Writing Moods

We own a variety of emotions and moods that have the ability to teach us about ourselves and how we relate to others. A message resides in every emotion. Emotions reflect like mirrors and challenge us to discover ways to watch the many sides of our personalities. Our moods create a spectrum. As writers we can use the bands of light to examine our writing process. They will provide insights and information for character development and add texture to our prose and poetry.

Martha Nussbaum writes in her book, Upheavals of Thought, “ [There's] no firewall between emotion and intellect.” Often we fear or flee from our moods. We try to rationalize them rather than attempting to swim in the murky waters with them. We repress them with the force of will but discover they will crest again. Our intellect doesn't overcome anger. It's the quickest emotion to arise and needs acknowledgment. If we develop ways to examine and even appreciate it, then it will roll in and dissipate like waves to shore.

Buddhism teaches that emotional states have no hierarchy. Awareness and acceptance ebb and flow through awakening to suffering. All elements of consciousness must do this in order for us to become fully feeling individuals. Avoidance through a variety of means only delays the ability to harmonize within ourselves.

If we face our emotions with honesty and develop an inner wisdom filled with ways to accommodate them, their full range will provide a balanced life experience.Rather than avoidance of what's going on - probe your mood. What do words like sad and melancholy mean to you? How do they percolate through your body? Get into the details and stretch toward the discovery of other ways to describe them beyond their word symbol. What other words can you discover that go along with them?

Eliminate the usage of words to describe moods. Create metaphors to discuss frustrated, angry or confused. In what ways can concerned, playful, fierce or attentive reveal themselves? If we become stuck in various states of despair. How can we move this experience?

Creative Write: Spend a day following the ebb and flow of your moods. Take notes and allow the freeflow of all emotions. Don't judge or censor them; try not to become reactive. Remain fully present. Experience what they feel like in all parts of the body. What can you learn as they guide you? Let your notes sit for a day, then return and write about what you discovered.