Category: Personal Updates

“I will not be afraid to enjoy

what is beautiful, and to believe that

as I give to the world, so the world

will give to me.”

—Unknown

I look at these Zinnias feeling grateful and heartened. In spite of a recent surge of national hatred, bigotry, cruelty and selfishness, this bouquet reminds me how important it is to keep cherishing that which affirms, that which gives generously and that which spreads goodwill and joy. I smiled when these flowers greeted me as I arrived to teach a yoga class, and I am smiling now.

September, 2019

Personal Updates The Spiritual Journey

My novel, From Ashes Into Light, is a reflection of new insights I gained into PTSD. For example, during an intense flashback to an event that probably caused the original injuries to my ears, I was six years old again; I remembered something that I had repressed.

PTSD flashbacks, I now realize, are part of a healing process. New information creates the space for re-learning, re-evaluating and honoring a journey that may take a lifetime.

Do we need to be reminded, these days, that there is no acceptable hatred? Horrible and reprehensible deeds are not o.k. The trauma such deeds create are not easily overcome. More and more people are suffering from PTSD.

I published the historical/metaphysical novel From Ashes Into Light in 2016 with themes in mind that I hoped would warn against the dangers of tolerated cruelty. I’d like to think this hope was, and is, not in vain.


Gudrun Mouw is a poet, yoga teacher and a novelist. Her novel From Ashes Into Light won 7 awards, including the Beverly Hills Book Award for Visionary Fiction and a silver medal in the Living Now Book Awards for Inspirational Fiction. For more information, please see her bio.

From Ashes Into Light Personal Updates

I keep returning to one of the poems published in NEWS FROM NATIVE CALIFORNIA, “When Coyote Comes to Visit” by D. Lorraine Sanchez.

Why is the “When Coyote Comes to Visit” poem so relevant in my view? We are living through times, it seems to me, when unpredictable, egotistical, cheating and foolish coyote energy has gained an alarming amount of power.

This poem has given me a different way to look at our current situation in the world. Perhaps, it is more important than ever, not only to see the amusing and entertaining side of coyote phenomena, but also to understand how we must not be mesmerized by the dangerous antics that are so blatantly displayed. I am grateful to the poet for the healing detachment and light this piece creates.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

Personal Updates

I was especially drawn to the “Bear River in Danger” article by Clyde Prout in News from Native California because it addresses the meaning of “home.” The writer points out, “We had a house…, but it wasn’t until I was older that I began to understand what [was] truly meant by ‘home.'”

Reading this, I realized how my background—having been categorized by the government as a “Displaced Person” in the 1950s—caused my search for “home” to unfold in painfully disorienting ways. Which is why it has been a blessing, for the last 20 years, to have had easy access to nature and wildlife, which promotes a sense of healing continuity for me.

The deer trail within sight of our home, for example, well used from before my life time, creates delightful and instructive interactions. And so nature freely provides a larger perspective for our journey on this planet. During difficult times, especially, finding ways to move from disconnection to connection seems ever more important.

 

Gudrun Mouw

(c) April/May, 2018

Personal Updates

The day I finished reading, The Sun and Her Flowers, I saw an interview with the 20-something poet and also learned about the international admiration for this book, which has been quickly translated into numerous languages. Apparently, Rupi Kaur’s fame began with a controversial Instagram image.

I like how the author has made the idea of poetry popular, which by itself is an immense achievement.  Born in India, the poet was raised in the west with a multicultural family awareness, which I know something about from my own experience. Overall, the poetry style seems quite innovative.

I was struck by how the poems in The Sun and Her Flowers dramatically expand the possibilities of the genre. Sometimes, the poems are simply short statements; other times, there are italicized summaries at the end (which serve as captions; there are no titles). Often the language seems designed to jolt and surprise. At other times, the poems are quite prosaic. 

In the interview, the poet responded to critics, who have called her too simplistic, by saying she was fine with that, but in the end she wanted the reader’s stomach to turn.  

Though this book is interesting, in the future I would like to see the kind of poetic mastery that could, perhaps, slow down the reader in order to deepen one’s experience, move one towards a rich, intuitive silence and keep the poems from falling flat emotionally.

 

Personal Updates The Process of Writing

There doesn’t seem to be one definitive answer of how to move through difficult times, such as the misfortunes of 2017. Perhaps, the best approach is to handle one one situation at a time, one step at a time.

For example, we were hit hard by flu this year. Once the worst was over, as part of my recovery work, I began walking again, seeking sun. There was an oblong of light between the forest and garden which beckoned; I followed. One way, I walked through December wind. The other way facing sun, words floated into view, but I did not catch, or try to hold them. This went on for almost an hour, and the sun overhead gave just enough heat to warm through three layers.

And so a moment of peace was gained. Time to slow down. Even a cup of tea is more enjoyable inside the safety of a mind at rest and open to potential.

Gudrun Mouw (c) aka Krishnaprema Jyothi

Personal Updates