Friday, April 30, 2010

Cracking Open the Heart--The Triad of Healing through Writing

How recently have you cracked open your heart?

One of my favorite--and riskiest--writing classes to teach is called "Writing through Healing, Healing through Writing." It's all about cracking open the heart to reveal the inner story of our lives to ourselves and others. Not an easy process, but oh, so rewarding. I teach this class a couple of times a year at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

This past weekend I spent a day on the subject of writing through healing with a group of 22 amazing beings, all doing their best to move through life with consciousness. Via a series of writing exercises, we experienced the cracking of the heart and began to explore what possible gifts and learning our particular traumas held.

Not everyone was ready for this. I'm very aware, from my own experiences of cancer and loss of family members, moving and divorce and business failure, how hard it is to write when you're in the midst of BIG STUFF. Deep grief, and the resulting numbness, is not often a great jumping off place for writing. Especially when the transition is not expected or welcome, not something you initiated. But in each of my big changes, the writing has helped me heal.

Why Does Writing Heal?
Fifteen years ago people scoffed at the idea of writing being medically effective. Now we have documented medical studies that show it.