Joint Blog By Sarah Walton and Tania Ho
August 28, 2018
Tania and I are soul friends who work together and live on different continents most of the year. We join forces once a year to deliver the Soul Bliss Retreat. Our objective: that participants experience the wholeness of their souls feeling totally blissed out!
We exchanged stories of our lives over the past year. This year Tania has become a mother and gave birth to a beautiful baby. Birth is a deep transformation for women. We reflected on how the creative process goes through similar stages of labour, pain and joy, and results in the transformation of the author, artist, mother. Tania shared her reflections on how motherhood had transformed her in her July blog (read more here). I reflected that an author is never the same person after writing a story. We both believe that we can find wisdom in our wounds, that wounds reveal our soul stories and writing them can help the healing process.
“Birth is an opportunity to transcend”
Transformation is always messy, often involves pain or resistance to change (even if it’s something we want desperately like a baby or to publish a book), and requires us to let go of something – whether that’s an attitude that no longer serves us, or an old identity.
Where is our soul in all this transformation?
Soul is constant. We can think of it as consciousness itself, timeless and everywhere. Our identity transforms, is reborn as we face new challenges – and become a larger vessel to receive, contain and share light.
“One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star” (Fredrich Nietzche)
SARAH – ON WRITING FROM THE SOUL:
Writers often experience a transformation after the birth of a story, a poem or a beautiful line that turns an inner truth or universal truth into words on the page. If the narrative comes from our soul, the words have the power to change our identity – as well as to speak directly to the souls of others.
This year I’ve been working on an adult fairytale. The book will be published this winter on Amazon, but I thought I’d share the narrative arc of the story and some quotes as the main character, Sophia goes on an archetypal journey that can be mapped to any journey that gives birth to our potential as human beings.
Sophia’s Tale is about how the Goddess of Wisdom finds her wisdom. Sophia means wisdom in Greek. A young girl called Sophia carries the potential of wisdom inside her, but she must make mistakes and learn to listen to the quiet voice of her intuition to overcome her fears and finally transform into the Goddess of Wisdom.
Like Tania overcoming her fears of childbirth, I had to overcome my doubts as a writer when writing Sophia’s Tale. I thought that the language was too childlike and some people advised me against writing it as there is no market for novellas (short books of about 25,000 words). I drafted the story in 2006 and since then it has sat in a drawer gathering dust.
All writers I’ve worked with experience doubt. The voice of the inner critic, which talks from our logical mind is very insistent. The aim of Soul Writing is to switch off the thinking mind to allow the intuition, or our soul voice to speak, so I applied the techniques I teach to my own writing. This year I decided it was time to put aside my doubts and birth the story of wisdom.
“Doubt is a characteristic of logic,
Wisdom dissolves doubt”
(Sarah Walton, Sophia’s Tale)
The process of birthing this story has been extraordinary. As I relaxed into the flow of the writing, I saw that the character of Sophia knew exactly how her story should develop. Instead of forcing my re-planned plot and structure I followed where the pen guided me. If I trusted my intuition, it led me to undiscovered corners of my imagination and the story benefitted from it. I realized that the story had sat in a drawer for twelve years because it was unfinished. It lacked a wholeness that I could only bring to it now, after I had experienced some more of life’s pain (this year I experienced heartbreak after a relationship break up) and having learnt a valuable lesson because of it. I could have finished Sophia’s Tale in 2006, but it would have lacked the wisdom of twelve years of life experience and the wisdom earned through pain. It would have been a different story, with a different ending.
The narrative of our lives is reflected in our writing – and I realized that the story I had written twelve years ago had been the story of my life on an archetypal level. Like the young Sophia followed the Prince of Diamonds into a dream, I made the mistake of following someone else’s dream and nearly forgot my own path. Most of my life I have followed my dreams – and achieved many of them, but this time I took a wrong turn. Returning to the fairytale novella, which I originally did for fun turned out to be a return to the Self, a return to my own path as I nursed a broken heart. I allowed the pain to flow through me and out on to the page. It also reminded me that the intimate relationship an author has with their writing is an opportunity for inner transformation and the joy of creation.
“The pain is where joy springs from,
Reflected Sophia in her infinite wisdom”
(Sarah Walton, Sophia’s Tale)
Pain is the voice of our wounds – wounds leave scars and scars tell a story. We think that our wounds separate us, as we often feel isolated when we’re in pain, but the stories that our scars tell are the very thing that connects us to each other and show us the path to our transformation. In Sophia’s Tale, the young goddess of Wisdom learns to listen to the messages in the pain, which guide her to wisdom.
The result of me following the story of my heart wound is an archetypal story that takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery.
“Wisdom is a language.
Silence, its tongue.
