Everyone has a story to tell – whether it’s a detailed account of one’s life experience through memoir, an inspirational narrative about overcoming one’s addiction through treatment, an adventurous trip across landscapes of time through a fictional novel, or the tender capturing of a brief (yet inspiring) moment in a poem. It’s there inside of all of us, even those of us who don’t believe that we’re the least bit creative. It’s there, trapped, waiting to be borne: our story, our narrative, the dreams and desires of our hearts and souls, our everyday musings on life.
The body often stores what the thinking mind is unable to process. It is through somatic writing that we can open the pathways to the creativity and access the “energetic field” of creation.
Somatic writing begins with a sequence of gentle, flowing, yoga movements that serve to stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body. As this energy is liberated, we begin to connect with experiences, thoughts, memories, and knowledge that is held deep within our tissues and cells. As our bodies become stretched, lengthened, and relaxed through the flow of the yoga movements, we settle into a peaceful yet aware state. This is when “stream of consciousness” writing begins.
Stream of consciousness writing asks nothing more than for us to take pen to paper and let our words pour forth – free from judgment, free from editing, free from punctuation. Through this type of writing, we experience a spontaneous, body-centered knowing, and an energetic connection to what is true for us. Then we commit to paper, in an effortless stream, thoughts and ideas accessed from the deepest well of the true self. Once we have experienced stream of consciousness writing, we are ready to move into a more structured writing exercise, such as the Six Word Story.
There is a tale about Ernest Hemingway, one of the best-known writers of all time. The legend goes that Mr. Hemingway was out with some friends, who challenged him to write a story using only six words. After pondering this for a moment, he wrote the following on a napkin and placed it in the middle of the table: “For sale, baby shoes, never worn.” Now this is, indeed, a story. However, this is a story that begs to be expanded on. There are so many possibilities that spring forth, too many questions to be answered. What happened to the baby? Why didn’t the shoes get worn? Why are they for sale? And on and on. You never know where the Six Word Story might take you. It could be the beginning of a paragraph that becomes a short story, or maybe it just might be the start to your best-selling novel. The Six Word Story is the perfect place to begin; and begin again, and again.
Whether you’re a regular writer, or someone who doesn’t believe they have any writing ability at all, opening the creative flow through somatic writing may just have you discovering that you are, indeed, a writer after all.
To learn more about using writing as a tool for recovery and other practices that encourage inner peace, visit our Wellness page.