aAre you at a stage in your personal or professional life where you’ve lost sense of your needs?
We ran four workshops based on Mindful Writing, all four were useful for our clients. Our work raised as many questions as it offered solutions, but often it is more helpful simply to get a sense of where we are, to see how the land lies. For in the seeing lie seeds of a new beginning.
It was wonderful to witness how all the clients, with the right prompting and listening, bloomed and grew, and their potential was tantalising.
I am tempted to think of ourselves as ‘Writing Doulas’. ‘Doula’ is the Greek word for slave. In our times, the word is usually associated with the growing trend to use ‘Birthing Doulas’ who support women during childbirth. They give help and preparation, connect with the mother emotionally and mentally and support her through the birth step by step, just by being there.
When I read about them in the Observer*, I felt I was on familiar ground. Everything ‘Birthing Doulas’ do, we do for our clients. Maybe we are ‘Writing Doulas’.
With Mindful Writing we prepare people to look at themselves using their words as a mirror; we get to the heart of things; we spot potential and tease it out. We accept things as they are, thus making it easy for our clients to accept their problems.
We’re amazed how much talent lies dormant in people. Not just in terms of performance but simply by being more of themselves. Somehow life has closed doors and set limits and lights have gone out that make people brave.
We always say ‘You don’t know what you know till you’ve written it down mindfully’. That is, without judgement or anxiety or even much in the way of punctuation and grammar. In effect, our clients are free to relinquish responsibility for what they write and they are somehow enabled by this approach to reach greater depths of memory and imagination.
We’re using Mindfulness practices to help people, professional as well as private, focus on themselves for a short time, or even initiate change. Sharing both process and result with us as their ‘Writing Doulas’ is very confidence-building. Their experience and creativity feels supported and valued. Instead of a baby confidence ‘pops out’.
Instead of always looking at the changing, shifting outside world we encourage clients to look inwards, to express in their writing what they know at a deep level, to give birth, as it were, to new life within their lives.
*Observer 04.10.09, News, p.7, ‘Boom in Birth Coaches for Mothers’.
(Originally published 11.11.2009.)