Saturday, February 2, 2008

Writing and Flow

The daily urge to write is one I must pretend some days for awhile until it comes naturally – today is such a day. There are times when I lose it entirely, and I know the only way to get it back is to just do it. Like so much else in my life, I want back the days of flow, when ideas come so fast my pen’s speed is hard-pressed to get the words down. I wonder at the fallow field of my mind just now, perhaps it follows the seasons. Winter** now, the grass is brown, trees are poised for budding but barren still of the color I know will show the end of bone chilling cold.

I’m rewriting/editing my novel. It is sapping the energy for new work from me, this reworking of old words, strengthening plot, polishing dialog, and filling out the shallow places. It is taking a more focus from the rest of my life than I thought it would. If it were not for my “Morning Pages” ala Julia Cameron, which I write faithfully in my journal every morning, there would be little new and nothing to post on my various blogs. Fact is, some days those 3-5 pages are so banal, they will never see posting anywhere. They will stay safely hidden between my journal’s red leather covers guarded by dragons as will the rest of this rambling.

**As for Winter, this just in: PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — Brace yourself for more wintry weather. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Saturday, leading the groundhog to forecast six more weeks of winter.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Don't Take Anything Personally

I’m a pretty straightforward person. I say what’s on my mind – to the point with little embellishment. ‘Don’t ask my opinion unless you really want it’ is my usual warning to people. One co-worker actually came to me once and said, “I’ve asked everyone else, and they just tell me what they think I want to hear. I know you’ll tell me the truth.” I did.

Unfortunately, some people take my bluntness personally - almost as a personal assault. Some stew over honest words, and blow them up out of all proportion. I wish all those folks, they know who they are, would read a page from the Toltec Book of Wisdom. Number 2 of the 4 agreements states: “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others say and do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality…When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

It’s a lesson I learned long, ago in yoga meditation practice. The only opinion of me that matters to me is my own. As long as I can look in the mirror, like and respect whom I see, it is enough. I have met so many people in my 58 years on this planet. I’ve been called many things: some kind, some unkind, some true and some blatant lies. I always remind myself, and sometimes it’s been hard, that the things said are all about the sayer and have nothing to do with me.

This is a list of the Four Agreements.

Agreement 1
Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity...

Agreement 2
Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you…

Agreement 3
Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want...

Agreement 4
Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick...