There’s something fulfilling for me about writing by hand with a pen.  The contact of the pen on paper, my hand sliding across the page, the flowing movements, and especially when I am pleased with the forms the letters take.  It is very soul-satisfying.

Even when I cross-out words, I feel gratified.  It is a definitive action.  A declaration to delete something I no longer want, that I can see and own.

Handwriting is becoming a lost art in our computer age.  No longer are schools in California required to teach cursive.  This saddens me.  As a calligrapher, I deeply appreciate the form and flow that come from my hand onto a page that no font on my computer can come close to.

In an effort to slow down and be present, as well as to become more productive in my writing, I’ve decided to take a few hours every week to go to my counseling office and write.  Without my computer.   No distractions.  Just my quiet, beautiful space, a pen, and a notebook.  In fact, I’m writing this in that space right now.

I love to make writing fun.  I pick out pens and ink colors that are playful and please me.  I explore varying the formation of the letters sometimes to see what I enjoy.

Occasionally, I study handwriting analysis to discover how I can change things in my life through changing my handwriting.  Vimala Rogers has written a fine book about this if it speaks to you.

Handwriting can be another form of meditation.  Calligraphers through the millennia have known this.  I know I’m more present and at ease when my letters flow and loop in that gratifying way.  I steady my breath, my eyes, and my hand as I ease it slowly across the page.

There are days when it is a struggle to slow down and to quiet my mind.  My handwriting reflects this, with chaotic movements, difficulty controlling the pen, displeasing shapes.  It’s OK.  I try to slow down and form my letters more carefully.  They may not improve much, but when I’m mindful about this, it helps my thoughts to calm down.  I slow down my breath.  I come back to the present and the letters emerging on the page.

I feel connected to the words in a visceral way through handwriting.  It is easier to write from my heart, my spirit – even from my body itself – when the pen is mindfully grasped between my fingers.

I invite you to take pen in hand.  How does it feel as you write?  What do you notice about yourself, in mind, breath, body, heart?  Let any words, thoughts, feelings come to you.  What feels satisfying about it?  What does it bring up?  Let it slow you down and bring you into the present moment.

What else brings deep satisfaction to you?  Make some time this week to give yourself that.  Let me know how it goes.


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