Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Writing Feels Right

For some of us, writing is an excellent form of healing.  It is the opportunity to have the conversation, to let the thoughts that seem trapped within – escape onto the paper.  I use several forms of writing therapy to move me through various experiences.

The medical journal
When you suffer physically it is a stress on your life, especially when you have weird symptoms and no one in the allopathic world can name your problem.  I started journaling 2 years ago, mostly in an effort to have something to show my doctors when some medical issue would come up again with no apparent warning.  What I discovered was really a gift.  My own journaling tells me a story of my life.  It helps me to know how I am treating myself, how better to treat myself, and even gives light to what I can expect.
Things to include in a medical journal:

-        Wellness Gauge (How are you feeing? physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually)
-        Daily symptoms
-        Repetitive symptoms
-        Current medications and supplements
-        Hours/quality of sleep
-        Drawings (to depict where it hurts)
-        Doctor’s appointment notes
Each of these will help form a matrix of understanding about how, why, what you are feeling and can be used to engage in a healing relationship with yourself.

The feelings journal
This one is my FAVORITE.  I’ve been journaling, basically, since I knew how to write.  This past weekend with my family we discussed a journal I got for Christmas when I was 4 years old!  So you see, journaling is my life.  I’m proud to report that my dautgher now practices this healing writing technique.  It is always amazing to me- when she’s pouty and agitated and runs to her room- that I often find her there calm and content about ½ hour later.  She retreats to her room and writes in a composition book labeled PRIVATE. 
As I’ve discussed with her, a feelings journal is a great way to release, record, and remember moments of NOW.  But I am always so clear to state:  you must write not only of the bad, but mostly of the good.  When Athena hears this, she always smiles; it’s the smile that says "who are you reminding of this mom?"  I have to admit, for years (especially the teenage ones) I wrote of the tragic, sad experiences.  A boyfriend no longer, a best friend at bay, whatever the script for the teenage drama queen, I recorded. 
Somewhere along the way, probably after a semester abroad in Italy, I realized that I was missing out on the other side of my experiences- the good!  I began journaling about the positive side of my experiences.  My journaling morphed into drawings, poems, songs, doodles.  Words now could be strewn together by vines or rays of sunlight, branches on a tree or crests of waves.  The connection between thoughts, art and nature helped me grow in my ability to journal and feel good.  It is here I would like to stop for one moment and suggest: start a good feelings journal.  It’s a great way to embrace yourself for a moment each day and a fun way to recollect times passed.

The psychic journal
I do understand that everyone isn’t a writer, so maybe journaling will never be your thing.  My point here is to simply share my techniques and maybe one or none of these can be shared by you.
I’m reading a great book called, “Psychic Pathway” by Sonia Choquette, PhD.  In her book, Sonia suggests a different kind of journaling: psychic.  This is real simple and fun.  Your task is to journal instances of what would normally be brushed off as - coincidences. 
The phone rings, you pause, breath, and see your friend’s face, then you answer the phone and it is that friend.  Or you get a chill one evening while sitting on the couch, only to find out later that night that a storm is brewing in your vicinity.  Maybe you record bigger ideas; your sister is having a baby that you believe will be a boy.  Write it down and go back to it months later.  For each or any of these instances, you are simply connecting yourself to the present.  What you know at this moment.  It is fun to go back and see that we actually know much more than we think we do (wink).

The novel
This form of journaling is a great place for realistic fiction to live out its dreams.  I like writing so for me, writing a story about a young woman in Tuscany, experiencing life, is an excellent way to break out of negative thinking patterns and exercise breath and freedom of the mind.