It’s Monday! What Are Your Reading? Summer of 2014

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Honestly,  this summer was one of savory reading.  My mind shifted to new galaxies of understanding.  My heart expanded beyond expansion and my soul soared.

There were a few books that had something to do with it.

Books have saved my life more than once, but there are some gems that push my being to places I did not know existed.

Let me give you a glimpse inside just one of my books of summer.

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I sought out a book on brokenness when I was feeling so much brokenness in the world.  You can read about this here on a post I wrote awhile ago.  Amazon guided me to Elizabeth Lesser and her book Broken Open.

Upon the arrival of my smily happy box from the UPS man, I ripped out Lesser’s book and immediately skimmed the back. These words stood out:

Elizabeth Lesser bravely and beautifully explores one of the most compelling questions of life: How do we emerge from suffering and challenge with real, encompassing wisdom and love?

These ARE the questions of life.  I know we keep transforming over and over, but what about the REAL challenges?  Like losing people you love, illness, and depression?  So many are suffering.  The world seems to be in a continuous state of hurt, confusion, lostness and pain right now.

I peppered this book with so many tracks of my thinking and sticky notes, that if I handed it off to someone else to read, they’d look at me like I had three heads.  It’s that good.  I wanted to memorize every word Lesser wrote — lodge it into my long term memory–I needed her words to latch onto in my own times of need.  And, to live them.

Is that crazy?  Have you ever wanted to MEMORIZE a book?

Here are some of the words that are stuck with me:

Lesser’s introduction grabbed me,

Issues I never thought I would face–of love and betrayal, passion and responsibility, loss and doubt—sprouted in the hidden places of my heart and led me into the dark words of real life.  It is those stories–the ones about the journey in and out of the woods–that I tell in this book.

Well, I’d been in that woods and felt guilty about it every time I took a road there.  Lesser writes~

To be human is to be lost in the woods.  None of us arrives here with clear directions on how to get from point A to point B without stumbling into the forest of confusion or catastrophe or wrongdoing.  Although they are dark and dangerous, it is in the woods that we discover our strengths.

I am reminded of Robert Frost’s poem, A Snowy Evening In The Woods, and how even he was tempted by the darkness.

How can one resist an invitation with words like this?  I didn’t know if I was more intoxicated with her use of language or anxious to hear about her plan for getting unlost.  I read this book as a reader and a writer through every line and paragraph. This little snippet was in the introduction in explaining how her stories were like “the teaching tales of older traditions.”

These small parables are sprinkled throughout the book, like tiny lights strung along a path.  Perched at the beginning of many of the stories and parables is a quotation or poem.  I realize that an opening verse is often regarded as ornamentation, but I mean for you to actually read these bits and scraps of poetry and prose. Some provide keys to the front doors of the stories; others are vehicles that can carry you all the way throughout the stories and back out into your life.

Captivated by the dance of language along with the wisdom of her journey in this book, I filled up my iced tea mug, grabbed my sun glasses and headed out to the lawn chair.

I’ll write about my lessons learned from this book in another post. . . or posts.

For now, if you are feeling a little broken, or know someone who is, this book is a gift to the mind, heart and soul.

Out beyond ideas

of wrong doing and right doing

There is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

~Rumi

 

Shari 🙂

 

 

How Energy Clearing Saved Me

 depression        Depression is not a cut that needs a band-aid.  It’s a cancer that needs a battle plan.        ~ Ann Voskamp  

I’ve battled depression and all over body/joint pain most of my adult life. 

“Something is wrong with me,” was my constant mantra.  

I hadn’t suffered trauma, loss, cancer, divorce or abuse.  95% of the world prays for the life I have.  That alone made me more depressed about being depressed because it brought on guilt for even feeling the way I did.

I have not confessed to many people about my bouts of depression because sometimes people look at you like you have a mental illness and treat you differently.  There are enough “real” problems in the world to think and pray about, I certainly don’t want people worrying about me.  I also didn’t want to be sharing my story for a desperate need of attention or to give excuses for why I am the way I am.  I’ve only shared with those who have opened their hearts to me because it’s their story, too.   And, to my dear closest friends.

Doctors said I should be tired and exhausted, I had four children and a job.  Tests always looked good, so they’d prescribe me iron, or more potassium, or magnesium, or B vitamins. I’d leave, relieved I wasn’t dying, but never felt healed.

