Writing has always been my go to. Throughout childhood I was encouraged to keep a journal, to write down lists, to vent frustrations on paper. It’s no wonder now that in the work that I do more often than not offer the opportunity of writing to my clients.
The power of writing is immense. When you’re able to get the thoughts swirling in your head down on paper you unlock the ability to see your “problems” from an entirely different vantage point. Often what is expressed on paper shows its true colors. Instead of being an insurmountable problem you see it for what it really is. A frustrated situation with a couple ways of approaching it if you slow down and take the time to be.
You don’t need to be a professional writer, hell you don’t even need to have written anything since your application to University. This writing is for you and your soul, no one else. I don’t want it to look pretty or have complete sentences, it doesn’t matter if you spell check or make sure you don’t have dangling prepositions. None of that matters.
This writing is to free your mind and your soul. It’s to eventually be able to make sense of that still small voice inside that gets lost under the loud swirl of your mind’s thoughts.
There are a myriad of ways to approach this kind of writing, too. No one way is always going to work for you, like anything in life sampling and figuring out what works now is all you can do. Then as it gets stale or ineffective, try a new route.
These are a few of the writing tools I use to work through what's popping up in life.
~ Make a list of everything on the topic. Maybe it’s a list of what’s stressing you out, maybe it’s a list of all the things you want in your life but don’t know how to achieve, or a last of all your achievements that you don’t know how to feel grateful for or proud of. Then leave it there or start outlining steps you can take in the next week, month, six months and year to bring the thing to an end or bring it to fruition. Just one small step at a time.
~ Write out questions, the big questions that are swirling around your head. “Why am I feeling this way?” “What should I do about XYZ?” “How can this be happening to me AGAIN?” Get the big questions out there, then write an emotionally charged follow up to it. “I can’t believe I let myself get into XYZ situation AGAIN. How could I be so stupid? Where does the motivation to do that come from? Why can’t I change? What should I really be doing? I don’t even know where to start and I just feel so damn overwhelmed….” Let yourself go with this until you’re exhausted, until you can’t think of writing any more. Then sit in that silence.
Something amazing is about to happen when you write like this. You will start getting answers, clear thoughts will start screaming into your mind. “Stop beating yourself up. Go back and make this change.” “Take time in the future to observe XYZ before jumping in.” “Go for a walk.” “Go call so and so.” You’ll be amazed at what your Soul will say to you in the space you create once you’ve let all the noise drain out of your head.
~ Simply journal and bitch. Take step 2 above but loose the questions. Just sit down and write out all the negative stuff that’s swirling in your head. “I’m never going to make partner. I will never date a truly great person. I’m always going to be second best to my sister.” Truly let it all roll and flow out of you. There’s nothing too small or too bitchy that can’t be written down. Get it all out. Then enjoy the clarity of sitting with all of that outside of you. Note: you may feel a REAL emotional drain after writing like this for the first few times, that’s ok. Be in that - and practice some self care afterward.
~ Write down the problem that seems to be bringing you all this circular logic, that brings you back to the same place over and over again. Write it down from every angle you can see it. Then read over what you’ve written. Do you see another way? Do you see a better way to approach it? Maybe you’ll get an “ah-ha” answer from your spirit after writing like this, or maybe you’ll realize it’s just not nearly as big of a deal as you made it out to be. Write down whatever is plaguing you as a fact “I have no money.” “My job sucks.” “I hate my ex.” Then light it on fire. Seriously, stand over your sink grab a match and light that sucker on fire. As you watch it burn imagine all of the negative energy, hurt, pain, frustration, burning away with it.
~ Write down all the things you want and need. Write down all it is you dream of having as if it already is in your life. Start with small things that are currently true in your reality and grow them to the things that you want to be true. “I kicked ass on that presentation last week” “I’m a great friend.” etc. then move on to: “I love my Audi A4.” “I’m so happy with my partner.” “I’m so thankful that I was able to reconnect with my passion of playing music.” Treasure these little slips of paper. Stash them in your bed side table and read them nightly, put them on your desk at work to remind yourself that these things can and will come true.
No where in any of the examples above did I mention word count, ability to write in perfect cursive, need for sentence structure to be flawless or for it to be in true essay format with a thesis and focus. None of that matters, what matters is you’re taking what is swirling around your head, blocking you from seeing the every day beauty in your life, and putting it on paper.
That’s what writing does, it pushes you out of your one-track-mind way of thinking. It makes you realize how small everything is once you let it leave your head and flow out into the Universe via pen and paper.
So I dare you, go grab a pen and paper or open up a word doc and write. Take one of the examples above or be inspired to think of a writing prompt on your own. Let it all flow and be gentle with yourself. Writing is a practice and requires muscle just like everything else in our lives. At first it maybe shaky, hard to motivate. You may only get one or two lines down before feeling overwhelmed and closing the notebook. That is ok. Just promise me you’ll keep coming back to it. Every day. Because that’s how you grow, that’s how you are able to clear things up from your monkey mind and make true sense of it.
Much love friends, and write on.