Ascent: Being There ... Supporting Your Personal Evolution One Step at a Time

When Aspiration Meets Limitation

October 2010

At Ascent, we believe you came into this world carrying an original spark that is singularly, perfectly you.

Our logo symbol represents this original spark — what we call, the seed-fire — because at the heart of all our programs is the goal of helping you express those talents and aspirations that came with you into the world.

Be Connected:
Love Energy

A coworker blasts you for no good reason. Maybe you recoil, or you give it right back to them. A little while later, either way, you feel depleted.

A friend or a love interest shows up unannounced. You’re feeling tired when they arrive, but in a few minutes you’re re-energized.

Few of us pay attention to the way energy passes between us and other people, but it’s an important component in every encounter. Science tells us, energy does pass between us — with negative or positive effects.

"Energy work" is a new line of therapy here in the West, though directing life-energy for health and healing purposes has long been practiced in the East — where this energy is referred to as qi (chee). In relationship work, learning to be conscious of energetic patterns and directing them in mutually life-giving ways can revitalize a sluggish, or even faltering, relationship.

Often, clients will ask: “How can I improve the energy in our relationship?”

What’s needed in any relationship, of course, is a long, careful pattern of healthy and/or healing interactions. Nonetheless, here are some quick-start suggestions for improving the quality of energy in any intimate relationship.

Get Creative. Start a small, creative work together. Perfection is out. Having fun and creating simple beauty together is the goal. Leave a vase on a table, and both add flowers you love. Or start a picture wall, where you each post images that appeal to you. Opening your “beautiful” side to each other, when so much in this world works to divide us, will help your energies stay connected on both a mental and emotional level.

Get Honest. When you disagree, say so. When you agree, say so. But never attack. (When you do, apologize.) At the end of a major disagreement, even when you’re both feeling “prickly,” make sure “I love you” is the last signal you send.

Get Physical. Touch. Touch works healing at many levels. Biochemically, it releases oxytocin, the “bliss” hormone. A circuit of life-force energies connects between you and the person you’re touching, boosting personal energy for both of you, improving circulation, immune function, etc. Touch also sends heart and soul a healing boost, saying, “You’re loved and wanted.”

Marcia Keene is an Energy Work Therapist and LCSW

What is the seed-fire at the core of your spirit?

Maybe it’s a creative pursuit.

Maybe it’s the intention to live healthier. Or to deepen your connections with the people you love.

Or is it the goal of lifetime fitness?

This journey — to fully express and live-out who we are — is rife with challenges. Those who are involved in Ascent’s Mentorship for Writers know this only too well. The moment you declare an intention, it seems, every obstacle possible falls across your path.

What we find when we encounter obstacles is not how difficult the world can be. That is a given. What we find in these encounters with difficulty is who we are at that moment.

Difficulty introduces us to the weakest edge of our skills, our strengths, our ability to cope, and our inner being. If we don’t collapse or run, if we stand our ground and do the right work at that moment, that’s when we begin to grow.

What is the right work? It’s taking one more step, when you want to quit. Extending the effort to create, or to build muscle, or to silence the voice that’s saying, “You can’t” or “It doesn’t matter. Do it tomorrow.

Those of us who have traveled this path, to the point where aspiration meets limitation, know that — if you remain patient with yourself, if you stay open, if you stick with the work — then beyond limitation comes transformation. It’s as if the shell of that seed-fire has to encounter pressure and be forced to split open before our true brilliance as individuals can emerge. Then our work, our life, becomes shot-through with a sort of luminescence it never could have had without obstacles and struggles.

Knowing this doesn’t make dealing with the obstacles any easier. But it does help to know that beyond the struggle lies a greater you than the one who entered the struggle.

This month, renew your commitment to your aspirations. Never quit.

Hold the vision of the person who will emerge on the other side of struggle. That’s the true, greater you — the one who is just about to emerge.

seed fire
It’s Your Life. Be there.


“Three Secrets…”

David Hazard will present “Three Secrets of Successful Writers,” an instructional talk, at public libraries in northern Virginia. All events are free.

Dates and locations:

November 1, 7 PM
Lovettsville Library
12 N. Light Street
Lovettsville VA 20180

November 2, 7 PM
Rust Library
380 Old Waterford Rd, NW
Leesburg VA 20176

November 3, 7 PM
Ashburn Library
43316 Hay Road
Ashburn VA 20147

Talks in December:

“Getting Publishers to Say, ‘Yes’”

Watch for dates and locations in the November newsletter.

2010 Adirondack Writing Retreat

Why did we call our September Adirondack event a retreat ? For the writers who spent seven days enjoying coaching, cool evenings by a campfire, and Fall colors it was an advance.

Sharon Rainey, whose first book was created with the support of Ascent’s Guided Writing Program, says,

“We stayed on a secluded point, and it was breathtaking. Exactly what I needed to get my second book started. With the coaching support I was able to create a whole book outline and begin to draft my new manuscript — on healing Lyme disease.

“I am much further ahead because of the Adirondack retreat. The solitude of the north country and the camaraderie of other writers kept me in a creative space.”

Peter Schmitt, a novelist, says,

“Ascent managed to incorporate the right balance of structure and free time during the retreat. Because I received solid direction when the need arose I got more done than expected. Please keep me in mind for the next one.”

Plan to join us September 2011 for the next Ascent Adirondack Writing Retreat.