Why I Do What I Do

Someone asked me the other day why I write. What was it about writing that attracted me and wasn’t I scared or nervous to put myself “out there”?

I write because I want to. I write because there is something inside of me that wants its own voice heard whether it’s a piece of fiction, a personal cry of injustice, or simply an homage to a sunrise. Do I get nervous making my writing public? Sure, but I do it anyway. I wouldn’t say I’m fearless or brave and yes, there’s an edge of trepidation that accompanies every piece I push out into the world, but it’s not enough to stop me anymore.

It’s only natural to feel scared. People can be downright petty, cruel, judgmental, and jealous but they can also be loving, supportive, inspiring, and forgiving. To the haters and their fears: I’m sorry you feel the way you do and that you have that much energy to waste being negative. I’m not going to let you stop me from sharing how I feel or what I want to say.

As I’ve gotten older and collected more stories, I care less about being judged and more about being heard, and that’s where I want my energy to go. What I write about is how I feel and about my observations and no one can say that my feelings are wrong.

Writing is the breath to my creativity. It’s the voice of my loves, likes, curiosities, and trepidations, and maybe most importantly, it’s the voice of my heart. I write because it feels good. It’s the kind of feel-good feeling I used to get with the first inhale of a cigarette or the first glass of wine after a long day and with it came that blissful sweet spot of release as I felt myself soften and relax.

Where do I want to go with my writing? I’ll let my stories take me where they decide. I’m proud to have already published a non-fiction book, but now as I work on my first fictional novel, other fiction stories are pouring out of me for the first time. Spontaneous mental scenarios and conversations between characters are now a normal part of my day that just begged to be noticed and written.

I would love to publish my fiction either as a self-published work or through more traditional ways, but these days, to be a published author also means having to be a lawyer, designer, editor, proofreader, and marketer, and if that’s not enough, you have to know how to tweet, pin, share, post, upload, and download to reach the maximum potential audience. To have all this control over one’s work is great, but I also see how it can be time-consuming and daunting. I get overwhelmed sometimes just thinking about it.

I’ve decided to stop worrying about all the things I’m going to have to do once my stories are ready and focus instead, on what got me here on a blog in the first place, and that is simply my desire to write and to create.

So here I am again, sharing my thoughts. A writer writing about writing, and maybe just maybe, giving someone out there reading this the courage to start writing and posting and a reminder to let the future take care of itself. Don’t stop dreaming of writing that best-seller or having thousands of blog followers. As Jim Morrison sang, “This is the best part of the trip, …this is the trip…the best part.”

Blogging From A to Z: Grace

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I wanted to use the word grace for this post but it is a hard for me to talk about it, to really be able to convey what it is and means to me.  Maybe it’s just because I like the way it sounds and I like the way I feel when I say it or think about it.

The classic Webster’s definition of grace is quite clear and easy to understand:  divine assistance, or virtue, from God; behavioral skills used in polite society; an attractive trait. To me, though, the word itself has always seemed Big and Sacred. Words just don’t seem to do it justice in defining it and it’s so much more then Webster’s effort.

There are some words in our English language that evoke feelings or emotions regardless of their definitions. For example, think of the words giggle, sunshine, peace, enchant, lullaby, sigh, and then you have the other end of the spectrum with snarky, pus, or shrill. Didn’t you feel a twinge with each word? To me, there is something soothing with the word grace. I can almost hear my soul sigh even as I write about it here. Words have the power to evoke an emotional response, and grace is one such word for me.

Grace is innate goodness. It is silk against my soul. It is a smile radiating love. It is pure acceptance with arms outstretched to hold me. It is an opalescent cloud that wraps itself around me. It is Divine and Divinity. I can just weep at its power and emotion. What words give you a hug from the inside and hold your breath even for a moment? I’d love to know what words make you take it a little bit deeper!

 

Blogging From A to Z: Elderly

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The other day while I was waiting for my husband at the hospital to finish his tests, I realized that the entire waiting room was filled with elderly people. One by one or two by two they came through the doors as though a bus had just dropped them off. Their spouses accompanied some while others were alone. A couple appearing to be in their late 80s with matching walkers particularly fascinated me. He even had a mini-Velcroed cooler attached under the handle grips of his! Their pristine white sneakers shuffled along in unison as they searched for companion seats. I tried to picture what they were like when they were younger. My imagination ran wild with stories of what they must have seen and heard and experienced in their lifetime. These people lived through some of the most significant historical events in the twentieth century this world has ever seen. To me, they were living history right here waiting to be called in for their endoscopies and colonoscopies.

The elderly are our living ancestors. It seems we stopped paying real attention to and honoring our elders once businesses realized they could make more money by focusing on the new generation then on the old. The elderly have become something we tolerate and have to take care of, rather than endeared and welcomed into the family fold. They may have ceased to be productive members of our working society but they have not ceased to still be members of our society. Their worth should not be determined by how much they contribute but instead, be regarded with respect and how much they have already contributed.

These are the people that helped shape our nation into what it is. They weren’t always 70, 80, 90 years old. Once they were like you and me—they were actively employed, bought first-homes, raised families, fought for our nation, and had weekend summer barbecues. They were us and one day we will be them.

