“Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.” Julia Cameron
As a companion for lasting change, writing down our private emotions and thoughts can be extremely therapeutic and beneficial. When we put words to paper, we clear through the clutter and noise of our brain and connect more deeply with our true desires. Like meditation, writing helps us bypass our everyday troubles and brings us more clearly into the present. It can also help us clarify our next steps or stop us from being reactive. We’ve all experienced that time that we sent an email or said words we wish we could take back. What if we made it a practice to write out that email and instead of hitting “send” we hit “save” instead. Giving ourselves the option allows us to contemplate the meaning and effect of our words. Perhaps in the middle of writing an email, we recognize that fear or anger is motivating our drive to respond. Or maybe we recognize that the effect of our email will only be to inflame. By using writing as an exercise for expression, rather than a tool for communication, we can begin to recognize decisions that are driven by our need to blame or be right rather than effectuate positive change. In that sense, writing out our emotions truly does become the appropriate antidote to any injury because it ignites the power of personal responsibility and choice. Also, when we make journaling a regular practice, we invite heightened awareness and purpose into our lives. In our written words, we inevitably start to see patterns and habits emerge so that we can start to shift our thoughts and actions accordingly. Rather than our past continuing to haunt us in our present, writing it down allows us to leave our behind our wounds on paper and focus instead on what we want to create. Indeed, writing down our goals ultimately allows us to clarify our vision so that we can more quickly manifest what we truly want.
Weekly Path to Peace: Write it out.
- Whether you have an active writing practice or never take the time to write out your thoughts and feelings, begin this week by dedicating 15 minutes a day to writing out your thoughts and feelings. Commit to leaving your inner critic in another room while you write out your thoughts. Don’t censor yourself and allow whatever you are thinking and feeling to come out on paper. No rules, simply write whatever thoughts are inside your head. If you are having trouble writing, begin with the phrase “I wish______” or “If only _____”.
- At least one time this week, sit in quiet contemplation of the words you wrote down. What hopes, desires or patterns do you recognize emerging? What goals or dreams do you see that you have yet to realize? Are there different actions you could take that might change your life? What are you aware of that you weren’t before you began this exercise? Continue to write about any new discoveries you make as a result of writing it out.