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.


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,

PS — Here’s the interview that Diana watched ⬇️

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06 Jun

Enough Is Enough

Another Innocent Person Killed…Enough is Enough!

Like most of us with heart, (and I believe that is the large majority of us on Planet Earth), I have been truly affected over the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man on the streets of Minneapolis on May 25th. Enough is enough! My emotions have run the gambit from rage to heartbreak, and this post is about feeling what we feel and having space to acknowledge it out loud in whatever ways we can.

If you have ever had, or still have, places within you where you do not speak up when your heart feels called to, then this is an opportunity to read the following and ask yourself some of the questions I pose here. Keeping things bottled within us causes everything from rashes to cancer, aggression to depression.

Let me ask you if you still carry feelings deep within you about people places or situations that are important to you — circumstances that align with your heart and truth but are afraid to say them out loud.

Or maybe you are someone who does share what’s going on for you with the people who matter most in your life, and if so, that’s beautiful because it’s one of the most empowering things any of us can do. This is especially true when most of us have had our voices stolen in childhood. Enough is enough, telling our parents or authority figures how we felt about things wasn’t usually acceptable. “Children should be seen and not heard” was part of the popular vernacular that most parents went by because it was exactly what had been passed down to them.

It’s a big deal to tell the truth out loud. Risky business. What if people don’t want to hear? What if you’re rejected, ridiculed, shunned, laughed at or bullied? Enough is enough.

At what point do we say enough is enough and speak up in spite of our fear? When we hear or watch others lashing out against someone, what is our typical response?

There is no right or wrong answer. It’s just putting up a mirror for each of us to look at ourselves, which isn’t always comfortable.

The first time that I spoke out publicly “in spite of myself” I was 50 years old and it was against mental illness — all the names I had been called in my younger years — stupid, crazy, idiot, weirdo, mental, coo coo, nuts. I co-wrote a play with Victoria Maxwell to dispel myths and stigmas about mental illness because we are more than our doctor’s pathology report and the labels put upon us. Thank goodness, in spite of my terror that it would end my career as a psychotherapist and workshop facilitator, it actually advanced it — because people found a safe place to express their own truth. Not easy but necessary.

Last year, I made a business investment with a company called The Author Incubator. One the reasons I did so was because Dr. Angela Lauria, CEO of that company, said that she only works with people with “a servant’s heart.” I felt I knew what she meant — that it was someone who likes or even lives to serve others in the best ways they can. That one tenet alone is was what stood at the top of the others for me. I wanted to be associated with a company ,that at its heart, was about integrity and heart. Once I became involved with them, I learned the larger meaning of what having a servant’s heart meant. It’s about standing up for justice and equality no matter where, when and with whom. I found my tribe!

As a baby boomer, I was part of the hippy generation that espoused love, peace, and brotherhood. I sang out my sentiments with the best of the folk singers of the time and marched for peace and demonstrated in sit-ins to uphold justice.

On Wednesday this week, I went on Facebook Live, in spite of the fact that I’ve been afraid to do that for more that a month with respect to talking about my upcoming workshops . . . shy, I guess, when it comes to marketing in that fashion. It’s very direct and I felt too exposed.

This time, when it was for a greater cause, I couldn’t have stopped myself if I wanted to. I was compelled to speak out at the horrific actions that were caught on camera for the world to see that have sparked demonstrations across the United States and across the planet where people are standing up in solidarity.

We can’t all be on the front lines. But we can all tap into our own divine inner guidance that tells us to write to our member of parliament, or protect our children, or join in a peaceful march, or just talk from our most authentic outraged and broken hearts.

A few nights ago, my fiancé David and I drew and painted hearts and put them up on our windows and the front door of the house. It makes me happy to know that when people walk by they will have a moment of knowing that our hearts are somehow connected with their own and they can smile and take a deep breath.

