Last night I had dinner with a friend I met over twenty years ago. It was wonderful connecting to someone who knew me when I was in my early thirties. The beauty in reconnecting with another person is the memories I had forgotten about she remembered and vice versa.
How can I help you record those memories of your life? I have many ways to connect, I have classes in the Palm Springs area a few times a year, I have retreats all over the world, I have private retreats in my home and I also travel to the homes of my students who would rather me come to them.
One option is the Online Writing Club that will give you monthly lessons with a small group of other men and women who like you want to learn and write….
Send me an email or sign up for my newsletter!
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was joking with my hiking friends that I finally found the perfect hiking partner, she was by my side during the hike and then I came around the corner and there she was racing ahead of me.
Who is your shadow?
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
by Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.
What have you been thinking about lately? Do you find yourself thinking happy thoughts and contemplating wonderful memories or are you trapped in the bitterness of anger or grief?
As I think on this quote I know that when I am present whether it be on my hikes, bike rides, yoga classes, teaching my students or going out with my friends I want my shadow of joy to always be near me. Always by my side and if my shadow is ahead of me, I know that I am right behind.
Today think about what your thoughts have been focusing on lately. Focus on things that bring you joy!
When one writes memoir you get to really examine your life. You can’t write your memoir from a far off point of view, but I think it is important to get as close as possible to what it is that makes you uniquely you. Why do you have that twinkle in your eyes? What is it that can make you laugh so hard you cry? Or what can make you sad to the point of weeping? What causes you to listen? Sometimes when we get close to ourselves it is scary. It is not easy to examine all of our decisions that we have made. Examination is one of the important aspects of our memoir writing. It is important to feel safe as you explore. Take out those pictures and look at them with new eyes. What is it that you may not have noticed before?
Go ahead, take out those pictures and unlock those memories. Write what it is that makes you unique. What would you like others to remember or know about you?
As a Memoir teacher I think alot about memories. I find it fascinating that something can stay hidden in my brain for years and suddenly emerge! Just the other night I was walking Courtney in the evening and I could hear the boom boom of a bass drum from the high school marching band many miles away. This sound immediately transported me to the fall of 1978 when I was entering Andrew Hill High School in San Jose. My sister, Sandy was a senior and had told me how much fun marching band was. It did look fun going to the football games so I thought I would join it. The memory that emerged for me was remembering that I couldn’t march and play at the same time. All I can remember that whole fall of marching band season was counting out my steps and pretending to play my clarinet. It had been years since I recalled that memory!
Another way to get those memories to emerge out of your subconscious is to visit an antique store. Sometimes going to visit these shops will bring back so many memories for you. What are the things you remember about your kitchen growing up or visiting at your grandparents home. What are the smells you remember? Take some time this week to stroll down memory lane and see what you can recall. Use the computer to help you go back in time, there are so many wonderful sites that are standing by ready to share with you and open up those memories for you.
One last tool is to go through your photos with new eyes. Don’t just look at the people in the pictures, but look at the cars, houses, clothes. If you saw the movie, The Help this was a great movie to show you clothes and cars from that era.
Keep your eyes open, you never know when a new memory will emerge and when it does be sure to capture it!
My big sister, Sandy and me!
I have always been a huge believer that every one has a story to tell. As each day I meet more and more people I am always amazed at the lives that we all live. I love asking questions and seeking why people are the way they are. I love to listen to what is being said, and what I find even more fascinating is what is the story that is not being told.
Some of our stories from our youth are painful and the thought of writing it down and “reliving” those memories are enough to stop people in their tracks and never pick up that pen.
My question to you is what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of realizing the truth that you are an amazing person? We all have areas in our lives that are hard to look at. The important aspect of writing is that when you look at your life you will see yourself more clearly.
I do believe that every one should write the story that wants to be told. We all have those stories. They may be the fun times of our youth or you may have a painful story that needs to be released. You don’t ever have to share your writing with anyone, but the important piece is writing and releasing. You may be surprised what it feels like to release that burden and load you have been carrying around for years.
It has been a joy and a privilege to lead so many women (and now men) in the journey of writing their memoirs. I will begin teaching my Leaving a Legacy Series in October as well as a new series. I will be posting my schedule in the next few weeks.
Why don’t you start now in the privacy of your journal and see what story comes to mind…