surrender to paper surrender to life
connect with that voice within
Do you know you carry a well of knowingness and wisdom around everywhere you go?
Always available to you and the only thing you might have to do is pick up the pen.
This short sweet practical practice, that changed my life, is about connecting to that voice.
About letting your soul speak.
The practice is called Automatic Writing. It's very simple. And anyone can do it. When you scroll down, you can read in detail what it is and how it is done.
A lot of people I have met are interested and benefit from it.
I am creating a 30-day writing-down-your-soul-ritual. For those that want a bit more support and inspiration.
Which you can do at your own pace or together with others. There can be power in doing something intentional together.
Leave your email address, and you will receive a message when it's ready!
Surrender to paper...
We've all heard it: "You have all the answers you seek within you."
For a long time, I found knowing this mostly frustrating. Knowing they are in you, but not finding them. It just made me think more.
For years, I occasionally half-heartedly tried to write or journal.
Journaling as a therapeutic exercise I always stopped before I started. Because I couldn't even pick a journal. Or decide on the journaling exercise.
I firmly believe in the power of a gratitude journal, and yet I gave up sticking with it within a week.
My attempt to write more after I took one of the best writing courses in Amsterdam quickly stranded. During our first class, I wrote a piece on the spot, read it aloud, and the teacher was deeply touched. After that, I could not get a word on paper anymore, because I was trying too hard to find the perfect words in my head. Trying to reproduce that magic from the first class.
We all have to find the thing that works for us. The thing we are willing to stick with.
I found that when I found myself at the bottom of a well and had no idea how to get myself out. My mind didn't have a solution. And stumbled upon a practice called automatic writing.
I wrote my first page according to instructions I read in a book and heard a loud bang. A dove flew into my window. It lived, but I felt obligated to that dove to keep writing. And now, years later, I still do it every day. It is the only practice I have maintained for so long without interruption. It's the simplest, most down-to-earth way for me to connect with something wiser inside and outside myself.
Why am I such a fan?
It is profound, but also incredibly practical and simple. You don't need anything except yourself, a pen and paper. And you can make as many grammar mistakes as you wish. In fact, your writing has probably never been so ugly.
It's the only thing that really gets me out of my active thinking mind. It helped me clear my mind, have a place to turn to when my ego is in panic mode, and surrender to life. In the beginning, I actually often received this message: “Surrender to paper, surrender to life…” and that is exactly what it did for me.
What is the goal?
In the first few months, I often got the message that the goal was not to write good funny, or wise, but to simply write myself empty. Because when we are empty, something (an intuitive knowing) can come through us. That can not happen when our mind is busy thinking.
Months later, I was writing, and I wrote: from now on I commit to writing 6 instead of 3 pages every day. Right at that moment, a dragonfly landed on my toe. And stayed there for the longest time. It may be coincidental, but I felt I owed it to the dragonfly to stick with it.
A few days later poems and stories suddenly flowed from my pen and from that moment on I always write from my heart. Even if I don't do this practice.
Even though it unlocked my writing completely, that was never even the purpose of automatic writing!
It's about connecting to that voice and wisdom we all have within us, call it intuition, your soul, your subconscious, your higher self, some might call it God. I see it as something within myself and outside of it. It's like having a personal conversation with that part of yourself.
It has made me rely more on my own intuition, my own knowing. But at the same time makes me feel less alone and more supported.
What is the difference between journaling and automatic writing?
1. With automatic writing you don't actively think about what you're going to write. Journaling often focuses more on processing what is happening and self-analysis and self-reflection. Or, for example, gratitude. (Which can all be incredibly powerful, by the way.)
2. With automatic writing, the intention is to connect with that knowing voice inside you.
3. In journals you often write from 'I' automatic writing feels more like an intimate conversation and I am spoken to in the 'you' form.
4. Other brain waves are active: Automatic writing creates theta waves instead of alpha waves in your brain. Theta waves are produced before you fall asleep or when you are daydreaming. Then you are completely relaxed, you have the most creative ideas and your intuitive ability is at its strongest. Journaling often happens in beta or alpha: beta is your active thinking mind and alpha waves come from a relaxed, but clear mind.
Do you want to give it a try?
Before you start
1. Agree with yourself that you will do it for 30 days. Every day, 3 pages or 10 minutes. For me, 3 pages worked well.
2. Pick a moment you can give yourself 10 minutes to do this every day. I always do it in the morning. Because that's when I feel the emptiest and nothing else can come in between. But the most important thing is that you make a choice and just stick to it. Do what works for you. (What never works is saying "I will do it when I have time.")