Over the last 15 years, I became a student of my own depressed experience. I analyzed every possible cause for to find the root of this despair. Thinking it was physical, I eliminated bad habits of caffeine, coffee, Diet Coke, alcohol and processed foods.  I did detoxes and cleanses, exercised regularly, got into nature, conquered addictions and reduced stress.  I buried myself in books to learn about my mind – maybe I was crazy and it really was in my mind.  I devoured Eckart Tolle, Byron Katie, Penny Pierce, Wayne Dyer, Deepok.  I learned all about my ego, consciousness and how we are our thoughts.  I did daily devotionals, prayed, vowing to become more spiritual – maybe it was God missing in my life.  I thought is was my work, perhaps I wasn’t being true to who I was.  So, I began to write, filled art journals, and painted.  Of course, I figured it was my marriage – my resentfulness perhaps is what’s taking its toll on me. I sought therapy and tried depression meds, only to find I was in Fog City.  St. John’s Wart, the same.  Perhaps, it was midlife changes, so I sought out self-help books on mid-life, menopause, had a hysterectomy, and did some serious soul searching.  

Then the world of energy came into light.  I was introduced to Reiki, by my niece, Micara Link, as a way to heal ourselves, so I took classes and learned about how we can heal with energy, focused on releasing blocked chakras and worked on my subconscious blocks buried deep from childhood.  She introduced me to clearing, but I guess I wasn’t ready to embrace it just yet.  She also affirmed my belief of being a highly sensitive person.   This, just a dent in my quest for an answer.

I made strides – big ones.  

But, I was not cured.  

The Big D kept coming back.  Always, it followed me around like lost puppy.

I then met Bridgette. Bridgette and I met in a Facebook group of friends brought together by Kelly Ray Robert’s online class, Flying Lessons.  Bridgette is a  women’s empowerment coach, who also does energy work, intuitive coaching and is psychic.   We conversed online, became companions at a writing retreat and I later, continued sessions with her over the  phone to receive guidance in reaching my goals and learning about my mind, body, heart and soul and how it all needs to align.  

I didn’t know then, that she would be the one that would unlock the door to my depression/pain quest.

The most powerful gift Bridgette taught me was about energy and how it affects us.  I knew some of this, but not to the depths I needed to know.  You think you know – but really, you don’t.

I learned that I am not just a highly sensitive person, but I am also an empath.  Google that.

As a HSP (highly sensitive person) and an empath (I know-sounds like a real head case, huh?), we absorb the energies of others whether we want to or not.  I was not only absorbing the energies of any person I was with at the time, I was also absorbing the energies in groups of people, in my surroundings, in meetings, in my entire world.   And, carrying it with me, until my body felt heavier, more in pain and more depressed.  (I remember learning this with Micara, but I think I was at the surface of just learning about energy then and did not take in more than basic understandings.) This explained my agitation and exhaustion after being at the mall, large group meetings and gatherings and even in my working environment of an elementary school of almost 900 people.

I needed help.  A game plan.  I could not quit my job.

Bridgette gave me tools and taught me two main practices to combat this problem:

1.  Energy Clearing to clear all energies from others that I absorb on a daily basis

2.  Creating a protection barrier around me to protect myself from the energy of others.

Bridgette did my first energy clearing for me, over the phone!  I was skeptical, but I did believe in energy and the law of attraction.   The next day, I felt 20 pounds lighter, had a skip in my step, my depression and pain lifted and I was me again.  I honestly FELT “cleared”.  A peace and lightness flowed through me.  It was a miracle.  

But, it didn’t last.  By the next week, I was back in my bed again, barely able to peel myself away from bed to get to the shower for work.

I called Bridgette.

She said I had to learn to do these clearings on my own, and on a regular basis if I was going to survive my job.  I found that I needed them twice a week, usually over the weekend to clear from the week and again by Wednesday.  I also learned to create a morning ritual for myself before going into my work that consisted of meditation that focused on creating an imaginary protective barrier around me so these energies could not penetrate through my own energy auras.  And also, a disconnection ritual at the end of my work day. Yes, it all sounds crazy in a Cosmo-Rica-woo-woo kind of way.

But, you know what? It worked.

And if something makes me feel better and chases away the pain and depression I suffer, I’m doing it.

You know how I know that it was mainly the energies of others that was causing my depression and pain?

