A Free Gift for You:
How to Make Space for Healing & Hope
As a small token of my appreciation for everyone in the Align Your Story community, I'm excited to share an end-of-the-year FREE gift with you: the (brand-new!) How to Make Space for Healing & Hope Two-Part Meditation and Writing Prompt!
I share how this two-part meditation and writing prompt came to be and a related poem below.
I also want to share a friendly reminder...:)
A Great Gift for Others:
I Say the Sky
If you’re still looking for a holiday gift for friends and family in your community (including yourself!), my new poetry book, I Say the Sky, which explores motherhood, healing, the climate crisis, and the wonder of being alive, is now available in North America on Amazon here or through the Press here!
And for each copy of the book you buy, you also receive FREE entry into the book’s companion 7-Day New Year Meditation and Writing Challenge! You can sign up (or sign up the friend you’re buying the book for!) for the challenge here.
(If you live outside of North America and would like to gift the book and the challenge to a friend but the book isn’t available to order yet, you can fill out this form here and I’ll email you a printable PDF that you can give to them in the meantime.)
The Story Behind
How to Make Space for Healing & Hope
This is a busy time of year; the days are still getting shorter; the holidays always bring up a lot; and there is so much turmoil in the world.
These are things I can’t and don’t want to ignore. I feel it’s important to recognize life’s challenges and uncertainties, and, when possible, take action to address them. I’m currently writing to my representatives in support of peace, for the stopping of killing, and for more just and sustainable practices for life on earth.
At the same time, I want to be present and bring good spirits to my work and to the people around me; I have much to celebrate and be grateful for.
I think many of us feel this way: a need to simultaneously acknowledge life’s struggles and celebrate its joys.
I remember many years ago when I first started to study yoga seriously, I’d find it off-putting when my teachers said in savasana: Relax completely; open both hands and let everything go. These words gave me a sense of falling through open space.
But one day, I had a teacher who instead said: You can open one hand and keep one hand closed.
That gave me permission to acknowledge that there were some things I wanted to let go of and other things I wanted to guard safely–some things I could put behind me and other things that I wanted to hold on to, either because they needed witnessing or because they needed cherishing.
So I designed this new two-part meditation and writing prompt to help us cultivate the light in our lives (hope) but also witness the darkness in our lives (heal); it’s about allowing for two directions at once, for multiple experiences and feelings.
You can access it–in both audio recording and text formats–below.
I hope you enjoy it.
How to Make Space for Healing & Hope:
A Two-Part Meditation and Writing Prompt
THE AUDIO RECORDING
THE TEXT (abbreviated version)
Now, write about something that brings you pain, something that needs witnessing and healing. Write whatever comes to mind without judgment. You don’t need to go to the most painful thing–just one thing that wants some extra love and attention.
Studies show the positive health benefits of writing from these painful places.
Now, write about something in the present. Write about something that is worth celebrating, that is alive now, that has lifeforce in it. Be as specific as possible.
You can return to this practice whenever you want space, emotional clarity, and renewal. This two-part prompt might also help you with any writing projects you are working on.
A Poem from I Say the Sky
This journey to look in both directions at once–into the sorrow but also into the joy–is at the heart of my work and at the heart of my new book, I Say the Sky.
In that spirit, I’d like to close with a poem from I Say the Sky that explores this theme explicitly. I hope you enjoy it.
Amid So Much Suffering, Do I Dare Be Happy?
Every kiss that was ever kissed—
every smile, every baby’s delight,
a first step, a face that hides
and comes back, a belly laugh—
every morning of gladness,
gladness, that selfsame word I
know because I’ve felt it—
every today, every yesterday
for a hundred years, a thousand,
ten thousand years
in languages now
no one speaks—
every grace—every kindness—
every head that bends down
close to another to listen—
every unchronicled act
of bodies helping bodies
so long gone we cannot
even begin to count
every one is framed
by great suffering,
by deceit, by threat,
No open plain
of rightness, no guarantee
But still, darling, your lips
upon my lips,
your hand on the small of my back,
my neck, my cheek—
of language, in every
language, across every inch
of time and space:
Joy, beauty, thanks
on the long path
through the meadows
where the forests burned,
through the grasslands,
the stands of evergreens,
the dark woods,
through cities, abandoned lots,
oil fields, we make
our journey; on and on we go,
again stumbling into love.
with love and gratitude. And as always, I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
PS: If you reside in North America and haven’t ordered your copy of I Say the Sky yet, you can still order it here and here and get it in time for the holidays! And when you order it, you can sign up here to get FREE access to the I Say the Sky New Year 7-Day Meditation & Writing Challenge (otherwise priced at $30). The book and the challenge make a wonderful gift “package” for yourself and for the writers, meditators, and poetry lovers in your life. 🙂
PPS: If you reside outside of North America, you will be able to order books and sign up for the free challenge sometime in the next few weeks! However, if you would like to gift the book and its companion writing challenge to a friend for the holidays, you can fill out this form here and I’ll email you a printable PDF that you can give to them this December; once the book becomes available in your community (likely in early January), I’ll notify you how to order the book and “officially” sign up your friend for the challenge. 🙂