A woman’s journey through intuitive writing connects us all to a process for healing the pain of the past
On Christmas Eve I pressed send on a 65,000-word memoir, Love in a Nightmare, detailing the wounds of my childhood. It was attached to an email to my family. The process of writing the narrative for the painful stories of my childhood was the Feng Shui I needed to create space for the healing, and the real book I wanted to share with the world to come through.
I found my best self in the middle of the page when the words I was writing not only began to heal me, but helped me recognize that they could help others. A process I call intuitive writing changed and enhanced my connection to my intuition, inner healer and warrior goddess. Writing authentic words from this connected place began creating the ripple effect I’d dreamed of.
We’d be forced to go with him every other weekend. He’d find it amusing to drive my sister and I around at night in his two-seater sports car with her sitting on the middle console. Highway 1 was curvy, on the edge of the cliffs of the Headlands. He’d turn the headlights off with a joint in his hand, and the windows rolled up. I guess I was lucky I didn’t fit on the console. This was before the days of the seatbelt law.
There was a time I’d refuse to share these stories about my dad, afraid I’d offend, disappoint or upset my family. But it was my truth.
Author Anne Lamott reminds us, “Own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If they wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” I’ve read that quote a thousand times, shaking as I published my stories. I’ve decided my own healing is more important than pleasing people, but that certainly doesn’t make it any easier.
During my process I learned to write from an embodied, aware, authentic and unapologetic place inside of me. The awareness I was using to write from was becoming the magic I needed to tell stories that felt like they were not only healing me, but by virtue of bravely stepping forward to share the tough stuff, potentially healing others too. I found by staying connected to my feeling senses the writing came through me, instead of feeling forced by me. It felt more channeled than contrived.
Here are 5 things I carried throughout my life in the name of prioritizing the needs and opinions of others; things that kept me quiet, ashamed and afraid. They weren’t easy to write down, but doing so freed me from their vice grip on my heart. They are untruths, but they felt very real to me at one time.
- My opinions don’t matter
- I have to be perfect to be loved by a man
- I have to achieve more to be enough in this world
- Being good enough means you do what you’re told, always
- I’m unlovable and unworthy
At the end of the day, when we protect everyone else before we protect ourselves, no one benefits. By writing, I was able to peel the layers of pain off my heart, contemplate them with awareness, let go of past wounds, and begin to tell a new story. With the awareness the writing gave me, I had a choice: forgiveness, compassion and love — or stay stuck in resentment, shame and fear. And once I was aware, there really was no going back to being stuck.
I’ve been combining my skills, knowledge and experience in my career as a holistic physical therapist with therapeutic writing to develop a process that feels like my life’s purpose.
Intuitive writing has continued to prove its merits as a healing modality over and over again.
Telling our stories is healing for both us, and for the reader. When someone hears themselves in our story and gets to say, “Me too,” we help them feel connected, hopeful, inspired and sometimes we change lives.
This was the case with my friend Shirley, who found one of my blogs online at the exact right moment. After reading it she reached out to me on Facebook asking for help. As a mother of five, she had recently quit her job to stay home with her kids. She soon found herself becoming more and more depressed, and I would only later find out, had even contemplated suicide.
After chatting with Shirley and sending her some links to read, I promised her I’d gather some more resources and told her to “Hang in there.” No words really seemed appropriate at the time, but words were my thing and I was determined to help her. I ended up writing a blog about self-care for Shirley and asked my readers to chime in with support in the comments. They didn’t disappoint. After reading that blog and those comments, Shirley started feeling like somebody cared. And she started reaching out for more help.
Fast forward to this past year when Shirley published her first two blogs: one about the real and raw story of her depression, and the next a call to other mothers needing help. I swear, if that’s the only thing I ever do with my writing, it’ll be enough. I felt the extremely powerful ripple.
Intuitive writing is the way we touch hearts, a direct line to the soul, and a new paradigm in communication. Rather than over-thinking and creating from a place of rules and obligation, intuitive writing gives us permission to express our full-on, authentic, best self on the page, which is the way to attract those who need it the most to the messages they most need to hear.
Here are 4 important steps for writing intuitive words that heal:
1. Know what you desire
This may seem obvious, but you might be surprised when faced with the question, “What do you really want?” many women just don’t know. They’ve been care-taking for so long, they’ve lost themselves. They’ve spent a lifetime prioritizing everyone but themselves and find themselves unable to answer that question. Knowing what you truly desire will require getting still, carving out some time for self-care, and protecting that time in your calendar. Everything’s going to start with these sacred trail-markers — your desires. Get crystal clear about them.
2. Practice body awareness
To be able to follow the trail of your desires will require a fierce and regular awareness practice. Getting in touch with how you feel, and giving yourself permission to feel everything is the beginning. Your body is the gateway to your intuition, to clarity, to creative flow and to the essence of your soul. You’ll need to get good at feeling to heal, and to write words that come from your unlimited source.
3. Be brave, every day
This particular journey is not for the faint of heart. Not everyone is cut out to help heal the world, but if you’re one of those that hear that call, then you’ll need to start reframing things like doubt and fear. Using fear as a compass to point you in the direction of your desires is a start. You’ll have to get used to feeling a little uncomfortable and get more excited when fear pays a visit. Having more fun with my fear has been a game-changer and allows me to write the things that matter the most, which end up helping more people.
4. Make doing what scares you a habit
Taking action is the final step to writing the thing that will heal the world. Being able to write (and share) the thing you’re afraid to write about is going to be one of the most liberating things you’ve ever done. And maybe, like me, you’ll find that for the one person you repel with your words, ten more flock to you and your brave, honest, wild and crazy, fiercely alive whole self. Take daily action based on what aligns with those desires of yours and watch as the magic starts to happen and you’re suddenly living the life you crave.
Through my own writing and healing I’ve discovered myself and a deep purpose and passion — to be a Sherpa for others on their journey. Imagine the world when more of us take this journey to our souls and begin to write, speak and act in more aware, connected, aligned, and purpose-driven ways. This work changes the world… and it can start with you and me, one word at a time.
You may also enjoy reading The Book of Your Life: The Transformative Power of Prose by Kelly Notaras