Writing is a way of organizing our thoughts and making better sense of our world. I would even consider it a form of contemplative meditation. When writing, we connect different concepts together in our heads, mull over different ideas, and often aim at trying to paint a picture or tell some kind of story, narrative, or theme.
- Jeremy Taylor
Whenever we write we are embracing these ideas, allowing them to be expressed, and letting their energy flow through us onto the paper.
Throughout this creative process we too are changing. We are not only becoming more aware of our inner world of meaning, but at the same time we are given a medium to release these built up thoughts, ideas, stresses and desires. We are practicing a form of alchemy – by channeling our energies from something psychological to something material and tangible.
It’s a healing process
Like all forms of art therapy, writing can be healing; that is why I encourage everyone to pursue some kind of creative endeavor. It allows us to step back and put the world into perspective. It also gives us a sense of power and purpose, so we don’t feel completely swallowed up by our daily anxieties, stresses, and fears.
When we create we have something to be proud of, something to show for our efforts, and something that is distinctly unique and ours. This builds up our self-worth and inspires us to be more productive. Pursing any art has shown to do some incredible things for mental health, and it plays a big role in what Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman calls The Meaningful Life, which he considers a central component to happiness.
Carl Jung saw the manifestations of our dreams as ways in which our psyche maintains homeostasis and balance. I believe art and writing can have the same effect. This one video supports this point by showing how art therapy can be used effectively in treating those with schizophrenia.
Do a little everyday
Whether your thing is writing, painting, dancing, or playing guitar, try to do a little bit of it everyday. Think of it as your daily meditation or prayer. It is your way of provoking reality and creating a world of meaning and purpose.
Many people find it therapeutic to keep a journal or diary. Personally, I have been maintaining this blog since June of last year and I already feel ten times better mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I like to write music too, but writing is something that resonates with me at a level I can manage the best. It clears up my thoughts in ways that I find hard accomplishing with other arts. But, everyone may be a little different.
Writing is easy to become engaged in
For many, pursuing an art or writing is a lot more fun and exciting than meditation. While meditation is about stillness and silence, art gives us a way to find tranquility through active expression. When you finish a piece of writing or art there is a wave of relaxation and comfort, not to mention a distinct sense of pride and accomplishment.
So for those who find it difficult to spend time on the cushion, why not turn to writing and art as a secondary form of meditation? It could even still be considered a spiritual practice. After all, who says we need religion and false dogmas? Maybe the true evolution of man is when we recognize that we can harness the same creative power of nature that we so often attribute to God. In a sense, our capacity for creativity and innovation may even make us out to be our own gods and goddesses. In this recognition, we are aware of our own divinity.
When we find something we love doing, it becomes much easier to be engaged in. And engagement is an important aspect to any meditative or spiritual practice.
A stronger sense of self
When we walk away from a piece of writing we have a stronger sense of ourselves. We are a part of the transformation and by the end of the process we have been re-born into something new.
And – isn’t this often the crux of any meditation practice? To increase self-awareness and to watch ourselves grow and change with time? Shouldn’t we all practice this to some degree, even if it is only to facilitate our own personal development and well-being? Just a few minutes a day of reflection and writing can aid one’s life in so many different ways.
The mental state of writing
When we are physically in the state of writing it is just like a state of deep contemplation. We become absorbed in the process of our ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions. We then attempt to integrate them all in a way that reveals a clear message.
When I am in a state of writing that cannot be disturbed it is like I am in a trance. All my focus is concentrated on the task at hand and on accomplishing what it is I am setting out to do. All of my being is dedicated into channeling my energy outwards into my creation.