Posted on Apr 25, 2012 | 2 comments
Some of you may have noticed my recent posts in Facebook. Others of you may be wondering what’s going on with me. I’ve been going deep … deep into my healing and deep into my journey. Drum roll, please … and I just completed my chapter for the next Heal My Voice book project, titled “Empowered Voices”! YOU were my inspiration. YOU were at my back, pushing and cheering me as I navigated into uncharted waters.
Let me rewind a bit so you can catch up. At the end of January, I posted The Physical Side to My Love Affair. It was a post that I wrote in November of last year and had been in the queue to post for a while. Honestly, I had lost track of when it would go out. My only clue was the flood of emails and phone calls that I got from YOU … thanking me for my courage, telling me that you were going to pass it on, sharing your own personal challenges from assaults, rapes or abuse. It took me days to get a hold of myself … you knocked me off my feet. I never knew that I could have such an impact on others just through my writing.
Meanwhile, I have a women’s circle who meets on the phone every Tuesday and 3 of the women had mentioned a few times, “writing my chapter” or “I’m still trying to figure out what to write for my chapter.” As I was getting back on my feet, I started feeling a prompt … more like an energetic nudge … to ask more about what they were doing. And I discovered that they were part of a group of 20+ women who had done the Energy Coaching Training program with me last year, and they had banded together to write their personal stories. Chapters were due at the end of the month. I approached the leader, asking if it was too late to join … part of me hoping that it was. It wasn’t. I was welcomed in, and much to my surprise, I found myself standing on a cliff. I had never once revisited a story that I had already written, and yet I knew that there was no such thing as coincidence. That blog post was meant to be converted into this 2000 word chapter. Usually I feel pulled to write something, and this time I was being nudged by that blog post. Nudged to do what?! I had no clue how to proceed, simply because what needed to be said was already written. Wasn’t that the whole point of the blog post?!
I found that I had to trust … trust the story that wanted to emerge, and trust the gentle, loving, incredibly skillful guidance by our leader, Andrea Hylen. Andrea’s compelling vision is to help women heal through writing their stories. She even has a nonprofit, called Heal My Voice, with the intention to take this writing program that she has created to women in prisons, rehabilitation centers and abuse recovery centers. Her genius is seeing the story that needs to be told, even if the writer thinks differently. The photo to the right is the book cover for the most recent book, Fearless Voices, launched this month. Andrea serves as doula (setting a sacred safe environment, nurturing the process, dealing with meltdowns and nerves, creating community where each budding story can be encouraged and celebrated), midwife (gently editing, creating and publishing the book) and proud grandmother (stepping back with great pride and love as the completed project emerges). My experience of Andrea is that the story serves as a vehicle of healing for both the writer and the reader. I couldn’t have asked for better support with which to approach this re-write. Andrea could see in that blog post where I began to speak from my Head, distancing myself from my Body, and encouraged me to re-write the piece staying connected with my Body.
Thus I encountered another first … it took me two months to birth my chapter. Usually, multiple blog posts can flow from me within an afternoon. Why so long? I could see the beginning and the middle – these flowed from me within a week. But I couldn’t see how to end it. Conveniently, our India trip came up in mid-March so that gave me an excuse to step away for a while. But the answer still didn’t come. It was during my second private session with Andrea that she pointed out the obvious, “Meenal, you have to admit that the healing hasn’t ended. That this is a journey that is not yet complete. Not many of us have the courage to say that. You do.” Could I dare do that? The quintessential Overworked Overwhelmed Overachiever? Miss Perfectionist? Do I need to underline that I am an Overachiever? How could this not be wrapped up with a nice neat bow?
So I took the leap, and brought the story forward to today, revealing both the joys and the warts and the reality that there is more to follow. What emerged from me takes my breath away in wonder. I can see myself through the facts of my history and I can feel from the inside-out, through my choice of words, the dramatic change I’ve lived in just the past year. And the feedback from those friends who have read it says that I take them on that journey with me.
Why am I sharing this? Because so many of you have stories of healing that deserve to be shared. You’ve been tabling it because you haven’t had the time. Or you’ve been telling yourself, “I can’t write.” Or you’re scared stiff at the thought of revealing yourself in that way. All the more reason to join Andrea’s next book project!
Andrea is launching another women’s writing circle in June to begin the 9 month process of creating herInfo & Registration fourth book, tentatively titled “Conscious Voices”. The support that she provides in this writing circle takes into account all of those excuses and more. She provides the support to make sure the story that is meant to be told is birthed … messy, squalling and yet infinitely beautiful. And you get to be cheered on by all of us who have gone through that birthing process before you. I hope you join me – let me know if you do!