Guest Writer for Wake Up World
I’m a Soul Writing coach. I see writing as a spiritual practice. When we connect to our authentic voice and transform our feelings and imaginative dreams, visions and fantasies into words on the page, something magical happens.
By expressing the experiences of our inner worlds and our authentic self, whatever the voice inside us wants to say, we move into alignment with ourselves and give ourselves permission to speak. When we do that with love and let go of judgment, it can be a liberating and healing experience.
The method I developed while homebound, in recovery from a brain injury in 2004, I now use to unblock people’s creativity in their writing. Connecting to our creativity can also unblock our lives. I call it Soul Writing. Some of these creative tools I developed when I was in self-isolation with brain injury, I’m putting into practice again now to help cope with living with the isolation and sudden change the COVID 19 crisis has brought.
During my healing process I couldn’t do basic things like make a cup of tea or work out how to use the vacuum cleaner. I couldn’t leave the house due to disorientation. I forgot where I lived, even what country I was in. Living alone, friends dropped off shopping and I couldn’t spend more than a few minutes with people as I was exhausted and overwhelmed by external sensory input.
One of the last functions to return was fiction writing. I was told by one doctor that I might never write fiction again, which was very upsetting for me as that is one of my deep joys in life. Something inside me knew that doctor was wrong. I’d been a meditator since a child and so I used meditation to take me into a state of stillness. From the stillness, I found I could write. Not what I intended or wanted to write, but little by little I watched the words, characters and story pitch up on the page as I played with the tools I had available to me. I began to write what wanted to be written.
During my time of isolation, I discovered what I now call my soul voice –
the voice of creative intuition, often quiet and sometimes crushed into silence by self judgment and the inner critic. The product of that time was a story called Sophia’s Tale (which I published 12 years later).
One of the many benefits of writing from my soul voice is the sense of freedom and liberation it gives me. Before the brain injury, I’d angst for weeks, sometimes months, procrastinating before I finally sat down in front of a page or screen. And when I did, the blank page filled me with horror and dread. When I connected to my soul voice the words flowed.
Everyone has an inner voice waiting and wanting to be heard. The Soul Writing approach is a powerful way to release its wisdom and creativity.
You don’t need any experience of meditation, nor do you need any precious experience of writing. All you need to do is to find a quiet place for half an hour. We start by entering a state of stillness by meditating. This helps us to bypass our fears and with a few simple prompts the writing flows. To do this, bring your whole awareness to the breath, and then at a point you feel calm, pick up your pen and write down anything that comes to mind.
For those who would like to be guided, there are some free, guided meditations at the end of this article on my YouTube channel which you can try.
It is important to not judge what you write. Hemmingway, the famous American writer said, “the first draft of everything is shit.” It doesn’t need to be good. It just needs to be true, the truth of your soul voice, or inner self on the page. I believe that truth carries a frequency. Many of my Soul Writing clients report that when they read what their soul voice has to say, there is a sense of liberation. So I encourage anyone wants to try this method, to read their words out loud, to listen with an open heart to the vibration of their truth.
Here are five tips & some writing prompts beginners and seasoned writers can try at home:
1. Create a calm space in your home where you can write.
Treat it with reverence and perhaps add a crystal, a plant or candle to make it sacred. Writing used to be a sacred art. Writing from our deepest self is always a sacred act. Put a notebook/ paper and pen in this space.
2. Create a sense of safety inside.
I’ve been running free Soul Writing workshops since the lockdown began (link below). The biggest block is fear and so some people are finding it particularly difficult to write at this time. A way to bypass the fear is to imagine a safe place inside yourself. To do this, go to your calm space, perhaps burn essential oils or a candle to create a sense of reverence. Then close your eyes and imagine a place where you feel very, very safe. Maybe it’s a real place you have been to on holiday, a place you went to as a child, or maybe you can conjure from your imagination a place of infinite safety. Breathe in this imaginary space and relax. Connect to this place with all your senses. Then pick up your pen and describe the environment. Go back there regularly and write from this space.Write whatever comes to mind.
3. The Magic happens on the page.
The key to Soul Writing is to not overthink what you are going to write before you start. Just write down your feelings if that is all that comes. In times of crisis, that is a powerful tool to stay present. Below are some writing prompts to get you started. Write these sentence openings and carry on – don’t worry about punctuation or grammar. Just write whatever comes to mind. You might surprise yourself.
- My happy place is …
- My soul voice says …
- I’m happiest when …
- The last time I felt truly joyful was …
4. Practice makes permanent.
Return to your safe inner and outer space a few times a week and meet the page. Do not aim at perfection, don’t even edit what you write. Just write and step inside to listen to what your soul wants to say. Routine is really useful to have in a time of crisis and uncertainty, so this practice, done regularly, may benefit you beyond your writing.
5. A sense of Wonder.
Our creative well needs filling. We fill it with wonder. I invite you to step out of your door for your daily exercise with the wonder of a child, or imagine you are an alien who has never visited Earth before. Try to look at life through those eyes, experiencing the world anew.
Most important of all, be kind to yourself. Being creative is about experimenting and playing. Children don’t care about the outcome of their play. If you can step into this spirit of adventure, you might discover parts of yourself that surprise and delight you!
About the author:
Dr Sarah Walton is an Author, Soul Writing Coach & Public Speaker. She founded Soul Writing to bring her method of intuitive writing to people everywhere. In 2016 she founded Soul Living and Soul Business and created the Mindful Business Programme. Dr Sarah has a PhD in Creative Writing. Her methods include meditation techniques to unblock your life and your writing and unleash the imagination with speed.
Sarah believes that everyone has a story within them, a story their soul yearns to tell. She sees her job to reconnect you to your intuition and imagination and facilitate your process to reconnect with your soul – whether to find your soul purpose, your soul voice & unblock your writing, or to create a business identity that aligns with the essence of who you are.
FREE Soul Writing Workshops during Lockdown Register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/uJ0tduuprjMjwMO1tgC8PoMRi5U9eNysEg
Soul Writing 6-Week Premium Course – Starts 4 June Register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAvduugrz0vHNFSrD-qG7MTorc4HMBSCvSB
FREE Meditations on Sarah’s YouTube Channel:
Sophia’s Tale is available on Amazon everywhere.