Creativity in writing and laughter with friends has a great capacity to heal.

Day 15 into my writing commitment of 500 words for 30 days and it’s an ideal time to reflect on the benefits of this mental exercise. The first noticeable change is that I’m feeling energised to start each day. Upon waking I am enjoying the new routine of making my double espresso and sitting down to write with a clear (somewhat supercharged) head and discovering what lands on the page each day. Guided by prompts delivered to my inbox overnight what I often plan to write is quite different from what appears.

Writing first thing in the morning provides me with clarity and the high of achieving a goal early, in my case usually before 6 am when my house stirs. I’m also waking with the sound of the chorus of birds singing their morning songs, and where I live in the woodlands on the Mornington Peninsula, loud and harmonious as daylight peeks through the darkness. I love this time of day, where the land is still as it is this morning, the giant trees surrounding my home looking down over our land like wise elders who have seen it all.

Perhaps it’s my current headspace or possibly also a recent shift in my journey through grief but what I had planned to write for 30 days has been light, and fun, and varied. I seem to have put aside the reliving of those early days of pain and suffering which I initially felt I had to relive in all their detail on the page, describing the deep emotional reality of losing a loved one to brain cancer. It’s come as a relief as my mind begins to wander to lighter and more general topics such as nurturing my veggie garden, cycling life and exploring what future relationships could look like.

It’s perhaps the latter that has also been the greatest influence and that is being open to love again. After almost four years I feel this could again be a possibility and although not one I need to make me happy, is one I am considering complementing my life. Over the past two months I have started laughing again, and I mean laughing so much I have tears rolling down my cheeks, uncontrollable belly laughs with an old friend from my 20s which I have reconnected with. The freedom to be me, acting silly (again like we did in our 20s) without any agenda, having meaningful conversations catching up on years of separation late into the night has been such a wonderful experience. Who would have thought that acting like a child could seriously improve your mood and add quality to your life? For so long life has been so serious, so full of pressure and perfection, now at least I have the freedom to express myself in any way without judgment and surprisingly lead to a great foundation for romance. One thing I have learned is that creativity in writing and laughter with friends has a great capacity to heal.

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