junie@junieswadron.com | 250.813.0183

08 Feb

Valentine’s Day is for Everyone!

Will you be my Valentine?

Come Celebrate Your Heart, Your Spirit and Your Love

on Sunday, February 10th from 2:30 – 5:30

By Feb. 14th, You Will Be A

Valentine Love-Magnet

$39.00 – Must Register because Space is Limited!

Call 250 – 385-2205

How do YOU feel about Valentine’s Day?

Do you celebrate it?

Do you detest it, hoping the day will soon be over?

Are you indifferent?

Well, indifferent, in favor or not, it’s here and Hallmark and consumerism have made Valentine’s Day into a Billion Dollar Day with cards, chocolates, flowers and jewelry for lovers across the world.

Yes, Valentine’s Day, no matter how it’s celebrated – isn’t lost for those in love.

But what if you’re single, or widowed or divorced? Do you feel left out? Or what if you’re in a relationship but it’s not feeling particularly loving these days? Do you just wish this day would hurry up and pass?

And where did this tradition come from in the first place?

Well, the history of Valentine’s Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. However, one legend that I like, goes like this – That sometime in the 3rd Century in Rome was a fierce and brutal emperor named Claudius the II. Claudius wanted to grow his army and he was having trouble getting married men to enlist. They were opposed to leaving their homes and going to war. Claudius, believed there was no room for sentimentally – he knew what it cost him in his personal life and on the battlefield. So he decided that single men would make better soldiers. So in keeping with his objective to have a prolific army of unattached, healthy young men, it only stands to reason that abolishing marriage would be the logical solution. So, he did.

He made a decree across the land forbidding men and women to enter into a marriage contract. Now smug and delighted with his seemingly brilliant solution, he went about building a large, fierce and obedient army.

Now, somewhere in the land, lived this kind and loving priest whose name of course, was, Valentine. Valentine believed in love, marriage, romance and holy blessed relationships. He saw Claudius’s law as preposterous and hideous and continued to marry couples in secret.

It’s not mentioned how long he managed to stay underground and do this, but one dark day, he was caught and thrown into prison and sentenced to death.

He seemed to take his fate fairly well, summoning up the love inside of him – knowing who he was – and pleased that he was able to use his life for what he truly believed in – and even helped to smuggle his newlyweds out of the country, where they’d be safe. And now, while in prison, waiting for the date of his execution, he received untold numbers of letters daily from people far and wide thanking him for believing in love and expressing their deep sorrow for his fate. Even one of the prison guards, obviously one with a gentle heart, allowed his daughter to come and visit with him regularly. Then it was told that on the day he was to die, which happened to be February 14th, of course, Valentine wrote a card thanking this young woman for her belief in love and for helping him to keep his own spirits up and then he signed it, “Love, from Your Valentine.”

Now, it’s understandable why we celebrate – over 2,000 years later, Valentine’s Day. It’s a tribute to continue to celebrate and honour the man who became a martyr and later a Saint – for his life and his message, which was to keep love alive. They may have killed the man, but they didn’t kill his spirit. And they never will, not just because the card and flower industries that support it won’t let it die – that may be one reason – on the surface — but I choose to believe it’s because of the deepening meaning from whence it came — and that is – that love can never die.

How can it when it’s inherently who we are! When we strip down beyond the layers of doubt, suspicion and beyond the layers of sadness, depression or lack of this or lack of that – all names for F.E.A.R. –under it all, we have our true divine nature– our spiritual nature – and that, unquestionably is LOVE.

Valentine’s Day helped me move beyond those fear words and beliefs that my mind sometimes loves to play with – the part that judges how I’ve handled certain relationships and their outcomes and move instead into the gentler places of myself – to feel and express those ones inwardly and out loud. The loving part of me! The loving Junie.

I have to say, there have been many years I’ve spent Valentine’s Day with a loving partner. In some cases, my partner would poo-poo V-Day because he took the stand that love is to be expressed every day – not when Hallmark says so. Me – being the unrelenting romantic that I am, would derive much joy filling his cup with home-made cards and bought ones and flowers and dinners and tons of affection – which of course, heightened our love even more. I’ve also had boyfriends who were as romantic as me and it was an equal loving exchange. And I have also been alone and miserable on V-Day or alone and feeling fabulous. I’ve experienced all of it.

