been there. Sometimes we’re the ones who do the zapping. Everybody I know, male, female, gay, trans…whomever…has stories about the war of words.

Here are a few one-liners I’ve experienced in my life. Some are light-hearted. Some were turning points/wounds that required spiritual counseling and even regular counseling so I could heal. They might not make sense or seem that intense, but as each writer knows, words shape our stories.

Childhood:

What happened to you? Did you get sunburned through a screen?

“There’s a man down in those trees. He’s going to come and get you.”

Don’t worry, they’ll grow.

What are you doing here, jackass?

Why don’t you want to play doctor with me? Don’t be scared.

Jobs-co-workers

Who made the coffee this morning? It’s too weak.

Who made these rubber band eggs?

Who scheduled this appointment?

What about your age?

Is this the new help? (that would be me)

 Relationships/Life situations

 You’re really filling up those pants.

You act like you’re single.

You don’t care about me.

You don’t love me.

When did YOU ever grow up?

You have private property hang-ups.

You think you’re so smart. That job just landed in your lap.

You have a repressed mouth.

Why don’t you go back to Europe where you came from?

You don’t understand simple things. You have ownership issues.

Don’t do this because you’re humiliated.

We’re going to teach you a lesson.

Well I hope you learned your lesson.

You’re a two-faced elitist.

You need help.

That’s why Susan is so screwed up.

You can’t even put a lid on a jar right. What’s wrong with you?

 (Thank you Jesus, I never broke anyone’s face. I would come home from working all day and have to make dinner while my kid’s father had been home. Then he would get on my case after I’d make a cup of tea for myself to get through the meal-making).

I’ve had guests come to my house, eat the meals I prepared for them, enjoy the bedroom I fixed up for them only to have someone say, “You make me tired. Can’t you just relax?”

Boundaries!

Yes of course there are more one-liners to add to the repertoire. But I’ve done my ceremonies. Writers  & journal keepers can use the words/scenarios to add to novels, memoirs, and interweave them into their characters’ lives. Don’t forget the positives!

*********************

 

Journal prompt: Do you remember things that people have said to you that hurt? Do comments people have made stay with you for life? Write them down. Later go back and write a brief explanations after each comment. This is for you only for right now.

If you decide you want to elaborate, go back and write the emotion or feelings that you experienced after the words were spoken.

Discussion: Experts have found that the act of writing affirmations and positive summaries has a powerful affect on our health. Do the exercise again and use nice things that people have said to you. Notice if there is a difference in the way you feel. Compliment yourself in your journal often.

Also, one way to deal with hurtful words is to take the list and have a releasing ceremony. Put the written words in a fire and burn them. Say “I now release all this hurt forever.” Another way is to make a paper boat and write some of the terms or words that have wounded you and put it in a moving body of water. (please be eco-conscious).

Put your list through a shredder.

You can do a freezing ceremony to get rid of your words-spoken list. Put the list of wounds in a bag and freeze it. Later on when you are ready, in a couple hours, days, months, dump your list in the garbage or compost pile if you have a garden. Another way is to paint on biodegradable materials and bury the issues in the earth. Or make art. Do a collage or sand tray exercise and work with those hurts. But at the end, it’s imperative to be positive. Make up your own ways to put the issues out of your psyche and your world.

Happy writing, everybody. Cheers!

cherub with my name

 

 

Posted in cartoons, death and dying, Writing for healing

Whacked Out News vs Hope for the Future

Hello Kindred Writers and Readers,

I haven’t been on WordPress since August but I’ve been journaling and slowly working on my memoir manuscript. I’m not giving up. It doesn’t matter to me anymore how long it takes.

As I scan over my blog I’m tempted to toss out writing and stick to art and poetry. Then I remember a few words from various teachers and authors, especially Arun Gandhi who worked on one of his books for many years and when it emerged, the final product was a children’s book.

Then I check out all the incredible, talented, and hopeful young people in the world. I can’t give up on hope when I think about people such as those involved with DACA, education, women’s rights, civil rights,  along with so many un-named s/heros who wake up every morning to remind us to have courage.

I’ve about had it with adults, especially politicians who act worse than spoiled children. Since I last made a blog entry, we’ve seen the horror of hateful and fearful lost souls (KKK)  marching in Charlottesville, juxtaposed to kind, loving and inclusive gathering of people opposing the ignorance. What a tragic event.

