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A mindfulness experience with Expressive Writing

Last night, I had my first experience on expressive writing - write on paper for 20 mins continuously on the subject that deeply personal and vital. The idea is to write what comes to mind, without considering any structure, grammar, critique...

(Art by Android Jones)

For so long, my mind isn't clear. Some dark memories and traumas kept buzzing and conflicting inside. It feels a bit hard to focus due to infinite layers of thoughts. My mind was blocked, and I couldn't even continue doing my Dream Journal. Then last night when I did the expressive writing that only serves my own truth, it took back the authorship of my story and the self-talk, and it helped a lot with self-love. When I shared this with the writing group consists of 10 people aged from 16-52, there's an excitement came to my throat. Some emotions came up from my belly, stayed a bit in my throat, then they went out from my mouth. I realize that there is a principle: when things reach the limit, they reverse. Write without a purpose helps with getting the purpose back, and it's more healing and more relief to share it. It is comforting to know that we are on the same boat, and we are not alone.

During the process of expressive writing, each person sits on their matt and write individually, then share (or not to share) the experience of the process. The instructor gives everyone feedbacks and some encouraging words.

(Art by Android Jones)

In my case, this year is a good year for me. I finally come back to Amsterdam and reunion with my love after some turbulent time and events. I am really glad for what I have now and appreciate the peace. The most recent stress is related to work, and I handle it by planning things and following a routine. I struggle about the approval from authority and the acceptance from society. I feel that as an expat, I have to push harder and become worthy enough so that I don't fall from the edge. Therefore I set myself in a fighting mood each day so that I could be a consummate survivor in this world. (However, it doesn't work like that. A week ago I went to a group interview in a room that has 16 competitors for the same role, and I didn't survive it). I push hard on my capacity to handle frustration and rejection, but deep inside I know that it hurts, not only because I didn't survive in that interview, but also it's like you have to kick someone out to get in... If the rule is that there is only one survivor, then 99 % will lose the game. Then I realize that if I don't want to play other people's game and if I don't want to be in a passive situation, I need to have a plan on my own. It means that taking more responsibility and be more proactive, finding things to do also never forget the hope so that I can get closer to my bigger plans.

Also, another girl suggests that "you should find your self-worth internally, rather than seeking it from outside." The instructor then brought up about "Surrender", I think she refers to God or higher-self, but how can we surrender and survival at the same time?

Grow up as an atheist, I sometimes find myself in a blind spot of God. When everyone else looks perfect on their path, I get stuck in a forgotten corner. It' frightening. Then I debated myself internally because that is not true, it's a perspective. I have a lot of support, love, understanding, the chance to live in the best part of the world, the information, the freedom and the health. There's always something good even in the worst time, and without a judgemental perspective, nothing is good or bad. This non-judgemental, united perspective is above the survival instinct. We live in a human form, apart from those personal ambition, we also deserve containment.

However, it is not easy to stop competing. Our mind recognizes patterns by comparison. We live as social animal, the spirituality and the survival instinct seems somehow conflicted to me. In the past, I also have some personal experience of Goddess that come along with psychedelic experiences. By switching the perspective and take out of the role (the character of "me" or "you"), integrate with everyone and everything, the pain becomes so small that it cannot even be found anymore, and it's such a beautiful and pure state of mind. Unfortunately, the beauty of unity doesn't last long because separation is a very realistic illusion. Separation keeps reminding us who we are so that we can handle our mundane to reproduce and survive as a species.

It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to talk about personal stress openly, but it's also a very inspiring listening experience. In daily life, we often give high light for others and low light for ourselves, but I think we need to accept and enjoy the low light as well because we are not alone on this complicated and sometimes painful journey.

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