My invitation to you is to make Valentine’s Day 2013 – no matter what your stand – with or without a partner – an opportunity to turn up your love!

Want to know a great way to begin? Write the most loving Valentine you can imagine. The kind that YOU would love to RECEIVE.

And here’s the catch…Write it to YOURSELF!

Kind of like this: Dearest Junie (substitute your own name – unless you want to write me one too:And keep going.

Write a love letter to yourself whereYOU are your own best friend, your own best lover.

At the same time, think of people in your life who put a smile on your face and send write them a card or note too.  

When you’re done, put them in an addressed envelope, including your own, put the stamps on, walk to the mailbox, look at every card, think of the person you are sending it to, blow them a kiss and send them on their way!  Trust me, it will make you feel like a million bucks.

And from me to you, my friend, may I be the first to say,

Will You Be My Valentine?

Love and only Love,

Junie

 

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08 Jan

Poem and Prayers for 2013

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed

when you listen to the news

and the reporters are broadcasting all

the despair that is happening in the world

I do!

Luckily, a friend sent me the solution and it’s just too groovy not to share.

Groovy? Yes! – No other word would do!

After you watch it, make sure you come back and read my poem and prayer and consider writing your own. Let’s create a poem prayer blog for the earth and for ourselves for 2013.

YouTube Video

 

BREATHING POSSIBILITIES

You can talk about yesterday
or talk about tomorrow
You can talk about the falling dollar
talk about your sorrow
You can talk about chemicals
and how they’re poisoning the earth
You can talk about how bad it is
and how it’s getting worse

Or you can take this moment
and softly close your eyes
Breathe a breath from deep within
and do not compromise
Take another and then another
and in the stillness feel
The wonder of this moment –
can this too be real?

Stay within the silence
and notice what you hear
Listen with your heart
and watch your fears all disappear

For in this very moment
a miracle is due
If you listen with your heart
there will be a message just for you.

A child is being born right now;
can you hear the sound of life
In a little church just down the way
vows are being made as man and wife

Somewhere on a hilltop
a traveler has found her way
And the dew upon the morning grass
has welcomed a brand new day.

Stay within this moment
for the miracle is here
There’s nothing that you need to do
nothing but be sincere

Life is bursting forth in every breath
And in the stillness find
A place to love, a place to join
with every heart and mind.

Rejoice for in this moment
you can send blessings near and far
Rejoice for in this moment
you are a living star
And every time you feel afraid
and wonder what to do
Come back to this one moment
and know the miracle is you.

Wishes and Prayers for 2013:

My Prayers For Humanity

I pray for unprecedented peace upon our planet. That the people of war put down their guns and go home.
I pray for conscious leadership and release from war. That the olive branch is extended to our brothers and sisters everywhere.
I pray for collective honouring of all beings through inspired voices of community
I pray for equitable redistribution of living resources and prosperity as our collective birth right.
I pray we hold each other in compassion and love.

A PRAYER OF INTENTION FOR MYSELF:

To live with gratitude

To maintain my sense of humour

To listen with kindness; to act with love

To live by inspiration and not in have-to’s and should’s

To let go of the past and all that no longer serves me

To offer my gifts with love and joy

And Always Remember to Dance!

The Ho’oponopono Prayer:

This is a very potent Hawaiian Prayer

to be used for yourself and humanity

I’m Sorry

Please Forgive Me

I Love You

Thank you

Happy New Year. God Bless You and
May All Your Dreams and Prayers Come True! 

Love, Junie

 

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12 Jul

Series of drop-in writing circles

DEAR FRIENDS! 


EXCITING NEWS!  I am offering Summer Drop-In Writing Circles 


My new repertoire includes an array of creative modalities such as music, movement, collage, field trips and theatre games which will bring you deeper into your writing experience.  


You will bring your insights and new awareness from these creative experiences into your writing.  The writing – in any form – prose, poetry, memoir, etc. can be enjoyed independently or applied to works already in progress. 


