Guided Writing Sessions

Guided Writing Session Directory

Below, you will find recordings for each Guided Writing Session dating back to August 2021 when the sessions were began.

Take a moment to review the Usage and Guidelines Folder below for information on how to post work and use the directory.
Use the Independent Entries Folder for submissions not specific to a monthly program or Guided Writing Session.

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Deepening Lesson & Writing Prompts for The Wheel of Life

When you take back your power from circumstances, and claim your right to choose happiness regardless of your situation, you become a fully human being. Our capacity for adaptation, shifting perspective, finding meaning in "misfortune," creating new intentions, and using our imagination to help us live differently over time, defines us as an evolving species.  
While the mind can be a terrible tyrant, it is also an alembic for realizing our untold potential; a place of visions, inventions, and soul. When you stay in the present moment (rather than using the mind to escape), your imagination is a dear companion, "the superpower at the heart of human existence," as I said in this month's talk.
You can use the mind to create or destroy, enact or suppress, speak the truth or bury yourself in lies in delusion. When you realize that it is not fickle Fortune spinning you on her wheel, but rather your unattended mind, you step out of the victim's scenario and into the realm of agency and choice. Regardless of what happens to you, it is within your power to learn and grow, to claim your own freedom, and live as a self-reliant individual on the path of awakening. 
1.  Are you able to set clear intentions and make conscious, proactive choices in your life? Or do you resist your best intentions? Give examples of each, and the stories you use to justify your own resistance.
2. Describe a challenging situation you were able to "free" yourself of by shifting perspective.
3. Would it help you to be more imaginative in your life? If so, when, how, and why? Be specific.
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A Hard Re-set

Today a client of mine kept describing the situation in her life as a “hard re-set”. I’m a Jungian-oriented therapist and I listen to words in much the same way that I listen to dreams. Words, like dreams, are a symbolic language that can carry so much more weight and have more meaning than what a person might intend. So when I hear a word or a phrase that fascinates or is new to me, my ears perk up and I ponder the possibilities that it might have greater significance than whatever definition the dictionary has assigned to it. I don’t consider myself to be computer-savvy and the words “hard-reset” got my attention. So I asked my client “what is this?”

She explained: “a hard re-set is necessary when a computer or other device crashes or is otherwise unresponsive. A hard re-set ends all current software operations and is used to remove or wipeout out all data in a system.” (italics are my emphasis) I believe that the socio-political conflict of the past several months are akin to a “hard re-set”. Like a sluggish computer, our core values are not functioning properly and the elimination of our previous behavior and data is long overdue. Our hard drive has broken down, collapsed after being paralyzed in its ability to send or receive information adequately. Certain bugs have been voted out but still we’re pretty sure that since our democracy was hacked, it hasn’t been working smoothly. The software i.e. our hearts and minds, has been infected by an insidious virus and the program we relied on to help rectify this has become unresponsive. Face it: the entire system has crashed.

My experience with a “hard re-set” is that afterwards, everything looks better, sounds better, works better, feels better. A hard reset removes statues of slaveholders from our landscape, defunds police departments, and upholds legislation protecting the fundamental rights of every black, brown or LGBTQ individual. A hard-reset breathes new life into our economy with homes, jobs, food and healthcare as a basic human right, not a privilege. A hard reset is a non-violent protest that advances our democracy’s ability to function in the way it was built to function, meant to function. From this symbolic perspective the recent events of this year have been akin to installing a new hard drive, an essential component for the future of our planet. A new browser that improves the speed with which we eject complacent patterns of thinking that have never delivered the answers we were looking for to begin with. This upgrade gives us greater understanding and improved bandwidth for Black Lives and enhances security and a deep respect for the hard-wired vitality and leadership of the technologically bright youth who have come forward to organize marches, coordinate communities and pump up the volume!

Listening to the words that an individual or a culture creates and then uses to define or frame the experience they’re having is actually rather fun and gives a 5th-dimension to the conversations we’re having. Another oddball word is the ubiquitous “coronavirus”, named supposedly for the little crowns it has posted about its microscopic ball-shaped cell. Even as I write this I envision our planet with the same impression: various monarchies popping-up around the globe, each capable of becoming a dictator, lording over the public health of the individuals who inhabit its boundaries. Corona as “King” or “Crown” is clearly something we’ve been seeing when our democracy becomes so out of balance, it ends up representing only 1% instead of the majority. I’m amazed at the image I see every time this goofy looking, red spiked “King of viruses” appears on the screen yet it serves to deepen the symbolic dreaming that I believe in. It does help when we find the names we assign to our experiences to be humorous. But the real fascination comes when it is appears that while we identify or define a word one way, we unknowingly or unconsciously express a symbol that is far more expansive and foreboding.

And how about this currently confusing word: “asymptomatic”? The notion that you may be positive for the coronavirus but have never experienced discomfort is similar to what many people say when they are told they have white privilege. They believe they are without symptoms. Even when reminded that racism hides in every nook & cranny of our institutions, laws, and civil opportunities, we persist in believing we haven’t been “infected”. Even when scientific research continues to prove otherwise, illustrating that micro-aggressions and other obvious manifestations of racism exist within our culture, the same denial exists. Why people like to believe they are safe when racism has been a public health problem for generations is quizzical to me, but the same denial exists with regards to COVID-19. Apparently we prefer to see only our “good” sides and can’t imagine having symptoms or behaviors that are both dangerous and life threatening. Our minds are capable of fooling us into thinking that we’re free & clear, so we prop up our asymptomatic identities, take a deep breath and trust we can handle the road ahead. It’s amazing that we’ll do anything to survive when there’s been a threat to our freedom. We proceed as if we can simply wipe out the past when our desire for freedom, to go where we want, when we want, is threatened. Funny, but my recollection of this country’s history is that the symptoms of oppression, denial and egomaniacal behavior came over on the Mayflower. Or as the guru I know once said: Wherever you go, there you are.

As the upcoming, yet unknown dreamlike events of 2020 continue, try to notice what words or phrases you hear that get your attention. One way you might do this is by pretending the person you’re listening to is speaking a language you’ve never heard before. Have “Beginner’s Mind” and let yourself “not-know” the words you are hearing. You may find that behind every word that fascinates you is a land of possibilities just waiting to be explored. As each quizzical word or phrase pops up in our lexicon, consider what Dorothy felt after she landed in the magical world of Oz, “I’ve got a feeling were not in Kansas anymore, Toto”. And as you proceed on the yellow-brick road of 2020, you might just discover that the Life you’ve been looking for has been right here in front of you all along.


Ro Hanus, is an urban mystic, fledgling writer and psychotherapist in Milwaukee, WI 

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