Mini-Retreat Day 3 – Integration

Image by Julia Watkins

Image by Julia Watkins

“As we increase in our awareness and our integration of Self the process of integration grows and expands as we begin to incorporate the fullness of our nature, that of our spiritual nature or our Soul.”
~ Genevieve Gerard

 

It’s Day three of our mini-retreat, and the energy today is all about consolidation and integration.

(That’s one reason why my post is so late! After a big evening of channelling I went back to sleep following this morning’s meditation – to consolidate and integrate the shifts of the past few days- and then there was no time to blog. Sorry!!!)

Today and this evening is the perfect time to review the answers to your questions from the past two days.

It’s not enough just to do an activity such as the ones we completed for Day One and Day Two of our mini-retreat. What is important when we do any kind of self discovery work is to sit with our answers and insights and reflect upon them.

Image via quoteslover.com

Image via quoteslover.com

Here are some questions to ponder as you read through the guidance you have received:

  • Where can I make small changes now, to bring me into better alignment with my best self?
  • What activities can I schedule to begin making longer-term changes in my life?
  • Where do I need to sit in awareness around existing situations, behaviours or relationships?
  • What do I need to stop doing?
  • What do I need to start doing?
  • Where do I need to find extra resources, information or help for myself or my situation or project?

Take time to connect into your Guide, Angel or Higher Self using the meditations I’ve already shared. If it is needed, use that connection to bring through further insights or clarification about the work you’ve done in the past two days.

Then rest. Have some quiet time. Be gentle with yourself.

I’ll see you tomorrow as we explore how to begin deepening our spiritual and psychic connections.

Much love to you,

Nicole

xx

 

What Bravery Looks Like

“I don’t like and even resist, being broken wide-open. But, when the contents of my unconscious self spill out of me and I sift through all the disowned parts of who I am… it’s an uncomfortably enlightening and eye-opening experience. It feels a bit like emotional bloodletting. I guess every now and then, I need that release valve to open all the way…”
~ Jaeda DeWalt

 

So here we are on retreat, with an amazing bunch of women. We’re tidying up the loose ends of 2015, and getting ready for a fabulous 2016. We’re feasting on delicious food. We’re playing with crystals and essential oils and oracle cards. We’re talking to Guides and Fairies and connecting to our own inner wisdoms. We’re pampering ourselves, resting, lying by the pool, having adventures in Byron Bay and beyond, and doing a little serious self-reflection and forward planning for the year ahead.

And we’re working through some really big shift.

I’m sitting in quiet awe and admiration of these ladies. Self-work is the hardest work that you can do, and every one of them has dived right in. They are so ready for this change. To honestly examine your life – your attitudes and behaviours, your actions and decisions – and to identify what needs work, and then to do that work, is no picnic.

I’ll be honest. It’s been a little tiring at times. There have been a few tears. It’s hard, looking at those parts of our life that aren’t working. Those areas where we’ve failed ourselves, or others have failed us. Those dreams of our own we’ve left languishing while we’re too busy supporting everyone else.

But do you know what else? It’s inspiring! Watching women move from fear, confusion and indecision to clarity, direction and focus. Watching women help each other to birth the things inside them that needed to be said, or examined or decided or owned.

2016 is such a big year, and they’ll be ready. They’ll be ready with tools and a plan, and the support of a loving and kind community of like-minded souls. This coming year won’t be like all the other years. It will be different because they are now different.

I’m excited to see what unfolds for them. I know it will be life-changing.

Want to be part of that change?

Stay tuned. I’ll share more information with you tomorrow, and a sneak preview of my exciting secret project.

Sending big love and hugs your way, Nicole xx

 

Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing

Image from Mahaloness.com

Image from Mahaloness.com

“The deepest of level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept.”
~ Thomas Merton

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”
~ C.G. Jung

 

What I need right now, more than anything, is some quiet time on my own.

Some integration time.

Some time to sit with the Universe.

Some time to sit with my Soul.

Some time for thinking and deep reflection.

Some time for sitting in the vast All That Is space – open and empty – so that I can simply allow understanding to come to me.

Do you ever do that?

Do you ever reflect and question?

Do you ever unplug for a while and just be?

I highly recommend it. It’s most enlightening, and it’s something available to everyone.

