For forty years, I was a technical writer. It took me 10 years to complete my first non-fiction book, a memoir. But when I decided to write my second book as fiction and in less time, I was unable to even begin writing. Desperate to find some way that will help me write again, I frantically researched. And I discovered the Mindful Writers Group. I did not know what to expect from the Group but had a strong inclination that if I join it I will overcome my writing block.
For me, reading is a great stimulant for ideas. I read voraciously to decide on a subject to write about. I searched for a topic for which I would not be criticized the way I was for writing my memoir, Worth the Climb. I looked for ideas that would be creative, informative and keep me disciplined and focused.
Equipped with a topic, I went to attend the Mindful Writers Group Wednesday meeting. Today, as I reflect on my first session of following the Writing Meditation Method, I wish I had learned it sooner. That first morning as I meditated and wrote in my journal, I examined my thoughts and feelings. This was followed by several hours of writing my first draft.
Each week at our meetings, I wrote with such passion that I didn’t even know I had. The Method allowed me to clear away anger that had a deeper effect on me then I had realized. Fifteen minutes of Body Meditation and journaling helped me to reflect and write freely about my experiences. The practice seemed to give me permission to honestly write what was on my heart and mind. It unlocked a door and let my pent up feelings of joy, sorrow, happiness, fear, doubt and guilt stream out all at once.
At one of the sessions, during the fifteen minutes of journaling I was able to put my feelings in a letter to a friend who had been estranged from me for years. Here is an excerpt:
When I awake from my dreams I almost feel guilty that I am so happy. I wonder why I deserve this happiness. What did I do to deserve it? We traveled the same path, the two of us. How could our lives be so far apart now? What or who decided which path we should choose? Why do you blame me for my happiness? Why the anger? Why the jealously? I want you to be as happy as I am. You deserve to know you have made a difference in my life. You are part of the reason I chose the path I did. Now you have chosen to run away from here, from this city, from this path, will it be any better for you elsewhere? I hope so. But I have reservations. In my practice I have learnt that the change you seek has to come from within you. All this stuff you hold onto only holds you back. It blocks you.
I was amazed at the sincerity of my emotions and the depth of my writing. I wondered how much of myself should I reveal? Should I hold some back for later? But I kept writing until the bell sounded for us to stop. I had written with such intensity that my fingers felt cramped. I was so elated to complete the letter that I wanted to frame it and hang it in my office!
The practice of Writing Meditation Method has given me freedom to explore my innermost feelings and thoughts. Such feelings are authentic which makes them original. The Method is a writer’s tool that is helping me understand myself. It teaches discipline to set short-goals with realistic expectations.
I know my current writing is the result of the beginning of knowing myself. It is awareness about who I am. This awareness is leading me closer to my real Self. It is the result of examining my thoughts and feelings that the Mindful Writers Group practices. The Method has shown me that there is a relationship between writing and meditation. It has shown me how I can fearlessly express my passion. It has shown me how to experience who I truly am. And most importantly, it has empowered me so that I can overcome obstacles placed in my writing path.