Then came Hurricane Harvey, a natural disaster most surely caused in part by factors of global warming from man-made pollution. The fact that our president, ( I call him Humpty), thinks he can boast and buy his way through office and railroad legal experts, is absurd. He alone, is responsible for setting the tone and pace for critical dialogue  as the leader of the free world. Wake me up from this nightmare. Yet he remains a dangerous buffoon. He claims to know more than the generals? Ok. Good luck with that one. My response: Amendment 25.

We are allowed, according to the First Amendment to write and say what we want in the US. I’m beyond disbelief anymore. I find relief in political cartoons, especially Steve Sacks  who just published his first book. I may publish some of my rudimentary cartoons this year. Here’s another link.

So, I write about death often it seems. Not that I’m trying to be morbid or depressing. Quite the opposite. Death is like love. It hurts when we are in it because of fear of losing. Yet, the big L word is uniquely about freedom and not controlling others. Much of what I’m exploring in my own life story has to do with relationships and the challenge of being “good enough.” Isn’t that nutty?

The power of love and death is undeniable. People spend their lives trying to control anything or anyone around them in search of the race against time. Then, by the time you get old enough, if you’re lucky, you realize that none of crap you fought against in the self image category is important. People may like you, hate you, or whatever. No matter you do, they will talk about you, and for the most part, people don’t care that much. The hubs and I will both attest to the fact.

I’ve been through all the fads of spirituality on the market, only to come to the conclusion that most of feel good pablum IS a market, with branding, advertising and the whole mess.

Back to the drawing board.

I hope to have something more entertaining for my next post. Rusty, dusty.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to post that our granddaughter who has cystic fibrosis is doing very well. She’s in middle school now. Thank goodness and God (I’m a believer) for medical staff, doctors, nurses, administration, and volunteers who give hope and courage for anyone dealing with a disease. When you or a loved one has a challenge, no matter how cliche it sounds, not one second, not one minute of their lives is taken for granted.

Journal prompt: How do you see the world right now? Are you concerned? Bored? Angry? Happy? Numb? Describe your feelings about your environment. Do you sense that things are improving in your life or not? What do you dream about accomplishing?

Love and light to all.

Below: original art circa 1972, charcoal drawing, “Claude”

Posted in death and dying, friends

Neanderthals

 

It was fun when you were alive

and we would laugh together

about men being Neanderthals.

You should see what is going on now.

Well, of course you see it from your view

on the other side.

You do send signals- when light flickers off a hummingbird’s buzzing green wings

just as I lift my head to glance out the window.

And on my recent solitary sojourn to a place

you would surely have adored,

did you feel the intense vastness of mystic water underneath the orange heat?

I did see your reflection in the dolphin’s soft splash amidst a deepening evening at the canal

and with a quickening, a pang, I thought about uncertainty, the irony of

our private language.

And I only wept once at the thought that both of you had gone

home to the angels.

Even the dogs died that year. I was out of my mind over the cold abruptness of it all.

I winced at what most certainly was the dark secret you hinted at,

but I was too much of a cave girl to understand.

 

Journal prompt: write about losing a friend or relative to death. How do you, as a journal keeper, deal with death and dying? What images come to mind when you think of your loved ones who have crossed over.

This poem is in honor of my BFF (and her husband) who died in 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in cystic fibrosis, NODAPL, psychology, self improvement, social commentary

Happy New Year No Fear

Once again I must apologize to my poor neglected bloggie. It’s been two months since I last posted. Sounds like a 12 Step meeting, doesn’t it?  My name is Sue and I am an artist-writer-psychic intuitive-blogger and all around passive-aggressive rabble-rouser who enjoys retreating. 🙂

No need to recap the ridiculous drama of recent elections in the US. I’m so sorry that we have to deal with more corruption and slanderous whackadoodle energy out there. It’s totally forked up but as a spiritual type writer, my focus is on continuing to TRY and walk the talk and conquer my challenges. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Susan Jeffers

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So dear kindred spirits and fellow bloggers, it’s onward into the new year with no fear.  I’m here to support YOU on your creative journey. As my gift to you I’m sharing some family pics and original photographs of some of my recent favorite memories. Am missing a few family members who were unable to travel because of work schedules, but here goes:

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Christmas 2016 with some of the family-we’re totally rainbow people. We come in all colors of the heart.

