Category Archives: Writing

Heal My Voice: Inspired by Photography and Doodling

Heal My Voice launched the first official project at a women gathering in Baltimore/DC in May 2011.

In June, twenty-one women said, yes, to a nine month project of writing, speaking and leadership growth. We spent the first month listening for the story that wants to emerge.

Doodle from your heart.

 In July, we added Doodling, inspired by the colorful, creative, Melissa McClain. (We were focused on Discovering the story.) You can find Melissa on Facebook to learn more about the Doodling Challenge every month. .

In August, I am going to combine the Doodling with Photography. This month in Heal My Voice we are Exploring the story. The other night, I was weaving around Facebook and found something called the August Break 2011 on Amy Miyamoto’s page. (

Amy wrote a blog about how she was joining a “No rules. No pressure. August Break from regular blogging.”  The idea was created by Susannah Conway. (Link to her blog:

Words from Susannah’s blog:

“Okay, here’s the plan for the August Break: you simply share one photo (or more!) per day on your blog – Monday to Friday, or every day. Or whenever you feel moved to share. Using any camera – DSLR, compact, Polaroid, Holga, iPhone (my choice), Instax, film or digital – with or without words – anything goes! – for the whole of August. No pressure – just looking at August through your camera lens as a way to be more present this summer. And to have a little break from the pressures and expectations of regular blogging.

There are NO RULES, people! Just sunshine (hopefully) and a bit of fun. And lots of lovely photos to look at.”

So, I am totally inspired by the combination of the two. As I walk around Toluca Lake, CA every day, I am always inspired by words, nature, people and more. I am thinking about Doodling the Photograph of the Day.

Join me for some creative expansion during the month of August. Or anytime… Post your doodles on Facebook: Heal My Voice Page or Jonas Watch Page.

Heal My Voice: The birth of a non-profit organization

Heal My Voice emerged out of a book project with Evolutionary Women in 2008. The book, “Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life” was a compilation of the voices of 44 women who wrote a personal story about their lives.
Creating the non-profit organization, Heal My Voice was the next step. It was created as a way to collaborate with women in organizations to heal a story in their lives while building a strong community around the project. Heal My Voice is the space holder for collaborative containers  of creativity, support, healing, and sharing leadership.

“A woman’s voice is the seat of her power and her compassion. A woman’s word can heal or destroy; it can be a balm and a ballast, or it can be a source of divisiveness and destruction. A woman’s voice is the seat of her power not only to choose her own destiny but also to manifest it. A woman’s voice is a woman’s choice.” -Yogi Bhajan…

As each woman heals a story in her life, she can take the next step into leadership in her family, community and the world. We are committed to creating tribes of leaders who can all fully express who they are and their unique gifts.

Our mission is to: Empower women and girls to heal grief, loss, and trauma, and reclaim their inner authority, so they can develop and use their leadership skills in their homes, communities, and the world, by developing collaborative projects that encourage leadership, community building, and the reclaiming of each woman’s voice.
Join us in our mission to help each woman discover her voice.

For more information, go to

Day 98- On the Road: A Journey of Creativity Part 2

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Journey of Creativity Part 2

There is a Buddhist Proverb: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

The teacher signifies a readiness. It could be a teacher, a book, a class, a resource, a job or a next step. The step you have been preparing for has arrived. And many times it is a SURPRISE!

At an Evolutionary Women’s Retreat, in October 2007, there were conversations about expressing our creativity and the wisdom that was percolating all over the retreat center that weekend. On Sunday morning, Karen Porter, one of my friends who was also attending the retreat, stood up and shared an inspiration that came to her in the shower that morning.

We should all write a book together. The name of the book would be, “An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life.” I felt a deep Yes! in my heart as soon as she said the words.

In the next minute, the woman behind her stood up. She said,  “I am a publisher who will publish your book.”  One year later we had a published book! Christine Kloser became the mentor and publisher.

Before I share some of the details that emerged as we wrote the book, I want to tell you a little bit about Christine Kloser. She is a phenomenal resource. Her company is called Love Your Life Publishing, Inc.

Lynne Klippel is the managing partner in the company. The combination of their energy nurtures, inspires, and creates a supportive structure for a book to be birthed. If you feel that you have a book that wants to be birthed or have a story to write, I have included a few links to their programs.

This is a link to the home study program: Get Your Book Done Now

In addition: Christine and Lynne have a group book project starting now. Here is a FREE tele-class about the book project: Align, Expand, Succeed. The call is on April 21, 2010 3pm Eastern time. There will be a recording of the call, but you must sign up to receive the link.

Below, I have listed several steps to begin the writing of a book and some of the specifics of our process.

Step 1: Create a title for your book

Step 2: Go to bookstores to look at book cover pictures and back covers. Writing the back cover for your book can bring a clarity to the purpose of your book. A book front cover can be an inspired vision in front of you. Look for other books that are similar to yours to see what is on the market and what has been successful.

Step 3: Create a structure to invite authors and a structure for support. If you are writing a book by yourself use a program like Christine’s or find a writer’s group and book buddies who can be there to support you.

Here are some of the specific details that were formed with our book:

~ We formed a core group of Bonnie Kelley, Lucky Sweeny, Karen Porter and myself. The ideas was to generate ideas and hold the energetic structure for the book. The core group was the container that held the book as the writers and ideas emerged.

~Book title- Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life

-Book cover was already a picture on our website and the graphic designer presented different lettering designs for us to choose.

 ~250 women who had attended Evolutionary Women Retreats were invited to submit a personal 1500 word story that wanted to emerge from them to share.

Over a period of several months, 44 women became the authors in the book.

