In February 2020, we hosted a four-week Mindfulness and Expressive Writing Course. The poet and Mindfulness Meditation practitioner Colin McGuire led each of the two hour-long sessions.
The Mindful-Writing course combined an introduction to Mindfulness Meditation practices combined with expressive and creative writing exercises. The course was open to all levels of mindfulness and writing experience. Colin told us about his use of Mindfulness and creative writing and explained what it could offer those taking part.
How did you discover mindfulness?
What brought me to mindfulness was a growing interest in my own my well-being and the nurturing the relationships I have in my life. I wanted to gain some insight into my relationship to my thoughts, feelings and emotions particularly those that were troubling or unhelpful in my life.
What can mindfulness do for you as a person and as a poet?
Mindfulness and Expressive Writing are valuable for a poet and / or a would-be writer. Writing takes place in the present-moment and sometimes the written-moment can be a daunting place. I believe Mindfulness and Expressive Writing can help unblock writers block, support creativity as well as allow poets and writers to explore the therapeutic qualities of private expressive writing for their own well-being and the well-being of others.
What can participants expect during your mindfulness sessions?
The course is four weeks-long. Each session is two hours long (including a short break). The course provides participants with an experiential introduction to Mindfulness Meditation and Expressive Writing. Each Mindfulness Practice is explained, practiced and reflected on and followed with a specific Expressive Writing activity.
Some of the Mindfulness practices we will cover include, Mindfulness of Breath, Body-Scan, Self-Compassion and Loving-Kindness. Participants will be encouraged to journal, reflect and participate in the expressive writing exercises. Participants are also encouraged to practice their meditations at home over the 4-week period in a way that is comfortable for them. All of the writing done over the course is private and DOES NOT NEED TO BE SHARED; relevant material can be shared at the discretion of the participants.
Ultimately the course was designed to Introduce Mindfulness and Expressive Writing, both practices aim to support the well-being of participants, enhance creativity and develop creative and self-reflective writing. The course stimulated creativity, inspired mindfulness practice and provided participants with real skills and techniques they could take home and apply in everyday life.
Watch out for courses taking place in 2021 and book quickly to ensure you get a place on the course.