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Concert Five Blind Boys of Alabama with octogenarian powerhouse, Jimmy Carter

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Our granddaughter’s annual holiday big canvas painting

As you know I’m into causes. Please join me in contributing your no fear energy into a cause in 2017. I support and stand with #NODAPL  as they refuse to wilt in the face of the greed monsters who simply do not consider the devastating consequences of oil spills and water contamination. ACTION relieves anxiety.

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                                                     Original art * Nature Heals* acrylic

As always, we’re supporting and praying for a cure for cystic fibrosis, because our granddaughter is fighting it. I love this photo of her playing the clarinet. GO CF’ers!  Stay strong!

 

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Playing an instrument helps children learn teamwork, discover talent, develop social skills, increase confidence, and increase eye-hand coordination.  Express yourself!

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Exploring Sedona

Much love and appreciation to you all-back to working on the memoir.

                                the work shed window

                                                   Old California

Journal prompt: write about fear. What helps you face your fears? See yourself as a spiritual guide, relative, or teacher who takes you by the hand and walks with you as you challenge yourself. What would your guide say to you? Don’t hold back. Use images to add to your journal entry. What feelings come over you as you write about fear? Where does fear live within your body? If fear (and money) were no option, what would you DO?

Posted in Uncategorized

Third Time is the Charm!

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Stay positive-keep looking UP!
I hope everyone is well out there.
This post is straight to the point.

This is my third time trying to post this text. For some reason, it hasn’t been showing. ??? WordPress must be revising or I have pre-election distraction disorder. Here we go again. One more time.

We’ve been inundated for months with the most vile words I ever remember hearing in my 63 years on the planet. These horrifying words such as “round ’em up. Get ’em outta here! Punch ’em in the face. Grab ’em by the pussy,” were said by a political candidate: Donald J. Trump. No matter what your politics are- GOP conservative, independent, Democrat, or Green Party, I really hope you have it in you to get out and vote tomorrow. If you’ve already voted, congratulations.

I am a Bernie Sanders supporter and an environmentalist who voted Clinton this time because I am NOT going to risk voting my conscience. BERNIE said this is not the time to vote third-party. I agree. The 2% is not enough. While I understand my brothers and sisters who are Green Party, I am not convinced that voting third-party will accomplish anything this time around. We have to STOP the distracted focusing on a classic, egomaniacal tyrant. Money, and the illusion of it, is NOT real power.

People didn’t take Hitler seriously back in the 30’s when he slowly rose to power. But the insanity of one man’s maniacal lust for power is legendary and more than terrifying. We all know the story. Now this kind of insane disregard for everything that is sacred in the Constitution of the United States of America, is being threatened in a similar way by the thinking and propaganda of such men as Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, and Mao Zedong, who were tyrants. Trump’s father allegedly was a Nazi and supposedly in the KKK. If that is who you want to be, that’s between you and your maker. He does NOT represent me or anyone in my immediate family.

I think most people who are voting have already made up their minds. But if there is anyone out there who hasn’t decided, the New York Times took out a two page ad citing all Trump’s insults. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a person charged with sexual assault, nonpayment of his employees, and 4000 pending lawsuits, to be elected to ANY office in the U. S. WHY DOES HE NOT HAVE TO PAY TAXES?

As women, we been beaten, jailed, threatened, and divorced for earning the right to vote. We still don’t make equal pay in the workplace. The ERA was never passed. An amendment was added, but the ERA itself was not legislated.

The GOP candidate this year is everything you teach your children NOT to be; he’s a bully with no morals, he uses foul language. He insults anyone who doesn’t agree with him, and he verbally threatened EACH one of his opponents. Would he be allowed to sit in a third grade classroom? NO! I believe he will be charged with sexual assault. PLEASE do not support this man.

Please don’t vote Trump. He doesn’t care about anyone. Do the math. Do the research.

Here’s to the vision of voting in Hillary Clinton for president. She supports children and families. That is how she started her career. She has earned her way, every step of the way, and while I doubt her connection to evil poisoning corporate giant, Monsanto, I still support her. We can work with her, hopefully, to ban FRACKING and GMO’s which are not tolerated in other countries.

