Eastern Therapeutic Writing

I will be following the instructions of a WOWH e-course here. This is a month long project.

Naikan, Day 1

  1. In my childhood, what did I receive from my primary caregiver?
  2.  In my childhood, what did I do for my primary caregiver?
  3. In my childhood, what trouble did my existence cause my primary caregiver?


As a child, my primary caregiver was my mother. She taught me independence. She was a room mother through my elementary years. I did not feel that she loved me as a child, but she took good care of me. I was well fed and clothed. I was encouraged to have friends. She was proud of my grades in school.

I don’t think that I did much for her in my childhood. I do not think that I brought her happiness and if that is true, how could I have possibly done anything for her as a child?

My childhood existence caused my mother anger and hurt. I know this because she told me so. She said that she was jealous of the attention that my father showed me. Mom was the oldest of ten children, so she was looking forward to receiving attention in her marriage, I believe.


Naikan, Day 2

  1. In the last 24 hours, what have I received?
  2. In the last 24 hours, what have I done in return?
  3. In the last 24 hours, what trouble has my existence caused?

In the last 24 hours, I have received confirmation that my child support enforcement case is still on target.

In return, I have kept my home beautiful in anticipation of abundance.

My existence has caused trouble in that I littered. I left a can on the bus stop seat. It seems so trivial, but it is not trivial at all.


Naikan, Day 3

  1. In my adulthood, what did I receive from my primary caregiver?
  2. In my adulthood, what did I do for my primary caregiver?
  3. In my adulthood, what trouble has my existence caused to my primary caregiver?

In my adulthood, I received emotional support from my mother, my primary caregiver. She was supportive, loving and kind. She encouraged me. She wanted me to be a writer.

I loved my mother fiercely in my adulthood. I loved her unconditionally. I forgave her. I wanted the very best for her. I did well in college for her. I was a good mother to her grandchildren. I was a sounding board for her.

I broke my mother’s heart by marrying Chris Singleton. She knew he was bad news. So did I. But I married him anyway. I believe that she felt that after all she had done for me, I went and betrayed her by marrying a man who hated her. And I did. But not intentionally. I truly thought that I loved him. At least, I wanted to love him.


Naikan, Day 4


  • In the past 24 hours, what have I received?
  • In the past 24 hours, what have done in return?
  • In the past 24 hours, what trouble has my existence caused?

In the past 24 hours, I have received enough food, enough water, enough shelter and enough work. Someone said that enough is abundance and I agree. I think that the saying is beautiful. Everything necessary for a beautiful life has been provided.

What have I done in return? I have given up my seat on the bus for a child.I have expressed gratitude throughout my day. I have encouraged family, friends and co-workers. I have prayed for world peace. I have prayed for kindness to animals.

How has my existence caused trouble in the past 24 hours? I have not been eating entirely vegan. In the morning, I have been purchasing cold coffees with creamer. I have used too many baby wipes at work. I have expressed anger.


Naikan, Day 5

Today I write about my son, James.

  1. What have I received from this person?
  2. What have I done for this person?
  3. What trouble has my existence caused for this person?

James has loved me unconditionally for all of his life. I have learned so many lessons through raising him, especially as he is the eldest child.

I have always felt a special bond with James. I believe it is because he is my first child. And perhaps also because he is an old soul. That has been evident since his birth. You can see it in his eyes. He has been here many times. He has seen many things. He is still trying to work things out. I am very proud of him. He does not back down from challenges.

James helped me in a very adult way when he was only 21. I and one of my daughters moved to Chicago. Another daughter decided last minute to stay in Missouri. I respected her decision (it was her senior year of high school) and asked James to take her in and watch over her. He did so without hesitation.

James also watched over his brother and nephew during very difficult times. I know this was hard on all of them. The relationship is now severed, but I pray that it will soon be mended. I know how much they love each other.

As far as what I have done for my son, I have loved him greatly. There is nothing that he could do that could possibly break that love. I have easily forgiven hurts and I hope that he has forgiven me mine. I have supported him in all his endeavors. I wish that there was more that I could do in that area. I believe in his intelligence, his abilities and his capacity for great love.

