Today hasn’t been easy. I didn’t sleep well – and I was slow to get going – and if truth be told, I might have been better off just going back to bed AND there were/are certain things I want to get done today so here I am, writing, using a prompt I wrote several months ago that is ideal for me right now.
Choosing what to write is easy with #5for5BrainDump
I created a method several years ago that is so simple and effective, some people might not want to believe how profound and meaningful the process was and how deeply everyday people can get with their writing so quickly.
Considering the dumps I am in right this minute, what have I got to lose?
Set the timer for 5 minutes and write, write without thinking or judgment.
Me: I didn’t sleep well last night.
JA: What happened?
Me: I didn’t sleep well. I woke up coughing, choking again.
JA: Ohhh. That sounds tough.
Me: It is tough, it’s scary.
Me: And it makes me wonder about a lot of scary things that lead me down scary paths and I don’t want to go there. I don’t feel like going there.
JA: Ohhh. I get it, I understand not wanting to go to those dark places. I am with you there. I know, I know.
Heartbeat filled silence.
Me: Will you tell me a story?
JA: I can write you a story, sure.
Here we go.
Me: Yes? What?
JA: Do you trust me? Julie? Do you trust me?
JA: Thank you. You trusting me is a big deal.
JA: I’m going to write you a note, so you may read it later when you start feeling this way again.
JA: Dear Julie,
I know it is scary to be awake at night in the dark alone.
You have come so far that sometimes it feels secure to be scared. It is familiar. It is as if your fear is an abusive friend but at least it is familiar. You wake up coughing and choking and you remember what it was like to be a nineteen-year-old version of you, sleeping on a bottom bunk in a dorm room coughing and choking and not being able to breathe at night when you were almost an adult but not quite.
You were taking on a lot and you were scared you wouldn’t be able to manage it all.
When you got older, you called it a stress cough.
You had kids and were working hard to raise them right but sometimes you were uncertain. You know you made mistakes.
You would cough, sometimes with people around, looking at you.
You would ask people to give you water, anything, to shut down the cough to take the horrible cough away because if the cough persisted… like that time you and Emma were in that Cracker Barrel in Indiana on the way to take her to school and you started coughing so hard and you couldn’t stop so you got up and went to the restroom and you coughed so hard you vomited and you cried and you couldn’t get it to stop but you did, eventually, and you went back to the table and Emma and you smiled at her.
“Mommy is ok,” you told her, “I’m fine honey, all is well.” or at least this is how you see it in memory.
There were quick episodes when you were scared and long episodes when you were sick and now, after a long time without the coughing, they’re here.
Maybe they’re ready to say goodbye.
Are you ready to say goodbye, dear Julie?
Sometimes the writing takes you away for more than one 5 minute section, so you keep going.
That’s what happened here. I wrote for about ten minutes in this dialogue format, having a conversation with my highest self, Julianne, about what had been bothering me all day.
This just scratched the surface, but I got it out – and with a writing process like #5for5BrainDump, 5 minutes of prompted writing for 5 consecutive days, magic happens. Trust grows. A new relationship with words and yourself begins.
Devotion, Movement & Trust in Action.
Like I said, I have had a tough day and I didn’t want to show up. I’m still not convinced it was and… because I am devoted to you and because I am devoted to the healing that comes from unedited, non judgmental writing, I am not going to change a thing.
Writing like this is similar to improvisational theater. In Improv, the primary rule is “Yes, and…” so with writing like #5for5BrainDump we say “Yes, And” to whatever shows up. Jodi Picoult said this about “Yes, And”
“In the space between yes and no, there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you’ll tell yourself in the future.”
What you have read here – if you have gotten this far, is a page in my story. I am loving myself enough and loving you enough to share it here.
Are you brave enough to tell the pages of your story and love yourself through the process?
Julie Jordan-Scott is a Creative Life Coach, an award-winning storyteller, actor and poet whose photos and mixed media art graces the walls of collectors across the United States. Her writing has appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers List, the Amazon best sellers list and on American Greetings Holiday cards (and other greeting cards). She currently lives in a manse in Northwest New Jersey (Sussex Borough, Nj) where she is working on finishing her most recent book project, hugging trees daily and enjoys having random inspirational conversations with strangers.
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