Channel Your Wisdom onto the Page
BY: Danielle Winston
February 19, 2022
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
~~ Edith Wharton
The search for enlightenment is eternal. Although, when the journey is solely directed outward, you miss the glittering jewels that lie within. Conscious or not, your life experiences offer a wellspring of emotional growth, bubbling over with unique insights. In the words of the inspiring Nobel Prize winning novelist and poet, Hermann Hesse, “I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.” One way to embody Hesse's words is through reflection, and jotting down your discoveries. “Writing can be a bridge to connect to an inner resource that’s deep in your unconscious and override the chaos and thousands of thoughts which block connecting to our inner wisdom,” according to licensed Psychotherapist and Certified Relationship Coach, Babita Spinelli.
Meshing mindfulness techniques with writing improves focus by quieting external chatter, giving you the chance to zero in on thoughts and feelings that may have gone unnoticed. Try these writing exercises with a pen and paper, to reap the mind/body health benefits that come from the tactile experience writing by hand offers, including stress-reduction and enhanced creativity. Keep moving forward. Resist the urge to read or edit what you've written (there’ll be plenty of time for that later).
Get ready to set your devices aside and journey within...
Looking at life with appreciation, creates a shift of perspective in favor of abundance, and discourages deprivation mentality. The act of writing further ingrains these ideas in your body, and memory. What’s more, research shows that gratitude journaling, for even a few minutes each day, can increase levels of happiness by as much as 10%.
Write the sentences along with your responses. Use the prompts to inspire your voice. Think of them as a jumping-off place, helping you to expand upon your thoughts and ideas.
*Before you write, remember to stretch and release tension. Stand tall. Reach towards the sky, wiggle your fingers. Shake your body from nose to toes, until you feel loose and flexible. When you're ready, bring a glass of water to your writing space. Draw awareness to your breath, relax your shoulders, envision a thread aligning your spine upwards, to the sky. Inhale deeply. As you exhale, focus on your pen. If answers don't come quickly, begin by thinking with your pen, writing all your thoughts down; when you feel ready, transition to the prompts.
“During challenging times, I am thankful for the compassion and support of my friend ___.” Recall all the ways this person has supported and uplifted your spirit.
“I celebrate my countless talents and abilities.” List as many of your gifts as possible. Choose a few to detail, describing how you feel whilst doing these things, and the ensuing positive experiences and successes.
“I enjoy humor and playfulness. My friend____ adds these aspects to my life.” Describe the various fun & funny things you admire about this person, and how they’ve affected you.
Letter to Your Future Self
Spinelli has various ways of accessing her client's wisdom, and suggests “journaling to start, capturing reflections, thoughts and goals.” Another method Spinelli recommends is, Writing a letter to yourself. “The letter can be from your future avatar, who may have insight and deeper wisdom, which we often bury during our day to day lives. I encourage clients by explaining to them that it takes practice. It’s a pace and not a race.”
Don’t worry if you feel stuck initially. Spinally suggests taking time to “meditate prior to writing, even if it’s just for ten minutes - as it opens up a space of receptivity,” adding that it’s crucial to trust that you have an innate ability to connect with your wisest self.
The environment you choose matters. Spinelli says it's important to “stop from the busyness of life, and find a quiet spot to start writing without limitations. Give yourself permission to see where the words take you.”
Wisdom Housed in the Body
“We are born with an innate body wisdom. Infants cry when their body needs nourishment. Young children express their feelings, both joyous and painful,” says certified Mind Body Eating coach, Susan Zilberman.
Zilberman’s work focuses on guiding “clients to tune into their own unique body wisdom, in order to heal their relationships with food and body image.” The practice incorporates meditations and mindfulness techniques, to become “familiar with what your body needs, so it's able to work at the best level it can physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually,” says Zilberman. While body wisdom is instinctive, Zilberman adds that, through life experiences, and the “process of growing up, we may have learned to suppress our feelings and live more in our thoughts than our body. Slowly, we lose touch with our body wisdom.”
Zilberman's exercise is aimed at helping you become more grounded in your physical self, in order to “reclaim your mind-body connection.”
“Morning or nighttime are optimal moments to relax and reconnect with body wisdom. Begin with mentally scanning your body to notice how you're feeling. Ask yourself: if your body could talk, what would it ask for? Use your imagination to envision people, places and activities that your body would enjoy. Write down everything you see.”
“Describe how your body feels spending time in nature. Which setting would feel best? What benefits does nature bring?”
“What would a safe, secure physical space look like indoors? How does your body move and feel being there?”
“How would you like to nourish your body? Detail foods that feel fresh, healthy and delicious, and the thoughts you have while eating them.”
Ultimately, uncovering hidden revelations takes time and emotional excavation. So release judgment, and approach the writing experience with compassion. Give yourself time before revisiting what you’ve written. When you feel ready, read the words without distraction. Take time and space to reflect and honor the thoughts and ideas expressed on the page, from the wise sage, you.