Every day, I wake up with different music lyrics playing in my head, so today, I decided to use my strange experience as an opportunity to begin my day practicing mindfulness and start doing some morning autowriting.
Now, I realize that some people don’t know what mindfulness or autowriting means, so perhaps we should start there.
What is the Difference Between Meditation and Mindfulness?
Some people think mindfulness is similar to meditation, and it is, but there are a few distinct differences.
Unlike meditation, practicing mindfulness doesn’t require a person to sit quietly in a lotus position and chant oms. Instead, it encourages active thought and participation in life and present moment awareness.
Mindfulness encourages a person to concentrate on acknowledging and accepting everything happening around them. And to appreciate whatever’s going on inside their bodies, instead of fighting it. Then, every sight, sound, feeling, and sensation they experience becomes an experience, not an obstacle, and therapy, rather than sensory overload.
Meditation teaches a person to resist outside stimulation and thought, while mindfulness encourages more of both. It’s a key component in reducing stress and anxiety.
Now, I’ll be the first person to admit that I do not meditate, but I do try to practice mindfulness. And when I do, I try to take it a step further. Instead of fighting my anxious feelings, I feed off the energy. I use all the chaos happening around me and the extra energy to practice autowriting.
What is Autowriting?
Autowriting, automatic writing, or spirit writing is an esoteric concept that many spiritualists and skeptics debate.
According to Wikipedia, autowriting “also called psychography, is a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing.”
O.K., I get it. Autowriting probably sounds a little weird to less spiritually-minded people, but maybe the bigger problem is in the wording. Try replacing the psychic ability part of the definition with the word phenomenon, as referenced in the Encyclopedia Britannica, and leave out the spirit part, too. Sound better?
The truth is that anyone, whether spiritually adept or not, can practice autowriting because it’s not magic. It is meditation writing, and an unscripted train of thought onto paper without any editing.
Learning Creativity through Mindfulness
Once again, I’ve come to realize something new about myself. I don’t follow many spiritual practices rules. Especially not when it comes to my writing. For one, I’m an anxious and high-strung person, so I’m always fully aware of my surroundings. Also, I don’t sit alone in a dark room burning candles and sage, or write all my strange thoughts onto paper. If I did, I would never get anything else done!
Now, don’t get me wrong. Maybe there is some psychological benefit to doing all those extra things, but to me, there’s just as much if not more benefit to doing nothing and just being. To just letting my creativity flow without trying to control my surroundings with additional props.
When I practice autowriting, I do it without thinking. I sit in my office, which is currently in a dark corner of my living room, and I blast my music playlist. I have my laptop open to a blank WordPad or Scrivener screen, and I just start typing. I write down all the sights, sounds, feelings and sensations I am experiencing, and I don’t stop. One morning, I might spend fifteen minutes just describing what I hear and see outside my window. Another day, I might spend an hour describing how a song on my playlist makes me feel. But either way, I keep writing.
Another thing I like to do is try try to recognize all the synchronicity happening around me. The strange coincidences about how a song on my playlist matches with what’s going on outside my window. Or how someone in my home said the exact phrase I had just heard in a song. I try not to let intrusive distractions derail my train of thoughts, but sometimes shit happens. Family happens. Life happens. I just make a note and continue writing.
I also try to absorb my surroundings into feelings while letting YouTube, or whatever streaming platform I’m using at the time, take me on a rabbit hole adventure.
The result is a blog series that I call Lyrical Journey™.