why writing is better than talking. (don’t miss this new 6 week class!)

Nothing has helped me achieve greater clarity and healing than daily Writing Meditation.

Chatting with my friends and my Life Coach Julie Edge is great, of course, and definitely better than talking to myself all the time. (Perspective, right?) But daily Writing Meditation is 10 times better; because when my thoughts crystallize into written words, patterns that I couldn’t see in the swirling of my internal monologue become clear.

The first few minutes of pen-to-paper writing is really the surface excavation: I’m dumping and scooping and sweeping dirt aside to get down to the next level. The “next level” is when I get courageous enough to write down the thoughts that I would never say aloud to anyone.

Because, they are totally and completely ridiculously untrue — but they are unconscious assumptions and are actually holding me back. Research shows that the practice of journaling and writing meditation reduces stress, help us process grief and promotes healthy expression of emotion.

When it comes to writing meditation, I’ve found that the more I do it, the easier it gets.

Writing meditation helps me identify the the mental habits and limiting beliefs that are swirling around in my mind, making it all muddy and gunky. And then it helps me clear it all off, clean up my mind and take a deep breath.

Eventually, I’ll write something down— often hidden in between sentences of confusion or worry or scheming or totally random thoughts— that just makes everything clear. I’ll read it and think: “Oh now, THAT’S valuable insight. That is a gem.”

Join me for this 6 week course: Writing to Wholeness, to learn how daily writing meditation can unleash you from long-held mental habits and beliefs that are gunking up your life.

with Julie Edge and Lisa Ash Drackert

Sundays September 23, October 7, October 21, 2018

4:00- 5:30 pm @ Westport Yoga KC

Learn how to build and sustain a daily writing meditation practice in this exclusive 6-week course.

The Writing-to-Wholeness Workshop includes:

  • 6 weeks of daily writing prompts delivered via text
  • 3 in-person class sessions held at Westport Yoga KC
  • a custom tailored journal
  • weekly e-mails with writing tips and encouragement to support your practice
  • continuous online support from facilitators Julie Edge and Lisa Ash Drackert
  • complimentary tea and water during in-person meeting sessions
  • complimentary attendance of the Yin Yoga class immediately following in-person gatherings
  • 10% off all retail purchases at Westport Yoga KC during the duration of your course

Writing meditation is a daily practice blending the art of writing with spiritual development. Similar to journaling, writing meditation practice provides a safe place for emotional release and of ‘letting go’ of thoughts. However, different than journaling, writing meditation is not meant to capture the day’s activities or to solve a specific problem. It’s a free writing method that offers a way to observe thoughts and emotion in a judgement-free zone. This class will be led by Julie Edge of Inside Edge Coaching and Lisa Ash Drackert of Westport Yoga KC.

Learn more here: www.insideedgecoach.com/writing-workshop

Investment: $95  Registration Opens July 18

e-mail me to get on the Wait List– I have one 15% off discount code for the first person on the Wait List!

what you keep forgetting. #MeditationThoughtMondays

bells of mindfulness

I’m great at forgetting things.  One time I left the mop by the front door to remind myself I needed to clean my entryway and it was still there two weeks later.  (I put the mop away. Without cleaning.)

With forgetting comes the nearly oracle act of remembering the most mundane, ordinary tasks at the most inappropriate times. Like when I’m with a private client talking about their chronic back pain and I suddenly remember I didn’t put the sheets in the dryer. Or when I’m in savasana at the end of yoga class and realize I forgot to pay my rent and return a phone call from last Tuesday. Not game changers, but definitely not ideal to forget.

My mind is such an dexterous venue; I’m grateful that it can multi-task and hold incongruent thoughts simultaneously, but sometimes, man, I wish it could focus on one thing. I’m always looking for more ways to be mindful, to train my mind to be actually present in the moment, as opposed to hurdling wildly from one thought to the next. ‘Mindfulness’ is surprisingly trendy right now…at least that’s what trendy people tell me. The act of being mindful is hard remember, because… I just forget.

Even if I wake up with the intention of being mindful and present all day long (even while driving!), I’ve forgotten by 9:30 am when I sit down at my computer, with my breakfast and my iPhone and start multi-tasking.

One mindfulness training exercise that I’ve used for years and I absolutely love is called ‘Bells of Mindfulness.’  It involves choosing a sound— like a chime on a timer— to bring your attention back into the present moment. 

In his gem of a book, Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story about his ‘Bells of Mindfulness.’  He says that he and his fellow monks living in the monastery at Plum Village always stop what they are doing when they hear the monastery bells ringing. Upon hearing the sound of the bell, he pauses, takes a deep breath and thinks:

‘The sound of the bell brings me back to my true self.’   

this is me, not being mindful, just doing an annoying 'tourist' yoga-gram in front of a church in Europe.

this is me, not being mindful, just doing an annoying ‘tourist yoga-gram’ in front of a church in Europe.

This probably works well if you live in a place like Europe where cathedral bells toll on the hour, but I don’t hear church bells every day. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests choosing a different sound, such as the dinging in your car when you forget to buckle your seat belt, as a ‘bell of mindfulness.’ I suggest using your smart phone or your genius watch or whatever the heck tells you ‘you have too much to do!’ all day long.  Remember how I have my phone remind me to de-stress every few hours?

 

Here’s a quick, 5- minute mindfulness practice that will help you train your mind.  (You’ll want to download the free app “Insight Timer.”) 

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit.
  2. Set a timer for 5 minutes, with a 1 minute interval chime.  
  3. Breathe naturally, enjoying the natural rhythm of your breath. Focus on the place where the breath enters your body, and just enjoy sitting.
  4. Start your timer.
  5. Every time you hear the interval chime, repeat silently: “The sound of the bell brings me back to my true self.”
  6. After five minutes, notice how calm you feel. Smile, extend gratitude for the time you spent ‘not forgetting’ your true self, and move on with your day.

I suggest practicing this Meditation Moment in the middle of your work day and also before your formal meditation practice in the evening.

Let me know what you forget.

-lisa

bells of mindfulness