I run writing workshops across the Midlands and never cease to be impressed by the power of writing to improve the spiritual well- being of participants. Most of us write in English lessons in school, then life takes over.
Thereafter we write what we have to, office reports, work assessments, shopping lists, our children’s homework, but somewhere along the line, we forget to write for ourselves.
Those that attend my workshops frequently include a smattering of those who have not written for pleasure since schooldays. “Stan”, in his seventies, came armed with Suduko, just in case he could not keep up, “Dave” a healer, worked manually in the Potteries, and was curious. Before the day was out, Stan was writing beautifully about a rich life, and a long marriage, and Dave was writing Haiku on kilns and pots!
It is always like watching the awakening of a hibernating beast as new students dust down long forgotten skills to deal with memories, experiences and events which were yet to happen when they were in the classroom.
The mechanics of writing itself prompts memory, provokes questions, gladdens the heart as the good times come flooding back, and saddens a little, as some of the painful times return as well.
Also, the collective experience of being in a group entertains with the stories of others, and reassures a little, as we discover that the lives of others may not be so different from our own.
Writing, like any skill, has to be nurtured and developed. We may limber up with a few rhyming and word association games to dust off the cobwebs, and then take in a guided meditation to strip our minds of the clutter, and allow our creative juices to flow. After looking at the work of some published poets I then like to take in some poetic forms too, rhyming verse, blank verse, haiku and cinquaines to give the students some framework within which to unleash their creative energies.
So if you haven’t written for years, why not try again now? It is such a therapeutic exercise and there are so many creative writing and poetry groups out there to help you.
When writing spiritually, some wonder where to start – the answer is all around us. John Worth Edmonds in his 1853 work, Spiritualism said: “Man’s relation spiritually with the spirit-world is no more wonderful than his connection with the natural world. The two parts of his nature respond to the same affinities in the natural and spiritual worlds.”