Are you wise?

Are you wise?

I have been toying with ideas for this week’s blog post, specifically the feelings that create uncertainty in me. But isn’t that the case with so much of my every day? Deciding how vulnerable to allow myself to become in a given situation underlies everything. And that is normal, much of it pretty instinctive. But is it wise? Can I grow, if at every opportunity to experience growth, I pull down all shields and dig in to strengthen my defences? Defending against life is an exhausting way to live (she says exhaustedly).

Fearlessness is not the same as invulnerability, although they share some surface qualities. One has me walking, breasts thrust forward into the world, regardless of experience. The other has me head above heart, heart above pelvis, open to the experience. One feels so much safer than the other. Can you guess which one is which?

Though on the surface vulnerability appears fragile, the strength required to dive into its depth has only come to me after dealing with the fallout of many fearless encounters. I am learning how to plunge into the invulnerable parts of me; the strongest places.

This week I have been wise enough to be vulnerable. I want to understand where my natural flair for writing shines, and where I need to buff the hell out of it. I have submitted a section of my first novel for live critique by two experienced editors.

My work will appear on the Writership podcast in two weeks time. I’ve linked my previous sentence to the episode on Stitcher, to make it knee-shakingly easy for you to click over and look for it from July 6, 2016.

See you next week, I have to go now and amend my shopping list to include some polishing compound.

Know Your Why

Know Your Why

Getting internally honest is an incredibly vulnerable place to visit. Making a ritual of this particular kind of truth telling is an excellent coping mechanism, and one I have successfully employed for a long time. Check me out there, getting all wordy and pulling myself out a little further from the focus of my article. Professional and politic language does that. But I see it. So, maybe the tactic is no longer so successfully employed.

With a growing and perfectly genuine smile of appreciation spreading across my face – I SEE IT.

What a lovely failure.

My amusement bubbles up these days when I catch a failure to disguise my truth. Those slips into not taking myself so seriously; little pathways into open hearted existence. The little ways are the important ones, and for me, much more essential to tuck safely out of sight. Quick! Here’s an appropriately astonishing revelation you need to frame suitably for popular approval — look here! Sleight of truth is a clever skill, with one arched eyebrow that invites approval.

I think I’ve just done that wordy distraction thing again… Knowing my why is harder to know than I thought it would be.

It isn’t only a matter of saying, “This is why I want to write.” It is clearer than, “This is what I want to achieve with my writing.” And, it is certainly more free than, “My genre is—” Which is a sentence I can’t complete, anyway.

There have been moments when I have embraced the truth immediately in front of me and, feeling no other choice possible, dropped into the abyss, only to find that it was just the next step. There were no fanfares, no apocalyptic disasters. Just another step. Recalling the peace resulting from those tiny actions becomes more difficult now. But, I am sure they happened. I’m certain, because I miss the feeling of freedom. I couldn’t miss it if I’d never experienced it.

Perhaps I should compose a short story to myself entitled “Your Why”, and publish it under a pen name in case it’s a flop.

I look forward to telling you all about my why next week. It might be a very short article. I’ll draft a practise piece here:

I like putting words together, it feels good.

The Fear

The Fear

Today I have to do a thing that scares me. ‘Have to’ is a strong phrase. It pushes a number of my buttons, even without pairing it with the scary stuff. Immediately my stubborn face whips around and stares at it belligerently. And the standoff begins. Because of course I don’t HAVE to do this thing — but I really WANT to. That is the loop, the lesson, the glitch in my matrix which prompts my inner bully to notice.

Told you you weren’t up to it, you aren’t good enough yet.

My eyes burn and my throat constricts while I search for the words to explain, because creating this article brings me closer to the doing of the scary thing. It feels like the world will crack open if I go ahead. And that is true. A world indeed is about to crack open. It’s going to hurt someone, and in the process someone else is going to appear cruel and despicable. And I am going to push it even further past the line of what I find acceptable and good.

Putting myself into the bodies and minds of the characters I write is excruciating relief. Secret therapy and pacts between us fill my days as we lead, point, chase, coax, push, and drag each other through the pages of our story.

Most crippling to me is the idea that everyone will discover things about me. Every eye will read and re-read the neon letters that highlight those particular moments of the tale. In cracking open my characters, everyone will know the softest places in me to aim their cruel jibes. My bully is a charismatic fifteen year old. She is very convincing.

I have to shake my head, because not even I know which parts are me. Maybe all of it? What a fascinating person I am. My bully is also arrogant.

If feelings of fear are always greatest right before taking action, today promises to be an astonishing roller coaster ride through brightly lit humps and falls. And right there — allowing it to claim some wonder in the word ‘astonishing’, it doesn’t feel so terrifying.

Magic is like that.

Comfort Zones

Comfort Zones

Any search for guidance must lead inevitably, to the act of looking into a mirror at yourself. Feeling around for the peace of needing nothing more than being witnessed by the person you see reflected there. But I’ve been doing a lot of searching in books lately.

Books are so lovely and safe. Books don’t look back at you when you study them. Not obviously, anyway. I spent some time this week curating a list of books that will stretch me beyond my comfort zones. Just the act of pulling together this list felt expansive. No problem! My writing is sure to grow into its proper awesomeness with this kind of study.

Have you ever noticed that when you indicate to the Universe that you are ready for something it starts giving it to you? Very bloody quickly!

I was presented yesterday with the possibility of being introduced to a teacher of creative writing. I felt mildly terrified, but it was doable. My latest persona has decided she likes stretching past the limits of her comfort zones, after all. Slightly tense but willing to open up to this new opportunity, I then found out that said teacher is also a Doctor in his studies of creative writing. At this point the skin visibly burned right off my cheeks. I also think my eyelids are now stretched past their comfort zones. From the flow of laughter that filled my headphones, the person on the other end of the Skype call was amused as only a sister can be when watching her oldest sibling squirm.

Remember my post from last week about finishes? Take that article and lay it over the top of {me at high school}, then take it and lay it over the top of {me at university}, then {me at pretty much every job I’ve ever had}.

My mind judges me as uneducated. It makes not a whit of difference that after leaving a job I was a wizz at, working at a global engineering consultancy firm as the Senior Financial Controller of one of their largest multi disciplinary projects, the only person that could suitably take over my work was a very switched on engineer.

My years of writing procedure documents for information management, manuals and lesson plans for Reiki students, instructional guides for clients as I supported them in their deep self inquiry, and meditation (beautiful short stories!) mean bugger all. Most of that is all too woo-hoo and out there to take seriously. Isn’t it?

I sat in front of my computer blushing and laughing off my feelings of stupidity, which had manifested in a multi-layered fog. Maybe my eyes had popped open so wide in an effort to see through it.

I’m going to go and stand in front of the bathroom mirror for a while. I can’t promise how deeply I will look into the eyes reflected back at me. I can only say I am open to making the attempt.