Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Expect the Unexpected: Seeing With the Eyes of Your Soul

Expect the unexpected by being open to new ideas. 

Poetry can offer us a way to express our feelings about our experiences. But Ricket, Greive, and Gordon (2011) found something interesting--writing poetry can also enrich our lives. 

Participants in a unique poetry workshop expressed themselves through poetry. The foundation for their poetry was their reflections on the diagnoses of their life-threatening diseases. Like a rose bud secretly contemplating its bloom, the petals of their understanding unfolded one-by-one until they birthed some sort of resolve about the new journey life had forced upon them. Additionally, participants formed a bond with their workshop members by sharing their feelings and ideas--an enriching experience during challenging times.

See yourself as a creative being. Don’t limit the eyes of your soul. Instead, allow yourself to see and to think differently. Jarbas Agnelli looked at a photograph taken by Paulo Pinto--a simple photograph of birds sitting on wires. But Agnelli did not limit the eyes of his soul. He saw the birds as music notes, and he saw the wires as the lines on a sheet of music. He turned this into a musical arrangement.

Whether you are facing a life-threatening illness or not, you can enrich your life by seeing things differently. Take advantage of the benefits of writing poetry. One of my favorite methods of writing poetry is the rub-off method in which you write a paragraph and erase some of the words. 

One summer morning, I went for a walk and saw a deer. I decided to write about it when I returned home. It was a simple rough draft paragraph:
I went for a walk today and met a silent and shy friend.  She looked at me from the turn of her head as her babes watched behind the thicket.  The slight wag of her tail and her decision to remain as my steps grew closer made me know she was my friend. The background music was a harmony made by crickets and birds.  As I walked, I could hear the gravel crunch beneath my feet.  I felt satisfied.  My body had soaked in the nourishing sun, and my body had grown stronger.  Sweat collected above my brow until a gentle stream broke free.  The salty taste invaded my mouth as I panted under the summer sun.

To turn it into a poem, I simply erased some of the words—the words in blue. And the paragraph became a poem:

Went for a walk today
Met a silent friend.
Looked from the turn of her head
Babes behind the thicket.
Slight wag of her tail
Remained as my steps grew closer.         
Background music—
A harmony of crickets and birds
Gravel crunched beneath my feet.
Soaked in the nourishing sun,
I grew stronger.
Sweat collected above my brow.
A gentle stream broke free.
Salty invaded my mouth
As I panted under the summer sun.

Now it is your turn. How can you see and think differently by taking the limits off the eyes of your soul? This is the story in you. Share it.


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Rickett, C., Greive, C., & Gordon, J. (2011). Something to hang my life on: The health benefits of writing poetry for people with serious illnesses. Australian Psyhchology. 19(3). 265-268. doi: 10.3109/10398562.2011.562298

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