Haiku Writing Used to Control Anger

by Sheila Finkelstein on June 9, 2012

As I was writing this week’s post for  Treasure Your Life Now I spontaneously registered HaikuForHealing.com and mask forwarded it over here to WritingforHealing.com.

Then I discovered that it’s been over 6 months since I posted here.  I haven’t been thinking in terms of needing “healing” and that’s kind of “silly”.  I’m thinking I’m putting a heavy weight on the term “healing”.  Writing is a process I use daily in my Morning Pages (a la Julia Cameron in the ARTIST’S WAY and all of her other books).

Oftentimes it’s “healing” when it gets me passed some blocks. The writing itself, when I don’t make it mean something, can be freeing.  Sometimes when “dumping” feels necessary, it can be cathartic. It’s far better to do it on paper than to or at another person.

And, at times when I’ve really needed to get control of myself I’ve used the Haiku process as described below.

harsh words Haiku on photo imageGoing through some old papers recently, I found one of the numerous Haikus I had written six and seven years ago when I was experiencing a great deal of anger at how Parkinson’s Disease was affecting my beloved Sam.


“Harsh and Brittle Words
Destroy Do No Move Forward
Breathe Deep Love Clears All”

©Sheila Finkelstein 3/23/06

During that period, I discovered Haiku to be a creative way of gaining control of my anger and other emotions. This form of writing consists of 3 lines – 5 syllables, 7 syllables, then 5 syllables again.

The words would come, sometimes describing feelings. Other times the words were about what was happening. After three lines, I would stop and count the syllables in each of them. This became something I COULD control and change. The process also created an almost immediate shift in how I was feeling.

Impressed with the importance of the above Haiku words, I put the paper aside to create a visually appealing photo/message. I planned to join in the words and picture posts that are currently being highly circulated in Facebook. I had no idea what the visual background for the words would be. Then yesterday a photo image showed up. See Harsh Words – Haiku Healing for the rest of the that story.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Uwe June 4, 2021 at 10:45 am

Hallo Sheila, I have Parkinsons but I believe in my healing. I do Qugong, Meditation, praying, etc. to get my body, mind and soul back in alignment. Do you thing morning pages can help me on this way?
Thanks, Uwe


Sheila Finkelstein July 18, 2021 at 12:02 am

Thanks for reading and commenting, Uwe. My last husband had Parkinson’s and, as I recall, the most important thing, as emphasized by his doctor, was exercise. You are certainly getting exercise with Qigong. I’m not that familiar with it so I don’t know if it’s covering all dimensions of strength bearing and walking. Meditation is helpful also and other things it seems you likely are doing.

With regard to Morning Pages, I’ve found it, at times, to be an important “brain dump” freeing space in our minds for new ideas, or solutions, to emerge. I’m thinking since you asked the question there might be something helpful for you.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: