Monday, February 14, 2011

To Write or Not to Write...

I was so surprised when I saw that my last blog was written in October.  I wondered for a moment how so much time had pasted so quickly.    I would like to think that I was busy and had no time to write.  But that would not be the truth.  The truth is that I avoid writing.  Why? Why do we so often avoid those things in life that gnaw at us from deepest level of our soul?  Several years ago I spoke with someone I had not seen in since childhood.  He said to me do you remember what we had talked about doing when we grew up.  I was fascinated by this question because I didn't remember having this conversation with him.  He continued to say all I ever talked about was that I wanted to write.  I didn't remember saying that to him but I do know that writing is something that has been and is always on my mind and something I have avoided.

I sabotage myself at every turn.  Not in little ways but in really big ways. I settle down to write and decide to open a business, go back to school, take a course, get a real job, even become a volunteer in a foreign country.  I say to myself that I will write when I am inspired and I often do but to say I am following my calling—the one that sits in the deepest part of me like a caged bird—I am not.  Many years ago I inquired about a writing retreat. They sent me all the information and then said “when you stop thinking about writing you might want to come here and write.”  I guess it was obvious that I just think and think and think about writing. 

Not that there haven’t been times in my life when I could write anywhere—the words just flowed. But mostly now I avoid writing.  To help me avoid the gnawing need to write I play a game.  It goes like this—when I have the right paper, pen, and "a room of one's own", a new computer, taken another writing course, have everything in perfect order in my life, get just the right inspiration—then I will write.  I have even tried to get the nafs or ego under control, the little voices that say “what do you think you are doing?  You can’t write.  There is nothing new to say—it’s all been said before. And, you better get a real job or you will starve and end up in the street—a bag lady.” 

I now believe it is opening myself to being vulnerable, to say what others fear saying, to expose those deep parts of the self without fear.  It’s really letting go.  I did a Sufi Spiritual Direction workshop last night.  This was a teleconference in February to set your intention for the New Year.  Since I had the recording I thought I should repeat the process and take it a bit slower.   Last night I replayed the audio.  I listed the areas as directed:  family and friend relationships, work I separated into creative and service, next spiritual life, and physical health.  This process requires that you perform a chant to deepen your connection to the divine as you focus on each specific area and then brainstorm by writing as fast as you can anything that surfaces.  After which you choose three of the most important intentions under each area. It’s important not to wonder how you will accomplish the intention but just hold yourself open to what comes. 

In the process I kept being drawn to work/creative. What kept coming up was “to write,” to be open to creative inspiration, to remove the blocks to creativity, not to fear saying in my writing what needs to be said.  I felt a little weary because those are the areas around writing that I am always attempting to move beyond.  Therefore, didn’t seem like anything new came up.

Part of the process was to think about what would be different if you accomplished these intentions in 2011.  As I began to write about what would be different I noticed that my intentions in the other areas were accomplished effortlessly by my writing.  I would be free, I would feel free, I wouldn’t have the gnawing feeling there was something I was supposed to be doing that I am not doing,  I’d feel joy, complete, and deepen my connection to the divine.  I’d feel balanced and whole and know that all shall be well.  I would sense a flexibility—no tightness. My energy wouldn’t be blocked which would be reflected in my cells and body’s energy channels.  As I pondered what I had written my eyes opened wide--I was amazed as I centered on writing a changed was reflected in every other area of my life. 

I shivered with the kind of sensation one gets when the hair stands up on your are, leg or back.  I call them spirit crawls.  For me it feels like an affirmation of truth.  I knew I was being guided to this realization and I thought—oh my, I’d better pay attention.  The final process was making a commitment consisting of three steps to bring this intention into real time.  Hesitantly, I wrote my first step.  I would write every day, honestly from the hart.  The second step, I would publish something on my blog every week (I quickly changed that to monthly.)  And the third and final step—I would put the writing without fear where it can be seen by who ever happens to be drawn to it.   

That was last night.  This morning I tentatively wrote but kept distracting myself with the internet until something much bigger intervened and was not going to let me get away with it.  My high speed perfect internet connection disconnected and for the first time in a year my connection to the outside world was lost.  There was nothing between me and the pen… and, my guess—that it was not just a coincidence.    

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