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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Rewilding The Page – The Urban Forest Writing Map

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Rewilding The Page – The Urban Forest Writing Map
Lush urban nature populates our towns and cities. Flourishing gardens, parks, city forests and woods, pockets of majestic trees, shrubs and foliage all create a green belt around us.

Spending time outside is good for our mind, body and spirit. These 12 creative writing prompts in the Rewilding The Page Writing Map invite you to continue deepening your connection with the green spaces on your doorstep.

Through writing, walking, drawing or meditation these writing activities help you connect with the colours, seasons, trees and plants in and around the spaces you inhabit.

Creative writing prompts by Jackee Holder and Shaun Levin

Illustrated by Gul E Raana

To purchase your copy for £7.99 + p&p send an email to 



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Why Trees Make Good Company For Introverts

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Over the years I’ve masked my preference of introversion and learnt to masquerade as an extrovert in my career and in social settings. People who know me well know I prefer staying in and curling up with a good book than being the life and soul of the party. But to see me in social and work settings it would be hard to see through this. The paradox is that even though I get a buzz being with people I also can easily get over stimulated.

Don’t get me wrong I can be the life and soul of the party and I know how to have a good time but none of this would be happening if it wasn’t for the world of introversion I submerge myself in on a regular basis.

For years I’ve been enjoying solo dinners and trips to the cinema on my own. I’m an expert on taking days off and hiking around London where I was born and live and hanging out in many of the wonderful green spaces that fill up the London landscape. But one of the things I love most about being an introvert is hanging out with some of my favorite trees dotted around the London area.

I’ve held this love of trees from childhood. This love of trees was re-awakened in the 1990’s when I read a book, Tree Wisdom by Jacqueline Memory Patterson. This book reminded me of how much the introvert in me has subconsciously sought out the company of trees at different times in my life.

One particularly synchronistic event in my late thirties left an impact on me. I sat having lunch with a friend one summer afternoon under the shade of a small tree. As we were getting ready to leave I noticed a plaque next to the tree we had sat under that informed the reader that the tree whose company we were in was an ‘Elder’ tree. For no logical reason I could connect with at the time I scribbled down notes about the tree on a piece of paper which then sat on my desk for months.

Around the same time I became really interested in reading and researching more about the legends and myths associated with many of the trees we live with. This grew into a bit of a passion. Months later on a visit to my local library I came across a book of surnames. When I leafed through the book to search for the meaning of my surname ‘Holder’ I discovered that the name ‘Holder’ was the name given to people who lived near or close by to Elder trees.

Walking into the presence of some trees can be like walking into the hush silence and reverence of a church or a cathedral. I love the openness and non-judgmental nature of trees, which is an essential quality for nurturing introversion.

One year during a difficult time I would spend time every day under the watchful eye of a huge evergreen oak. This tree became my daily refuge and sanctuary each morning after my run. In its company I felt I could be myself without pretence. I could talk and the tree would listen and in the silence I could hear the whispering of my own voice echoing back at me.

I loved visiting and spending time with Sanctuary as I eventually named this tree, especially in the early mornings before the park became busy with dog owners and commuters on their way to work. And even though I no longer live in the area close to Sanctuary I still make time to visualize and connect with my memories of my time with her or when I can as a special and often necessary treat I jump in the car and go and visit her.

Over the years I’ve adopted many trees across South London with whom I spend quiet time with. When I feel really spent I head to the wilds of the ancient and splendid tree specimens in Richmond Park. Being in the company of these old trees instantly calms me down and recharges my batteries. Whether I’m simply tracing my fingertips across the ridges of the trees bark or feeling the arch of my back resting against a solid trunk, I find myself connected back to source.

When I’m in need of inspiration I head to Kew Gardens. Kew more tame than Richmond has it’s own magic. Late this summer I wandered under the huge canopy of a sprawling Cedar tree and sat under her enormous branches for a good hour or more in a sort of trance like state daydreaming. I didn’t write, didn’t text or read, just sat quietly enjoying the peacefulness and absorbing the energy and vibration of the moment. I left a different woman.