On Tuesdays, visual artist and facilitator, Susanne Dannenberg will be joining us. She will be bringing some of her inspiring collage materials to take us deeper on our creative journey. 

More info on Susanne, her art and workshops can be found at:  www.artaccess.ca


Fees $20 per session or $95.00 for a series of 10.  


We offer a sliding scale discount from there down to $12 per session as needed.  Plus please bring a toonie on Tuesdays for art supplies.


Come on any of these days below, but space is limited to eight people so please call or email me to secure your spot.


Sessions will begin the week of July 23th, on the following days and times:

Day Time
Monday 2:30 – 5:00
Tuesday 2:30 – 5:00
Wednesday 10:30 – 1:00
Thursday 6:30 – 9:00

Give yourself the gift of this creative writing smorgasbord where you will

be encouraged to colour outside the lines. Crayons Provided!  J


We are looking forward to having you join us.

 

Junie

250-385-2205   junieswadron@gmail.com


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12 Jun

Please Join me on Cortes Island

 

Summer Soul-stice Weekend Writing Retreat
June 21st – 25th 2012

Thursday, June 21st 7 p.m.

Junie reading from my book  RE-WRITE YOUR LIFE A Transformational Guide to Writing and Healing the Stories of Our Lives

Location: Pioneer Room at Manson’s Hall

Cost: FREE

Workshop Location: Diane and Andrew’s Place 1051 Seaford Road in Manson’s

Workshop

Re-Write Your Life

For full details Click Here

Friday June 22nd – 6:30 – 9:30

Saturday, June 23rd – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sliding Scale – $90.00 – $200.00

Workshop

Author Support Group

with Special Guest Speaker Julie Salisbury of Influence Publishing

Sunday, June 24th – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Full details Click Here

Julie Salisbury will be speaking about how to get your book published and
answering all your questions about the next step.www.influencepublishing.com

Sliding Scale $75.00 – $150.00

Special Package Price for Friday, Saturday & Sunday $150.00- $325.00

Private Coaching & Divination Readings

Monday, June 25th by appointment only

For More Information about All Courses, Coaching and Divination Readings

OR Call Diane on Cortez 250-935-6647

http://www.cortesisland.com/tideline/

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11 Jun

DANCE & STOMP OUT STIGMA PARTY for Mental Health!

Saturday, June 30th , 2012
Church of Truth 111 Superior St. James Bay Victoria

FUN – D – RAISER

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller-

Academy for creative and healing arts for people with metnal challenges

Creativity is the opening for the human heart to meld pain and anguish then convert it into brilliant works of art. When we lose our impulse to create, something inside us slowly begins to die. People with mental health challenges often lose this part of them when their illness takes hold.

Mine did for many years. I was diagnosed with bi-polar illness when I was 19. You can read part of my story if you click here.

Please join the hundreds already on board in Victoria to create our Vision of a Healing Centre where we use creativity to transform Mental ”Illness” into Mental HEALTH!

JUNE 30TH, 2012
CHURCH OF TRUTH

6:45 Doors Open
7:00 Stimulating conversation with Junie Swadron about ACHA
and guest speakers: Bi-Polar Babe Andrea Paquette and Blair Finnie, Organizer of The Mental Health Freedom Conference
8:15 Dance The Night Away

Tell Everyone You Know! – Best Party In Town!
Tweet It! FaceBook It! Shout if from the Rooftops!

LETS DANCE & STOMP OUT STIGMA ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS FOR GOOD!

Suggested Donation $18.00 or whatever you can afford
In Hebrew, the number 18 means Life

L`Chaim – To Life!

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia  AND towards establishing The Academy for Creative and Healing Arts for People with Mental Health Challenges

Click here to learn more about A.C.H.A.

Madness, Masks and Miracles

A Play to Dispel Myths and Stigmas

about Mental Illness

Co-written by June Swadron and Victoria Maxwell

DVD of the Premiere Performance of
MADNESS, MASKS & MIRACLES

for The World Assembly for Mental Health
at The Vancouver Conference Centre

IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!

