For some people it looks like a packed suitcase, passport in-hand, boarding the plane to Alaska.
For others it’s dearest friends tucked around a farmhouse-style table, passing plates and pouring second-rounds at a ritual potluck dinner.
And for many, it feels like the ocean breeze, ankle-deep in the sand, cold beer in-hand, complete coastal bliss.
But for me, it’s this – pen to paper (or in this case, fingertips to keyboard). For me, writing, it its many forms, is my freedom.
Writing has healed me.
Writing heals me.
Writing gives me freedom.
As a passionate thinker, my mind sometimes feels like miles and miles of unexplored wilderness with endless possibility and other times feels like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory with delicious chaos galore.
Either way, the mind proves itself to be a vast and powerful place. But with so many things in the media, relationships, and our day-to-day lives fighting over every inch of our headspace, it doesn’t take long for that vastness to become smaller and smaller until the brain feels more like an anxiety-filled storage unit than the magical Amazon rainforest.
And the deepest tragedy of this mental inundation is that our stories and experiences and values – the things that make us who we are – are often left up there, trapped in-between your second-cousin’s daily Facebook venting session and your long list of “adulting to-do’s”.
When we leave all of our innately valuable experiences, grief, beliefs, heartaches, passions, and curiosities packed away in mental storage, one of two things will typically happen:
- They get buried, lost, and eventually damaged or devalued
- They remain on the surface of it all – tossed among reckless waves of endless pondering, overanalyzing, or possibly even obsessing.
Writing down our stories validates them in ways that our busy minds do not always allow.
Putting our truths down on paper honors them.
Holding space for the things that make us who we are is the most healing form of self-care one could ever practice. But more often than not, those are the things that get shoved to the side to collect dust while we obsess over the trivial.
We have to stop cutting down trees in the forests of our minds to make room for garbage and we have to start unapologetically holding space for that which matters most.
Writing brings me freedom because it allows me to express that which deserves expression. But what I’ve also found is that it’s only when we take the time for creative expression that we are able to both reclaim and release the stories we have lost, the stories that we have suffered, and the stories that define our lives.
It is only when we pull those stories out of the mind and into our world that we can once again feel their worth and have the opportunity to grow from their lessons.
And pal, there is no better time than the present to start clearing out that crammed storage unit and find your way back to the wide open wilderness.
3 PROMPTS TO FREE YOUR HEADSPACE BY RECLAIMING YOUR STORY:
- Think of an experience, belief, or heartbreak that you’ve been wrestling with lately. Write about it. No structure, no rules – just release
- Think of a story of yours that has been buried by time or smothered by busyness. Unearth it, walk through it, document it.
- Identify a lesson you’ve learned from one of your current life happenings that you never want to forget. Get it down on paper.
If writing really isn’t your thing, you have full creative license to make these prompts your own. Express the story through art, music, movement, or even sharing around a campfire.
There is some sweet, sweet freedom headed your way. And to think you didn’t even have to go to Alaska to find it…
“The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety.” – Deepak Chopra