Transformative Writing: The Secret Life of Words
The art of transformative writing originates in the secret life of words. Words are forms of primal, energetic resonance; they are not inert. The words we use influence the character of our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and feelings. A single phrase can alter our sense of awareness. Moreover, words grant us shared access to unexpected realms of awareness, self-discovery, insight, consolation, and compassion. It seems as though words have a secret life that helps us to find a sense of equanimity in the midst of the swirling confluence of our everyday lives.
Words can heal; words can wound.
The word gratitude embodies an innate healing resonance. The energy of this word inspires a sense of unity, belonging, and kindness.
The word “hate” has an uncomfortable and virulent resonance. The energy of this word generates toxic sensations that wound our sense of wellbeing.
The words gratitude and hate embody a resonance of felt-meaning that emerges before our minds can even begin to produce thought.
The secret life of words is found in this resonance. They invoke instinctual, visceral responses that affect the physiological equilibrium of the body, the psychological quality of our thoughts and emotions, as well as our sense of wellbeing. In this sense, to be literate is to possess fluency with the physiological, psychological, and spiritual properties of words.
In The Hidden Messages of Water, Dr. Masaru Emoto reveals the inner life of vibration and resonance in nature. He shows us that water can copy, memorize, and transport information. More specifically, water responds to the unique resonance of various words. For example, when exposed to “thank you” water formed beautiful crystals, yet negative words caused the crystalline structure to become malformed.
The human body is approximately 70% water. All words are sources of vibration and resonance. If words have the power to alter the crystalline structure of water, then they also have the power to change the nature of our experience. Since body, mind, and spirit form a single unified phenomenon, the character of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by the resonance of our own vocabulary as well as the words that seek us out from the outer world.
This is the secret life of words, that is to say, the resonant quality of words that have a direct and immediate impact on our body, mind, and spirit.
To be fully literate is to become an apprentice to the secret life of words. In a broad sense, literacy is the art of venturing into the deeper undercurrents of human experience through the energetic properties of language.
A basic purpose of transformative writing is to help people create a personally inspiring vocabulary to live within. We do ourselves a great disservice by treating words as objective symbols that are frozen by their definition. Marshall McLuhan quipped that, “All words are verbs.” A single word is a source of movement and action.
The secret life of words means that each one of us a transformative writer, a reader courageously venturing into liminal terrain, and an artist of creative growth and possibility.
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