12 Oct

A RAW AND DEEPLY HONEST RESPONSE TO THE WAR IN ISRAEL

A RAW AND DEEPLY HONEST RESPONSE
TO THE WAR IN ISRAEL

Content Warning: This blog post delves into sensitive topics like mental health, suicide, eating disorders, sexual and religious violence, religious conflicts, and war. Please read with discretion and with self-care in mind.

Dear Friends,

This is what poured out of me on October 8th at 3:45 a.m., the morning after hearing that Israel was at War. It has a lot of personal information about me – my relationship with Israel, my relationship with all people, and my firm commitment to participate as a humanitarian in my mission for peace. It is my intention that what comes from my heart is delivered directly into your heart as well and that together we can unite to build a world of peace, love, and harmony, instead of divisiveness and polarization.

This is my invitation to join me and other peace-makers in the world to unite in the power of Love. In the power of Goodness, Compassion, and in the likeness of God. And let us remember that Love is not passive. Love is a verb. It means taking positive action in whatever ways your heart calls you to act. Perhaps it’s simply calling one person today to tell them that you love them or just being still while actively praying for peace for all peoples. All acts of love are worthy and their ripple effects can move mountains.

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
There is a field. I’ll meet you there
.

~ Rumi

Saturday, October 7th, 2023

SHOCKING NEWS “ISRAEL IS AT WAR” 3:45 a.m.

When my friend sent me an email saying she was praying for everyone in Israel, I wondered what she was talking about. I Googled, I read, I watched, and I was horrified. I contacted my beloved niece, Rachel, to find out if her children who live there are safe. She said that they were in the north and yes, they were safe. I can’t help wondering, is anyone safe in that country? Is anyone safe anywhere?

The world has gone crazy. I don’t usually pay attention to the news – not in an active way. I am informed about it from some of my friends who have their eyes on the pulse and are actively involved. My sensitive nervous system keeps me traumatized after one newsreel. Yet today, I couldn’t seem to stop myself from clicking on the video of the Hamas terrorist attacks and now I can’t sleep. I can’t get the images out of my mind. Nor what I’ve been reading ever since.

Thank God I received Marianne Williamson’s and Maria Shriver’s Facebook posts – voices of sanity, acknowledging the despair, grief and horror I feel within my own soul. Their grief and horror is my grief and horror – it’s our collective grief for humanity. And it’s OK to weep beyond politics, beyond right and wrong, but instead for the hearts of every human being affected by the atrocities of war. As well as each and every human being who is walking around not knowing where to turn and asking, pleading to know what is going on with our planet, who can we trust, and where do we go from here. And how can those of us who have made it our life’s work to uphold the light, to be the eye in the storm, to find and spread peace in the chaos, do it? How do I do it when I am crumbling from the horror, shame, shock, and disgrace of it all?

I remember only too well the brutal surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur in 1973 and then, only a few weeks later, I was walking the streets of The Holy Land. For many years since then, I’ve questioned how far that country has moved from a holy land to where power and control are the gods some of the politicians worship. I was 24 years old when I agreed to volunteer on a kibbutz in whatever capacity they needed me. That was exactly 50 years ago!

I had been in Israel a few years prior to that. I travelled there because I wasn’t ready to come home from London where I had been living for six months. It was here that I experienced the demise of my friendship with my very best friend who I met in grade 2. When Suki and I had originally made our plans to travel Europe together, it was with great excitement and promise. We started dreaming about it when we were in our young teens. Our prime motivation was to get away from the dysfunction and turmoil in our homes. Well, that was my main motivation. The fact that I was, and still am, an adventurer at heart made it even more appealing.

We set out in mid-September of 1969 on a student ship to sail across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Southampton, England. That was to be our first stop on our adventure throughout Europe. That didn’t happen. One month before leaving, I was brutally raped by a stranger who I met in Yorkville, Toronto. Just prior to that I ended my engagement to Freddy. And then it got even worse. My very best friend and I had our first and only fight since we met as children and still hadn’t resolved it by the time we stepped upon the ship that was going to take us far away from home. The tension grew and we never got beyond it. We parted ways in London seven months later.

