Writing For Myself: Mindfulness and Journaling (no experience needed)

(Previously titled: But I’m Not A Writer! A Four-Week Journey of Journaling)

 You want to write.

Maybe, you have always wanted to write, but always felt afraid to. Maybe, you just noticed the urge to write, and you’re not sure where it came from. Maybe…you want to write, but just for you. You don’t want to worry about grammar, or syntax, or point-of-view. You just want your voice to flow out on the paper, and not worry where it goes, who is going to read it, or what they would think of it if they did.

You often find yourself thinking–or saying–“I’m not a writer.”

Or perhaps…..You are a writer, and always writing for someone else.  Always paying close attention to grammar, and construction, and point of view. Too often writing for an audience, writing so that others will want to read it.   Writing on deadlines. Much of your voice edited out.  So many submissions.  You long to feel connected to your own creative spirit.

It’s hard to find the time to write,so you just don’t.  You don’t know why you want to write, so you just don’t. You don’t have a topic on hand about which to write, so you don’t. OR: you spend so much time writing for others, you don’t make time to write just for you.

Regardless of your situation, you feel the longing to write.

Then this class is for you.

This class is for anyone who wants to write, regardless of experience or (perceived) skill. 

This class is for anyone with a desire to connect (or re-connect) with their creative spirit.

This class is an opportunity…to write with some structure and guidance, in a safe atmosphere.  Just for you.

This class is an invitation….to connect to yourself through writing. 

What about the mindfulness? what is that about?

Mindfulness practice is a way to bring yourself into the present moment, which can open the channel  of creativity. Writing and mindfulness can both be wonderful ways to connect to ourselves, find our true expression, and allow it to flow.  Bringing yourself into the moment before writing into a prompt also helps cultivate the ability to bring yourself into the present at other times.  Mindfulness–a thousands-year-old practice– has also more recently been found to reduce stress, and increase vitality.

Why I want to offer this class:

I have been  journaling since before I could write. My mom tells stories of me getting sent to my room and hearing me talking intensely, if quietly. She thought I was arguing my case; I think I was processing my feelings. When I was about 10, I got my first actual journal and have been journaling since: the notebook has evolved to my laptop-or the voice recorder on my phone if inspiration strikes elsewhere (in line at CVS, for example).  Writing–journaling–is HOW I process things. My thoughts. My feelings. The world I live in.   I used to keep it a secret. Now I share it widely, thanks to email, social media, and the honor of having work published.

My mindfulness practice started in 1993 in a high school gymnasium, with high ceilings and florescent light–a yoga class through the city parks and rec department. The winding path has led me to the library (for audio tapes of yoga!), to yoga studios, meditation centers, workshops, and retreats.  It’s also, I’m grateful to say, led me to offer the practices to others.  That is how practice expands: by sharing it.  My practice is in my offerings, and vice versa. No separation.

I didn’t choose to become a writer. Or a spiritualist. And yet, my life has become infinitely richer as I have embraced that they are how I connect to myself.  Any kind of offering I make, be it counseling or teaching police officers, offering meditation to homeless women, or yoga to 6-year-olds, all spring from the same passion: to offer people ways to connect with themselves. 

And that is my reason for offering this class. It concerns me not if you feel you can write, or if you’ve been told you can write, or how you write. I only care IF you write, and hope that your writing is in service of expressing your own precious voice.  

What you will receive in this course:

Four journaling prompts a week, via email, for four weeks (total of sixteen prompts).  The first prompt each week will be accompanied by an audio recording of a brief, guided mindfulness exercise. The exercise itself is an invitation to come into this moment, to meet yourself wherever you may be, before responding to the prompt.

The prompts will be simple early on, and get progressively more substantial. There will be ample opportunity to just flex your writing muscles, as well as opportunity to dig deeper into your own mind and heart, should you desire to. You may write into the prompts as much (or as little) as you like, whenever you like. 

A completely private Facebook group for just the class, for sharing and offering support and feedback to one another, a space held by the instructor and monitored to ensure its sacredness.  The group will be open for the four weeks of the class. You may share as much (or as little) as you like, of your writing or your process. 

An opportunity to connect with yourself.