I wonder why it is that when we’re going through a tough or challenging time, we tend to hide away. Maybe even retire to a darkened room with the curtains drawn. This instinct isn’t helpful. I believe the outside world, views of the sky and nature have great power to lift and heal.
In October I was fortunate to spend a magical couple of days in a kind of retreat at Leiston Abbey – not a retreat of the religious kind but a withdrawal to a quiet place and a plunge into reflective writing workshops. The idea is to start writing and see where the stream of consciousness takes you.
I found it very hard as I’d never tried writing without a purpose and found myself over-thinking at first. But once you go with it, the technique is good for allowing things to surface that are on your mind but aren’t obvious, until the written ramble uncovers them.
Our workshop leader and guide though this was the skilled therapist and author Gillie Bolton (www.gilliebolton.com
) and I recommend her work and her books. She herself thinks The Writer’s Key
is the most useful but she has also written on techniques for coping with cancer and dying.
She recommended writing for six minutes every day – as a discipline. It is worth a try especially if you feel as if your brain is boiling over.