Tag Archives: fullness

[fullness] writing as a practice

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. -Goethe

How you do anything is how you do everything. -Zen Proverb

There are seasons of fullness, of being in a place where you are able to engage wholeheartedly in a new practice. Honor your pace; allow the time and space of intention and focus on one thing (a themed-writing project, specific tasks or pursuit, life-changing actions, a topical study).

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[fullness posts summary] how to begin writing as a point of healing

I have been reading pages of Writing as a Way of Healing each morning upon waking; I am in the midst of a “depression self-study” via my writing practice as a scheduled container of time and intention along with making my ICAD art. Followed by writing and posting excerpts from this book here each morning since the full moon. I will continue posting here through the day after the Solstice (June 21).

As I reread content first read at a time in my life when everything felt paused or lost forever, now — in a time when everything feels like a beginning — it is phenomenally energizing! (This book was given to me by my oncology psychologist during treatment for ovarian cancer.)

In chapter 4, DeSalvo points to how to begin writing as a point of healing:

Choosing to Write About Pain, Loss, and Grief

Naturally, they’re afraid. [The students] readily admit it when I ask them. … Anxiety and fear are feelings we’ll learn to tolerate, even welcome. … No growth, no change, occurs without them. If we aren’t committed, if we haven’t chosen something important to write about, I tell them, we’d feel nothing at all.

I’ve suggested that they select a subject to work on that they have returned to often in their thoughts or that they fear thinking about or that they are compelled to examine—one they can write about at sufficient length. … And that once they decide, they honor their subjects and trust that their choice will take them on a writing journey that will necessarily be a healing journey.

Choosing—or rather, finding—our own subject, one that is personally, deeply significant, then, is the first step of the process. Other include learning to work, developing our own authentic voices, and deciding what form our work will take, when our work is finished, and under what conditions we’ll share it.

-Louise DeSalvo, Writing as a Way of Healing

Fullness Series thus far:

[focus: how to begin writing as a point of healing]

  • [link] introduction to this series
  • [link] work is not what you get paid for
  • [link] tipping points, writing & the work of {you}
  • [link] the healing power of your story
  • [link] containers of time, color & space

Investing time for daily writing and self-directed studies to notice and to name, to explore and to learn — to abide and listen in-Spirit — yields an indescribable contentment.

But first, well, it might be exasperating.

We become so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that at last we are disguised to ourselves. -Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims

Exasperating because we are known — and often only know ourselves — in disguise with the adornments of shoulds. This is why we resist; it is why we minimize the need for “white space” — solitude, rest and reflection.

[fullness] containers of time, color & space

So one of the things about art is, it offers a safe place for you to have quite extreme and rather dangerous feelings. And the reason you can do that is because you know you can switch it off. So art has a kind of role there as a simulator. -Brian Eno

My journal-planners filled with collage, found words and notations are my art; safe containers for random thoughts, daring feelings and other discombobulations. My ICAD collection for this summer is also a safe place. Continue reading

[fullness] tipping points, writing & the work of {you}

its my turn - gluebookWilling to go to bat for others, we must become willing to go to bat for ourselves. -Julia Cameron, Finding Water

Each of us has a tipping point at which we determine that just because we can doesn’t mean we should with regard to “doing it all” … A point at which we know it is time for a significant life change — to advocate for ourselves.

A point when “yes” and “no” become sacred responses that we speak by intention — not default; from a point of self-compassion instead of a point of guilt and obligation.  Continue reading

[fullness] work is not what you get paid for

You were wild once. Don’t let them tame you. -Isadora Duncan

Fullness is showing up for yourself; it is chronicling, making, pondering and exploring. It is doing the work.

It is creating a proverbial container [time and space, tools and materials] for your work.

It is selecting themes and topics for your creative practice and self-directed study — valuing the work and being willing to commit to such projects not as performance but as an investment in the details of your Becoming.

Naming a starting point, and doing so with generous amounts of self-compassion.

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writing as a way of healing [and fullness]

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. -Anne Lamott


We must write in a way that links detailed descriptions of what happened with feelings—then and now—about what happened. -Louise DeSalvo, Writing as a Way of Healing

One of the treasures I found while purging re-organizing bookshelves this week was Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo. The first time I read this book it resonated deeply; I was in the midst of holistic and allopathic treatment for ovarian cancer.

“Confronting the chaos of our most difficult memories and feelings … translating them into coherent language can have ‘remarkable short- and long-term health benefits.’ For when we deal with unassimilated events, when we tell our stories and describe our feelings and integrate them into our sense of self, we no longer must actively work at inhibition. This alleviates the stress of holding back our stories and repressing or hiding our emotions, and so our health improves.” p. 24-25

Today is the full moon and the longest day of the summer solstice is in 11 days. I am in the midst of a “depression self-study” via my writing practice and my ICAD art.