Join HOA’s 7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge! Cultivating Self-Compassion ~ Day 1
7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge
As I have been diving into the preparation for the next session of Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Online Writing Program, I felt called to share an introduction of writing to heal here on The Heart of Awakening Blog. Writing has been a part of my personal healing journey since I was a teenager. If I didn’t have the sacred space of my journal, what seemed at times to be my only true friend, I am not sure that I would have survived some of the life challenges I faced.
I’ve continued to write in the form of journaling, poetry, personal essay, and articles related to holistic healing and spirituality. Some of my writing is more public but it is a practice that continues to be at the heart of my own healing journey. And, it is one I love to share with others in a variety of ways as a tool for transformation and healing. I invite to join us here on The Heart of Awakening Blog for 7-Days of Writing To Heal. Each day, I’ll be sharing some thoughts, reflections and a writing prompt or two for you to explore. You may wish to go day by day or just come back to them whenever you feel drawn to. It’s your journey!
We live in exciting times when science can help us to understand tools which have been long practiced. Recent scientific evidence has discovered that the act of writing actually accesses your left brain, which is the analytical and rational part. When you begin writing, your left brain becomes more strongly engaged which then frees your right brain to create, intuit and feel more deeply. So, in a sense, writing takes you out of your head and into your heart; that’s a big theme here on HOA! This shift allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. And is one reason why writing can be such a powerful tool for healing!
Writing and journaling can help you to:
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings.
- Know yourself better.
- Reduce stress.
- Be healthier.
- Solve problems more effectively.
- Resolve disagreements with others
- Practice good self-care
- Access your creativity
- Release and Express Held Memories & Emotions
- Set Intentions
You may be saying to yourself, “But, I’m not a writer, so how can writing or journaling work for me?” There are many ways to explore journaling and many types of practices. Writing offers an opportunity to explore who you are, what are your likes and dislikes, and your strengths and weaknesses. It is a vehicle to find your voice and explore ways you can flow more easily with life.
Over the next 7 days, I’ll be sharing a variety of ways you can begin to use writing and journaling as a tool for healing. Feel free to share in the comments your thoughts, feelings and reflections as well any other ways you might work with writing as a tool for healing. I have chosen a theme for these 7 days that has been coming up strongly in my own personal work as well as my work with clients most recently – Cultivating Self-Compassion! Sometimes it may feel like we’ve done so much of that work and then suddenly it’s clear there is more to do. There are always deeper layers to explore! As we discuss during annual May Is For Metta practice, it is in cultivating self-compassion that we create a foundation for offering it to others and the world. And, so we our journey begins…
You might like to take some time today to decide where you will write both physically in terms of your location, e.g. your desk, out on the deck, on a cozy chair in your living room, etc. And, also, in terms of your writing space such as in a notebook, journal or on your computer. You may just like to play around with a few options during these 7 days to see what feels best for you. Also, do you want to write first thing in the morning, before bedtime at night or at another point in the day. I encourage you to be open, creative and explore.
Each day I will be sharing a few prompts for you to use to spur your exploration in writing to heal. This will include a variety of types of prompts so you can continue to create your own writing to heal process going forward. Our theme for this week is on Cultivating Self-Compassion. Here are some prompts to explore today…
Quotes ~ If you’ve followed HOA for any bit of time, you know that I absolutely love quotes! They inspire me in so many ways but I have found them to be particularly helpful when I want to begin writing on a certain theme or just need a thought to get my words flowing. I have shared two quotes and prompts below on our theme of Cultivating Self-Compassion. Feel free to use the prompts or just write stream of consciousness on what arises as you consider the quotes…
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
― Gautama Buddha
When you read the Buddha’s words, what thoughts and feelings arise? Do you feel you are deserving of your own love and compassion? What have you been taught about loving yourself? Are there any negative messages you have received about cultivating self-compassion like it’s selfish or wrong? Are you willing to begin to cultivate self-compassion in a bigger way? If not, what’s stopping you?
“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” ~ Pema Chodron
Make a list of all the parts of yourself that you are aware of need more self-compassion. Perhaps there are some wounded parts, your inner children or maybe some parts you just don’t like to see. Begin to write stream of consciousness or create a list of any parts of yourself that you think might need a big dose of love and compassion. Be willing to list any feelings, patterns and beliefs that you might like to keep hidden, even from yourself. This is a way to bring light to the shadow parts of ourselves. Be gently and loving with yourself as you explore…
Feel free to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below.
See you tomorrow!
Love & light,