Contemplative writing is taking a time of solitude and putting down on paper what is on your heart and mind. A good time to do this is first thing in the morning. This type of writing is meditative in nature. Contemplative writing can be used for reflection, venting thoughts and feelings, seeking answers or direction and chronicling dreams or experiences.
For decades I have kept journals. Growing up, my father suffered from alcoholism and bipolar disorder. During the 50s mental illness was not treated with the sophistication that it is today. His violent outbursts were confusing and terrifying. The mantra of the child of an alcoholic is: Don’t trust, don’t feel, don’t talk. That’s when I turned to journaling to get out my feelings and to have someone (my journal) to talk to. My journaling has evolved through the decades. Instead of just pouring out feelings or chronicling events, I use my journaling as a meditative practice. I call this contemplative writing.
Once I learned how to quiet my mind, I moved on to contemplative writing in the morning. The time spent may involve reading Scripture or a spiritual book and listening to the message that comes from what I’ve read. Many times I will write down my prayers in my journal. By chronicling my spiritual journey through requests to God, thoughts, feelings, events, etc., it’s possible to see how God has answered and guided my life in so many ways. If I had not written all of this down, I would not remember how God has truly worked within my life. Contemplative writing is also a wonderful way to connect with God and to listen to God’s guidance and inspiration.
Don’t let the act of writing intimidate you. The process can be quite healing.
This writing is personal to you and for your eyes only unless you choose to share it. So, don’t be concerned about perfect grammar or even spelling. If you are stressed, afraid or stuck in an area of your life, write out these frustrations. If you can, write three pages each morning to get it all out. There is something magical about three pages.
While you can start your contemplative writing discipline using spiral notebooks or legal pads, I recommend that you invest in a beautiful journal. If your life and spiritual journey is worth documenting, it’s worth investing in a beautiful journal to keep.
If you journal on a consistent basis, you will gain more clarity in your life. I mentioned writing down dreams. Have you ever had recurring dreams or profound dreams but can’t remember them after a while? I’ve found that it’s extremely powerful to write down a dream after you have had a memorable one or a recurring one. Get it down while you remember it. There are many instances in the Bible about dreams. Contemplative writing can help think about these dreams and what they mean once you get them on paper.
Contemplative writing is a powerful meditation practice. If you choose to try it, my desire is that contemplative writing will bring you wholeness, peace and guidance. It certainly has for me.