"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, 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
Now you can tell me, how have you faced down your own fears or broken through psychological patterns of insecurity? Any times when you felt overcome yet persevered?
Also featured at Pop Culture Divas and Between The Lines.