Unplanned Hiatus

Somewhere I lost my way. It happens to us all at some point. Getting back into the writing saddle has been more challenging than I expected this time.

It was innocent, the loss. Or so it seemed. Until I realized one day there was something missing. It’s as if I left my best friend behind at a rest stop and it took many miles before I saw my friend was no longer in the car. Yet it’s worse than that because I was left with a sense of loss without understanding what the loss even was for some time.

During this time I’ve allowed myself to be distracted and not all in healthy ways. It seems that imbalance is inevitable and when we find ourselves out of balance, how we respond is more important than the actual loss of balance.

I’ve also allowed life circumstances to chip away at my resolve to write and share, having already felt too vulnerable. Yet, I see now where this was a fallacy. It is in writing and sharing that leads to better understanding, at least that’s what works for me.

So cheers to getting back in the saddle! Now to find the sunset, the partner in crime and the horses… šŸ˜‰ šŸŒ…

May we all be well in our journeys, understanding that where we have taken side trails that it is just part of the learning process.

Namaste

Shifting Purpose & Writer’s Block

white cassette tape
Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

In a way, I feel as if this “head cleaning cassette tape” were something I had used on myself! And thus I have also “dated” myself…Ā 

What does one write about when the purpose of writing has suddenly disappeared? This blog was born out of my desireĀ desperate need to understand and share my process of self-discovery. It was as if I were an archaeologist who dreamt of Indiana Jones’ type adventures and yet found herself waist-deep in sh*t,Ā  sifting through sand, muck and rubbish seeking the hidden treasures within.

YET, plot twist?! The main drive behind this was more to uncover the source of the deep forebodingĀ sense that there was something terribly, horribly, indescribably wrong with me at my core. We’re talkin’ Apollo 1 type of ‘this ship won’t launch and kills everyone on board’ sense of messed up feelingĀ at my very core.Ā 

Looking back, I see where I did my absolute best during this process to focus on the light, to focus on the “lessons on the other side of the pain.” And some days it seemed the more I reached for the light, the more “the evasive darkness at the core” haunted me more.

Enter the Dragon:Ā EnneagramĀ 4
After delving into the Enneagram 4 personality, I had a profoundly freeing “EUREKA!” life-altering-180-degree-countenance-shifting moment where the pervasive and heavy feeling of my faulty core became but a speck instead of a burgeoning and endless well. For fours, it is part of our nature to have this sense of an “irredeemable deficiency.” Hearing other fours acknowledge this lead to my accepting this as “part of my condition,” and allowed the Dragon to do its quick-work to melt away the dross, eliminating the need to further excavate.

Rubicon Crossed: Check Mark… & now what?!
Now, I have magically crossed “The Rubicon” and, in a way, I’m experiencing an existential crisis with the blog! My purpose for writing for so long (even pre-blog) was to excavate and DIG. I’d become a digging beast-machine. Now, there is no more need to dig. So now I’m in a place of asking myself, WTF do I do now? The purpose for my writing is …. seemingly gone?!

Yes! There are still things to “work through” and “understand” and “accept,” yet they do not have the “fire” behind them. The best analogy I can think of at the moment is to imagine you have been blogging for nearly 5 years about your experiences of finding, dislodging, accepting and loving this damned annoying and evasive rock lodged in your shoe and then when you finally see the rock you immediately see it is gold, so now your reason for writing is …. effectively gone because your self-help crisis and blog were based on the rock in your shoe.Ā So now what do you write about?!Ā 

A different focus.
Well, I have been posting inspirational memes somewhat daily on Insta (unfilteredheart77). This has required more effort than I had expected, perhaps because of shifting streams and allowing of the memes to unfold. Effortless-effort, as some would call it, can take more time and patience than blogging about the process of “vomiting” my insides out…

Please bear with me as I get comfy in this new understanding; it’s quite nice, really. So MUCH angst is gone. It’s just a matter of getting used to the new so that I can write more again!

May we accept a greater level of peace with our journeys; appreciating more deeply where we find ourselves today.

Namaste

In the Openness We Create

I have recently been experiencing a writer’s block. In keeping myself filled with “to do” lists and increasing my self-care regimen – mostly filling my time and space with “good things,” I have not felt the same call to write for some time.

I really could make excuses all day. There are mornings and nights where I have had the time, yet when the time was available it seemed writing was the last thing on my mind.

Recently, in a Life Coaching Session with Sam at Peacock Poetry, she helped me to see where I had built a shell around myself. Being walled-in was protective and helped me feel secure in the ever changing landscape of my life, yet it was also shielding me from my writing process.

Part of my post-session assignment was to write about my experience from the closed shell to the open, majestic meadow, the place where I found my balance through a visualization Sam led me through.

Here is the poem that I wrote in response to my experience:

“From Turtle Shell to Majestic Meadow”

Claws gripping soil in futility,

the dizzying spin continuing,

Infinitely.

