Starting. Actually, starting gently #100sharesproject 37/100


Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.  ~ Arthur Ashe

Wednesday 25 May 2016


Without a doubt, the question that I field the most about journal keeping is: “How do I start?”
The truth is, you just start.
But the other truth is that starting is challenging.
We have to climb over different things depending on our story.
Perfectionism.  Handwriting.  “We don’t say that.”  “We do it this way.”
Everyone has a story around journals and writing.  
Spelling.  Honesty.  Secrets.  What if someone finds this book?
Learning curve is messy.  
The voices and message that come toward us are as infinite as all the stories.
I believe in honoring the story and being a ninja as we move around our fears and concerns.  I believe in working with and around objections.   Here are a couple of ways to begin if you just don’t know where to start.
Sometimes someone else has already wrapped language around the thing that we’re trying to express or the challenge that’s in front of us.  Start by writing down a quote.
The true power in this exercise comes when we move to the next step beyond copying someone else’s words and dive into our own.  Write the quote.  And then capture what you think and how you feel.  Why did that particular quote capture your attention in the first place?  What does it stir in you?
Words are powerful.  Sometimes one word says it all.  Sometimes that one word kicks over the bucket and everything spills out.  Write
[or stamp or collage] a word.  And then respond.
Why that word?  What does it invoke?  Has it captured your attention more than once?
May today be filled with powerful starts and insightful interactions.
BE in your life,
By | 2016-10-19T14:20:24+00:00 May 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|3 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.
And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.

  • Kathy Mercure

    Uncanny! So many similarities, Betsy.

    In my Writing From the Heart courses I address the fear and the inner critic by telling my students that WFTH is not about being a good writer, it’s about being a good listener. It’s practice and you never have to get it “right.” And, if they are listening to their hearts, it’s exactly what their heart wanted them to hear at that moment. What they wrote can be used for further exploration, or taken in the moment.

    My secret sauce is the Go Deeper Question: if a word or phrase you wrote stands out for you, ask yourself, “What do I mean by _____? and gently follow it down, down, down, like Alice in the rabbit hole, to the deepness that lies beneath the surface.

    Students are also amazed that when they read it aloud to the group (or to themselves if they are in my video classes) what they thought was terrible is often quite beautiful. And, of course, the reactions from the group are also so affirming.

    Wonderful that the process is universal, isn’t it?

    • Kathy – Love this: “…not about being a good writer, it’s about being a good listener.” YES! So very true. And yes to the spiral down and inward. What a gift you give in the Go Deeper Question. I love to that you have your students read aloud. Finding and using our voice is powerful and redemptive. < 3

      • Kathy Mercure

        Thank you Betsy. I’m loving your posts.