Write from your center: the 31+ day meditation and writing course
WELCOME! I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE!
Now that you are enrolled in this course, you have lifetime access, so go at your own pace and ENJOY!
I’m Nadia Colburn, and I’m so glad to be here with you and so excited to get to know you better in the facebook community!
This practice sounds simple, but it’s radical.
I grew up surrounded by books and writers, and when I was in my early 20s I decided I wanted to be a writer, too.
But for a long time, writing was both a great pleasure and a frustration. Something about writing pricked me in uncomfortable ways: I would feel blocked, insecure, and ill at ease. I worried about what others would think of what I wrote (even if I didn’t show my writing to anyone else). My ego was getting in my way.
I had an Ivy League education, a BA from Harvard and a Phd in English from Columbia; I’d gotten all kinds of awards for my academic work and writing. After a while, my creative writing began to be published widely. But I didn’t feel ease with my voice.
It took me years of searching and different kinds of practices to find a method of writing that allowed me to really get comfortable with my voice.
Because I needed to learn how to get comfortable with myself. Sure I had a lot of training how to put words on the page, but I didn’t have training how to sit with myself.
I needed to learn how to drop, at least for a while, my worries about being “good.” I needed to learn how to put aside, at least for a while, my desire to please other people. I needed to learn how to be gentle with myself and tune into my body.
It took me decades to learn how to do this, and I needed to find my own path. But when I did, when I was able to integrate my academic training with a new ability to sit and listen to myself. It was only then that I came to my authentic voice, and my real power.
These short writing sessions are a very condensed version to help you get to that more integrated place faster.
In a world full of so much external noise, in a world of so many imbalances, these sessions help you center, rebalance, listen to yourself, and access a deeper creativity.
These short meditations and prompts and supported writing time seem simple, but they are the fruit of more than fifteen years of my work.
Be patient, work with them, stay with them, and see where they lead you!
I’m so delighted to be on this journey with you!
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO GET THE MOST OF THIS COURSE (Please Click to Open and Read)
Below are some instructions for how to approach the course. Please read them.
If you have questions that aren’t answered, or if you have questions as you work with the recordings, please come to the facebook group and ask your questions there.
If you haven’t already joined the Facebook group, please do.
This is a place to ask questions, get support, write your intentions, share your writing, have accountability, be inspired, connect with others and enjoy the wonderful community!
If you have questions, you’re probably not alone. I’ll be active on that group and can answer your questions and often your community members will be able to provide answers and support, too.
I look forward to seeing you in the group!
Do reach out to others in the community; you’ll find the challenge will be a deeper experience if you do it with others, and this is a really special community of wonderful people.
HOW IT WORKS:
Below you will find the 15 minute recordings (recordings will be released week by week)
Here are some guidelines to help you make the most of these 15 minute practice sessions:
Each recording includes:
5 minutes of meditation
a writing prompt
10 minutes of supported writing time
To prepare for these sessions, figure out where, when and how you will do the challenge each day:
Look at your calendar in advance. Decide when in your day you are going to do the challenge and mark it on your calendar.
Don’t let your 15 minutes be interrupted. Take it as an important date with yourself. Turn off your phone. Tell people you are busy and can’t be interrupted for 15 minutes.
Find a quiet and private place to do your practice (you’ll be able to go more deeply into the meditations if you are in a private and quiet place).
Make sure you have a comfortable place to sit.
You can sit on the ground in a traditional meditation position.
You can sit in a chair. If you sit in a chair try to have both feet on the floor and a straight back.
Make sure your writing materials are with you when you start the challenge.
HOW TO WORK WITH THE MEDITATIONS AND WRITING PROMPTS:
Even if you are new to meditation, try them. You can’t do them “wrong.”
The writing prompts are suggestions; they are meant to guide and inspire you. There is no wrong way to use them. If you want to write something different, please do. If you want to speak back to the prompts, please do.
Feel free to turn the prompts around. For example, if I ask you to write about the sky (though I won’t in this particular challenge) you might decide instead to write about the ground.
Trust your intuition. You are invited to be creative with the prompts if you want to.
