Making the most of fallow writing periods

http://survivaljoe.net/blog/californias-fallow-farms-first-stage-of-food-crisis/

http://survivaljoe.net/blog/californias-fallow-farms-first-stage-of-food-crisis/

We all have something of unique value to offer the world, and the thought of anyone’s vision, wisdom, or story being trapped inside them hurts my heart. But while I’m invested in helping people remove blocks so they can, find and use their voices, and tell their untold stories, I also know there’s real value in quiet periods.

I’ve been through one recently myself. It all started in early October when I was surprisingly ejected from my living space at the time. I immediately moved into a new space that would be, I had hoped, a more medium-term situation so I could begin to feel settled.

Three weeks after moving into that space, which was the downstairs of a house, owned by the woman who lived upstairs, I left for almost three weeks for a conference in Mexico, preceded by some time in Portland. My goal was to come back from the conference all fired up about life and my work and to get back to it all.

What happened was something quite different, and in the past three months, I haven’t written much of anything, aside from a couple of blog posts in December and an email to my list of followers.

I came home to chaos in my living space (both physically and energetically); the newish relationship I had started in September ended. Then started, then ended again; I realized the living space was bad for me on all levels, so I began looking for a new space, found it and recently moved; hustled for work to pay my bills; and tried to make friends in my new town.

I started to have doubts about teaching other people how to move blocks so they can write when I’m not even doing it myself. But then I accepted the fact that fallow times are necessary. It’s all about recharging our subconscious while we tend to other things. To life. And while we’re tending to life, we’re filling our subconscious, which will show up for us time and again when we finally get back to the writing.

I like to think of my writing practice as I would a relationship. Sometimes we need to step back, give it room, let it breathe. Too much attention can stifle, even kill the love, the flow.

When I hit a fallow writing period, like the one I’ve had lately, the hardest part is not knowing when it will end. And experience has shown me that there isn’t much I can do about it.

I’m happy to say I’m coming out of mine now. Even though my new studio is still in a state of chaos, just having my own space lets me think and feel, and when I can do this, I can write.

*  *  *

 

When you have a fallow writing period, how do you come out of it?
Do you do something intentional, or does it take care of itself?

Why I love teaching Writing Through the Body

AllSpheres_eBookCover_DarkBackI’ve been fortunate enough to step into the community at For Goodness Sake in Truckee, a group of people who are conscious, spiritual, forward thinking, and loving. And I was fortunate enough to be allowed to teach a free Writing Through the Body workshop there in December to a rapt audience who clearly appreciated what this process has to offer. It was the kind of validation I needed post-AFest to keep on my path of creating the Writing Through the Body enterprise I envision.

In this free four-hour workshop, I share information about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi concept of flow and Candice Pert’s discoveries about our emotions and our subconscious and how they relate to our chakras. I also talk about my thought process I went through in creating Writing Through the Body and what I’ve learned over the years from my students about the freedom that comes when we tap the subconscious. I give a general meditation that targets all the chakras, accompanied by a few writing prompts. And after the break, I give them a sample of the meditation and writing prompts from both the fiction workshop and the memoir workshop.

I love talking about Writing Through the Body because I believe in it so much. I believe it’s founded on some solid thinking, even scientific thinking. And I love talking about it and teaching it because I see the benefits people realize, even in this short, condensed version.

It’s gratifying to me to see the shifts in people, to have people tell me afterward about all the ideas they suddenly have again and what they wrote that surprised them during the workshop. And I love receiving the emails afterward and learning about dreams and epiphanies had and how they’re putting what they gained to good use and are writing, either for the first time or again, after a long period of being blocked.

I plan to do more of these free workshops in 2015 as I continue to create and build my stable of Writing Through the Body products and services. Here are some things you can expect to see:

  • A FREE eBook (which will contain the contents of the free workshop I gave at For Goodness Sake)
  • More teleseminars for both fiction and non-fiction
  • A full 7-module digital WTB course for both fiction and non-fiction
  • Weekend and 7-week face-to-face WTB workshops
  • A WTB book, in print form (outlining and drafting have begun)

If you haven’t already and would like to be on the email list, please opt-in in the upper right-hand corner of this page. You’ll automatically receive my “10 Ways to Banish Writer’s Block” immediately. And when I finish the eBook, I’ll send that to you, as well, free of charge.