What trouble has my existence caused James…I am afraid that he feels abandoned. I left Missouri when he was a very young man and I left him in the guardianship of his sister. I have been so very supportive of his brother throughout the past several years, that I am afraid that he might see that as a favoritism. Or that I do not understand how much he has done for his brother and how much he loves his brother. I know that I don’t know how much he has done, but what I do know is tremendous! And I have never doubted his love for his brother.

Going back to abandonment, I will always feel the pain of having caused pain. Leaving was selfish. I can’t even really call it leaving, I fled! I could not stay when the opportunity was given me to leave. It was like opening a bird’s cage. I was not fleeing my children. I would have them with me always, but they feel differently about life in Missouri that I do. This is really too deep to go into here. Perhaps another time. But no, I will never forgive myself for the hurt that my choice caused. At the same time, I cannot go back.


Naikan, Day 6

  • In the last 24 hours, what have I received?
  • In the last 24 hours, what have I done in return?
  • In the last 24 hours, what trouble has my existence caused?

Oh, my goodness. Yesterday, Elizabeth took me to Chicago Botanical Gardens for Mother’s Day. It was so wonderful. She bought me gifts there and also gave me a prayer bracelet and singing bowl and then took me out to eat at a vegan restaurant. Rebekah sent me a Gigi bracelet and a beautiful notebook by Kate Spade. Today I spoke to all of the kids and wished Chance a happy sixth birthday! Tonight Elizabeth bought us Chinese for dinner. Needless to say, I have been quite spoiled.

In return, I hope that I have expressed my great love to all of my children. I want them to always know how much they mean to me. I did some laundry for Elizabeth so that she will be well dressed for her job interview tomorrow. I also did a mock interview with her.

My existence has caused trouble today in that I threw away so much tea that went to waste simply because we forgot it was in the cabinet. I need to pay more attention to what I have.


Reflections on the Week

I am disappointed to say that I have not been writing daily. In fact, a week passed between my last post and the one before it. I will try to catch up tomorrow, as I do want to get back on track.

I appreciated the Naikan writing method. It served me well. I hope to continue to use it throughout my life. I’m not sure if I would be dedicated enough to use it daily, but I certainly want to try for at least once or twice a month. I believe that it is a good way to give myself a reality check and to be made conscience of what I have or have not done for my world.


Morita, Day 1

Time: 5 PM

Feelings: I was tired from working all day. My back hurt and I just wanted to lie down and feel sorry for myself.

Behavior: The cats were waiting for their supper of wet food. I didn’t want to do. I did it. And now I am in bed writing this journal entry and resting.


Morita, Day 2

Time: 4:30 PM

Feelings: I was feeling good about school. A bit tired after being out all day. Looking forward to doing schoolwork and quiz.

Behavior: I finished my schoolwork and weekly quiz.


~I don’t think that I am enjoying this Morita writing technique. Actually, I know that I am not enjoying it. Maybe it’s just because school has started again and I am extra busy.


Morita, Day 3

Time: 7 PM

Feelings: fatigue, arthritis pain

Behavior: I talked myself out of cleaning my house. It is a wreck.


~What am I avoiding? I am avoiding taking responsibility for the mess that I have made. I would rather curl up in bed and fall asleep. Granted, I truly am tired. But isn’t everyone tired?

Morita, Day 4

Okay. I think that I have been doing Morita incorrectly. Allow me to try it properly (hopefully).

Time: Now this one, I am completely confused about.

Feelings: Excitement about my studies. Excitement about becoming a counselor. Disappointment in my messy home. Miss my kids and grandkids.

Behavior: Texted my kids. Got to school on time. Spent a few more dollars than I needed to today. Paid attention in class. Did my schoolwork. Communicated with classmates and teachers. Spent time with Elizabeth watching TV. Did not clean.


Waka, Day 1

I am eager to return to my work,

But am just as eager to leave it for another.


Waka, Day 2

This day is so warm,

Yet I am wearing winter clothes.


Waka, Day 3

If this pain must follow me,

Then I will carry it with love.


May 30, 2017: Due to graduate school and work responsibilities, I was unable to complete the course, but hope to revisit it in the future.