Miraculous insights and awarenesses are waiting to be birthed through you via the innocent appearing practice of free flow writing.
Just by moving your pencil or pen across the page, allowing it to take the lead instead of the egocentric mind may change how you experience life once you begin the practice.
Even as little as five minutes a day makes an impact which is why I began #5for5BrainDump on Periscope. (Click this link to know more about this ongoing challenge.)
Look what happened when I explored my relationship with a “nervous” cough. I moved beyond fear and into a newfound awareness.
Experiment with me. Below is a quick read which illustrate what happened next one day when I least expected it.
The cough started in the back of my throat. I immediately clenched most of my muscles, wary and wide eyed, afraid to inhale too deeply, afraid to exhale to quickly.
This happened yesterday. It also happened earlier today and a week ago and throughout rehearsal last night, I sensed it lurking in the corners, so I kept water close by for insurance.
What my children refer to as "my stress" cough has been hovering about me lately as if it was a villain in the novel of my life, waiting for a moment of vulnerability to pounce and drag off her victim, me, noose around my neck and unable to breathe or speak or function at all.
It impacts everything, even my writing.
Today my early morning writing took me into a different vulnerable place. When I am honest with myself, this is a place that is the most frequent roadblock to going deeper into self discovery as I write.
There are certain topics I want to write about and need to write about yet writing about them causes my heart to hurt. My initial thought is there is too much hurt involved so I put my pen down and close my notebook or I change the subject suddenly, pointing to the process of stream of consciousness turning at a “fork in the the thought stream.”
Somewhere underneath that malarchy I create in my thoughts, I know if I only bravely continued to write about what I was avoiding I would feel better.
Even now, as I write several hours after my morning pages concluded I think “Is it can’t or won’t?” that keeps me from writing more?
Is it belligerence or fear that keeps me from going deeper on certain topics?
We feel the emotional tug and we don’t know ahead of time if it will be worth it, like we go to a movie we aren’t sure we want to see and we hate it, we waste our cost of admission. If we are frightened of the roller coaster and throw up in the midst of a loop de loop, we probably won’t ever want to do it again. However, if we end up loving the movie and telling our friends about it and if the roller coaster is so exhilarating we ride it over and over and over again, it was well worth the risk.
Somehow in my creative life, I tend to shy away from risking the ache, at least lately.
In my morning pages I write:
I fear rejection because I want to be accepted and hailed as “just right.”
I write this in my stream of consciousness, morning pages notebook and I immediately move to my to-do list, the squirrelly nature of the fear-response clobbers any depth of thought wanting to make itself heard.
The reality is, sometimes I feel too raw to write what I most need to write. It is extraordinarily difficult, for example, to write about my son’s experiences (or lack of social experiences) as a result of his life on the autism spectrum.
I “hear” a response in my next words:
What is underneath that “too raw” feeling?
Love, pure and simple. The desire, as a Mommy, to “help him find a way.” To help him with his social weaknesses somehow. As a Mommy I want to leap in, I want to make it – and everything – all better. I want him to feel satisfied with himself as he is and not think I wish he was any different than he actually is.
It isn’t easy. My morning pages respond, “Most of the best things aren’t easy, after all.”
I sit with my fingers off the keyboard. I check twitter, I listen to the classical music streaming through my computer. I wonder how I can bring this to a decent close, tie a big red bow of done-ness around the words.
I look back up and see the “What is underneath” conversation I had with my writing.
Love is underneath the fear, love is underneath the turning away. Love will be there when I dive into the topics that frighten me. I am creative enough to imagine love holding my hand, guiding me, allowing me the space to fall and holding out a hand to assist me gain my balance, but not being a prop or denying the fall or the sick feeling in my stomach or even the multiple times I’ve run from the task rather than faced it, pencil in hand and ready to get it into words.
I look at my notebook, my friend, my words scribed there dutifully day after day.
There is a poem on page three of today, waiting to be taken from cursive writing onto the keyboard.
I’m scared to interact with the themes again today, but I know that is more important than ending this writing with a perfect concluding paragraph, complex or rich or even attempting to be entertaining. I feel my "stress cough" threatening my nose, my chest, the back of my throat.
It will simply be as it is, imperfect and almost but not quite what I had hoped for but good enough, after all.
I breathe easily, letting the words be what they will, knowing the words and I will be just fine after all.
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Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in soon!
To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.
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