Writing to Awaken
About the Book
Writing to Awaken is an inspirational investigation of the self through expressive writing, guiding you along the path of awakening through radical truth-telling and self-inquiry. With targeted and revelatory questions, you’ll be prompted to explore your own personal narrative—to write honestly about your deepest wounds, greatest challenges, hidden gifts, yearnings, and opportunities for growth—in order to discover a deeply authentic understanding of yourself and move toward a more liberated, truthful life.
We each have our own story, a personal myth constructed from the content life presents us: we connect dots to shape the narrative, devise plotlines from circumstance, change characters, fashion conflicts, and adjust structure, settings, and themes as our lives unfold. But so often, over time, we come to believe that we are our story, identifying so strongly with the tales we’ve told ourselves and others that we cling to them for our very existence—even when they don’t quite fit. The realization that there’s a discrepancy between the narrative you’ve crafted and your authentic self can be disconcerting at first, but the exploration of that gap is a doorway to personal freedom, and this book will lead you through it.
The writing exercises in this guide, one for nearly every week of the year, ask you to tell the whole truth about your experience. In doing so, you’ll come to realize that once you engage in this radical truth-telling, expressing yourself with complete honesty, your story changes; and when your story changes, your life is transformed. Rather than sticking with your illusive and tricky “Story of Me,” you’ll be prompted to go even deeper, piercing your personal myth and illuminating aspects of psyche and spirit that give way to profound moments of understanding and personal healing.
This is not a how-to book for writers; it’s an invitation on a journey of self-discovery—a guide to facing yourself without flinching, accepting yourself as you are, surrendering to what is, and daring to question and transform what isn’t true. With Writing to Awaken, you’ll learn how to break free from the trance of mistaken identity and discover your essential, authentic self.
Books by Mark Matousek
Books by Joan Borysenko
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
—Daniel J. Siegel, MD, clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, executive director at Mindsight Institute, and New York Times bestselling author of Min
—Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
—Mark Nepo, author of The One Life We’re Given and The Way Under the Way
—Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009–2013 Poet Laureate of Kansas, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College
—Roger Housden, speaker, writing guide, and author of twenty-three books, including the best-selling Ten Poems to Change Your Life and Dropping the Struggle
—Roshi Joan Halifax, abbot at Upaya Zen Center
—John F. Evans, executive director of Wellness & Writing Connections, author of Wellness & Writing Connections, and coauthor with James W. Pennebaker of Expressive Writing
—Kathleen Adams, LPC, director of the Center for Journal Therapy, author of Journal to the Self, and coauthor with Deborah Ross of Your Brain on Ink
—Libuse Binder, author of Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties
—Philippa Wehle, professor emerita of French and drama studies at the State University of New York at Purchase