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Need An Answer? Send Your Question to Dear Junie!

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You’ve heard of Anne Landers and Dear Abby.

Now, Dear Junie is online!

Hello everyone.  I’m Junie and I’m thrilled to be here.  I look forward to receiving your questions and will offer you the best of who I am.

I received my well deserved Ph.D. at the famous Earth School Academy.  I specialized in how to survive on this planet without knowing the “rules” or having a clue.  Now, half way into my 6th decade of learning, growing, stumbling and getting up again, I love being here.  Who would have guessed!

When you send me your questions, you can expect answers that come from my intuition, funny bone and with best intentions intact, something you can readily take home and apply.

But far more than what I say – or anyone says about your predicament, no-one –not your partner, best friend, or your mother, knows what’s best for you more than you do.  Within YOU are your deepest truths and one way to access them is with a simple pen and paper, and a relevant writing prompt. (which I will give you).

All you have to do is toss out the critic – the itty bitty shitty committee that lives in your head that tells you that you can’t write, can’t spell and have nothing valuable to say. And then breathe.  Then write.

For 20 years I have been a writing coach and have witnessed countless people accessing their wisdom on the page.    And don’t worry, if you’re having problems…I’ll come up with something.  Oy Vey!

Let me tell you a story. This isn’t my first  Dear Junie column”.   But then I didn’t dare use my name. I was Dear Zarena and Dear Azelda.

From the time I was a teenager people would just tell me things. It became commonplace for absolute strangers to share personal things with me and then say, “I can’t believe I am telling you this. I have never told another living soul!”

When I was in my 20’s, I worked for a horoscope magazine in Montreal.  I wrote the day-by-day forecasts for every day of the month for all 12 signs of the zodiac.

They said they would hire me if I took astrology with a grain of salt.  I offered them a ton of salt! I knew nothing about the stars and the constellations and certainly not what they meant.  But I could write.  And I had a good imagination.  Those attributes along with Linda Goodman’s Astrology Love Signs, gave me all the ammunition I needed.

I went happily along making things up. I had a simplistic sense of the characteristics of each sign. Okay, I confess, no sense at all. Non-sense. However, laden with imagination and a dictionary where I could point at words as prompts, I pounded out the forecasts at lightning speed. My bosses were happy. I was too. I was taking home a pay cheque and writing for a living. Two things my parents questioned were possible.

dr-suess-questions

Within a month’s time they promoted me with two columns.  The first one was Dear Azena  where I offered health and beauty tips. You should know I was never exactly a beauty queen or cared that much about it. My parents tried their best by sending me to finishing school when I was 17. I failed.  I was a bell bottomed flower child. Still am – just sporting a different body almost a half-century later.

The other column, Dear Azelda had me answering real letters from real people about major problems they were having in their life, hoping the stars held their answers.

The publication was a monthly and they only allowed six questions to be answered from the hundreds that came in daily. My conscience kicked in so I took the letters home with me and wrote back to as many people as I could saying things like, “Get out of that abusive relationship! See a therapist or a clergy person right away! I am holding you in my prayers.”  And I’d mean it.

Soon my bosses started pressuring me to put some negative stuff into the horoscopes. Make it ‘realistic’, they said.  I didn’t want to.  Instead I continued to insert do-able, fun and meaningful suggestions. They fired me.

But it was at that juncture that I became aware of my true calling.  From the unhallowed halls of an old office building on St. Catherine Street in Montreal to various hallowed halls of educational institutes in Toronto, I began to follow my dream.

In 1991 I put up a legitimate shingle as a psychotherapist and have been using writing as a profound creative and cathartic healing tool ever since.  And I love what I do!

It is indeed a privilege to offer tools and a loving, safe presence for people to find their own truths and live them out loud. ~ Junie Swadron

As well, I have been coaching writers to become authors for the past 10 years.  Many who attend my Re-Write Your Life workshops go on to write books of every genre.  Often they are based on what they have learned through hardship and want to offer guidance to others going through similar situations.

It is usually the most difficult situations in our lives that bring about the greatest lessons and healings. I can attest to that.  I was diagnosed with bi-polar illness when I was 20. My life has been fraught with the painful challenges that come with it.  Also I have had the most wonderful teachers, therapists, and guides along my path who have helped me to know I am so much more than my diagnosis.  Gratefully, I have also learned tools and strategies that keep me healthy and truly happy within my heart for many years now.

My illness has offered to me magnificent gifts and blessings I would never have imagined. The best part is having the privilege of offering to others what I have learned.

So, I welcome your questions and will answer them from my favourite place – my intuition.  It often comes laden with humour so if I go off for a moment or two, I hope it lightens your load and that you can take life more lightly.  The old adage, “Laughter is the best medicine, “I guarantee is true!

The first Dear Junie question is below.  I will provide the answer next week.

Send your questions to:  info@DowntownandAround.com or use the comment section below.  All identities will be held in the strictest of confidence.

The First Dear Junie Question:

Dear Junie, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to find my life’s purpose.  I’ve tried several things throughout my life and nothing works out in my favour no matter what I do.  I’m getting older and I’m starting to panic.  How do I discover my path?

Sandy

 

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