All you need is you, and some time. A journal might be helpful – for reflection, or to record your insights afterwards. Then just sit. Be. Let the thoughts and insights come. Explore them. Rest. Integrate. Heal. Grow…

Thinking of you, and sending love.

Nicole xx

 

Journal Challenge Week 2 – Lightbulbs and Lightning Strikes

Image from  Dan's Data

Image from Dan’s Data

“SOWING LIGHTNING

Seize
Bolts of lightning from the sky
And plant them in fields of life.

They will grow like tender sprouts of fire.
Charge somber thoughts
With unexpected flash,
You, my lightning in the soil!”
~ Visar Zhiti, The Condemned Apple: Selected Poetry

 

Hello, my Lovelies, and welcome to Week 2 of our Journal Challenge!

If you’ve only just found us now, it’s not too late to go back and start at the beginning. That’s the beauty of journalling. It waits for us, and works with our own time-frames.

I suppose you’ve heard about Lightbulb Moments. You know, that instant where the light comes on and you truly UNDERSTAND something for the first time. ‘Ah,’ you say, perhaps a little excitedly, ‘I get it!’

There’s another kind of awareness that can hit us too. It’s painful. It’s abrupt. It’s super-charged and the sting is so shocking that the memory is somehow imprinted into you at a cellular level. ‘Holy Shit!’ you manage to choke out, if indeed you can find any words at all. That ain’t no Lightbulb Moment, honey. That’s a Lightning Strike!

Some of our most powerful insights and guiding direction comes in the form of Lightbulb Moments and Lightning Strikes. This week we’re opening ourselves to reconnecting to the wisdom we’ve already received, as well as inviting more of these moments into our lives.

Are you ready? Courage, my dears.

Let’s Begin!

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

Choosing a Crystal

You may wish to choose a crystal to work with this week. It is entirely optional, and you’d be fine without one too – but for my fellow rock lovers, read on…

You can hold this crystal as you write or meditate, place it under your pillow or beside your bed while you sleep, or carry it in your pocket to help you stay focused.

You could choose your stone based on what most appeals to you. That’s a very valid approach. But if you need a little direction, good crystals to work with this week include:

  • Citrine
  • Clear Quartz of any kind
  • Emerald
  • Amethyst
  • Labradorite
  • Orange or golden calcite
  • Black Tourmaline
  • Hematite
  • Jade

This week I’m using a rather comforting Labradorite that fits perfectly into my hand. Feel free to let us know what kind of crystal you choose by leaving a comment below or over at our facebook page.

Labradorite

Week Two Meditation:

There is so much wisdom already inside you. It stretches back through your family tree, and through your past lives. This week, before you begin to reflect on and journal your exploratory questions, take a minute or two to perform this simple meditation.

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

Ancestor Activation Technique

Before you begin writing, sit or lie quietly. One by one, raise your palms and look into them, seeing all the lines and contours. Know that your entire family lineage is held within these hands, and that your hands link you back through time to loved ones who still watch over you and guide you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know or feel connected to your family, or if you don’t know your family history. It doesn’t matter if the family you are born into is a family with whom you don’t resonate. Family is bigger than that. It goes back so much further than you might know. These bonds anchor us in a love far beyond our conscious understanding. We reincarnate into our family tree over and over again. None of us is ever alone. We are always well loved, although we may not always understand this.

If you are using a stone, cup your crystal in one hand and then place your other hand over the top. Rest your hands comfortably in your lap. If you’re not using a crystal, place your hands palm down on your belly.

Visualise a rainbow in your crystal, or if you are just using your hands, visualise a rainbow in the palms of your hands. Breathe in to activate your hands and let that rainbow of colour expand, flowing out into your aura and into your body on each outbreath. Close your eyes if it feels comfortable to do so.

Image from Maha Rose

Image from Maha Rose

Now in your mind offer up a prayer to your Ancestors. Ask them for guidance and help. Ask them to flow wisdom and opportunity to you. Say anything else that feels right for you.

Then sit in this energy a little longer and be open to any thoughts, images or ideas that come.

Finally, take six breaths deep into your belly, letting your body relax completely.

Now you’re ready to write!

Journal Questions:

You can choose any or all of the questions below. Some will be asked as traditional questions, and some are sentences that give you a place to start by leaving a space for you to complete that sentence.

