~ Spring 2015 ~

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A journal can be a sacred ally that helps us access and navigate the heights and depths of Being. Journaling is liberating; it welcomes the forgotten, the forbidden, the possible. We can intentionally use the journal as a transformational tool on our spiritual journey.

Here are some suggested guidelines for a spiritual journal:

1.  Discover for yourself how, when, and where you want to write. Journaling is a very personal endeavor. There are no rules. I choose to write mostly in the morning because that feels right to me. At times I also write in the afternoon or evening. I may, for example, need intuitive guidance about a life situation or perhaps I want to reflect on a meaningful experience or perception. In the past, I didn't always write everyday, but now I do because it is so helpful. That may change at any time. Use implements and notebooks that spark a 'yes' in you. There are no right tools. Include pictures, sketches, and/or doodles if you like. Anything goes!

2.  Let the writing happen. Relax and allow what is present for you in your body, mind, and soul to be freely expressed and to come through you onto the page, unhampered by reason or logic.

3.  Have an intention to tell the truth. Here is a 'room of your own' where you can fully reveal yourself to yourself. You can be raw, uncensored, free. You can take your secrets out of hiding. I love the saying, "We're only as sick as our secrets." Unhampered by the constraints of the linear, thinking mind, banished shadow parts of ourselves and forgotten angels unearth themselves and burst into the light of day.

4.  Before you write, take a few minutes to do a bridging activity, such as a simple breathing exercise, stretching, or listening to music. This can help you transition from other frames of mind to the reflective process of journaling.

Journaling Exercises and Activities

Stream Writing. Choose topics and questions related to your spirituality that you want to explore, and write freely for any length of time. Write from a place of presence without censoring or thinking about where the writing is going. Let yourself be surprised. Topics may include your past and current relationship to spirituality, what the word spirituality means to you, familial and cultural messages that have influenced your spiritual beliefs and understandings, current edges and areas of inquiry, what feeds your soul, what depletes you, teachers and teachings that inspire you, people, places, and things that enhance your spiritual life, practices that resonate with you and how they serve you, obstacles that you have encountered, your strengths and gifts, and where you want to offer your gifts, your spiritual lessons from daily life, e.g., work, relationships, family, money, and health, and any other themes or topics that are relevant and meaningful to you.

Wise Words. Collect quotes and poems that inspire you, and include them in your spiritual journal. Reflect on them and write about their significance to you. You might even want to select a particular word or phrase and write in response to that.

Sacred Moments. Record past and recent moments in which you felt deeply connected to Being. Write about them slowly, and take them in as you write. Registering and savoring sacred experiences in your body-mind and writing about them helps to deepen the impact they have on you

Intuitive Writing. Choose a question about any life situation or consideration and write it at the top of a page. Clear your mind of everything but the question. Sense that you are posing this question to your inner wisdom, not to your analytical mind. Relax and listen deeply. Let the answer arrive and jot down anything that comes to you without analyzing or evaluating what you've written. Continue to write until the flow stops.

Spiral Writing. Choose some personal subject matter and begin writing about superficial aspects of this material. Write for a couple of minutes and let yourself drop into a deeper level of awareness. Continue writing, then feel yourself going even deeper. Do this until you feel that you have reached the core of your exploration.

What You Feed Grows. Identify qualities that you want to nurture, such as compassion, equanimity, creativity, presence, wisdom. Write about how your life will be enhanced if you cultivate these potentials, how you might foster the growth of these qualities, and what could get in the way. Over time you might want to write about how you are doing, what you are learning, and how you are working with obstacles that you may encounter.

Soul Pictures. Working with images is a powerful way to tap into the light and shadow realms of the unconscious. Using magazines, greeting cards, and other sources, start a collection of images that you feel drawn to, perhaps pictures that evoke heart and meaning. Whenever you feel like it, choose an image that speaks to you in the moment, reflect on it for a few minutes, then free write in response to it. Images can have many layers of meaning and insight. Express freely any and all associations that come to you. 







A Five-Session Telecourse

In this telecourse, you will learn about the role of spirituality in addiction recovery and receive guidelines and many tools that you can use personally and/or professionally to assist you and others in the recovery process.


Topics include:

Characteristics and stages of the addiction process 

The passages of recovery
The role of spirituality in recovery
Addiction as a "soul event" 
Intuition as an ally in the recovery process
How to discover the transformational 'gifts' of addiction
How to work with challenges
Spiritual practices to support recovery and help prevent relapse
The promises of recovery

The course begins on Thursday, June 4 and continues on Thursdays for five weeks. Each class begins at 5:00 p.m. PT, 8:00 p.m. ET and lasts for 90 minutes. All classes will be recorded, so if you miss any, you can listen to the recording.

