This last Sunday I offered "Writing from Your Body," the first workshop in my "A Year of Living in Your Body" series. For four hours I led my lovely and creative participants in exercises with breath, sensory experience, movement, and physical touch. We wrote from our feet, intestines, and hearts; engaged with all of our senses; took a centering walk; breathed into our bellies; wrote in different positions and locations; shook out stress and balanced our brain hemispheres; and shared the messages we received from our bodies in a safe and open setting. And much, much more! Wow!
I want to send a scrumptious thank you out to my participants! You were sensorily-activated, bodily-focused, and creatively-ignited writerly rock stars! This was my first time leading such a long workshop--and yet those four hours felt like absolute PLAY for me. And even though I played facilitator, I did have some interesting moments of my own writing, including the discovery that "my pelvis is a bowl in my body, catching the contents of my desires--a bowl to catch my heart when it drops." I think there's a poem hidden in there.
One of the books that I introduced to the group (and that influenced my workshop) is Laraine Herring's Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice. If you have any interest in how breath (and being fully in your body) can allow for a deeper writing experience, Herring's book is a must-read.
In honor of my workshop, here is a little exercise you can try as a way to engage with your body in a different way. Choose of these pairs of words and write from the part of the body with an awareness of the sense listed. For instance, if you were to draw "elbow" and "smell," imagine what your elbow might smell on a daily basis. Lemon pledge? Pizza dough? Printer toner? And feel free to write in the voice of that part of the body. You never know--perhaps your teeth have something to get off their chest, so to speak!
teeth - smell
eyes - touch
knees - sight
hands - taste
heart - sound