MINDFUL OF MY TRUTH by Julie Long
I’m on the edge of something – an idea, a truth. Trying to write about it feels like drawing an object when I can’t yet picture it in my head but I feel it. Putting it in writing will give it permanence I’m not sure I’m ready for.
This is so often the case with me: I want to see the entire picture before I begin. In reality my truth changes daily. How silly I have not recognized this before.
In January I turn inward and stay quiet. I am giddy with pleasure at having the freedom to do so when the rest of the world is kicking off a new year with gusto. Being home alone with no interaction is bliss. I do what feels right: meditation, yoga, and walking, reading, journaling. I re-listen to astrological readings that have been done for me six and ten years ago and gain insights about myself. I thin out and reorganize closets and cupboards. In doing so I empty out myself. I make room for new things and realign what I am holding onto.
The emptying led me to ask myself: Do I still want to write? As someone who has defined herself as a writer for two decades, the question is scary. And yet in asking it my fear has lessened.
Practicing Writing Meditation Method has taught me to courageously sit with my questions and emotions instead of running away from them. That was the first lesson I learned: Acknowledge your emotions! Until then my mantra had been “think positive.” I believed identifying negative emotions – let alone giving attention to them – was counter-productive. But Madhu B. Wangu, the facilitator of the Mindful Writers Group, says judging the emotion or your self for having the emotion is not the wise thing to do. The key is to pay attention on the negative emotions and see them dissolve or pass. They are not as tough and ugly as they seem.
From mid-December to mid-March the Mindful Writers Group is on hiatus. Even when we were in session, I often went without writing in between our meeting days. Each Wednesday – that one sacred writing meditation day – means a great deal to me. When I write with the Group I feel joy, even in the struggle. Why, then, don’t I continue to write? And why in recent months, do I feel joy (or is it relief?) in not writing?
Spiritual healer Carolyn Myss says people suffer when they pursue a life or chase a dream that doesn’t belong to them. Does my dream of being a writer not belong to me? Mindful Writing Meditation has given me the courage to face the question. I believe the practice will help me find the answer as it did once when I was having problems with the plot of my novel in progress.
The practice of the Method also helped me give myself permission to not write. When I said I may not want to write anymore and that’s okay the very next day I found myself reading a book on the craft of writing and getting ideas! I want to understand if writing is not what I really want. Is something else blocking my way? Whatever it is I am ready to let it go. This is good.
During this confusing time, I am grateful Writing Meditation Method is like a railing on a footbridge. As I cross, the practice is there for me to steady myself. My hope is that I will cross over to a place of more authenticity, passion and dedication. I am open to whatever will come. But to receive it, I need to make space by letting go.
One thing I learned in the Mindful Writers Group is to only focus on writing, not the business of publishing. The business of publishing, marketing and promoting interferes with my writing. For the time being, I need to empty my vessel out of the noise of the business.
Like an alchemist, I am purifying my sense of writer self from shoulds and musts. This is happening in the rest of my life as well. I am ridding myself of unessential properties that dilute me. I am emptying my vessel of that which is not I or does not serve me. And through writing and meditation I am tapping into a groundwater that does.
The Writing Meditation Method and the Mindful Writers Group have helped me strip away unrealistic expectation, dissolved my doubts and judgments. It has helped me to simply be as a writer and a person.