When I can’t physically be in contact with trees I turn to images of trees on my desktop or I stick images of trees in my journals and notebooks. Then when I need an introversion hit I flip to a page or tree image on my desktop and carry out a form of visual meditation. My friends and family know just how much trees mean to me and feed my introversion by sending me photo’s, images and articles about trees they encounter on their travels.

I even have a spiritual tree on the Caribbean island of Barbados where my Mum now lives that nurtures my introversion. The story of my discovery of this tree is too long to tell here. But she’s a huge, robust, majestic, African Baobab tree. This ancient monument of a tree is reported to be over a thousand years old. Legend has it that this tree seeded from seeds carried across the Atlantic by African slaves.

During our yearly family vacations to Barbados the busy social nature of our holiday soon has the introvert in me gasping for a visit to the Baobab. When I find myself becoming weary of all the eating out, the beaches and meeting up with friends and in need of some time alone I set off on a solo visit to the Baobab.

I am in awe of this tree’s history. Of how much she has witnessed, the stories and secrets she holds. Her mystic rubs off on me and stimulates my own creative juices, imagination and wonder. I can spend hours just walking around her huge girth and taking selfies to my hearts content. I get lost in time when I am with my Baobab.

To me being an introvert helps me be an extrovert in the world particularly with certain aspects of my work as a coach and a trainer and as someone who is a public speaker. Committing to time alone is not only good for my spirit and soul but makes me a better and nicer person to be with. Time alone feeds my work on so many levels.

Introversion is the current that provides flow and form to my writing and creative expression. I appreciate the company of trees and the mirror they provide of just being themselves. Trees help me appreciate why it’s so important to protect the introverted side of my personality.

The metaphor of solitary trees is not lost to the world of introversion. I think the German novelist Herman Hesse says it best in his book, Wandering, where he writes about his love of trees, “And even more I revere them when they stand alone.” And the final words go to Winston Churchill who is credited with the following quote, “Solitary trees if they grow at all grow stronger.”

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Creative Writing and Mindfulness Interview with Eileen Parr

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Follow the link below to listen to my interview on Creative Writing and Mindfulness with writer, online host, interviewer and spiritual explorer Eileen Parr.

JH Eileen ParrListen  here


Jackee Holder Interview with Eileen Parr October 2013

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The Mindful Writer, Coach & Practitioner

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The Mindful Writer, Coach & Practitioner: Free Talk

Mindfulness extends into many areas of our personal and professional development as coaches. In today’s talk Executive Coach, speaker, trainer and creative writing tutor Jackee Holder shares a series of writing approaches and practices that will cultivate mindfulness in our work as coaches both on and off the page.

Drawing from sound research from her latest book 49 Ways Ways To Write Yourself Well: The Science and Wisdom of Writing and journaling you will learn about:

  • The many therapeutic benefits creative writing about our work and ourselves contributes to your health and well being
  • How to heal yourself with Mindful writing
  • How writing regularly is a form of mindfulness practice and for many extends into a spiritual practice that enhances who we are which further impacts on the quality and engagement of how we coach.
  • How writing mindfully invokes stillness, the art and heart of being and deepens our connection to our intuition, creativity, inner wisdom and resourcefulness.
  • How writing mindfully activates the wisdom and resourcefulness of your “inner coach”
  • The research that underpins and supports the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing and how this can be incorporated into our one to one coaching work and our work with teams and organizations.

Jackee is passionate about writing and reading as mindfulness practices and believes that through mindfulness practices we can grow and development ourselves holistically as coaches both on and off the page.

FREE TALK on 12 November 2013

Click here to register via Eventbrite

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Date With The Library – A Letter From Nehanda

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

I wanted to share with you this letter from Nehanda who attended my book launch for 49 Ways To Write Yourself Well on 9 August.

I met Jackee in 2001 in my place of employment where she worked alongside a positive male trainer Omowale in Hammersmith and Fulham. It was an excellent combination. It was a period in my life when you know the right people showed up at the right time. This meeting in more ways than one turned out to be and will remain one of the most spiritually awakening, personal uplifting time in my life. I truly mean that.

Fast forward to 2013, 12 years since that time and  I am sitting in Brixton Library in Lambeth, the borough of my birth and where so many positives have happened in my life. It is Friday 9th August in the evening and one would think what would you be doing in a library in the children’s section on a Friday night? when there are bars to go to; places to dance, theatre productions to view; any amount of entertainment. Here I was in a place that reminded me of my youthful years doing a summer vacation job; reading stories to children across the Libraries in Lambeth in the 80’s again how time flies.

