Monday, June 23, 2008

Be Here Now

"You must be the change you want to see in the world." --Mahatma Gandhi

A few weeks back, I had been struggling to understand some of the psychological patterns in my life. Many of you probably relate. How often do we consciously want to move forward yet take action (or inaction) resulting in a setback? How often do we yearn for proof of our success, or better yet, of our worth? The ruminations lead to worry, which amplifies the insecurity that triggered the dismal cycle of self-doubt.

My own searching resulted in a night of revelations, which I spoke of in my essay on June 9th: Taking Risks vs. Riding the Brakes. My joy over this breakthrough tumbled into an email exchange with my friend, Misty Evans.

Her response (which she generously allowed me to post) prompted even more thought. She's paraphrasing Eckhart Tolle. Here's an edited version:

"Satori is the Zen term for a moment of Presence, where you step out of the voices in your head. When you face your insecurities, you rise up out of the clutter of thoughts and the turmoil they cause. You achieve Presence."

This is familiar stuff that we forget repeatedly, *snort* yet as writers we need to remember. Be Here Now. Don't fret over how your novel will end or if the pieces will tie together; it's only a first draft. Just write. Don't freak out about sending out queries or the endless "what if's?" in your writing career. Just write. Don't panic at the deadlines or the promotion or the submissions. Just WRITE!

Be Here Now. Write in the moment. Feel the presence of your characters. Revel in the story you're telling. FACE your insecurities.

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast? said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully."It's the same thing," he said. –A. A. Milne

There's only one valid reason to be a writer. The Love of Writing. Yet we all know those pressures build up and we forget how exciting and fulfilling and fun it can be! Often times those pressures can be whisked away by those three magic words.

Be Here Now. Forget, even for just a few moments, the worries that rattle your world. Breathe deep and remind yourself there is only one moment that matters, only one moment that exists. Now. WRITE now. *smile*

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ---Buddha

If a particular passage is sticking, pull up another document and let your imagination play. Often it's nothing more than an unacknowledged fear impeding your progress. Fear of "bad writing" can hold us back . We become paralyzed, frozen by a glimpse into an imaginary future where our book doesn't meet expectations. We forget it's only a first draft because we project that fear into the future. Be Here Now.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember the thrill of writing. FEEL the excitement, the euphoria, the absolute JOY of writing. Do you love to write? Then shout it out (though it may be wise to shut the door first *grin*) and let those words rock your world. I Love To Write! I Love To Write!

Now, one more exercise. Close your eyes and picture all those worries and concerns as thought balloons. One by one, release those balloons and let them drift away. Surround yourself with the indescribable joy of Being A Writer.

This week our focus is clear. Let's all Be In The Moment, and remember to Just WRITE!

"Forever is composed of nows." –Emily Dickinson

Ready to set goals?

This week I'm facing the removal of wisdom teeth. Yikes!

My goals:
Ten pages.
Post essay.
Whatever else I can manage. *grin*

How's about you?

--Chiron

22 comments:

Rita Horiguchi, writing as Rita St. Claire said...

Hi, Chiron,

Very, very good advice.

BTW, I just came back from three weeks in Japan. There I enjoyed the most beautiful, poetic gardens--some Zen, some Buddhist, some just "regular" Japanese. The whole country felt like a poem. This trip certainly helped me get in the "Zen" of things. :-)

Also, I've just e-mailed your friend, Misty, to congratulate her on her sale. It's nice to find new friends in this way.

I love your blog, Chiron!

xo,
Rita

Chiron said...

Thanks so much, Rita!

Japan must have been such a revelation. Travel opens our eyes and our hearts to new aspects of our being. Love it!

It truly is a blessing to find so many new/old friends. *grin* I love this writing community. Feels like home to me!

Smiles,
Chiron

Misty Evans said...

Chiron, lovely essay. After channeling Tolle with that advice to you, I find myself needing to put it into action myself. Really enjoyed your take on things.

And a big hi to Rita! Nice to meet you! Like Chiron, the writing community is a home to me too.

