A Letter From My Body
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There’s something extra powerful about putting pen to paper and writing – but by discussing, or even thinking about these prompts, you can also find new connections to your own inner wisdom.
To learn more about journaling check our Resources.
To find the interview where Nancy discusses writing for resilience click here.
This Week’s Prompt: A Letter From My Body
The purpose of structured writing exercise is to reveal hidden insights by asking you to approach your topic from a different angle. In this exercise, you will take on the role of your body and write from the point of view of what your body wants you to know. As a follow up you may want to write a letter back to your body.
Other ways of practicing structured writing for well being include writing from a different voice (use of third person vs. first person), writing as if you are another person in your story from that person’s point of view and emotional experience, or writing your story in parts in order to create a cohesive beginning, middle, and end. You can also write the same story multiple times attempting to become more honest with each reiteration.
Writing expressively can help us discover and sort out our true thoughts and feeling. Other possible benefits from structured writing may include: feelings of relief, increased self-awareness, and greater compassion for self and others.
To get started:
Try sitting quietly and writing whatever comes to mind for 3 minutes. No need to focus or try to make the writing make sense.
- Now, begin writing a letter from your body to you.
- Set it up like a real letter. Date it and write Dear __________[your name]. When you finish it, sign it as you might a real letter. Perhaps “Love, [your name’s] body.
- You can write the letter from your body in the present, or from your body during childhood, adolescence or earlier in your adulthood. You can stay in the present or you can move through the year, starting with the present and moving back, or beginning in childhood and moving forward. If you’re not sure how you want to handle this, just start writing and see where it takes you,
- Focus the letter on your body’s messages to you about food and eating; what makes it feel good; what makes it feel less good; what it wants you to know. But allow your body to speak freely about anything if other topics come up.
- Let your body speak to you in an honest, compassionate, empathic, kind and caring voice.
- Express acceptance and support.
- Express true thoughts and feelings, openly and honestly. Some of these thoughts and feelings may be negative, some may be positive.
- Wonder about any negative feelings that come out and try to understand where they come from. Something like, “That was pretty self-critical. Now what is that about?” You can explore such questions in your letter.
- You don’t have to worry about sentence structure, grammar or spelling.
- Remember that this letter is for you and your well-being. Protect its privacy.
- Plan to write for 5-20 minutes at a time until you decide that the letter is done.
- Feel free to put the letter aside and come back to it.
A few other tips:
- It’s okay for your writing to wander to unexpected places. There can be lots to learn from that!
- You might feel a bit sad or tearful at times. Or you might get excited by an insight or discovery.
- Once in a while people start feeling emotionally overwhelmed while writing. If that happens, stop, or change what you’re writing about.
- The writing might bring up things you want to discuss with someone else, like a trusted friend or relative, or a coach or therapist.
- My rule of thumb is to seek therapy if something is painful for you or is interfering with some aspect of your life.
- Coaching is great when you want someone who can listen carefully, share expertise with you and stand with you as you move in the direction you want go in your life.
- Friends and family who you trust and who can empathize and be there for you are invaluable.
Nancy takes her clients from burning out to fired up! Her innovative approaches help you (re)discover your purpose and claim your strengths.
Find out more here.