You can use the prompts to do a new piece of writing each from each new prompt.
You can also use the prompts to go in new directions or to go deeper with a writing project you are already working on.
Trust the synchronicity that arises from the prompts. They will guide you where you are meant to go.
My main suggestion is WRITE. For the ten minutes of supported writing time, put your critical, judging mind aside and write whatever comes to your mind, even if it’s just “I don’t know what to write.” Trust me, if you allow yourself to put words on the paper/screen, you will discover new things!
Of course, if you want to continue writing after the ten minute writing session, please do!!
If you want to light a candle or make some tea to make the 15 minutes special, great! This is your treat for yourself.
This course is designed so you can use it as a daily practice. Try it as a daily practice, but please be reasonable. If a daily practice isn’t for you now, choose another option.
Perhaps you’ll decide to use the course as a three day practice at first; maybe you’ll decide that you have time on Mondays Fridays and Sundays for the practice. Be intentional and explicit about when you are going to use the course. Put it on the calendar. And share your intentions with the facebook group. Writing your intentions down and sharing them will make you more accountable.
Or perhaps you’ll decide you want to use the recordings any time you feel stuck in your writing. That’s great–just be clear about how you are using the course and share your intentions on the facebook group.
If you do decide to use the course as a daily practice, congratulations! I do believe that you’ll find a daily practice is a deep and transformative experience that can revitalize your days and life.
But there are many ways to use the course; if you want to use the practice only to help you at those times you’re feeling stuck in your writing, that’s also an effective way to interact with the course.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU MISS YOUR PRACTICE DAYS?
If you miss a day, or two days or even a week, don’t worry, just come back the next day.
There’s no failing in the course. It’s always here for you, so continue to come back to it! And continue to get support from the facebook group.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Like a meditation practice, you’ll find that some days go great and some days not so well. Your job is to show up and to meet what happens with curiosity and without attachment. If you keep on showing up, you’ll write and have new insights. But that can only happen if you allow the practice have its own ebbs and tides.
You’ll find that from day to day the course takes you on a journey. We start with windows and doors, entryways and invitations. Then go to objects and move onto perception and finally come to exploring feelings more directly (though of course, there are feelings, objects, perceptions and more throughout the whole course).
I believe this is a very profound practice. It’s both simple and radical. Before you begin, I invite you to answer the question of why for yourself: why are you doing this practice. What do you hope to get out of it? What are your intentions?
I believe that this course is radical: it can lead you to your own truths. It can re-center you. It can allow you to imagine more beauty and more peace. It can give you strength to encounter your fears and our true range of emotion so that you don’t need to live in hiding.
The world is full of people and events that are off their center. When we do this practice, we re-center and take that re-centered, re-vitalized energy with us into the world.
The practice can give you new energy and enthusiasm; it can give you new force and power.
It can also give you permission to try different voices, experiment, make mistakes, play.
The practice is at once joyful and serious.
It will meet you where you are. And it will change with you.
Sometimes it will be exasperating. Sometimes you might hate the prompts.
Sometimes you might love them.
Be open to what comes. And don’t be too attached.
Explore. Tell it slant. Put on masks. Go straight to the heart of the matter. Each day will be different.
Allow this practice to be a sacred journey.
I ask you please, for the fifteen minutes of this practice, to put your critical mind aside. Step outside of your own self-judgment.
You can ask it to wait in the other room. The critical, judging mind has its place. But not in these fifteen minutes.
I promise you, you’ll go deeper and write better work, if you step outside of the harsh judging mind.
The course can help you go deeper into a project you’re already working on
Whether you are working on a book of poems, a nonfiction book, a novel, a memoir or something else, these prompts can have an amazing synchronicity. If you go to the writing session with the intention to work on your longer project, often the prompts will lead you right where you need to go.
Try coming to the practice with a question and see if an answer emerges from the prompts and from your writing session.
Try new voices and bring a wider range to the project you’re working on.
Get new inspiration and new energy.
Writing a long project can be difficult and come to feel like a chore after a while.
