It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
I wasn’t trying to be a writer. It surprised me when I looked through the stack of handwritten notebooks stored in plastic tubs under my bed and realized, I have written over three thousand pages. It started as writing one page songwriting idea snap shots. I don’t write books, I write pages or at my best, distilled wisdom condensed into a single quote. I call my writing process WISDOM PAGES.
Two simple exercises set the foundation for my unique technique in writing.
• THE MORNING PAGES daily practice in Julia Cameron’s classic, THE ARTIST’S WAY – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. I followed her suggestion and wrote three pages every day for over a year. This simple practice allowed unfiltered observation of my internal thought processes. Over time, the inner critic was silenced. I relaxed into a fluid intuitive style of free writing. The blessing of deeper self awareness is unmeasurable.
• THE WISDOM CAN is an exercise I learned in a prosperity class.
I decorated a large coffee can and named it my Wisdom Can. The idea is to observe one simple thing you learn each day, write a small note of affirmation and put it in the can. After the class we were directed to start taking out one wisdom message each day as a reminder of what we learned. My curiosity was ignited. I continued to put wisdom messages in my can every day for several years. Without knowing it, my habit of direct observation of personal experience fueled my understanding of how, focus amplifies experience.
My daily Wisdom Pages have grown into a transformative practice.
I write from observation, not imagination.
I like to discover the obvious by asking unusual questions. I enjoy finding unique perspectives.
Observing life with curiosity brings more awareness to the true nature of who I am and the world I live in.
Vast knowledge is only a click away on the internet but there is something profound in discovering the nature of life in direct personal experience. Aha! moments can be, defining moments in how we show up in the world.
I consider Wisdom Pages, my journal. They are a way of documenting highlights of my life, without naming names or detailed experiences like traditional journals.
My writing has always been a sketch pad to capture ideas with no expectation of sharing them.
Many of the little milestones that could easily be forgotten are preserved in daily writing. We don’t notice the growth of a tree in the moment but over time our unnoticed growth can be revealed, like in the life record of lines drawn on a kitchen doorway each year to measure the growth of a child.
Wisdom Pages are like a message in a bottle to myself. They can become a cherished connection through time and a gift to the world.
TRY IT YOURSELF
Harmony Experiment: Wisdom Pages
FOR AT LEAST A WEEK
WRITE ONE PAGE
INSPIRED BY SOMETHING YOU OBSERVED
IN A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I have refined a spectacularly simple system for writing Wisdom Pages. This is the first time I have shared my specific method.
This is how I write, I encourage you to experiment to see what is most natural for you.
The central idea is to experience, observe and record the growth experiences in your life. There is an added benefit in sharing your wisdom, but the first gift is to yourself.
SIX STEPS TO HOW I WRITE WISDOM PAGES
1. Start with a seed phrase or inspired thought
2. Write ONE page
3. Date and sign
4. Add a title
5. Record any added notes
6. Turn the page
My pages are handwritten in standard notebooks.
I start with two open pages.
After I finish writing the Wisdom Page on the main blank page on the right, I use the blank page on the left to make notes for my own reference.
I like to write at least one page each day. Some days, I write two or three pages when there are several inspired thoughts. There can be themes, but each page has its own unique identity.
I write most often in the morning, but I have no set time for writing. I wait for an interesting observation. If I haven’t written a page by the end of the day, I reflect on an experience or how I feel in the moment and write a page before going to bed.
WRITING A WISDOM PAGE
• A seed phrase or inquisitive observed concept will start the first line.
• Allow the words to flow. Connecting word to word, sentence to sentence. Not looking any farther ahead than the end of the page. There can be tiny pauses for questions and observation to contemplate the concept but keep writing. The desire to understand and record the seed idea is most important.
It can be unsettling to let go of concern for punctuation, sentence structure and the rules of grammar but it is a natural part of allowing ideas to flow.
An example of a common page structure is below.
• The intentional limit of ONE page creates added urgency to use clear concise language to capture the essence of the idea.
• It is common to write one to five words per line.
• The structure may look like poetry. The intention is more focused on gaining multiple and emphasized meaning by where the line breaks fall.
• After writing the one page, add a title, date, signature and any notes.
• Turn the page, leave the next blank page open and ready for the next idea.
Five minutes is a common average for writing one page. It can take ten to fifteen minutes with brief exploration, clarification and finding direction. Anything over thirty minutes is likely falling into the trap of too much thinking and trying to craft perfection. Write with the intention of self discovery, not public expression.
This process is writing from our knowing heart, not crafting words from the thinking mind.
Just because you write it doesn’t mean you ever have to share it. So, you can, let down your guard, relax and be with yourself.
AN ACTUAL WISDOM PAGE EXAMPLE from September 23, 2018 about Wisdom Pages ?
Allow you to write
Flow without thinking
Because you already know
What wants to be written
Seeds of thoughts
and snapshots of ideas
Capture a moment
Not a life story
Ponder an idea
Explore, observe and comment
upon the thoughts arising
Connecting word to word
Sentence to sentence
Not looking any farther ahead
Than the end of the page
When you know
The last page of life
Is coming to an end
You don’t want
To waste words
Now compare the open spacing of the wisdom page above with the same words in a standard block of text below. How clear is the communication and tone in each example?
Wisdom pages allow you to write freely without criticism. Wisdom pages flow without thinking because you already know what wants to be written. Seeds of thought and snapshots of inspiration, guide observations. Wisdom pages capture a moment, not a life story. Wisdom pages ponder an idea, explore, observe and comment upon the thoughts arising. Connecting word to word, sentence to sentence. Not looking any farther ahead than the end of the page. When you know the page is coming to an end, you don’t want to waste words.
With over forty handwritten notebooks starting in 1990, all of my volumes from 2010 – 2018 are typed and in the process of selecting highlights for my first compilation titled “One Light, Many Reflections”
The premier of my best pre-published works will be posted here in SoulSpring, so please subscribe to my blog and you can be the first to read my Wisdom Pages.
“The interesting thing about wisdom is not thinking an original thought, it is observing and living truth in your own life experience.” Will Hale 9-16-16
Try living in curiosity and wonder. Experiment, experience, observe and decide for yourself what is true.
I would love to hear your comments and writing stories.
Feel free to connect anytime. Thanks! Will Hale
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