I write as I hike. Something about the rhythmic sound of my feet on the gravel, hearing the wind rushing past my ears, and breathing deeply to fuel my moving body— it always proves to get the creative juices flowing. It unlocks certain thoughts that have been trapped inside my brain, looking for an escape route. I pull out my phone, flip open my Evernote app, and start dictating away. Often times, the dictation gets it wrong and I go back later and can’t figure out what in the world I was trying to say. Surely “elephant bangs and wallowing grasshoppers” couldn’t possibly be what I intended to say, right?!?
Most of the time that first (extremely) rough draft that emerges while up in the hills changes dramatically by the time I hit “publish” here on this little blog of mine. And much of what I write up there never makes it onto this forum due to the private nature or incomplete processing of it, but it’s therapeutic nonetheless.
These hike-writing sessions give me a chance to process through whatever is cluttering up my mind or heart at the moment. I always feel so cleansed after one of these hikes. It feels like my lungs, my muscles, my brain, and my soul all got a refreshing little workout up there.
So today, if you find you, too, have a cluttered mind and you long for clarity and tranquility up there (and perhaps your husband and friends don’t have the time to listen to all of your verbal processing?), I want to encourage you: take your thoughts, your heart’s burdens, your confusions, and your epiphanies— and get them out of you so that you can see what you’re dealing with. Either grab a journal and a pen and scribble away. Or grab your laptop or your phone and tap it out. Or, if words aren’t your thing (or if you simply can’t find language to express what’s going on inside), try another method! Grab a paint brush and a canvas and purge yourself that way. Or grab your guitar and strum it out. Or hit a yoga class and breathe through it all. Whatever works for you.
It is so insightful to see what rises to the surface when you genuinely take the time to face your thoughts and feel your feelings.
And here’s the thing that I have discovered in my experiences: All this writing, all this dictating, all this processing? It’s sacred. It’s hashing out my heart with the God who made me— and giving Him space to respond. It’s prayer.
It’s what works for me. What works for you?
[This is Day 18 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. This year my focus is on the role of STORY in our lives. Click here to get to the landing page with links to each post for this series.]
P.S. As a big fat THANK YOU to all of you faithful readers who have been reading along during this challenge, DaySpring is offering one lucky reader a $100 Shopping Spree to Dayspring.com! Click here to enter yourself.
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What about you?
In what ways are you able to process through your jumbled thoughts? Is there a particular place you like to go to commune with God?
Please share your story in the comment section below.