Write Now with Jean Rowe: Jump

guy jumping a cliff

“The feeling like no matter what I do, I’m going to fall. Something will toss me over the edge. Instead of letting that happen, I make the decision myself. I get to decide when to jump.”

Rebekah Crane
The Upside of Falling Down

Jumping into water. Jumping into shorts and a tee-shirt. Jumping into the car for a road trip. Jumping at spontaneity. It’s Summer! It’s arrived! How are you jumping into this season?

Things are lightening up. Maybe you’ll still wear a mask if that is what feels good and right, and that is just fine. How does it feel to jump into the luxury of activities like meeting a friend for coffee? Eating in a restaurant? Being around other human beings? Have you jumped into hugs yet? They feel pretty good.

Be a Jumping Explorer this month and catalog your adventures. What is coming up? How does it feel in your body? No judgment or criticism here – get curious!

You get to decide when to jump – isn’t that wonderful? Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

Write Now With Jean Rowe: Lush

While from the purpling east departs
The star that led the dawn,
Blithe Flora from her couch upstarts,
For May is on the lawn.

William Wordsworth
Ode Composed on a May Morning

The promise of a bloom, the way the trees fill in with green, the lushness of May is here. Birds return; all manner of winged creatures buzz; the tree frogs sing. It’s this filling in of things that brings hope of new life, fresh air, warmer weather. It’s cyclical rather than linear. It has purpose.

Consider this. How are you filling in? Whether it be interior or external? Big or small? No grand gestures required. What is buzzing through your being? What songs is your mind humming? What feels lush in this present moment? With the longer light, take more breaks, breathe deeply, look around through fresh points of view.

Carry your journal along. On walks around Beaver Lake near where I live, I see blankets strewn, bodies relaxed, books open, pens poised above pages; sometimes a nap.

Wander with this in mind. Capture what surfaces in your pages.

Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

Yes! where Love nestles thou canst teach
The soul to love the more;
Hearts also shall thy lessons reach
That never loved before.

Write Now With Jean Rowe: Roots

Lacuna Loft is proud to present our newest blog initiative: Write Now with Jean Rowe! Each month, come on over to Young Adult Voices and read everything LCSW Jean Rowe has to say! Love what you’re reading? Check out the many programs Jean is facilitating (including 30 Minute Tune-UpLost and FoundLacuna Loft’s Weekly Journal Prompt, and It’s a Wonderful Life to name a few) and sign up to join one today!

April 22nd is Earth Day, and what a glorious time of year to invite ourselves to get reacquainted, reconnected with our roots. This could mean – what is the story of your family? Have you ever charted a genogram (for fun, not school)? This could be a time to pull out colored pencils and highlighters and have some fun. You could make the genogram topic-specific like how many people in your family learned to sew or plant roses or grow tomatoes. You could interview an aunt or uncle about their lives, things you may not already know about them. It could be seeing if Ancestry is something you would like to explore. It could be reading your parents’ letters – something I did a couple of summers ago. They were from the 1950s through the 1970s and brought nostalgia and tugs on my heartstrings.

It could be literally connecting with the earth. Bring the outdoors inside with a pretty potted something where you can see and enjoy it. New to digging in the dirt? Don’t be afraid to engage a master gardener at a place like Ace Hardware to ask questions and get some guidance. Don’t forget about your local library and checking out books on how to grow, what to grow, and knowing your zone (important!). It could be hugging a tree. Don’t laugh! It might actually feel good. It could be going for a walk in a neighborhood where much is in bloom and beautiful to behold.

So. Loving the earth helps love yourself.

To recap:

A genogram of your own making
Interviewing a family member
Family Ancestry
Learning to garden whether it be flowers or vegetables or both
Hugging trees
Walking in the woods
Walking in neighborhoods which you bring you joy

And

How about a bird feeder?
Planting flowers that attract bees and butterflies?
Breathing deeply in your own front yard?

Possibilities abound.

 

Whatever you decide, try it and then write about it. How’d it go? How did it feel? What did you learn? What is next?

Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

Away, away from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs,
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress its music.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Beginning Again

rose budding

March is a time which includes celebrating women, the vernal equinox, springing an hour ahead and wearing green on the 17th. Some may moan at the time change, and I encourage us to welcome the longer light. Depending on where you live, you may already be seeing evidence of spring with new blossoms surfacing. Daffodils were the first to wave at me followed now by Redbuds. New life. Rebirth. Beginning. Again.

These latter signs point to opportunity. To fling open the windows and let in fresh air – literally and within your being. To breathe deeply as the earth shows off in its seasonal glory. To rise from hibernation and start down the mountain as the splendid Mary Oliver’s bear is described in Spring (“this dazzling darkness”). To take chances, risk as some of the characters do in the movie Begin Again.