It’s July 2nd today.  We’ve been out of school for one month already.  I have not had ONE day of depression or pain and have not had to do an energy clearing or protection meditation since school let out.  I’ve been home.  Mostly by myself or with my husband.

I have never felt better in my entire life.  I still abide by everything else I’ve learned to stay depression/fybromyalgia free and healthy.  And, I do not believe I would have learned a fraction of all I now understand about our body, mind, heart and soul had it not been for the relief I was seeking. The daily, conscious effort and monitoring of where I am at is a commitment.  But, if I want to be of service and help for others, it’s one I refuse to stray from.  

But now, I’m at a fork in the road  and my question is, “What now?”

We are never fully “healed” and more and more is revealed to us every day about who we are, and right now I feel a new knowing that there is something more that I feel called to do.  I’m not exactly sure what that is, but I do know part of my purpose is healing, helping and teaching others and I can do that through sharing my story and  the workings of our body, mind, heart and soul, along with how energy affects us.  

Since discovering these newfound paths of healing that work for me, God has guided others my way that need this. Synchronicities has compounded and I am blown away every day. I certainly didn’t think that I would be here sharing with the world my depression journey and teaching others about energy even two years ago.  God unfolds for us in a very mysterious way.  I just followed the bread crumbs. I’m not exactly sure where the next crumbs will be, but I do know it’s time for me to open up and share with others the understandings, tools, and practices that I’ve been taught to battle depression.

If I can even help one person, then I know I’m on the right path.

Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.  ~ Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

Shari 🙂

Let Go of Trying to Be Noticed

Less of Me

Today, I’m reblogging a reblog from a blog I love.

Can I do that?  Are there rules?

Well, I am.  It’s just too good to not share with as many people as I can. It’s a topic of concern with my own self and I’m hearing nudges from other like-minded souls that it’s theirs, too.  I will write more on it later, but for now, savor the words of Heather and Mark Nepo.

From Heather at soberboots.com:

This morning I read this and thought I heard God say, “This is better than any blog post you could write today. Post this and go jog instead.”

I harrumphed, and then agreed. Yet another way to quit deeper, right? I hope you get as much from this as I did.

Much of our anxiety and inner turmoil comes from living in a global culture whose values drive us from the essence of what matters. At the heart of this is the conflict between the outer definition of success and the inner value of peace.

Unfortunately, we are encouraged, even trained, to get attention when the renewing secret of life is to give attention. From performing well on tests to positioning ourselves for promotions, we are schooled to believe that to succeed we must get attention and be recognized as special, when the threshold to all that is extraordinary in life opens only when we devote ourselves to giving attention, not getting it. Things come alive for us only when we dare to see and recognize everything as special.

The longer we try to get attention instead of giving it, the deeper our unhappiness. It leads us to move through the world dreaming of greatness, needing to be verified at every turn, when feelings of oneness grace us only when we verify the life around us. It makes us desperate to be loved, when we sorely need the medicine of being loving.

One reason so many of us are lonely in our dream of success is that instead of looking for what is clear and true, we learn to covet what is great and powerful. One reason we live so far from peace is that instead of loving our way into the nameless joy of spirit, we think fame will soothe us. And while we are busy dreaming of being a celebrity, we stifle our need to see and give and love, all of which opens us to the true health of celebration.

It leaves us with these choices: fame or peace, be a celebrity or celebrate being, work all our days to be seen or devote ourselves to seeing, build our identity on the attention we can get or find our place in the beauty of things by the attention we can give–Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Mark Nepo is a cancer survivor, a poet, and philosopher. He’s not a Christian, nor is he in recovery that I’m aware of. But God speaks to me a lot through his writings.

BAM:  When we feel the need to BE noticed, turn it around and instead, BE the NOTICER.

Please God,

Show more of yourself, so there will be Less of Me.

Let that marinate.

Shari 🙂

 

Gratitude Quiets The Mind

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Bernice is on a rampage this morning. (Incase you don’t know Bernice, she’s my mind.)

Awakening on a Saturday morning at home, after being gone for almost a week, will get her going like a crazy woman with an anxiety attack.

