A Writing Journey

Writing as Meditation

I’m sure you’ve heard of mindfulness, the craze that is sweeping popular health advice. If you haven’t here is a brief explanation: mindfulness is supposed to help you be less stressed by letting you experience your life in the moment and not worry about things like bills, planning the future, or other such things.* One way that is suggested to be more mindful is to meditate, that is: sit quietly, let thoughts come and go but don’t try to hold on to them OR be so focused on a single thing (like breathing, sewing, painting, etc) that everything else falls away.

For me, writing is meditation. When I can really get in the flow, nothing else matters. There are no dinners to be cooked, no laundry to be folded, no worries about paying for classes or stress about finding full-time work. There is only the story, only words.

That is mindfulness of the best sort. I’m not trying to escape anything, not trying to ignore important things. I am doing something important to me that rejuvenates me and will allow me to tackle those difficult issues a little easier.

So if someone suggests that you ought to meditate, or that you need to be mindful, take a look at your life and see if you are already doing those things. I know that for myself, trying to fit in time to meditate might take away my writing time, and if it did I would be sitting stressed about not writing. Being in the moment requires not worrying about the things you would rather be doing. I know we can’t always be writing (or running, or creating, or whatever it is you want to always be doing) but if doing it creates peace for you, don’t worry about fitting in an extra thing that is supposed to ease your mind. You’re already doing it.

*While it is important to live in the moment sometimes, it is also important to buckle down and deal with the crap that is stressing you out. Something I think many proponents of mindfulness forget.

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