Monday, November 29, 2010

When Your Long Written Work (e.g., Book) Honors You

The days I make time to write deeply are days I feel arise from within me, rather than my reacting to them. There is something about simply stopping to listen to what is inside through writing that reminds me of how much there is inside me, all those treasures waiting to be noticed, called forth, brought into form.

It is not the same, for me, as writing down a dream or dashing off a journal entry. There is something about writing a work ~ most often, a book ~ that seeks not only deep exploration but coherence, like tracking the threads of your life in the trust (sometimes, wobbly trust) that they truly form a pattern, and a beautiful, radiant, inspiring, worth-it-all pattern. There is something about writing a work, a longer work that asks commitment and endurance and willingness to risk and find everything, that calls me back to it again and again, even when I am a forgetful devotee. It reminds me that even despite all the awkward beginnings and utterly too many pieces of paper drafts, I have given my soul to this; I have set a creation in motion, and that creation now has a life and wants to honor mine.

How will this creation honor my life/yours, your life? Perhaps by the public's adulation-to-come, and the best-seller-status and financial rewards to come. But for now, in the writing process, the honoring comes by what I get to remember in the writing, and that ~ in its more revised, developed incarnation(s) ~ it holds the great, deep love and energy of the very thing I was seeking when I set out (boldly, ignorantly, tremulously) to write it in the first place.

My current book is Living in MotherWealth, a sequel to my book, MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to Money. Living in MotherWealth began as a wish to have my daily, my moment-to-moment being in that place I called "MotherWealth," which I "fell into/was forced to my knees into" in the story recounted in the first book. I thought perhaps, God willing, there could be a way to live in that Being place, where everything is given, without having to sacrifice everything one had, was, and knew.

At first, this sequel was mostly a litany of my deficiencies ~ difficult to read back, but cathartic to put down on paper. Over the years, about 3 years now, the "deficient" script began to wear thin; and in its place has come an awareness of incredible wealth, inner wealth, that every human being has inside them. My discoveries of such wealth through the writing began to percolate in my cells, in my consciousness, in my daily life: brushing my teeth and feeling the pleasure of that cleansing instead of just getting it done. Taking a shower and feeling the caress of the hot water, hearing the plink-plonk of the droplets touching down on the bathtub floor: music. Music and being here have become a gift from the book to me, once I returned and returned again to it and said to myself, "This is what I have been looking for. This is what is in me. This is who I am."

To come back to writing my long work, although much yet remains to be done with it and much yet exists to let go of, reminds me that I exist beyond all the outer forms, beyond all the to-do's, beyond all the ways that this book, once it becomes a "product," might serve my more material needs as well as emotional and spiritual. This long work is a kind of a life, in chapters.

And are not our lives like that, as well?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Important Role of Silence in Writing (a book or anything else you care about)

If you have ever been on a silent retreat, or been in nature for a period of time in silence, you already know from experience how incredibly fertile that bed of silence can be. As the usual chatter fades, the things that pull us away from our in-the-moment inner experience (things to do, places to go, errands to run, emails to send, worries to keep circulating, etc.) show their true colors as mind-distractions and perhaps –addictions, and just don’t seem as compelling as they had before. Something in us begins to relax, then; to stop always being on alert, ready for the next action, the next item on the to-do list, the next thought/opinion/decision. We drop into ourselves, and into the moment. We are that most essential of things: here.

It is in being here that we are available to revelation ~ whether that revelation is of the epic, prophetic kind, or simply a deeply felt, spacious awareness of the beauty of life because we are here to know and feel and experience it. And it is when we are most deeply here ~ present, spacious, appreciative, and gratefully willing to encounter the blessings that arise (both from within us, and outside us as what is within us is available to meet what is outside us) ~ that deep writing is possible.

I know for myself that in a single workday, I can sit at the computer and accomplish a whole roster of things that I can tick off my to-do list, and sometimes still have room to do more. Yet none of that is usually done with inner silence. There is most often an accompanying sound track that is commenting on what I am doing, or going ahead to the next thing to do, or fretting about what I haven’t yet done but should. No wonder there can be a sense of putative accomplishment, but energetic depletion at the end of such a day. And if I try to fit a writing session into such a day, most often what I write is simply another thing that I can tick off my to-do list as having accomplished.

For me, doing deep writing is a sacred act, and that includes the need to set it apart from my usual actions and ways of seeing life. It is the setting it apart from the prosaic, the getting-things-done aspect of ordinary life, that reminds me of what is potential within me. It is the silence that allows the words ~ the music, if you will ~ to arise.