I suggest going with what resonates and repels for a good balance. Write as much or as little as you need. It could be three words or three pages. Spread it out over a week, or spend a solid hour or two over one day – it’s up to you! If you’re in flow, keep going and see where it takes you. Be brave here, sweethearts. Pry open those tightly closed doors. Fling open the windows and let the light in. We can’t operate in darkness. Healing needs air and sunlight.

You can also write over more than one sitting, even beyond this current journal challenge, taking yourself deeper and clearer each time you come back to that question. Trust that more will be revealed as your own wholeness is revealed.

If you’re using a crystal, hold it in your non-writing hand, or place it in your lap or pocket. Feel free to get yourself a beverage, or to sit in a coffee shop while you do this. Enjoy the process!

2012-06-04 11.06.04

This week we’re bravely peeling back the layers, seeking to own all the parts of us. Including those things we have pushed away, rejected, been shamed for, or that give us embarrassment or pain. I’ve grouped the questions together for a reason.

If you don’t know how to answer something, ask yourself again, and then wait.

Still nothing?

Ask again and wait some more. Then ask – What am I afraid of here? Bravely wait for the answer, and then ask yourself the question again, knowing that your fears cannot harm you.

Also ask yourself this, if it feels right: Is this a family pattern? How might I break this pattern, so that Ancestral Patterning stops with me?

Self-Sabotage:

  1. What is my most insidious (subtle and sneaky) self-sabotaging behaviour?
  2. What is my most overt (obvious and visible) self-sabotaging behaviour?
  3. Why did I start this behaviour? Who did I pattern it (copy or learn it) from?
  4. What are the benefits of this sabotaging behaviour? How does it keep me ‘safe’?
  5. What would happen in my life if I gradually replaced this behaviour with one that genuinely supported and sustained me?
  6. What positive behaviours could I choose?
  7. How does this knowledge make me feel? Why?

Resentment:

  1. The people I resent most are…
  2. The reasons I resent them are…
  3. It’s so unfair for me because…
  4. I’m so worried that I’ll never get time to…
  5. I hate that I’m always the one who has to…
  6. What do I resent that others tell me about myself, or expect me to be?
  7. The thing putting me under all this stress is…

Excuses, excuses:

  1. What do I tell myself that keeps me small?
  2. Who else do I know who behaves like that?
  3. What virtuous or ‘good’ patterns or behaviours do I use to avoid dealing with my own stuff?
  4. What am I so afraid of here?
  5. What am I stopping myself from doing?

Oh, the Shame!:

  1. The incident I am most ashamed about is…
  2. The thing I still hate to have people bring up about me is…
  3. The thing I still feel most guilty about is…
  4. The most embarrassed I’ve ever been is…
  5. I feel such a failure because…
  6. I could never be that thing I so desire to be, because…
  7. The one thing I wish I could erase from my life is…
  8. The powerful and painful learning burned into my brain like a Lightning Strike about this is…
  9. I could reframe that learning into something good and wise by seeing it this way…
Image from GalleryHip.com

Image from GalleryHip.com

And now for some healing and expanding life energy. Be informed by the writing you have done with your exploratory questions. Choose one or do them all. Let yourself step into the energy of possibility and growth. Let your own inner knowing be a healing force of good in your life. Write at least a paragraph. Be detailed and specific where you can.Turn pain and suffering into wisdom. Let yourself be lit up with Lightbulb Moments and Lightning Strikes.

If you’re uncomfortable, then write it as a wise fairy-tale that might be good advice for someone else.

1. The lesson my self-sabotaging behaviour teaches me is…

2. As I embrace this lesson, with love and compassion for myself, I can see my life becoming…

3. My resentment is a powerful voice inside me showing me what’s truly important to my heart and soul. This resentment has taught me that what matters is…

4. I will overcome or deal with my fear by…

5. These painful things have taught me some beautiful lessons about myself. I can now become wiser, kinder, more uplifted and more inspired because I understand that…

6. The parts of myself that I lovingly reclaim are…

Do pop over to our facebook page this week. There will be some rune guidance for you. I’ll be giving away some lovely surprises and there will also be an online party next weekend where I’ll be available to answer your questions and have some fun!

