Snare: A Poem

I have been on a path to find my way back to myself
But I’m so lost that I can’t tell if this bramble covered ground
Is a road, a garden, or a kingdom.
I reach for shears to cut through the thorny vines
But they have long since rusted
And crumble in my hands.
I try wading through the woody sharpness
And look down to find my feet torn and bleeding.
I remember Jesus imploring me on that night
So long ago.
With unspoken words that tou(ched and terrified me.
And decide that this is not a path
But a snare.
I entrap myself in again and again.

Laurie Woodward is the author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. She co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at

(Photo by David Stroup)

Closing the Core Wound

What is your wound? Do you have a phrase that plays in your head that blocks success and joy?  Do doubts plague your days keeping you forever wondering if life will ever get easy? I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by life  when I recently attended a workshop titled, “Core Wound Healing” at the Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles that challenged the attendees to answer just these questions.

What lead me to this course? Well, like most people, I’ve got a lot on my plate. I’m a full time teacher, novelist, blogger, mother, and gym rat who loves every role I fill. Still I often feel like no matter how many novels I write, miles I run, love I send, or papers I grade, it’s never enough. And recently my school had instituted new programs that I had never heard of, much less used before, that I was expected to implement.


So saying that I was feeling overwhelmed would be an understatement. And the real disappointment was that I’d come to view all these former joy-producing parts of my life as chores on an endless check-off list. I had begun hating my life and every aspect of it

Honesty, I walked into  Mark and Shannon Grainger’s workshop full of doubt. I mean, seriously, how is some married couple supposed to help me with a life that was spinning out of control? They couldn’t whisk away that pile of papers waiting to be graded or finish Artania 4 with a magic wand. Still I was impressed by their resume as  inspirational speakers that help their clients overcome negative core beliefs, so decided to give it a try.

After introductions, the first thing Mark and Shannon did was to pass out a handout titled “The 5 Basic Core Wounds.” Shannon then explained that she believes everyone has at least one of these core wounds that manifest as a negative mantra in our minds. These include,”I am imperfect, I have no value, I don’t deserve love, I’m not seen, and I’m not enough.”

I quickly realized what mine was. My whole life I’ve felt like now matter how hard I try, I’m never enough. I remembered being in second grade and having to stay after school for daydreaming, how Mom asked me why I couldn’t be like other kids. I’d felt such shame  knowing I could never measure up to the ones who found it easy to focus in class. The ones who weren’t staring out the window turning clouds into creatures. But I tried. Scrunching my face up in concentration as I practiced row after row of addition facts. Still I kept daydreaming and never got the grades I wanted although I tried really hard to be like other kids. As I grew I got better at waiting to see those creations in the clouds and even got into college, graduated, got married, had two wonderful kids. Still, I found that no matter how many times I volunteered for my kids’ schools, how fast I ran on the treadmill or how many words I typed on the keyboard, it never seemed like enough. In fact, the more I did, the harder I was on myself.

“Now I want you to write about a time your core wound impacted your life,” Mark instructed and our pens scratched furiously over paper.

It was about then I began to feel a little better.

Over the next hour we engaged in meditations, journaling, and group sharing to turn our thinking around. During meditation I forced myself to stay awake and focus on what I wanted. I would  bring back the fun I used to find in my work. As the minutes passed, I found myself envisioning more and more joy. I imagined joking with my students, hugging my beautiful kids, and going to wondrous places in my mind that filled page after page. Toward the end we were asked to create “I am” statements.

I am enough.  I thought, remembering.

I’d forgotten for a while that life is a journey, not a destination and that each step on the path has its own unique joy.

After the class I sat in a cafe and switched on my computer as the screen lit up with the crazy cloud creatures of my imagination. And smiled.

I am a writer and a mom and a teacher and a friend and a dancer and a freaking gym rat.

And I am ever so thankful.