The Poetry of Self Care
There are a lot of ways to tune into the body, to yourself. I talk a lot about yoga and meditation and bodywork, but what if those ways don't really resonate with you? What if there was a more accessible and perhaps even more profound way to tune in with your deepest emotions?
What I'm hinting at is the power of the written word. The power of taking a pen to paper and being open to what comes out.
I have my degree in Creative Writing, and I've worked as a freelance writer for years. But writing didn't start out as a skill set to earn a living.
Writing started out as therapy. A way to express myself and clear my head. A way to sort out my thoughts and read what was actually going on with me. And I loved it so much I decided to get a degree in it and use it in professional ways.
But I always come back to my own personal journal. My own daily writing practice. Keeping writing in that gentle space of creativity, exploration, and personal therapy. No judgement. No editing.
But life gets busy. I get caught up with writings that pay the bills and other "shoulds," so I'm always looking for reminders to bring me back. To inspire me that writing is such a sweet tool for self care.
One of those reminders is from my friend Dane Johnson. I joke that he is one of my spirit animals, but it's kind of true. Whatever he's doing in life, be it meditating with monks, exploring the wilderness, having some revelation about the Self, or traveling to new lands, inspires me to follow those same desires of adventure or self reflection.
He's got a wonderful blog/newsletter you can subscribe to HERE, but his latest project on kickstarter has been inspiring me the most.
He wrote a poem everyday for like 100 days or something leading up to his 30th birthday, and then some. I am a poet myself, and I cannot imagine doing such a thing with such freedom and creativity.
And like most of us with creative endeavors, they tend to stay hidden away in a book or on a computer, never being shared or related to. Dane's poems were no exception until one day he decided to do something about it.
And so he collaborated with talented photographers to create Rambles, for poetic wanderers, a stunning book of photos paired with poems that explores this beautiful world we live in. (A photo from the book is featured at the top of this post.)
You can back the project and get a copy HERE, if you'd like, but I invite you to use Dane's endeavors as inspiration for your own writing practice.
Start with a challenge for yourself. It doesn't have to be a poem everyday until your birthday, but perhaps it's journaling for five minutes every morning for a week. Or maybe it's journaling once for the first time ever just to see what it's all about.
Stuck on what to write about? Start with your day. Ask yourself a question you've been pondering and try to answer it. Express feelings for something that's been on your mind. Write a letter to someone. The key is to just start writing and see what ends up coming out. It's pretty powerful stuff.
And who knows, it may become one of your favorite things. It may turn into a book of poetry. It may turn into songs, like it does for me sometimes. Or it may stay with you as your own precious self care practice. But you never know until you try.
Already have your own writing practice? I'd love to hear about it, so leave a comment with your thoughts or experiences.
Until next week,
Take good care.