How do you start writing again after days of silence?
How do you dare to take the step necessary to once more open your heart and mind and place the words on the screen where they will be seen?
I discourage myself; when a new idea for writing turns up in my mind I silence it. With words like “someone has already said that, and probably in a much better way too.”
“Well, you are right” my discouraged me says. “There is no use trying.” So I go back doing some brain and soul lulling activity that the trueI don’t really want to do.
Last night my true I took my hand and led me to my easel with an empty canvas on. It opened the doors to the color bottles and showed the biggest one, the one with bright yellow in.
I didn’t dare to loose time searching for utensils. I just opened the bottle, turned it upside down and squeezed the paint straight on to my fingers. Thick, creamy layers of beautiful, yellow paint. My soul looked at the paint and breathed with a big sigh of relief.
Insecure, trembling strokes on the canvas with my fingers. The sensation on my fingertips, the texture, the smell of paint and how beautiful it looked! I was not at all insecure. This was what I wanted to do. “Where have you been all this time??” I asked me. I wish I knew.
Can I write about this? Or will it be another unwritten post, not interesting enough to share?
No, this one will be posted. To show the next step on my journey. To encourage others, who like me struggle to come back to life.
It already started some months before. Words kept turning up in my head that I didn’t know what to do with.
Not in Swedish my native tongue, but in English.
I tried to ignore them, but after a while realized they were constructed as poems.
The words kept knocking on my mental door until I finally understood only pen and paper could relieve me from these recurrences.
This was my first poem, already edited and done in my mind, without further thinking I could write it all down:
The sound of waters
soothes the soul
no need to seek reasons
just enjoy the flow
Each day of karma
listen to the plan
a new dawn arises
in holiness of land
All together warriors of love
creativity and nourishment
in lighted souls of peace
breathing with awaken glow
To write, to feel the words
the joy that leaps inside
of reverence and bliss
a present mind at peace
I am a very slow understander and didn’t think much more about writing for a long time. Except the fact that I was writing my Journal as a lifeline in the recovering stage I was in. And from time to time added some every-day philosophical ideas I meant could be good to share for aiding others. But I had no idea of how to share. Just a vague idea about maybe writing a book one day.
What made me look up the name Jeff Goins that day? I don’t know.
A note in a writer’s magazine about writing blogs. Did I sense there was a light at the end of the tunnel?
Once again it was the words that illuminated the mind.
The words of Jeff Goins provided relief to what the mind had known but didn’t know how to express.
It scared me at first that most of them were Christian and wrote about their faith. But I soon realised their love for all living included me as well and they accepted me just the way I was. Our struggles and successes in writing was just the same and even if the subjects of our writing were different our work was similar and our lives are forever connected. As it has turned out their loving faith has been a welcome refuge in a sometimes harsh world and their unselfish prayers for others’ benefits surround me with the feeling of how much good there is in us humans and the Universe.
It is impossible for me to find the exact way to express the enormous impact this Tribe Writer course and the fabulous group has made on me and my life from day one and forever. My friends have stood by me in a year full of difficulties in my personal life, which of course also has affected my writing. Their constant support in all matters is invaluable.
The practical matters the course itself provides are so personal rewarding as I appreciate the value it will bring when I’ll go in for it in depth. The lifetime membership is an awesome gift since this year has been hard for me to completely follow my dream in writing. But there will be a new year coming and I will always continue to work with my writing.
I will end with a poem. Since I during this year have realized poetry is as important to me as the air I am breathing.
This was written hundreds of years ago by an incredible creative, productive, talented man. He turned out to be very famous in his own time and for centuries to come. His nameis William Shakespeare.
A friend is one that
knows you as you are,
understands where you have been,
accepts what you have become,
and still, gently allows you
Thats how I figured out how clever the Biblical advice about a Resting Day is.
During long periods of my life I have worked Sundays and that has been mentally tough for me. Walking away from a sleepy family, who are planning for a fresh new Sunday, knowing when you come home in the evening you are too tired to participate in anything. During the day watching family groups being out together and in your heart just wishing for being with the ones you love.
Life is gracious to me in this stage of my life. I am free on Sundays. I wake up and make plans for a whole new, fresh Sunday with my family. That’s how I found out the wisdom in a resting day. It really is ok to say “I am resting today”. It is wise not to arrange for to many things to do.
