Listening is Home
In this practice, writing is a form of listening. Try it when you feel uncomfortable, anxious, frustrated, sad, tired, overwhelmed, or when everything you do feels like it's not quite right. You'll need paper and a pen.
To start, take three breaths, close your eyes, and bring your attention inward. See what you notice: feelings, sensations, thoughts, images, memories.
At the top of a sheet of paper, write a short description of what you notice. It might look something like this:
"Scared, gooey fluttering in my chest, thinking I'll never get it right."
Or, you might have the sense that a particular "part" is present: inner critic, inner child, the perfectionist, the procrastinator, etc. If so, write the name of that part at the top of the page.
Now that you've identified what you notice internally, you can experiment with giving this part or this experience attentive, loving presence ~ really listening to it.
To help focus your listening, you can invite this aspect of yourself to come forward. Below your description of it, write something like: "Hello. I want to hear what you have to say." See if there's a way that it responds to your greeting ~ in words, or maybe a shift in sensation. Write down whatever you notice.
See if you have a specific question for this part of you, such as: â€œWhat do you need?â€ or â€œWhat are you trying to give me or teach me?â€ or â€œWhat would satisfy you?â€ Experiment with writing down your query, and seeing if the part responds. If it does, continue to write the dialog as it unfolds.
You might intuitively feel drawn to other questions or ways of communicating with this part. Perhaps you want to draw, rather than write. Notice what feels right to you and follow that impulse.
When you come to a natural ending point, and you feel like you've gotten to know this part of yourself better, take three slow breaths. It can also be illuminating to go back and read over the words and dialog that you've written. Notice any shifts in how you feel, compared to when you began the practice. You may be surprised to see that some of the beliefs you had about this part of you have changed. See if you feel more of a sense of home within yourself.