Today’s blog explores writing as a spiritual practice. And, offers resources in support of this practice.
My Journey with Writing
Writing has been part of my personal spiritual practice for nearly 20 years, if not longer. I remember first being encouraged to write as part of my prayer in a high school theology class (I attended parochial schools). My writing practice at that time consisted of writing my prayer requests to God and writing what might be construed as psalms – poems of praise and worship. My writing practice took a back seat during my fun-filled college years and my early foray into corporate America. Writing re-surfaced as a spiritual practice through one of the required classes of the Ministerial Formation program I attended through the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The class, Integrative Spirituality, was taught by Sr. Marie Schwan and focused on Ignatian spirituality. We learned various Christian spiritual practices including Imagination/Contemplation, Mantra Prayer, Lectio-Divina, and Centering Prayer. We were encouraged to make writing part of our daily spiritual practice, and to keep a spiritual journal. Keeping a journal later became a requirement of the program itself and a pre-requisite to graduation. Not yet realizing I was born to be a writer, I was surprised to find that the writing part of the spiritual practice eventually became one of my most helpful and supportive tools.
The Gifts of a Writing Practice
What I discovered through spiritual writing and journalling, was that it was often through my pen that God would speak. Somehow, writing allowed me to get out of my own head and simply allow a higher wisdom and source of creative expression to speak through me (I call that higher wisdom “God”). Through writing I found answers to difficult questions, insights into higher laws, creative inspiration, spiritual comfort and healing, direction along life’s path, release of pain and woundedness and a place to write my deepest, darkest, most vulnerable feelings and thoughts….things I would be reluctant to share with anyone. Today, I rarely enter into my spiritual practice without my journal by my side and pen ready. Writing has become an integral part of my spiritual practice and has become the roadmap of my life. As a professional Spiritual Director, I often invite my clients to add writing to their existing spiritual practice and for those that have said yes, they have experienced amazing results.
Starting a Spiritual Writing Practice
If you have not yet integrated writing into your spiritual practice, I highly recommend it. And, there are several great resources out there for beginning that practice. One of my favorite is Spiritual Journaling – Writing Your Way to Independence by writer and teacher, Julie Tallard Johnson. In this book Julie provides tools for beginning a spiritual practice centered in writing, writing prompts and exercises and all the support you need along the way. It is a terrific book for beginners as well as well-seasoned writers and I highly recommend it. And……just so you know, the book has just been released in Kindle format and from January 22 – February 4, will be available for just 99 cents!!!!! So, check out the book, get your copy today and START WRITING!
Authentic Freedom Ministries