Creating books that will change your life
Healing victims of sexual assault through transformative journaling: One in six women is the victim of sexual assault. Using her own hard-won wisdom, author Jen Cross shows how to heal through journaling and personal writing.
Rape victims and victims of other sexual abuse: Writing Ourselves Whole is a collection of essays and creative writing encouragements for sexual trauma survivors who want to risk writing a different story. Each short chapter offers encouragement, experience, and exercises. Sections focus on writing as a transformative practice, embodying our story, how to write trauma without retraumatization, writing joy and desire, and more.
How to change your life: When you can find language for the stories that are locked inside, you can change your life. Talk therapy can only go so far for the millions of Americans struggling in the aftermath of sexual abuse and sexual assault, as well as for their partners, families, and caregivers. Survivors of childhood sexual trauma are strong and vulnerable enough to bear witness to each other's truths, to share and learn new languages for our experiences, to throw over the simplistic “victim” and “survivor” narratives that permeate mainstream media in favor of narratives that are fragmented, complicated, messy, and ultimately more whole.
Sexual assault survivors can heal themselves:Sexual trauma survivor communities (and their allies) have the capacity to hold and hear one another's stories – we do not have to relegate ourselves solely to the individual isolation of the therapist's office. We do not need to be afraid, as a community of fractured, harmed and healing survivors, of reaching out to and supporting one another.
Books such as Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and Louise DeSalvo's Writing as a Way of Healing beautifully describe the power of writing and offer practices for readers to engage with individually. Yet few creative writing or creative recovery books explicitly address sexual trauma survivors' struggles to find language for their experience, nor do they describe the empowerment we might find in discovering language and expression for our delight, desire, and joy as well as our loss and pain. Writing Ourselves Whole specifically addresses the power of connecting with others who share our experience and can support us in finding language for subjects we not only are not supposed to talk about in polite company, but aren't even supposed to articulate to ourselves.
Transformative journaling: Writing Ourselves Whole acknowledges the radical and profound impact of a creative healing community for trauma survivors, and includes suggestions for those seeking to create a peer writing group in their own communities. Writing Ourselves Whole rises out of the intersection of Natalie Goldberg's groundbreaking Writing Down the Bones, the powerful Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman, and the hopeful, angry struggle of Inga Muscio's Cunt.
Find Happiness in Gratitude
Discover more about one of the four keys to the Gate of Heaven: As it turns out, Buddha had quite a lot to say on the subject of gratitude, including citing it as one of the four keys to the Gate of Heaven. Why is this? Perhaps the sheer simplicity of gratefulness is a large part of this, as it is available to all of us at any time. Even in the midst of over-busyness, stress, and chaos, we can find plenty to be glad about, and The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude will start your journey towards Zen and gratefulness.
Count your blessings: According to Buddha, “You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.” Being thankful is one of the most powerful tools we humans have to attain peace of mind and a measure of happiness. Take time to stop each day and count your blessings. This can be done with a prayer or mindfulness mediation, whichever works for you. This lovely, uncomplicated approach featured in The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude may well be life-changing.
Increase your happiness: Studies show—and experts counsel—that gratitude is a key component of our own happiness. People who are grateful about events and experiences from the past, who celebrate the triumphs instead of focusing on the losses or disappointments, tend to be more satisfied in the present. Follow the advice of Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh, “With all I have experienced in my own life, the power of gratitude stands above everything else. In your mindfulness practice, use gratitude until it becomes your way of life.” The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude will show you the way.
Shift your thinking: Gratitude moves us to do all kinds of things inspired by joy. Gratitude can help us transform our fears into courage, our anger into forgiveness, our isolation into belonging, and another’s pain into healing. Saying “Thank you” every day will create feelings of love, compassion, and hope. But the fact is, the art of living—for that is what we speak about when we speak of gratitude—isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. Most of us need to work intentionally to increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of positive, grateful feelings—a daunting challenge, indeed. But fear not; The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude is here to help!
Inside The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude, we have provided you with positive thinking “power tools” that will help you build a more grateful life, including:
- mindful meditations
- hands-on exercises
- profound practices
- inspiring quotations
- space for notetaking and journaling
- thought-provoking questions