3. Pick a pen and Paper: Really, everything is fine. I like to use A4, with or without lines. I am also not picky about my pens. As long as it does not run empty halfway through, you are good.
4. Pick a place where you write. Trust me: your intuition doesn't care where you sit. I've moved and traveled countless times over the years, and no place worked better than the others. But it will work ill if you always use the same spot.
5. Decide to whom are you writing. I always start with 'Dear Source' because that's what feels right to me. Don't overthink this. You can do two things: just choose something, and it will change automatically if necessary.
Or you can ask when you start: "Dear, what is your name?" What shall I call you?
People really call it anything: Universe, Spirit, Heart, Friend, God, Power, Source, Guide, Knowing, Voice, Intuition.
You can also call it Fred...
6. Write your intention in your Journal the first time. Something along the lines of (but do your own thing):
I'm here. I am ready, willing and allow myself to talk to you and to listen. Thank you for your love, words, wisdom, and guidance.
The writing itself
I read quite a lot of books about automatic writing. It is often made more complicated for me than it is. It is said, for example, you must first ensure that you are in a deep meditative state. For me, the reverse is true: The writing itself gets me out of my head.
The more I try to get into such a meditative state, the more I get stuck in my head.
I don't have a specific ritual myself, but if a ritual works for you, use it! (For example, burning candles, burning incense, doing meditation, breathing exercises, etc.). The power of a ritual is that it prepares your (brain) and puts it in a certain state. If you have an exercise that calms your mind, do it before you start.
1. Sit down. Do your own ritual to relax or simply take a few deep breaths into your heart.
2. Write down the date.
3. Start with Dear…., (For me Dear Source,)
4. Ask a Question. I still use the same question I did when I started: Dear source, what is here for me to know?
You can also use any other question that comes to mind. In the beginning, stick to 1 question at a time.
Don't ask unproductive questions: Why and When questions are unproductive. So not: When will I find love? (It is not a crystal bowl) But: What must happen for me to attract love? If I want to know about a certain situation or person, I ask: 'What can you tell me about...'
Ask questions from your heart and not from ego. Your ego wants to know: When will love come? How can I make a million? How do I get more followers?
Your limited ego doesn't know what's best for you at all. When you speak from your heart, you have no need to know the future.
Other examples: What is the one most important thing I need to do today? (And the answer can be as simple as "call your mom") How do I let go of my fear? Why does this pattern keep recurring? Trust in your own knowing what question you want to ask.
5. Put your pen to paper and write. Just let your pen flow. Write quickly and don't think about how you write. Do you find yourself going to your head? What helps me is to consciously return to my heart. (“Mind, I hear you, but not right now”). Or write that last sentence over and over and over and over without thinking. You may fill two pages with that sentence, but often you will see that it comes loose again.
If you're frustrated, write 'I'm frustrated' and repeat that until you're done or until something else comes naturally. Just trust that it's part of the process, that sometimes it flows and sometimes it doesn't.
6. When you're done, say thanks.
I always close simply with, "Thank you, Manon." (Even if you think it didn't work out, say thanks anyway.)
Pro Tip: Review and listen. I am stubborn and even my own wisdom I would sometimes hear but not listen to. I often applied the question "What can you tell me about..?" in love and romantic situations. I just didn't always listen to what I heard. When I would read back what I had written weeks or months later, I would see that I already had and knew all the answers. But we have to want to listen and act on it….
Because your writing is often ugly and hard to read: read it immediately afterward and make notes of what you want to remember. You can use a separate notebook or your computer for that. I record the parts that I want to remember via an app that converts speech into text (otter) and I send that note to my computer and put everything in 1 document.
How do I know if I'm getting answers from my head or intuition? People often want to know.
My first answer is: do not overthink this. Just let it happen.
But in general: Are the words authoritative in a gentle way, clear, wise, warm? This is your intuition: non-judgmental and loving
Are the words closer to what your judgmental mind and ego sound like: critical, vague, scared, in terms of must, and coercive?
And if it is your ego?
Do not worry! Your ego is part of you, your wounded inner child.
Recognize your ego: your ego doesn't want us to do things that detach us from our ego. And automatic writing does that. Not because your ego doesn't want to see you happy, but because your ego/head likes to be in control and thinks it's necessary to protect you. When that happens just say: Hi, I see you, but everything is ok, I'm going back to my heart and pen. Thank you.
I've shared with you what I do and how I do it. If you want more guidance, join me and others for the 30-day writing down your soul ritual that will soon be available!