I have so much faith in you. We have a big year ahead in 2015 – full of opportunity and possibility – and I know you’ll be well positioned to make the most of it by doing all of this self-work!

Big hugs to you and lots of love, Nicole xx

Journal Challenge Week 1 – Full Moon

“If you’re going to doubt something, doubt your limits.” ~ Don Ward

 

Welcome to Week One of our four week journaling challenge. There are some very favourable energies about right now to help us in connecting to our authentic selves, and from that place of truth we can then dream a new life, a new self, a new future into being.

This week we’ll be influenced by the Full Moon in Taurus. This beautiful moon is also known as the Earth Mother’s Moon. The Earth Mother Moon helps us to understand our life as an ecosystem, so that we can identify and give ourselves what we need to thrive in a balanced and sustainable way. It is a practical energy, a patient energy, and a kind energy. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Because we’ll still be under the influence of the recent partial Solar Eclipse and the previous New Moon in Scorpio all this month, we need to work with these bigger energies too. The gift here is in seeking the truth, completing patterns from the past, and experiencing breakthroughs as we step into this new phase of our lives.

To do this we must be committed to becoming honest, vulnerable and exposed with ourselves. We must be brave enough to own our truth – not the one others ascribe to us, or the one we would like to choose for somewhere outside of ourselves – our truth just is, and we find it within our tender, wounded, doubting hearts.

This is a time for exploring and owning what has been repressed, forgotten or shoved to one side in our lives.

It’s a great time to facilitate a gathering awareness of our truth and a strengthening sense of wholeness for ourselves.

And wholeness gives us hope, strength, valor and inspiration.

Image from SmiteBoards.net

Image from SmiteBoards.net

Let’s Begin!

Choosing a Crystal

You may wish to choose a crystal to work with this week. It is entirely optional, and you’d be fine without one too – but for my fellow rock lovers, read on…

You can hold this crystal as you write or meditate, place it under your pillow or beside your bed while you sleep, or carry it in your pocket to help you stay focused.

You could choose your stone based on what most appeals to you. That’s a very valid approach. But if you need a little direction, good crystals to work with this week include:

  • Clear Quartz or Quartz with Inclusions or Phantoms
  • Aragonite
  • Carnelian
  • Bloodstone
  • Unakite
  • Tiger Eye
  • Petrified Wood
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Red Jasper

Here’s what I’ll be using – it’s a Tibetan Chlorite Phantom Quartz with window. Feel free to let us know what kind of crystal you choose by leaving a comment below or over at our facebook page.

quartz

Journal Dedication:

Begin the challenge by writing this dedication in the front of your journal, and then signing your name and date.

Dear Universe,

I yearn to create a life for myself that is richly fulfilling. I am open now to truly understanding what it is that I need in order to thrive, to grow, to shine.

I understand that I deserve to be happy, and I am prepared to sit in vulnerability and truth in order to clear the obstacles to my happiness.

I am ready to own the parts of myself that I have cast aside. I am ready to embrace my fullness, my wholeness, my true and complete soul truth.

I understand that I am destined for more – being more, loving more, sharing more, having more.

Although I am uncertain, although I still cannot name all the changes I desire, my heart is open to them if they be for my Highest Good.

Today I honour my desire and intention for positive change, and I offer it up to you, trusting that I will be guided to discover the next steps, that I will be drawn to inspiration and opportunity, and that I can create a life for myself which is more expansive, more aligned to my purpose, more in flow.

My commitment to you is that for the next 4 weeks (and beyond) I am willing to explore and open to the possibilities of change, and to celebrate the many Blessings I already enjoy.

With love and gratitude,

_____________________________________

(insert your own name here)

 

Week One Meditation:

We can’t think, or be in flow, if we are stressed and uptight. This week, before you begin to reflect on and journal your exploratory questions, take a minute or two to perform this simple meditation.

Belly Breathing Technique

Before you begin writing, sit or lie quietly. Place your crystal in one hand and then put that hand over your heart. Place your other hand on your belly.

Visualise a colour in your crystal, or if you are just using your hands, visualise a colour in the palm of your hand above your heart. Breathe in to activate your hands and let that colour expand, so that it links both of your hands. You’ll now have a glow of coloured energy sitting from your throat to your groin. That light is healing and energising. Don’t think about it too much. Just let it be there in the background. Close your eyes if it feels comfortable to do so.