It was all too much for me but there was no way I was going back to Toronto alone, depressed, and so very frightened. I went to Israel instead, hoping that having another focus while working on a kibbutz and honouring my Jewish faith would help me with the grief, shame and pain I was consumed with every day.

Instead, it turned to heightened anxiety which turned into clinical depression which turned into catatonia, and then, in my deep despair I made a suicide attempt and the people at the kibbutz sent me home.

My parents walked right past me at the airport. They didn’t recognize me. I had gained 60 pounds. I left Toronto weighing 110. I was now 170 pounds only a year later. I turned to food for instant comfort and as the pounds on my body escalated so did my depression and self-hatred. The people on the kibbutz were wonderful to me. They could see how unhappy I was and tried their best to comfort me…until it was too late. I left the kerosene heater on in my room during a thunderstorm while my roommates were away, completely aware of the danger. When they found me unconscious, they put me on a plane home the next day.

I always knew I’d come back to Israel to return the kindness and to explore the land, and so when the Yom Kippur war broke out, I attended a meeting at the Zionist Centre in Toronto where they were adamantly asking for volunteers to go and work on the kibbutzim because all the men and women in the military were fighting the war – even those in reserves were deployed. I didn’t think twice. I signed up. It was the only time I ever saw my father cry. Now, four years after my first experience when I was hopelessly depressed and suicidal, now I was stable. I was at University and I felt like I had a promising future. I knew that the university would be there when I returned. Now I was going to go help where my heart was being called.

Fast forward to today. Israel is at war. I was with two friends tonight for Thanksgiving dinner. I was the informant about what happened this morning. Neither of them had heard the news. Mayim has many relatives who survived the holocaust living in Israel. I have friends and family living there too.

Recently I felt chastised by some people because I am not involved in politics the way they are. They are actively involved and I highly respect them. I am on the front lines in my own way. Trying to uphold the Light and offering my gifts of service and healing in my thirty year career as as psychologist and mental health advocate as well as in my personal life with whomever shows up in front of me. It doesn’t take much to know where to offer our compassionate hearts.

One thing that has had me at war within my own soul for many years now has been the way the Israeli government has been treating the Palestinians. I simply cannot get behind it. An eye for an eye instead of recognizing that both sides are made up of human beings just trying to live their life in peace and harmony.

When I was living there during the Yom Kippur War, there was a terrorist attack on a children’s school in Kiryat Shmona. Eighteen people were killed, both children and teachers.

After that, in the wake of the current war, the country put out a referendum about the death penalty for any captured terrorists. There was an overriding NO – even though a majority of the settlers of the State of Israel were survivors of the Holocaust, even though thousands of deaths happened during the current war, the majority of the country denounced Capital Punishment. It is a very different climate today.

I have family and friends who live in Israel and I have a strong visceral love affair with that country and my people. I want Israel to survive and thrive with all my heart and soul and that includes all citizens of Israel. That means that I also want the innocent people of Palestine to not just survive but thrive in peace and harmony. To be free to come and go and for the two nations to live side-by-side in peace. Historically they did.  No one wins in war. They never have and they never will. Never.

Decades ago as a young woman, had I been visiting an Arab country while I was clinically depressed and they were the ones who treated me with kindness and then later were reaching out for help, I wouldn’t have hesitated. I would have gone there. Dare I say that out loud? Will I be chastised, even ostracized by my Jewish friends, my family, and all Zionists worldwide? Dare I speak up? Trust me, I am doing it but I am also afraid of losing the love and respect from people I deeply love and care about. Yet, in being in integrity with myself, I am called to speak out and face any consequences that come as a result of it.

