Free-Writing Friday: (1) Where You Practice Being Free

It doesn’t cost anything but that’s not what the free means. It’s YOU that gets to be free. Are you ready?

Let the spring cleaning begin in your psyche so you have more room for the lusciousness of life. If you don’t free-write but want to try, please see my piece on how.

The sample I’m sharing this week is one I got form Nancy Slonim Aronie who leads fabulous Writing from the Heart Workshops. She is my free-writing guru.

Giraffes

Remember, you need only let the words flow. Your only task is to escort the inner critic to a time-out or nap.

Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling or how coherent you sound. If and when you share the words is up to you. The writing is what’s transformative and powerful. Start with that.

Don’t let anything surprise you. It’s all o.k. Sometimes I write about lollipops and end up writing something tragic. You might start with something sad and make your way to think about puppy breath and kittens. Go wherever your soul needs to take you today. There are no other rules.

When you are done, if you care to share, I’d love to post your words or see them in a comment.

This will happen once a week but usually the topics will come from me.

O.k., are you near a keyboard or a pen?

Can you take ten minutes? You can go longer but start with a doable amount of time.

If you get nervous or stuck just keep writing even if you write, “I can’t think of anything. I can’t think of anything. Still not able to think.” Something will shift and come.

Really, if you are stuck you are probably trying too hard. Just get scrawl on the page and let what wants to come up outside of you. Beautiful things happen even if (because) it’s spontaneous and unpredictable. Honestly, it’s just you getting to know you.

Joy Warning (this is the opposite of a trigger warning): One wonderful discovery I made is that no matter how heavy the topic I write about I always feel lighter having written. Always. More connected to myself, less numb and lighter. I have never felt like I wasted my time. In fact, if I dive into the “heavy” or shameful and secretive stuff and find that the world didn’t end and the foundation didn’t crack, I’m basically giddy.

This is reason enough to make this a regular practice. It is what has kept me doing it as regularly as I floss my teeth which is a lot because I like my teeth.

O.k., so the topic to start with is… “My Last Day on Earth.”

Again, thanks to Nancy Slonim Aronie for the topic as I’m not a fan of not crediting the people who inform, inspire and share ideas with us. If you can get to one of her workshops or classes, she will make you brave enough, on the spot, to write from the core of your being and then feel eager to share your words and listen to others. I’m not hyping too hard. It’s guaranteed.

So here is the first of Free-Writing Friday: My Last Day on Earth….

A draft of my own writing on this topic is shared below.

Note: If you only have time to read or write ALWAYS CHOOSE WRITING! Where you need to take this prompt is what is most important.

GO!

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My last day on earth (not tomorrow).  I will be a quiet soul with a blaring spirit, a 92-year old woman with a meditation practice who goes to church on Sundays. I will spend weekday mornings writing letters to politicians. Some days I’ll be sipping spicy sweet tea as I type. I’ll write poetry and maybe journal but there won’t be much memoir I haven’t put to the page. Afternoons will be for naps and reading and dinner with guests eating food and munching laughter.

My ego will still be with me but a rainbow of lighter hues as opposed to the black and white forms of younger days. I’ll have survived my spouse, most of my family of origin and my friends – grief will be my biggest burden to bear.

I will live in funky senior housing and will have artwork on the walls, crafts for the little ones who come over, cats and a tiny window garden for herbs and flowers.

My prayer is that my daughter will have an enormous circle of family and friends. She will be happily involved with cousins, nieces and nephews, have her own kids and partner should she choose. I hope she will want to visit me and if she doesn’t I hope she will not oblige herself or be dutiful. She will still feel nurtured, heard and loved. There will be nothing left to tell or resolve if I slip away. She will have already faced or let go of the ways I let her down knowing my best may have not been good enough for her.

Still, she will know love, when real and palpable is never ending. That means death is no longer the swan song I once feared it was. She can choose to tether herself to my spirit like a soft blanket she rubs against her cheek or tosses off as she needs.

Saturdays I keep open for young writers and abuse survivors to come and visit. They will ask, how did you survive, thrive, find self-acceptance, learn to be intimate with others and keep writing? Weren’t you afraid to trust, mother and speak your truth? They will want to know my answers and not be bored or roll their eyes. My secrets will be the prized possessions I will not hoard or itemize or hang on a neck that doesn’t want to wear them.

Pain, love and yoga poses will be things my heart can easily hold. Wishing for more, better, different and later will be the things I got over.

My ego will not put me in headstands or relationships which put kinks in my neck or too much weight on my shoulders. I won’t try to hold postures or on to people where the flexibility lacks. Dangerous will no longer excite or entice but seem tiresome. Nor will saying yes to all forms of volunteerism or self-sacrifice seem noble as injures happen from hyperextension as well as other toxins.

In 2059 I will have learned that if the entire planet is training for a triathlon but I need to sink on the mat for a child’s pose to rest and recoup I won’t even think twice or apologize. Until ready, I will not rise. Sticky notes will no longer litter my heart or psyche telling me what to do, feel and how to behave. I will trust myself to respond in the moment.

Before I go on to the next world I will touch every plant, animal, shell and sea glass I have ever loved. Then, without leashing or collaring me, the dogs will come, in packs to lead me. I will be brought to a tribe of spirits in the afterlife.  There will be love and tears and a place, a balcony to sit, once daily at least, to look down on the loved ones yet to arrive.

 




You Matter Mantras

  • Trauma sucks. You don't.
  • Write to express not to impress.
  • It's not trauma informed if it's not informed by trauma survivors.
  • Breathing isn't optional.

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Comments

  1. beth o'malley says:

    damn you make getting old look really good. I love the idea of free writing……

  2. Jennifer M says:

    My Last Day on Earth:

    I am 110 and when I pass, I will be surrounded by my husband, children, grandchildren, and if I’m very lucky, great grandchildren. I will know that I have given to them with ALL of my heart and Earthly soul. I held back nothing in terms of love and unconditional support.

    I will have stopped many, many decades earlier from getting in my own way. I was lucky, because I learned a tremendous amount in my early 40s, most importantly to stop beating myself up, second guessing myself, and over-analyzing whether people like me or not. At 110, I will love myself fully, knowing that my life mattered and I loved with all of my heart.

    As I sensitive Cancer, I will have learned and then taught my family to be highly selective of the people to whom they give their hearts, however, never, ever to close their hearts off. Love, I will tell them, is the most important lesson to be learned here on Earth. Experiencing all of it, no matter how painful it is at times, is the most rewarding lesson you will learn. There is nothing more important to learn here on Earth than to learn to love.

    “Laugh more. Play more. Stop being so serious,” I will continue to tell them right up until my passing. “You will only be able to make a difference in the world, to the people around you, if you can heal fully and celebrate your uniqueness. Don’t stop being authentic. This is your greatest attribute. Let go of the past as quickly as possible, for if you don’t, you’ll miss out on love in the present and even more importantly, you will negatively effect love in your future. Live life each day. Don’t be afraid. And last but not least, know that I’ll always be here for you. Always. No matter what. Whether I’m here on Earth or somewhere else. I will always love you.”

    • Cissy White says:

      Jen,
      I LOVE the image of you at 110! Your spirit sounds just as energetic or more than now! How wonderful to hear about a fully embraced self love! And then the image of you reminding them, the best possible kind of love “nagging” to laugh more and have MORE fun! I love it. I’m so glad you did this. You are giving so much love already! And I got choked up thinking that here, alive or dead, you’ll be there for them loving them. So great!!! Cis

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