Art Therapy

Scream of Consciousness

Penelope Pilot

Permission to Unfurl Your Fury

The process of stream of consciousness writing is usually done simply with an openness to write whatever is happening in your head. Here, I add the extra permission to feel and free your anger. If you’ve been unwell for some time, there is usually some anger that has built up around this. How did your illness/depression/disability come about? Do you hold some hidden blame about it? Are there people in your life who don’t believe you? Do your physical, emotional or spiritual limitations anger you in some way?

In 2010 a sudden illness left me very ill.  I was paralyzed for almost a full year and for much of that time, I was unable to speak. I have never felt such fury. It was also difficult for me to cry, because it took a lot of energy that I didn’t have, so I was pretty much forced to bottle up my emotions. When I finally began to gain some strength, my massage therapist did the kindest, most compassionate thing she could have done as a health care professional. She gave me permission to SCREAM. She said, “Since you have low energy, why don’t you start off by imagining yourself screaming?” Well, that didn’t last long! Soon there was the most massive outpouring of tears, of grief, of screaming and yelling, and of foul language that you have ever heard… and it was okay. In fact, it was quite good and very necessary, and it only lasted for a little while and then I was free to take the next step in my recovery.

I’m giving you permission, right now, to have whatever feelings are there. Maybe you’re pissed today, or maybe you’re blissful. Either way, these pages are devoted to your freedom of speech, your freedom of mind and ultimately, to live your life more joyfully.

Purpose of this Exercise:

Let it flow, drain your brain! Open up to all that is, and all that’s been hidden. This is a fundamental writing exercise for personal growth, and in my opinion, is the most important one to do regularly and on a daily basis.

Objects Needed:

For this exercise, you will need a journal, a timer, a roll of Scotch tape, a pen –and a willing spirit.

Directions:

At night, place your journal by your bed. In the morning, upon rising, sit up, grab your journal, pen and your timer. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Open your journal and write non-stop until the timer goes off.  The non-stop part is essential. Do not attempt to write anything coherent, intelligent, wise, beautiful, thoughtful, or reverent. Do not attempt to write anything useful.  Just write! Write whatever is in your head. This part is also essential.  I repeat: write whatever is in your head. Then, the minute the timer goes off, fold the pages over and tape the corners shut. You will not be looking at your pages at all until you have written daily for thirty days, hopefully one month’s worth.

My personal experience with this exercise?  Lets just say I exorcized some demons.

When I was first introduced to stream of consciousness writing, it was through the book, “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron. I had been in a funk for about a year, after a breakup that was both surprising and devastating. I had started drinking and smoking again and was feeling generally unproductive and unmotivated.

I don’t want to give too much away about the process yet, but I will say that I was able to transform my state of being at that time, substantially, just from writing these pages every morning. Through this exercise, I was able to isolate patterns in my thinking that were disabling me from growing and moving ahead. After devoting a few minutes every morning for about a month, I began to feel much more in control of my life again, like I was back in the driver’s seat.

I’d love to hear feedback from you about this exercise!  Please let me know below how it has altered or improved upon your world.

My love to you all!

Elizabeth

If you’d like to try out some of the other exercises that I’ve written, go here!

Categories: Art Therapy

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