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Threes: leaves of Tilia, Gingko, Cercis

During September in Brora and November in Cambridge I have been piloting a writing-for-wellbeing activity – not in a group but as one-to-one.

The first intrepid woman to entrust herself to this writerly companionship (in Cocoa Skye of Brora) turned to me amazed, her eyes bright. After a few rounds of to and fro sharing of what we had written (not mandatory, yet unexpectedly warmly present, even the “blurts”) she ventured: “I’ve never come across anything like this before!”

The next day she texted me to say that she’d noticed her attitude to a difficult relationship had been surprisingly harmonious later that evening: empathetic and “kindful”.

I’m not promising similar results for you, although I’d not be surprised. (Do let me know!) Exercises like this can allow us to sidle up alongside our feelings, our stories, our fears, and to express them in a safe, caring way.

When shared with Trusted Others, this can shed some of the burden. Or double some of the joy.

NB Make sure that you agree ground rules first, if you are going to share: trust in the others’ confidentiality; compassion, no comments (other than a smile and a whispered ” welcome”); no judging; no interruption. And neither are you to share more than what you have written on the page! Not a word more! That way, you will both/each be protected from over-sharing.

If you would like to use this exercise alone, please do, remembering these “running rules” for playful writing-for-wellbeing:

  • Keep the pencil moving;
  • No editing nor crossing out as you write;
  • Just let yourself go; lose control
  • Feel free to write rubbish – it may reveal unexpected treasure;
  • Be specific, eg coffee- and-walnut  rather than “cake”; “gingko”,  more exotic than “tree”;
  • Go for the jugular! Let rip! (And notice how your body feels after a particularly “ripping yarn”, bodices or otherwise.);
  • Practise being your own best friend.

If you want to share it in a group, please credit my work and copyright., and Be Kind and Show Respect to your companions.

And either way, I’d love you to share how you got on with your own playful wisdom. You can leave a comment (or three), which I won’t publish, nor identify, without your express permission.

Here goes, with my love, and with my appreciative acknowledgment of two teachers: Natalie Goldberg and Manjusvara.

Writing our Way Whole:

intro: threes of things 2019

Today we’ll talk via our writing rather than by chat. After each section, we can read out our writing if we want to, and be heard by another, who’ll not comment, praise, react or encourage, merely be a quietly kind witness.

So in your Thoughtbook, without any deep thought, fill in:

Today I am…

Today I am…

Today I am…

Today I am not…

Today I am not…

Today I am not…

Today I would like… x 3

Today I feel… (see the pattern now?)

Today I don’t feel…

Today I didn’t bring…

Today I worry that…

Today I no longer care that…

(here you may like to stretch your fingers, eyes, back, wrists… shake it out! )

Today I have decided that…

Today I intend…

Today I wonder whether…

Today I want to share this…

Today I am grateful for…

(remember: add your name and today’s date)

© Kathy McVittie Nov 2019 threes of things