DVD

Track 1: Junie’s Story – with Brock Tully Hosting
Track 2 – Live Performance of Madness, Masks and Miracles
Track 3 – Talk Back – (conversation) with the audience

$39.00

(special evening price – regularly $49.00 + $10.00 shipping)

Copies available for purchase at June 30th Dance & Stomp Out Stigma Party …and you won`t have to pay shipping charges!

 

For more information about the play Click Here

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05 Apr

Write Yourself Home One Day Writing Retreat

A Fun & Profound One-Day Writing Retreat

Do you think you can’t write? Well, you can!

Do you think your negative beliefs and attitudes toward writing
can’t change in a few hours? Yes, they can!

Do you think life affirming transformation can’t happen in a day?
Yes, it can!

Come, let me show you how to come home to your heart through the joy
of writing.

Writing has the power to stop time, cut through the extraneous and take us
home to our heart. This absolutely fun experience will engage the writer within
and may surprise you by eliciting prose, poetry, song lyrics or simply stream of
consciousness writing in “no apparent form”. You will learn the fundamentals of
moving past the head and into the heart of writing.

You will be led gently into story and into the soul’s inner landscape where
clarity, creativity, passion, originality and truth are revealed. With
encouragement, safety and the freedom to jump in, you will open to the joy of
where writing can take you.

The sweet whisperings of your soul meet you on the page and something shifts.
You strengthen. You begin to stand taller and one day you notice that your voice
on the page has become your voice in the world.
For those who have never experienced my 8-week writing workshops called,
Sacred  Writing Circles, also known as “Write Where You Are” or Re-Write Your Life, this will give you an excellent opportunity to be introduced to the experience.

 

“When I arrived here I was completely stuck. I felt self-conscious,
worried, couldn’t even think about reading out loud to the group. By the time I
left at the end of the day, words were pouring onto the paper like years of
uncried tears. I read out loud to the group and felt proud of the things I had
written after it was received so warmly by the group. What a personal
transformation in 1 day!”

Gillian Pierson

Saturday, April 7, 2012
Time:  9:30am – 5pm

Location:

Church of Truth
Community of Conscious Living
111 Superior Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8V 1T3

Cost: $125

SEE YOU THERE!!

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29 Dec

2012 – BRAND NEW BEGINNINGS AND YOU!

Welcome to the dawning of 2012 – the end of the Mayan calendar, a time of new global beginnings. Some talk about it as a time of ascended consciousness – a time where humanity is being called to wake up to how precious our planet and each of its inhabitants are to take responsible action to restore balance, harmony and equality.

Some fear we will see more wars, planetary catastrophes and the ending of political and social structures as we know them. They question what that could mean to them personally, to their families and communities.

Others are excited about new possibilities and potentialities of a more humane world and the unlimited creative opportunities that can come as a result of auspicious imminent change.

One thing is for certain, no-one really knows what is to come. Uncertainty has been said to be one of the greatest causes for people to become fearful. Yet there is a way of reframing uncertainty that, when we apply it, we see within its very framework the seeds of safety and a sense of all being as it should be.

It is when we allow the mystery of life to unfold and watch it as a child might with curiousity and wonder that we feel more at peace. From this place, rather than getting caught up by “the news of the day” that seduces us into fear, we take our direction from our inner compass that guides us safely to our next step. A compass that shines light on compassion, understanding and optimistic outcomes.

This is a big leap for people who are used to making decisions on the spot, often knee-jerk reactions to life’s circumstances, rather than observing, reflecting and then responding with discernment.

Although our ego likes to trick us into believing it knows the answer and wants to take control, peace ultimately comes from surrender, letting go and allowing God or Universal Intelligence to be our guide. Every moment is an opportunity to remember to breathe, be still and ask inside for guidance.

I know when I do this, a peace washes over me. My challenge doesn’t come from not believing it will help, it comes from not remembering to do it. One way that helps me is to include this surrender in my morning journaling practice. When I do, I often feel an immediate tingling course through my body telling me I am being heard … and I give thanks.

