Last night, breaking one of my own unwritten rules, I read through old morning pages notebooks. I shy away from reading these things I've written, these morning thoughts that I allow to stream onto the page directly from my still sleepy subconscious. I'm afraid of how inane these words will seem, that they represent nothing more than the dissatisfied ramblings of a middle aged woman, one who is always too polite to speak her frustrations aloud and so lets them spill onto pieces on paper. It was not without trepidation that I unearthed the pile of notebooks and started paging through them. But I'm trying to make some decisions about my life and its direction, and I was hoping that somwhere in these volumes of words I've written over the past seven months, that some sort of synthesis would occur, some words or phrases that would leap off the page, cause me to do a double take, and say, "Yes, that's it! There's the answer, right there in black and white!"
There is a strange alchemy that occurs in the writing process, a defining of the dross of our thoughts into the gold of insight and inspiration. "The power of the word is real, whether or not you are conscious of it. Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize," writes Sonia Choquette, a spirtual teacher. Natalie Goldberg calls it "composting," the method of allowing our experiences to sift through our consciousness and onto the page, until our thoughts become like rich, fertile soil.
Sure enough, there was gold to be mined in those morning pages notebooks of mine. There were some words that kept appearing over and over, words that immediately sparked the "Aha!" in my mind, telling me exactly where I needed to focus energy for change in my life. Spending a few moments writing each day, I've used the written word to connect to my subsconscious thoughts almost the way a therapeutic hypnotist will allow us access to our deepest feelings.
Writing is powerful. It connects us to ourselves in unexpected and surprising ways.
So, how about you? Has your writing provided you with any "Aha!" moments lately?