Acrostics: A way into Writing our Minds

I often find myself reassuring people that you do not need to think yourself a good writer in order to experience, gain benefit from – and enjoy – a Write your Mind workshop. Much of the writing done requires that we do precisely the opposite of what we’d expect to if, say, we were writing an essay, a report or even a letter or email to a friend. Switching off the logical, censoring left-hemisphere thinking brain offers a chance for our more intuitive, right-side creative brain to allow unconscious thoughts, feelings, desires, fears and beliefs to float to the surface, and all of the exercises set during a workshop are designed to facilitate this process.

The resulting writing can be potent and people are often surprised by what they find jumps out onto the page. Issues that emerge are unique to individuals – but with each gathering of participants, shared themes also seem to weave themselves into the day. An early May workshop, with the sun shining warmly for the first time this year and a vivid greeness showing itself amongst the froth of forget-me-nots in the borders outside, threw up questions like ‘what is contentment? – am i greedy to have wants?’, and ‘time for me – am I functioning or am I living?


One of the exercises used to access what might be sitting just below the surface of our unconscious minds is writing an acrostic. If you’ve not come across this device before, an acrostic is a poem or composition in which a word is spelt out vertically – usually in the first letter of each line that is then written. The written content would generally relate to the theme of the vertically written word. As in this example, using the word WRITE:

Whatever comes – will be.
Reality bites! …
It will pass
Take each day as it comes,
Everything is as it should be.

The idea is not to think too hard about what is written for each line. Yet something poetic is able to emerge, seemingly from no great conscious effort or skill and the result can often surprise.

These acrostics are reproduced by kind permission of workshop participants.

Softly sitting here

Enveloped by kindly thoughts,

Letting myself surrender to this moment and

Forgetting for a while all my workaday busyness


Coming to myself, to this moment

Oh so simple

May I be safe, be peaceful, live with ease.

Perceiving now a subtle release, an unfolding,

Allowing all to be simply as it is right now

Settling into a knowing that all is well

Soothed by the rhythm of my own breath,

In-breath and out-breath

Over and over

Nurturing and nourishing the precious life within.


Come in and join me


Notice how I’m doing

Numbness versus neediness

Emptiness or overwhelm

Come in and join me


In step

Our lives together


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