100th?!? Is that possible? It is!
In just over a year, I’ve been pouring out the words that are usually jumbled in my brain. Trying to clear some space up there and trying to rearrange those words so that they are helpful for you. This past month, I gave myself the challenge of trying Proprioceptive Writing. This is a writing practice that was designed by Linda Trichter Metcalf when she was an English professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
The rules are simple, but the work is profound. There is a ritual involved: certain music, candles, a set length of time which helps to calm the heart. There are questions at the end to help prompt deeper thought. And there is one question that you ask repeatedly as you listen to your thoughts and record them. Linda refers to it as the PQ, the proprioceptive question and it is: What do I mean by (x)?
Never have I been asked to be so clear about what meaning words hold for me. This is a classic life coaching technique and one that usually frustrates people because it is a question that is often hard to answer. It requires that we search for what we really mean when we use the words we use and where that comes from and who taught it to you and what they may have meant and what you may have misinterpreted. Something happens when you are in the flow of Proprioceptive writing. You are listening to your thoughts, recording them and then you come across a word that is, in some way, loaded for you. You slow down enough to answer the question: What do I mean by (x)?
And then it starts to happen. You start to clarify your thoughts and beliefs. You start to know yourself in a way that you may not have before. If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you’ll know that I believe that knowing yourself is the way through most problems – and this way of knowing yourself – it’s next level shit, folks.
Here’s an example: What do I mean by “loaded for you”? I mean that you write a word and it triggers something inside of you. There is a discomfort or a longing that you notice when you write the word. It means that this word or phrase means something more to you than you have captured in the words that you used. It means that there is a story to discover, a belief to unearth. It means that this is where you should be paying attention.
This month (May 2018), I am starting a different writing course. One by my fav life coach and author, Martha Beck and the incredible writer Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). The purpose of this course is to use writing as a way to break down the ego and create messages that are healing not just for me but for you too. My hope is that one of the books I have inside of me starts to take form as I go through this 12 week course. It’s time.
If all of this sounds interesting, I’d say to pick up the book: Writing the Mind Alive by Linda Trichter Metcalf and Tobin Simon. It’s a worthwhile practice and one that achieves much the same state as meditation without the need to quiet your mind – it’s enough just to listen. 🙂