Posts Tagged ‘spiritual memoir; writing; Natalie Goldberg; Pat Schneider; Itzhak Beery; Sarah Petruno’

Writing and spirituality have been two of the constants in my life. Spirit yearns for a voice, and writing has been one of the ways I’ve been able to express it. It’s not always about “big things” – it can be about simply noticing the beauty of a plant, or honoring a moment of kindness.

Memoir is one of my favorite genres, and I love reading about other people’s journeys. My sense of community expands with each new discovery.

When I recently found How the Light Gets In: Writing As Spiritual Practice by Pat Schneider, my heart soared. It’s such a beautiful tribute to the writing process and its connection to spirituality.   She shares her personal path as well as encouragement for others who feel the urge to put pen to paper and share their story. It was like meeting a kindred spirit – like finding a new treasured friend.

In fact, Natalie Goldberg’s Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir is called just that – with our self being the friend. It’s is a great collection of exercises and inspiring stories for anyone working on writing a memoir or even those of us who currently aren’t working on one but who need some juice for our writing in general. She has such a wonderful way of inspiring joy and freshness, of honoring our existence and relationship to the Mystery. Highly recommended.

Another spiritual memoir I’ve been reading recently is by Izhtak Beery, The Gift of Shamanism: Visionary Power Ayahuasca Dreams, and Journeys to Other Realms about his journey from being a skeptical atheist to a practicing shaman. Although I don’t agree with his premise that everyone can be a shaman, I do believe everyone can learn some shamanic skills. It is our birthright to connect to spirit, but learning how to dream and journey doesn’t make a person a shaman any more than learning how to use a Band-Aid or set a splint makes someone a surgeon. But the book is engaging and gives lots of food for thought. You might also want to check out the website he hosts, www.shamanportal.org, a collection of information and resources of all things shamanic.

I’ve also been enjoying Sarah Petruno’s blog, “Sarah Petruno Shamanism” (http://www.sarahpetrunoshamanism.com). Her March 29th post, “How I Learned to be a Shaman,” is about just that, and I loved the uniqueness of her path. Taught directly by her ancestors and the spirits, she didn’t follow the path so many current Western practitioners follow of workshops and certificate programs. While workshops absolutely have value, only the spirits can initiate someone to be a healer. Her path and her honesty are truly inspiring.

Ultimately, as spirits, we are more than our stories, but as humans, we yearn for story.

What are some of the stories rumbling around inside your soul?

Happy reading – and writing!

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