Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why Write?

If you’re an extrovert, it’s easy to “tell your stories” isn’t it? If your friends let you off the hook, you never get to dig deeper to gain understanding, knowledge, or growth from experiences—you get to stay in story land indefinitely. And sometimes, it feels like you’re on a ferry, shuffling back and forth between “here” and “there”. It feels like you're not really growing, or progressing.

And sometimes, it’s worse than that. You process all your “stuff” with your friends or family. But if your friends/family (or the appropriate friends/family) aren’t available, you do it with whoever’s available.

Can you say… drama? And how much does that really help you, anyway?

What if you could find a way to process in a healthy way, a different way, a better way?

It’s not about reading yet another self-help book. It’s not about reading another book at all, actually.

"Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people's lives, never your own." – Flaubert’s Parrot, by Julian Barnes

What if you could find a way to make sense of your own stories… your own life? What if you could quiet the compulsion to read every self-help book with an English translation?

What Pathways and other experience-based training courses do within the training is amazing—especially for extroverts. We get to open up wide and process, right there in front of everyone. And we get help to do it, too.

But what about after the training is over? Do you ever find yourself wanting to call up your small group and get in a circle, chair legs touching, so you can really get to the bottom of things?

Well, good—you’ve acknowledged that you need help to understand what’s going on in your heart. But real life doesn’t quite work like a small group, does it?

What’s even more powerful, though—is learning how to get those earth-shattering realizations, light bulb moments, epiphanies—by doing powerful processing—all by yourself.


Well, allow me offer my own perspective…

I am a writer, first and foremost. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I couldn’t wait to learn how to write my name, and then—what else could I write? Well, my family’s names, of course. Jill. David. Wendy. Paula. It kind of exploded from there. 

And then, there was that day when my friend Amanda Baker gave me a journal when I was 9 years old.

It was a spare, she said.
She didn’t need it, she said.

It’s telling that that was the start of it all for me. I wrote stories, I wrote out my angst, my worries (I had so many back then), and it was the very beginning of my life long healing process.

You never know what small and seemingly insignificant acts of kindness can do for someone. I’m sure Amanda never expected me to start writing—and never stop. I didn’t expect it either. All I knew was that I had a lot to say, and no one to talk to.

No one, except my diary.

Even writing blog posts helps me grow. The experiences I have with life, with day-to-day living—they soak into my psyche, and I have to do something to work through whatever is troubling my heart. Writing is one of my best tools for that, and when I write, I am able to turn off the noise in my brain to the point where my hand moving across the page essentially translates what’s coming straight from my heart.

I process it. I think about it. I realize things… and then, I find a way to incorporate what I’ve learned into the next set of choices I make—while also letting go of the pain I felt during the experience.

And, in my day-to-day writing (which—I feel it’s important for you to know—I journal by hand every day), I realize things. I get those light-bulb moments because I am well-practiced at it.

And now, I’m ready to help others who want to try this writing thing out as a way of growing on a deeply personal level. 

I’m so excited for our Writing for Growth class to begin. I have a nearly endless repertoire of techniques, exercises, and insight to offer so that you can use one of man’s greatest tools—writing—to grow yourself.

And the added bonus is—we’ll meet in a small group format. So you’ll also have a chance to connect in a meaningful way with other like-minded folks, each on his or her own journey.

Mark has the psychology background, and he has many years of experience helping people grow. He has eloquently described what it’s like for introverts in the training. Check out his three recent posts.

And regardless of whether you have or haven’t been through Pathways, or Zac’s, or Discovery, or any other experience-based training, Writing for Growth may be just the thing that helps you get to the next level. It may lead you on a journey you never knew you could take.

If you've been curious to try writing, in any capacity, then please...

(We start August 10th. All details at the website! You can also "Like" us on Facebook!)

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