I am fully aware of the necessity for many to work Sundays. My heart aches for those who must while they wish for being with friends and family. Not everybody thinks it is a problem. For many it is an opportunity to make more money, or for meeting people and being busy, instead of having nothing special to do. In my country you normally get twice the salary on Sundays, that is a great motivation.
But for me there is balance in having: Resting Day – Busy Day
There are many other aspects of life when balance is very helpful. Just being aware of the fact that aiming for balance is good way to get along in life is helpful. Not so many are talking about Yin & Yang nowadays. I don’t know why, the concept couldn’t possibly be out of date. But fashion comes and goes, so does philosophies.
Anyway, today is a great Day and I am happy to enjoy it!
I want to share something really admirable with you all!
The story of a very determined woman, who came up with an idea she couldn’t let go of. Who persisted in trying despite hard experiences. Who filled her life with a purpose , fulfillment and achievement. Truly inspirational!
Watch and enjoy this amazing woman and a great TED talk!
Reward yourself with persistence and purpose! During your attempts you will achieve things !
The way things turns out may surprise us, but we learn to know that nothing is ever certain.
We believe our life is turning out in a specific way and so the next thing we know the plans have turned exactly upside down.
This may happen with life overwhelming acts or just an everyday occurrence.
When it happens to me I feel completely shaken, in body and mind.
I need to turn away from everything and be alone and lick my wounds.
At first I ban myself for being so weak, letting my confidence drain to the bottom (again) being surprised for reacting physically finding a body that hardly can move.
So now I am a shell again, I think. Need to start building myself up from the bottom all over.
I skim through the Internet. I watch quotes about answers to life, at first watching without seeing. Then a word or a sentence actually reaches me deep inside. And I can feel the stir of something waking up. I am happy someone has found the right words to show me when I needed it.
But I wanted to be the person who encourages others! Why do I repeatedly find myself mentally grasping for air?
There must be a reason.
I have been told we come here to learn.
So I am obviously learning something.
I am learning to respect myself. I am me, and that is good enough!
(I need to repeat this to myself over and over, and sometimes I feel the truth in it)
And I know we are supposed to help others.
So by recognizing my reactions, with body and mind, to emotions I can help others with compassion and support because I know what they are experiencing?
That could definitely be a Life Purpose for me. That would give meaning.
But everybody else seem so well put together, cheerful. Not falling down in dark pits like me. Or? Maybe you are out there covering your mind with a happy face? I used to do that. Rushing away from painful situations having the excuse of a busy life. Taking some pill for cheering up. Because acting ‘not normal’ is just not possible in a life where we are constantly watched for signs of oddity.
Now my body needs to deal with my emotions. There is no place to hide from myself, so I need to endure what is happening. And frankly, come to think of it, I believe it is good.
Because every time it happens I come out of it stronger, and bring with me new wisdom I can use. When I am in touch with my inner self I find clues to who I really am. It is liberating.
I am beginning to realize I need to accept that this is who I am. I do not need to be in any other way. I will continue to learn and grow in spirit. For each step I go I will be a wiser person, if I simply follow my own pace.
Maybe we need to encourage each other in this life embracing quest of finding peace in our inner self.
If someone lowers their guard and dares to show a vulnerable soul, we should cheer him on.
If you need to talk about the hurt you feel inside, I would listen.
Have you started to find out things about yourself that you have learned to accept?
Has that acceptance made you respect yourself and helping you feel more at peace?
You can answer these questions to yourself only, or feel free to share it in the comments.
One of the clues to our lives here on earth is to enjoy the fact that we live here! And we shouldn’t just push the hope to live until “later”, we need to enjoy our life right now!
It is so easy to forget to live.
Instead it is easy to punish ourselves, for any reason, mostly from guilt. Many of us do. But recently I have started to consider the consequences of doing that, and the thought is:
While punishing myself, I am not able to really love life!
I don’t need to feed myself with thoughts about my inadequacy or helplessness!
I need to enjoy my life, and be happy about it!
The reason for punishing ourselves might be our urge to be a kind and humble person, believing it is not decent to place ourselves “higher” than others. We live our lives to do good for others, and we should, that’s one of the milestones for the progress of the human race, but in the attempt of lowering ourselves we diminish ourselves to the level that we are not good enough, for anything. We forget to do good for ourselves.
