Monday, January 16, 2012

Writing from me to me

I have been interested in parts of my mind that I don't know.  I read Vedantam's book, tried Herbert's, have settled into Wilson's Strangers to Ourselves.  I read erratically here and there and keep only a few notes and highlights in my Kindle or in Google Docs.  I have had the idea that I have a purpose and a goal but it is just now becoming clear to me that Wilson's Strangers and his more recent Re-direct form the beginning of a clearer picture of my unconscious.  Wilson cites research that shows the value of private writing to oneself with the aim of mentioning honestly what one thinks about matters of concern.

Wilson cites research and evidence that serious mental trauma has been found to be overcome better with four nightly sessions of private writing on one's own than intensive 3 or 4 hour sessions with expert debriefing psychologists. In fact, the effective writing approach to quieting the upset mind using private writing helped quite effectively while the intensive interviews were found to increase the trauma. The intensive interviews, part of a process called Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, were held as soon after the disturbing event as possible and are part of the standard procedure for many police and fire departments.  The writing sessions are only advised if, after a few weeks, the incident is, in fact, haunting the mind of the person who experienced it.  

Meanwhile, in other sources, the subject of writing to oneself has plenty of respect.  The book Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner emphasizes the fun and value of private writing.

This kind of writing is easy. There's no one standing over your shoulder judging your grammar or punctuation or determining if anything you've said makes a lick of sense. But make no mistake, the practice of pouring your soul onto paper is profound, and, in the way of all things, profound, it can—and will—change your life.

Conner, Janet (2011-03-01). Writing Down Your Soul (p. 8). Conari Press. Kindle Edition.

The book Instant Self-hypnosis by Forbes Robbins Blair ($1.75 in Kindle format, immediately readable on your computer, Kindle or smart phone) says:

In a literate society, we often overlook the impact that writing down our thoughts, desires, and aspirations has on us. Writing is very powerful because it requires attention to our own words and ideas. It forces us to focus on what it is that we need to express. When we read, we are usually expressing someone else's ideas and thoughts even if they are congruent with our own. When we write, however, the source is always coming from inside us and our individual motivations. And because we see what we're writing as we write it, a boomerang-like effect takes place. It reflects thoughts back into our minds and further imbeds ideas or suggestions contained in the writing. It also forces us to organize our thoughts to a greater or lesser extent.

Blair, Forbes Robbins (2004-03-01). Instant Self-Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Yourself with Your Eyes Open (p. 144). Sourcebooks. Kindle Edition.

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