The Healing Practices of Poetry and Meditation
At this moment in time where anything we want to know is at our fingertips and can be can be sourced digitally within in seconds, our minds are more active than ever. The job of memorizing can now be outsourced to our smartphones. We live in a distracted virtual reality where it can be a challenge to give our minds enough time to rest. For many of us when we begin to slow down, we are bombarded by the thoughts we have yet to process. This is especially true at bedtime and why so many people experience sleep issues.
I was so excited to write a Sleep Story for Calm because I wanted to create a peaceful place for you to settle and rest before entering the dream world.
Sleep Stories are sleep-inducing tales that mix soothing words, music, sounds, and mindfulness techniques to help adult listeners wind down and drift off to sleep. My Sleep Story, Island of Dreams, was inspired by my personal experience of living in the Hawaiian Islands. While living here over the past year I’m learning what it means to truly slow down and connect to nature. It’s deepened my respect for all living things and this extraordinary planet that we all call home.
If you make it until the end of my Sleep Story, you’ll get to hear one of my favorite poems from my book of poetry, Explorations of a Cosmic Soul.
While writing I imagined what it would be like if nature was singing a lullaby.
The words flowed out as I sat on the beach staring at the sunset. Golden light reflected off the mountains. I daydreamed about what it might feel like to be strong and steady like the mountains or fluid and ever-changing like the sea or the open and blowing in the breeze like the flowers. As this process of imagination expanded my awareness, I noticed that the noise in my mind naturally calmed.
For me, writing poetry is a meditation.
I began writing poems after a meditation training in the Himalayan mountains. We would sit in stillness for 8 hours every day for two weeks. Every time I put ink to paper and wrote a poem, my mind would become still. Writing became a form of medicine for my heart. It is a way for me to quiet my anxiety and meet myself beneath the fear.
The most important thing that I’ve learned through writing is that creating a happy home within the mind is essential, the body is our vehicle for this lifetime, and the quality of our lives is affected by the perspective from which we see the world. This is why tools like meditation, writing, yoga, and art making are so essential. From a cosmic perspective, our lives are truly just a short wink of time in eternity. We may as well love the homes we are creating within our own skin. All we ever truly have is the present moment. The past and future are simply a movie we play within our imaginations.
Creating a calm mind is the practice of choosing to stay in the now.
Since most of us are living modern lives and are not able to meditate in a cave most days, it’s important to find tools that bring us back into internal peace even when our external lives are chaotic. Carving out time for self-care is essential. Whether it be through meditations, Sleep Stories, or reading poetry. If it nourishes your soul, it’s important. I invite you to be curious and explore what makes you feel most connected and empowered. Connect with the artist inside. We all have one, I promise. Art is a form of therapy. It’s modern day alchemy, where we take the challenges we are facing and create beauty. This is what inspired me to write Explorations of a Cosmic Soul. Writing this book gave me permission to explore consciousness, love, and human connection. It is written with reverence for this vast and mysterious universe that we are a part of and through what I’ve learned from life’s daily lessons.