The baby-boomer generation has approached the Medicare age with a better understanding of how we grow older and the need to keep our bodies and minds more active, giving the stigma surrounding aging a much needed identity crisis and revamping. The changes are coming but not for the elders we have right now sitting with their son/daughter in the doctor’s office, caught in between business meetings, answering texts and emails from their Blackberry. They are still the lost ones in our society at the mercy of the “sandwich generation”, who splits their attention and focus conferring with caregivers in between office meetings and a quick drop off of the kids at soccer practice.

Blogging from A to Z: Dirt

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What could dirt possibly have to do with the little things in life and taking things deeper?  Today I’m bringing the subject of dirt to a whole new level as a way for us to reconnect with Nature and ourselves. It is an incredible tool right underneath our feet for releasing energy. Working on the same principal of grounding as holding rocks, crystals, and embracing trees, working with dirt–really feeling it with our bare hands (and even bare feet) and feeling the tactile sensation of our skin to the soil soothes us in ways science and medicine are just beginning to understand.

Working with dirt engages us on every human levelphysical, sensory, emotional, and cognitive. It works on us as a whole and its benefits are many, which we are just beginning to understand on a therapeutic level. Recent studies are showing that children with autism, and jailed inmates, who work in gardens, have a noticeable drop in violent behavior and feelings of aggravation and an increase in attention and focus. It has also been found to be a great therapeutic tool for those with mental illness. These garden therapies are called horticultural therapy or therapeutic gardens. Of course, they deal with more than just soil but for the sake of today’s post I want to bring the attention and focus to the basis of it all—the dirt and it’s amazing abilities.

A side note for a moment here about the words dirt and soil. Ask any agriculturalist and they will tell you that dirt and soil are not the same. Soil is dirt with nutrients and organic matter that has been broken down over time and from elements, and dirt is well…. the neutered cousin. No nutrient value whatsoever and is basically filler and a maker of great mud pie’s. In terms of its ability to heal and be the recipient of energy and be spiritually transformative, they are equal and so I use the words interchangeably here.

Dirt is a healer; it is a transformer, an absorber of energy, and the giver of it. It is indeed an important part of being mother–Mother Earth. You don’t have to be a gardener or have a garden to receive the benefits of dirt. The next time that you are feeling anxious or find yourself with some extra energy or you just want to become more grounded, get your hands a little dirty in your garden or in a simple potted plant. You can even free your feet from your shoes to the earth and go sole to soul. Let’s take our healing deeper by digging deeper!

 

Blogging from A to Z: Coffee

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Coffee.

An ode.

You beautiful roasted bean that is so embedded as part of our morning and late night culture. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love the way you smell and taste no matter what time of day it is. When I have you first thing in the morning, you make me feel as though I can do anything the day ahead has planned for me. And when I have you as a pick-me up in the afternoon, you help make me feel that my obligations for the rest of the day are possible. Just smelling your fresh grinds gives my senses incentive to do whatever is needed next. You are my companion on those late nights. You give me something to do with my hands as I cradle you in my mug and allow your hot liquid energy to seep through into the palms of my hands and into the rest of me. Dearest coffee, to me, you are one of those little things in life—one of those go-to’s I can always count on to be my companion as I read other blogs and practice taking things deeper 🙂

Blogging from A to Z: Breath

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Breath

Breath—the whisper of the beginning, the sigh of the end. Everything in between, every thought, every feeling, every passion, and every sorrow is accompanied by the breath. It is not just the backbone of our life but the backbone of our sanity and our even our mental health. Breath sustains our life force. It helps us focus from the mental chatter and can calm us when we’re upset (How often have you heard or said, “Take a deep breath and calm down”?), it does all this without us giving it a second thought. But what if we did? What if, even for just a few minutes, you stopped and noticed how you feel, how your body and emotions change by changing your breath? A deep breath versus a shallow breath. A belly breath versus a lung breath. A fast breath versus a long, slow, inhalation and exhalation.

I tend to be a shallow breather so when I consciously breathe into my diaphragm I become aware of new physical sensations and even a change in my thoughts. Sometimes, all you need to do is to take that one big, deep, bellyful, blissful breath for a change in your mental and emotioal direction. Why don’t you try it now? Sit back, close your eyes, and breathe……..Let’s take it deeper.

 

 

Blogging From A to Z: Addiction

 

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For those of you who aren’t aware, starting today and continuing for the month of April (except for Sundays), I’m taking part in a Blogging From A to Z Challenge, during which I will post something every day that begins with the appropriate alphabetic letter for the day. My theme for this challenge is about the little things in life and how we can take them each deeper and I hope you’ll join me! So let’s go!

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Unless we are in a heightened state of awareness and already existing in our Buddha-nature, we are all addicts. Addictions can be loud or subtle. They can be screams from your body or whispers in your mind. Addictions can be food, people, emotions, or technology. It can even be places or things. We become addicted to a particular type of behavior or object because it makes us feel good when we do it or go to it and we want to continue that good feeling. To be awakened is to be freed from that desire and drive. Use the energy that is currently tied up with your addiction to free yourself. If you don’t think you have an addiction, take a look at your life and see what is at least one thing that you keep going back to and seeking more of to find solace in? Chocolate? Cigarettes? Girl Scout cookies? Alcohol? Sex? Pasta? Approval? Let’s take it deeper.