Misty

Chicki said...

The Bible talks a lot about not lingering on the past, and one scripture puts it this way: "... forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." (Phil. 4:13-14)

Very nice entry, Chiron. Thank you.

Sandy said...

Dear Chiron,
This post couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Thank you so much.

Sandy

Inspire said...

So true. With all the stress that the world throws at us, you have to, as my mother says, roll with the bunches. Just be sure you roll away from them.

Whenever I become worried over things, including my writing (when will I get an agent, a book published, etc.) I think of Psalms where it says, 'trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.'

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Chiron,
Very valid comments.
Regards
Margaret

Tiffany James said...

Chiron,

You have an uncanny knack for saying the right things at just the right time! It' almost a little spooky. :0)

Speaking of "Be Here Now", I certainly will be in a manner of speaking...my darling husband is having wisdom teeth removed this week, too. Yikes and youch!

Tiffany

Renee Knowles said...

Chiron,

"Be here now." WOW! I totally needed to hear this. As we await the travel call for the adoption of our baby boy from Korea, I am pretty much living in the future.

What will life be like when he comes home?

What do we need to bring on the plane?

How am I going to get my contracted books finished? :)

But you made me realize I need to stop and take a breath. Every day is precious.

Thanks!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Chiron said...

Hey Misty!

I love how circular life is. The sage advice we offer another reflects back and illuminates the shadows in our own life. *smile* Fabulous...

Thanks for the inspiration, sis!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Chicki,

That's a lovely passage and very insightful. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Smiles,

Chiron

Chiron said...

Hey there Sandy,

Yay!! We must be totally in synch...

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Hello Rita (InSpire),

What a beautiful passage. Faith is so important. Realizing there's more than our tiny perspective to guide us can make all the difference.

Thanks for stopping by. Love your blog!!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Hi ya, Tiffany!

Isn't it truly amazing how connected things can seem? I know for me, when life feels most in synch, little messages from the universe pop up everywhere--all seemingly in tune with exactly what I need to hear.

Poor hubby! My appointment is tomorrow. I've got my ice packs ready, making yummy vanilla custard today (and have mango sorbet in the freezer) and keeping my fingers crossed. Wish him good rest and speedy recovery from me!

And for those who haven't checked out Tiffany's blog, "No Rest For The Querying" you're in for a treat.

http://norestforthequerying.blogspot.com/

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Hi Margaret!

Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by...

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Oh, Renee!!

I'm so glad the essay came at the right time! How thrilling your life is becoming. *hugs* I'm so very happy for you...

Yes, it will all come together. It may get sloppy and chaotic and wacky-crazy at times *grin* yet I bet when you tumble in bed at night, you'll fall asleep smiling.

Precious life... Precious love...

Happy for you, my dear!!

Smiles,
Chiron

Linda LaRoque said...

Wonderful advice, Chiron.

There are several things in my life holding me back right now. I try to let them go but it's hard.

I'm with you. Sometimes it's best to not worry about how the story will end, just write and enjoy the ride.

Linda

Chiron said...

Hi Linda,

Sometimes it really can be a challenge to let go of things and move forward.

Sending you hugs and strength!

And your last paragraph can be said of life as well, eh? *smile*

--Chiron

MissDaisyAnne said...

Well hello, I know you from the inspire blog. I will be back to visit.

Sheryl said...

Well done, Chiron, again! I just had short stay in hospital for a minor operation, which turned out to be a bit more complicated than anticipated. I honestly thought, my God, I might not be able to breathe properly ever again. Well, I can. I'm here, looking...not bad...and feeling great, considering. I'm in the moment and moving forwards. Too much time is spent worrying about "what ifs". We have one crack at this. Let's do it.
Ta, hun!
xx

Chiron said...

Welcome, Miss Daisy Anne,

I just love your name! Thanks so much for stopping by...

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Sheryl,

I so agree! The present moment is our special point of power. Let's seize that moment!

Smiles and Hugs,
Chiron