The thing is, I have always been someone who embraces all people. I am inclusive – if you are kind, decent and a good person, I want to know you. I do not discriminate by colour, religion, creed or nationality. I spent a good part of the 60’s and 70’s taking part in peace marches and rallies. I do not belong to a synagogue or any other organized religion,  although I was a member of a non-denominational community for many years and it was like a home away from home. They had a leaderless service…where anyone in the community could be the speaker. I spoke there many times and appreciated the warmth, camaraderie, creativity, and companionship I felt. Then Covid happened and no one went anywhere. Soon, I moved out of that area and married a non-Jewish man just 13 months ago who is a steadfast believer in God. We had a banner, that we hung from the chuppah at our wedding that said, “Our Religion is Kindness.” Just for the record, I have also attended the Reform, Conservative and Orthadox synagoes where I live and the rabbis and the congregations are awesome, beautiful people. I stand in solidarity with Israel. I stand in solidarity for all humankind.

Tonight when I came home I was exhausted and fell asleep quickly. I woke up in the middle of the night only to find that David was not in bed beside me. I went into the living room where he was standing by the sofa and next to tears. He said “I can’t believe what’s happening in Israel.” I couldn’t answer. I had no words. We fell into each other’s arms. David was trying to hold back his tears. Me, I simply don’t cry. I wish I did. I wish I could.

In the last two weeks, David and I have been in deep grief because of the deaths of six people close to us who have died. It seemed like everyday someone else we knew died suddenly, either people who were not sick at all, or others who we knew were ill but didn’t think the end of their lives was imminent. Each death has been shocking and after a while I couldn’t rationalize it with the usual jargon, “We all are going to die – and we don’t really die. Our souls live on.” Even if I trust this to be true, it doesn’t mask the pain, grief, and sorrow that comes with the human experience when we lose people we love.

There were many times this past year when I wondered if I would live. The cancer had grown bigger, the pain excruciating, my bowels and digestive system were completely dysregulated and I had no energy to speak of. I got winded even trying to walk up one flight of stairs. I had trips 5 days a week to the cancer clinic for radiation, would come home and flop into bed. The treatments stopped only 2 months ago. I am losing my hair at a rapid rate and my energy levels are tentative at best. Yet, on a very positive note, the cancer is not detected anywhere in my body – what I am experiencing are side effects from the treatment that will eventually all dissapate. Although according to my oncologist – he said, “Junie, you are still not out of the woods. Even though the cancer was localized and the MRI report says ‘no cancer’, it is too soon to tell. There are lymph nodes of concern – even though they are smaller than they were. Don’t start celebrating yet.” He was also the one who told me I might want to consider MAID (Medical Aid in Dying) the very first time I ever met him. Luckily, I do not take his negative attitude as gospel and trust I am healing beautifully. I have also been blessed by the love and my husband, family and friends through this challening time and that goes a very long way!

Yet today, right now, I’m tired, I’m weary and even though I’m the Re-Write Your Life person (who just published my book, Re-Write Your Life II: Peace Awaits You, a week ago),  it may be a while before I re-write the story of the despair and anguish that is coursing through my body because of the unprecedented madness in Israel, Ukraine and Russia, and in the wider world. I know it’s good to feel it. I have no intention of stuffing it. I just wish I could cry.

Today is October 10th. And three days after I wrote the above missive. The last three days have been Thanksgiving here in Canada. David and I acknowledge every day, not just this weekend, how much we have to be thankful for. We never take the beauty of where we live and to be alive, for granted. Nor all the support and friendship and love we both experience from friends and family. We both do our best to bring love and kindness to the world in whatever ways we can and we both stand up for justice for all.

I used to be a court reporter at City Hall for seven years when I lived in Toronto. I was not cut out for that job. It is not my nature to be in an adversarial environment day in and day out. Especially without any say in the matter…simply being told to record verbatim what is being said. I stayed because it paid my tuition at higher learning institutions to become a psychotherapist. Still, I often left the courtroom and wept because of some of the injustices I witnessed within the justice system.

