From the heart

I love the free write. It is an exercise taught to me by my friend, and now writing mentor, Samantha. The idea is to set a timer for 5 minutes to start and just start writing, keeping the pen moving across the page with no editing or staying stuck. You just keep writing, even if it is gibberish.

The process is so good for a number of reasons. Here, let me number them for you. 🙂 Firstly, it primes the writing pump and gets you over the hurdle of a blank page and the silly notion that you have nothing to say. Secondly, it switches gears and drops you out of your head and into your heart; things just start to flow. And lastly, but not the leastly, also thirdly, you end up with some precious phrase, idea, character, or understanding that you could not have gained if you let your brains run the show.

That switching of gears from the head to the heart has been a lifeline for me during the past month, after a series of family tragedies and emergencies. Writing from the heart has been a window into living from the heart. Before, I lived most of my life inside my head, analyzing, worrying, mulling. After, I could not. My mental habits would spin me rapidly down an emotional slope and I would explode with either rage or tears. So I just couldn’t continue letting my brains run the show. The pain was too great. I dropped into my heart, a skill I had practiced in my writing life, and now I live from here.

I have done the switch that all the great sages and mystics teach, to put my head in service of my heart; all the time. I was on my way to this space before, but now I have no other option. My brain is too unruly and too clever for it’s own good. It tricks me into thorny paths filled with worries and anxieties, most of which will never happen; those that might, well, I can deal with those as they come. There is really no point worrying anymore.

The challenge now is to keep this new order in my body-mind as the pain lessens and the daily chores and duties return. Rumi, the master of free writing, said “Do not go back to sleep.” So I will stay awake and live my life from this new country, my heart.

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