Now take 6 deep breaths.

For each breath, when you inhale focus on your belly rising out further than your chest.

Take 6 long, slow and unforced breaths, gently allowing your hands to rise and fall with your chest and belly.

You’ll feel your body relax and unwind. You can stop after six breaths or do another cycle of six.

Now you’re ready to write!

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Journal Questions:

You can choose any or all of the questions below. I suggest going with what resonates and repels for a good balance. Write as much or as little as you need. It could be three words or three pages. Spread it out over a week, or spend a solid hour or two over one day – it’s up to you! If you’re in flow, keep going and see where it takes you. Be ruthlessly honest. Be practical. No airy-fairy here please. We need tools we can work with.

If you’re using a crystal, hold it in your non-writing hand, or place it in your lap or pocket. Feel free to get yourself a beverage, or to sit in a coffee shop while you do this. Enjoy the process!

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Know that this journal work will provide a platform for future planning, growth and self-awareness. You’ll be coming back to these answers again in the future, so take your time and enjoy the process.

You can also write more in the future, taking yourself deeper and clearer each time you come back to that question. Trust that more will be revealed as your own wholeness is revealed.

If you don’t know how to answer something, ask yourself what am I resisting here? What can this teach me about myself? And then be brave and go deeper. Come back to that question again and again until you have clarity or at least a starting place for understanding or further action. If the question is impossible, seek help. A counselor, a healer, a trusted friend or adviser, or whomever else feels right to give you some guidance around this question.

  1. What does my physical body most need right now?
  2. How can I best ensure that my body can have these things it needs to thrive?
  3. Do I need to get help with my health, and what would that look like?
  4. What environments make me feel good?
  5. What helps me to have a restful night’s sleep? – How can I create more of that in my life?
  6. What movement and exercise does my body most need? How could I easily and realistically bring that into my life?
  7. What style of clothing helps me feel like my best and most authentic self?
  8. What self-care routines most nourish and heal me?
  9. What small things in my life that are a source of irritation can I deal with effectively now with just a small amount of effort or organisation?
  10. What big things in my life irritate or worry me, that I need to face up to and sort out or give to an expert to sort out on my behalf?
  11. What have I always believed about myself that is keeping me small?
  12. What have others told me about myself, or have made me conform to, which is limiting me and my happiness?
  13. Who is bad for me?
  14. Who would I benefit from seeing more of?
  15. Do I need more hugs and connection, or more personal space right now? How do I make this happen?
  16. What things have I stopped doing that used to make me happy?
  17. What things am I doing that make me unhappy or unbalanced right now?
  18. What am I stopping myself from doing?
I, Mother Earth by moonxels at deviantart

I, Mother Earth by moonxels at deviantart

And now for some dreaming and co-creating energy. Be informed by the writing you have done with your exploratory questions. Let yourself step into the energy of possibility and growth. Let yourself dream about how good life could be. Don’t limit yourself. This is about painting your canvas with the colours and energy that will shape a powerful positive future life. Write at least a paragraph. Be detailed and specific where you can.Truly imagine what your best life could be like. What do you look like? Where are you living? What does your day look like?

If you’re still not sure, then write it as a story, a fairy-tale that might one day come true. Don’t limit yourself. Be joyful in your creating! There are always the seeds of truth and possibility in dreams and imagination…

1. My desire and intention for my body and health that I am now creating is that…

2. My desire and intention for my love relationship that I am now creating (this could be with a life partner, yourself or even with God) is that…

3. My desire and intention for my lifestyle and work that I am now creating is that…
quotes-inspiration8

 

And remember to pop over to our facebook page this week. There will be extra rune guidance there for you. I’ll be giving away some lovely surprises and there will also be a party later this week where I’ll be on line to answer your questions and have some fun! Let’s make magic together. The world needs you and your gifts.

Lots of love, Nicole xx

Silver Lining – A journal exercise for finding the upside

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.  ~Buddha

Writing is a powerful tool for self discovery, healing and expansion.  In fact, it’s one of my favourite things to do. Today I’m sharing some journal starters for exploring things I have considered to be negative in my life, in order that I might mine that situation or relationship to find the positives and gifts within it.  I’ve found this activity to be a great comfort over the years, and it has enabled me at times to radically shift my perspective to one which is much more positive.

