what lingers in the soul

gratitude letter - rhythmofthehome.comOne of our weekly practices, both inside and with every group facilitated by Women Writing for (a) Change, is the post-class comment called a ‘soul card.’ This is feedback to the ‘soul’ of the group sharing both positive and negative responses of each participant to the class. These comments are read by facilitators in preparing subsequent sessions, and are available for participants to read at their leisure.

As the fall quarter comes to an end, it occurs to me that we have no official forum to share these comments beyond the circle. And yet, they speak eloquently and spontaneously to the direct experience of the women whose writing we have been featuring weekly. Below, a few from the past three months to give you an idea of how women actually feel about this work that we have been doing for the past three years:

‘I opened to thinking about what makes me vulnerable. I have always hated showing people that I am vulnerable in any way.’

‘to not judge others when meeting them; they have feelings just like me; helped me lose a lot of the fear I have to show others.’

‘grateful for listening and being heard’

‘grateful for intelligent interpersonal interactions in this group; ungrateful for the struggle to advance in this circumstance (jail)’

‘I am grateful for the consistency of the group facilitators.’

‘I am grateful for a good group of well-versed women.  I am not grateful for the end of the group.’

‘Today’s writing was hard and painful, but healing for me at the same time.’

‘I like how good this class is at keeping confidentiality and our group rules.  This group helps me and gives me faith.’

‘I just love this class, it lets me open up and be myself.’

‘It became clear that it’s time for me to feel free; to let go the worry of being scared of the unexpected.’

‘The thing that came clear to me was that a lot of people can open up. What faded away from me was that I’m not alone anymore.’

‘I love these groups. They help me to be free and open about things I’ve been holding in.’

‘I offered to the circle that it was hard to write about myself.  I take from the group that we can write about the dark side of ourselves and be able to read it out loud.’

‘This class is a great outlet.’teal swirl

‘I just want to say I feel so free and open in this class.  I love being able to openly write, and love how respectful the girls are in this class, and how everyone is equally treated.’

‘I offered a positive outlook about body insecurities.  I took away how people may mistake a joke or a way to express themselves (laugh) as an insult.  ..just being aware of the things you say to people.’

‘I think it was very powerful that the group could share such deep things so open-heartedly.’

‘Healing, feeling and letting go; writing about it all, not just my first thoughts, but others, seeing it all in other’s eyes.  Feeling other’s hurt, pain, images, how I relate and all our differences too, the struggles and life, bringing it all together.’

‘The positive for me was – that even when being inside an extremely controlled and confined environment—to see we can still have, show and express our feelings.  We still can be free with this part of ourselves.  The negative was – no coffee (LOL).’

‘I was able to write about what was bothering me.’

‘Grounding – silent time, reflective thoughts.  Getting out of my element and having a short break from reality.’

‘I enjoyed the writing time today because I got very emotional and nobody tried to rescue me, and I needed to cry for a while now.’

. . . and you?

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