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Entries in writing (5)


On Change

"Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turned upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?" -Rumi

This quote sums up much of my past year. I've described it to some as having been turned upside down, everything shaken out of my pockets, and then put right side up, looking at everything with new eyes. It has been jolting (in a good way) and has reorganized my life- inside and out. Its rather incredible when these times happen. The fog begins to clear further, and we can see more honestly what IS as oppose to believing the illusions that we tell ourselves. Journaling is one of the catalyst for me. When I know I need to, I will sit and start "free writing" for 15 mins. This means that I just start writing whatever comes to mind and can't stop and check the internet or my phone or be distracted for 15 mins.  By then, I have broken through to where I will keep writing until everything comes out that needs to. Once I've emptied myself, I can better listen and the answers and insights come.


On the Changes of Writing

"The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurements anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected me to fit them."
-George Bernard Shaw

It’s interesting how the way I write or what I write continues to change.  In grade school, it was very much a diary, pretty factual—this is what the day held and this is how it made me feel.  In high school, there was much more poetry, and, yes, even song lyrics.  The poems were generally raw and vacillated between being incredibly overt to vague and symbolic.  It was all deeply personal.  I moved on in college to writing quite frequently in third person.  If you happened upon one of my journals, you may have thought I was writing a series of short stories.  These actually happened.   They were my life and those of you who were a part of it had nicknames.  I distinctly remember the pretty boy, the best friend, and the activist.   And then I just began to write. it. all.  I wrote what happened, how I felt, how I thought others perceived it, how I hurt, what made me happy, what I wanted to do, what I wanted to quit doing, what my waking and sleeping dreams were, who I wanted to be and how I thought I could get there and on and on.  I included gratefulness and grief, hopes and rude awakenings.  The writing still continues to change.  The journals as of late have become deeply contemplative.  They are frequently filled with words that others have written—numerous quotes, advice from sages of many cultures and times, thoughts from a variety of topics that pique my interest.  I write bits of gratitude, persistent questions, vivid dreams, curious prayers mostly consisting of "You know better...Thy will be done", and subtle whispers that I’m learning to listen to.  I record the details of life that I feel like the Divine continues to use to get my attention, to wake me up.  I want to take note and not forget these small steps that I am trusting are leading me to Source.  I am breathing all the lessons in deeply and breathing out the heaviness and history that I once thought I had to carry.  Everything is new.  Each moment is new.  The writing remains a reflection of change, a reminder of growth, and motivation for deeper discoveries.  How have you seen your writing change?  How has the way you reflect and record changed?


Memory Book Ornament Stories

One of the really beautiful things as of late is all the stories I am hearing in regards to these little book ornaments.  This season in particular, people are sharing why they are purchasing a memory book ornament.  Some are literally in memory of people's passing, some are to commemorate a child's newfound love for reading, and one person's son is a brain cancer survivor and finds writing to be therapeutic.  Many are going to grandkids from their grandparents.  All of them are being purchased with great intention and good will...and I'm sending love out with each one of them and to each of you this holiday season.  May we all be conscious of each other as we prepare for, navigate, and enjoy the holidays.


May My Words

"Words can travel across thousands of miles. May my words create mutual understanding and love. May they be as beautiful as gems, as lovely as flowers." –Thich Nhat Hanh


Where It All Began

I looked around this morning and couldn't find it:  my first "journal" ever.  It must be packed away in a box somewhere in the attic.  Suffice it to say that it is pink, has a weird texture, and says "diary" on the front along with a few musical notes.  Here is a sketch to really give you a visual:  

I was around six when I first started keeping a journal.  Most of what I noted at the time had to do with fights with my brother, getting to go to friends' houses, and an update on our animals.  I wrote because it Rage Rage Against the Dying of the Lightsounded like a good idea.  Since I loved reading, it made sense to me to write.  I remember as a kid putting rules around it.  Put the date at the top.  Start with "Dear Diary".  Write everyday.  Don't write anything you don't want anyone else to read.  So, I wrote mostly mundane details.  I continued to keep a journal into high school, though I became much less rigid with myself, by dropping the "Dear Diary" and writing more freely.  By college, I realized I no longer simply chose to keep a journal:  I had to write.  At some point, it had become a survival mechanism.  I recorded alot of what was going on, wrote down my dreams, and released tons of free verse poetry on those pages.  There was so much going on with my family and my friends.  It was more than I could bear to say aloud so I simply wrote.  I even wrote in third person about the parts of me I didn't want anyone to know.  I pretended they were short stories and everyone got a nickname, including myself.  It helped.  I was able to continually empty myself just in time before the next big upset.  This went on for years.  I was afraid of being too intense for my friends so I didn't vocalize much.  I just kept writing and writing and writing some more.  I did make sure that those around me knew that if I was getting grumpy or irritated  that I probably was just overdue on taking time to journal.  It made that much of a difference for me.  Thankfully, life has settled down a bit and I no longer feel like I am constantly dodging curveballs.  I still keep a journal, reflecting on my days and responses and noting my dreams and personal growth.  I'm not as religious about it and it is not as necessary to keeping me afloat, but I continue to find it helpful.  Sometimes, it will be as simple as bullet points just to spark a memory while other times it will consist of a primitive drawing or layers of color.  I frequently get asked how I got into bookmaking.  While I can go into the details of how I learned to create a book, the basis of my bookmaking has much more to do with journaling and how I feel like it quite literally saved my life several times.

Some of my journals from over the years