For a long time, I have approached writing—especially writing a book—as a path to healing and wholeness.
No less a health authority than Dr. Andrew Weil, the medical doctor who has spearheaded the movement toward wellness and integrative medicine, cites research providing evidence that writing about emotionally meaningful topics is good for your health. Already-healthy people who made room for writing made fewer doctor visits, and some ill people improved their health considerably.
I have experienced this, myself—the profound inner cleansing that can come after a spate of writing, leaving me feeling like a clear blue sky after a rain, or the peace at the bottom of a lake, its stillness untouched by the ripples on the surface above. It’s possible that when we write—provided that we are writing about something that has life within us, and not just abstract concepts—the energies in our bodies have a place to spend themselves, rearrange themselves, release, and balance. This can be true whether you are writing about something that you experience as difficult (in which case, the act of writing heals through telling and catharsis), or writing about something that you experience as beautiful (in which case, the act of writing is inspiring).
Dr. Weil was talking about journaling. But if journaling can reduce pain and fatigue; help reduce high blood pressure; help terminal patients sleep better; and more—then just imagine the rewards to healthy living that writing a book might make possible.
Writing a Book as a Path to Wholeness: Giving the Soul a Voice
Even beyond body-healing, writing—especially writing a book—opens a door to soul-healing. Our deepest being … knowing … yearning … seeing … desires expression—ideally, in some way that reveals us to ourselves in the very moment of looking within. “I was a hidden treasure and wanted to be known,” as one mystical text puts it. Ordinary life, precious as it is, gives too few outlets for an extended exploration and expression of this treasure within us.
Writing a book from the deeper Self allows us to engage our deep nature in an extended relationship of discovery, intimacy, and, ultimately, praise of life. Despite the obstacles that can come up along the way (fear, doubt, disappointment, even despair), the engagement with yourself that writing a book can be is a profoundly wonderful, transformative, healing experience. Throughout the process of bringing what lies in your heart to life—the conception, gestation, labor, and, finally, birthing of the completed book—you are transformed by what is in you interacting with what has been revealed to you through your own writing process. In the end, you have a book—ta da!—a living record, between covers, of your wish fulfilled and able to be passed on to others who will read it.
Yet more than the “product” that this book is often seen as, the healing transformation of the writer is the real blessing of the process. At the end of writing a book, you are no longer quite who you were when you began, with an undeveloped awareness. You are deepened and refined by your experience of writing, and by who you have become along the way, which has since blossomed into the deepened human being who can truly claim authorship to the book.
In this and other ways, you can write yourself into wholeness. What a gift to yourself, and your readers-to-come! Why not “take the cure”?
Copyright © 2011 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
Naomi Rose is the author of Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What’s Inside You (Rose Press, www.rosepress.com/Starting-your-book.html). The creator of “Writing from the Deeper Self” (www.essentialwriting.com), she is a book developer in private practice in Oakland, CA who works in person and long-distance with people seeking to write the book of their heart.