How might it feel to rise, to stretch, to move down the mountain, to sniff the air, to listen to the sounds around you, to taste, to touch, to feel – as if a brand new experience?

Absorb this idea and write for five minutes. Stay curious.

Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Write Now with Jean Rowe: Matters of the Heart

snow heart held by red gloved hands

Lacuna Loft is proud to present Write Now with Jean Rowe! Each month, come on over to Young Adult Voices and read everything LCSW Jean Rowe has to say! Love what you’re reading? Check out the many programs Jean is facilitating (including 30 Minute Tune-UpLost and FoundLacuna Loft’s Weekly Journal Prompt, and It’s a Wonderful Life) and sign up to join one today!

February brings valentines, and this month, I encourage us to think of ways we can and do love ourselves. Love is action. Love is a verb. Love is a choice. Maybe this feels awkward. Try anyway. You’re worth it.

Here is some wisdom of those who love/loved themselves:

James Brown – Super Bad
I jump back. I wanna kiss myself.

Lady Gaga – Born This Way
I’m right on the track, baby.

Tom Petty – Won’t Back Down
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down.

Whitney Houston – Greatest Love of All
Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

Lou Rawls – One Life to Live
Why don’t you give it your best shot.

Madonna – Vogue
All you need is your own imagination.

 

What would happen if you use your own imagination, gave it your best shot, loved yourself, kept the world from draggin’ you down, got right on the track, and, yes, jumped back and kissed yourself?

Try this: pick one of those ideas or several. Act as if they are already in place. Write a day in your life with them already in place. Write for five minutes. Have a sense of wonder and open-heartedness at what is revealed.

Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

We set the bar for how we want others to treat us.
-Lisa Marie

Your Definition of Love Determines How You Experience It

Write Now With Jean Rowe: Grounded

rock structure

Lacuna Loft is proud to present our newest blog initiative: Write Now with Jean Rowe! Each month, come on over to Young Adult Voices and read everything LCSW Jean Rowe has to say! Love what you’re reading? Check out the many programs Jean is facilitating (including 30 Minute Tune-UpLost and FoundLacuna Loft’s Weekly Journal Prompt, and It’s a Wonderful Life) and sign up to join one today!

2021 has started with a bang.  Let’s focus on how we can stay grounded no matter what is swirling around us.  Let’s invite ways to hold our center and remember to chuckle when, as Betty Davis said, “fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”  The hopeful news is that there are simple ways to help ourselves.

Some of what is recommended is common sense and what we already know, and, yet, it is okay to return to this good direction when we need help.  There is no requirement here.  These are options for you to ponder.  Notice what feels right for you.

Connect with others.  You know who your people are.  Remember to share how you are doing and check in on others (even if they appear to be fine).  Take a break from the news.  Take a break from social media.  Get outside.  Get more sleep.  Consider making a daily, small gratitude list.  Try meditation for five minutes.

Journal!

Try this: make a list of the ways you stay grounded (and maybe already are!).  Write for five minutes and see what surfaces.  Are you doing these things?  Might you return to them to help feel grounded?  Did something new appear?

Let me know how it goes.  I’d love to hear from you!

You never know what someone else is going through.
Be kind.
Always.
[Quoted often; Claimed by many]

Write Now With Jean Rowe: Take Aways From 2020

Lacuna Loft is proud to present our newest blog initiative: Write Now with Jean Rowe! Each month, come on over to Young Adult Voices and read everything LCSW Jean Rowe has to say! Love what you’re reading? Check out the many programs Jean is facilitating (including 30 Minute Tune-UpLost and FoundLacuna Loft’s Weekly Journal Prompt, and It’s a Wonderful Life) and sign up to join one today!

The extraordinary year of 2020 has come to a close. As I reflect on the glorious work Lacuna Loft journaling workshop participants have shared with me during this past year, I am struck by how wise you all are. Here are some take-aways from our time together which I hope you will see as a wisdom list. You are the authors.

You are a Rock Star
Home is not necessarily a physical space
I know my value
Rain can start things over
Love permeates boundaries
The small things count just as much
Enjoy the moment
Wear the bikini
Don’t be afraid to roar
I am enough
Happiness is relatively free, and love doesn’t cost a thing
It’s my time to shine

Think about placing this list where you can see it. Choose one phrase or one word and journal about that for five minutes. See what surfaces! Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

Follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, stop caring about what others think. -Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Write Now with Jean Rowe: Generosity

Lacuna Loft is proud to present our newest blog initiative: Write Now with Jean Rowe! Each month, come on over to Young Adult Voices and read everything LCSW Jean Rowe has to say! Love what you’re reading? Check out the many programs Jean is facilitating (including 30 Minute Tune-UpLost and FoundLacuna Loft’s Weekly Journal Prompt, and It’s a Wonderful Life) and sign up to join one today!

