We often end up with unexpressed emotions that hide in the dark corners of our psyche and bodies. Over time, these fester and grow like hot embers in a dry field. Left unchecked, these emotions can leave you feeling like you are on the brink of a rage fit, meltdown, breakdown, etc. We may not even notice them, but the people in our lives will often take note that we seem “on edge” or “out-of-patience.” The Black Page exercise is a simple and fantastic exercise for expressing AND RELEASING these unacknowledged emotions be they: resentment, anger, sadness, grief, hurt and more.
1). Take a blank piece of paper and find a place where you can be left alone while you work.
2). Begin writing everything and anything that has ever upset you down on the paper. This can be situations that happened, words that were said, words that WEREN’T said, resentments, profanities… write it all down! Do not be concerned with it being legible—in fact it is often best if you don’t look at what you are writing. The focus is purging your bodies of all the negative baggage that have built up overtime. No one else will ever read this, so feel free to express ANYTHING you need to, even if it is mean or hurtful to others.
3). Once you begin to feel tired and have run out of things to write, your page will usually look like hot nonsense scribbled by a crazy person! It is called the black page exercise because people often write until it is just a black scribbly mess. You can now stop writing and take the page to a SAFE place for burning.
4). In an appropriate place (outside being the best), light one end of the page on fire. Watch the flames slowly consume the baggage you put on the page. Focus on taking deep, comfortable breaths. As the words turn from paper to flame to smoke allow them to be released. See them float off into the sky and disappear into the air. As the page finishes burning, say aloud:
“Thank you for teaching me what I needed to learn. I release you.”