on writing to empty

it was my second may in autumn — which, i reckon, is something everyone should experience. spending your birthday month in an opposite hemisphere means spending it in an opposite season, which for me meant doing everything that i love — wearing beanies and flannels and dad clothes, misty morning coffee walks at the farmers market, picnics by the ocean, a potluck nestled by the fire with folk music and my NZ whanau (family), and slowing down.

it had been four months of my and j’s paths coming undone from being so deeply intertwined with one another’s. four months of me diving deeply inward. and i was feeling it. i had set up camp in my mind, analysing and critiquing and learning about my patterns and how i showed up. and i was tired.

i booked myself an airbnb in raglan for the weekend to walk barefoot with the sand and the ocean and the trees and remember the things that ground me. i also booked myself a treatment in a beautiful healing hut with an even more beautiful woman named irma who i had previously met at a cacao + healing ceremony. at the beginning of the treatment she asked me to intuitively choose an oil to use in her practice. i chose balance. of course i did. a grounding blend. irma read the description of the oil to me, which said “balance strengthens a connection with the lower body and with the earth. these connections are especially important when the upper faculties have been overused due to excessive thinking.” i remember her reading this so vividly, because i felt the tiredness in my body from how much i was living from the neck up. i left the treatment walking the long route to my airbnb, birkenstocks in my hand, my feet in the sand along the ocean, with grow on by ziggy alberts on repeat in my ears.

it’s almost autumn in canada now. maybe that’s why i remembered this moment with irma this morning, but mostly i reckon i remembered it because my neck is tired from the weight of living in my head. this transition has been hard. waiting is uncomfortable. trusting the unknown is a constant practice. and autumn and the rain carry a lot of memories of our season together. but the lesson that i am hearing right now from friends, healers, greater forces, is this:

there is a time for fixing and being better. for growing and becoming and shedding. but your internal dialogue needs rest just as you do, and the most valuable time, the most potent of it all, is the time you exist. and be. and enjoy.

as a writer this is something i struggle with often. it is so. damn. easy. to only write when my mind is on overdrive, when things feel heavy or griefy or or uncertain or scary. to only write when you’re discovering patterns and ways of being and want to serve others by sharing it all. but this robs you of celebrating the joy. the contentment. the moment you responded out of respect for your needs and values instead of wanting to be loved. the connections you have. the place you are in right. now. heartbreak and grief taught me that writing can be a tool to empty it all out — not just the heavy, but the things you want to thank them for. the things you are grateful for. the things that you loved. there were days when i was really lost in past memories, so i wrote them out as letters and let them go. there were days that i imagined my dream partnership and how our days would feel. i wrote out lists and moments that i wanted to experience and where i needed to grow and up-level in order to make space for it. i wrote poems as if this person and these moments already existed. and then there were the days that i was just really sad. so i wrote about how autumn felt, about the city and house and cafes i was in at the time and let it sink me into where my body was. i described it all. and then i let it go.

in my current phase of living from the neck up and being super heady, i’m learning to make space for it all — to use writing to be honest about the mess, the non-linear grief, the uncertainty of the transition and recognise it as a powerful tool for processing the past and visualising the future. but to also use it as a way of grounding and shifting into living from the neck down.

your mind is a vessel. so is your body. they fill up with every thought, every interaction, every moment. use writing as a tool to empty out. to ground down. to live in your lower body. and to fill up with magic. ✧

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