“Too many women, writers and non-writers, are scared to open up on the page, don’t trust their voice, let alone their stories. Too many women know how much writing, whether it be personal expressive writing, writing for publication or for longer projects, helps to connect with their truths but don’t prioritize practice.” Kira Elliot, Leader of Writing to Open Your Heart workshops
An acquaintance recently mentioned that since reading Life In General she’d like to sit down and tell me her own life story. “I want you to know more about me,” she said, “since I feel as if I know so much about you."
I had to laugh as I replied, “Yes, my life is definitely an open book these days!"
It’s true. The pages of Life In General contain eight years of open hearted writing. In each one of those blog posts, I “opened up” on the page - about aging, about mothering, about the empty nest, about caring for elderly parents, about loss and change and hope for the future. Writing those essays the first time taught me the truth of Kira Elliot's statement: Writing helps me connect with my truths. This was reinforced even more strongly when I revisited the essays during the process of compiling my book. I was reminded of how important family and legacy are to me, how reading, writing, and music are the foundations of my creative existence, how necessary it is for me to have quiet and reflective time in each day, how my ordinary rituals and daily routines can be sacred and healing.
Just as my writing helped me connect with my own truths, I have found it so rewarding to hear the ways my stories have helped others reconnect with their own. I have been privileged to sit in conversation with friends who open their hearts to me with stories about their lives I’d never heard before. I am honored to meet new friends who have read the book and feel comfort from the connection of our shared experiences as we go through life in general together.
I believe we all have a deep inner need to share stories, to open our hearts to one another. From these shared stories we take comfort, we deepen our sense of compassion, we celebrate our diversity in the midst of our common ground.
Although I realize not everyone feels called to write, for me writing has been a consistent path straight into the heart of my emotions and experiences. Sharing my discoveries has given me a gift of connections that are comforting, validating, and energizing.
Perhaps you’re interested in learning more about opening your heart on the page. Kira Elliott is offering a free one hour live video training about creating an open hearted writing practice. And do subscribe to Kira’s wonderful blog, which is filled with open hearted goodness.