One of my favorite movies of all time is Finding Forrester staring Sean Connery and and Rob Brown.
If you haven’t seen the film it’s about a young urban teen (that’s politically correct code for person of color), Jamal Wallace, who has a wicked talent for writing and basketball. Jamal has a kismet meeting with a reclusive author who helps Jamal cultivate his craft while Jamal helps the recluse in his own way.
There is much more to the story than that, but that basically sums it up without giving away any of the goods and isn’t anything that you can’t uncover on IMdb.
The acting is strong, the plot simple and the ending not a huge surprise, but the way that it all comes together moves me. In fact, in a way the movie is to me what the reclusive author is to Jamal.
Every time I see the movie I am inspired to write. I am inspired to find my voice and to use it to reach out with love to others. It sounds so very dramatic, doesn’t it? It’s true though.
I’ve seen that movie more times than probably anyone on Earth, I’d imagine. Without fail, every time I finish watching it, I’m able to get in touch with my inner voice and write in a way that is pure and honest.
I allow my mind to just relax and I watch the movie. I enter into Jamal’s world and every time I root for him. I wish his character well. I don’t think about whatever crap is going on in my world. I fully immerse myself into his.
There are times when things in life can be the opposite of inspiring. There is stress, and the negative voice of our subconscious (I call mine Missy Ego), and just so many factors that can move us further away from our divine purpose and the direction of our dreams.
It can make us feel stagnant and unable to do even the simplest thing.
In times like that, I always like to look for the old and familiar. Things that I know bring out the best in me and always light a fire in my heart.
In this scene in Finding Forrester Sean Connery’s character, William Forrester, helps Jamal with a paper that he needs to write for school. “The first key to writing is to write, not to think,” Connery tells him. I wasn’t able to find the complete scene, but as it continues Jamal sits stuck “thinking” and unable to write. Forrester gives Jamal something already written and tells Jamal that he should type from that manuscript until Jamal feels his own words start to flow.
“The first key to writing is to write — not to think.”
Sometimes we get so stuck in our heads that it’s hard to move forward. We wait for divine intervention, or for things to get easier, to win the lotto, to loose that last ten pounds, to get that job and then we’ll be able to move forward. Once this or that happens we’ll be able to do, grow or be happy.
We wait in that place of limbo, stuck.
But sometimes the best thing to do is to “write — not to think.”
The act of just doing can be the conduit that allows our minds to let go and release any blocks that are holding us up; to allow space for things to flow naturally.
This doesn’t just apply to writing or music or dance, but really to anything. If you’re feeling stuck or like you’re off track, some ways to help you get back on track are to do things that move you out of thinking and into doing.
Whatever gets you out of your head – do that.
Go for a run, take a yoga class, write in your journal, write thank you cards the old fashioned way, listen to your favorite jam and cook a decadent meal from a recipe. Read your favorite book and step through the wardrobe and into your imagination.
Get out of your head so that when the words come, you’ll be able to hear them.
And when they do write with your heart.