Someone I know through FB has a connection to Becca Stevens who runs the house. I cannot recall who it is, but I'm hoping you will let me know. My friend Kari and I would like to do a creative writing group with the women that live there...unless there is already a similar program already in place. If so, we can look for other non-profits that help women rebuild their lives after years of tragedies and poor choices.
For almost two years, I helped facilitate a writing group in Asheville, NC for mostly homeless/transient individuals with my good friend Jonathon Flaum and many others. We gathered weekly to write and published many volumes of our work. I have also done this practice with adolescents in prison and with women in prison. I want to give back this year in a way that uses underused talents. Frankly, when people can learn to better express themselves a lot of forgiveness and understanding can blossom. I have seen it too many times. It is no cure-all and doesn't appeal to everyone...but, there are benefits for those who choose to tame or follow what Natalie Goldberg calls the "monkey mind." The never-ending slog of thoughts that can get in the way of being present or can lead you to emotional anchors that keep your thinking distorted.
If there is no separation between mind and body and I do not believe there is--then, learning to both stimulate and calm the mind works to stimulate and calm the body.
Everyone has stories they tell about themselves. Most of them become like habits--molds that maintain convenient or comfortable versions of how we came to be where we are and why we do what we do...often they aren't helpful in helping us locate what is authentic about ourselves. Any artistic endeavor requires some risk and truth...and anyone who has ever overcome substance abuse issues or depression or anxiety or childhood trauma or sexual assault or war---needs to recover what is true about themselves despite the distortions of how events impact us. I am a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. I have learned to manage any anxiety and depression that has plagued me from these incidents. There is no doubt in my mind that if I hadn't found writing, I would long be gone to the wind.
If you have any ideas or suggestions or if you know Becca (I know someone does...just can't remember)--please contact me so that I can start this engine.
Thanks dear readers and let me know you are out there...there are never any comments and it is kinda like seeing a big GOOSE EGG show up on your answering machine.