Mindful writing meditation for self-compassion and transformation is one of the most empowering practices that we can do in the interest of our own healing and personal growth. Self-compassion is also a practice that many meditation students find difficult to grasp and put into practice. Approaching self-compassion as a writing practice can make it more accessible.
Approaching self-compassion as a mindful writing meditation practice can often bypass the barriers that many people encounter when first attempting to treat themselves with compassion. Barriers such as not knowing how to put it into practice, not feeling deserving of your own kindness, and a host of other blocks that your mind may tell you to keep you feeling separate from the kindness that you deserve.
Mindful writing for healing and transformation helps us to make a cohesive story, and that can serve to make order from what feels like internal chaos. Writing as a way to practice self-compassion is a straightforward and structured practice. The easiest way to start is by choosing something that has felt difficult or stressful for you lately. Then write a letter to yourself from someone who cares deeply for you. I used this practice in my mindfulness, writing, and photography workshops with veterans from the Invisible Wounds of War project, and the results were incredibly powerful and moving.
How to Practice Mindful Writing Meditation for Self-Compassion
- Pick a situation that has felt painful or stressful for you lately. Don’t choose something deeply traumatic—please save those situations for a time when you have skillful support from a therapist.
- No freaking out, so if you feel like writing about this topic is going to cause you to freak out, put the pen down, stop writing, and do something that helps you to feel grounded and centered again.
- Start by bringing to mind someone who has cared deeply for you and treated you with kindness. It can be a person or spiritual figure, living or deceased, real or imagined. It can even be from an object in nature, such a beloved tree, or even your pet.
- Once you have chosen a kind being, gather your journal and a pen and prepare to write for about 20 minutes in a quiet place without being interrupted.
- Imagine that the kind being, whomever you have chosen, is writing a letter to you.
- Begin the letter with “Dear _____ (your name)”
- Briefly acknowledge the current struggle (I know you’ve been struggling with ___ situation lately.
- Offer validation (I can understand why you’re feeling upset about this)
- Write to yourself words of empathy, compassion, and support.
- Read the letter aloud to yourself and/or have a trusted friend or therapist read it aloud to you.
If you find this practice soothing and comforting, you can use it in the future when you encounter difficult situations.
With loving-kindness and compassion,