It has been more the rule than the exception through the last six months or so that our world, national and local news has focused on one unbelievable human atrocity after another; with a seemingly endless ability to trump the previous week’s painful emotional impact. The capstone of this last week was the criminal case of the Philando Castile murder ending in an acquittal of the police officer who shot him.
Miss Kitka scans the living room. She lifts her head and dampens the edges of the coach with her nose. She hesitates. There are so many hands at her eye level! Caught in a sort of trance, the entirety of her vision is overwhelmed with fingers folding, unfolding, aligning, re-folding, flattening, and finally cutting various hues of origami paper. Thankfully, my cat is more curious about the people than in tasting the paper scraps falling to the floor.
Every morning, Pam Wynn sets a timer for 20 minutes, pulls out her journal and her favorite pen, lights a candle, and writes.
"It's a ritual," she says. Pam is a poet and Adjunct Professor of Writing, Poetry, and Theological Interpretation at United. "Like liturgy, ritual is an ancient way to connect to the divine. Writing as a ritual reduces anxiety, promotes self-confidence, and increases one's sense of empowerment."
Pam teaches online workshops about writing--specifically journal writing--as a spiritual practice (including one that is being offered this spring through United). Below, she shares some of her best tips for getting started with a regular writing practice.