Raeleen – A beautiful success story
Raeleen was my second last applicant to my first HeartWriting workshop back in October 2021. I had eight people enrolled. I couldn’t believe a couple of posts and a Facebook ad had attracted all these people to my humble writing course I’d been developing in secret for years.
I’d quit my job, and HeartWriting was about to become my only income. Could it work? It felt strange and imposter-ish creating the email signature saying: Rose Mascaro, Founder and CEO, HeartWriting. Who the hell did I think I was?
But the applications were rolling in. I devoured and analysed Raeleen’s words. While the application said all the right things, I could sense her nervousness through the screen. Raeleen, and eight others, wanted to write, but they didn’t know how to start. My heart fell wide open. This HeartWriting thing was bigger that me, and I could feel Universe, God, Spirit, whoever the hell is up there, urging me on.
And so I met Raeleen: this shy, sarcastic, sassy goddess of a woman, in our first HeartWriting workshop. The magic of the group energy was palpable. It’s very hard to explain how this could be possible online, but we were all deeply connected from the moment we sat together and took a deep breath.
We started with gentle yoga, meditation and journalling, before a heart sharing circle. And then the real learning and writing began.
The first thing I learned about Raeleen was that she HATED being on camera. When it was her turn, she’d bark out a couple of words and quickly blame her technology and sit back to watch for the rest of the session. Later, she’d write to me, telling me she cried during the session – that I had said exactly the word or vision she had dreamed of – that the class had struck a chord, and her heart broke open. She emailed me a long piece that was full of colour, wit and literary charm. As I read the words I beamed sunshine onto the page. She was an epic writer, she just hadn’t written anything in a long time, and “God, it felt good to write again, but I know I’ve ballzed up the grammar,” she confessed at the end of her submission email.
Over the next few weeks, I reminded Raeleen of a few things that she’d probably long forgotten since high school. How to tighten up sentence structure. When to use a comma versus a semicolon. Conjunctions. Where to put the apostrophe. Put the space here. No space there. A longer en dash here, not a hyphen. Capitals for proper nouns, like Eiffel Tower. How’s your metaphor consistency? Check everything three times, then check again. What have you missed? Quotation marks after closed punctuation. There’s a double space there that shouldn’t be there. Print it out and read it again. Yes. Yes. YES. Now you have it. Now you have flow. Now you have precision. Now your voice SINGS WITH POWER.
Raeleen is now one of my top HeartWriters. She went on to complete the Advanced Course, she’s writing a book, and she’s written tonnes of short stories that are ready to win competitions, just like she did when she won competitions as a kid. Her writing now flows with confidence, precision and ease. She’s far from being full of ego – we don’t encourage ego in HeartWriting. Ego is simply a symptom of fear.
What Raeleen has is HEART. Heart drives to you awakened places. Heart helps you learn from a place of trust. Heart gives you every secret ingredient needed to be a successful, blow-your-socks-off writer.
Raeleen just needed the right space to hone her heart, and her craft.
Today, Raeleen and I catch up for coffee every couple of weeks. Despite the fact that she found me online, and she’s done all her learning with me online, we actually only live half an hour from each other. I’ve met someone with a likeminded heart and a gold mine of talent. When we get together, it’s like talking to a best friend – scratch that – she IS a best friend. A literary best friend. A HeartWriting best friend, who just gets me, every single time. You’ll often find us giggling like Homer Simpson (or Beavis and Butthead) in the corner of our local beachside bar with margaritas in one hand and manuscripts in the other.
Starting HeartWriting was worth it, in more ways than I could ever explain.
Raeleen is just one special story. There’s now dozens of HeartWriters, after just one year, and Raeleen and I have made friends with all of them. At long last, we’ve met our people, those who get those warm fuzzy feelings when they read a beautiful line of literature, or when they create a beautiful line of literature. I’m thankful each day for the vision I received in 2016 which had me snot-crying in joy as I wrote the exact words flowing from my inner spirit – the voice who was telling me in detail how my future writing workshops were going to look like.
Below is a snippet from Raeleen’s book. I hope you love it, and her, as much as I do.
So, I found myself on New Year’s Eve 1999, wondering about the future. Wondering if the internet would implode at midnight due to some bug in the system and send the world into chaos. Did we all just exist in some sort of matrix? What was my purpose in life? And why had Blue (Da- ba- dee) been number 1 on the music charts for the last 9 weeks? Life just didn’t make sense. A shift in the mood of the room broke me out of my pondering.
“Happy birthday to me.” I whispered a toast to myself and drained the last of my wine.
“Three! Two! One!” There was a collective pause as we all waited to see if the power went out. “Happy New Year!” We bellowed our way into the new millennium with much hugging, kissing and backyard fireworks. Fresh drinks flowed.
Having checked my kids were ‘safely’ upstairs while winding down off the excitement of yet another party night in our house, I stumbled out to the pool deck with another drink in hand. I gazed up at the waning crescent moon hanging like a bright yellow banana in the sky and thought
You can read more of Raeleen’s writing on her blog: www.soul-scribbling.com