The Ritual of Writing

Yesterday, I decided to write. So I sat down with my computer and a mug of hot chocolate, and I wrote. Words poured out. I tend to edit as I go, so perhaps the process could better be described as floods of ideas being directed through narrow pipes where they were allowed to build up force and speed even as they were refined, until they finally burst forth onto the screen.

It felt really good.

And I realized something.

I need to write. Whether I am experimenting with unfamiliar styles (such as the poem I wrote last night, my first poem in years!) or taking refuge in structures I know well, writing grounds me. Writing commits me to myself.

So I promised myself I would write every day. I shared that promise with friends and supporters on Facebook.

This is a world where it’s hard to pay attention. Too many things clamor for us. Too many words. If it’s too long, we stop reading. Not enough time.

And yet I would happily spend hours each day configuring and reconfiguring words, or curled up in my new reading chair with paper, a clipboard, and a pen, writing a long, thoughtful letter to a friend.

Will others read my words? Does it matter? Yes and no.

I write this as a record of a promise made. I call writing my sacred ritual. I will take time each day to write something for myself. I bless myself as a writer. I know that it matters.

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About Jayleigh

Drawing on experiences within women’s spirituality groups for the past ten years, as well as experiences of creating group ritual within these spaces, I am passionate about bringing the healing and enlivening power of ritual to individuals and communities. I believe that the roots of ceremony lie deep within all of us. Our bodies and hearts know these ancient ways of connecting with each other, with our deepest selves, and with our earth. My work centers around helping people remember ceremony and incorporate it into their lives. My business, Incorporating Ritual (www.incorporatingritual.com), is a vehicle through which I offer consultation services for creating self-designed ceremony as well as facilitation of ceremonies for life events personal and communal, large and small.
This entry was posted in Daily Ritual Challenge, Prayer and Intention, Ritual in Daily Life, Sacred Space, Self-Care Using Ritual and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Ritual of Writing

  1. Somehow, there are elements in this post that I can absolutely relate to for I also started writing after a few years hiatus because, well, I had a very nasty downfall and it kind of tore my sanity apart. After gathering the pieces and everything, I summed up my guts to start writing again. And I have to admit, it felt like flying. Pouring emotions through writings is truly a sacred form of art itself. And I too, have promised myself to write everyday until something comes up, and it’s big enough to stop me in my tracks. Writing is the purest form of language, that I can say. This blog post of yours is really touching. I hope you do write more of this. I will be back for more of your touching posts. :)

  2. dewiniaethason says:

    Hi Jayleigh!
    Amazing blog (as I think I’ve already conveyed). I’m looking forward to going back and really exploring what you’ve written… soon. I wrote a couple nights ago after weeks of not, and I had the same sort of realization. I’ve missed pouring myself onto the page. Sometimes I don’t do it because I’m afraid what shows up there will be too messy, but the other night I simply wrote through the messiness, and it was great.

    Last year I took a series of courses with Janet Conner (author of Writing Down Your Soul) and she taught me so much about incorporating ritual into writing and everyday life. She lives it. I think you might appreciate her work. In a month or so she’s teaching a whole process called Lotus and the Lily, which is sort of like creating a dream board, but so much more… it’s an intention mandala, and it’s a month of sacred preparation, listening, letting go, writing and letting your intentions for the new year emerge. It’s a telecourse. If you’re interested I’d love for you to join me in it. :)

    I’m also experimenting with different styles. I recently did a sort of… well, I’ll call it a “process poem”: I took a walk with a notebook, and simply recorded my sensations and experiences and the process that was going through me as I walked. I was amazed in the end how much insight came to me moment to moment, and how the whole poem, though it was written on random observations on a walk, has a sort of cohesion to it. If you’re interested I’ll share it with you. :)

    And I just started working with my favourite memoir writer as a coach… now, this is scary… I’m so used to telling in my writing, and to consciously move to showing, it’s kind of a whole new world.

    Jason

    • Jayleigh says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting! I’d love to hear what you think of some of my older posts. I have been in various moods over time when writing for this blog, and sometimes I think I should go back and edit to be more consistent, and sometimes I like the idea of letting it all show as a testament to where I’ve been. I never want to become so polished and commercial that I lose the messiness and truth of my process (though, granted, my “messy” writing is never that messy–but that’s just the way it comes out, even in my personal journals).

      The telecourse sounds great! I’d love to hear more about it. And the poem writing! I like that idea, of letting it cohere without trying to make it cohere. I actually just wrote a poem a few days ago, my first in years! Sometimes I think I can’t write poetry and sometimes it just flows. I’ll share my poem if you’ll share yours. :) I’m still getting to sitting down and writing you an email. I always feel that your words are so rich, like a dessert that I want to savor (I like dessert), and I want to respond with the appropriate level of luxury and not just because I feel obligated. But never fear, an email is coming!

      • dewiniaethason says:

        Hi Jayleigh, I love the idea of letting it all show, allowing different parts of yourself to appear in the blog depending on your mood at the time. I see a lot of heart-centered professionals who try to put on such a polished professional persona, but then when I meet one who’s willing to be vulnerable, mess up, admit they don’t know everything, be inconsistent at times, let it all show… I immediately gravitate to them. Sometimes it’s helpful to see examples of people who rock at being unpolished. :) We don’t get too many examples. Alex Baisley has helped me see that it can be a strength, and let go of a lot of the huge burden of trying to look a certain way professionally — what if I could just be me and I don’t have to worry about all this stuff I was “taught” (in some sense) to worry about? :)

        Do you ever just work with clients over the phone/skype or whatever? Whether or not you end up in the Lotus and Lily class, the Facebook group is a great networking opportunity (especially since pretty much everyone who takes the course loves ritual!). I’d be delighted to share your work with them… let me know if you have some kind of offer, an introductory session or something, that you’d like me to share with the group! I’m sure also as a bonus Janet would be open to you leading some kind of bonus ritual night and that would give everyone an idea of what you do and could be a good way to find clients.

        Just throwing some ideas out there. :)

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