Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
One day at the beginning of 2021, I was writing in my journal and I remember thinking This voice doesn’t quite seem like mine. This was certainly my hand moving quickly across the page, but my mind seemed absent of thought. The words just seemed to be flowing from somewhere else, providing this wisdom to me that seemed to be otherworldly.
As a longtime journalist and author, I’ve dabbled in all kinds of writing. I also practice Reiki, so I am no stranger to the ways in which the Universe speaks to us, through us. But on that day, those two worlds of mine seemed to collide.
I learned that there was a name for this experience: channel writing. Also called automatic writing or psychography, this practice allows a “higher power” to guide what you put on the page. Some would describe it as essentially having some element of your deeper consciousness express itself on the pages before you.
What is channel writing
Each morning, I sit in meditation for 15-20 minutes. My meditation practice consists of sitting in stillness, eyes closed and breathing. This is also a time I call in my spirit guides and the angels of my loved ones who have passed away. I thank them in advance for their guidance and ask any questions I may have that day.
When I open my eyes, I open my journal, pick up a pen, and let the stream of consciousness take over. This often feels like transcription; I scribble fast to keep up with the words I hear. Other times, the words feel more like my own but words flow without the pause that normally comes between thoughts. I almost never feel like I’m “thinking” of what to write next. On the rare occasion I do feel like I’m thinking, I stop and close my eyes to ground myself again.
At first I was surprised by the emotion that can sometimes overcome me when I’m channeling. This release, even though it can be challenging to endure, is part of the reason I stay committed to my practice. Through Reiki, I’ve learned the importance of allowing emotions to move through us in order to let go of stuck energy.
Of course, there have been a handful of mornings when no wisdom seems to come through. But, I’ve come to believe this is also an important insight. There are times when spirit speaks to us and times when we must speak to ourselves.
Benefits of Journaling
I don’t subscribe to any particular religion but, for me, this communication is where meditation and prayer meet. It’s as if I’ve tapped into an internal compass. Some may call it the Divine, the Universe, God, or Spirit. For me, this is a new-found territory that makes me feel like I have access to answers to any question, if only I can just be still, ask, listen, and let the pen do its work.
Channel writing brought this encouragement and reassurance that had been missing from my meditation routine.
Research tells us writing in a journal can help us manage stress, spark creativity, strengthen and promote healing. What separates channel writing, for me, is that it’s also the practice of letting go. As a journalist, my writing is bound by facts from interviews and research. While I can add the splash of creativity to a story, there are strict rules to follow. Channel writing feels like freedom.
From time to time, I flip back to entries from the past year to re-read what was written. It’s funny: The words feel familiar but because they come from somewhere else, I receive the wisdom again almost like it’s the first time.
Through channel writing, I have this newfound power that provides inspiration and confidence and sometimes even an aha moment. When I close my journal each morning, I feel reassured that I’m supported in ways I can’t see or even explain—in ways that provide guidance and comfort each time I pick up my pen.
Interested in exploring the benefits of keeping a journal? Check out these stories at YogaJournal.com