Vote Clinton, then we can FLIP the HOUSE and get back in the groove with Sanders. He represents my values. I’m proud to be supporting Hillary Clinton because I know we can work with her as our president.

Please don’t vote for the madman.

love and peace,
Susan E. Rowland

 

Posted in self improvement, Writing for healing

Rejection, Breaking Dishes, and Rewrites

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You’ve heard the quotes about how many times Babe Ruth struck out during his career. You’ve been reminded about the number of rejections J.K. Rowling received before she hit it big.  Do these reminders help when another rejection comes in?

Hell no.

What goes around does not necessarily come back around. Your dreams can die in the water if you get discouraged. Please don’t give up.

Time to toughen up, yo.

But what to do in the meantime?

Every writer knows how easy it is to get sick of your manuscript. The thrill of what you thought was so profound is being rejected by better writers, or famous peoples’  sex scandals and famous peoples’ romance. Again.

Have ever wondered how much time you’ve wasted looking at other people living their lives? Seriously.

Or, you just plain got rejected.

You have several options when rejections fill your inbox-tongue in cheek-not literally.

  •  Break dishes
  •  Learn how to play golf
  • Put on your old Allman Brothers or Buddy Guy tunes and crank it up full blast
  • Run away &  put a week at a luxury hotel on your credit card-suffer later
  • Do yoga for pissed off people
  • Yell at the dog
  • Knit, break the knitting needles and ball up the yarn, donate said yarn to the Goodwill
  • Doodle
  • Rewrite

 

I favor breaking dishes, running away, and doodling. Doodling usually wins. You can find budget hotels to replace the overly expensive bed and breakfast inns, but the cold hard truth is no matter what your coping mechanisms are,  you have to  do the rewrites.  When you sink your head into the pillow, be it luxury lavender or at home on budget, the naked truth is staring at you from the ceiling.

You have to revise. And unless you have a contract,  nobody cares. You still have to do it.

Sweat.

Do the rewrite.

Again. Hog the bandwith. Be stingy with your time.

For anyone struggling with the sting of “so sorry, but we’ve had hundreds of submissions this year,” I have no advice except that you’re not alone.  As old Aunt Mathilda used to say, “just stay with it. Don’t give up, honey.” At the risk of sounding bitter and pathetic, I won’t bore you with how much I’ve spent on writing classes that haven’t gotten me any closer to finishing my manuscript. But my wasted funds might make you feel better about yourself.

Ladies, I’ve found that people in support groups don’t always pan out the way you wanted. If you think that all the law of attraction stuff and spiritual types are the best way to find kindred friends, you might want to think about joining a bowling group instead. You’ll find better camaraderie. Plus you get to smash things and make noise.

 Or if you are really into spirituality, as I am, you haven’t met your people yet. Keep the faith.

Big shots and famous people have staff writers who troll the internet to get ideas…from you! Really. I once wrote a blog post and within weeks, I saw my exact words on a high-profile spiritual hot shot’s ad. Maybe it was my imagination-I have no idea. But at least I got some form of a delusional ego-boost out of it.

STAY WITH IT!

 Writers, artists, musicians, poets, and even street bums are all about competition. “Players really only love you when they’re playing.” Shrinks debate each other over theories at workshops. Victims compare wounds in therapy groups. Psychotherapist Irving Yalom shared that one of his most vicious groups of clients were abuse survivors who battled each other over the severity of their stories. I wonder if monks in monasteries compete over how long they can meditate in silence? Does anyone know?

I’m over 60, the age when you’ve already become rather invisible unless you’ve got some kind of “it” factor.  And you’re expected not to make waves, or the threat of being labeled bitter is at your heels. Aunt Mathilda told you that you’d get more out of being sweet than the vinegar-spiced sarcastic reply. She was right, but she was wrong. Betty White and Carole Burnett can tell you all about how to age gracefully and be funny. There is  a certain freedom that comes with age.  There is less time to waste and more pack to the punch.

And to the most awesome people out there-all you young writers and artists, stay with it.

Do the rewrite.

