Boldness & Free-Flow Writing
What if stress is potentially our greatest teacher?
What if stress is a door to CLARITY -- an invitation to discover who we are, what we want, and what matters most?
What if stress asks us to live the Serenity Prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference"?
In Saturday’s Free-Flow Writing Workshop at Meditation for Regular People, I asked everyone to share their particular flavor or flavors of stress these days, their personal dance with this powerful energy:
- fear + worry (gripped by health, financial, relationship, family, work, global issues...)
- chronic busyness + distraction (craving slowness, rest, spaciousness, deep connection...)
- self-doubt + a loud inner critic (playing small, not feeling worthy, low vitality...)
The winner: self-doubt + a loud inner critic
What a contradiction -- “winner” and self-doubt / inner critic in the same sentence.
After all, It’s the job of the inner critic to make us feel like a LOSER!
It keeps us living small and “safe” and under the radar with some variation of:
“You’re not ready, not sufficiently talented, educated, experienced…
You’re too young, too old, too shy, too much…
You’re for sure not as good as so-and-so…
Trust me, you’re simply not enough, so don’t even bother…”
In writing practice, it can sound like this:
“You’re boring, you can’t write, Who do you think you are?...
You’re writing THAT?! You can’t say THAT! What will they think?...
This is stupid. Why am I doing this. Give it up.”
Robert Frost wrote,
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
Freedom with Free-Flow Writing was the theme on Saturday's workshop, and these words from a participant touched me -- touched us -- touched her deeply. Beautiful tears appeared as she read her 2-minute writing to the card she pulled from an oracle deck that read, serendipitously, Freedom does not come from a check list. With her permission I share them here:
“Freedom does not come from a check list. It comes from knowing exactly who you are and where you are going. What is important to you….. how you navigate in this world. Freedom is being able to make choices and own them, not be of afraid of what other people think. Freedom is being yourself,… vulnerable, exposed, ….but truly your authentic self. Your light shining…..”
Yes! Don’t we all crave this freedom?!?
My ever evolving story of STRESS to BOLDNESS to FREEDOM is here. And though my self-doubt stress is softening, it’s still, along with chronic busyness and distraction, my particular flavor of stress, and so I love the deep-dive into this month’s WTG Circle theme: Boldness & Free-Flow Writing. We explored the magic and courage in discovering, writing, and sharing what we really think, feel, experience, know…
Amen to feeling more vulnerable, bold, and free, and the practice of communal free-flow writing to help get us there.
And Tuesday is dance day – my practice for feeling more freedom in my body.
Portland Locals!! Check out our new weekly writing circle: Wednesdays, 1:00 at Meditation for Regular People. Sign up here. And Laure Redmond’s Stretch Appeal class Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:45 at BodyVox, Saturdays, 11:30 at Polaris Dance Theater. Email Laure if interested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s write and dance TOGETHER, because, "Happiness Is Other People!"
Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
Write whatever arises in your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Don’t stop to think or edit - keep your pen moving.
Accept ALL that you write - the pretty & ugly; absurd & boring. Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...