Ever since I printed my first letter “A” while watching Sesame Street as a toddler, I wanted to be a writer. I spent a good deal of my childhood and teens expressing my innermost thoughts and feelings through stories and poems. Once I reached a certain age, however, my yearning to write became more of a problem. According to my parents, it would get in the way of my earning a real living.
So, over the years, I tried to find a middle ground. I gave up fiction for a while and became a technical writer. It wasn’t until I learned to meditate, over a decade ago, that I realized I owed it to myself to pursue my dream. This article talks about how meditation made me a better writer, not a better writer than other people, but the best writer I can be.
1. Meditation allows me to get a different perspective:
First of all, meditation is a spiritual practice that teaches us to seek within ourselves for guidance. When I meditate, I can get truly free of not only the perspectives of other people or what’s been done before. I can tune into my inner wisdom to pull myself out of any problem. This different perspective really assists me in writing. I can use it to get to know my characters, to hear their voices. I can also use it to try to figure out how they would solve their own problems. If I get caught in a story idea, or character’s problem, I meditate until I find the answer. And I trust that the answers will come.
2. Meditation allows me to find inspiration:
Similar to the way meditation allows for a different perspective, it’s also a wonderful way to attain creative insight and inspiration. I can tune into different worlds, allow myself to dream, and try out different story ideas until I find the one that calls me to write it. In fact, one of the courses I teach has an amazing tool for using your dreams or meditations to problem solve.
3. Meditation teaches me not to compare myself to others, to anyone else’s journey or achievements:
One of the most difficult things for writers to do is not compare their successes (or challenges) with others. It’s so easy to get bogged down in other people’s opinions, or why one person is more successful than you are. When I meditate, however, I am reminded of the infinite abundance of spirit that connects us all. My spirit is working for me. My journey is different than other people’s but it’s perfectly tailored for my learning at this time. A friend once said to me, “Don’t give up your insides for someone else’s outsides.” I’ve come to realize that my life is a gift, just the way it is. And what other people have in their life does not matter. This is a discipline I’ve cultivated through a meditation practice.
4. Meditation keeps me humble, out of ego-first thinking:
As with comparison, meditation allows me to see myself as I truly am: a spirit having a human experience. If I forget that, I can be led around by my ego, needing everyone to like me and my writing. It has been my finding that if I need anything from others, my neediness can push that very thing away. Ego can make us quite needy. It is only when I am humble, and out of ego, that I can open to my true potential.
5. Meditation assists me to move out of blocks – writer’s block or otherwise:
As part of my meditation practice, I have cultivated a life of truth. This means telling myself the truth, feeling my true feelings, and being willing to face my spirit no matter what. Every block I’ve experienced in my life stems around a feeling that I’m afraid to feel or a truth I’m afraid to face. The same is true of writer’s block. It’s simply another area where fear has me in its grip. I meditate to ask my spirit “what am I truly afraid of?” Once I face that fear, the block lifts.
6. Meditation gives me patience that sustains me when the path is long and arduous:
Fulfilling any dream takes time, be it becoming an author or poet, or finishing medical school. There’s a discipline involved in studying and learning to get better at your chosen craft or profession. Writers especially can seem trapped in this need to publish or sell many books NOW. But sometimes, for some people, the long haul is required. Meditation teaches me patience. It re-energizes and rejuvenates me to keep me focused on the long haul.
Though these are listed as six ways meditation has made me a better writer, truth is, I believe these lessons apply to any and all areas of life. If you have a particular meditation practice, keep up the good work!
In the comments, I’d love to know how your meditation practice assists you in your life. Please share!
And if you’d like to know more about meditations classes, please contact me. I offer courses and free introductory sessions in the Vancouver area and in Winnipeg.