It was a few months ago when I was looking to bring a new focus into all aspects of my life. On somewhat of a whim, I wrote to one of my favourite word warriors with a view to seeing if she would recommend something. A book, an essay, anything.
To my delight, she wrote back quicker than I expected. She recommended I read “Full Catastrophe Living” by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. Within a few days I purchased the audio book version and started to absorb. It has been my introduction to mindfulness. It is an introduction I am again going through with a view to incorporating more awareness in my life. I’ve been hesitant to even approach meditation with an open mind.
Meditation does not have to be sitting on the floor in a comfortable position chanting some mantra. Mindfulness is about being aware and being in the moment. There are several exercises that can be translated into forms of meditation that do not necessarily involve sitting or kneeling. The walking meditation has been the easiest one to relate to so far. It’s simply being aware of each step and stride. Being aware of each sound as your foot hits the ground. Being aware of the act of walking and focusing on it.
Mindfulness can be applied to anything. My constant brainstorm of ideas has led me to believe that it can be applied to what I enjoy doing most of all. Working the word trade. Writing has always been a release for me and almost meditative in nature. My planned approach is to look at all aspects of writing as I work and think about the moments as the creativity flows. For most in the trade, writing is about getting the words out. Having them flow through from thought to page or screen through the fingertips. It is the collection and organization of thoughts into words in order to convey an interpretation for the reader.
My preliminary observations when writing mindfully are a collection of small moments of awareness. Those moments all lead me back to the process of writing. Here are a few examples of what might be referred to as writing mindfully or writing meditation.
- Noticing the ability to effortlessly strike keys on the computer as those thoughts and ideas are released to the screen.
- For note booking, noticing how you write things down and the movement of the pen or pencil. The sounds of the pages turning on those notebooks as you move to a fresh page.
- Mindful revisions. Accepting that you have written something and how you might really want to change it a thousand times to get it just right. As you make each revision, accepting that you are working to improve on what you have worked on.
These are just a few thoughts I have been inspired with as I work through the possibility of combining mindfulness and writing. As a final observation, it is more likely that I will still write with the usual stream of consciousness flow that results in 99% of the content I’ve written. Be it for myself, or freelance clients. Still, having felt stuck on a sentence, or a piece, I’ve found that using examples such as the ones above have helped me keep things going. Even writing this very post has been a mindful exercise.
While this will not work for everyone, I hope this concept offers some insight into a way to make your writing even more enjoyable.