Writing Our Hearts
by Nessa McCasey
We are very pleased
to welcome Nessa McCasey back to SoulfulLiving.com! With each new issue, Nessa will offer
a poem or short writing based on our magazine's
theme and will provide techniques for creative
expression that you can use to explore the topic
Conscious Life Change
Does it seem to you that life keeps changing and that we don’t have any power to control it? So many people I know have been affected by job loss and illness and I see the resulting despair or
frustration. In my own life, time has wrought changes that I wasn’t prepared for, including my own aging process, and here I want to share my own plan for creating life change. Hopefully, this will give you a model that you might try for yourself, using writing as an
exploratory tool to guide you, learning from your own best advisor — your inner voice of wisdom. I tend to call my writing practice a spiritual meditation, where I put the focus on learning about myself and not on publishing my writings. When I lead writing groups, I also
emphasize this and it just so happens that great writing results. So, here goes, my own writing about this topic of life change. See what you think and use any of these prompts/ideas for your own writings.
Building up the life I want.
Tearing down what doesn’t work anymore.
Building up / Tearing down
What comes first, I ask?
Self tells me: Already you divert.
Tear down and replace or
Build up new and then tear down what
No longer fits or works.
Either way will work.
The exercise: Next you will find a list of characteristics. Choose several that relate to your life now. Then make a second list, with several new characteristics that you would like to incorporate into your life. Feel free to add in any additional qualities that work better
Play with these words in combination or in opposition to each other. Use my example, below, as a guide, but always go off in the direction of your own muse’s calling, too. Wordplay could look like a
journal entry, a poem, a story, or a paragraph. It is the goal of this particular prescription to write your own quandaries into resolution, but you may need to try writing this same exercise a few times. Or, on the other hand, you might write a haiku that sums it all up
succinctly. There is not one “right answer.” There is only your own process, of noting your own path, choosing your own destiny, knowing your own wisdom, knowing yourself.
I chose these words for (mostly) where I am now:
And then I chose these words for how I think I can use to help create life change for myself:
I have been a gentle and patient mom, woman, and community member. Usually quiet, I have also been super alert to my son’s needs and probably overly attentive to others’ reactions to our being in the world.
As soon as I wrote this down, above, I was able to see why I had became attentive/alert (and even saw more clearly how this was contributing to stress for me), and then this led to a clearer view for
me about how these characteristics do not support my desired life changes.
I chose the quality of initiating to replace gentle (or maybe added on top of it). I don’t want to be aggressive, but rather I’ll be putting my ideas out more, such as writing more often
on my blog or even making podcasts, for instance. Coming out into the world as me, with my own voice, unapologetically. Responsibly, with less meekness or fear.
Faithful emerges above patience. Patience without faith, after all, can be taken advantage of. Faith affects my sense of
purpose, which could mean a limit of patience when action is called for. Faith brings my love of self, others, and the world into daily action. Putting resolve into my beliefs — they become more visible, more colorful, more vibrant with energy. This is a life of doing that I
define for myself!
Being bold and creative instead of quiet and alert/attentive. Being bold, choosing my actions, such as what to keep and what to give or throw away. What to share freely and
what to charge for. For me, creative involves generosity, as in the oiling of mental synapses, allowing them to move more freely: more and more will result. Opening the doors of life, I let all the rooms of my brain have an airing out!!
Initiating faith, by using bold creativity inspires me to fulfill ideas that I have been mulling over. One day at a
time, I’ll look at how these (and perhaps other) qualities can keep moving me forward, creating life changes I am ready for as I continue becoming the me that I am always; always becoming me.
Who am I?
No one else but
the quality of my actions.
I am she who initiates faith
in my daily tasks,
the journey of my days.
I am she with bold creative markings.
When all is said and done,
I want to see the lines drawn on pages
making meaning, bringing joy,
knowing calm peace.
What kind of a life change might you create for yourself? Feel free to share with me your results of this exercise. Honestly, I practice this profession of mine (Poetry Therapy) because I want to create change in the world, one person at a time. I get a tingle up and down my
spine when I think about what kind of a world we would have if everyone was able to create the changes they desire; to live the life that they want to live, that which they freely choose and then work hard to create. What an empowered world we would have, perhaps the best
Nessa will be offering an online writing course entitled “Poetic Writings for Our Lives,” starting September 15, 2009. Details are available on her website:
© Copyright 2009 Nessa McCasey. All Rights
Read Nessa McCasey's Past Columns:
Spring 2009 - Oneness is for Everyone
Winter 2007 - The Meaning of Life
Winter 2006 - Being Still and Still Moving the Pencil
July-Sept 2005 -
Balance -- Creating a Map to Take You There
Oct - Dec 2004
- Letting Go and Moving Forward: Writing as a Map of
- Sept 2004 - Writer’s Block and Then… Moving Forward Again
- May 2004 - Identifying Our Crossroads
- February 2004 - Daring to Dream Out Loud
2003 - Joining Together with Our Words of Grace
2003 - Midlife Questioning: One Writer's Path to
2003 - Can We Write (or Read) Our Way to Serenity?
Nessa McCasey is a Certified Poetry Therapist who leads expressive writing groups in Michigan and online. Contact her at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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