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Kathleen Adams

Co-Creating with the Divine
by Kathleen Adams, LPC, RPT

To me, soulful living is consciously and constantly co-creating my life with the Divine-By-Any-Name. It is living with the absolute certainty that I am guided, purposefully and lovingly, by "Ö.Someone, whose hands/ infinitely calm/ hold up all this falling". How did I come to this awareness, and how does it play out in my one mundane day-to-day life?

Journal to the Self by Kathleen Adams

From the time I was a small girl I was aware of synchronicity. I didnít have a name for it then, but it was what I thought about when I climbed up into the wide arms of the pear tree in our back yard. I thought about my sense that things didnít just happen for no reason at all. Rather, I was certain that they happened for very specific reasons. Events that seemed inexplicable Ė my dog being run over by a car, getting booted out of first grade and pushed into second because my 8-year-old sister (who now holds a doctorate in elementary education!) had taught me to read Ė were necessary preludes to some future life experience, I thought. I remember feeling comforted by this awareness at the same time that it confounded me, and I especially remember the palpable presence of angels in that pear tree who whispered assurances that yes, what I pondered would indeed come to pass.

Fast forward to the teens. My clear channels of connection to my intuitive self got buried under pubescent hormones, and my wise child surrendered to a teenager who valued boyfriends more than angel friends. Fast forward through college, where social activism, campus protests and peace rallies took precedence over the inner life, and where no higher meaning whatsoever could be made of the killing fields of Viet Nam. Fast forward through my 20s and a failed marriage, a whirlwind courtship, a second marriage, and a promising career as a professional writer. Fast forward to the age of 31, when I suddenly and startlingly became a widow.

The event 20 years ago that resulted in my husbandís death was a near-death experience for me, and I came out of it absolutely changed. In those instants when he was dying and I was not, all the wisdom of my childhood poured back into me, and I became undeniably clear that Spirit and Soul were in an ageless dance of meaning and purpose. I came to the other side of that experience knowing at my core that I had been given back my life, and without any hesitation at all I turned it over to God, trusting that I would be guided to the people, places and situations that would lead to fulfillment of my highest purpose and destiny.

In 20 years, I have never doubted this, nor have I been disappointed.

Shortly after that awful event that ended my husbandís life and began my own, I found myself in a modified Intensive Journal Workshop led by a former colleague of Dr. Ira Progoff. I had no idea that people who werenít professional writers wrote journals; I assumed that I wrote a journal because I was a writer. The awareness that others also took solace and comfort in writing was a profound discovery.

Equally profound was the guidance that I received when my writerís journal became specifically focused on my interior life. I realized almost immediately that through my journal I could consciously and intentionally enter into co-creative partnership with the Divine. I began to recognize my journal as the incubator for the laboratory of my life. For a while I experimented with a sort of spiritual "name it and claim it" game, where I wrote in specific detail what I wanted to create or manifest, and then carefully logged the synchronicities and serendipities that drew me to the outcomes I desired. As I matured I learned how to balance the clear, focused statement of my own will with the surrender of my will to Divine Will.

Three years after that first Progoff workshop I received a message to teach a journal writing class. The messenger was a friend who casually mentioned that she and others in our circle had a hard time getting started and staying with this journal thing. Could I offer some pointers? The message, however, was from Spirit, and it was the first time I consciously took to my journal a co-creative endeavor that did not originate from my personality self.

God/dess didnít let me down. The curriculum and processes for what became the Journal to the Self workshop flowed through me as if I were taking dictation. I would pose a question to myself, sit with it until the urge to write began, and then flow out the answer. Today, nearly two decades later, the Journal to the Self workshop is still taught essentially the way it presented itself to me in 1985.

I taught the basic class, and its many variations, more than 100 times in the first three years. Then one day I sat down at my IBM typewriter and rolled in a fresh piece of paper. Several hours later I had a stack of paper next to me and what undeniably seemed like the first two chapters of a book. I wrote Journal to the Self in two phases. The first phase took about three weeks and netted 150 finished pages that sold on first submission to Warner Books. Then a long dry spell occurred, during which I began to doubt whether or not I could pull this off. My journals were fat with anguished writes about self-sabotage. Consistently I wrote Soulís response: "Just wait. Itís not time yet. Be patient." Impatiently I practiced patience, and the day came when I shut myself in my "office" (in those days I was writing in the laundry room) and didnít come out for eight days or nights except for naps and snacks. I spent the next month revising, and submitted the completed manuscript by deadline.

Journal to the Self was released January 1, 1990 to immediate critical acclaim. I received my first reader mail within two weeks of its release. The reader was a 17-year-old girl who told me she used Journal to the Self to start a journal about her ongoing sexual abuse. Within three entries she had the courage to hand the notebook to her mother, who immediately packed up the children and left the stepfather. More letters followed, each telling a story of triumph over despair, discovery of unknown resources, clarity of vision, increased possibilities.

It was about this time that I began to deeply acknowledge that Soul and I were in a constant covenant, a voluntary and sacred commitment. I once again dedicated my life and my work to God. I make this rededication every day, and I formally ritualize the rededication each year on November 5, the anniversary of the first Journal to the Self workshop. This covenant is at the heart of what it means to me to live soulfully. There are times when it is not easy, but it is always interesting and rewarding, and usually it is fun. Co-creating my life with Soul and Spirit is the greatest adventure I can imagine.

Copyright 2003 Kathleen Adams. All rights reserved.

Kathleen Adams
Kathleen Adams LPC, RPT, is a best-selling author, speaker, psychotherapist and visionary. Her first book, Journal to the Self (1990, Warner Books) is a classic that helped open the gates to the current cultural phenomenon of therapeutic writing. Her most recent book, The Write Way to Wellness (2000, The Center for Journal Therapy) is hailed as a map for understanding body, mind and spirit. She has also written The Way of the Journal (1998, Sidran Press).

Kathleen is a beloved teacher whose innovative work has helped hundreds of thousands of people heal, change and grow. A tireless advocate for the healing power of writing, Kathleen has received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for Poetry Therapy and has earned the designation Registered Poetry Therapist.  Email Kathleen at journaldoc@aol.com.  Visit her website at www.journaltherapy.com.


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