17 Apr Tuesday | 4.17.12 | Spiritual
Writing as Spiritual Practice
I am going to try and write on my blog daily, at least Monday through Friday, focusing on set topics each day. I’m calling it The Daily and it can be found in the navigation menu above. I hesitate to even explain this yet, as I want to just try it, but I feel the need to explain the heading. Like many things I do, I don’t finish and that is why I don’t even want to bring it up. But whatever, it’s all part of the process.
I want to just sit down and write something, anything, on the topics I’ve set out for myself. I’m not trying to write interesting pieces for anyone, I just want to focus on the practice of writing. Others get to peek in on this process. It feels different to not think about what I’m going to write, to not try and think of something smart or insightful before I even begin writing. No expectations on myself. No expectations that anyone will want to or care to read what I’m writing. I just need to write.
So Tuesdays will be about spiritual meanderings and this whole writing process feels spiritual to me. In some ways that sounds cliche so I will explain. Spiritual or religious belief systems tend to be about things like courage and trust, and they also tend to work a person over toward some sort of healing. Given my earlier post about feeling stifled while writing, I have a fundamental issue to work through in this process. It also takes courage to push through something a heavy part of me doesn’t want to. It takes trust for me to sit down and not always know what I’m going to write.
Spirituality also tends to have some sort of practice involved. There are good habits and bad habits and both show us we are habitual creatures. Both also show us that we can become our habits. So focusing on a good habit, a healthy habit, a healing habit, begins to become a part of who we are and a part of the spiritual process that works us over. Sometimes I feel like I am being chiseled away at by life and this process always feels spiritual to me, not just psychological. I wrote about that here. And writing too, feels like being chiseled. My fear of the slow, grueling process of writing holding me hostage but moving through it anyway definitely feels like being chiseled. I also think this is where courage comes in. Stepping into the zone of fear, trusting that on the other end is something worthwhile.
Lastly, although writing in many ways can be seen as some sort of narcississtic, self-involved endeavor, it is also self-transcendant. Many writers talk about something else speaking through them, that once they are in the zone, it’s no longer they who are writing but something outside of them. It also seems to be self-transcendant in the way that my false self, the self that always leads to destruction and self-involvement doesn’t want to do this. But listening to something deeper in me pushes me past that false identity, the one that protects and lies and crawls around like Gollum. Sitting down to write freely, allowing the deeper voice, the voice of my true self, to be heard loud and clear is self-transcendant because that true self was something given to me. I didn’t invent it. I didn’t sit down and decide to do this all on my own. So where did it come from? I don’t know.