Try this 5-step method for Life Source Writing!
In her chapter in The Great Book of Journaling, Lynda Monk, co-editor of the volume, describes a valuable journaling practice she calls Life Source Writing. Lynda explained:
Life Source Writing is a process for using relaxed, spontaneous writing as a practice for self-awareness and personal well-being. Its 5-step method integrates the natural healing properties of expressive writing with mindfulness, relaxation, inquiry, and affirmation so as to deepen your journaling itself while also supporting you as the writer.
The five steps of Life Source Writing
Step 1: Arrive (mindfulness)
Arrive fully to the present moment and to your writing. Mindful presence in the here and now is fuel for both your creative self-expression and well-being. You can simply acknowledge to yourself “I am here now to write.” You can also set an intention for your journaling, for example, “I would like to gain clarity about my true priorities while I write today.” As Deepak Chopra said, years ago when I heard him speak at a conference, “Attention energizes, intention transforms.”
Step 2: Relax (mind/body connection)
Take a moment to connect with your breath before writing. Breath is the energy of life moving through you and it can support you to access your creative power. Breathe with awareness; even just a couple of slow intentional breaths can help to engage the relaxation response before you write. When we are relaxed, we are more able to tap into our creativity and authentic voice on the page. Or, as Laraine Herring, author of Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice, puts it: “Returning to the rise and fall of the breath, bringing a level of conscious awareness to a predominantly involuntary action, reigns in the scatter nature of our thoughts and grounds us in our bodies, squarely in the present moment where we must remain if we are to write deeply.”
Step 3: Write (expressive writing)
You have arrived fully to your writing, perhaps you have set a journaling intention, you are relaxed and have connected with your breath, your life source energy. This might have taken you a couple of minutes, or longer. Now, it is time to write. Simply go to the page and start writing. You might do a timed free writing or use a journaling prompt or guided exercise to get you started. Remember, you are writing for yourself. Do not censor your writing, nor worry about grammar, simply write, without judgment, whatever wants to be written or expressed.
Step 4: Reflect (inquiry, feedback loop)
After journaling, before stopping your writing time, you can pause and use further reflective prompts such as, “What I notice about what I wrote is … ” or “What I feel about what I wrote is … ” or “I can sense that … ” or “I now realize … ”, etc. It is often our curiosity or questions that bring us to the page in the first place. This reflective step wrapped around the other side of your writing can help you gain more insights, healing, and growth from your journaling practice.
Step 5: Affirm (gratitude practice)
Bringing completion to your journal writing time, in a brief yet purposeful way, can bring a sense of closure and positivity to your writing. You might say or think something quietly to yourself, such as “I am grateful for this time to reflect and write.” Bringing our gratitude to anything, including our journaling, anchors us into a positive and uplifting emotional state. It is the perfect way to end your journaling time and transition from your reflective time on the page out into the rest of your day or night.
Give this five-step process a try! It is simple, elegant, and valuable. See for yourself!
“Remember, you are writing for yourself. Do not censor your writing, nor worry about grammar, simply write, without judgment, whatever wants to be written or expressed.”