Years before that, in the 70’s I lived in Montreal and wrote for a Horoscope magazine. I knew nothing about horoscopes or the zodiac but I could write. So I wrote day-by-day forecasts for each of the 12 signs for each month. I made them up. But I didn’t feel out of integrity because I also took home a pile of letters almost every day from people who were writing into this horoscope magazine. The owners of the publication would open the envelopes and see if there was any money in them (often people would put in a cheque or a twenty dollar bill) and then discard the letters because there were too many to answer. I took it upon myself to take the letters home and write to these people. Some were writing the most awful things that were happening to them and were looking to a fake horoscope magazine to get answers. I was saying, “I don’t care if your moon isn’t in conjunction with Pluto, get out of that abusive relationship.” I was fired about a year later when I refused to implant negativity into the forecasts. I knew about self-fulling prophecy and I wasn’t going to contribute to something potentially harmful even with the boss’s threats to let me go. It was my way of contributing to the right action even if it cost me my job, and it did.

Also, during that time in Montreal, I was living with my French-Canadian boyfriend. It was at the height of the Quebec referendum and my boyfriend and his friends were separatists. I quickly learned that speaking English and being Jewish was not in my favour. I went through a terrible time because I didn’t speak French and was also being discriminated against because I was a Jew. His friends were very political and at the time the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) was the terrorist group who were trying to obliterate Israel. His friends were very knowledgeable about who was doing what to whom and they tried to have a debate with me every time we were together. They had me over a barrel. I didn’t keep track of the up-to-the-minute blow-by-blow disputes. I felt powerless to fight facts. Instead I relied on my heart. Even Michel’s mom gave us a wooden ashtray with a swastika carved on it from a pin or a nail. When I asked him if he thought she was aware of that, he replied that it was probably her who did it. I was experiencing anti-semitism in a big way.

I had already experienced anti-semitism as a child a number of times including seeing my brother come home with a bloody nose time and again from bullies calling him a dirty Jew. There was another incident when I was only a child of eight where I witnessed in horror from the back seat of my mom’s convertible, a French farmer running out of his field in Quebec and slug my mother on the back of her neck while she was getting into the car and scream in French, “Dirty Jew”. We had been parked on his property to go and get an ice cream cone at the variety store up the street. And now I was 27, living in Montreal, and experiencing that kind of prejudice all over again.

So, what did I do in the wake of living with a boyfriend who I truly loved but his friends and family were so against me? I did what my heart encouraged me to do. It wasn’t easy, but I did it anyway. I spoke with every one of Michel’s separatist friends in a way that connected us to our personal humanity. I listened to their stories – of how they felt discriminated against. I listened to how they felt their language and culture were being threatened. I shared that as a Jewish person, I understood very well what discrimination and persecution felt like and I told them I was so sorry about what they were experiencing. Apparently I was the first Jewish person they had ever known on a one-on-one basis. They had prejudice because of what they were taught. When it came down to who we were as people, we began to enjoy camaraderie and true friendship ensued.

It is only when we can remove all the outer masks that hide our true identities that we can come together as One people – all looking for the same things. Underneath our colour, religion, nationalities, occupations etc., each of us wants to be safe, have food in our bellies with food to feed the children, live harmoniously with our neighbours and feel what we do in the world and who we are is beautiful, just because of our birthright.

We are not living that way. We are living in a world filled with conflict, outrageous aggression, fear, racism, discrimination and confusion from the mixed messages delivered by the politicians and the media every day. We learn to distrust seemingly everyone who doesn’t live, think or worship like we do. We are split apart by other people’s values without examining our own. Yet I believe that each of us at our core wants to feel loved and extend love back yet vulnerability makes us feel unsafe…so we make choices that come from ego and not the higher truth of our heart. Our fear often paralyzes us as to what to believe or how to act, so we often do nothing or join forces with people whose messages resonate with our unhealed wounds so we wish to fight back.

