One way to nourish yourself in your life, whether you are carrying something difficult with you or just wanting to connect more deeply with yourself, is this practice I learned from Sara Avant Stover on SHE Retreat last year, which we also enjoyed a few weeks ago on this year’s retreat.
Writing in short, Haiku-like verses can catch the moment
with fresh eyes, and give perspective
about your life in the moment.
You can practice Haiku-like verses any time, but it’s especially helpful when you are processing, working with, or integrating something. I found when my brother passed away unexpectedly in August, that it was extremely helpful to put my feelings into these short verses. It gave them form and beauty, and revealed deeper meaning. It helped me express myself to myself succinctly, hearing and receiving myself with mindfulness.
This past SHE Retreat, I found myself writing them more in the flavor of capturing moments during the silent retreat. You can read those on my blogpost Retreat Practicing.
In this practice, we are not counting syllables like traditional Japanese Haiku verses, so don’t worry about making them 5-7-5! If it pleases you, you might want to make the 1st and 3rd verses shorter than the middle verse, but it’s more important that you follow your own flow. You can read a lot online about writing Haiku—we’re doing something simpler and more intuitive here.
Try this on:
- Pause and sense into your body and feel into your heart.
- What’s here in the moment? It could be something outside you or inside you or a combination of both. Often Haiku verses combine something from nature with some internal state, capturing feeling and image.
- Write one short, pithy phrase.
- Write the 2nd, perhaps juxtaposing it to the first.
- Write the 3rd, perhaps showing their relationship in some way.
Here’s one for you that arose as I wrote this practice:
Writing, thinking, clarifying
The trees turning a delicious yellow outside my window
They need no thought to ripen.
Enjoy!! I’d LOVE to read some of your haiku explorations if you’d like to share.
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