The days of the lone wolf are over. We are One Human Family that must have a servant’s heart — and be prepared to speak our truth. Sometimes that’s just even your truth to yourself in your journal. That’s where it ALL started for me.

Writing Prompt: Your Turn

Take one of the questions above, sit down with your journal, set a timer for 20 minutes, and write from the heart. If you’d like to share your writing with others, join Junie’s Writing Sanctuary on Facebook and post it there. We will welcome you!

All blessings,

Interview with Michael Beckwith and Lewis Howes

Watch this inspiring interview with Michael Beckwith, a beautiful spiritual leader of Agape Church in California.

Michael talks about growing up with racial violence and offers solutions on how we might get involved if we are wondering what we can do in ways that can truly make a difference:

Please share my website with your friends!
31 Oct

Life Stories — Navigating Life When You Feel Troubled

Here’s the first in a series of posts about Life Stories. Yours, Mine, Humanity’s.

Although the circumstances are all different, we share a common thread through it all, and that’s our humanness and our ability to relate. And I wish to make all our stories relatable — through the lens of our hearts even when our minds would have us think differently. In fact, even with those closest to us who are not necessarily on the same page. How often do you watch a movie with your beloved and closest friend and have very different interpretations of what you watched?

I wish to share some snippets of my life and my invitation to you is to see what it evokes in you and tell your story too.

Read what I wrote when I came home from my walk this morning. Listen to the song that it brought to mind. Then write wherever your pen leads you afterwards.

Simply Write Where You Are; I invite you to share your stories at Junie’s Writing Sanctuary (if you’re not a member yet, just ask to join and I’ll get you in as soon as I can).

I was on my morning walk along The Breakwater — a beautiful long pier stretching out into the Pacific Ocean — where only sky and sea remain. At the end of the breakwater there is a lighthouse whose job is to bring sailors safely home to the harbour.

I think about that – as a child wanting to bring those I loved safely home to shore and it is my way still today. Yet, this morning I started walking with a heavy heart because of some current circumstances that have me troubled.

So, not wishing to remain heavy-hearted, I put my hand on my heart and said to my inner child, “Junie, sweetheart, I know you are frightened. I just want you to know that we have survived every fear we have faced and we always find our way home even in stormy seas. We will this time too, darling. I am here for you. You can feel sad. I am holding you tight to my heart. Oh, look! There’s a seagull that landed on the rail right beside us. I think he is carrying a message. I wonder what it is. Do you know, sweetie?”

And I heard a voice inside of me say, “Yes, he came to say, All is well.” All IS WELL!

And that was it. The next moment I was humming one of my favourite songs:

by John Denver

To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean
To ride on the crest of a wild raging storm
To work in the service of life and living
In search of the answers to the questions unknown
To be part of the movement and part of the growing
Part of beginning to understand

Aye Calypso the places you’ve been to
The things that you’ve shown us
The stories you tell
Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit
The men who have served you so long and so well

Like the dolphin who guides you, you bring us beside you
To light up the darkness and show us the way
For though we are strangers in your silent world
To live on the land we must learn from the sea
To be true as the tide and free as a wind swell
Joyful and loving in letting it be

Aye Calypso the places you’ve been to
The things that you’ve shown us
The stories you tell
Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit
The men who have served you so long and so well

Aye Calypso the places you’ve been to
The things that you’ve shown us
The stories you tell
Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit
The men who have served you so long and so well

Watch a stunning video of television footage from Jacques Cousteau and listen to John Denver sing it to us:

Writing Prompt:

What do you do to help you navigate life when you feel troubled? If you like, share your writing in  Junie’s Writing Sanctuary (if you’re not a member yet, just ask to join and I’ll get you in as soon as I can).

Your Life Matters, by Junie Swadron

If you wish to share more of your stories in a deeper way, start by downloading a free digital copy of my latest book, Your Life Matters! Learn to Write Your Memoir in 8 Easy Steps.

Please share my website with your friends!