So what do people who do not want to fight do? Who do not want war? Who realize that there is no justification for cruelty to another, ever?

I believe that we need to get beneath the noise of the external world to connect with our internal light. Within each and every one of us is a Light. It may feel minuscule under the chaos, almost imperceptible but it is still there, I assure you. Peace is an inside job and it is up to you and me to take the time, especially now, to be still. To meditate. To pray. To write. To be in nature. To gather with like-minded others to have discussions on how we can make a difference, even to just one other person who is suffering. And to fill our souls with what makes us feel good again. Dance, play with a child, sing at the top of our lungs, can fruit, paint on a canvas and forgive ourselves for whatever we are blaming ourselves for, and then extend forgiveness to others. We need to nourish our souls with that which will sustain us and bring us back to our centres so we can make inspired choices that come from our highest wisdom and be guided to our next steps.

We may not all be out here on the front lines…but we can all speak the truth from our hearts. And none of what I said above is to replace how we feel. It is essential that we feel our feelings all the way. Feel them in a way we can heal them. Don’t repress what you feel. Hug your cat, your partner, your friends. Cry when the tears well up. And say a prayer for humanity. We need each other. The time of the lone wolf is over. May Peace and Truth Prevail. Amen. Pay attention to the peacemakers of the world. Remember that whatever we focus on grows. And we can choose to be traumatized by the newsreels (and I’m not saying we shouldn’t be informed – just make informed choices of where we gather our information and how often in order to honour our own sensitivities) OR we can focus on peace, love, harmony, kindness, compassion, prayer, beauty and God.

HO’OPONO’PONO PRAYER

I Love You

Please forgive me

Thank you

I love you

This morning, I listened to a voice of sanity. It came just at a time I needed to hear it. It was a Global Mediation led by Jason Shurka that was recorded. There were over 100 countries represented. We are not alone. You can watch it here.

Re-Write Your Life II:

Peace Awaits You

How did I know that when I wrote this book that clearly discusses how Peace Awaits Us when we take a committed healing journey, that a war in Israel would break out one week later?

I wish to say thank you to EVERYONE who has supported me on my cancer journey and on my new book launch, making it an Amazon bestseller!

If you haven’t purchased it yet, you can find it here on Amazon. As well, in appreciation of all your love and support I have reduced my $299.00 Re-Write Your Life Home Study Program to $99.00, wanting to make PEACE and Healing accessible to as many people as possible. You can read all about my program here that has helped thousands of others over the past 2 decades overcome fear and pain from the past to live their lives with deep meaning, purpose and passion.

Writing Prompts

  • When I listen to or watch the news and cruelty that is delivered over the airwaves, I feel…
  • What I do to bring myself back to balance is….
  • One thing I can do today to offer peace to myself and another is…
  • When I envision the world living in peace, harmony, creativity, and goodness, this is what it looks like…
Write this last prompt in the first person, present tense as though it is happening now. You can do this together with other friends who wish to envision this with you and read your visions out loud to one another. As stated above, what we focus on expands. Focus on that which feeds your soul, not that that diminishes you. I love you.

If you feel drawn to share your writing, feel free to do so in our warm and welcoming Writing Sanctuary on Facebook. You’ll find a fantastic community of fellow writers eager to cheer you on and celebrate your words.

If you resonate with what I have written in this blog post, please share it far and wide to build our community and to make our voices for peace and harmony for humankind even stronger.

With deep gratitude and blessings,

Junie

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10 Mar

Everyone Should Write a Book!

Your Life Matters, by Junie Swadron

I interviewed myself today! A friend asked me the first question, and I just kept going. This as a writing technique I recommend you all to try — interview yourself! It will help bring you to so the same point I will be making throughout this reading that everyone should write a book.

Junie, you talk a lot about helping people get their books written. Do you think everyone should write a book?