TIPS FOR TODAY
GET OFF THE TREADMILL AND B R E A T H E

I often hear people talk about being in overwhelm. There is an urgency to get things done. It’s all about do-ing. The lists are endless and often that which feeds our soul is last on the list. More often than I would like to admit, I fall into that category. I forget I am just one person when I am trying to “do it all.”

If this also describes you, would you like to join me in a self-honouring practice? If so, let’s begin 2012 by stepping off the treadmill and feeding our souls with what is precious to us.

For me, rather than leaping out of bed to the first “to do” of the day, I envision myself beginning each morning in quiet reflection. Whether it be meditation, reading passages from books that inspire me, journal writing or a walk in nature, doing this will be giving myself the greatest gift I could receive. By filling my soul’s longing for connection with the Divine, I enter my day with renewed vitality and an open heart, receptive to my surroundings and all who become part of the day’s tapestry.

Why don’t we do this together. Apparently it takes 21 days to create a habit. Would you like to take up a 21-day challenge of beginning each day with an hour of spiritual practice? Write me in the comment section below and let me know how you are doing.

CREATIVE EXPRESSION – SAY YES!

2012 is a blank slate ready to be filled by your highest dreams and aspirations.
What could possibly be a better time than now to listen to your hearts desires, to feed the yearnings of your soul?

Whatever it is, just SAY YES!

“Eat. Drink. Sleep. Write. Repeat. OR
Or Eat. Drink Sleep. Sing, Dance, Paint, Join a club, Create Music, Repeat.

Whatever feeds your creative impulse, follow it. And repeat! Make it part of your lifestyle. Be like that curious, adventurous and free spirited child. Spread out those toys across the floor. See what they look like upside down, sideways and coloured right off the page! Oh, you have work to do, you say? Can’t put those crayons down? Oh well. ?

…However…Perhaps you are one of these people who have an abundance of energy and creative projects in mind but too many options keep you from doing any of them. OR perhaps you have lost sight of your creative aspirations.

For those of you who need to focus and those who have lost touch with your creative dreams, UNLEASH YOUR PASSION, CREATIVITY AND HIGHEST POTENTIAL is a set of 3 meditations on one CD that will help bring your creative dreams alive and set you on a new course of action. Available here

“I thought I had lost my dreams after my husband died. Since listening to June’s meditations on a regular basis, I have a new found sense of well-being inside me and I have begun painting again … something I thought I lost decades ago.”
Mary Chambers

Are you ready to dream big and watch your dreams become manifest? I am!

ACHA – ACADEMY FOR CREATIVE AND HEALING ARTS!

The premiere showing of Madness, Masks and Miracles at the Victoria Truth Centre on December 11th was a brilliant success. Thank you to the volunteers who made it possible and to Sally Glover who hosted the event.

There was a full house and it was the first public discussion about ACHA – Academy for Creative and Healing Arts.

This is my dream! My Vision. Please join the hundreds who are already dreaming it with me. Let’s make it thousands and make this dream a 2012 Reality. A Dream Whose Time Has Come!

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21 Nov

Creativity Transforms Mental Illness into Mental Health

Victoria Premiere Screening of Madness, Masks and Miracles
followed by a discussion

Sunday, December 11, 2011 6:45 p.m.
Truth Centre, 1201 Fort Street, Victoria, BC

Join June Swadron, Victoria writer, actor, playwright, psychotherapist and author of Re-Write Your Life, in an evening of exploring the link between creative expression and wellness for people living with a mental illness. Continue Reading

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11 Sep

Writing Through the Darkness – Reflections on 9/11

Do you remember where you were?

In my last newsletter, the tip I offered was to buy yourself a special journal.

Today, being the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I’m going to share some personal entries that I wrote in my journal on September 11th, 2001.

I had set that day aside to write an article for Vancouver’s Common Ground magazine. The theme for October was WRITING and the deadline was approaching fast.

I believe what you will read below will demonstrate the reliable and undeniable value of putting pen to paper when your heart is flooded with emotion.