Thanks to everyone who continues to be interested in Writing Through the Body, who is spreading the word about its effectiveness, and for having the courage to write and share your stories with the world. We need them.

Much love,

XXXXX
Johnnie

 

Writing can heal your body: The science behind it

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I’ve been saying for a long time that writing can heal us on all levels. I’m guessing this is nothing new to those who write because I’m willing to assume that everyone who writes earnestly, including those who have maintained regular journal entries, have experienced a healing of some sort, whether it be a clearing of psychic debris or emotional weight. It stands to reason, then, that if writing clear our minds and emotions, and lightens our spirits, and that because our thoughts and emotions directly influence our physical health, writing can heal our bodies, too.

In this article by Rachel Grate at Arts.Mic, a group of New Zealand researchers have tracked the healing trajectories of patients with medical biopsy wounds. She also writes, “Even those who suffer from specific diseases can improve their health through writing. Studies have shown that people with asthma who write have fewer attacks than those who don’t; AIDS patients who write have higher T-cell counts. Cancer patients who write have more optimistic perspectives and improved quality of life.”

She also writes that “One study found that blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to the effect from running or listening to music.” With that in mind, I’ll sign off here and get to work on my next blog post about why people procrastinate writing…

How do the benefits of writing show up in your life?

Sending you mad writing mojo…

Johnnie
XXX

Seventh Chakra – Crown Chakra – Spiritual Power

Yesterday, I wrote about the Third Eye Chakra and how it is the generator of our intuition and gives us all the wisdom we need to move ourselves to express our higher nature.

Today, I’m writing about the last of the main chakras of the body, the Seventh Chakra, or the Crown Chakra, which connects us to our spiritual essence and our ability to allow spirituality to be an essential part of our lives. It allows us to gain a deep sense of inner awareness through practices like meditation and prayer.

I view the Seventh Chakra as the conduit that connects our bodies to the spiritual world, the portal through which we have mystical experiences. This is the chakra, when open and flowing, prompts us to pursue a relationship with the Divine, which is different from seeking out religion.

Below is a brief explanation of the Crown Chakra and some ways we might integrate its attributes into our writing.

Seventh Chakra – Crown ChakraPurple Sphere1

Location
Top of the head

Primary strengths
Faith in the existence of the Divine, including inner guidance, insight into healing, and trust that overrides fears

Primary fears
Loss of identity, loss of connection with material world, spiritual crisis

Positive manifestations
Mystical and intuitive connections, practice of a personally chosen spiritual belief system

Negative manifestations
Inability to let go of past regrets, disassociation, ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, difficulty thinking for oneself

Lesson
To live in Divine union

Aspects we might consider for our characters or ourselves
Faith in a Higher Power or inner guidance, mystical connections, fears around loss of identity and an inability to let go of the past


Feel free to post it below this post, or email me at:  johnnie@johnniemazzocco.com.

 

Meditation
Close your eyes and do a short visualization of the Crown Chakra: A purple, pulsating at the top of your head. Imagine it expanding and contracting and spreading out over the top of your head. Sit with this pulsating, reverent and giving energy for as long as you can, breathing deeply, for 5-10 breaths. Count to ten slowly on both the inhale and the exhale for each one. When you’re ready, let the energy begin to recede and return to its original size. Maintain its presence in your body as you open your eyes and begin the following writing exercise.

Writing Exercise
Fiction Writers
Think about the characters you’ve been working with. Do they understand the reasons for their motivations, or are they clueless? How much does the reader know compared to what the characters know? How much do the characters know about each other that they don’t know about themselves? Are the characters cut off from or tuned in to reality? How does this show up in their words and/or behaviors? Continue their conversation/situation with each other considering these questions.

Creative Non-fiction Writers / Memoirists
Are you spiritually aware? Do you experience a union with a higher consciousness in any form? How do you define this? If not, do you desire it but fear it? Why?