~~

Drawing back into her domed shell,

Escaping what felt like pure

hell.

~~

Protective pod of security

After a while gets

Lonely.

~~

Thoughts warp and take

Away the breath,

Each deficient of oxygen and

truth.

~~

Weary of her isolation,

Cautiously peering outwards

Into the world,

Eyes beseeching anything harmful.

~~

A sigh releases

Vulnerability reveals then

Creativity expresses

A smaller shell

~~

Sliding into a babbling brook

Gliding along the pebbles,

Pushing off.

~~

Sheā€™s glad she came out

From under her own rock.

~~

Riding the flume

Until seeing a new view

Through the meadow,

To see what she can do.

~~

Standing on hind legs

She peeks over rocks.

At the majestic mountains

Ahead, she looks.

~~

Too many steps ahead,

She knows, back to the

Present she goes.

~~

Wind like soft

Velvet on her cheeks

Brings her attention

To tall reeds

~~

Of grass growing

In deep hues of green

yellow at the tips turned

Translucent from sun shining

~~

Closing her eyes,

Her face to the sun

Oh, she feels, itā€™s time for

A good run!

~~

Legs growing longer,

Her determination stronger,

She presses forward

~~

Grasses part as a trail

She blazes,

Energy raised then drained.

~~

Time to return to the shell

From whence she came?

No, it was time to reframe.

~~

Resting, instead, in a fresh

Laid bed of orange pine needles,

She kept her shell small

And her thoughts on the big

Image of the majesty of this moment

That went beyond her head.

~~

To dance such a fine dance

Of security and vulnerability,

Yes, there were even better

Days ahead

Now just to keep the balance

Between heart and head!

Namaste

drawings to the theme:

Writer’s Block: The Pursuit of Perfection


Words typically flow through my mind like a raging river. Recently, the flow stopped in a way it had never done before. I felt frozen, cold and isolated, as if in a shell. A shell, it turns out, I had imposed upon myself and reinforced.

Breathing through the stagnation, spending more time in meditation and “just writing” were not helping – my usual strategies. My frustration only grew; as did my tendency to catastrophize.

Usually I can walk away from writing if it’s not working. Now that I’ve stepped up my game and started writing a book, I’ve been putting more pressure on myself to produce.


I see how I was pushing against the very thing I desired. The more I pushed myself to write, the less I was able to produce. Much like trying to force yourself to go to sleep; it doesn’t work. Sleep, like creativity, just happens when we allow it to. 

In my pursuit of words, they just ran faster. I also see where I was blocking myself by wanting the words to flow perfectly. I froze and isolated myself with the pursuit of perfection.

Our faith is most tested in the darkness, when we cannot see the light.

Feeling stuck, I reached out to friends for help. I asked for them to see me writing in a warm, sunny and free way. Perhaps this was a lesson in surrender as much as it was in asking for help; something I am loathe to do.

The river’s flow has returned, but in a more subtle way. The words are there, but I must surrender further to hear them.

In taking a step back, I see where I do this in many areas of my life.  Pushing. Pulling. Pursuing perfection. Today, I am surrendering and trusting a little more deeply.

 

Namaste 

Six Word Stories: Another Lost ChapterĀ 

9″ and counting. Please. Stop. Raining.

Thinking naughty things, not about rain?

Here comes more rain. Sleepy-time again.

Island flooded; prayers for Haiti’s people.

Another rift, another gift stepping forward.

Dancing in circles. Exhausting or invigorating?

Believing the lies; forgotten little one.

Writing is connecting deeply with oneself.

Six word stories creating a fuss.

Counting to six, seven. Oops! Rewrite.

Six word stories are messy fun.

Six word stories on my mind.

Should be studying. Instead, I’m counting.

Six word stories are very delightful!

Six word stories. Thanks to Hemingway!

Thank you, Tony, for rekindling this!

Image: mind over matter dot com.

Loving Ourselves IS Our PurposeĀ 

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
~Rumi

Original draft 8.7.2016

Beautifully Scarred 

While at a poetry reading in late July, I penned four completely different poems pointed in four directions that were all felt and written within 30 minutes from start to finish. From heavy, to light, to introspective, to fun, the variances gave me insight into how fantastically diverse the inner landscape of my being can be (that’s a nice way to say effing crazy). I can choose to see these aspects of myself as scars, or as important aspects displaying my character. 

The 4 poems: SacredThe SherpaRevealing the Truth, Sunbleached

Frida Kahlo

In the midst of accepting my “diverse inner landscape,” I watched the movie Frida for the first time. I was amazed as to the fierce tenderness of the work and life of Frida Kahlo. For those who love the edges, I found this a very fitting movie and now have a greater appreciation both for Frida as a person and as an artist. 

Her husband, Diego Rivera, was quite the Cassanova. His ex-wife in the movie explains he is a chick magnet because he sees the beauty in the flaws of the women he is wooing (no, she didn’t say chick magnet). 

