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August 21, 2006

Writing and Healing Idea #3: The Body as a Healing Place

This idea for writing begins before you ever put a word on the page. It begins by bringing attention, first, to the body. Your hands. Your arms. The arrangement of your limbs and body in space. Notice, for a moment, what you feel when you bring this kind of attention to your body. What do you feel in your hands? What do you feel in your feet? What do you feel in your hips? You can, if you like, write a word, or a few words, that describe this sensation. Next take a moment to notice what you could do, right now, to make your body more comfortable. Take off your shoes? Change into more comfortable clothes? Something else? Write this down too. And then if you’d like, go ahead and do it. Get settled again.

Now take a moment and just invite your feet to relax. And notice what happens. Write a word, or a few words, about what you notice. And then, if you’d like, begin to notice what you are feeling in the rest of your body. Move upward from your feet to your calves. Your thighs. Your hips. Your belly. Consider your back muscles. Your neck muscles. Your shoulders. Pay attention. Notice what happens when you invite each of the different parts of your body to relax. Notice the sensation. Make a few notes about the sensations you are experiencing.

This process of noticing your body is sometimes called a body scan. You are literally scanning each part of your body with your conscious attention. Writing can facilitate this process. It can amplify the experience of noticing. And this kind of noticing can, in turn, facilitate writing.


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