There is that place in me ~ is it in you, too? ~ that is convinced that I need to keep doing every moment in order to ensure not only my own personal survival but that the entire universe keeps on going. Of course, the latter is not true at all; the universe’s cosmic order does not depend on my doing everything, only what is mine to do. But when the absence of inner silence grows louder and greater, I fall into a place that on the surface looks like I should get some kind of prestigious medal of recognition from our culture, for I am doing up a storm. And yet, in that storm of doing, where is my true being? Subsumed under all that activity and noise. And what would a cultural medal of recognition for having devised and fulfilled my to-do lists then get me? Just more noise, more stress, more time on the treadmill.

The cultivation of inner silence from time to time is medicine not only for our writing, but also for our entire being. It is in silence that what is real has room to show itself, whether that “showing” is in images, in sounds, in sensations, in energies, or in nothing. There is a “nothing” that is so full that it is the pregnant potentiality from which all manifestation, all “somethings,” come. We can orient ourselves in that direction, towards the silence, the inner quiet, the place where “nothing” is “happening” ~ until something reveals itself to us, and we know we must and want to follow it. That is the beginning of writing from the deeper Self. First we need to be present to the deeper Self. Then, writing from it is a following of what we receive; an encounter with something true that we do not have to invent or make up, original though it may be. It is a dance of what we don’t know with what we do; it is a harmonious song sung by our finite self and our Divine Self. We can’t make the words happen, but we can always make ourselves available to that quiet place where what divinely wants to grow and tell itself to us can grow and tell itself to us. We can make ourselves available to become “pregnant” with what is there for us, uniquely, and to carry that seed through to term, until it is complete.

And once we have done that ~ once we have given ourselves to that inception of truth, beauty, whatever other deep and redemptive qualities call us to them ~ we know that we are not “producers” or “manufacturers,” but lovers. We have loved our creation into being, even if along the way there was doubt, despair, frustration, the equivalent of morning sickness, procrastination, and all the other ways we humans have of denying our greatness. Once the creation exists (it is a book! it is a paper! it is a painting! it is a song! it is a relationship with a human being whose every gesture, yawn, and aspiration matters to us!), it lives not only in us but also for us. It lives to give us back the joy and pleasure we put into it. It is our child, in a sense, and we have no wish to abandon it to the world, but to bring it into the world like the treasure it is.

And what happens when the world receives it? I don’t mean in terms of, “Did you get on Oprah?” I mean in terms of what happens inside the individual people who receive it. My conviction is that they receive it in the same spirit in which you wrote it. If you wrote it with silence as your base, then your book takes your readers into that same universal place, and there they can touch into their own deep nature. Who would not be grateful for that?

Not everyone has the opportunity to go on a silent retreat, or even to spend a stretch of time in nature. But what we do always have with us is our own deep nature. I bless you that if you are writing, or wish to write ~ a book or a shorter work ~ that you can do so from within the sacred silence of your own deep nature. Whether this means setting aside a morning to write in which you do nothing else ~ or clearing the papers off your desk or table, and lighting a candle accompanied by a conscious intention or prayer ~ or even taking a flower essence for writing, such as Rose Press now has available ~ setting aside the world’s concerns for a time, so that you can hear the silence within you and allow it to give you something wonderful to follow in words written down, is a gift you can give not only to your writing project, and not only to your eventual readers, but to your own soul.

And this silent, sacred space and time will help to heal the world. Just your doing it. Even before your book hits the stands.

This is a way you help the universe keep on going: by being there for it. And then allowing its gifts to take root in you as writing.
Copyright ã 2010 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Opening the Door

I was reading Barbara Wilder's very fine blog, which she announced as her replacement for her newsletter--a way of coming into the 21st century. Well, I know blogs, and I have resisted them, because for one thing I already send out a newsletter.

But then I saw how, if you are a writer for real, at heart, a blog could give you room to come in close to things that were just lying around in your inner closet, waiting for a chance to make their impression on your conscious awareness. A blog could let you dream and follow it, without requiring a linear justification or scaffolding. A blog could let you share your writings, your views on what it is in us that seeks to be known through writing (and reading), and really, anything.

And, a post is usually moderately short.

All these reasons conspired to lure me into the blogworld. I have so many wonderful treasures to share.

I have shared these treasures at length on my (two) websites: "Writing from the Deeper Self: Bringing Your Treasures into the World" (my book-developer work):  And the organic fruiting of that way of seeing writing, the published books (as well as flower essences for writers, and other wonderful healing treats): Rose Press:  So I will not repeat myself here. (Though as you can see, I have no false modesty about pointing you in those two directions, where you can read to your heart's content.)

In future blogs, I will write about such things as:
  • Money and the inner life (how one fosters and heals the other)
  • The real ground of creativity (it's not just about lots of ideas)
  • How musical harmony captures our souls, and translates to human relations
  • Growing into love
  • My books and their healing intent
  • How writing and reading can have communion at its center

If you have read this far, thank you. It is almost 11pm, and I'm less perfectionistic than I'd be during the earlier hours. Random thoughts may be replaced, with sufficient rest, by deep and healing rhythms.

Meanwhile, I want to thank my friends for all their support and love.