Finding Clarity Series: PEW-12, a Free Writing Technique for Releasing Blocked, Toxic Emotion

Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

A ‘Free-Writing, Emotional Block Releasing’ Strategy

The last couple of weeks I began my exploration of 9 ways to remove emotional blocks and create space for clarity. All the strategies I chose fit 4 criteria

Must be a stillness practice.

Must serve as a gateway to slow down and be present.

Must be able to reveal stagnant, negative emotional energy.

Must be able to create an uncluttered space for allowing the experience of clarity.

Easing my way into it I began with free writing. But not just any free writing. Up to now my practice of free writing was to sit for 20 minutes and allow any thought to come up and go on the page. I experienced this as more creative in nature, more of a brain dumping exercise and an integration of what had gone on the previous day. My unconscious would sort through it making connections and giving back new insights or ideas.

Now I wanted something that would specifically stir up unfinished emotional business. That stuff that over time has clogged my thoughts, my energy, and affected my behavior. The stuff I haven’t been conscious of. Something that would release that negative energy and get me free of it.

Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.  

Christina Baldwin

The Free Writing Strategy I Chose

I researched what might do just that. How, through free-writing, could I best get to my real target; the emotional baggage I knew i was burdened with. I happened upon a type of free writing for this explicit purpose.

Dr. Habib Sadeghi has written a book entitled The Clarity Cleanse; 12 Steps to Finding Renewed Energy, Spiritual Fulfillment and Emotional Healing. He has aslo co-authored the book, The Light along with Don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements) and written others as well.

Dr. Sadeghi ‘provides a comprehensive knowledge of revolutionary healing protocols in integrative, osteopathic, anthroposophical, environmental, and family medicine, as well as clinical pharmacology.’ Love that!

“What is it in my emotional world that might be contributing to this disease in my physical world? What is there that I can address in my energetic or emotional body to support the intervention my doctor is implementing in my physical body?” 

~Habib Sadeghi

He has helped literally hundreds of people cure themselves of chronic and life-threatening diseases. He has found that invariably, these illnesses are brought over time as a result of emotion they could do nothing with but suppress or bury deep. He does this with a 2-prong approach, cleansing of the body and the cleansing of the ‘mind’ (stuck emotional energy).

Purge emotional writing 12 minutes- PEW 12  


1. Get notebook and pen and find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.

2. Set a timer for 12 minutes.

3. Open a notebook and start writing about whatever is disturbing your peace. Health, job, finances, personal relationships, anything. Just start writing. Ask yourself ‘what negative feelings am I harboring?’ Keep writing, don’t stop to think about what you will write next. Don’t self-edit. Forget about punctuation, even legibility, or even real words. Just keep the pen in contact with the paper and let the thoughts roll out of you. The idea is the emotional energy inside of you gets transformed by the motion of your hand and the ink of the pen, into a new ‘form’ (words on paper) outside of you.

4. At the end of 12 minutes, stop writing. Don’t read over what you have written when you are done, this just re-infects you with the negative energy. Immediately take the pages to a place where you can burn them. Set them on fire (transformative and cleansing. Your job is to neutralize the negativity of the words on the paper, and fire does that by changing the chemical composition of the paper and ink.

Burning the page at the end of the exercise is a symbol of letting go that allows us to release even more charge, and actually feel lighter.

A couple of other specifics:

  •  Don’t do this on an electronic device. You want a physical, energetic connection between you and the materials you are using, so you can expel as much of the emotional charge as possible. That is why this must be done in your own handwriting
  • Use lots of powerful, negatively charged words in this process to discharge negativity, but remember to never direct them towards yourself. Know you have every right to feel what you feel. And you are discharging it.

5. Do this every day for 5 days at least, to purge the negative energy you are holding.

My Slight Modification

I found it most powerful to sit with what I had learned and the lingering feelings, after I’d burned the paper. This created for me step 6, my space for clarity. Boy did I get clarity. It arrived by the end of each session, and I could capture it in my journal.

What Happened?

There have been aha’s at times with my regular morning journaling, but this technique brought unexpected awareness each and every time. And lots of physical sensations as well.

Each morning of the exercise, I didnt end up staying with what I began writing about, what  I thought was bothering me. What I ended with always felt out of the blue. This was great, this is what I’m after. In this journey, I want what is REALLY in there, tap into it, loosen it up and move it out. The following are the results of Day 1 and 3 using this exercise.

Day 1 of PEW-12

I decided to write about a small, niggling pang of fear that comes up whenever a large unexpected expense occurs. It goes like this; ‘What if I don’t have enough money? ‘What if I lose my income?’ How will I live?’ During the free writing, this quickly morphed into very specific negative feelings; blame and anger. Blaming other people and places for my feeling trapped/stuck, blocked, etc. Consciously I know this isn’t true, but those feelings were harbored in me nonetheless. I saw they lived deep inside, getting triggered every so often, and I had no awareness what those triggers were. I wrote on, accepting that this is what I had unknowingly allowed to live in me, and genuinely wanting to help this thought-feeling move on. 

