Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tip#94: Power of Writing, Part 2: Everyone Has A Story To Tell - Freedom Writers

The act of writing can heal your past. Over time unresolved pain and trauma can build inside us. With no outlet of expression these toxic feelings and thoughts can explode at any time or erode your identity. It can ultimately distort your sense of reality.

Writing this movie blog twice a week helps me manage times I feel lost and depressed. I get to express through the power of words my excitement about movies and how they help me look at parts of myself I know I’ve been hiding from. Writing has become a bigger passion than doing art and illustrations these days.

So by expressing yourself through words you can begin to face old pains and release heavy baggage acting as anchors that keep you from truly moving forward in life.

Freedom Writers (2007)

The biographical movie, Freedom Writers is an excellent example of a story of how one can transform pain through writing. The film stars Hilary Swank as teacher, Erin Gruwell, who bravely faced volatile teenagers of a Los Angeles school each suffering from gang related violence.

As I wrote in tip#92 one of the many powerful lessons in 'Freedom Writers' is discovering the great value in one's ideas and thoughts that are written down and shared. Gruwell makes a breakthrough reaching her resistant students by introducing them to the book Diary of Anne Frank and having them write their own daily journals.

The act of journaling has many personal benefits. It is cathartic and releases caged up anger and unresolved thoughts. It guides you out of the maze you've felt trapped in. And expressing yourself builds self-esteem, self-confidence and your sense of value towards your own thoughts and feelings.

Journaling gave each student a safe place to reveal their secret thoughts and painful memories bottled up within them. You get to witness the uplifting transformations of each youth. One student later shared from his journal that Gruwell was the first person to make him think of hope. Thanks to Gruwell's excellent skills as a caring teacher she helped improve the quality of life for these youth.

Inspiring Themes:
• Healing
• Self-Expression
• Creative Expression
• Leadership
• Courage
• Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem
• Indestructible Optimism
• Supportive Relationships
• Community

"When I'm helping these kids make sense of their lives, everything about my life makes sense to me."
Freedom Writers (2007)

The Blogging World

Diaries have been a timeless method of recording one's thoughts and feelings. Throughout history we have benefited from the personal diaries of individuals like Anne Frank. We learned about different lives and cultures from around the world. The advent of the internet has also spawned a whole new world of documenting your interests, passions and values. Blogging has become a massive global culture in itself attracting more and more individuals to post their life experiences, pictures, videos, news or expertise online.

Blogging has allowed me to express myself and not let any painful experiences fester within me. And, at the time of this writing, I've blogged for almost a year and here you can read about how I've overcome unexpected road blocks in my work and life. This online format allowed me to set free the storms that could have brewed and erupted within me.

Writing also allowed me to connect with strangers around the world who were grateful for knowing they were not alone in their struggles. Some of these individuals also cheered me on to not give up and to keep moving forward. In return I too have commented on other blogs sharing my thoughts and feedback encouraging the writers on their own journeys.

Recently I received a comment on tip#92 where I wrote about The Alchemist novel by Paul Coelho. It came from a fan of The Alchemist book who is now collaborating with Coelho. She shared other blogs for me to check out (see comments section of tip#92). The blogging world is amazing. When you write and share your interests you never know who you'll connect with!

Everyone Wants To Tell Their Story

So if you feel you are being held back by your past please give journaling or blogging a try. If you feel you are suffering in some way or just stuck in life start by documenting your thoughts with just a few daily sentences. Go out and treat yourself to a brand new blank book for journaling. Make it your new best friend!

Everyone has a story to tell. Give yourself the gift of permission to start releasing all you've wanted to say out loud. Let the words flow out setting free your thoughts and feelings. Remember your story can connect you with others that believe in what you believe. Your writing could inspire others aching to know they are not alone on their own journey.

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."   
Ray Bradbury

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say."   
Anaïs Nin

Related Tips:
Tip#912: The Power of Emotional Release - Supergirl – Creed

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

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