"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline." ~2 Timothy 1:7
The Healing Power of Writing & Learning:
A Spiritual Discipline for Healing and Better Health
I have been writing since I was a teenager. Long before I became a high school Spanish teacher, I dreamed of being a published author. Then teaching took over my life, and there was no time for writing except my lesson plans, and learning about how to implement technology in my classroom. When you teach, you realize that nothing is about you, but about your students. They become the center of your world... They become "your" children. This statement brings to mind a devoted first grade teacher I once knew who went to the doctor for her checkup. She was single and had no kids of her own, but when the doctor asked her, "Do you have children?" She answered, "Yes. I have twenty-one kids!" The astonished doctor replied, "Twenty-one kids!!! You're kidding me, right?" and she responded, "Of course not... I am a teacher!"
I love teaching for so many reasons. I love to share my enthusiasm for my areas of expertise. I love the ability to help students achieve their best... etc. But many times, I took my health for granted, and for a long time ignored all the symptoms of stress. I bottled up inside me all the things that were not socially or professionally acceptable... feelings and emotions I didn't discuss with anybody, except my journal. I am so convinced that whatever we bottle up inside our hearts can affect our health. So one day I got really sick, and came to find out that I had a terminal cancer, Stage 4. It didn't surprise me when I was diagnosed back in 1994, that my first reaction was to write about my experiences. It was as if my dormant mused had gotten a wake-up call and wanted to record everything that was happening to me. So I wrote. My husband insisted that I needed to publish my story, so I started to do the research, but I couldn't get published the traditional way.
I learned quickly that when you are facing death, you don't have time or the desire to play the rejection-letters game, and wait for a traditional publisher to publish your book. Rejection is not an option! The only way to get your message out there quickly is by self-publishing your work. So that's exactly what I decided to do. My first book was self-published back in the year 2000. It was a collection of reflections on illness, healing, and spiritual awakening. I named it "Breakfast with God."
Then I wrote a dramatic memoir, which I self-published in 2013. I named it "I Won't Let You Die." This book is available for purchase through Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, and my self-publishing company. You can also see the three books listed on Amazon if you click here.
I have often heard that all of us have a writer within. So narrating our stories, our experiences, and thoughts can result in a very powerful and soothing healing therapy. I want to share with you some ideas on how you can encourage yourself and others to tap into the power of writing your story in a narrative form. There are some great reasons to do it. I am convinced of the reasons, because I did it myself. I also do one-on-one work with anyone who is interested. I offer workshops in Spanish as well.
Perhaps you are already keeping a journal. Congratulations!!! I believe it is a great therapy. Scientists and psychologists have done a great deal of research on the healing power of writing. Recently, I found this amazing article by Dr. Pennebaker. Read it. It is really great! Don't hesitate. Get things out of your system, and put them on paper or in your computer, even if you are the only one who reads them, it is a powerful weapon against emotional illness.
I also want to share some of my knowledge on self-publishing and help you with that, if that is something you are interested in pursuing. If you would like to learn more about my background, here you will find my credentials for the work I do as a self-published writer, and independent bilingual tutor/teacher/consultant. I believe wholeheartedly that personal experience equip us with powerful tools to help others along their journey on a road one has already traveled. For now, here are a few things about me that qualify me for the work I do:
- I have been a bilingual teacher for over fifteen years...
- I have experienced loss of jobs,loss of loved ones, loss of assets, loss of money, etc...
- I have faced and dealt with grief in its different manifestations...
- I have survived a terminal cancer through the healing power of God...
- Prognosis was six months to two years... that was TWENTY years ago!
- I have written three books and countless (unpublished) personal reflections and journals.
- I have self-published three books using three different venues...
Let me finish here by quoting from Pat Schneider book with Oxford University Press, “How The Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice”:
"Writing can be a spiritual practice. To write about what is painful is to begin the work of healing. To write the red of a tomato before it is mixed into beans for chili is a form of praise. To write an image of a child caught in war is confession or petition or requiem. To write grief onto a page of lined paper until tears blur the ink is often the surest access to giving or receiving forgiveness. To write a comic scene is grace and beatitude. To write irony is to seek justice. To write admission of failure is humility. To be in an attitude of praise or thanksgiving, to rage against God, or to open one’s inner self and listen, is prayer. To write tragedy and allow comedy to arise between the lines is miracle and revelation..."
None of the information shared here should be constituted as medical advice and does NOT substitute medical or psychological advice. ALWAYS CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL OR MEDICAL DOCTOR REGARDING HEALTH ISSUES!!!