Love never dies

My job is to share God’s love by connecting people with their family, friends and pets who have passed on so that they can be comforted and reassured that there is much more beyond our experience here on Earth. This is a gift that I am sharing. You can sign up for a session with me at www.janetkangas.com. I always work from a place of love and light.  I am a Christian and this gift allows me to share God’s message that love never dies.

 

Mark your calendar

Write It Out has gone through some changes over the past year and we have some big ones planned for the fall. What hasn’t changed is my goal to create a writing community where we can share personal writing and encourage each other’s creativity.

Beginning in September, the Write It Out workshops will have a more structured, focused and clear format. What won’t change is the safe, warm atmosphere that encourages people to reach inside and write what’s in their hearts.

We will continue to meet at Long Life Wellness Center, 1127 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary. David Peters and the community of wellness and healing experts have made us feel so welcome there and it is the perfect place to meet.

Mark your calendar! Beginning Sept. 12, we will meet on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. These will be weekly workshops that stand alone. There will be a four-week Saturday morning classes (Sept. 9, 16, 23 and 30). The Saturday morning classes are going to be offered in a cluster of four weeks. The first four-week session will be Writing as Meditation. There are so many ways to approach this and my goal is to spend more time actually writing during class, with take-away ideas for writers to use at home. I offered this in the spring, but the topics are literally endless around meditation and it is something that I think people can embrace in their own way. We will still be sharing our work with each other, but it will be a more structured class. The Tuesday classes will offer a different theme every week.

Another change is the cost. Individual writing workshops will be $20 and the four-week cluster will be $80. To RSVP, contact me a jkangas040@gmail.com.

Watch the Writing Classes page on this web site for details about all the upcoming workshops. Also, check out the Write It Out Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/janetkangas444/?ref=bookmarks

 


	

Just a breath away

Summer is a time when most people take a break. They go on vacation or sit on their porch. In fact, you can take a vacation on your porch. The picture to the left is of New River Gorge in West Virginia. I took it on a cold fall day, the kind of day you wish you had remembered your gloves. When I’m sitting on my porch on this hot July day in North Carolina and the heat index is 105 degrees, I think about New River Gorge and how cold my hands were that day. It’s my own little vacation. I breathe in and close my eyes and I’m on that mountain. I don’t even notice the sweat trickling down my neck.  I think about how quiet the woods were. It felt like my own private retreat. Take another breath and invite someone to join you. I was alone that day in West Virginia, but if I breathe in and think about my dad, there he is next to me, enjoying the view. That’s how close we are to the ones we love who have passed on. They really are just a breath away. Invite someone special to join you as you breathe through those memorable moments. Sitting on my porch by myself doesn’t have to mean that I’m alone.

Love makes a connection

I am a medium. A medium is someone who connects the people here with their loved ones who have crossed over. I’ve written about the loss we had as a family a few years ago when several members passed on within a very short time. I have always prayed. At the time, I asked God to help me find a way to deal with so much loss. One of the answers was to begin the writing workshops. The workshops have been so much fun and so healing for me. I’m going to continue to offer them.

But, I got another answer. When I asked God for help, I never imagined that help would show up in such a big way. God and the angels reached out to me. I learned that we are never alone and that we are surrounded by love. We just need to ask and it is there for us. My job is to share that love by connecting people with their family, friends and pets who have passed on so that they can be comforted and reassured that there is much more beyond our experience here on Earth. This is a gift that I am sharing. You can sign up for a session with me on the sign-up page.

I always work from a place of love and light.  

We’re Growing!

I have slowly been building a writing community through the classes offered at the Coworking Station in Holy Springs, thanks to the generous support of Brenda Priest and the Holly Springs Arts Council. These classes are a wonderful way for me to reach out to others who see writing as a means to connect with themselves on the page and to express themselves creatively by trying out different kinds of writing that they might not venture into on their own.

Next week I am spreading the love by offering a four-week class at a new location, Long Life Wellness Center, 1127 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary. It will meet at 10 a.m. every Tuesday, May 16 – June 6. This class will explore writing as a meditation. People meditate in lots of different ways. Some sit quietly, some walk in the woods and some find their own meditative activity to reach that quiet place inside. I write. And I know there are others out there like me.

