April 2, 2015

What Meditation and Sex Have to Do With Writing



I won’t beat around the bush. It’s damn hard to get in the mood sometimes.

You know you’ll be happy once you get going, you know it will feel good and you will be refreshed when it’s done, but getting into the mindset of doing it is challenging when you have so many things on your mind.

The stream of consciousness is random and never ending: School shootings. Laundry. That funny look your neighbor gave you this morning. Your health. The ozone layer. Racism. What happens when you die. Deadlines. Bills. On and on and on.

Read On!>>>

Meditation and sex are both things that -- when we surrender to them -- can help us escape from the constant stream of thought and channel our energy in a different way. Also, they are both things that require us to be in the moment. When we are in the moment, we can access the current -- the quiet waves of creativity that are too often drowned out by our worries and thoughts. Writing can do this for us too.

Going forward, think of writing as a practice.

Let’s define a practice as an activity or exercise done regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. Many of you want to invite more creativity back into your lives. So think of writing as a gateway to that creativity, leading to deeper awareness, more pleasure, more peace and onward to becoming a more fully expressed person.

But be careful. Writing is not a means to an end, it’s a journey. Just like meditation and sex, we must value the whole process and be open to explore in order to get the full satisfaction from the experience.

Develop a willingness to shape what you see, think and feel into words, without chasing the end result. This means coming back to the blank page every day to write, whether it’s insightful writing or not, just to see what comes out. Practice.

When you value writing as a daily self-discovery and expression practice, over time you will find that it is easier to get going. You will be able to channel whatever is on your mind onto the page without judging what comes out. When you only sit down to write occasionally and expect brilliance to come out on the first try, you are working against the flow.

The following exercise will help you practice writing more freely and identify common themes that will help you in all forms of self-expression.


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Part One:

Take five minutes to write down your stream of consciousness. Set a timer and transcribe your thoughts. Keep your hand moving without rereading or editing as you go. No deleting or erasing. Don't try to sound witty or logical. Just write your thoughts with no filter. Write like no one will ever see it.

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Example:

I'm too sad to make any decisions. My emotions are always in the way of what I need to do. This is what is slowing me down. I am sitting here and all that comes to mind is what I don't like and what I don't want, only what I fear. Afraid. Afraid. Where is the light and when is it coming back. Somehow I know that I am blocking it. I'm in the way. Tunnel visioning to everything sad. Everyone else seems happy and unbothered. What's wrong with me? I have so much to get done today and all I want to do is lay here. I feel like if I can’t do all of it then I’d rather just do none of it. Only losers think that way. I’m a loser. But really, I know I’m not so that just makes this harder. Why am I my own enemy?

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Part Two:

When your five minutes are up, look at what you wrote and label your thoughts as I have below. This may feel awkward at first, but see it through and practice it. The more aware we are of what lives in our minds, the more we can use this self-discovery work to feed our creativity and write with more feeling and wisdom.

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Example:


I’m having thoughts that I am sad. I see thoughts that being sad is hurting me and slowing me down. I see myself thinking that I am overwhelmed by fear. Having thoughts that there is something wrong with me for being afraid and sad. Having thoughts that I’m a loser and then thoughts that I am against myself. Overall, the theme or core belief here is that my emotions are in my way and I can’t control them.

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Thought labeling is a meditation technique that allows you to clarify your belief systems. It is a way of separating what you think and do from the beliefs underneath the actions. So I may have gone into this exercise thinking that I'm handily in control of my emotions and that I believe in myself unconditionally, but my stream of consciousness reveals a different reality. There is a gap between what I want to believe and what I'm actually saying to myself.

Once you practice this technique for awhile, you start to see trends in what you are telling yourself and you start to realize that even the most stubborn thoughts are not necessarily the truth about your reality, but just thoughts that you have been believing out of habit.

You might find that a particular thought has been silently directing your behavior and dictating frustrating patterns in your life. Whether the thoughts you label are deep or trivial, the point is to take a look at what's on your mind and use that material to further your growth and get new insights for your writing.

Get more info on GG's Words That Move writing workshop, HERE

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