In the movie, and I suppose also in real life, Frida was nervous about him seeing her physical scars. Instead of shying away from them, Diego kisses one of her most prominent scars passionately and lovingly. If she was not already lost to him, she probably was at that point. 

Frida reminded me that the wounds are what give us our character and our drive to push forward and excel. Her wounds were the well from which she drew her passion and inspiration to paint. Diego says to Frida about painting, “You don’t paint because you want to, you paint because you have to.” And this, my friends, is how I feel about writing. 

Feel the edge

So often in life and even with my work, I feel the edges. I do my best to capture them in writing. In some ways I’m still hiding, as much of the acid I keep off scene, preferring to “deal with it” and neutralize it so as to avoid contaminating the lot. Yet Frida poured it all out for visual scrutiny. A synopsis of her work is found here in my absolute favorite quote of the movie (it took many rewinds to capture):

I want to speak about Frida not as her husband, but as an artist. Her work is acid & tender, hard as steel and fine as a butterfly’s wing. Lovable as a smile & cruel as the bitterness of life. I don’t believe that ever before has a woman put such agonized poetry on canvas. ~Diego Rivera as quoted in the movie Frida

Disliking our wounds leaves us vulnerable

Diego saw Frida for all that she was… No wonder their relationship kept her going back to him, in spite of his seemingly constant philandering. He appreciated and loved her scars. 

Yet, I now see how the wounds that inspired her paintings were the very things that left her prey. Perhaps if she had loved her scars, she would have waited for the man who would have both loved her scars and respected her wishes for loyalty (her words in the movie, not a judgment of mine).

Self-Love leaves us whole

From all of this I draw from the well that loving the very aspects of ourselves that scare us can motivate our art. Self-love also helps us to attract better partners who we seek not to fix our wounds, but who appreciate them with us as parts of our character. To attract this kind of love, however, we must first love the many aspects of ourselves – wounds and all – first.

It’s my new understanding that relationships are not about 1+1=2. Instead it’s a multiplication factor. Each person being whole makes for 1×1=1. Either partner entering into a relationship as less than whole weakens the relationship… and gives it character. 

Image: Frida from Google, painting “Broken Column”

Salud: A Toast

With my lowball raised in the air, I toast to a year of blogging, a year of following and a year of being followed. I appreciate the support I have received from each one of you in this journey. Being supported in exploring the inner workings of myĀ heart, mind and soulĀ has been an interesting process and I appreciate all that have joined me in some way along the way. Some have come and gone, others have stayed and brought new ones along. To all of you, I thank you dearly! In this time and with your support, I have had a year of great discovery. Last but not least: Salud!

Many of my posts involve water themes. In fact, my first post PerspectiveĀ involved waves. So it is only fitting to chose the song, Humbling River by Puscifer for today’s anniversary celebration. The song also supports my belief that at times we need one another to get past troubling obstacles; we are stronger together than apart. I chose this particular YouTube version as it featuresĀ images of military service members in action – many crossing rivers and battlegrounds.

As many of my followers are vets and active duty service members, I raise my glass as a special toast to you and all that you do & have done. My next toast is to the spouses & loved ones that support you. Salud!

Trigger warning: most battle wounds are the invisible ones left on the minds and hearts of those who have served, images in this video may trigger some of those scars.

Pardon Me #350

My time on WordPress has become excessive and addictive. While I have backed off somewhat over the past few weeks, it has not been enough. So it’s high time for me to take a sabbatical on posting. As I have a busy personal calendar over the next few months, this may be a good spring board for me to take a back seat on posting while decreasing my reading as well. 

Since New Year’s I have posted daily on this site, some days multiple posts; probably too much for some. During this time my addiction to approvals and comments has peaked and ebbed some. While I have taken measures to step back, I have continued to post daily and I have become too concerned about stats and who likes what; less concerned about writing to write.

In striving to keep up with The Jonses and not miss others’ posts, I have been wearing myself out. So many of you have such intriguing words to share that I cannot seem to stop myself. Meanwhile, I have allowed too many paper books to gather dust.

I also recently joked with a good friend that I needed to do a 12-step program for withdrawal from WP! In telling him about a professional certification test for which I would like to sit, I acknowledged that the time I currently spend on WP would prevent my being able to study for it (and it’s an expensive test!).

For these reasons, I am going to take a step back from WP. It’s time for me to really reflect and do some deeper introspection, as well as get over this attention and approval addiction (wish me luck!). I hope to check in on the reader from time to time.

So please Pardon Me, while I rest from WordPress and burst into flames. Trust me, I will come back brighter than before. I always do.

Namaste
__/|\__ Metta

Image: Google search

bloodletting

the words pour out

like blood onto the pages

pumping never ceases

tirelessly one must

pour more blood in

for the letting

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