Creative Writing, Body Mindfulness and Calm

Drawing of pencil writing letters

A new discovery has been the use of creative writing to help observe my body and its posture (or ‘use’). I recently went on a great workshop called Creative Writing and Yoga with Philip Cowell.  Normally I have a complete writing block, hence the lack of regular posts on my blog, and this causes me some angst. But the writing workshop has freed things up a lot.

Every day, I now write four pages in a notebook. These are called Morning Pages – possibly familiar to people who have read The Artist’s Way. It’s stream of consciousness writing with no rules and no need for internal editing. It has given me a sense of calm as it’s essentially an opportunity for mindfulness by decluttering one’s thoughts.

Yesterday, I was writing away and my thoughts were drawn to my body – how I was sitting and writing. I started documenting this. I noticed that I was sat slightly off the chair as I hadn’t moved some things under the table and so was sitting around these. My head was resting in my left hand. Bit by bit, I wrote these observations down, with a writer’s eye. It was useful not to change anything immediately so that I could explore the details.

Then I put my ‘Alexander hat’ on. And I shifted the things from under the table and brought both feet on the floor. I relaxed my right shoulder, thought up through my spine and head and I let my left hand softly help keep the pages of my book open. Much more comfortable.

It has been a revelation to use writing to bring a greater body awareness.

One exercise in the Creative Writing for Yoga workshop happened after we’d done some gentle yoga movements. We then had to write a letter to a part of our body. A few people read their pieces out. They were so different. Some were funny, others moving, all were observing things from a more unusual perspective. Someone wrote to their thumb, another to their belly, I corresponded with my left hip.

So these are my offerings:

  • Write Morning Pages – 3 or 4 pages, any time of day, anything that’s in your mind
  • If you are aware of your body as you write, note it down in detail. Tensions and all. Then become more thoughtful and note that down. This doesn’t have to be in your Morning Pages.
  • Do some gentle movements and then write a short letter to part of your body
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