“Get up and clean this house, for Pete’s sake, it’s disgusting – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. . . honestly.  The heaps of dirty clothes need to get washed, there are no fresh groceries in the house – get to the store, and you’d better bake something – the boys are home – they are looking for treats, work on some school presentations and planning being  you have all this fresh knowledge in your head from Ohio, and you should get up to school and do some planning for next week anyway, oh my gosh – TAXES!  YOU NEED TO GET GOING ON TAXES!! Your car is still sitting in the driveway, you know from when you hit that deer last weekend!  You’d better get it towed to the shop – and what are you going to drive next week?  Check with insurance and see if you can get a rental and have it covered.  You have not written a blog post all week, you call yourself a writer? TAXES!!  Ugh, walk or do yoga or SOMETHING with your body today – you certainly didn’t need to eat that teramisu and french bread dipped in olive oil last week – not to mention all the other restaraunt eating that does not qualify as very healthy, better change it up – get some food prep done so you aren’t walking that path all week.  Did you exercise AT ALL last week? (Well, yes, I did yoga one day.) THAT’s not enough.  Giddyup!  You’d better call Gracie, have you checked on her lately?  And, your parents, do you even know how your dad is doing??  Check out where the world is on the Ukraine crisis – make sure you spend some time worrying about this – you have two soldier age boys, you know, you NEED to be concerned about this. . . and pray for the people on that missing plane. . . heavens. . .”

She doesn’t stop.  Not even to take a breath.  I dread getting out of bed because I don’t know where to start.

Deep breath – get up and make coffee.

Ritual.  Start with ritual.

Climbing the stairs to my sanctuary to write, I set my coffee down, light a candle and open my notebook that begs for some words on the page.

I hear Bernice tell me to tell me to hurry up – I have things to do today.

Then,  a little nudge of an angel voice whispers in my ear, “Be grateful.”

I close my eyes and breathe from a place deep within myself.

Looking out the window, above my desk, I gaze at the sea blue sky, light fluffy clouds slowly sailing to the east – like ships moving, the sun shining directly in my window onto my notebook, still in rising mode.

My soul wells up.  Bernice quiets down.

I am so grateful for this day God gave me.  This gift of grace.  Of writing, this gift I give to myself, an honoring  of my true self.  The music serenading in the backgound – Chris Rice singing Hallelujas and guitars strumming. My deep dark coffee laced with swirling almond milk – this missing during my days away from home.  The first pen grabbed to write with begs to be written with and words flow out of it. My husband, who never harps on what I should get done on the weekend – he gives me this space.

This is my heart speaking.  I call her “Rose”.

I like listening to Rose.  She’s much nicer than Bernice.

I close my notebook and ask my husband what he’s planning for the day.

He tells me, “A little tv, I might shoot my bow, we should take some fish out for supper.”

I shake my head and smile at his ability to have a quiet mind and wish I could be more like him.  I know this is why God partnered me with him.

“You wanna get bundled up and go for a walk?” I ask.

“Yup, right after this hunting show.”

“Okay.”

I decide to have another cup of coffee and start a load of laundry.

I think it’s going to be a beautiful day.

An Artist Date Discovery

My word of the year is whispering to me everywhere I go.  I chose the word “courage” this year, as I have quite a few goals I intend to reach, but I need an extra double shot of “courage” to put myself out there.  You can read my post about this here.

So, in an effort to work through my fears, I joined the Life Book 2013 group. Last week, I began to work on my first art journal page assignment from Tam.  Our assignment was to create our own fairy art mother who chases away our inner critics in order for us to create with freedom.  Our fairy art mother would shoo away  that nasty voice we hear about our work not being good enough.

Here is my fairy art mother:

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I even added a sword!  I don’t know why, but I guess I was thinking that those wretched voices are like dragons and I could ward them off with a sword.  Crazy.

I’m also rereading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and this caused me to join a fabulous face book group of ladies who are also reading the book.  We are sharing our artist date experiences and I am so inspired by the experiences I read.  

So, today I decided to take myself out on my artist date.  Restock the well.  Explore.  Open up all my senses.  I decided to do some browsing in an old used bookstore we have downtown.  It’s actually more like a used “everything” store, but it started out with just books.

I walk in the door and right there I see her.  On a tall glass shelf at eye level.  Looking at me.  I am drawn to her and my mouth drops.

It’s her.

My fairy art mother.

As a statue.

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She even had the sword.

I snatched her up and felt like I’d discovered gold.  A giddiness inside was just bubbling.  My mind was on monkey overdrive.

“What did this mean?”

” How could this be?”

