5 Core Practices for Conscious Writers: # 1 Cultivate Awareness

Friday 28 April 2017 - Posted by Julia McCutchen

My approach to writing is based on a combination of soul and craft.

Honing the skills of your craft is essential for any creative art; for most conscious creatives it becomes a life-long journey of learning and refining that is challenging and rewarding in equal measure!

When it comes to the craft of writing, there are plenty of books, courses and classes that teach you everything from the basics to advanced techniques for shaping your words to suit any purpose.

The “Conscious” in Conscious Writing

My true calling is to create, write and live consciously in alignment with my soul and to guide others to do the same – that is the “conscious” in Conscious Writing.

Working from the inside out with the emphasis on creating the right conditions for soul and craft to meet on the page requires a mindful approach.

That’s why I use the image of an iceberg to represent all of the unseen preparation that encourages creative mindfulness and leads to vibrant writing (read more about that here).

5 Core Practices

It’s also why I developed the 5 Core Practices which open the way to bring all aspects of yourself into alignment – body, emotions, mind and soul – to draw you fully into the present moment before you write.

Presence and creative ability make a powerful combination that transforms your writing and ultimately your whole experience of life!

These Core Practices provide an amazingly effective foundation for Conscious Writing and Creative Living generally. The first and perhaps most important practice of all is to…

#1 Cultivate Awareness

Sarah loved her work as a counsellor for young adults but harboured a secret desire to write that she’d never developed or shared with anyone.

She’d done plenty of report writing and evaluations as part of her professional role but whenever she thought of writing anything creatively, her whole system shut down.

She wasn’t sure why she felt so blocked but her busy schedule became her rationale for not pursuing her creative impulse; she simply didn’t have time.

Turning Point

When her teenage daughter was struggling with bullies at school, Sarah successfully guided her through the experience and realized just how much knowledge and experience she had to share.

This was a turning point moment and Sarah knew it was time to find a way to write a book for the young adults she was dedicated to supporting.

She approached me for mentoring and It didn’t take long for the process to reveal the reason why she was stuck. In one of our first sessions, Sarah suddenly remembered an incident from school when a teacher had criticized an essay she’d been proud of in front of the whole class.

The shame of this moment (what researcher and bestselling author Brene Brown calls a “creativity scar”) had unconsciously stopped Sarah from following through on her impulse to write for almost 25 years!

The Key

The key that unlocked everything for Sarah was awareness.

As soon as she realized what had happened, she felt like a heavy weight had dropped and she was then ready to take action on my recommendations.

In time, our work together led her to dissolve her conditioned belief that she couldn’t write anything of creative value and reconnect consciously with her naturally creative true self.

With this in place, Sarah was finally able to face the blank page and write the book she felt called to write.

Dive In

Here are two suggestions for how to take Core Practice #1: Cultivate Awareness forwards:

  • Begin, Develop or Recommit to Regular Meditation: the reason that meditation has been taught for thousands of years is because it works! Simply sitting for 15-20 minutes and focusing on your breathing will gradually still the chatter of your everyday mind.This practice will bring you into the present moment where you experience awareness beyond thought as the source of all that is, including creative inspiration.
  • Make Mindfulness a Priority: the real benefits of meditation come from carrying the awareness you cultivate during your practice forwards into every aspect of your day.Set the intention to immerse yourself in present moment awareness as you go through your day. This basically means noticing each time you’re lost in thought about the past or future and re-focusing on who you’re being and what you’re doing in that single moment.Try setting a timer on your phone or use one of the many mindfulness apps that prompt you to pause and return to a state of alert attention.

Essentially, cultivating awareness sets you free from being caught up in the drama of everyday life and lost in the story of conditioned patterns which usually hinder rather than help your creative expression.

The more awareness you cultivate, the more you’ll be able to access your inner truth and share your ideas, insights and stories creatively and authentically. Awareness is the key!

Have you had any experiences like Sarah’s when you suddenly became aware of something that was holding you back? Please share your comments below.

I’ll write about the other Core Practices in future posts so please subscribe and watch this space!

Further Resources

To experience a greater connection with me and my work, if you haven’t already done so, please register to watch my free Conscious Writing video series by clicking here. Enjoy!


  • Thank you for reminding me to meditate. I know but don’t take the time. Now i will.

    • You’re most welcome Claudia. It’s so easy to know and yet remain an “armchair traveller”, never fully living the truth of the intellectual understanding. It’s like describing the taste of exquisite dark chocolate yet never taking a bite! May your commitment to meditation lead to expansion and fulfilment.

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