Image credit: Kathleen Demey
Text copyright: Jorinde Berben
There are several ways to connect to your subconscious mind. You could use certain drugs, or hypnosis, or certain types of therapy.
When alone, however, I prefer to use the method of the ‘writing meditation’ which Joey Brown teaches as her life’s mission.
Last Summer, I was fortunate enough to spend a week on a retreat with her and a group of truly wonderful participants and organizers. It took place in the wonderful chateau of Frandeux in the Ardennes (Belgium).
The mornings and evenings were filled with diving deep into yourself, the afternoons and nights were often spent diving deep into the lake next to the chateau.
And every day we took time to practice the writing meditation, in different forms and with different intentions, but always following the same formula.
All you need is a pen and a notebook, or blank piece of paper. I’ve found that I like writing on blank paper, without lines, because it helps me let go of the ‘crookedness’ of my writing.
You take some moments to sink down in your body, connect to your emotions. You but a ‘point‘ or dot on the paper and write the word next to it that arises from your subconscious.
Sometimes it takes me a few tries to get that real word. Another word pops up too quickly because my prefontal cortex thinks it would be a good time to write about this specific thing. I know it’s never my mind I should follow here. The stranger or more banal the word seems to me in the moment, the surer I feel that this is the right word for this specific meditation.
When the point is drawn and the word written next to it, you put down your pen on the dot. And then you kind of let your emotions take over. You become one with your pen, and see where the line takes you. My lines often change throughout, from slow and soft, to harsh and full of sharp hooks. And my emotions change with it. They enter onto the stage of my consciousness, relieved to finally have a moment in the spotlight.
After a few minutes (Joey’s takes more time for this than I usually do, I confess) the line turns into words. Sometimes they are English words, and sometimes I write in my native language. They key is to keep writing whatever comes up in your mind and not care about anything that might go wrong. In fact, there is no ‘wrong’. I usually write pretty fast, not giving my mind the chance to catch up with what I’m writing. It’s messy, there are spelling errors, and it’s also incredibly valuable.
What do I write about? Often I find myself asking questions which then get answered (or not) in the following sentences. Often I write thoughts I didn’t know I was thinking, or find opinions I didn’t know I held. And I can release emotions such as fear, frustration and sadness, or celebrate emotions such as joy, love and gratitude.
Going on the retreat was a big present to myself, and when I was there I found part of the person I really want to be. The person who’s hiding inside waiting for a brave moment to step into the light. I still treasure all the experiences I had there, the people I met, the insights I can never unsee.
Joey’s book is a great gateway into the magic of writing meditations. And if you ever have the chance to meet her incredible soul in person, don’t hesitate!