“Holy Crap.”

I paid 5.00 for her at the till.  (Well, not right away really.  I browsed the entire store and also found an armful of books at a dollar each.) The clerk gently wrapped her in newspaper and told me to carry the bag carefully.

All I could think was, “Seriously?  Don’t worry, lady.”

Back home, I googled the statue’s significance and here is what I found:

“Faerie Guardians of the Glen II are defending our earth and protecting its inhabitants. Although fearless strong and heroic these faeries still personify a timeless beauty that make the Faerie Glen collection so unique.”

Defending our earth and it’s inhabitants.  A protector she is.

And then, I realized. . . this faerie guardian is within me.

Not only am I the protector of my artist self, but I am also the protector of much more than that.  I am responsible for the protection of my health, my dreams, my goals, in my beliefs and passions.  No one is responsible for all of this but me.  It’s my duty to hold myself accountable to it all and protect the “me” that is to be.

Whatever evolves will evolve and it will be good.  As long and I am courageous and can draw my sword when that inner voice starts whining, or criticizing, or worse.

I have a fairy art mother and a faerie guardian now.

There is no stopping me.

I have swords.

Shari 🙂

How Dreams Speak To Us

I had the most bizarre dream last night.

Actually, it was this morning, as I woke up at 5 a.m. and told myself to go back to sleep.  It’s those morning dreams that really shake you up.

Sporty (my hubby) and our dog, Sandy were in a duck hunting/retrieving contest.  Somehow, I became apart of this endeavor by being the one to remain on shore in order to canoe out into the water to fetch Sandy if she was in trouble and bring her to land.  Now, mind you, I don’t hunt or do these outdoorsman-ish things.  So, why I was a part of this whole scheme, I have no idea.  Just the fact that I agreed to it affirms that it was a dream.

Well, the blessed hunters and dogs took off in their duck boats.  Us “dog-savers” patiently awaited by the edge of the shore.  For some odd reason, we were all to stay lined up facing the water with one knee kneeling.  I don’t know. . . maybe so no one got a head start?  Fer dum.  My knee was getting wet.

As I eye-balled the twenty or so other participants to see what I was up against, I noticed that they were all men.  Young men.  Fit.  With muscles.  Well, there was one other woman way down the line yonder, but she was also army-fit.  And, she was decked out in the proper attire.  I’m sure she had the latest most updated Eddie Bauer or Filson hunting gear and it adorned her sculpted physique.  Me?  I had on jeans, my mud boots and this oversized jacket that I was being swallowed in.

What the hell was I doing here?

We sat there for what seems like hours.  All of us quiet and intent on being focused for this task.  My knee was getting sore.

Eventually, one lone dog came in sight of us all.  Binoculars thrust to our eyes.  As this dog paddled and gulped water attempting to drag a well fed duck (it WAS a big duck), it’s owner harnessed his canoe and oared out to greet and guide his faithful dog into the shore safely.  Once on shore and the duck dropped, he ordered the dog to hop back into the canoe and the “dog-saver” ferociously oared back out to the open water to join the dog back to the hunter.  Oars were moving at a vicious pace, strong and steady.  The muscles in his arms and shoulders tense enough to see through his jacket.  The dog rested in the boat awaiting his next fetching.

“WHAT????” I fareaked. “Sporty never told me that I was going to need to paddle BACK out into the water with the dog!!!  I can’t do that!!  I’ll be lucky if I can lift that damn oar, let alone paddle way out yonder!  Dang it!  Double Dang it!”

Again. .  . what the hell am I doing here?????  I don’t belong with these people.

More dogs appear.  All colors.  I  frantically scramble for my foggy binoculars and search for Sandy. I have to wipe off my binoculars as I can’t see through them, the piece of crap it is.  I notice what others are using and again, reassurance of my knowing I am outta my league.

As I scan from shore to shore, I notice a light-colored lab.  I gather my stuff and hop into my canoe, making sure no one is watching me for fear they will judge my ineptness and this business.  I try to look unnoticeable as I creep in between a few other canoers.

I reach Sandy and find her to be repeatedly diving down deep into the water as if she released the duck from her jaw and it sank to the bottom of the lake floor.  (Do ducks sink?  I don’t know. . . it’s a stupid dream.)  Regardless, she painstakingly dives down deep for this dead creature.  I’m thinking she is going to drown herself attempting to retrieve something her instinct tells her she must have.  Animals are like that.

