The Daily Practice: A Healing Tool
by Kristina Amelong
“I used to think freedom meant doing whatever you want. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it.”
– Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones
Back to the healing tool of the daily practice. Again, choose any daily activity that truly nourishes your soul, truly brings you a deeper sense of purpose in your life – playing an instrument, exercise like yoga, meditation, service in your community, studying a passion like How the Universe Began or Quantum Physics, or, one of my daily blessings – Free or Contemplative writing.
Below, I share one of my ten-minute timed writings.
An earlier writing, What is Optimal Health?, can be found here.
Write one of those six-word life stories. Kittens. Pain. Expansion. Flowers blooming in the spring. But is that too many words? A black-capped chickadee flitting onto my wooden bird feeder, enchanting with its presence. A brother who rode his bike while a green car determined to meet him with fate or destiny, I'm not yet sure which. Could you tell me? Water – not drinking – but diving into, black – below a baby blue sky salted with tall, white clouds. I could hold my breath longer than the other children. Floating cold, but not dead like my brother. McDonald's as home, teacher, emerging self – not just flipping burgers and capping bubbly diet Cokes for the cars in the drive thru. Only six words, I know: Love, longing, beauty, animals, loneliness, effort. Six words. Now more words about those six words. I loved toads, baby pigeons, horses, muddy waters, and my brother Jay. I longed for love, belonging, being touched by anyone – later on I wasn't choosy. Beauty is now the name of my cat. Beauty is what my daughter breathes in with every movement. Yes, even as she rides her Ripstick, plays the piano, wraps her arms around me, and whimpers on the couch. Animals – have ever seen a mass of birds I'll move in unison? Loneliness – I was in Mexico on a Spanish class trip in sixth grade. I woke in the middle of the night with diarrhea. I hid my underwear deep in the garbage can of my hotel bathroom. In the morning I was awoken by the same underwear swaying in my face. "Whose are these?" "Not mine," I maintained, wishing I could disappear into the black spaces between stars. Effort – what can I say except now I write.
If you wish to explore optimizing your health through a writing practice, read the work of Natalie Goldberg.
I invite you to share your writing with me, if you think it will benefit you or others in our combined endeavors for optimal health. If we both agree, your work can be posted here.