It is almost one year since I started to write this blog. You can see a list of my previous posts here. Back then, I set myself an intention to write a piece every month to share with you and so far I have just about managed to do that. I don’t know why it has at times been such a struggle, why I sometimes feel that I don’t have the time. Writing is one of my favourite activities. Like Yoga practice, it helps me gather and arrange my scattered thoughts, anchors me to the moment and helps me bring forth an innner experience into the world. And being an act of creativity, I know it is good for me on so many levels.
For me, there are three paths that enable me to connect more deeply with Life. As a psychotherapist of twenty five years, one of course is therapy, being truly seen and heard by another without fear of shame, judgement or consequence. The power of human connection and safe relationship transcends any theory or model of therapeutic intervention and I have experienced and witnessed countless times how profound and helpful this can be.
The second is not surprisingly the practice of Yoga. In its fullest form. Not just Yoga asana where we focus on the body and the realm of the physical but on Yoga as an eight limbed practice where we recognise and honour the connection of mind, body and spirit and we embody Yoga in our daily lives. Perhaps that will be a focus for a future blog.
Making a Commitment
But for now, I will focus on the third, on the act of writing and on why I have loved crafting words since I was a little girl. Writing from the imagination, conjuring up characters and worlds that until I wrote about them only existed in my mind’s eye. Learning this process as a child has stood me in such good stead in life. The world of a child’s imagination is so free, so unaffected by fear or censorship.
Children write straight from the heart. They don’t yet carry the adult insecurities that most adult writers do. And as such their writing is spacious, it can hold absolutely anything. This I think is a great lesson for us as adult writers.
But like many others, there are days when I still tell myself I don’t have the time. I have many, many ideas, some of them fully formed, most of them not. But if I’m not careful, they can slip through my fingers as easily as grains of sand and return to the realm of the unmanifest. Writing, like Yoga practice requires a certain amount of time put aside, of intention, of commitment. For if we don’t create space for our writing, how can it take seed, grow roots and develop? So for anyone reading this who either currently writes or would like to start, here are some ideas that may help you.
The Freedom to Write
Make your writing itself spacious. Carve out room for words to flow and make shapes in any way they want to. Put aside the ego, the critic, the censor, the perfectionist and allow words, sentences, paragraphs to flow across the page like a vinyasa, like a melody, expressing whatever needs to emerge. And then let them be. For a while. Let them have the chance to germinate or not. Just like a seed tray. Later on, you can weed out the pieces you do not want to keep, allowing space for those you do to grow and form shoots. Spacious writing involves creative play, intuition and as such offers freedom to move closer towards the Truth. Allows us to sit, as it were, in front of the mirror and face whatever we see. Allows us time to reflect and be with what is. Allows room for compassion and Love to shine.
And be gentle with yourself. Even when, especially when, your words get clouded with angry storms of thinking or with howling gales of distress. Be gentle. Tread lightly, go inwards and breathe. Combining writing with a Yoga asana or a meditation practice can be really revelatory. It can allow us to enter into the spirit realm. It can let words become a bridge between form and no form. So let unmanifested ideas, wispy clouds of ideas stream forth and just notice what happens. Be the stream. Speak and write from the heart, from the soul, from the depths of your Being and see the Truth of your experiences reflected back at you. And meet this Truth with equanimity. Even when there is no understanding. No apparent meaning. Show up! For your piece of Life. It is so very precious and rare.