If you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted change of pace from journaling, try poetry. There’s something special about poetry that makes it unique among other forms of writing. Even if you think your skills in poetry are limited, making a practice of expressing yourself in this way can be healing.
Here are some ideas on how you can start using poetry to go deeper into your spirituality and gain a better understanding of your Self.
Rhyme without ReasonPoetry, like other forms of art, doesn’t always have to follow a set structure. Although poetry is typically organized by stanza, rhyme pattern, cadence, etc., some of the most captivating writings are completely free flowing and raw. When using poetry for self-exploration, it is best to write down what comes from your heart and mind. It doesn’t even have to rhyme, although this does add a little fun to the experience. Use your words as a way of getting it out—whatever “it” may be.
Remember, this is about your emotions and unexpressed thoughts. No one else needs to read it. Find a quiet space, inward and outward, and write. You may feel the need to write about a personal encounter or a feeling you had during your day. Just sit and let your words guide you toward understanding. When you read it back to yourself, you may gain some insight.
Unleash Your Inner RapperThis is a fun exercise for anyone to try. Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop music or not, you most likely have an idea of what it means to rap. This exercise can help sharpen your mind’s ability to put words together, causing you to place keen attention on what you want to communicate.
Start with something simple or even silly, and just have fun. You can rhyme about how you do something well, or how you’re the best at something. Your rhyme can be about unexpressed feelings toward someone else or world events. You can take this exercise to a higher level by rapping about spiritual topics, such as your relationship with the Universe or Unity. Whatever the topic is, let it flow. This isn’t about trying to be the next Jay-Z or Eminem. It’s about having fun with self-expression. Whether you attempt to freestyle out loud or write your rhymes on paper, practice using witty and clever word play to say what’s on your heart. Try it out—then, if you want to have some real fun with it, read it to the back drop of music.
Write Love Poems to Your Higher SelfThis poetic exercise can be very transformative and healing when done with true intention. First, sit quietly and breathe deeply for a few moments. If you are a meditator, this would be a good addition to your practice.
Next, whether you envision a higher power as a persona or would like to speak to the Universe at large, try writing a love poem. Speak the words of your heart and pour out your gratitude and warmth for life. Write as if someone or something will read this poem, as if you were writing to a lover. Allow yourself to be completely immersed in the emotion of love for yourself and whatever you decide your audience to be. Just the act of writing and reading these words can help build a deeper spiritual connection to the Universe. There is a reason why many spiritual traditions incorporate these kinds of writings to the Divine. Make your own personal hymn to the Universe and see if there is not a response to this kind of outpour.
Describe the IndescribableWhen journeying on your spiritual path, you may experience things that are difficult to describe. How do you tell someone else how it feels to be touched by divine love or have an inner awakening? What words can fully explain an inspiration or beautiful emotional experience? Though it may be difficult to communicate these kind of subjects, you can bring more awareness to them by attempting the task.
Poetry, unlike prose, is more equipped to give words to the abstract aspects of life. As previously mentioned, poetry doesn’t have to follow the rules. If you can only think of a few descriptive words for your thoughts, try putting those together in poetic form. This is not only a form of journaling, but a way of further exploring your experience.