by Diana Raab
Emotions can run amok during the busy holiday season. Mindful writing can help bring some respite into your life, and can also help you uncover your authentic voice and inspire the writer inside you.
Most of us write mindfully, in that we’re writing what we’re feeling at the time we’re writing. 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.
Here are some writing prompts to elicit your creative juices and inspire you to write:
- 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. Unlike an essay, there doesn’t have to be a beginning, middle, and end to your words. Just write.
- Write about the part of you that feels most alive and joyous right now. Explain in detail what you’re feeling. Use all your senses. What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What can you touch?
- Write about something in your body that you carry from one of your ancestors. Describe this in detail and tell how it binds you to your forebears. How does this physical connection reveal your emotional and spiritual connection?
- 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.
- Write down how you feel about the year 2015. Imagine you have a ledger book and you need to write down all the significant things that happened this past year. 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 next year.
Diana Raab, Ph.D. is a memoirist, poet, blogger, essayist, educator and facilitates workshops in writing for healing and transformation. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology, and a research focus on the healing and transformative powers of memoir writing.