Remember when you were a kid? What is your first memory of play? What do you remember about it? [Actually take a moment to remember]
Whatever it is you did, you probably loved it, were in a flow (that is, time flew by), and were immersed in the experience.
Intuitive writing is a form of play in which we use words to express ourselves by integrating a rational activity – writing on a journal, computer, or phone – with an intuitive exploration of our psyche, heart, and gut. Sometimes this form of writing is simply referred to as journaling and other times as “free-flow” writing.
WRITING ABOUT WHAT?
Anything that requires an integration of mind, heart, gut and the erotic can be a prompt for your writing. Let me give you a few examples drawn from my own experience:
LOVE & GRATITUDE
WHY IS THIS GOOD?
Why is it important to learn about this form of writing? It is quite likely that, since elementary school/first grade, you have been associating writing with a practical function as in “I think therefore I write.” Intuitive writing encourages us to honor an embodiment of language summarized by the statement, “I am, therefore I write.” In this way, we are able to use writing to express a deeper level of intelligence that is often muted by our constantly vigilant minds.
Many of us were told or made feel that our voices don’t matter, particularly our internal, negative, or intuitive ones. When we work with intuition, we are often told we are “crazy” because intuitive knowledge is not based on facts and figures, but on the perception of the luminal and the experience of the intersectional. Intuitive wiring is a self-manageable way to reclaim the expression of our feelings as not only valid, but also essential for a healthy and content life.
At the heart of feelings of loneliness, isolation, and overall lack of connection there is an inability to articulate the complexities of our humanity. Learning to write in a wholistic and embodied way trains us to be more articulate in the description of our emotions, and teaches us to speak up for ourselves, stand by our values, assert our will, and clarify our intent.
I use this form of writing in my personal life, and also teach in in workshops and academic course on storytelling. I have shared it in schools, community centers, arts organizations, hospitals and jails, and the results are always amazing. You can use it as your personal ritual, share it with your loved ones and, if you are an educator, mentor, leader, you can integrate it as part of your meetings and classes.
At first, it may happen that you don’t know how to start. That’s your mind trying to protect you from going deeper than analytical senses. Take a leap. Just type the first few words and follow the flow. Once you trust your intuition, you will learn that you have a well of inspiration to draw from.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
HOW DO WE START?
Use well-designed prompts. For example, it may be more difficult for intuitive writing to emerge if you ask analytical or punitive “WHY-questions” like, “Why did this happen?” “Why is this so hard?” “Why did (person x) do that? Rather, get real on what truth needs to emerge (self-sabotage, jealousy, envy, anger, joy…).
For example, if you know that you have a challenge with binge eating, you may address the food directly in a prompt like this, “I am your cookies (pie, pizza, ice cream, etc.), and this is what I want you to know….”
Or if you have hard feelings towards yourself and others, let those feelings talk to you directly in a prompt like this, “I am your fear of change, and this is what I want to tell you….”
Alternatively, you can write a prompt that sounds like the beginning of a letter, such as “Dear ….”
Lastly, if you are in the middle of stormy or super excited vibes, just write! Let it all flow.
WHAT IF THIS DOESN’T WORK?
First of all, there is no “right” way to make this work. You are breathing, you are letting words flow. That’s it. If they don’t flow, it may be because your analytical mind is censoring the expression of feelings. if you don’t know what to write, write just that, “I don’t know what to write, this exercise is weird, why is this important again?” Let it all out. Then take another deep breath and try it again. Eventually, you will break through rational resistance and will find your flow. Again, a good prompt is key. If you are unsure how to create yours, write your questions in the comments below.
THIS IS NOT THERAPY
A word of care. If you know or sense that this type of exercise may bring up traumatic memories, overwhelming fear, or the desire to self-harm, please refrain from doing it, or bring it up as an option with your doctor, therapist, coach or spiritual guide and receive their opinion and guidance. Thank you.
You may decide to reread the writing, edit it, publish it, adapt it onto a poem, a novel, a script. Or not. Maybe you never read it again. Maybe you take that page and trash it, or burn it. Maybe you transfer some of its messages on a post it and stick it where you can see it. You will know what to do with this. If not, let me know.
READY TO TRY?
Use the comments below to give it a try! You may frees write and then only leave an excerpt, if you prefer.
Here is the prompt for you:
I am your intuition and this is what I want to tell you….