This practice encourages you to remember to play, explore, make mistakes, have fun in your longer project. Make it one of discovery (writing always comes alive when the author is discovering, excited, exploring).
And as always, ask for support and share your breakthroughs on the facebook group.
The course comes with access to a private Facebook group, only open to course members.
Come join us here. Feel free to post work and also post intentions, updates, questions, insights, shifts, and more. And when you post, please comment on at least one or two other posts. This is a beautiful community, and it's nice to interact with one another!
Before you Begin and Periodically Throughout Your Interactions with the Course:
You’ll get the most out of the course, if :
- you are clear why you are doing it
- be clear about when (and where) when you are going to practice
Make sure you set your intentions!
This is a profound practice. Check in with yourself: why do you want to do this practice? What are your hopes from it? The more you can articulate why you are doing the practice, the more you will benefit from it. Please come to the facebook group and share your “why” with us.
Be realistic about how often you can practice.
Be realistic about how often you can practice. Do you want to do the practice three times a week for a week and then see how it’s going? Daily for a full month? What works for you? Don’t set yourself up for failure by saying you’ll practice every day if you know that won’t happen. And be clear about your intentions—how often during the week and for how many weeks—and use the calendar here (you can print it out) to chart out when you practice. Also be sure to schedule your times on your regular calendar! Your practices are an important date with yourself.
Get Downloadable and Printable Version
Please come to the Facebook group and share your intended calendar of practice with us. When you clearly state your intention, you’re more likely to meet it, and the group is here to support you.
Of course, over time, your schedule will change. So when your schedule changes, re-set your intentions. And come over the facebook group and re-state them there, too.
If you fall off the calendar, don’t worry, just get back on! And always, if you could use some support, please ask for it on the facebook group.
Extension Practice Audio
(the meditation itself begins at minute 1:00)
This is an extra recording that you can use AFTER any of the 31 recordings to extend a writing session.
For example, you might want to continue writing after the ten minutes of supported writing time are over. Maybe you’ll write for 30 minutes and then start to feel a little tired.
After thirty minutes, get up, walk around the room. Get a drink of water.
Then come back and you can play this simple recording with a meditation and supported writing time (no prompt) that encourages you to go deeper into the writing you’re already working on.
Or you can hit this recording and play it as soon as the ten minutes of supported writing time are over, be led in a short meditation and then go back to your writing. You can continue to meditate for three minutes and write for 12 minutes indefinitely. You’ll find that it can be very powerful to break a longer writing session up with pausing, meditating and then writing again. Rather than distracting you, the practice will keep you on course and help you go deeper faster.
This extension recording is also a powerful practice, and I encourage you to try it after any of the recordings below.
Below you will find the 31 recordings of the practice itself.
At the top of the list you will find a bonus extension practice so that you can turn these into different practices for every day of the year. Once you've gone through the recordings once, you can use these to create more variety in your practice. If you want to work with different sets of 6 words, you can also look at this bonus the first time you work with the recordings. The recordings deepen over time. Some people choose to work with one recording for a week and then move onto the next. This is your practice. Use it in the ways that feel right for you. Experiment. Trust your intuition. And enjoy!
The 31+ Day Practice
About these practices: These 31 recordings lead you through a journey. You'll like some of the prompts/meditation better than others, but keep going and try to come out of your judgmental mind. If you stay with the practice, you will deepen your relationship with your own writing and creativity. And each time you go through the recordings, you will have a different experience with them. These recordings are made to be used again and again! The majority of these prompts come from poems I read, but feel free to write in any genre. And be curious about how your own writing changes after responding to different kinds of language and prompts. Finally, if you like to practice with six words, as I sometimes offer in my challenge practice, go to the bonus year long extension where you will find different words for each week of the year. I didn't want to put the words in the recordings themselves so that you could use the same recording and practice with different words at different times. Use these recordings to support your writing in whatever ways work best for you! And I'm here to support you if you have any questions. Just reach out in the Facebook group.
NOTE: I remind you during the writing time to breathe and connect with your body. If you prefer not to be reminded, just turn the volume down when it's time to write