An Alternative Way to Check In On Your Writing Process

I do yoga once a week with my best friend. She comes to my house, we drink coffee and catch up on what’s going on with each other since last week, and then we do something called “The Five Tibetans” and a couple of other yoga poses that we like. We’ve been doing this for years, and whenever we have to skip a week I sorely miss it. I can’t swear it’s not the coffee and chat I miss more though. Nevertheless, the fourth pose in the series has caused me severe distress because I just. can’t. do it. Being the committed, extreme athlete that I am (I’m not) I choose to sit that one out. What I do instead is a few minutes of meditation, which is just about all my ADD and I can muster. And I have to really focus on something during meditation, otherwise it’s just me sitting there and perseverating on my to-do list or worrying about my life or the fate of the planet. So for my meditation I check in with my chakras. Yup, I do!Untitled35-e1393064216549

I’m not evenly remotely an expert or a yogi or anything like that, and this blog is intended for writers, so my intention is only to share my thought process and my own personal weekly meditation. So please don’t interpret this as anything other than that. Why I thought to share is because often I apply this meditation to check in with what I’m writing. I know, I know, you’re probably like, “What is she even talking about?!” I know you can’t close your eyes and do this with me, because then how would you be reading this??? but try to follow… I’ll tell you approximately where each chakra is located, my understanding of what it’s related to, and then how I apply it to looking at writing.

I sit comfortably, cross legged and relaxed, with my hands placed palm up on my knees. Take a deep breath in and then I relax my shoulders (because they’re always tense). To “check in” with each chakra I visualize its approximate location on my body, and imagine taking a breath in and out of that spot. I’ll share some of the questions I ask myself as I locate each spot. And remember, these are just my interpretations!

The first chakra is located at the base of the spine, like near the coccyx bone. It’s the root chakra, the foundation. So I ask: what is the fundamental basis of what I’m writing? What foundation does this story rest on?

The second chakra is the sacral chakra, basically in the area of the ovaries for women, testes for men, and I relate it to creativity. Am I allowing my creative impulses free reign? Am I allowing myself to experience pleasure in the writing process?

The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra, located between the bellybutton and diaphragm, and it’s where personal power resides so where I place both strength and anxiety. Am I being powerful in my writing? Am I being fearless or shying away from what I’m trying to say?

The fourth chakra is the heart chakra, and of course is located in the chest. Am I being passionate in my writing? Is my writing heartfelt? Am I communicating emotional truth in my characters? Am I writing in an accessible way for readers to connect?

The fifth chakra is located at the throat, like just below where the Adam’s apple is, and it relates to communication and expression. Am I attending to voice? Is the voice distinctive? Is my dialogue authentic?

The sixth chakra is the third eye chakra, between the eyebrows, and correlates to intuition and clarity. Am I staying true to my vision for this work? Does my story work on all levels?

The seventh chakra is the crown chakra, at the top of the head, and is related to universal consciousness or connection to spirit. Am I allowing my story to come through me from unknown sources? Am I open to the unexpected or unmapped to occur?

stencil_peace_heartfOk, that’s it. Don’t judge me. I know I’m a hippy weirdo. But I totally dig doing this and I invite you to try it. Let me know how it goes…

Peace out,

Linda

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “An Alternative Way to Check In On Your Writing Process

  1. Glad to hear somebody does the Five Tibetans. Have been doing them for years. So is my father and maybe that is why at age 90 he looks like a Hwd star? He says he feels light like a feather after doing them and it takes him no more than 15 minutes. Are easy to learn and there is no need to do each more than 21 times. A little painful in the beginning. Better start by doing each three times, then five, then seven times a day.

  2. idzalg

    I love the the way you relate the chakras to your writing process. I am going to try this – thank you for sharing!

  3. Lynn Harris

    Wow. Just–wow. Has that for writerly eloquence? I do a similar meditation but about my whole life. Thought I was the only one (maybe I’m a narcissist). Glad to know I’m not. Ohm on, sister. I’m totally feeling you.

  4. I’m into yoga, but haven’t paid attention to the chakras. I will now.

  5. Last year I discovered the Calm app for meditation and it’s made a huge difference in my ability to quickly shift gears from left to right brain. I’m all about “Science!” (sing it like Thomas Dolby), but I think there’s a lot of undiscovered science here. Aveda chakra pure-fumes smell great btw. 😉

  6. As the Mayor pro-temp of Woo-Woo Land, I officially endorse this. (Maybe we can try this together at the ECLA retreat this fall?)