I had after receiving Jackee’s  newsletter in my email about this event wondered whether I really wanted to attend yet another workshop, book, launch. I have been to so many in the last couple of years and many where I would bump into Jackee either leading, contributing or just attending the event. It was not until two days before the event that I decided to send my confirmation that I would attend. I let  spirit guide me and anyway I did not have that date signed up where I would put on my slinky dress and killer heels so I decided Brixton Library it was, minus the slinky dress but I wore my heels; interestingly Jackee mentioned how she did not wear heels usually (neither do I) but she wore a pair of beautiful textile, richly coloured heels and strutted onto the stage with confidence, style and an air of promising delight that confirmed for me that I had chosen the right (write) event tonight. Jackee was here to promote her new book “49 Ways to Write Yourself Well”

I looked at the title and I realised that I had started writing a blog in November. I was indeed writing myself well. I also realised that in the last few months that had been what I would say been unfulfilling” I had hit a writer’s block, the words that had flowed so easily in the first few months of starting my blog were now like stagnant water and were not flowing yet I had so much in my head that I wanted to write about.

The evening was introduced by Joy Francis, Journalist and Broadcaster with Malika Booker interviewer for Jackee; for me this was a showcase of talented women particularly African-Caribbean women in the U.K. I loved Malika’s poem “Pain” so much resonated with many of the women in the room , she got us joining in the poem to make the poem come alive.

Friday evening in Brixton Library, well who would have thought; probably more than 70 people in  the room mainly African-Caribbean women but I was glad to see that an event like this has no ethnic, class, age, gender or disability divide, so I was glad to see the array of diverse people at this event. We all need to write ourselves well.

I did buy the book and I know it won’t be one of those that end up on my bookshelf gathering dust. Jackee always writes a personal dedication in her sign up for copies of her books with a very vibrant orange felt tip pen. It is the 2nd book I have bought of Jackee’s and signed this was How to become your own Life Coach, she has a first publication Soul Purpose which I knew of but have to admit I have never read.

In my signed copy Jackee wrote” Dear Nehanda close your eyes, open a page a write yourself well, with much love Jackee 09/08/13”

During the evening we participated in an NLP exercise from the book which was fun and very enlightening on beginning to understand the outer image we often portray and who we are in our inner world “the true self”

What I could see in Jackee on this night, a woman I have connected with on many occasions was her holding her own with such fun and joy in herself now that she is a woman in her 50’s.

It was inspiring for me a 50 something woman to see that she had made her own journeys as we all have in our own unique and special ways. I left the library quietly on a high and decided to take an hour long journey  back to North London rather than take the tube with my new book, journal and pen in hand. I passed familiar places of my youth a South London Girl at heart I remembered my past and thought about my  present a 50 plus mother of three and now grandmother sitting on a bus travelling through London writing herself well. I closed my eyes and opened up the page as Jackee had suggested and came to page 78 Way 24 Intuition your inner wisdom and I thought it was intuition that made me attend this event tonight and I was glad I followed it.

I have since used the book and this it has assisted me in writing this piece I am writing now. I opened up the page for the 2nd time and came to page 110  Way 37 – The F Word, which I rarely use I should add not the one you are thinking anyway. The F Word here was FAILURE which sometimes I do use and often feel.

Jackee I want to say thank you for this gift. After this exercise , tears flowed they had been waiting for a long time, the recent showers in London and across the country could not match the flow that was coming out of my body and soul; they were so healing and I did give myself a big hug in fact a massive hug. I had followed my intuition which I sometimes ignore to my detriment. I had walked the journey on my own to that event and felt totally inspired and full of gratitude for sharing the evening with such a  wonderful group of souls. It was not just not another workshop or book launch; but an highly interactive programme of writing wellness into our lives.

Thank you again, Jackee you are well onto what you expressed is your desire to have a programme where people are fully engaged in writing themselves well. I wish you well on that journey. Be continually blessed in what you do. I feel blessed in the Journey I decided to take to Join others in Brixton Library on a Friday evening.

Love always Nehanda

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