“If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy or both – you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” –Ray Bradbury

Journal Entry…

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

I woke up with good intentions today to write an article about how writing can be used as a profound therapeutic tool—how it can help us move from pain to catharsis. It’s something I know well. I’ve been using writing to help me work things out since I was given my first diary at age 8. Over four decades ago, journaling wasn’t in vogue like it is today, so I learned of its value through usage. Also, I have been eyewitness to the many transformations borne out of this medium through facilitating creative/cathartic writing groups for over 10 years. I also frequently use it as a relevant tool with my psychotherapy clients. It’s a subject I know well and feel confident to write about. Not today.

Instead I have spent this day like thousands of others—in shock. I woke early this morning—day eleven on my newly acquired piece of paradise—in a cottage set in the spacious woods of Bowen Island and overlooking the gulf islands, mountains and ocean.

In these several days I have watched eagles flying gracefully over my home, herons resting on my dock; earlier today, a hummingbird came to visit my hanging geranium and a bluebird began singing to me from the fir tree next to my bedroom window.

And from this peace and paradise, still I woke with a heavy heart. I wasn’t sure of its origin but knew I needed to connect with someone—someone very close to me. I called my friend Dale who instantly and sensitively revealed to me what was going. I let the tears flow as she described the gruesome details. The very next thing I did was e-mail my partner, who just a week ago, flew to Korea, to take a contract there. I needed to tell him of my horror and how grateful I am that he has landed safely and is not on a plane en route. I spent the rest of the day in silent prayer, grief, fury and questioning God. Why? But I haven’t heard any answers. And so I didn’t come to the computer to write that article, which has a close deadline, and I’m not writing it now—at least not the way I thought I would. Instead I do what I do when I need to release. I write what is there in front of me—I simply tell the truth…

I was on my dock a little while ago. I took a candle and the meditation prayer that was e-mailed to me earlier in the day by the people who put on the Prophet’s Conference. They asked that we join them in a unified prayer—to pray for those who passed on, for their families and friends and for us all upon earth; to pray for those who orchestrated this event, so that they are filled with peace instead of fear and anger and to pray for the politicians—that they act from divine wisdom and not revenge. This is a time to move away from blame and seek to understand cause. Caesar, my black cat and the most affectionate and wise creature I have ever known, followed me down to the dock to bring his energy into the fold. Together we meditated for world peace.

I don’t think I wanted to blame. I wanted to help—to make a contribution to the lives of those who are suffering. Here I am in this incredible God given sanctuary while at the very same time, thousands of people have just died, perhaps are still dying—being buried under rubble—and thousands of families and friends of these people are in grief and disbelief.

I remembered years ago during the Gulf War how isolated I felt—how alone while watching television from my living room and watching bombs flying through the air ready to land on who knows what target. A decade earlier I had spent the year in Israel, arriving there during the Yom Kippur War. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something now, today. I called people to hold a vigil at my house at sundown. They will arrive shortly. Perhaps our unified prayers will help. They will help me, I know.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

A week has passed since I originally came to my computer to write about writing. I have been unable to until now. I have been involved with my world—walking around numb, anxious, strong, vulnerable, and above all, once again grateful to feel – to be alive. I have been e-mailing back and forth to many friends. I have been the recipient of dozens of e-mails sent by spiritual leaders. Each message holds the same Divine Truth—we must elevate our energy to our highest self at this time—and not be seduced into fear.

And these writings and my own journal have once again, served as my best friend. My partner and I are 15 hours apart and thousands of miles away and we can’t speak in real time very often. My journal is there right now, when I need it—a constant and reliable companion. It plays witness to my tears, remorse, anguish, uncertainly, and to my gratitude. It has seen it all. It judges nothing. How does it work? It works because I tell the truth. It works because I release what needs expression.

Sometimes I think it’s too simple. But then I realize that’s exactly why it’s so powerful. Writing from where we are right now puts us in the state of being authentic, which frees the energy to move. It is liberating to express ourselves. It is a letting go process that allows us to breathe ourselves back home.

