Mindfulness is about living in a very conscious way so that we can devote full attention to whatever we are doing. Mindful writing is a good way to escape from the chaos of our daily lives, and can also help us uncover our authentic voices and inspire the writer within.
Most of us write mindfully, in that we’re writing what we’re feeling at the time we’re writing. Certain practices, such as meditation prior to the writing process, can increase our sense of mindfulness. When we write from a mindful place, we are transporting ourselves into a deeper place in our psyche. Writing mindfully means that we are also self-aware. Being mindful means intentionally being present in any given moment. Rather than thinking of your past or future, being mindful is about focusing on what is happening right now. In other words, as the spiritual teacher Ram Dass says, “Be here now.”
For many people, writing is a spiritual practice that opens up a connection with the divine. It’s also a way of letting go and making sense of yourself, your loved ones, and the world in which you live. Through journaling, you can cultivate self-awareness. There are two types of journaling. The first type is stream-of-consciousness journaling where you write for 15-20 minutes non-stop about whatever comes into your mind. There’s no beginning, middle, or ending to your writing. The second type of writing is prompt-directed writing. Both these ways of journaling can elicit the flow of creative juices. Here are some prompts to get you started. Use each prompt to write for at least 15 minutes.
1) At the top of the page, write: “I remember.” Begin by writing down the first memory that emerges. Keep writing without lifting your pen off the page. See where your subconscious mind brings you.
2) Write about the part of you that feels most alive and joyous right now. Does your mind or your body feel most alive and why? Consider writing about an event that lead to or caused this joy. Explain in detail what you’re feeling. Use all your senses.
3) Write about something in your body that you carry from one of your ancestors. It can be a physical, emotional or mental characteristic. Describe this in detail and tell how it binds you to them. How does this connection reveal your emotional and spiritual connection?
4) Bring someone into your consciousness who has been on your mind. Perhaps it’s a loved one who has passed away or someone who needs healing. Write this person a letter. You don’t have to send it, but it’s fine if you choose to do so.
5) Write down how you feel about the past year. Imagine you have a ledger book and you need to write down all the significant things that happened. What would you write? Think about what you received from others. What did you give to others? If you’re so inclined, write down your goals for the next 12 months.
Remember that writing is a process. It’s important that you enjoy the journey and not always think about the destination. Using mindfulness during the writing process means that you’re giving full attention to your writing without self-judgement. Enjoy your mindful journey!
Diana Raab, PhD, MFA, is an award-winner writer, speaker, and workshop facilitator. She is the author of nine books including, her latest, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life. She facilitates workshops in writing for transformation and empowerment, focusing on journaling, poetry, and memoir writing. She believes in the importance of writing to achieve wholeness and interconnectedness, which encourages the ability to unleash the true voice of your inner self. Visit her at dianaraab.com
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