Blog Tour July 15, 2014
A heart-friend, Elaine Mansfield, invited me to join a blog tour begun by Jean Raffa. Since I am a first time tour participant, Elaine was kind enough to lead me through the process. She writes with a strong sense of place and is connected deeply to her home and her civic involvement. Elaine is a life-long student of philosophy mythology, Jungian psychology and the spiritual traditions from many cultures and she used her knowledge as a women’s health counselor for 25 years. However, after the death of her husband in 2008, her studies turned to healthy grieving and creating a new and fertile life for herself. The result is that she now facilitates hospice support groups for women who have lost partners. She also writes for the Hospicare and Palliative Care of Tompkins County newsletter and website and helps others find the spiritual core and deeper connections available within loss and grief. Her book Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief is being published by Larson Publications and will be available in October of 2014. I can’t wait to read it.
Elaine writes a weekly blog about life’s adventures and lessons at elainemansfield.com/blog. Her email address is email@example.com.
For this blog tour, I was asked to answer four questions. To learn more about me and my work, visit my website at http://www.theresetappouni.com where you can sign up for my blog.
1) What Am I Working On?
I have just completed my memoir, which will be making the publication rounds after a bit of polishing. I’ve also been seeing clients and, most importantly, completed my classes to become a Certified HeartMath® Trainer. I’ve been a one-on-one provider for several years, and had the desire to reach more people with this amazing work. Recent studies with active duty and returning veterans has shown incredible improvements in their lives, their decision making and their stress with the Resilience Program. I will continue to promote my latest book The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss and presenting workshops on that subject as well. Reaching the age of 72 sees the “hounds of heaven” baying at my heals saying do it now! I know that includes deeper relationships with family and partner as well as my professional life, and it feels right and good.
2) How Does My Work Differ from Others of its Genre?
My genre? I believe that my genre is people and the heart. I have written several self-help books, essays, two novels and my book on grief. The theme is always about the importance of the heart. Something as small as breathing into the heart consistently and consciously throughout the day changes blood pressure, stress points and our ability to feel first, then act. For example, if something occurs and we have the impulse to lash out, if we breathe deeply into the heart and out again, we have a space in which to create a different outcome. That’s big! If we all did that, think what the world would look like. I play music, record CDs of visualizations and meditations to accompany my books and write poetry. I don’t think I have a genre. Through my publishers, Amazon and the store on my website, you can get a taste of my work.
3) How Does My Writing Process Work?
My writing process begins with something stirring in my heart and gut. Something wants to be told and my body knowing is preparing a space, just as if I were pregnant. Sometimes it comes from my compulsive researching and reading. If I become interested in a subject, it can go deep and demand exploration. I then begin to compulsively make notes—on napkins, in journals and even surreptitiously in the middle of conversations. I become a bit distracted. I always keep journals, and at this point I will begin one dedicated to this book or essay that is forming. I write down anything that moves me, from quotes to aphorisms to things I see on the news.
After awhile of this, I begin to write possible titles, chapters, major thoughts on cards and put them in a box with dividers labeled in pencil—that’s because all will change as I go along. For a novel, I’ll write descriptions of my characters, their personalities, their life path and what their purpose is in the book. At some point, all of this comes together in what I call THE BOOK, and I being to write—longhand! There’s no doubt that using the hand to write connects to the brain in creative ways not possible on a keyboard. I will do the outline on the key board, but the first draft is hand written. Only then do I move to the computer which is a wondrous source of research and editing. One of my favorite rants right now is the elimination of cursive writing from the schools—which also is helping the elimination of creativity—but that’s for another time.
4) Why do I Write What I Do?
Because I have to. It’s that pregnant thing again—I have no choice. I become pregnant with the idea and the words and it’s inevitable that I will move ahead and deliver at some point. The analogue breaks down when I hit nine months—it’s more like an elephant pregnancy. It can take years. I have no doubt that my age, what’s happening in my spiritual and physical world and in the bigger world all play into what I will be writing. The loss of my son began affecting my writing many years ago, and I always felt that what I put out there needed to have meaning. The wounds of life create a space for meaning to grow, and I never forget that. I have collaborated with composer Michael Hoppé, writing poetry to his gorgeous heart-centered music. That is something I would not have done when life had not challenged me in my deepest center. I write out of gratitude for all that I have been given, and also the necessity of following my soul’s path. I have learned love by experiencing loss, not only through the death of my son but the death of a thirty year marriage. Did I see them, at the time, as food for writing? Never. My writing lay fallow following these grievous hurts. But they took me deep and helped me excavate the Truth of myself—and that’s where I write from; the depths of me.
I am grateful that you have read this, and look forward to hearing from anyone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessing to all who write, love and share. And now, I introduce you to the next person who will blog here. Check her out—she’s amazing.
Trish is the author of an amazing book titled Riding into Your Mythic Life; Transformational Adventures with the Horse. Trish says: “Anyone who has admired a horse galloping across a field has stepped into their mythic life, if only for a moment. Horses are by nature mythic, representing in our collective imagination the human journey at its greatest. Trish is a therapeutic riding instructor, presenting her ideas and programs all over the world. You will be lifted into a new space with Trish and her powerful allies.