Reflections in the mirror of Mindful Writing

I have been quietly excited about launching our Mindful Writing workshops since the page has gone up on the website.  And then doubts set in.  I began to think, what do I really know of Mindfulness and what fundamentally is the purpose of writing?

Even though for me there is something truly marvellous about the act of writing things down and I’ve always thought it’s worth exploring how our thoughts and feelings can connect neural networks in our brain and then those thoughts and feelings travel down our arms to our fingers.  The fingers then take up some kind of tool that makes marks and it comes out as suddenly I awoke, confused, disorientated, a veil of sleepiness draped over my eyes.   But, is this all there is to it?  Just writing things down?  Telling a tale, a story with an exciting plot?

I realised that what I wanted was to dig much deeper.  I’m interested in trying to crack the code that keeps us shackled to old patterns of thought and behaviour.  Maybe we have an urge to communicate what is most important to us.  But often it’s so important that describing things from the outside won’t do the trick.  We have to crack the code first before we can know what it’s all about.  What struck me when writing Running Away (1) was that through Max, the main character, I’d actually engaged in cracking the code, breaking the template that I thought I had to live by.

The difficulty is once we’re getting an awareness that there is a code to be cracked we can feel desolate.  There is so much truth in the phrase ‘better the devil you know’.  However, if that code or template has kept us living in a restrained, constricted way and the way we’ve lived makes no sense to us any more, then we have no choice but to crack it, to reassess this template so that we may lead our best life.

My mother is still alive in Germany.  She had me when she was 19.  When I go back to Germany as a man in his sixties and with half a century of UK living under my belt, I still behave with my ancient mother as if I were 16 years old, drawn back inexorably into adolescent behaviours that I thought I had long shed.  The difference, now I have embraced Mindfulness, is that I’m able to look at my present ‘experience of Mother’ for what it is rather than let it besiege me.

This blog has become an example of Mindful Writing for me.  Let’s go back to what I kicked off with, my worries and fears about the efficacy of Mindful Writing workshops.  Well, all I can say is that just writing this today in a mindful way, has been helpful for looking at myself.

(1) Beier, A. (2009) Running Away,