The fee is $327 before June 1 (single payment) and $377 after that, which can be paid in one, two, or three payments.

Free Teleseminar  "Addiction Recovery and Inner Wisdom"

As a quality of Being, boundless wisdom is available to us at all times. We can bring any and all concerns and questions to our wisdom. In this one hour teleseminar you will learn specific ways that intuitive knowing can be accessed and serve as an ally in the recovery process. A guided meditation will be included. You don't have to be enrolled in the telecourse to sign up for the free teleseminar.

Thursday, May 28
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. PT, 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. ET

For information or to register for the Free Teleseminar and/or Telecourse, contact me at susannewest888@yahoo.com or 415.987.0766.

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  • Achieve your personal and professional goals
  • Navigate through periods of transition
  • Develop strengths and seed potentials
  • Find your purpose and passion
  • Overcome blocks and limiting patterns
  • Quiet the voice of the Inner Critic
  • Access inner knowing for decision-making and clarity about your goals and life direction
  • Ignite and sustain your creativity
  • Create action steps that generate tangible results
  • Integrate your spirituality into daily life

I specialize in helping clients overcome blocks of all kinds and translate ideas and visions into concrete action. Fees for individual sessions are based on a sliding scale. A coaching package is available, as well. Sessions are available in person, via Skype, or phone.


Contact me if you'd like a FREE CONSULTATION

(415) 987-0766 or susannewest888@yahoo.com.



Individual Sessions and Sittings

Waking Down is an integrated, whole-being spirituality that includes body, mind, feelings, and spirit. In this work you embrace your humanity and your divinity. Spirit is not seen as separate from the body or our world. Our full humanness is experienced as sacred, as is all of life. 

I offer phone, Skype, or in-person individual sessions, a 45 minute FREE Introductory Session, and sittings in San Rafael and El Cerrito, California.




*A 10 minute period of silent meditation


*Gazing Meditation - Being to Being meeting, in which the teacher briefly connects with each participant through eye contact.

*Personal Sharing Time - Each person who wants to, takes time to share. This can include speaking about what is currently important to you in your spiritual life, sharing an "edge" or area of exploration, or asking questions.


Sittings in San Rafael (contact me for address)


Saturday, April 28

10:30 am - 1:30 pm


Monday, May 11

7:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Saturday, May 16

10:30 am - 1:30 pm


Saturday, June 13

10:30 am - 1:30 pm


Monday, June 22

7:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Fee for Sittings: $25




FREE 45 minute Introductory Session

One hour phone, Skype or in-person sessions

Sliding scale of $60-$85/hour

Contact me to reserve spaces for sittings at susannewest888@yahoo.com or (415) 987-0766.


For more information about Waking Down, see www.wakingdown.org


Writing for Creative Expression and Spiritual Growth

In this ongoing, drop-in group you will learn processes to free your imagination, develop ease and confidence in writing, cultivate your unique writing voice, and overcome blocks to writing.


San Rafael, CA (Call for address)
Alternate Thursdays
7:30 - 9:30 pm


All levels of experience and all types of writing are welcome

INDIVIDUAL COACHING SESSIONS (phone, Skype, or in-person) to assist you in any or all stages of the writing process:

  • Start, develop, and/or complete writing projects
  • Learn how to ignite and sustain motivation
  • Overcome writer's block
  • Discover your natural writing voice
  • Develop confidence and ease in writing
  • Create attainable short and long term goals

A FREE 45 MINUTE CONSULTATION is available. You can contact me at susannewest888@yahoo.com or (415) 987-0766.

Pink and Purple



My book, 
Soul Care for Caregivers , is a guide and toolkit for family and professional caregivers that includes practical suggestions, creative processes, action steps, anecdotes from my own caregiving journey, and inspiration from other family and professional caregivers to help you care for your mind, body, and soul while caring for others .


Here's what Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom and Hardwiring Happiness, says about the book:
"To keep caring for others, we must replenish ourselves; otherwise, we start running on empty.  In the warm and wise voice of someone who has been there herself, Susanne West offers many effective ways to take care of yourself from the inside out.  Her book - full of her own qualities of deep kindness and practical wisdom - is a gift from the heart both to caregivers and to those they help and love."

If you are interested in ordering the book, just click on the image of the book above to be taken to the Amazon order page.  
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For information or to sign up for courses or free consultations, contact me at susannewest888@yahoo.com or (415)987-0766.

Click here
to visit my website if you'd like to learn more about my phone or in-person Insight to Action Coaching, Waking Down in Mutuality, Writing from the Soul Programs, or Soul Care for Caregivers.

A Free Consultation is available. You can also sign up for my free quarterly newsletter.

to sign up for a FREE CONSULTATION with Susanne West