My article today is an offering of a very simple writing tool that can be a powerful way to transform stuck emotions into your life.

Writing Your Way Through Stuck Places

Do you ever wake up in the grips of an emotion that you can’t shake?
Maybe it’s fear or anxiety. Sometimes it seems connected to something in particular, and sometimes it seems just looming, massive, and totally pervasive.

That’s how I woke up this morning. Overwhelmed by this complete and total sense of panic. Finally, when it got so bad and I couldn’t get anything on my list done (I couldn’t even really see my list, I was so swimming in fear)
I opened up a book of poems. There, I found this quote by poet Allen Ginsberg.
He says, “Poetry is a kind of meditation that slows me down and brings me back to myself.”

Oh! I said out loud…as if I’d totally forgotten. Which, of course, for the moment, I had. So then I sat down to write. It was hard to do at first because the fear was so big, but I did it. And this is what I wrote:

help I am so scared I am so scared I am so scared….help. I look out the window. I see green light falling on the trees. I look inside. I see green light rising in my heart. I am so scared scared scared but I can hold my fear next to the green light of the tree and I can hold my fear next to the green light in my heart and when I do that, I find that my fear is held, no longer holding me.
I can breathe a little, and go on.

And so it was. I wrote that, and in the course of less than five minutes of writing, my energy shifted. And then I remembered another quote from another poet. This one is Kabir, and the quote is something like, “Today, like every other day, we wake up lonely and afraid, Take out the dulcimer, and sing.”

Ah…my poor scared self breathed a little more. I’m not the only one who gets held in the grips of fear! Kabir says every day…ah…that must be why it’s important to write every day, or pray every day, or do both…
because this poor human body just slips so easily into fear.

Maybe someday I’ll be enlightened and never experience fear again …until that day comes, I’m glad to know that writing, which helps me in so many ways in my life, can also help me right here,when it’s really hard.

And I want to remind you also, that this is one way that
writing can serve you. By entering very directly into the
moment and finding an image, you can start to shift energy
that is stuck.

Poetry is such direct medicine. The minute I stop and find
actual words and images for what I feel, my entire body changes.
Instead of being so tightly wound up with my fear that it’s all I can see, I start to notice things around me. And when I put my attention on the shimmering leaves fluttering in the breeze, even for half a minute, I remember that there is a world outside me.

Writing alone won’t solve every problem or cure all my ills, but it totally changes my relationship to the moment. And if I am engulfed in fear or anxiety, what I need more than anything is to return to this present moment. From that place, I will know how to solve my problems.

Writing can help me return to the present moment. In that way,
noticing the green leaves becomes my meditation. And, as
Allen Ginsberg said, that meditation through poetry can slow
me down and bring me back to myself.

Try this, next time you’re stuck in an emotion that has you
in its grip. Write your way into it. Using very direct words,
and then find an image from the world around you, to take you
further into what you’re experiencing.

If you have a book of poems around you,pick it up and see if a line speaks to you,and let that help you, too. If not, just pick up any piece of paper…or open up your computer, and start putting it down in words.

See if by writing your way into what you’re feeling,
you also start to write your way through it.

And if you try this and it helps, let me know!
If you try this and it doesn’t help, also let me know,
maybe there’s a way to fine tune it so its
a more useful tool for you!

Author's Bio: 

Debora Seidman is an award winning playwright with an MFA in Creative Writing. She leads writing workshops and retreats in Western Massachusetts, New Mexico, and online