This week, I am assailed by doubts about my writing. Fears niggle at me. They whisper, chirp and chant their repetitive refrains in my ear. If I don’t listen, they throw tantrums and shout. It’s no good. It’s not working. You’re wasting you time. Get a proper job. You want your friends and family to read this??? What I do know is that I mustn’t listen to them. I must not give them the time of day. To engage in a conversation with them never works. They always have a ‘but’. They never believe me. Attention just fuels them.
The answer is to let the thoughts go, without listening to the content. Staying with my physical sensation of fear seems to be much more effective than trying to reason with my over-active thinking mind.
So today I’m imagining those unhelpful thoughts burning into ash in a fire, and their remains rising in smoke. I’m visualising folding them into paper aeroplanes and sending them flying. I’m dreaming of making them into origami boats, and launching them down the river. I’m seeing them as blown dandelion clocks, taken on the wind.
I’m tying them to the strings of red balloons, and releasing the balloons. I’m watching them as clouds, passing across the blue sky. I’m observing them as small yellow butterflies, flitting away. I’m putting them in a bottle and tossing them into the ocean. Gone.
The Weekly Prompt
Is there one of the above metaphors for loosening thoughts that engages your interest? Choose one to use for this exercise.
Find a comfortable sitting place, and sit still for ten minutes, with closed eyes. As you sit there, observe your thoughts. Use the image you chose to help you to find a bodily feeling for your thoughts being released and let go of, rather than dwelled on, or their repetitive storylines elaborated upon. With every thought that comes up- notice it, and let it go.
If, at any point when you write, a repetitive fear-filled storyline runs through your head and threatens to sabotage your work, think of that image. It will help you to re-find your stability in the creative process.