Somatic coaching and Catherine Brunelle

28 Apr

We’re featuring Catherine Brunelle today in honour of the launch of her book The Adventures of Claire Never-Ending. Catherine lives to write and tackles each new task from tweet to blog post to book with thoughtfulness, creativity and a sense of adventure. Her smoothly flowing prose is evidence of her dedication to her craft.

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Sister Leadership practices somatic (from the Greek word meaning ‘of the body’) approach to coaching where the primary concerns are recognizing the feelings, actions, and language by which we process an experience and, the subsequent meaning that we give to it.

Of necessity, Catherine has grown wise in these ways and has developed abilities in being grounded, resilient to change, flowing with pressure and stress, and enhancing her body-mind-spirit intuition. But then, she has her writing as a conduit. See for yourself in her own words.

Would you share your thoughts about writing and what it means to you?

For me writing is like opening a window in my mind. It lets in the fresh air, and lets out the ideas, which then move out of my body and onto the screen. From that moment onward anything can happen. It’s nice to have a space where anything can happen, and I can be the one crafting that world. I know fiction is fictional. . . but when I write it feels real and so I think in some ways it becomes real.

Even if I’m not writing anything useful, just the act itself is an outlet. Much of my emotional experience gets explored though writing – dreams, hopes, fear, doubts, reactions . . . they all show up in storytelling. Being creative in general fills me up with that sense. Whether I am writing, cooking, drawing, singing or staring out the window – it’s an experience beyond my mental narrative of everyday thought. I guess it’s about feeling that flow and just moving with it. So, that’s what it means to me. Quick answer: It’s a gift.

How did you come to write The Adventures of Claire Never-Ending, in particular?

I started The Adventures of Claire Never-Ending because I had wanted to get pregnant. The whole idea of pregnancy scared me, so I thought about the women who had come before and gone through it – my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and so on. So that is what got me writing in the first place. Also, I had finished an MA in creative writing that was very heaving on serious literary fiction. Claire Never-Ending was my little rebellion. I wrote the fantastic and the ridiculous and the fun. Mind you, the book is still rather literary – but also light.

So for me, it was a story of connection and courage.

How did you feel once you had finished writing The Adventures of Claire Never-Ending? Would you share the story of that moment?

A lot had changed in my life by the time this novel was “finished”. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer, gone through treatment, moved countries, uprooted plans, and lived life in anticipation of that golden five year mark of remission. I finished the book about two times before it actually went to press. It was my stage four diagnosis that caused me to stop all the editing and just share this story. Even now I edit the text as I reread the story.

But I remember finishing the first draft and it was a happy moment. A book that had been written in preparation for having children actually survived my experience through cancer and being told that kids were very unlikely to happen. There’s more in this story than pregnancy – to me it’s a story of courage and life changing moments. That connection between generations (even if I did write it) feels real. It gives me strength. And so, when the first draft was finally done I felt incredible satisfaction. To me it was proof that you can go through hell and still find your way back to joy. Writing is my joy. The Claires, for me, are a story of courage. Maybe in a word, I felt love. I love this novel. I love the idea of the Claires.

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The book launch is happening at the showroom of The Kavanaugh, Domicile’s newest condo development, 84/86 Beechwood Ave in Ottawa on May 2nd, 7-9 p.m. If you’d like to come along, please RSVP at http://www.strikingly.com/booklaunch

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Do you write? Personalize and ask yourself the questions that I posed to Catherine. Has your writing helped you to enhance your abilities to be grounded, resilient to change, to flow with pressure and stress and your body-mind-spiritintuition? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Norma Goldsmith, Guest Blogger

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