But I think it is time to remember
Enjoying life is good for us!
I want to live life full! And I will start with myself!
That does not mean we do bad for others.
Let me show you one rewarding method to start loving life! – Sensing your life.
Using the senses to actually feel your life!
Listen! Use some breaths to listen to what is all around you. Embrace the fact that you can hear! Your organs in the ear are working to submit impulses to your brain to make you fathom what is happening around you, and you should feel awe because of that! It is one of the thrills of every day! Sink into the moment when you are absolute present and listening to something and loving it! You can listen to music you like, the noise around your home, the voice from someone you love or just the beautiful sound of the coffee grinder at your favorite café.
Once you open your ears and connect them to your heart you will find many, many moments in a day when you hear sounds that you cherish and makes you realize you are alive and you feel joy from it!
You use your eyes every day. Can you change your habit from watching without seeing, to actually take to your heart what you are looking at, and register the emotion of it? If you have a mug of new fresh coffee beside you, watch the whirls of heat swirling upwards in the air! You are able to register that and appreciate that you are there to see it right now! Imagine if that small token makes you feel happy, how does the sight of a friendly face of a person you love make you feel.
Use your sight all day to be happy about what you see. Use your mind to consider if you should watch things on TV, or somewhere else, that is not making your heart leap with joy!
Smelling is a lifesaving sense. It helps us avoid dangerous food or places, that is good. We listen to our mind telling us to avoid it and we are hardly aware of it. Like an instinct could we also be aware of our senses for the good of life? Could we enjoy the night air in a garden full of flowers, or the smell of a soap made from only natural ingredients healthy to ourselves and the environment? Let yourself stay in the moment you smell the skin of your baby. And embrace yourself with the immense love you feel! There could be absolutely nothing wrong in opening your heart to the uttermost joy of being alive and feeling your life in that very moment! I am sure there are other moments you can experience the same joy as well!
If you have ever tasted freshly squeezed orange juice and compared it to a packed drink of concentrated fruit mixed with water and added citric acid, various preservatives and even colors, you know your taste buds can help you sort out natural food from chemical. You probably also know the difference in taste of food eaten with people you like in a homely environment or at a time or place where you feel insecure and unhappy. But our ability to taste is also our opportunity to feel life and enjoy living. It doesn’t need to be the luxurious food, the most expensive, it could be the tiniest, cheapest piece and it may still give us the pleasure of thinking: “I am actually alive and enjoying the fact that I can eat this I am holding in my mouth right now”. When you do that, you will also find the taste pleasurable and appreciate it.
Touch. The remarkable, intriguing system of nerves surrounding our entire body! In absolutely everything you do during your day you are able to feel it. Use that possibility to love your life! Enjoy the sense of wind on your cheek. Consider the differences in material on the various chairs you are sitting on during a day. Feel the water embracing your body while swimming or taking a shower. Stay in the moment when you feel the skin of someone you love under your fingertips.
It will not take long for your system to adapt to this way of living. Your entire being is longing for embracing life! Participating in life! And loving Life!
So while I was doing hard work in the physical world I came to think about the world of creativity, that I must say I prefer. But still I know I need both because they complete each other. This is what I came up with a few days ago.
It is a new thing to me to shovel snow. I have lived on the countryside where the snow falls galore and it is no use shoveling, except when the car is stuck of course, then I need to shovel a lot, to get it free again.
Now I have just moved into a village where walking areas around the houses are supposed to be free of snow, so people may walk by.
And I had also found my house at a corner.
One morning when I looked out the ground was covered in white. I realized, there is no way I can escape this, I must go out with my shovel and make the pavements walkable.
It was easy in the beginning. The snow was light and I knew how to handle the shovel. – Ah, I’ll fix this in no time. I thought.
But when I came to the corner, the ground was sloping and I was feeling tired and my back hurt. I had to meddle with the snow and the slope. The un shoveled road ahead of me looked so very long. So naturally I thought – Well I could just go back in now, I have been kind of good. I can do the rest later.
But a little tiny voice inside was clever. It knew I wouldn’t go on again later. It told me I must go on NOW. What if people would slip and fall over and maybe hurt themselves.
So I carried on, and it was really heavy.
After a while a person I know came by and she was (she always is) in a very good mood and it was a nice, cheerful talk. The work became easier after that. But I still thought – Will this never end? But I kept at it.
