We Are All Artists

Kate Marshall Flaherty, poet, and instructor of yoga, meditation and the written word began her talk on “Writing as a Spiritual Practice” with this message at Theology on Tap on May 11, 2009. She was referring to the art of writing which she explained can be in many forms such as poetry, journaling, letters, and email communication. This makes writing accessible to everyone! Further, she believes writing can be beneficial for everyone! Simply put, writing is “a way of expressing the heart” which makes it a cathartic, healing and therapeutic experience.

Kate’s heart was heard clearly as she read her poetry to the audience. These poems resulted from direct inspirations where she wished “to capture and share the insight of a moment”, often very distressful moments. Surprisingly, however, most of her writing begins with the act of “writing and spilling” about whatever comes to mind.

Because committing to and “showing up” for this art is essential but sometimes tough, “free fall” writing is helpful to get started. Kate recommends “getting out of head and into heart”, “emptying [our] thoughts” and “giving permission” to write whatever comes to mind. There are no rules and what you write doesn’t need “to have a point” or “to be good enough”. “The therapy of getting it out” is what it’s all about.

Kate’s message that we can all be ‘writers’ and experience healing through it is highly encouraging!

So let us all “Surrender to the spirit and heart of writing”, “commit to the heart”, “show up” and just “get the pen moving”! Our spirits, hearts and souls have everything to gain from it!

Interested in more? Check out one of Kate’s workshops or this reference she mentioned in her talk: “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron

(Reflection by Doreen Wan Min Kee)