Writing Your Way Through the Underworld

In each life there is a need at some time or other to travel alone and by night. It will be hard but it’s when the stars burn coldest and clearest. The stars will come out for you. Don’t be afraid. I free write every single morning as a liberated creativity practice. It’s like producing a raw lump of clay. And then I decide what I want to do with it when I bring it into my creative “workshopping” practice afterwards. That’s where the editor, the critic and the beautifier are allowed in to do their jobs. But the liberation space is only play, only freedom. No editor, no critic. It’s where you can’t be afraid to look like an ass. Somehow, in the liberated space, jewels your ego never could’ve constructed are found. What I’ve shared above is a raw lump of clay. The first page of my notebook, one whole notebook ago. And I feel moved to share it. I want to share more from the center of my practices and my heart. I want to share it because I have an intuitive sense that it connects to something true at the heart of being human. It’s like Mississippi John Hurt said, “You have to walk that [lonesome] valley for yourself.” None of our lives go according to plan. Not really, anyway. That’s not to say it’s pointless to have goals and consciously move in certain creative directions. It’s to say that those goals, and that process of moving forward, is a constant negotiation with mystery— a constant conversation with the pure unknown. Which leaks into all of our lives in all sorts of ways. Almost like there is this mystery dimension to life that has other plans for us. And in the process of surrendering to that “other” plan, we unfurl, and our lives unfold, in ways our regular old ego could’ve never dreamed. It’s not always easy. It can feel like a crucifixion and resurrection process. An underworld descent and re-emergence process. But you can trust it. Even when it feels like fucking hell. You can trust it. This is a fierce journey, and we’re all in it together. And sometimes we all need a little extra help, because this shit is hard. Reach out here for more information on how we can weave expressive writing therapy into our work together.