Archives for November 2012

November 20, 2012 - 2 comments

“Be Authentic!” Oh No!

“Authentic” and my Inner First Grade Teacher – that Dragon of a Woman!

“Authentic” is a scary word for me. It stands there in my emotional body like an old wrinkled-up woman, looking very much like my first grade teacher and judging every sentence I write.

“This isn’t authentic; you only think it is. That’s not authentic either; it’s just pure stupid. Who do you think you are wanting to be authentic, and who would want to listen to what you have to say anyway?“ is how she usually starts in on me.

“’Authentic’ is for real writers you know,” she continues.

“And by the way, there are enough authentic people out there already, in the social web, they certainly don’t need you. You will always limp far behind them in authenticity; after all, many of them have been blogging for years. I would suggest you don’t even start in the first place. You will simply be wasting your time and everybody else’s.” Aaarrgghhh …

I have to conjure my awareness muscles, stand straight in myself and fight  this terror of an inner schoolteacher of mine:

“Look. I appreciate you wanting to protect me from shame and blame but, you know, your perspective is very limited and your days of being my first grade teacher are over, once and for all! Your perception of who I am is falling short; it does not include any joy or vibrancy. I Western union locations suggest you take a break. You have been working so very hard for so many years; you deserve a holiday at a sunny beach on a Caribbean island.”

“You’re going to get into a lot of trouble. People are going to ridicule you,” she says.

“Well if they do, let me handle it while you drink a margarita on the beach.”

“I don’t drink,” she responds.

” You can have a virgin margarita”, I tell her.

“I have never been at the beach,” she insists.

“You will like it,” I say.

”You’re sure you’re going to be okay without me?” she asks.

“Well, if I am not, you are such a magician that I am sure I can call you back from the beach anytime in a split second,” I tell her firmly.

“Hmmm… the beach is too scary for me, but I will take a stroll around my village. I have wanted to do that for a long time.” And off she goes strutting down the streets of my past.

So here I am with a break from my inner dragon and suddenly I don’t really know what to say. I’m so used to being scrutinized by her that I don’t quite know what to do with untied hands. I sit and wait, listening to the crickets in the distance.  The longer I sit and wait, the happier I get. Maybe there is not that much to say. Maybe being authentic in my case is being quite still. Maybe it was that inner schoolteacher that made me think I had to be special and  save the world. I don’t have to do that. Let me just listen to the crickets and be quiet; think about life with kindness and relax.

November 16, 2012 - 1 comment.

Writer’s Block

The pain of having to write something meaningful

As I’m sitting at my computer waiting for and inspiration to write. I feel both tongue-tied and bursting at my seams and as frazzled as if I had been drinking my one-and-only cup of coffee a day over and over again. Creative spurts spout up into my consciousness and don’t lead anywhere. I feel I have so much to say and yet when I try to start speaking, nothing comes out.

I feel nervous about failing in my own eyes, failing for myself by myself!

There is a hollow buzzing feeling in the pit of my stomach. My ears ache. What do I not want to hear?

Is this what writer's block feels like?

Tongue-tied and pressured to express myself all at once.

I sit here. I feel this paradox. The more room I give this experience the more I notice that there is a lot of light in my brain – in my entire body really.

Let me explore this feeling, this light more deeply. It takes a bit of courage to not try and fix it but just to feel it instead. Here we go.

A feeling of tumbling into darkness. Strangely, inside this darkness there is light too, not a bright light, a more subtle, almost orange light. Noticing this makes me feel calmer but there are still no answers to my dilemma. Do I really need to write and be creative to be me? Why do I demand this of myself? It feels like an outside force is demanding it of me. Who is demanding, ego or spirit?

Maybe both. Maybe this is the stalemate. Maybe my being is trying to take the ego out of the mix and is not really succeeding. Orange light, orange darkness, which is it?

What is the conclusion to this dilemma?

There is no conclusion. It is difficult to remember that this moment is not lost just because it is stuck. It is simply stuck and stuck is beautiful. It is a rich, a vibrant experience. I feel like a racehorse waiting in the box eager to start the race.

What is my race? Where am I going? In this now that is not important to know. In fact it is impossible to know.

I am alive. I am here. Orange light is fine. Stuck is beautiful because it is now. It is not less NOW because it is stuck than it would be if it a were free-flowing and creative now. It is as much NOW as any other now.

There is not resolution, but there is a subtle freedom in not having to manipulate what is. Stillness has room here.