~The idea of a sacred jar of stories emerged as a place to hold the intention of the stories. Story ideas were submitted to me. I printed the e-mail from the author, rolled it into a scroll, tied it with a ribbon and said a prayer for the author to bring forth the deepest expression of herself to share in the inspired story. It was the intention that this story would reach each person who needed to read it.

~ Sage Knight and Karen Porter, two of the 44 women authors, held a space for women to call on the phone every Tues night for three months. We used a free conference calling line. The women were responsible for their own phone charges. Some had unlimited long distance so the call was free to them. Women shared the journey of writing. They shared the joys, the frustrations, the tears, the celebrations, the doubts and received the encouragement to share their voices.

~ A group of women agreed to be gentle readers to give feedback. Some of them were authors and some were women who attended the retreats but were not writing a story in the book. The guidelines were to answer three questions.

          1) What do you like about the story?
          2) What is unclear?
          3) Any ideas or suggestions?

~The authors then had a chance to receive the feedback, reflect, re-write or not and return the story for the final editing. We also decided that the pure expression of each woman’s voice was more important than grammar and literary significance. It was the emotion and the energy of the words.

~Judith Watson stepped forward and offered to do all of the final editing of the book.

~ We also had a few women who helped mentor individual authors, one word at a time, to write their story.

~Christine Kloser wrote the back cover of the book, after the book was published. We had an original intention and we also decided to see what emerged before writing a back cover.

Here are two pictures with some of the authors.

East Coast Retreat. Bon Secours Spiritual Center August 2008.

West Coast Retreat: La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, CA December 2008


~ One Tip about the back cover. If you are writing a story or a book, it is good to know the essence of what you are writing. What is the message? Why would someone want to read your book? Answering those questions is a personal growth experience on its own. Writing the back cover in advance can bring you clarity around your message and answer your “why” for writing the book. This can help you to write with a focus of your message.

Next week I will write about things I learned when I wrote my personal story for Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life. I will share my experience and a few examples of other authors in the book.

Please write in the comments section to share with each other. Your own ideas and stirrings. If you have questions for me, go to: Type in questions and I will answer them there.

If you haven’t voted for me in the Next Top Spiritual Author contest, you can go to this link to register on the site,  view the video and vote. Thanks!

Day 91- On the Road: A Journey of Creativity

Mon, April 12, 2010

A Journey of Creativity

I want to support you in expressing more of who you are.

I want to encourage you to create, to write, speak, dance, and play. Creativity, and the expression of it, is as important as food, water, shelter, and community. As human beings, we need to express ourselves creatively.

I feel like I have an opportunity right now to share more about creativity. I am in a contest and I am expressing myself through my voice. I am on a journey that can help you to awaken to a deeper part of your path of creativity. I am here to encourage, nudge, and inspire you to deepen your own journey.

On Mondays, for the next few weeks, I am going to share a brief description of the journey I have been on as a writer. It is one form of creativity. I hope that it sparks something in you that leads you to a discovery of something that wants to wake up right now! I will share an overview of ideas and resources every week. Use the ideas and allow your own Divine expression to come forward.

As you read about my journey, my greatest desire is that it spark something in you. A remembrance. A new idea. A passion. It may happen immediately or it may surface later today or sometime this week or month.

You have all of the answers inside of you. Sharing my journey is something to help you stimulate your own answers.

My journey  of writing:

I was always a journal writer. I had a diary as a teenager and I loved to write about feelings, thoughts and observations. I was always curious about why people acted the way they did and I wrote about it privately. Just for me.

In 1991, when I was pregnant with my third child, Cooper, I became a daily journal writer. He was born with a congenital heart defect, had two open heart surgeries and died at 19 months from a neuroblastoma cancer. Hannah, my 4th child, was born two weeks after Cooper died and a year later I developed an autoimmune condition that took over my life for two years.

I had a lot of thoughts, feelings and emotions to write about!

I was in book clubs with groups of women for about ten years. We explored our creativity and spirituality once a week. Two of my favorite books were by Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way,” and “The Vein of Gold.”  Julia’s idea of morning pages, walks and art dates were some of the things I began to incorporate into my life. They really stirred the words and self-expression. I had connected with the women in the group through friendship and homeschooling our children.

If a book group interests you, gather friends or find a group on-line that meets in your area. The library, a local bookstore or a group like Meet-up is another way of connecting with new people.  Julia Cameron’s books are available at the library and in bookstores. Support a local bookstore!!

In 2004, I had the thought of writing a book. I thought it would probably be a “how to travel with your children” book because so many people asked me to write down tips I had learned. I was homeschooling my children and life felt very full.  I felt like I was “fed” creatively and spiritually but something else was bubbling inside. I had to write. I don’t want to be overly dramatic here, but seriously, sometimes it felt like I would die if I didn’t start writing. Have you ever had that feeling? A desire so strong that you had to listen to it or die?

I decided to go to a coffee shop once a week for 2 hours and began to explore the ideas that were bubbling inside of me. I wrote down things that interested me, areas I thought I had experience, and I looked through old journals for ideas.

In my day to day life, I wrote down words, book titles, billboards, songs, dreams and vanity license plates that inspired me or stirred my heart.

A few months after starting this, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. My passion for writing was channeled into journals again and e-mails to family and friends to describe the details of my husband’s cancer and treatment.

After he died, I still had the desire to write, but the idea of a book did not surface until 2 years later.

Today is the beginning of  stirring the pot. See if the things I wrote here stir anything in you. It might be a moment of remembering a passion you had as a teenager or a child. It might be something that you put on hold when life happened and you thought, well someday I will…

Please write things in the comments section to share with each other. Your own ideas and stirrings. If you have questions for me, go to:

Next week, I will talk about the first book I co-authored and how that emerged at an Evolutionary Women Retreat.

If you haven’t voted for me in the Next Top Spiritual Author contest, you can go to this link to register on the site,  view the video and vote. Thanks!

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