I am planning more writing classes for June. We will have fun writing about animals, specifically pets, at the workshop in Holly Springs. (The picture posted is my dog Dodger. He is a little old Chihuahua and there are plenty of stories that he has to tell.) I plan to offer a class on writing through the loss of a loved one. Grief is a big topic and I’m not an expert on how to deal with it, but writing has helped me through my own losses. I know I can help others write it out. If there are topics that you would like to explore, let me know. Post them below or send me an email at janetkangas@hotmail.com.

Thank you for coming along with me on this writing journey. We’re about to pick up speed and there are going to be so many new things coming this summer. Check back to find out what they are and don’t forget to look at our classes page on the web site for details.

What’s your sign?

On this page, I usually write about writing. I write about classes that are coming up (check our classes page!) and I write about books I’ve read. Today, I need to share something that I might have missed if I hadn’t kept my eyes open.

I’m always looking for a sign. I look for messages of hope and encouragement. They often come in the form of a rainbow or a bright red cardinal. Sometimes the Universe takes me literally and hands me one printed in color. I was at a gas pump a couple weeks ago and happened to look down as I was filling my tank. There was a card on the ground next to the pump. It looked like a business card, but there was no name on it. The card was printed on one side with this message, “it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, love never fails. Corinthians 13:7-8a.”

You aren’t going to get many better signs than that one. Love is always the answer.

Love always protects. That protection doesn’t always look like what you would expect. It isn’t necessarily a wall or a gun or anything tough. Love can protect in a softer way. Love protects that heart that has been broken by showing up with a friend when you feel like you can’t take one more step. Life is hard but no one said it was going to be this hard. Then, your Aunt Frances shows up with cake and invites herself for coffee. After you laugh and talk with her for awhile, you can go on. Her love protects you.

I feel like hope and trust go hand in hand. Our little dog Dodger is how I know that. Dodger is blind. He is a chihuahua that came to us very abused and malnourished. In spite of the neglect and abuse that he experienced, Dodger has learned to trust us. He recovered completely. He’s 12 now and gets up every morning like it is the best day of his life. He has taught us about healing and trust. Dodger reminds us every day that love hopes.

Love perseveres. Anyone who has failed at something important to them and gotten up to try again knows that love perseveres. If it is too hard, refer back to Love Protects, Love Hopes or Love Trusts. Love never fails.

Finding that card brightened my day. More than that, it reminded me that sometimes help shows up even if you didn’t realize you needed it.

 

Picture that – the perfect writing prompt

It’s been said plenty of times that a picture is worth a thousand words. That is most likely true. A picture can also be a great prompt to write a thousand words. On April 19 and 20, Write It Out workshops will be held at the Coworking Station in Holly Springs and we’ll get our inspiration from pictures. My cat Mimi is pictured here with some of the first strawberries of the season. When I look at this picture, Mimi’s story is what shows up in my mind. She found us 10 years ago and never left. When I look at this picture, I think of all the years we have enjoyed each other’s company. When you look at this picture, you might think about your grandma’s cat that used to scratch you or the terrible rash you got from eating strawberries. Maybe it reminds you of that cabin you stayed at in the mountains where stray cats showed up every morning for breakfast. Everyone has their own stories and are inspired by the same things in different ways.

Come out and write with us. We meet from 10 to noon on April 19 and from 6:30 to 8:30 on April 20. The class is hosted by the Holly Springs Arts Council. Find the event posted on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/345271785869051/

The Write It Out web site is getting a facelift soon. Check back and look for the changes. I think you’ll like it.

 

You Don’t Have to Be a Writer to Write

notebooksI look forward to the third Monday of every month because my book club meets. Even when I’m not crazy about the book we chose, I love getting together with my friends who love reading and books as much as I do. This month we read, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” by Joan Didion. It is a book that describes her life during the first year after her husband’s death. Joan Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne, both writers, spent all their days together. They worked at home together. They traveled together. They had a daughter. They were married for 40 years. And then he died.