Then suddenly I was transported to my first-grade playground. A powerful feeling of rejectionflooded over me. What poured out on the paper was the experience of a little girl that didn’t feel wanted, or liked, or ‘part of.’ She wasn’t feeling included and was on of those kids regularly not picked for the ‘team’. She believed it was because she wasn’t very fun, she wasn’t ‘one of them’, and believed ‘I’m not a good enough player’.

And then I realized as that little girl, I never had a chance. I saw that I had so much emotional baggage I was carrying around from my family environment, I couldn’t possibly be fun. How could I feel light hearted, open and playful, a part of? I was a sad kid, in a chaotic and crazy environment. I saw that I must have also carried an air of suspicion and mistrust. Surely, I must have been experienced by the other kids as distant and closed off since that is what I cultivated to emotionally survive in my own family.

In that moment I could feel both compassion and forgiveness for myself, the kids on the playground, and most of all my family. I understood that I had been carrying around resentment for that family environment for years. I probably have at some level, been blaming difficulties I had out in the world on that environment.

I felt a release in my body, an actual release, and felt my face smiling and an impulse to laugh. A weight had lifted, relieving the heaviness I had felt earlier. There was a new lightness through and through and that lightness carried me all day long. I felt relief, a sense of connection and happier than usual. Something blocked, had shifted.

Day 3 of PEW-12

I began writing about my annoyance at the rough flu season we’ve had and how people don’t take care of their health. I wrote how they ‘run around sick and contagious’, and then I get exposed. Then that morphed into annoyance at doctors and the medical system, and then the educational system and the FDA and ‘all the crap we’ve had to swallow for so many years because big pharma and big food are allowed to do whatever they want because of greed and power’ blah, blah. I really worked myself up.

Photo by Jez Timmson Unsplash

And then it happened again. In my mind’s eye I was sitting at a table somewhere with my mom, and I saw what has been happening in our relationship for years. From my perspective, over the last 2 decades my mom has been modeling for me how to make yourself a prisoner in your own life. With you in the starring role as warden. She has shown me how seemingly easy it can happen. How a person can gradually ‘lock’ themselves away from connection, growth, experience, learning, all the things that cultivate confidence, possibility and happiness. Whoa.

And then the thought came… I have been terrified of what I saw happen to her, watching her close down over time. Terrified as if somehow it would rub off on me if I was around her too much. It was scary and it made me angry. I understood why I have kept a distance from her, both geographically and emotionally. I realized this fear and anger went way back for me, because I felt so trapped as a kid. Shutting down was another way to be trapped.

At first I felt bad, I felt sorrow. And then, a shift in energy. I had an urge to call her, to spend time with her, to talk to her about this. To reconnect on a deeper level. Then my timer went off.

Afterwards I reflected in my journal. I know she had reasons for the choices that she made and a lifetime of her own emotional pain. I fully owned that I have nothing to be afraid of. I have made very different choices in my life. I had the insight that she never got to experience the love of her life and at some early point, she just gave up. I felt tremendous sadness for that possibility. At the same time I felt a release, and relief. There wasn’t anything to protect myself against, rather an opportunity for time together. A feeling of warmth and openness toward her enveloped me. I’m going to go stay with her for a few days in May.

Clarity Found

Every emotion has an energetic charge, a real and measurable impact on every aspect of our being. We know this when we are in it, experiencing an emotion. But if the experience isn’t complete, and somehow we either suppress or repress the emotion, that energy continues to live in us, stuck. It then adds to previous emotional energy stuck deep inside. It gets more powerful, and is always ready to be triggered, to come alive and ‘run’ us. There is plenty of it in there. Potentially from every day of every year of our lives.

This writing practice helps begin to break it up, to cleanse the emotional body of negative emotions. The act of writing really does allow us to physically release that charge. The more we do it, the more we release. I’m guessing I could do it and benefit from it for the rest of my life 

This writing practice helps begin to break it up, to cleanse the emotional body of negative emotions. The act of writing really does allow us to physically release some of that charge. The more we do it, the more we release. I’m guessing I could do it and benefit from it for the rest of my life.

What’s Next?

Access emotions and empty them out. Move emotional byproducts through. You might experience a range of reactions but if you follow the directions you can’t make a mistake. Nothing that comes up is wrong. Over time, you will feel an emotional shift. On the other side of the burden of negative energy is a feeling of lightness, of freedom from emotional toxicity, and indeed, clarity.

For me, this process is causing me to establish rituals to dump, eliminate, release and clear space, to lay the foundations for more clarity in my life. If this is what I get from the first strategy I try on this journey, then I am really on to something! Next week is the sensory deprivation float tank. I have 3 floats scheduled in 4 days. We’ll see.