During my latest five-day Writing From the Heart Retreat, eleven curious and creative individuals showed up to play with words. Once we established our container of safety and trust, everyone was encouraged to do timed writing from prompts, then read aloud their fresh writing.
Listeners were guided to listen for what was strong in the writing, and then share what they recalled from the words they heard with no interpretation – perhaps a single word or a phrase like “yellow sunflower” or “light dancing on leaves”. Words were reflected back to the writer that each listener found strong and beautiful.
This simple and profound exercise was beautiful to facilitate and take part in. In the days since the retreat ended, it has continued to offer a deep place of learning for me. Today, I want to "Recall" some of the insights, ahas, and beautiful moments from our online retreat so you can bask in our co-creative energy as well.
- One of my writers shared that when we “recall” the words or phrases with no interpretation, it allows us to stay in the heart. The moment we begin to interpret what we hear, we have a tendency to go back into our intellectual minds.
- Another writer shared that when we recall a beautiful word or phrase in someone else's fresh writing, the writer receives the equivalent of "The Gaze", which all newborn babies need from their caregivers. As adults, we continue to benefit from receiving The Gaze of others. Our writing practice of reading aloud and being heard offers everyone powerful opportunities for nourishment.
- You can use recall to build a piece of writing, as if you’re in the moment. Use each of the senses and recall the smells, sights, sounds of an experience. This will bring your writing to life. Recall can also help you to remember details that might otherwise be overlooked or forgotten. Before you start writing a narrative, try doing some bullet points of recall. You may be pleasantly surprised!
I now realize that Recall doesn’t just apply to writing. Within the retreat process, I revealed and recalled hidden aspects of who I am. In the company of supportive writers, I felt safe to be more vulnerable– to share more of the truth of who I am. Other writers reported feeling free to show up, to speak and be heard. Group members have chosen to continue meeting once a month so we can support each other on our respective journeys and nurture our heart connections.