This has been such a learning and growing experience for me and I wish everyone could have the opportunity to take part. There will be a new class starting in September and I will definitely be part of that.
What I have learned is that to write is to discover. I have been writing in journals for 30 years and in some sense I have known it but I truly am experiencing it now. What do you discover? You discover your voice, your soul, God's work, the meaning behind events, your emotions. There are all kinds of things that we discover.
I also learned that this kind of writing and sharing with others is always going to involve vulnerability. I found that as the time went on I actually became more aware of my anxiety about presenting my offerings to others. Part of that was because I was so appreciative of the writings of the other women in the circle and that voice of personal inadequacy really had to be quieted down for me to get to the place where I could write and then share my writings.
I learned - or remembered - the power and beauty of words. We started every session together reading a poem or writing and would share which lines or words spoke to us. It is a great exercise and helps me to slow down and just notice words and images.
I learned that there is a gift to the discipline of writing every week in community. We shared our lives and we shared our stories and it was a great bond. We were in no way in competition with each other, but just supported our creative expressions.
These two months have been a gift to me as we have together connected to "the one whose heart beats with ours" (Joan Chittister's words). Yesterday we read together an excerpt from the book The Seven Whispers, Listening to the Voice of Spirit by Christian Baldwin. The Seven Whispers are a prayer that is a list - "short memorable phrases that can be recited as prayer and remembered in moments of need."
Maintain peace of mind.
Move at the pace of guidance.
Practive certainty of purpose.
surrender to surprise.
Ask for what you need and offer what you can.
Love the folks in front of you.
Return to the World.
And so I "return to the world" determined to keep writing and engaging in this act of discovery and creativity.