Category Archives: Phase Two

Quick Draw

Three of the drawing/painting/collaging exercises in the book are about the state of your heart at the moment you create those individual pictures, but this first visual exercise asks you to reach back into your past.

Creating a visual representation of all the broken hearts you’ve had, and naming the person associated with each of them, helps you see that your collective of broken hearts have a relationship to your current broken heart.

The adage, a picture speaks a thousand words, is definitely at work here. Seeing our broken hearts drawn on a piece of paper, no matter their number, can hit home in a way that words don’t. When it comes to healing we often need to awaken sleeping parts of us so we can begin to understand the full scope of our healing. It’s not just what we feel in the moment that is asking to be healed, but also what we have brought forward from historical experiences.

The hearts you draw in this exercise represent the amount of heart pain you have sustained and it is fair to assume some of the old pain still needs healing. Elements of that healing will happen naturally as you heal from your current broken heart, and the rest you can come back and heal later.

Having a broken heart strips us of our will, our energy, sometimes even our sense of purpose. We are working to reestablish all three for you and this first drawing makes an important contribution to that healing.

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The Story

Writing the story of your relationship, and especially the specifics of your breakup, is something most people resist doing. And that makes sense. We already go over enough of the facts in our head and may wonder what benefit will be gained from writing it all down.

You’ll have to trust me that there are ample benefits in doing this exercise, and you’ll see once you complete it that writing out your story begins a releasing process. So that’s good.

Also, there may be specific elements from the relationship that you’ve forgotten and they will often come into focus when you describe everything you can remember about your relationship.

Information from this exercise will resurface throughout the rest of the book so taking the time to write this story as fully as possible will aid in your healing. It probably won’t feel good to do this right now, but this is precisely the right time to take on this exercise.

It may take you several days to get everything down—take your time, there’s no need to rush.

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One Name

Not everyone has the same reaction to formally writing the name of the person who broke their heart. For some of us it’s fairly easy to do, for others forming each letter of the name feels painful. No matter how it felt to you, that you completed the statement is what will allow you to continue healing.

The person who broke your heart may not have set out to do so, but that he or she did is an important truth to absorb. It can be easy to make excuses for why someone we love hurt us so badly, and there are often extenuating circumstances in relationships that contribute to their collapse. But while those circumstances might help explain why your ex ended up doing what he/she did, they don’t change the fact that your heart has been broken by the person you were in a relationship with.

As the book says, this is not about placing blame, but rather about stating a fact. When our heart has been broken the first thing that can fall away are the simplest of facts. We replace them with either fictional notions, wished for alternatives, or self-blame—none of which move us forward. And moving forward is what this entire process is about.

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Healing Center – Ph. One and Two

You’re working to heal from a loss that has created a void in your life, even if the loss happened years ago. One way we help fill that void is through the construction of your personal Healing Center.

Every Healing Center is different, but each one fulfills the same objective by giving its owner a visual representation of his or her healing. And that visual portrayal reflects back love, understanding and clarity to each of us.

I thought you would enjoy seeing a version of a Healing Center as it develops from phase to phase. It might give you some ideas for your own Healing Center.

Pictured below is the 3′ x 4′ board I’ll be using—you can use something smaller or larger if you like. The board is actually stretched canvas, just like the ones painters use, with foam core mounted on the backside so the pushpins I’ll be using have something solid to go into. You don’t need to use anything this elaborate, but it’s one option. The book offers other suggestions, but if you need help with figuring out what to use for your Healing Center, please feel free to ask. I want you to have the best Healing Center possible!

I’ve hung the canvas on a wall at my office, so if you’re in Los Angeles you could drop by and see the real thing. Hanging your Healing Center is one possibility, but you could also lean it against a wall. Once I had someone make a tri-fold screen for their Healing Center. It was a sophisticated idea and made their Healing Center freestanding. Personally, I don’t think I would have been able to manage something quite that elaborate. We should each do what works best for us.

Here’s my blank canvas.

Blank Healing Center

Next is what the canvas looks like at the completion of Phases One and Two. Note the First Heart Drawing in the upper left corner—of course yours could go anywhere you like. The First Statement of Agreement, the First Statement of Release and some verse are in the center of the board.

Over on the right is an example of the Quick Draw exercise, and below it are a number of “heart quotes” — those italicized sayings that are peppered throughout the text. They were my response to the “Add any useful quotes from this phase to your Healing Center” suggestion that shows up in the Exercise Review sections.

Healing Center - Phases 1 & 2

The last picture is of the pins I’m using on the board. You don’t have to just use one type of pin, but I liked the look of these with their compact, white rounded heads, so I’ve made them the one unifying element on the board.


Soon we’ll see how my Healing Center looks at the end of Phase Four. Until then, keep reading, working on the exercises and constructing your Healing Center.

Posted on by Michael Kane Posted in Book, Healing Center, Phase One, Phase Two | Leave a comment