Do you put what you believe to be spiritual truths in action in your life? How so? If not, why not?

Do you have an awareness of your lower/higher selves? How and when do they each show up in your life?

Do you understand the reasons and motivations for your behaviors and reactions to life?

 

Sending you mad writing mojo…

 

Johnnie
XXXX

 

Sixth Chakra – Third Eye Chakra – Mind Power

Yesterday, I wrote about the Throat Chakra and how it relates to our surrendering to a higher power of some sort, whether it be God, angels, Universe, our own inner strength, or a personal higher form of knowing, which comes from our higher selves, and how it bridges the gap between our heart and our mind.

Today, I’m writing about the Sixth, or Third Eye Chakra, which is located in the lower forehead, just above and between the eyes. This is where our intuition comes from. We oftentimes think of our intuition as a gut-level response, but in reality, our intuitive inclinations are generated here, in the Third Eye Chakra, then travel to our Personal Power Chakra to be carried out in the form of some kind of action. The Third Eye Chakra gives us all the wisdom we need to move ourselves to express our higher nature.

One way to know that our Third Eye Chakra is open and flowing is when we can make decisions for ourselves without feeling the need to check in with others for advice or validation.

Below is a brief explanation of the Third Eye Chakra and some ways we might integrate its attributes into our writing.

 

Sixth Chakra – Third Eye ChakraIndigo Sphere1

Location
Lower forehead, just above and between the eyes

Primary strengths
Intellectual abilities and skills, receiving inspiration, intuition, psychic abilities, emotional intelligence, integration of conscious and unconscious insights

Primary fears
One’s shadow side, looking within to discover ones truth, sound judgment based on the reality of a situation, relying on discipline

Positive manifestations
Mental flexibility, which allows for the acquisition of physical and spiritual knowledge that can be translated into understanding, strong connection to inner voice and trust in intuition to make decisions

Negative manifestations: Unwillingness to see and purge one’s fears

Lesson
Discerning the difference between truth and illusion

Aspects we might consider for our characters or ourselves
Intellectual abilities and skills, intuition and psychic abilities, fears around one’s shadow side and purging one’s fears


Feel free to post it below this post, or email me at:  johnnie@johnniemazzocco.com.

Meditation
Close your eyes and do a short visualization of the Third Eye Chakra: An indigo, pulsating orb in your throat, in the hollow of the collarbone. Imagine it expanding and contracting and spreading out to the sides of your head and around the back. Sit with this pulsating, intuitive and all-knowing energy for as long as you can, breathing deeply, for 5-10 breaths. Count to ten slowly on both the inhale and the exhale for each one. When you’re ready, let the energy begin to recede and return to its original size. Maintain its presence in your body as you open your eyes and begin the following writing exercise.

Writing Exercise
Fiction Writers
Use the same two characters you’ve been working with, or create two new ones. Add a third character. Create a situation for these three characters in which they are interacting over an issue wherein the two initial characters have a goal that’s being thwarted by the third character. Think about whether or not all the characters are vocal throughout the exchange. If there is dialogue, is it direct or indirect? Work on using interior monologue – or thoughts – of one or more of the characters. Let your potential reader in on more than the characters are disclosing to each other. Consider the following: How easily do these characters make decisions? How intuitive are these characters? Is one or more of them able to discern a reality that isn’t being openly expressed? Does one character have the upper hand in the situation? See if you can get their individual levels of awareness to play against each other.

Creative Non-fiction Writers / Memoirists
Think about your decision making process.

How intuitive are you? How do you engage your imagination?
Can you make decisions?
Are you wise, fearless, practical? How do these qualities show up (or not) in your life?
Are you able to view your life in impersonal terms? That is, when people behave in ways that you find hurtful or disrespectful, are you able to disconnect and let it “roll off your back?” If not, what would it mean, for your life, to be able to do this?
Are you living a conscious life? If so, how does this show up? If not, are you frightened of changes that may come from doing so?

 

Sending you mad writing mojo…

Johnnie
XXXX