We had a great time at the Supper Club last week and I was delighted by how many people joined us around the table on the theme of Writing for Wellbeing.
We were very privileged to be joined by the brilliant Sally Tissington who is a published author and artist. She has taught at Warwick and Coventry University and is now also running writing for wellbeing courses, amongst all her other projects!
We all experienced the power of writing for ourselves at the Supper Club. Sally led us through several writing experiences, culminating in the group sharing their writing in a powerful group poem, using the prompts, ‘I am a woman who’ and ‘I am a woman with’
I was touched by how much people shared and how they resonated with each other as they expressed themselves.
Personally, I found it quite tricky but perhaps this was because I was a little preoccupied as the Supper Club host, but I have found it an interesting concept to ponder on in the days proceding….
I find writing a useful tool in wellbeing and have always regularly written a diary, and a gratitude journal.
Creativity in any form can be helpful for expressing our thoughts and feelings, which is key to health. We will all experience uncomfortable or negative feelings at times, and it is important to accept that this is what makes us human. Thoughts and feelings are fleeting, they come and go, and they certainly don’t define us, but to push them down or ignore them certainly doesn’t help!
I have learnt so much about personal development in recent years but that doesn’t make it any easier. We are all very complex. Our writing really highlighted how many contradicting qualities we all have, and my friend shared a brilliant Alanis Morrissette song the day after the supper club which really sums up the themes of that final group poem. Here are a few snippets which you may relate to, but I’d urge you all to listen to this very insightful song… ‘Hand in my Pocket’
‘‘I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed.’
‘I’m lost but ‘I’m hopeful.’
‘I’m sad but I’m laughing.’
‘And what it all boils down to is that no-one’s really got it figured out just yet.’
I found the exercise at the Supper club hard and I have struggled to write this blog, which seems so ironic, being such a passionate believer in the subject!
However, I think what it has all taught me is a big dose of self-awareness. I think I ‘try too hard’ in so many aspects of my life. I have written previously about the importance of ‘being at ease to prevent disease’ but this doesn’t come naturally to me. That ‘struggle to be good enough’, and ‘striving to achieve something all the time ‘is a powerful force. I am guilty of taking myself too seriously and losing perspective. I am always keen to encourage people to treat themselves with the kindness and compassion they would a good friend, but it is perhaps time to treat myself in the same way. I am smiling as I write this. I have always wanted to be that chilled out hippy who cooks on yoga retreats. However, often I feel a million times away from that ‘chilled out hippy’.
So it’s time to celebrate all aspects of ourselves, and with a big smile on our faces, take ourselves less seriously, safe in the knowledge that we are all trying our best, and try to be kinder to ourselves for once and for all.
I think we would all agree that life isn’t easy at times, but it is important to be aware of this. A friend said something recently that she gets frustrated with people who just say ‘eat this’ and make out that it is not complicated to make healthy choices. We all know that our food choices are not always rational or based on health. We all have strong emotional connections with food. We are wired to crave unhealthy foods at times, when we are tired, stressed or down. It is just not that simple, or that easy.
I am learning more and more about that as the supper club goes on…. What is easy for one person in any aspect of life certainly doesn’t come easy to everyone and that is where the real power of the supper club comes in… with people sharing their experiences, supporting each other and realising that there are other people who feel like them. There were several people who said, ‘they could have written what the other person had written but tried to put a more positive slant on their writing.’
So here it is, what I find hard is to be kind to myself or celebrate the good qualities about myself, and I imagine there are MANY people who can relate to that. I have been told over and over about the power of writing affirmations, which I find extremely hard to write, but I am going to try, using Sally’s useful tools. I would urge you all to find that piece of paper now, and start… ‘I am a woman who’ ‘I am a woman with…’ You can fill in the blanks…
Thank you Sally Tissington. Thank you very much.
If you’d like to enrol on one of Sally’s creative writing courses, please do get in touch with her directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to join us for the next Supper Club, we’d be delighted to see you. I am excited to welcome my friend Ann Marie Lambert as the guest speaker as we talk about getting into nature and simple ways to grow your own veg. We hope to see you there!