The one thing that is non-negotiable in this exercise is that you MUST look for a positive – that silver lining on the thundercloud in your life.

One of the things that still stands out for me is the day I heard that a dear friend had been badly injured in a parachuting accident (from which he later died). It marked the beginning of a series of terrible and unforeseen events in our life.  But it also gave me an insight that left me better able to cope with what lay ahead.

What happened on that day remains one of the most precious memories of my life.  We were all in shock, but I had organised for my grandmothers to come for lunch, and I needed to pick one of them up from across town. Life still went on, and the lunch had been planned and looked forward to for months. It was the middle of an Australian summer,  a heatwave no less, and the weekend before Christmas.  I pulled into the madness of a suburban shopping centre to buy cream before I collected Nana.

As I stepped out of the car I was almost bowled over by two things, the heat and my grief. The world slowed right down.  I remember thinking that John must be dying. I stood beside my car as if I was suspended in time. Around me shoppers rushed on in the Christmas chaos, ignorant of the fact that this dear man was taking his last breaths. How could the world keep turning, I wondered.  Why didn’t it look any different?

I felt suddenly connected to an unseen group of people around Brisbane, around the world, who were similarly out of the flow of time, locked into grief or despair or helplessness or loss.  I became acutely aware of the heat, the smell of the melting tar beneath my feet and the gum-leaves on the nearby trees.  Green parrots squawked and fought above my head, and tiny clusters of blossom fell at my feet, like some strange sort of summer snow.  I was struck by the intense beauty of the moment, and of how everyone around me was oblivious to it.  I heard my own heart beating in my chest, was aware of every breath, and felt as if I was seeing the world with new eyes. I became overwhelmed with a sense of how precious and fragile and miraculous our existence is, and my despair was replaced with an avalanche of gratitude.

The intensity and gratitude of that moment has never left me.  It became the silver lining to an awful time on my life.

Here are my journal starters.  Use one, any or all of them to get you into writing flow, and to help you focus on the silver lining rather than the cloud.

On relationships that failed:

  • One good thing about (insert person’s name) that I am still grateful for is…
  • If I hadn’t met (insert person’s name) I never would have…
  • One positive thing I learned about myself from that relationship is…
  • One thing I won’t ever do again is…
  • The best thing about this relationship ending is that…

On death, loss and sorrow:

  • One of the happiest memories of (insert person’s name) that I cherish is…
  • (Insert person’s name) taught me…
  • Because of (insert person’s name) I have learned…
  • One thing I will always carry with me in my heart is…
  • We always laughed about…
  • One crazy thing that always reminds me of (insert person’s name) is…
  • One way I can honour their memory is to…
  • One way I can make the most of my own life is…

On making mistakes:

  • The thing I learned from all of this is…
  • If I hadn’t stuffed up I never would have been able to…
  • The one thing this has clarified for me is…
  • One person who’s been really great in all of this is…
  • The thing I’ll do differently next time is…
  • At least I’ve realised…

On diminishment (you being somehow made smaller or less able)  and disappointment:

  • I may not be able to (insert the diminishment) but I can still…
  • I still have the power to…
  • For now I can focus my energies on…
  • This gives me more time to…
  • For now this door is closed to me.  Other doors that are open include…
  • If I’m being made to stop, or slow down, at least I can use this change of pace to…

On people who’ve treated you badly:

  • Because of you, I’ve decided to never…
  • You’ve made me realise that I am better than that because…
  • You’ve shown me how NOT to be in the world.  I’ve learned that…
  • Because you couldn’t give me (love, respect, attention, guidance, honesty, kindness – insert whatever was missing in your relationship) I’ve discovered and grown this great strength in me.  I learned to be the thing you could not do for me.  I have become…
  • The good thing to come out of all of this is…
  • I deserve more because…
  • I believe that the right way to treat people is to…

Summaries:

  • From the hard times in my life I’ve learned that…
  • My greatest personal strengths are…
  • I’m proud of myself that…
  • I’m amazed that I have been able to…
  • One of the best things to come from all of this is…
  • The way I can now help others is…