Writing has been my “secret tunnel” since my early teens when I landed in the power of writing to help me get through a six month period of being homebound with mononucleosis. My home tutor gave me my first diary and wisely instructed me to approach diary writing with no rules – to take out the stops and let my heart’s secrets spill onto the page without censoring. In addition, my pediatrician, who made regular housecalls, asked me what my favorite things to do were, and I shyly admitted that I had two shoeboxes filled with poems under my bed. He said that he’d been writing poetry himself since high school and that he, too, had kept them tucked away in boxes. He encouraged me to write more, and to read him one poem each time he visited. He promised to read one of his, as well. My diary and poetry turned out to be the best medicine I could imagine. It seemed like the universe was conspiring to turn me on to the healing gifts of writing.
I turned to writing a lot over the last year as a tool to help me navigate the harrowing journey that I was on regarding my daughter’s diagnosis of breast cancer when she was pregnant. Soon after the diagnosis I knew that I needed to avail myself of every possible inner and outer resource so that I could be emotionally, physically, and spiritually fit to respond to this situation in the healthiest possible ways for all of us.
I used writing to get beneath my surface thoughts and concerns and reach into deeper layers of feeling and knowing. It was important for me throughout this time to be as present with Heidi in every interaction as I could be. I wanted to be the Mom who showed up as fully as possible and, in order to do that, I had to stay connected to myself. Writing helped so much in this regard. When I did free writing in my journal, for example, my intention was to be present-centered when I wrote, to say “no” to the censor and write from my soul. I was willing to let any and all feelings emerge and, of course, they did. In addition, I frequently used writing to access my intuition, bringing questions like, “How can I best serve Heidi when I see her today?” or “What is most important for me this week for my self care?” I know from my own experience and from working with others that when we’re in challenging situations our clear knowing is often clouded by fear and worry. At these times, tools and practices to help us tune into our wisdom are particularly helpful. I am a firm believer that intuition, as the voice of Being, is available to us at all times and we need only find ways to tap into that boundless knowing.
If writing appeals to you as a transformational tool here is a suggestion for exploring a particular issue.
- At the top of a page write one or two sentences about what you intend to write about.
- Write for about 10 minutes without evaluating or analyzing your writing. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or punctuation. What and how you write doesn’t have to be logical or linear. Just let words come forth onto the page.
- After about 10 minutes, ask yourself, “What else is there?” Let yourself drop further into deeper layers of truth and, perhaps, feeling. Write for another 5-10 minutes. When you are complete, take as long as you need to be with whatever the writing has revealed to you.
- Next, whenever you feel ready, take a few minutes to relax and center yourself. Take 5 or 6 slow, long breaths and as you inhale, breathe in relaxation and clarity. When you exhale, let go of any tension that might be present for you.
- Then open to your inner wisdom. Ask your wisdom to give you guidance about this situation. Pose this and/or other questions in an open-ended way. Let your wisdom respond to your question(s) in writing. Just let words come.
If you need clarity about something, close your eyes again, and ask for what you need. Then write some more. Let this writing happen until you feel complete.