As we spill onto the pages what is pertinent in the moment, neither embellishing, nor denying, simply stating it the way it is, we free ourselves from confusion and false voices. We may be flooded with emotion as we impart our truth onto the page—sadness, grief, rage, excitement, love, joy. Allow it all to unfold, to gently come forth. Don’t force it—it’s there. You needn’t strive—it’s there. Just allow the words to come. Don’t judge. Don’t go into your head and say this sounds too awful, this doesn’t make sense, what if someone sees it; just write. Edit later if you must. But for now, just be kind to yourself and do not stop the flow. Do it that way and you’ll be astounded by the results. It’s the energy of now that carries the might. Even when you’re writing about something that happened twenty years ago—it’s your relationship to it at this very moment that matters. And your writing will show you what matters even when you yourself are not sure because the truth will always emerge as you ask your ego to step out of the way.

I believe each of us needs a private place where we can express ourselves without censorship, without judgment, without someone telling us it’s wrong, impolite, unforgiving or anything else. Each of us needs somewhere to state our truth at any given moment and know it’s completely safe to do so. And to express the written word without fear of doing it wrong—a place to put all the old grammar books away.

Still the most common element I have seen over the years in my writing classes is the lack of confidence people have in themselves. Their fear of doing it wrong and saying it wrong surfaces again and again. They qualify their writing.—“Well, I was tired, so I don’t really think it’s very good.” “I was confused and…” or “I had a terrible day today and…” Then they are encouraged to read it anyway, and are often astounded by what they wrote. So if you find yourself criticizing yourself, don’t get discouraged. It’s normal. Just keep your pen moving across the page. Eventually you won’t care if it’s good or bad, right or wrong, you will just write. You will stop being attached to the outcome. You simply write. And that’s when it becomes a meditation. That’s when it becomes a way of life. That’s when it becomes as natural as getting up and brushing your teeth. And when writing is that for you, you will notice a shift in your life. You will notice that things are working out better. You will observe that the voice on the page becomes your voice in the world. Even if you change your mind about what you say a few days later and a new truth emerges, that’s okay. In fact, that’s what happens when we write from our authenticity. The truth sets us free. We move the energy around instead of staying stuck in it. We find a healthier, newer way to relate to the situation. Clarity emerges. Life energy emerges. Strength, confidence and self-love emerge and as you continue to write, you will begin to achieve things that you never thought possible. Your journals can and will be the starting-off point to poems, plays, song lyrics whatever. But mostly you will have your voice. And that… is worth every word.”

And ten years later, my journal is still my best friend. I never know what will emerge on the page. But what I do know is when I allow myself to go naked, my soul feels reborn.

Please do not miss the opportunity of joining me and like-minded others on Saturday September 17th, for a fabulous one-day writing retreat! BY DONATION.

More info at
Write Yourself Home

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29 Aug

Time for New Beginnings

Once again it’s almost fall and time for brand new beginnings.

I remember when I was a young teen in Toronto, the summer holidays seemed long and the hot, humid days felt almost interminable. My friends and I hung out in the park under the shade of the chestnut trees listening to our transistor radios. Later we’d check out the latest LPs or 45s—am I’m dating myself or what!—at Tommy Common’s Record Store and then we were off to Puppy Palace on Bathurst Street for cherry cokes and root beer. Oh how innocent we were!

Eventually summer came to an end and the day after Labour Day was the first day of school.

My most exciting memory of returning to school was when I had graduated from Public School to Junior High School. Instead of one classroom and one teacher all day long, we changed classes every 40 minutes and had different teachers for every subject. We were even given our very own lockers. Now that was cool!

I did very well that year. The best subject for me was English composition. I loved writing creative stories and I was lucky enough to have a teacher, Miss Gola, who encouraged me. She was one of the first teachers ever who complimented me on my writing and made me feel as though I could write. She gave me the confidence to keep exploring this medium which set me on a writing path that I could never have known back then.

Many people have not been so lucky. They had teachers who criticized their creative efforts, destroying their belief that they could ever write. Did you know that Mark Twain said, “If we taught our children to speak the way we teach them to write, everyone would stutter”. How painfully true that is. I hope today teachers help inspire and nurture the creative process in their students.

For 20 years now I have had the privilege of being a “Miss Gola” to countless people. Some were disheartened early in life and had let their creative dreams die in those darkened classrooms. I live in gratitude for having the privilege of watching people’s lives transform while they re-discover their voice on the page and their voice on the page soon becomes their voice in the world.

