Shadia Alam, M.D. : Giving Form to Passion

Writing is an act of creation, and in being so, is inherently sexual. How we show up in bed is how we show up in life, especially when it comes to our creative endeavors.  Inspiration only ever demands one thing of us – that through the alchemy of our minds, we transform thought into living experience. Writing is one of the erotic mechanisms by which this takes place, an act of intimate love between writer and spirit rather than two physical bodies.

Of course, I didn’t always experience my own writing process this way. By my early thirties, I’d written thousands of essays and poems on the typical (and predictable) range of subjects – love, heartbreak, the struggle to find myself- and I had begun working on two books in the area of my professional expertise of medicine and holistic health. I never fathomed that the first book I would actually publish would be on the topic of sacred sexual relationships. In fact, when I started exploring sacred sexuality in my personal life around that time, I realized that writing about it could be risky. How would it reflect on me? Would others take me seriously? Was I opening myself up to the intense scrutiny that so many unconventional writers face? It wasn’t as “safe” as anything I’d written before, and because of this, I knew it was that much more important. To be the type of writer who is unfailingly aligned with inspiration, one must be willing to kill his or her ego repeatedly. This is surrender to the art. This is oblivion of the self. This is the creative ecstasy that invites into the world the stories that need to be told. As writers, we are conduits. We don’t own the message, we give birth to it. 

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My experience was teaching me that every creative act is fundamentally sexual and vice versa. Once we expand our understanding of sexuality to include not just physical sexual activity but also to envelope the very energy and vibration that exists in each living thing, we can begin to tap into the richness of the creative process itself. Our thoughts and emotions are alive. They are intuitive. They are a part of us and yet they are not from us. How we choose to invite them in to engage with us for the purpose of our writing determines how authentic our writing will actually be.

Just as two lovers unite as individuals and arouse in the other a physical awakening through their union, so are their souls similarly aroused and awakened. The process of welcoming our souls into the act of physical love-making is no different than the invitation we extend unconsciously while we write. We are seeking union between the spirit of creativity and our physical bodies. We are losing ourselves as individuals for the sake of elevating our awareness into another, previously unattainable, collective dimension. Surrendering to this process is the ongoing duty of the writer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be perceived by everyone as sexual, but I’ve found it helps immensely. What makes for good sex, makes for good writing. And that is meeting the spirit of the work with utter abandon and authenticity.

I didn’t need to cure myself of the fear of what others think about my book or the topics within it. I just needed to embrace the fear and observe how in doing so, it transformed into exhilaration. Publishing a book is a roller coaster of emotions that cannot be ridden with stiff, rigid expectations. There needs to exist a flexibility and fluidity to allow the book to develop how it will, according to its own desires. My book needed to be born and was slowly composed over two years in bits and pieces without my even realizing it. Once I saw what it wanted to become, I committed my soul to it. I loved it. I recognized it as the voice of my deepest yearnings. I realized that I couldn’t give life to it without also giving life to myself. We were intertwined as two separate entities, fated in symbiosis until our deaths. We would never again exist one without the other.  

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Writing is about giving form to passion. To write effectively is to inspire the essence of that passion in your reader, to invite him or her to dance within your own mind. This is an act of communion on an intellectual and spiritual level. This is why writing is so transcendent. This is why you can pick up a book written one hundred years ago and merge yourself with the author’s thoughts as if no time or distance was separating you at all. Because the truth is, time and distance are relative anyway. By losing yourself in the ecstasy of your own writing, you discover you have nothing left to experience but sensation itself.

 Seek to passionately and sexually love the writing process. Yes, writing is cerebral but it is also emotional. No matter what the topic, in life as in bed, the coming together of the two is the soul of creativity.

Shadia Alam, MD is a board-certified physician and author whose writing merges science with spirituality. Her first book, “Love, Sex & Transcendence: The Art and Science of Sacred Relationships” can be found in bookstores in the Northern Indiana area as well as on Amazon.com and other online retailers. She can be found on Instagram, @eosinlove, as well as on her website www.shadiaalam.com.