PEW #2

This past week I had a long phone conversation with one of my childhood friends. We caught each other up about our kids and our lives. The details were a little messy. She told me about a concept called purge emotional writing and later sent me a link to an article with more information. My first thought was, “I write about my emotions all of the time.” Then yesterday morning, I read the article.

Normally, I type my words. Yesterday, I tried something new. I wrote on paper, as directed for twelve minutes, fast and furious. And I realized—I was furious. That’s probably why I was so open to this exercise. Next, I burned the page and watched a small fire consume it. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. And then I swept it all from the concrete pavement into the grass. The exercise says to do this for the next five days.

Cue Sunday. PEW Day 2. The sun arose, and so did I. I walked the neighborhood and listened to Black Pumas and Michael Kiwanuka through my earphones. Along the way, I thought about what I might write in twelve minutes. Already, I could feel the difference one day had made. Some of that comes down to circumstances. Some is perspective.

Back at home, I made coffee and grabbed my spiral. I checked the time and started writing. Twelve minutes. Today there were no f-bombs. Today there was more pity than anger. There was some acceptance of things I cannot change. There was some courage to change what I can. I’m still seeking wisdom to know the difference. Part of me wanted to keep today’s words. I walked the page through my front door and burned it anyway. I watched it char black, then to gray ash.

I’m interested to see what happens over the course of the next three days. Already, I’m thinking —

31 thoughts on “PEW #2

  1. This is kind of what I do with my online English class. I am hesitant with the journals to correct the grammar by grading but it is still an English class. I get some very interesting journals.

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    1. That’s cool! I’m not self-editing in any way on these twelve-minute journal-burns. So, I’m brainstorming with you here (based on correction hesitancy), but maybe they just get some sort of completion grade for doing the journals and then they have an opportunity to revise one of every five or so for you to correct. I’m a believer in practice for fluency.

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      1. Yeah, we have a format down and it inspires them to use the journals with their essays. I take off a few points for incorrect grammar but try to keep an open mind. Revising one of every five is a great in person exercise. I will have to remember that!

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  2. This is the first I’ve heard of this technique, Crystal. Now that I’m aware, though, it fascinates.

    It really does provide insight on how our minds function. Despite making Reason our goddess, how readily we take to giving our thoughts physicality, and to disposing of them as appropriate. It seems this has more than just a therapeutic benefit.

    In fact, this is a uniquely effective strategy for our modern age. when so much is “virtual,” and thus, is beyond our reach. This is a way of returning problems to our personal spheres, and to enjoying the tactile pleasure of disposing of them physically.

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    1. This exercise is just a piece of Habib Sadeghi’s book The Clarity Cleanse. I just started it, but so far it’s about the energy behind our thoughts and how the energy our minds affects/infects our bodies. I’m a believer in the concept. To be continued…

      Always great to hear from you! Have a good week, Keith!

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      1. Ah, in writing madly for a spell, we release many of those caustic energies. Then, we see with our own eyes, them disintegrating, their remains lost to the winds. Or to the grass, as circumstances allow.

        Beautiful lawn, Crystal! What have you been feeding it?

        If only it were that easy.

        Well, maybe it is.

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  3. I find this type of exercise really touches and clears those emotional depths that get obscured by the intellect. For me it places the emotional expression first without the intellectual filters. Thanks for this.

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  4. Amazing that even after one day, you have felt a difference. I can see how this process would bring a sense of peace, as you learn to accept different circumstances, release the things you have no control over, and take action on what you can.

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  5. Thank you for sharing!!… I am glad to see that you have found a way for you… hope you have much success!… I just follow my heart, let the heart do the talking and the fingers do the walking… it is all a part of me and to burn would be burning part of me… I just put the negative in the negative folder for future reference if need be…. 🙂
    For peace I find me a quiet corner in the house and meditate, connecting with myself and rebooting… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May flowers always line your path
    and sunshine light your way,
    May songbirds serenade your
    every step along the way,
    May a rainbow run beside you
    in a sky that’s always blue,
    And may happiness fill your heart
    each day your whole life through.
    (Irish Saying)

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