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Greater Self Esteem with a Stroke of Your Pen: An Interview with Vimala Rodgers

It is my pleasure to bring to you today a woman who has helped thousands of people and revolutionized the benefits of tuning into our handwriting as a way toward greater self esteem and self image. Vimala Rodgers is an educator, Director of The International Institute of Handwriting Studies, and author of multiple books including, Change Your Handwriting, Change Your Life, and Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life!, and her newest book which is a comprehensive course with book, cards and audio CD accompaniment, called Transform Your Life Through Handwriting.

Question: Vimala, many people struggle with the issue of low self esteem and harsh critical self-judgments. In your most recent book, Transform Your Life through Handwriting, you guide people through a program to change the way their minds think by mindfully tuning into the stroke of their pens. How does this work?

Vimala: As a Psychologist, you know that it is the subconscious mind that interprets what happens to us, and from that, it dictates who we see ourselves to be (i.e., our self image), not who we ARE. It is not the hand per se, but this same subconscious mind who moves our pen to reaffirm this. Each stroke of the pen makes a statement about the image we hold of ourselves. By adopting Self-affirming writing patterns we redefine that self-image in a positive way. It takes 40 days of committed writing to realign the neurological patterns in the brain. In scientific jargon, this is called “cortical remapping,” or the brain’s ability to rewire itself.

Question: Tell us how handwriting can be a kind of meditation or yoga?

Vimala: Each letter in The Vimala Alphabet is soul-based. In other words, as we move the pen, each letter is designed to access the noblest part of the psyche. As writers use this alphabet on a regular basis, each stroke of the pen awakens them to an awareness of what is commonly called their “Highest Self.”  If you’ve studied Yoga, as I have for over 30 years, you know that Yoga is not a religion, nor do you have to turn and twist your body in an unusual fashion or breathe funny. (Thank heaven!) Yoga is a way of life. It invites us to align our thoughts, interactions, and choices with our highest nature, from moment to moment to moment.

It is based on these simple principles: “Stay in tune with your Highest Self, however you define it; many people call it God, You choose. Make it a fun relationship, as you would with a dear friend. Don’t judge; laugh warmly; be kind; show respect and gratitude freely.” Writing in a Self-affirming way supports this lifestyle effortlessly.  This is the reason so many persons say that their “writing time” is like a meditation–because it takes them to an ego-free place inside. This is the single intention from which I designed  The Vimala Alphabet.

Question: As a Psychologist I’m often interested in the intersection between practice and the brain’s development. You mention that it takes 40 days for the neurological patterns in the brain to realign themselves while doing this work. Can you give us some insight into how this works? 

Vimala: Although I could refer you to books on the subject, I’d rather speak from experience, not only mine, but that of hundreds of persons I have coached as students, clients, and friends. I could fill this page with spiritual traditions from around the world that, from time immemorial, have acknowledged the number 40 as the number of transformation. Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad are those whose names are most familiar. Because I am shy about believing what others claim to be true, I feel the need to experience something for myself. For that reason I experimented again and again to see how long it would take for a particular letter change to take effect in my personality, and invited friends to do the same. For all of us, 40 days was the “magical” number. Since this isn’t about belief, but experience, I invite you to adopt several letters from The Vimala Alphabet to experience this for yourself. I suggest that you focus on the initials of your name.  I’ll be pleased to send you guidelines for daily practice.

Question: Do you ever come across people who say that they don’t write too much anymore because of the advent of computers and typing. If so, what is your response to them?

Vimala: All the time! My usual response is this:  “If your life is working just the way you want it to, don’t bother to pick up a pen…because once you begin writing in a Self-affirming way, doors will fling open to new and thrilling opportunities.” Although I am optimistic by nature, I am also a realist. I have found through experience that most people would like to have the changes occur, but are not willing to set aside time to write each day. I call it the “Magic Wand” syndrome. When, however, I encounter persons who will do anything to have their life turn around–they become the most faithful writers–forever and ever! Gender, profession, it makes no difference; it’s their drivenness to have a life that works for them, that has them move that pen! And, by the way, it works every time. Yes, every time. By the way, by continuing to write in a Self-affirming way, this technology comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Question: If you were sitting across the table from someone today who was struggling from low self esteem, what are some simple steps from your system that you could show that person so they could work with your system toward greater self esteem.

Vimala: First, I would source this attitude by studying the writing patterns. From there, I would suggest three (no more than three) writing changes.  If the advisor, however, were someone who knew little about handwriting, I would have them suggest that the person begin by practicing the initials of their first and last names.  “First name” means the name that appears on their birth certificate.  Nicknames don’t count, nor do middle names, unless they use both first and middle birth name i.e., Mary Lou. “Last name” is never a married name; it is the name that appears on their birth certificate–or, if they’ve been adopted, the last name of their adoptive parents. Once they master these letters, I’d go on to have them begin practicing the lowercase letters in their name. Again, I’ll be pleased to send you guidelines for daily practice. This exercise alone has amazing results in redefining self-esteem! Amazing — and so gratifying.

Thank you Vimala for your insights.

Please share your thoughts, stories, and questions below. Your interactions here provide a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Greater Self Esteem with a Stroke of Your Pen: An Interview with Vimala Rodgers

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2009). Greater Self Esteem with a Stroke of Your Pen: An Interview with Vimala Rodgers. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Nov 2009
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