Well, personally, yes, I do think everyone should write a book! But of course, I’m biased! I’ve seen the benefits of the writing process since I was a teenager, when putting my thoughts, fears, successes, failures in my diary gave me an instant inside story to my mind.

I could see how my mind travelled — how fears were followed to their origins, the dots were connecting of how this event led to that seemingly unrelated one, and I would watch nightmares morph into my best poetry in my morning writings.

Later Julia Cameron, in her famous book, The Artist’s Way, coined the term “Morning Pages,” and millions of people across the planet found out first hand just how powerful a daily writing practice can be.

What kind of writing do you teach?

I teach stream of consciousness writing — the kind where you just “let the writing do the writing,” where you’re not judging and planning and critiquing what you want to say. This kind of writing allows you to access the unconscious mind, and you begin to truly know yourself.

When I write, I feel that there is a benevolent presence sitting beside me, guiding my hand across the page or keyboard. I can’t explain it, but the words just come tumbling out of my fingers from a source I can only call God, words I cannot seem to reach otherwise. They release the muse out of her secret kingdom to alchemize ideas into creative offerings that flow out in myriad ways. Sometimes it’s poetry, sometimes, prose, books, song lyrics, stage plays, short stories . . . Who wouldn’t want access to all that goodness?

But people aren’t always able to discover this on their own if they’ve had their writing or anything else criticized as kids — when they were putting their best efforts onto the page and a teacher red-penned everything:“You should have said it this way.” “You spelled that wrong.” “That idea is impossible, why would you say that?” and then their own mind tightened the grip from there.

That person probably never wants to write again, or they become mute. Or if they do ever summon the courage to write, they often judge it as being awful before it even hits the page, or they mutilate it with their harsh opinions afterwards.

How does the process work when you’re helping people write their books, or their stories?

I firmly believe that everyone should write a book. The 8-step process is where you learn to let go of all those critical voices and keep your hand moving across the page. Sure, there are techniques to employ later when crafting a piece, but the most profound writing comes when you step out of the way and allow what’s been meaning to come out to simply come out. To let your true authentic voice have its say before you cover it over with what you think would be socially acceptable to some random critic in your head to whom you are still giving away your power.

For 20 years, students who come to my Sunday writing circles – who have been afraid to write for eons — cannot believe what comes out of them from one twenty-minute writing prompt. With genuine bewilderment, they declare, “Where on earth did that come from?” “I didn’t even know I felt that way, I am amazed!” “I just got the biggest aha!” . . . and on and on it goes. They genuinely like or even love what they wrote — and I get the biggest joy of all, witnessing a new writer emerge.

So again, should everyone write a book?

If they want to know their mind, they should. If they want to understand their relationships and bring clarity to their life stories, they should. If they want to find out how creative they are, they should. And most important of all, if they harbour a dream to write a book, and the dream doesn’t go away, then of course they should, because it’s their soul’s calling.

Also, if they have people telling them for years that they should write a book, and it resonates true for them, then it behooves them to honour that truth instead of laughing it off, only to regret years later that they never did it. The worst is, dare I say, that they are on their deathbed, when it’s too late to mend any regrets.

I adore working with my book writing clients because even though they may have fears and resistance going on, they do it anyway — and before long, their fears are channelled into writings that go out in the world, and the next thing I know, they’re offering me an autographed copy of their published book!

It’s through this evidence that I’ve seen over and over again that I birthed my motto: “Your soul meets 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.”

Finally, there are countless rewards in writing a book! That’s why I wrote one called Your Life Matters – 8 Simple Steps to Writing Your Story. And that book, my dear, will tell you all the reasons why one should write their own.

?  ?  ?

PS — If you haven’t yet read Your Life Matters – 8 Simple Steps to Writing Your Story, you can easily get yourself a copy at your favourite online bookstore (links at the bottom of this page). And if reading the book makes you want to get coaching from me to give you a boost and get your book written now, well, your timing is great, because my coaching program, Your Life Matters Author Mentorship Program, is open for enrolment right now!