Wholeness, its destination”
(Sarah Walton, Sophia’s Tale)
My own transformation as a result of writing Sophia’s Tale has deepened my confidence. It does not matter to me that this is not a full length novel. It is the story that wished to be written and resulted in a feeling of wholeness and satisfaction that I overcame my doubts. It has also made me wiser.
“Man’s main task is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is” (Erich Fromm)
TANIA’S BIRTH PROCESS:
“The wound is where the Light gets in”
I stumbled across this song title by the artist Jason Gray when I was mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed. This post was shared by Sarah. Intrigued by the title, I clicked into the link and listened.
This happened to be the same time when my baby boy, Mirren, was just vaccinated and was having a slight fever. It’s always torturing to see our loved ones suffered, especially as it seemed like I was the one who pushed him into this “hell”. I kept questioning myself if I’d made the right decision.
When I was listening to the song, the lyrics moved me to tears.
“It’s tricky how the heart works
When the break ups and the big jerks
Make us never wanna hurt that way again
Maybe I’m naive
But in very scar I see
The place where love is trying to break in
‘Cause the wound is where the light gets in”
I reflected on Mirren’s puncture wound from the vaccination. I reflected on my C-section scar, my stretch marks, and my laparoscopic surgery wound last year.
We are so desperate to cover up our wounds like we are ashamed of them. We use every product available to make sure the scars disappear like they never exist. There is this need to appear perfect. This need to look “normal” again after giving birth, like the trauma of the birth has never happened.
This reminds me of the blog article I wrote on “Embracing Vulnerabilities – Why & How.” In my blog, I mentioned the Japanese way of appreciating art called “wabi-sabi”, meaning appreciating beauty as imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. A cracked ceramic bowl, for example, would be mended with golden lacquer and be transformed into a new piece of art.
I realize that it is our imperfections, our scars, and our wounds that make all of us unique as individuals. They represent our soul’s stories that mark our spiritual journey of transformation.
Looking at the big picture, perhaps it doesn’t matter whether one is vaccinated or not, or one goes through natural birth or C-section. All our wounds and imperfections are opportunities for us to experience healing, unconditional love, and to grow and evolve.
Only when there is a crack, can light penetrate through the darkness. Our wounds are the very symbol of the spiritual lessons that we are here to learn from.
When we allow ourselves to share the story of our wound, we allow the wound to heal. Like cleaning and exposing the wound to air instead of covering it up with a plaster, the process may be painful but then the wound gets healed completely.
Everyone is a storyteller. Some prefer to tell their story. Some prefer to write it down. Whatever your soul wants to share, whatever you like to write, it is yours to keep. You don’t need to share it with other people. You don’t need to publish it. Writing is a channel for your soul to communicate with you, to allow the wisdom of your wounds to speak to you.
Through our wounds, we go through a rebirth and are once again reconnected to ourselves.
Having witnessed Tania’s courageous journey into motherhood and reading her July blog, I agreed that the journey writers and new mothers undergo goes through similar stages that results in a new version of the Self.
Wounds are gateways to wisdom. Every wound leaves a scar and every scar tells a story. Whether the scar is on the skin as some women experience in childbirth, or inside the heart, it holds the potential to be transformed into wisdom.
Tania Ho is the founder of Museflower Spa and Sarah Walton is the founder of Soul Writing Retreats. Together they deliver the Museflower Soul Bliss Retreat. Its goal is to nourish your creative spirit and feed your soul so you feel totally blissed out.
Museflower Soul Bliss Retreat aims to take participants into deep connection with the wisdom of their soul – and through the work they give birth to over the five days, to transform their inner being in a safe and joyful way.
This year’s Museflower Soul Bliss Retreat: Let Your Soul Speak with Soul Writing and Meditation takes place at Museflower Retreat & Spa from Oct 11 – 16, 2018. For more information about this retreat, please visit: www.musefloweretreat.com or www.soulwriting.co/
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About Sarah Walton
Sarah is an author and has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Hull in the UK, where she taught creative writing to undergraduates. She developed an approach to writing from the intuition that combines meditation and free-writing techniques for beginners as well as writers experiencing “writers’ block”. She believes that everyone has a unique story within them, a story their soul yearns to tell.
Check out Sarah’s Soul Writing work here: http://www.soulwriting.co/
About Tania Ho
Founder and owner of Museflower Retreat & Spa, Tania is a Hong Kong native who now makes her home at the retreat in Chiang Rai. Trained in a number of holistic therapies including Flower Essence consultation and Hado Counseling, Tania believes that healing can take place when we start making changes from within, and it starts from listening to the voice of our soul within.
Museflower Retreat & Spa provides a quiet space for city people who feel stressed out, disconnected and tired an opportunity to get away, slow down and learn to reconnect to themselves again. To receive a free 500THB credit voucher to use towards your next retreat or spa booking at Museflower, subscribe to our newsletter and claim your free gift here.