No Fear.  Not.  A.  Bit.

Unlike Me.

I call to her and she ignores me.  As I yell louder for her to obey, she finally paddles over to me and I grab her and yank her into the canoe.  She falls limp to the canoe floor and pants relentlessly.  I have never seen her so exhausted.  Like her heart might jump out of her skin.  I’m kinda scared.

I oar to shore and pull her out of the canoe, easing her up high on the shore.  I wipe her off and wrap her with a towel and we just rest.  She needs rest.  This poor dog.  I’ll be darned if I’m taking her back out there to that, that, whatever they do out there.  There, there, poor Sandy.

Then, I see the collar.  It’s a thin yellow collar.

This is not Sandy.

Sandy has a wide camo collar.

Oh my God.  Where is Sandy?  Where is she then?????  Almost all of the other dogs have arrived by now.  Dog-savers have rushed them back out to the waters and here I sit with some strange dog.  I think I am sick.

Had I been so side tracked paying all my attention to THIS dog that I missed my own when she came near?  Did I miss her struggling and diving underwater and neglect the signs to get out there and save her?

Whose dog is this?  And, why isn’t anyone looking for her?

I fail.

Yes.  I fail.

Then, I woke up.

I shake my head and think, “Geez, what the heck was THAT all about?”

As I’m drinking my coffee, I share my dream with Gracie, my 19-year-old daughter.  “What is the significance of this dream, do you think?”  I ask her.

“It’s telling you that you really love Sandy!”  she beams.  She goes to let Sandy in, her tail wagging and she licks Gracie’s face giving her dog kisses.

“Don’t we Sandy!” she says, “we just LOVE you, hunny bun!” in her cutie pie voice.

But, that’s not it.  I know I love Sandy.  I don’t need a dream to tell me that.

I have a dream journal of which I attempt to record my dreams.  It’s necessary for me to look for the patterns in my subconscious mind in order to unlock these blocks and to hear the messages from God that he wants me to know.

I’ve learned to look for the symbolic meanings in dreams and think about where I am in my own personal growth process.  I first always look for the main emotion and actions I take in dreams.

In this dream, I feel one dominant emotion throughout the entire dream.

Fear.

Fear that the others in this contest all deserve to be there.  They are better than me.  They’ve had training and practice.  They all probably have even won contests and have award-winning dogs.  I’m not up to their standard.  By far.

Fear that I have lost Sandy forever and let her die.  Because of my negligence and attention to other things I did not focus on what identified her as Sandy.  I did not pay attention.  This dog of whom my family adores is gone.  I must face this now.

Fear of my husband.  How will I tell him?  Again, I attempted something and could not do it.  Could not complete the task.  Disappointment will cover his face.  His eyes will be disgusted and he won’t say a word.  But, there will be a veil of resentment that will tarnish his actions and words.  All of this will be piled up on the already smoldering mountain of resentments.  Add another log to the fire.

This dream signifies my fears.  Fear of writing.  Fear of creating.  Fear of reaching out to others who are like me in order to find connections and like-minded souls.  Fear that I don’t deserve to be there.  Fear of failing.  Fear of professing who I think I really am.  Fear of doing what I really want to do.

Fear is resistance.  Resistance is evil.

Steven Pressfield tells us this in his book The War of Art.  “Resistance prevents us from achieving the life God intended when he endowed each of us with our own unique genius.”  We are all a genius at something.  God made sure of this.  He blessed us with this.  It is our gift back to him to use this gift and to share it with the world.

The kicker is this pesky and sometimes debilitating fear.  This resistance.  I must recognize the resistance first as fear.  This is tricky because resistance can be disguised as many other things:  alcoholism, drug abuse, over eating, internet compulsiveness, ummm. . . too much Facebook, too much Pinterest, gossip, shopping and even excessive reading to find answers to your resistance and fears.

Yikes.  (I’m looking away here.  You can’t see me.)

I am Sandy in this dream.

My job is to keep this adored being, this creative and spirited soul alive.

If I neglect her and get sidetracked with those other resistance tricks, she may die.

I just can’t let that happen.

Shari 🙂

5 Powerful Reasons You Need Morning Pages in Your Life

Morning Pages image

I have done morning pages most of my life, way before Julie Cameron wrote about them in her book The Artist’s Way back in 1992.  When I first read The Artist’s Way for the first time in 2006, I smiled.  What I was doing now had a  name.