Generosity

We are fully entering the holiday season in an entirely new way. Many of us will not gather with those we love as we normally do. The reframe is this: how can we gather with those we love under the circumstances? Who can we call to our virtual or heart-centered table? How can we invite the energy of those who matter to us into our hearts even if we’re not going to be with them? How can we send this expansive-like spirit into the world so that others can benefit from this generous thinking?

I’m not suggesting that this will make everything okay. Of course, it won’t. It’s a weird time, and, while the holidays bring up all manner of feelings, this year is an extra helping of managing our own.

I recently listened to a journal workshop participant share about how she and friends all cooked the same meal (on their own) and then gathered virtually to dine together and talk about how it went, what they enjoyed, the process. This is a supper club with a twist, and it accomplished a variety of things: creativity, flexibility, finding a new way to be with one another, and a delicious meal.

What comes up for you in thinking about choosing differently to be with the holidays this year? Write about that for 5-7 minutes and see what surfaces. Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear from you.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
― St. Francis of Assisi

Write Now With Jean Rowe

candles

Lacuna Loft is proud to present our newest blog initiative: Write Now with Jean Rowe! Each month, come on over to Young Adult Voices and read everything LCSW Jean Rowe has to say! Love what you’re reading? Check out the many programs Jean is facilitating (including 30 Minute Tune-Up, Lost and Found, Lacuna Loft’s Weekly Journal Prompt, and It’s a Wonderful Life) and sign up to join one today!

As we all continue to navigate the swiftly moving landscape of life, I notice a recurring theme surfacing throughout these times. It is the opportunity to celebrate what is. There is much out of our control, and, yet, when we make a list of what we are doing, it can be fulfilling and empowering.

Take some time to make that list especially when things start to feel overwhelming. We can be so hard on ourselves to “do it all,” and a rather harsh internal voice can emerge when we perceive we have failed. When we make a list of what we are doing, it can be relieving, rewarding, and enlightening. Do know that naps absolutely make the list because they are a form of self-care! Consider setting a time on your calendar each week to make a list of what you are doing and see what happens. How does it feel? What do you notice?

Think about writing for 5 minutes on celebrating what is. Even as life surely looks different these days, there are avenues to find our way. Here’s an example: you can still decorate for Halloween even if trick or treaters will be safely keeping their distance. What might you do? Carve pumpkins? Hang orange string lights? Watch a scary movie virtually with friends? The possibilities are there. It’s up to you to grab on to them!

Tell me how it goes! I’d love to hear from you.
-Jean

“Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows’ Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.”
-Ray Bradbury
The Halloween Tree

Write Now With Jean Rowe: Journal Writing Is Good For You!

journal on table with flowers

Lacuna Loft is proud to present our newest blog initiative: Write Now with Jean Rowe! Each month, come on over to Young Adult Voices and read everything LCSW Jean Rowe has to say! Love what you’re reading? Check out the many programs Jean is facilitating (including 30 Minute Tune-Up, Lost and Found, Lacuna Loft’s Weekly Journal Prompt, and It’s a Wonderful Life) and sign up to join one today!

—-

Journal writing is good for you!  I am not just providing lip service for something in which I truly believe. The benefits of expressive/journal writing have been studied for over 30 years. Journaling as a coping technique for cancer patients is among them.  If you have taken part in any of Lacuna Loft’s programs, you already know the changes for good, aha moments, and important internal shifts that can and do take place.

Research performed by James Pennebaker concluded that “physical health and work performance can improve by simple writing and/or talking exercises.” Simple. Writing. Exercises. 

Kay Adams, the Founder and Director for the Center for Journal Therapy, calls the journal the “79¢ therapist.”  If you knew that the anxiety, the worry, the insomnia, the punishing voice in your head, the [you fill in the blank] would lessen, subside or even stop by spending 5-7 minutes writing in a journal on a regular basis, would you?  As Glinda told Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “you’ve always had the power.”  

You might ask, how can journaling help you?  Have you felt triggered by the smells of the infusion room?  Experienced scanxiety?  Wondered who you are with/after cancer?  The journal is your ally towards working through those experiences.  You can write anything you want.  No one is going to judge you.  It’s a personal, private space.

Here is a prompt to try.  Write for 5 minutes.  Then, read back over what you wrote and give yourself an impression of what you feel or think about what you wrote (i.e. I notice…)

Describe a place in your home where you feel safe.  What makes it comfortable?  How do you relax there?  Is there a certain time of day you spend there?  What is the view outside the window?  Is anyone there with you?  Where are you in the room?

Tell me how it goes! I’d love to hear from you.

-Jean

 

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.

-William Wordsworth