by Mary Louise Chown
Hearing a story is like listening to music, the words falling off the teller’s tongue, onto our ears, and into our heart, setting thoughts and memories in motion. Stories are heard in the deep heart’s core and answer the burning questions that we all have. Who are we? Where did we come from? Who do we love? What have we forgotten that is important to remember?
Editor's Note from Michael Williams: In this article, storyteller and mediator Mary Louise Chown reflects on her therapeutic work with story and children. She states: "Children especially need the experience of listening to stories and discovering connections with their own lives. This can strengthen their spirits for when they meet hard times, such as illness or death, or any kind of sadness or disappointment."
by Nancy Brady
Memories of my grandmother Ida's cautious words occasionally play through my mind. "Child, watch your words unless you wanna be creatin' that now!" My grandma may have had an understanding that we create our life situations through our thoughts and words, but I'm not so sure she realized it is possible to undo old beliefs and recreate a new reality...
Editor's Note from Natalie Jovanic: What do you believe? And even more important: Do they work for you? Our beliefs have a huge impact on our lives, and they do not always serve us well. Read this inspirational article by Nancy Brady and learn about the power of beliefs and how you can create positive change.
by Joan Stockbridge
Yesterday I flew back from my nephew’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, celebrated in the same little stone church where I’d been married 36 years earlier. And the reception was very festive, with the dance floor crowded all night...
Editor's Note from Michael Williams: As All Souls Day approaches, I am reminded of how many cultures honour their dead with a meal, a visit to the grave, and sharing of memories. No one is ever dead, an ancient tale reminds us, as long as we keep telling stories about the departed. In this poignant article, storyteller, spiritual director and SoulCollage® facilitator Joan Stockbridge recounts the importance of “ceremony” as a way of dealing with death and grief.
by Cynthia Greb,
Co-Editor of Dream Medicine
A part of me doesn’t want to write this. I don’t want to revisit my grief. And, I also want to write this while the memories are still somewhat fresh.
Six weeks ago I temporarily moved into the room I had lived in as a teenager. It was the family home, although my family no longer lived there. The kids were all grown and my parents had both recently moved into a nursing home – my father because of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and my mother because there was no longer money for the caregivers we’d hired to assist her...
by Tom North
My father, Richard North, died in a Navy jet test flight crash when I was six years old. Fifteen months after his death, my mother, Helen North who had eight children, re-married a man named Frank Beardsley who had ten, making us one of the largest families in the country...
Editor’s Note from Eden Kozlowski: I saw the 1968 movie Yours, Mine and Ours during summer camp when I was a kid – probably in the late 70s. Oddly, I just saw the movie trailer for it on some older movie DVD I was watching with my kids. It brought back fun memories. Days after, Tom connected with me on Twitter (his family was the focus of Yours, Mine and Ours). So, here we come full circle. In this article he shares the truth of his life with the Beardsleys and how meditation helped him overcome this difficult time. Alters my perspective of the light-hearted, family film.
by Tiffany Ip, PhD
ATH Co-Editor of Psychotherapy
Our memory, though fascinating, can be totally unreliable. As much as you want to retain forever in mind your sweet loving memories – the love-at-first-sight circumstance with your high-school sweetheart, the surprise birthday party a gang of new friends threw for you when you were doing your exchange study in a foreign country...
Editor's Note from Tiffany Ip: You may be one of the many people who have been hurt and believe the painful memories are hard to erased from the brain's blackboard. But the truth is, "the past is just a story we tell ourselves". While memories might be powerful enough to define us, we indeed possess the ability of defining our own memories.
by Ted Kooser
Poetry has room for everything and everybody, for every subject and object. Here’s a poem by Sharon Chmielarz, a Minnesota poet, on a subject I’ve never seen written about. And poetry, and American Life in Poetry in particular, now welcomes pillow cleaners...
Editor's Note from Susan de Wardt: Poets often write just for the fun of it, recording something ordinary that happened during the day. This poems can trigger memories for us of better times, or of beloved objects (as this poem did for me - I so loved my little feather pillow when I was a child). Read a poem today to life your spirit. Write your own poem about something ordinary or even about something special.
Writing & Poetry Therapy
by Francesca Simon
We choose our screensavers as tools for transmutation. They transmute our being and raise our vibrations a little higher by evoking fond memories or engaging our hopes and dreams. They help us reconnect to people, places and feelings that bring us joy. They are our modern-day tarot cards...
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