I have at least 50 notebooks filled with writing.  Probably more.  They are everywhere. Somedays I write 10-15 pages, others my mandatory 3.  Whatever it may be, I have to write.

I stopped doing morning pages when I started my blogs. 

Why?  How can someone who has done something for a life time stop doing something that is so engrained in their being?  What could possibly cause this?

I started using my blog AS my morning pages.  

Instead of going to the notebook and pen in the mornings, I was now going to my computer attempting to compose a writing for an audience.  I fretted over the frustration of topic choice, choosing a catchy title, crafting that first lead sentence that hooks and then always trying to keep a focus and stick to some pain points.

A  blog has a distinct structure that you try to attain.  This is not morning pages.  I was at a creative standstill.  A block.  Some days I just sat at my computer and pondered.

I didn’t write.  I wasn’t writing.

Julie Cameron’s book Walking in This World arrived on by doorstep yesterday.  As I leafed through the first pages, she reviews the “Basic Tools” for any creative soul.  Morning pages were right there, on the page, as the first, most powerful tool.

I love it when you know something so deep in your core and your veer from it for some reason or another and then, all of a sudden, the Universe sends you a little reminder that you need to remember to do what you know.  Gives me chills.

So, I’m back to my morning pages again. 🙂

Why are morning pages so powerful, you ask?

Well, I’ll give you 5 really big reasons.

1.  There is no wrong way to do morning pages.

Morning pages are at least 3 pages of long hand writing (no computer) in a notebook that is free-flowing stream of conscious writing.  They are not meant to be art or even any good.  Not that they might be.  They could.  They are only meant for your eyes.  No audience.

2.  The drama gets put on the page.

Julie Cameron says, “All that angry, whiny, petty stuff that you write down in your morning pages is the stuff that stands between you and your creativity.”

It might be worry over bills.  It might be anger at your husband.  It might be you beating yourself up because you drank too much last night.

Whatever this is, it’s drama.  If you get it on paper, it’s leaked out of you.  You did something with it.  So, you can move on.

If I can get my drama on the page, I have less drama in my life.  My head is clearer and I can focus my thinking on the things I want to focus on.

3.  Morning pages teach us to get beyond our critic in our heads.

Because there is no wrong way to do the morning pages and we can write whatever we feel and not care what it says or how it looks, we have the right to ignore the critic in our brain telling us that our writing (or anything else for that matter) is crap.

“We have a logic brain.  This is our Censor that gives us our second, third and fourth thoughts whenever faced with our own original thoughts,”  writes Julia.  Quite often, it spits at us words like, “You can’t write that!” or “Who are you kidding?”

And we have our artist brain.  This artist brain is our creative being.  It has glorious thoughts of “what-if’s” and sees a beautiful leaf and thinks, “I’m going to press leaves and string a bunch of them together to make a leaf garland and hang it above my kitchen window!”  Artist brain is random, free and idealistic.

Julie proclaims that “morning pages teach logic brain to stand aside and let artist brain play.”  Why is this important?  I don’t know about you, but my logic brain is dominant in my brain 24/7.  I know I need to train it better.

4.  Morning pages are a form of meditation.

If we write enough so that it feels like breathing, we begin to see new insights in our writing.  We see the same issues, read over the continued whining and we realize that we need to make changes.

In my own life, the answers to my questions magically appear in my writing.  Many times I have stopped in my own tracks and looked at what came out and cried.  God speaks to us through our writing.

We meditate to discover who we are.  To listen to the whispers from God.  Writing is a form of meditation and the great power in it, more so than meditating without writing, is that the writing that ends up on page helps us to map our pathways.

It is almost impossible to write your morning pages morning after morning without feeling a divine unexpected inner guidance.

I consider it a gift.

5.  Morning pages are not just for writers.

Morning pages are for everyone.  If you know how to hold a pencil and scribble some letters, you can do morning pages.  We all have inner work to do.  Every soul is searching for something.  We all are praying for answers.

Everyone can find them in our pages.

If you haven’t written for a while, go buy a cheap composition notebook and find your favorite pen.  Set your alarm for a half hour to an hour early and start your pages.

Write anything. Write about how you don’t know what to write.

Just get it on the page.

Shari 🙂