We start on April 6, 2021, and we run for 10 weeks. It’s online, with live coaching calls so that you can get my eyes on your book, and encouragement from a small group of people all working towards the same goals. Why not get your application in now and we can talk about it?

Apply now for the Your Life Matters Author Mentorship Program!

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05 Sep

My Little Red Diary with the Lock and Key

My little red diary, by Junie SwadronThe Creation, Comfort and Healing Induced from Journalling

When I was thirteen years old, I was given a diary for my birthday. I treasured that little red book with its tiny lock and key. It brought me into a private world that no one else was allowed to enter.

Journalling set me on a path of writing and healing that I would never have known about back then. That writing became my panacea—the healing tool that I would use throughout my life that also become the bedrock of my career.

I learned at a young age how important our stories and journalling are, as they not only reflect the life journey we are on, but also the events and circumstances that have shaped us and the decisions we’ve made from the myriad choices available.

Why did we choose this path over that one? And what inspires us to move in the directions we do? It’s complex, and there are so many reasons.

It was my natural curiosity and ability to see and hear what isn’t always obvious to others that brought me to the work I do as both a psychotherapist and writing coach. My greatest joy is to inspire others to live the lives of their dreams.

When you’re afraid and living with anxiety or depression, just walking out the door can be a huge triumph. In my counselling practice, I teach practical tools that foster hope and confidence. As my clients transform the pain of their past, many wish to write about their success.

As a writing mentor, I guide people to find their voice on the page, which eventually becomes their voice in the world—both in their communication with others and through books they write and often publish.

It would be my honour to guide you into having the same kind of confidence while writing your life stories—to find the voice that may have been stolen from you since childhood. To not let nasty voices in your head stop you ever again from following your heart and living your dreams.

I love my work because I get to hear the enthusiasm and joy that comes from people who have worked with me:

“I can do this.”
“I AM a writer.”
“I love what I have written.”
“I can’t believe that just came out of my pen.”
“I feel so much better.”
“I have so much more clarity.”
“I have a direction.”
“My life does matter.”
“I’ve written my story. Yippee!”
Mostly I hear, “Thank you.”

You never know who is going to read your writing and say, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Your voice is just waiting to move from the page to the world, where the Universe takes care of the rest. Your job is to simply write. Mine is to guide you.

If you’d like to discuss 1:1 book coaching with me, book your 60-minute free consultation here.

I’ll soon be launching Your Life Matters, my new Author Mentorship Program for people who have worked with me in the past. Please let me know if you’re interested at yourlifematters@junieswadron.com. If you haven’t written with me yet, there’s no need to feel left out! Come to Sunday Sacred Writing Circle. It counts! And it’s amazing.

Here’s the link to register for Sunday Sacred Writing Circle.

You’re also invited to join Junie’s Writing Sanctuary on Facebook if you haven’t already, where we will be continuing the conversation.

All blessings,
Junie

Your Life Matters by Junie SwadronPS — The story about the little red diary is an excerpt from my book, Your Life Matters! 8 Simple Steps to Writing Your Story

Want more?

Download a free digital copy of Your Life Matters right here: www.junieswadron.com/memoir

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05 Jul

Tell someone you love them. Today.

a love letter from junie swadron

The Letter That Made My Day

This week I’m sharing something very personal, a letter that really touched me.

We don’t always know who we will touch when we simply show up with our hearts.

The other day I received an email from one of my very first therapy clients ever – 30 years ago!

Without my knowing it, she found me, subscribed to my newsletter, and wrote me the letter below. I had tears streaming down my face as I read it.

The reason I am sharing it is two-fold (probably more but I’ll keep it to two). ????

One: Because during the Covid period, my moods have been fluctuating all over the map. I’ve been here, there, and everywhere. Gratefully, mostly grounded and happy! Still, I want to be transparent and tell you that it’s not 24/7. Even though I am very capable of showing up for others, and do my work successfully, I have had some serious knee-jerk reactions to triggers that have brought up things from my past.

