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a writing exercise to move emotion

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

grab a blank page to transform emotions

This is quite the full moon! A lot of focus on self and others and how we relate. For many, it's bringing up a lot of emotions. Since our feelings and our emotions are energy in motion, I'm sharing one of my favorite writing exercises to move emotion. Feel it to heal it!

I have a writing exercise I do when I am being triggered by someone and I just can't shake the anger or the frustration that I'm feeling. I've practiced this a lot over the last 10 years and it has always helped me so I'm sharing it today in case in can help you.

We hold the power of choice and decision when it comes to how we let something affect us. Some things are easier to shake off than others; some lessons are harder to learn than others, but they're all gifts for us to keep growing and stepping into an ever-loving version of ourselves.

I hold a belief that under all of the ugly emotions of fear, anger, frustration, blame, victimhood, and shame, there is love at the base of it all, sometimes so buried that it can't breathe, but it's there. In fact, all the decisions we make are out of either fear, or some version of it, or love, or some version of it.

When my mind is spinning like a hamster wheel over someone or something, I need to get it out. Emotion is energy in motion - it needs to move. That usually means, I need to move.

Moving my body helps for sure. Writing, so I can "say it out loud", helps me move emotion, too.

If I don't get it out by writing it down or saying it out loud (in this same format) in a safe space where I can move my body, it just spins and spins. And really, it's going to come out some way - usually sideways - if I don't consciously choose to move it in a healthy way. I end up gossiping, or talking about it over and over, or in some emotional outburst, all the while my energy is going down the proverbial drain. It doesn't feel good.

It's my decision to choose a useful way to deal with my feelings or emotions about myself or others.

So here's the exercise I use.

I make myself sit. I give myself a time out, so to speak, until I finish the exercise. And then I write. I write and write each step until it's all out and I'm ready to move on to the next step. Have as much paper as you need for you to feel complete.

Step 1: I am angry because or I am angry at you because_____________________________

Step 2: This makes me feel frustrated because_______________________________________

Step 3: I am sad because __________________________________________________________

Step 4: I forgive you and I forgive me because ________________________________________

Step 5: I love you because__________________________________________________________

Step 6: I'm thankful because________________________________________________________

You might look at these steps and think "I'm not sad" or "I don't need to forgive myself," but under fear and anger is often a feeling of grief. And under that grief is love and forgiveness. And ultimately after we have gotten out of our heads and back into our hearts, our focus has widened enough to access the gratitude for the lesson that inspired the growth.

You might be surprised reading that, but I promise you, you might also be surprised at what you discover when you allow yourself to move through this process step by step in a really safe way, just you and the pen and the paper in a stream of consciousness.

And then what do I do? I burn it. I burn the whole thing. The letter was for me, not for anyone else.

The phoenix rises from the ashes. Fire is an amazing way to transform energy. It does it right before your very eyes - turning paper to ash and smoke.

Einstein said that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed, and that's exactly what you're doing when you do this exercise, transforming your emotions from frustration to love and then again through the fire element.

And then celebrate yourself and the energy of appreciation by doing something you love, that makes you feel good, remembering that energy likes to move. You can sweat with a hike or a run or a hot bath or you can put on some music and dance or get in the car and drive or cook or create some art. Just finish it out by moving and celebrating that you dealt with your emotions instead of suppressing them. You went into the fire, so to speak, and you came out a phoenix. ♡

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