Welcome to the SUMMER SOLSTICE Meditation and Writing Challenge
Start the summer with an aligned writing practice.
I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE!
The challenge will be start Monday, June 20th.
Please read this page to get ready and to start with some short writing prompts/ reflections today!
This practice is designed to get you to shift your energy, re-center, find your inner peace, and reconnect with your authentic voice.
It doesn’t need to take long. Only 15-minutes a day be transformative!
But I know that even finding 15 minutes can be hard. So today, go ahead and look at your calendar. Schedule a date with yourself for five days next week.
Take that date seriously. Show up. Then all you need to do is hit play in the comfort of your own home.
I promise you that if you take this time for yourself, you WILL see changes. You will feel more centered and more fulfilled and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get into the creative flow and how much you can write in just a short time.
The challenge is designed for writers of every genre and of every level of experience. Whether you want to start new writing or re-engage with an ongoing writing project, this practice can help you go deeper, faster.
I’m Nadia Colburn, and each day for five days, starting June 20th, I’m going to lead you through a short meditation, a writing prompt, and ten minutes of supported writing time.
This sounds simple, but it’s radical.
In this challenge, we’re going to be bringing mind and body together so that we can write from a place of greater integration.
Over the five days of the challenge, we’ll be taking a journey together into ourselves.
We’ll explore what we know and where we want to be going, and we'll give space to our creative imagination. We’ll be inspired by writers including Rebecca Solnit, Rainer Maria Rilke, Lucille Clifton, and more. I’m so excited to be on this journey with you! Giving yourself these 15 minutes each day may not sound like much, but if you treat the practice with wonder, it can be a deep and transformational experience. So I’m very much looking forward to seeing and hearing where it takes you!
Here’s the recording from the live Zoom session on Friday
In the first 15 minutes, we do a practice to set intentions.
Then I answer questions about the writing life.
I also invite you to spend some time with the questions below the video to help you set intentions.
Setting your intentions for the challenge!
Today I ask you to take a few minutes to set your intentions for this challenge:
- Why is meditating and writing something that you value?
- What do you hope to do over the next five days by taking time to meditate and write?
- Are there old habits/ patterns of mind that you want to break?
- What new habits/patterns of mind do you want to cultivate?
Write your answers/ reflections down.
Too often we get distracted from what really matters to us, so be intentional about this step! The more intentional you are, the more you’ll get from the challenge. Writing things down helps us be more mindful and intentional.
Maybe you’ll want to paste your responses up somewhere to remind yourself of your intentions.
Please also come to the private facebook group and share your intentions there!
Before the Challenge Begins
1) Mark off 15 minutes on your calendar for each day of the challenge. Don’t leave this to change. Schedule a 15-minute date with yourself! Show up, turn your phone off, and practice with the recording.
2) Set your intentions for the challenge. Be explicit. Write down WHY you want to participate in the challenge and what you hope to get from it. If you are intentional about your intentions, you are much more likely to meet them.
3) Come over to the facebook group and introduce yourself (this is optional, but it’s a nice way to connect with community and get more out of the challenge). It’s great if you share your intentions on the facebook group. Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1770303853078630/
HOW IT WORKS:
Each day for five days, starting June 20th, I’ll send out an email with a link to the challenge itself where you’ll find a new 15-minute recording.
I’ll keep the challenge open for over a week, so that if you miss a day you can catch up and so that if you need to start a day late, you can still join us.
Here are some guidelines to help you make the most of these 15-minute practice sessions:
Each day in the early morning (Eastern US time), you will be sent an email directing you to a new 15-minute audio recording.
Each recording will include:
*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:
The challenge will start Monday, June 20th and will be available for ten days.
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.
If you need to miss a day, come back to the practice the next day.
Find a quiet and private place to do the challenge (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 to 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.
If you haven’t already joined the facebook group, please do!
You can join the facebook group here:
This is a place to ask questions, get support, write your intentions, share your writing, connect with others and enjoy the wonderful community!
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 there’s still time to invite friends and family: they can sign up here.
With this practice, you can:
*get over writer’s block
*trust your voice
*quiet your nervous system
*enjoy the writing process
*put some wonder and magic into your life
All you need to do is take 15 minutes a day!
I look forward to seeing you in the challenge and in the facebook group!
HOW I CAME TO THIS PRACTICE
I grew up surrounded by books and writers, and when I was in my early 20s I decided I wanted to be a writer.
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 at ease with my voice.
It took me years of searching and of exploring different practices to find a method of writing that allowed me to really get comfortable with my voice.
I needed to learn how to get comfortable with myself. Sure I had a lot of training on how to put words on the page, but I didn’t have training on 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.
Learning to meditate was invaluable, but that was only part of the picture because stopping the thoughts and voices and coming into silence wasn’t enough: I wanted to come back to voice.
It was only when I learned to integrate the peace of meditation with the power of voice, the wisdom of silence with the wisdom of story 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 uncertainty, 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 excited to be on this journey with you!
If you haven’t yet had time to do the pre-challenge writing exercises and to look ahead to your calendar, please do that now