This was a hard book for me to read. Her loss became a reminder of so much loss in my own life. My friends at book club agreed. We all said it was hard to read, but so important to talk about. We could all relate to her. I think Joan Didion was brave to show us her process in mourning and grief so powerfully in words. Most of us can’t get the words together to really express what we are feeling. Sometimes we know exactly what we want to say, but it makes others uncomfortable to hear our pain. After listening to the others in the group talk about how they were touched by Didion’s description of her own journey through grief and mourning, I realized that this is exactly why I felt called to create Soothing Your Soul writing classes. All of us experience the same things in this life. We all have joys and sorrows, births and deaths. What we don’t do very well sometimes, is to give each other room to talk about these important junctures. We all have the same feelings but we express them in such different ways. Sometimes it is like we are speaking different languages. It’s easy to feel alone in the crowd.

Just like I found friends who like to read, I am looking for other writers. Writing has always been where I put my thoughts. It’s a way to release them. It’s a way to have fun with words. I have heard so many people say that they are interested in the writing classes but they don’t feel like they are writers. They worry that they will be the odd one out in the class – alone in a crowd. The classes are designed to encourage people to use personal writing as a way to expand their creativity. It’s a class to give people a place to write what’s in their hearts. This class is intended to be fun and creative, and is open to all skill levels. We aren’t looking for writers, we’re looking for people who might enjoy writing as a way to express what is inside.

The Holly Springs Arts Council is partnering with me to offer two sessions of Soothing the Soul: Writing Through Life’s Hurdles. Part of the mission of the arts council is supporting the healing arts. I have hesitated calling these “writing to heal” classes because it might sound too much like therapy. I’m not a therapist, but I know that writing soothes my soul. I’m looking for other people want to get to know that part of themselves that wants to write.

Sign up today for Soothing the Soul: Writing Through Life’s Hurdles:

Wednesday, September 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 10-12pm

OR

Thursday, September 15, 22, 29 and October 6, 6:30-8:30pm

Held at Holly Springs Coworking Station, 104 West Ballentine Street (former Police Station)

Class size is limited to 8 and will meet for 4 weeks. Cost $40

More information and registration for class: http://bit.ly/2afdUMR

Sponsored by the Holly Springs Arts Council and the Hope James Foundation

Hot! Hot! Hot!

 

Elaine sunsetLet’s keep going with the summer writing challenge. Set aside 10 minutes and just write.  Today’s topic is “How hot was it?”  Write about the hottest summer you can remember. What did it feel like? What did you do to cool off? Here’s a memory of mine:

I can hear my dad’s voice now, “Lay still and you’ll cool off.” I grew up in western Pennsylvania in the ‘60s and 70s when air conditioning wasn’t everywhere like it is now. We lived in a ranch style house that had an attic fan in the hallway. It pulled the warm air out of the house at night, encouraging the cool air to come in through the windows.

Sometimes on those few August nights when we couldn’t get relief from the heat, it felt like we were baking in our beds. But Dad was right. If we just relaxed into the night, the air would cool down and we could drift off. With all the windows open, I could listen to the frogs and the cicadas sing us to sleep. By the morning it was cool enough that the sheet felt good around my shoulders. It was so delicious to feel cool, especially when we knew it wouldn’t last long. That heat would find us before noon and follow us into the evening.

(sunset photo by Elaine Estes)

Where do I begin?

yellow flowerI felt inspired last week to try something new. I have never thought of myself as an artist. I don’t sketch or draw pictures. The only thing I ever draw is maybe a funny face in a birthday card. But I took a leap and I bought a kit that had five little bottles of paint and some paint brushes. The directions told me how to mix colors and which brushes made the shapes I might want.

The kit also came with a few pieces of paper, about 5×7 inches. Somehow, that reassured me. I didn’t have to start big. I could just give it a try. It turns out that I love mixing colors. When I created green from yellow and blue, it felt like magic. I know for many, this would not be such an amazing discovery. I loved it.

What does this have to do with our writing challenge? I realized that there are plenty of people who feel the same way about writing. It can be overwhelming to begin. That’s why I wanted to challenge myself and all of you to write a little something every day. Start with just a few sentences. We’re not writing term papers or the great American novel. Write about a memory, an observation. Write a grocery list. Let the words out.

I might really go crazy for my next painting and use an 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. Or, maybe I’ll paint just one little thing in the corner. Our creativity is lurking inside of us. We just need to let it out.