May this fall and all your new beginnings be blessed with the innocence, wonder and joyous spirit of a young child. Dare to explore wherever your heart leads you.

All blessings,
Junie

 

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14 Jul

Ready To Transform Your Life?

Have you ever considered writing your life stories but then have stopped yourself because there are things you’d just rather not remember let alone write about?

What if there was a way of returning to those same stories that when you thought of them, you felt empowered rather than disturbed? A way that would transform how you felt about yourself as well as certain people and events from your past?

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01 Jul

Julia Cameron Live

For many years I have been a student and teacher of Julia Cameron’s life-changing book, The Artist’s Way. If you are not already familiar with The Artist’s Way please read on because you are in for a major treat. If you already know of it and even if you have worked through the 12 chapters, you might not know that Julia is now offering something new and very special. Continue Reading

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21 May

Musical Heart Feast: Write Where You Are

Wednesday’s Write Where You Are workshop session was absolutely awesome. The homework assignment to the group was to find a favourite piece of music, listen to it, choose a lyric, phrase, chorus or simply breathe in the essence of the song, and write what comes up. In other words, write where you are! I asked the group to also bring the full lyrics and a CD which contained their chosen music, to the next class.

What a beautiful, heartfelt afternoon it was! It seems all of them are, but what other than music could bring us into an instantaneous opening of our hearts?

All participants but one did the homework. The others, after much deliberation, were able to choose a “favourite song” or at least one they resonated with the most at that time.

After our usual settling in meditation, followed by a go-around to give each person a moment to check in about their week, we addressed the musical homework. One at a time, each person played the CD containing the song they chose. As we all listened carefully, some of us had gentle tears, evoked by the lyrics, or the poignant music, that accompanied each song.

When the song ended, the person who brought it in, followed our sacred ritual of making eye contact in silence, with each person in our sacred circle to feel their support and love. Then she or he read what they had written. Wow! That in turn evoked more visceral responses from the rest of us. Then we shared our thoughts and feelings with the writer, always with respect, love and encouragement.

During our initial go-around, one of the members of the group told us he didn’t find time to do the homework. Immediately inspired I told him, “No matter. I have something in mind”.

After everyone had their turn, I said to the gentleman who had not chosen a song to write about, “So, Russ (not his real name), if you were to choose a song right now, what would it be”?

Without a moment’s hesitation, he wistfully answered, “Dave Brubeck, Take Five”.

While moving toward the computer I inquired, “Can you tell us about it”?

He said, “Oh, there are no lyrics”.

A moment later, by way of the invaluable YouTube, we were watching and listening to a 1972 live performance of Dave Brubeck’s Quartet playing Take Five in Greenwich Village, New York City.

I looked over at Russ. His eyes were closed and he looked like he was in bliss. When the song ended, with eyes still closed, he took us into the story of when he was a 14-year-old boy, leaving his home in Prince Rupert to spend the summer with his sister and brother-in-law in Manhattan. He said he never would have known a place with the urbanity of New York City existed. He became immersed in the extremes of the commerce culture of Wall Street and to the Beat Generation of Greenwich Village. He then shared his most outstanding memory. The time, his sister and brother-in-law took him to a smoky blues and jazz club in the heart of Greenwich Village where Dave Brubeck was actually playing, Take Five.

I’ve been considering taking out stocks in Kleenex.

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11 Apr

A new blog space!

Oh what a feeling! A new blog space. As a writer, having a Blog is quite a thing of joy. A digital blank canvas so to speak, and now I get to fill it with articles, ideas, matters of a serious nature, and some not so serious. A place to share thoughts and ideas… and then some. Continue Reading

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02 Apr

Welcome

My name is June Swadron. Please make yourself comfortable and have a leisurely look around while I introduce myself to you through some of the services and workshops I offer. It is my hope that everyone who visits me here benefits in some way. Either by deciding to call for a private counseling/coaching session, registering for one of my many workshops, or simply by having a sense of well-being while browsing through these on-line pages.

May your day be blessed with peace, kindness and joy.

Namaste,
June

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junie@junieswadron.com | 250.813.0183