Eventually it suddenly became clear to me, I had reached the end! I was staring at the stone of the neighbor’s fence. And it took a while for the thought to sink in; The labor was over, I was finished.
I had accomplished what I had set out to do!
I stayed in that moment; of feeling joy inside of actually going through all the necessary motions to reach the goal.
It is so much more rewarding than going back to the comfortable life not achieving anything to be proud of.
Can you also see the parallels of what might happen in our creative work?
You get an idea; – This could work!
You prepare yourself with the proper equipment
You start enthusiastically; – I can do this
You seem to never reach the goal. You feel tired and want to quit.
You convince yourself you must go on.
You meet someone who can encourage you to go on.
You are persistent. You believe in this idea, even if it feels difficult.
You reach your goal. You have accomplished!
You can feel very happy about yourself.
Enjoy the moment when you actually finish something you set your mind to do! No matter how small the task might seem to be. It helps your self-confidence! Next time you are not afraid to set a new goal and you find your self growing as a person (and possibly your muscles too)
Moving out – or moving in? which is most important?
For the moment most our activities are concerned with the “new”. We plan for which rooms to sleep in, closets to contain our clothes, kitchen to be practical….
But the “old”. Fragments of memories. All the bits and pieces of our life together in this home. Old closets being sorted out. Reminders of young children growing up, learning things, learning how to write. All these beautiful, beautiful notes ” I love you mum, and all the family too” The spelling is odd, but it doesn’t matter I cherished that note then and I still do! They have learned how to spell now and they think I should throw away that evidence of them being inadequate, but for me it is worth more than anything.
So what are my lessons in this stage of my life?
1. I have found out that it is so important for us to
Not avoid our feelings and emotions! Dare to deal with them! And learn from them!
Should I avoid this emotional turmoil by saying “Oh, I can’t move now. It is to many memories in that house. I need to linger there, and keep the memories alive forever”
I believe the memories can be alive in our hearts if we choose them to be. Wherever our house is.
I don’t think we can avoid emotions just by staying. Sometimes staying make us go stale and “old”. Emotions will catch up on us sooner or later and then it may be with a shock. Like if you sweep too much dirt under a rag, it grows a pile and suddenly you will fall over that pile.
Get on top of your life! Don’t let it pass by without your interference. It is you who are supposed to interfere in your life!
2. Lesson number two:
Moving out and moving in are equally important. Seeking and finding the balance in life, in this matter as well.
And of course keeping in mind:
Showing respect for other people, possessions and nature involved. Gratitude for having a place to live and a home, and for all the marvelous experiences we acknowledge every day!
Please live your life!And feel your life!
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Have you noticed how sometimes everything you think or do turns out right?
You realize the treasure is right there, in your own hands. You follow an idea connected to your heart and probably put a lot of effort in that idea and suddenly all the pieces fall just into the right places.
Hold on to that joyous feeling in your heart! It tells you how you are right on track and do not lose that connection!
Probably it has something to do with your acts of caring for others. To make your mind concerned with things more important than yourself makes the world so much bigger and more interesting than just thinking about what only concerns you. There is nothing wrong in thinking about yourself, but after a while it may become very boring
If you are concerned in something that involves other people there will always be new inputs in your life. The funny thing about people is that they never become boring because they change and changes makes us need to adapt and that way we can grow
Do NOT doubt yourself! You know what to do! Just go ahead and Do it!
Always remember, that the joyous feeling in your heart means you are right on track and everything turns out right!
Steven Pressfield, writer of amazing novels such as Gates of Fire, Tides of War, and Last of the Amazons has also written this book: The War of Art which I started to read this week.
It is truly inspirational. The funny thing is, that reading takes time from writing, but it is impossible to write without reading.
Maybe not completely impossible, probably someone living isolated on a deserted island for ages managed to write something without ever have read anything (after he was rescued and given pen and paper and taught how to write), but most of us need books to write.
And this same week I discovered Gregorian – Brothers in Arms. Powerful!
A perfect combination for the task of writing more and more!
The irony in this though, is that I don’t live what I preach. I, who always speak for peace in all mankind, now preach for war?
No of course I don’t preach for war!
But when artists with souls of light express themselves with the power of love, the world becomes a luminous and sparkling refuge in the universe