Writing As Healing
My love of writing is not simply about getting the words out onto paper, it is the whole physical experience. The texture and thickness of the paper. The grip of the pencil and how smooth the ballpoint pen slides across the page. Sitting at a desk with my head on my left arm as I watch my right hand curve and dance as words appear from my pencil onto the paper.
Writing for me is a very emotional experience. Similar to a meditation practice, I find a comfortable spot to sit quietly while I turn within to pause and connect with my imagination. A calm comes over me as I sit with my eyes closed and step into my creative mind and form my ideas and thoughts into words on paper. I find this process of letting the words out very cathartic and relaxing. After the initial ignition of ideas start to flow, I write in almost a trance-like state. The ideas form and come quickly. It’s obvious to me when the process is done. I take a deep breath and step away and that entry is cataloged along with my other writing.
This practice of having a relationship with my inner voice has been a constant comfort my entire life. I can always depend on communicating with my inner confidant when I am feeling challenged, sad, overwhelmed, or alone. I have learned that this is my true self that I have been communicating with all of these years. An open line of communication to my inner child and the essence of my being. A direct line to my soul and the thoughts and feelings I share within that relationship is who I am.
It took me many years to understand that my practice of writing has an incredible value in my life. My writing has given me a safe way to process complex emotions that I couldn’t express verbally or with someone else. Yes, there was a time as a teenager when some of my journals were “dear diary” style and I would simply take the time each day to just write out the events of life as a kid growing up, but that was part of the ritual and the practice. The development of my voice and my writing style grew with every entry no matter how trivial the topic may seem in hindsight.
Why do I share all of this? Because my writing carried me through the hardest times of my life and being able to share that with others as a tool for healing could help someone else. There have been profound shifts that occurred in my life within the last decade that were life altering. It was my inner voice and my constant dialogue with self that helped me to navigate the complex feelings and emotions I was experiencing.
There was a time back in 2014, when I went deep within myself during a recovery process that left me writing for hours each day over a span of several months. I have notebooks full of the handwritten dialogue that was coming through me during that incredibly raw and vulnerable time. It was profoundly spiritual and I carry deep reverence for that sacred experience and the knowledge learned and shared within those pages.
I am incredibly grateful for the constant connection to self that I carry through the practice of writing. I encourage you to take the time to invest in a relationship with yourself. Below are some suggestions for writing exercises to help get you started. I have several types of journals that I work with. Some days I use all of them and some days none. It's all a matter of preference based on how I'm feeling on any given day.
My Journal Styles: Pen + Paper: There is something incredibly gratifying within the process of writing your thoughts and ideas down with a pen and paper. In an era of being digital for all aspects of life, going back to classic pen to paper is good for the soul. Choose a writing tablet, journal, or notebook that you love. Pick out a style of pen that makes you happy. Decorate the outside of your book with stickers or tape a photo or prayer within the inside cover. Write out your intentions on the first page or a note to yourself that breathes love into the book.
Digital Journal: An app called, "Day One", is installed on my phone and my computer. I am able to type into it and it saves and syncs my entries across my devices. I like using this because I can also use photographs coupled with my writing to document my experience. Sometimes I just want to type out my words because I know they will transcribe my thoughts faster than pen to paper will. I recently started printing out my entries from my Day One Journal starting from October 2011. It's amazing to go back and print out words that have only been visible on screens. As they are printed, I am enclosing them in page sleeves and cataloging them into a binder.
Peace and Love to You.