People in my present-day reality have said and done things that unconsciously reminded me of someone in the past — but they are NOT that person. This has brought up things for me to heal. Oh boy! Luckily, I have the tools. If only I had used those tools as trigger action plans before the event, though, I could have prevented the pain I caused.

Still, it’s how we all learn, grow, transform, and ascend the rungs of that spiritual spiral ladder we are on. We can only grow when we become conscious of our pitfalls and take action steps to correct them. One step at a time. Fall. Get up. Forgive ourselves, others . . . whatever it is. We know the drill.

If you see yourself in what I have described, take out your journal and write. Write into the truth of whatever has come up for you because it will free you! Punctuate it with a forgiveness letter to yourself and/or the ‘other,’ and a loving letter from The Universe to You, reminding you that you are perfect and whole, just the way you are!

Two: I’m sharing this because I would like you to think of someone you can write to this week who has changed your life for the better. Tell them. Please let them know. It will make their day, perhaps their life!

I was carrying so much shame for my recent explosion, that it was very hard to find the goodness in myself. When this email from my past client came in, it reminded me that I am so much more than my judgments of myself. We ALL do this to ourselves and it is not necessary!

I have since written back to my former client Diana and thanked her with all my heart for reaching out to me.

With Diana’s permission, here’s the email she sent to me after she watched the interview I shared in last week’s newsletter. If you haven’t watched the interview yet, it’s not too late! You can view it on YouTube here.

Letter from my client from about 30 years ago (circa 1990):

“Loved the interview Junie. (Junie still sounds strange to me as I have thought about you for years as June!) It was superb. There was no place to comment or I would have done.

I think you were new to the business when I saw you. And I was new to psychotherapy. Your apartment was so welcoming, cats and all, and so were you. Of course.

You got out your application form and I sat across from you and at about the third question I broke down. You then abandoned the form and encompassed me. I sat by you and sobbed out my story about my addicted son, a heroin addict, and you heard me out.

My sessions with you saved my life at that awful time. I had not shared my grief with anyone close to me. Always trying to be the go-to person to everyone else. I hardly shared with my husband the horrors of the day when he came back from the office.

You taught me that I needed to share with him as I needed his help. You taught me a lot as probably one of your first clients. And you had me write a diary or journal. So the seeds of your future were always there.

Writing. Enhanced by your work as a psychotherapist. Bravo, Junie. You came across in that interview as a totally amazing person, an angel in fact, a person anyone in distress would want on their side, in their corner.

I am stunned by the number of different jobs you have done all the while fighting your own battle with bi-polar disorder and abuse as a child. I remember you sharing that with me, too, about your being locked up in a psychiatric hospital. That sharing is so helpful, in fact it is beyond words is what it is.

Please use this letter in any way you need in order to further your work.

Your hair was blonde and you wore a motorcycle jacket when I knew you.

I prefer your silvery curly hair now. It suits you to the ground.

I became a writer, a writing instructor for the Toronto Board, a social service worker — but that got cut short when anything I wrote became published. I did every kind of writing imaginable.

In 2003 I wrote a book of short stories for teenagers which were well reviewed and placed in the top ten teenage novels of that year by the Canadian Library Association. Despite this it died on the shelf!

But I had an email from a high school teacher a few years ago and she said two of her students had been able to come out because she used a coming out story in the book in her grade 12 class. Would you like a copy? I have a lot!! And if so please send me your address.

I hope you live forever and continue to help those in need. You are in fact an angel. And still stunningly beautiful, June.

Diana”


Want to find out what writing from the heart can do for you? Join us on Sunday mornings for Sacred Writing Circle. Here’s the link to register.

You’ll find a lot of friendly writers in Junie’s Writing Sanctuary on Facebook as well, where you can continue the conversation.

All blessings,
Junie

PS — Here’s the interview that Diana watched ⬇️

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