Writing a Creative Eulogy for Your Beloved

Writing a eulogy may not be as difficult as you think. Here are some tips.

By Diana Raab

Diana Raab
Diana Raab

Over the past few years, I’ve written more eulogies and given more tributes than I have in my entire lifetime. When sharing a eulogy I’ve written and hearing those of others at memorials, I cannot help but think how our loved ones would have enjoyed hearing how they impacted us. Sometimes we have no idea how much we are loved. Attending memorials reminds me of the importance of expressing gratitude more often to those who are meaningful to us. These gatherings also help us heal, as the attendees share emotional, spiritual, and practical sentiments and advice.

There are two writing prompts that I frequently offer in my writing workshops, which the participants seem to enjoy. The first is to write one’s own eulogy, and the second is to write a letter to a loved one who has passed away. These are wonderful ways to honor those who have influenced us during our lives.   Read the rest of the blog post….

Loving Healing Press Making Book Donation to Resource Library in Madagascar

To help improve the quality of life via therapeutic services in Madagascar, the Loving Healing Press is donating copies of its title Handwriting For Heroes – a task-oriented workbook to help people learn to write with their non-dominant hand.- Loving Healing Press Making Book Donation to Resource Library in Madagascar

The non-profit Growing the Nations Therapy Programmes (GNTP) is currently focusing on helping vulnerable, poverty-stricken people in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world, by providing them therapeutic services. Establishing a resource library for occupational therapists to work with the affected people in the area is a key requirement for this purpose.   Read the rest of the story….

How Meditation Can Help a Writer

By Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Sweta Srivastava Vikram

At the 2014 Academy Awards, Robert De Niro’s intro of the best screenplay nominees caught the attention of many. “The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing”, he said, before continuing, “Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.” His comment was cruelly funny and spot-on.

Read the whole story by Sweta on Brevity

Michigan Press Donating Books to 7-Year-Old’s Literacy Group

By Ernest Dempsey

The Loving Healing Press of Ann Arbor, MI, is proud to announce participation in the children’s literacy group Rhymers are Readers via book donation.
Scenes from “I’m Mixed”

The 13-member children’s choir group Rhymers are Readers meets at the Woodlawn-Faith Methodist Church in Alexandria, VA, and promotes book reading with ethnic-conscious stories and material. The group comprises black/African-American children, led by 7-year-old Havana, who has raised over $6000 thus far for her cause of educating black children of poor families in the community through book reading.

The books selected for reading by the group and donated to community are those portraying positive, strong black characters and narratives that improve self-esteem of ethnic African-American children.

To help Havana with her cause, the Loving Healing Press is donating 25 copies of its new book I’m Mixed! by author Maggy Williams and illustrator Elizabeth Agresta to Rhymers are Readers. The book tells the story of a young biracial girl accepting her mixed heritage, and conveying a lesson in acceptance, inclusion, and self-awareness.

“The book is about a biracial girl who celebrates both her African American and Caucasian heritage. Its message embraces all races and is meant to be unifying and inclusive,” says author Maggy Williams.

Although the Loving Healing Press has had minority protagonists prominently in children’s books, such as Reena’s Bollywood Dream by the late Jewel Kats, and Rani in Search of a Rainbow by Shaila Abdullah, this is the first children’s book by this press that takes the question of race and identity head on.

Publisher Victor Volkman at the press tells it was through helping author Sherry Quan Lee recently produce How Dare We! Write: A Multicultural Creatve Writing Discourse that opened his eyes to this discussion.

“It is my greatest hope that this book can open the door to a frank and open conversation with young people of all ethnicities,” says Volkman.

 BY  ON IN THE SPIRIT

Spring is a great time for transformation and new beginnings. It’s also a time for your mind to bloom. For those living in cold climates, the winter months are often spent inside, in self-protection mode, so spring is a season when you can shed all your layers. In order to facilitate transformation and new beginnings, you’ll need to let go of old, unhealthy patterns and embrace new, positive energy. 

During my childhood, spring meant the blossoming of the cherry-blossom tree that sat on our front lawn. I have vivid memories of sitting on the falling blossoms and feeling the wonder of nature. It also meant shedding my winter coat, gloves, and hat, and getting on my bike and riding around the neighborhood. Spring meant freedom. It was also a time when my parents engaged in their annual spring-cleaning ritual…..

Writing as a Spiritual Practice

by Diana Raab, PhD

Spirituality may be seen as the search for truth in one’s life in the interest of being happy. Writing as a spiritual practice can connect us to what seems most right for us, both personally and professionally. It can help us pinpoint our mission and reason for being by encouraging us to reflect on our feelings. Writing also helps us create a more profound sense of harmony and peace of mind.

Sometimes starting to write about pivotal or life-changing experiences can also confirm our identity. When I look back at my own life experiences and reflect on those that have truly transformed me, challenged me, or made me feel more aware or more alive, I must say that these were pivotal events involving the deaths of loved ones, the forming or evolution of relationships, becoming a parent, sexual encounters, and meaningful conversations with others. They have all been subjects of exploration in my journal writing, which has led to some form of change or transformation……       Read the full blog post here 

Healing through Writing

Writing For Bliss
Writing For Bliss

I began my writing career at age ten, sitting in my walk-in closet scribbling in my journal. My mother had given me the journal to help me cope with my grandmother’s suicide. Thirty years later, those childhood scribblings inspired my first memoir, Regina’s Closet. 

Fast forward ten more years, I began journaling my breast cancer journey. Essentially, I journaled my way to recovery. And those journals became the jumping-off point for my second memoir, Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. While the book began as a recounting of my cancer story, it evolved into a self-help guide for others to chronicle their own cancer journeys. 

Not all journals turn into published books, but since I’m a writer, it seemed like a natural path for me. However, you don’t have to be a writer to journal. Journals are a productive way to vent about difficult experiences, like facing cancer, for instance. When writing in a journal, it’s important to not only write about your experiences but also write how you feel. Writing is an excellent way to get in touch with your feelings….

Read the rest of the article here!

What you see depends on what you’re looking for, by Diana Raab, PhD

Writing for Bliss
Writing for Bliss

At least once a year, I go to Maui by myself for an annual writer’s retreat. My accommodations are modest and secluded. I began this tradition about the time I started writing my first novel in 2013. I’d been writing nonfiction and poetry for more than forty years, but quickly learned that the art of novel writing rested in my ability to carve out a chunk of time to write, mainly because I realized that I needed to completely submerge myself in my characters. While I’m sure I could write in any peaceful setting, there’s something about the Hawaiian environment, culture, and people that helps my creativity flourish.

Nevertheless, even when I’m in the flow, I’m not the type of writer who can write from morning until night. I need food and nature breaks. As a spiritual individual, I find that Hawaii provides a great escape for me. On one of my first visits, I asked the manager where I was staying if she could recommend a kahuna who would meet with me. Without hesitation, she said, “Sure. I’ll call the person who blessed this land.” The following morning, Kelei, a tall and powerful-looking woman in her 40s, walked through the property’s front gate. A blanket was slung over one shoulder, and on her other shoulder was a cloth bag bearing many surprises that I’d soon see. In her hands she held a bowl of water. She then put everything down to greet me with a big, hearty hug and a wide smile…

Read the rest of Diana Raab’s article here

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