Recently I’ve been having fun with a new book recommended by a friend of mine, called Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life by Vimala Rodgers. She thinks our handwriting reflects not only our personalities, but our defenses as well. Our handwriting shows traces of early psychological injuries and how we developed personality traits to make us feel secure in our original family situations. Rodgers explains that our adjustment to old family dynamics can be undermining our peak performance, and that changing our handwriting can be a mechanical way of consciously changing thought patterns that stand in the way of our success and full happiness. Music to my ears!
In psychotherapy, we often try to change people at a causal level, going back to root memories and experiences. But Rogers prefers to work at the effects level, reasoning that changing actions in the outside world can echo back into the psyche, changing old patterns and beliefs. I don’t see why both approaches can’t be true! In the meantime, I’m finding handwriting practice to be relaxing and contemplative, a kind of working meditation on my old ways while at the same time setting a new intention to loosen restrictive habits.
Initially I resisted the idea of changing my handwriting. I had a strong attachment to the way I learned to make letters and connections. Just like my life habits. But who taught me those habits in the first place? Are they precious because they help me or express me? Or precious because they are an inheritance of values that someone else thought was important? Look carefully at the picture above: remember how hard it was to get it right when we first starting writing? That picture is a great analogy for how we struggled as children to copy other people's values. Back then we learned the correct forms, but maybe now we should be working on our own best style. Will changing our handwriting change self-defeating attitudes too?
For the small price of changing my T’s and F’s, I’m about to find out!