Today, I sat at my computer to write and…
The words did not flow. Although I had plenty of ideas and some partially written paragraphs that only need a tweak here or there, I just didn’t feel like writing. I glanced at a couple of articles from the paper thinking I could explore some of the issues raised, yet somehow the inspiration that seized me yesterday, abandoned me today. To be fair, I have spent the day writing year 12 reports and this may account for my current mood. I feel as though I have already said all I want to say. I feel as though I have to write, rather than I want to write.
I made a commitment; a commitment to myself to post each week. And a commitment to self is difficult to break without emotional consequences. Guilt. It is almost impossible to placate yourself because there is always that inner voice reminding you what you promised. I realised I could offer myself all sorts of excuses; reasons why I didn’t really need to post today but I acknowledged, excuses they were. So I decided to follow the advice I have given my students on countless occasions and just write. Write your way through it, write your thoughts and be honest. Therefore, rather than resisting the frustration, I chose to allow myself to feel it and see where it led. So, I wrote through the block. Guilt dissipated before it had an opportunity to take hold. I found, even just by writing how I felt (14 sentences ago) the words started to flow a little easier.
Hopefully you have been indulgent enough to read this far. If you have, I would like to share a little insight. This is why your English teachers ask you to write; to write reflections, to write stories, to write evaluations. The process of transferring the electrical impulses of your brain into a tangible form offers the opportunity to actually see and physically manipulate your ideas. In this way you can consider your thoughts from a more objective ‘dispassionate’ stance. Which brings to mind a ‘yet to be discovered’ particle, that a friend brought to my attention, called Higgs Bosun. Physicists believe it will explain why particles have mass. Please remember I am an English teacher, so I realise am probably about to commit all kinds of scientific faux paux but… the reason Higgs Bosun comes to mind is that the search for it reminds me of my motivation to write. Stay with me and I will explain.
Thoughts are intangibles, however we know they ‘exist’ because we can recognise them. Similarly, feelings are every bit as ‘real’ even though we cannot actually take them in our hand to look at them. They are pieces of ‘massless’ energy, electrical impulses that direct our physical actions and become ‘mass’. Yet, how often do you feel ‘out of sorts’ without really knowing why? Can you recall times when it was difficult to define your thoughts or explain how you felt? Science and psychology can offer many different explanations, but… how would you answer these questions? Have you even asked yourself questions such as these?
I have posted recently about the benefits of mediation and the importance of recognising a ‘connection’ to the places within yourself. Mediation is one way to begin understanding the connection between your thoughts, emotions and actions. Another way is to write. In fact the writing process is a valuable accompaniment to mediation.
This post is ‘proof’. I began writing with no clear thought about what to write. I realise now it was because I had expectations of what I should write, and felt the pressure of a self imposed commitment to write. Yet whatever it was that I thought I should write (or why I should write), it was not in harmony. Therefore an internal battle ensued leaving me with a general ‘blah’ feeling I could not define. So I chose to write what flowed out naturally. This led me here. To a tangible idea; that thoughts and feelings, although intangible, have tangible consequences. As we allow those thoughts and emotions we can move through them to a place where we can actually ‘see’ them for what they are, rather than constructing excuses for actions or behaviours.
So, next time you are feeling an emotion or think a thought which causes ‘dis-ease’, dis-comfort’, frustration or even guilt, maybe you could write. Write what flows though your mind. Write until you can actually see what underpins those feelings and thoughts. Then, look honestly at those emotions and thoughts. You may find yourself viewing a situation from a different point of view and with this new perspective you can observe Hope (‘nic’s particle’). In other words emotions or thoughts running wild and unchecked can build into ghost particles which are difficult to manage. Yet when we look closer we can gain a measure of real control. With a sense of control comes the understanding that we have a choice. We can choose what we ‘write’, we can choose the consequence of our emotions. And from here we know we can achieve what we want to achieve.
Can you see how this may be useful for you when you know you need to study?
Yes! I wrote my post.
- How Do I Write a Good Personal Reflection (isthismystory.com)