And always have spare dishes around…

 

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Journal prompt: write about rejection. What are your responses? Don’t be polite. What do you find helps you get back on track with your projects? After you have written about rejection, write about a success. It can be from childhood. What is your favorite antidote for rejection? At the end of your journal entry, write: YOU ARE ACCEPTED. This is important.

Always add something positive for yourself. Write a congratulations note to yourself.

 

Posted in poetry, stream of consciousness writing

Essence Art

 

 

embrace-change

embrace change

devour listening

look brother

know thyself

with rhythm angel

 

 

 

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the doodle of a forgotten page

characterizes

a fool or a sage

words reflect who you are.

 

struggling-to-fly

in the clear night sky

I feel as if I’m struggling to fly

in the dream I see the produce truck

laid out with radiant foods, fresh

neatly boxed

ready for market.

Posted in artists, multiculturalism, oracle cards, Story, tarot, writers

The Lighter Side of Tarot: Lovers and Goddesses with Kris Waldherr

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Hello good people. I missed writing for you! Hope you all are well these days. Strange times.

Back in July we talked about fears people have with tarot imagery. Tarot imagery is based on legends, our lives, and the subconscious. Tarot themes can be about real events, but we don’t have to be led around by worry.

As a remedy for tarot anxiety, simply take a look at the oodles of non-traditional decks out there such as The Lover’s Tarot and The Goddess Tarot. As promised, I’m introducing you to a fascinating high priestess of creativity, Kris Waldherr.

Kris Waldherr is an award-winning artist, author and card deck creator. She’s also a mother and a traveller. I’ve used her inspiring multicultural decks for years. It’s my pleasure to talk with her this week.

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Here is my Mini View:

SR: What got you started with tarot?

KW: I saw my first tarot deck as a small child, which was owned by an older cousin whom I regarded as infinitely sophisticated and glamorous. I had no idea what the cards were about, but I felt drawn to the art and the mystery. Later in college, I learned to read from the Palladini Aquarian Tarot deck; I studied art with David Palladini at the School of Visual Arts, which was an interesting experience. 

SR: What are your favorite symbols in tarot and why?

KW: Believe it or not, I love swords. I think the suit of swords  

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gets a bad rap, thanks to the intense imagery of the Rider-Waite Tarot. (Ten of Swords, anyone?) Maybe it’s a midlife thing, but whenever swords appear in a reading, I see them as an invitation to take charge of a situation and literally cut out the crap—there’s no longer any time to waste. In the major arcana, these days I especially identify with the Empress, now that I have a garden of my own. Related: I also love the Nine of Pentacles. 

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SR: How do you feel women can benefit from studying tarot?

KW: I think *anyone* can benefit from studying the tarot. It teaches a person to trust their inner voice, which often knows more than our left-brain oriented society is willing to acknowledge. However, for women especially, learning to read tarot can be valuable. It encourages us to keep our own counsel, instead of ceding our authority to others, and helps us to view our lives in a more detached manner. That written, there’s no substitute for consulting professionals when it comes to legal or medical situation—and this goes for anyone, not just women.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Kris. What an honor to be able to continue the tarot discussion. I can’t wait to do more posts about oracles.

Discussion: Is the goddess thing just for women? What is the deal with gender roles in tarot? Do they matter?

Waldherr writes in the workbook for the Goddess Tarot, “Goddesses aren’t the only women with myths of their own. Our lives all bear a story unlike anyone else’s: as rich and individual as any divinity, as full of amazing wonders and surprises, disappointments and joys.”  The divine feminine (goddess energy) is about celebrating nature and natural healing, and non-violence.

Men are also tuned into the “feminine” goddess energy and have the ability to nurture as lovers, brothers, fathers, and husbands. Male symbolism projects caring combined with virility, as well as spirituality.

                                             

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Journal prompt: Find an “esoteric” non-traditional tarot deck and work with it. How do you see yourself as the protagonist (starting with The Fool card, the archetype of innocence) in the tarot journey?  

2) Write about goddess energy. Do you relate to it? Why or why not? Which goddess do you feel represents you? 

 

Art and images protected. Copyright © Kris Waldherr, all rights reserved

*****

PS: I’ve read all the arguments about capitalizing the word “tarot.” I’ve decided not to capitalize it from here on. Yes when citing a noun/specific deck, but no in general discussion. :0 Please don’t give up on me.