Once a month I facilitate a free, non-denominational HeART of Spirituality workshop. Tapestry Unitarian Congregation hosts it. There’s a different theme each month.
For those of you who want to think about your own spirituality I’ll post the information and the exercises for you to do. For those who just want a peek at the heART the participants create take a look!
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Healing was the focus at this HeART of Spirituality workshop.
The medium used was journaling.
Synopsis of the Introduction:
Physically, biologically anger and fear create a neurochemical cascade from the brain to the body triggering powerful stress responses. These two emotions interfere with physical healing and are incompatible with spiritual healing.
When everything is going well we try to maintain the status quo (for good reason!). To change, learn and grow we all need an impetus. The most powerful stimuli for change and growth are when we face pain or fear.
In Buddhism there’s a distinction between pain and suffering: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Suffering is based on our perception and emotional response.
Basic to Baha’i beliefs:
- We learn how to develop God’s virtues through pain and earthly trials & tribulation.
- God does not want us to suffer, He wants us to learn.
- Suffering comes from our distorted perspective of spirituality and our ego needs.
- Praying for “healing” is first and foremost for spiritual growth, not physical remedy.
My personal experience with fibromyalgia and my belief is that ultimately all healing – physical, emotional, situational, is spiritual.
Indeed, scientific research shows that what we think and believe impacts our emotional and physical well-being. The power of the placebo is a small example.
First exercise – “Stacked Writing”
Stacked writing is a great way to keep things confidential and not have to hide your journal under the mattress. You can spill your thoughts & feelings out on paper and no one (including you) will be able to read what you wrote.
Workshop Materials: I pasted colored tissue paper on large sheets of paper for the participants to write on. These sheets were later turned into mini 8-page journals.
Your Materials: A journal or just a piece of paper will do. A black marker or pen. A timer
- Write, print, scribble your thoughts and feelings all over the paper, continue writing, turning the paper in many directions (sideways, upside down) and writing on top of what you’ve written. If your mind goes blank, keep scribbling until another thought pops in.
- Write for a minimum of 20 minutes, non-stop (make sure you have an easy flowing marker or pen). Setting a timer is best so you don’t distract yourself or interrupt your writing.
- Focus on releasing the emotions of anger and fear. Fill the page with sentences, phrases, words on top of each other so that what was written becomes indecipherable.
Second exercise – “Found Poetry”
Materials: Newspapers, sheet of blank paper, (we used black construction paper but a journal or any paper will do) glue sticks, scissors.
- Focusing on the theme of “healing” cut out approximately 20 words & phrases from the newspaper. Use your intuition, what catches your eye to choose what you cut out.
- Arrange your words & phrases on a piece of paper, creating a free verse poem*.
- Paste your poem down when it “feels finished”.
*“Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. Many poems composed in free verse thus tend to follow the rhythm of natural speech.” Wikipedia
Here are the participants Healing Poems. Take a look!
Poetry, ideally, is meant to be recited out loud. Get your moneys-worth and orate!