Making the Shift from Clarity to Action

Artwork fish hanging from trees in natureI woke up this morning into a place of pure bliss. The bed covers were cozy, my body was relaxed, and my mind was safe. It was an hour yet before I had to start my day, and I was in no hurry to push it.

As I lay there, simply noticing the peacefulness in myself, thoughts began to emerge with astounding clarity. They brought with them a richness of details, images, patterns, examples, and a kind of whole-body “knowing” in a way that is rarely accessible to me. I was in a state of pure creativity.

I have been here before, and I knew I wouldn’t make it to my coffee cup before 99% of this was gone.  Continue reading

Do the Job You Want to Have

A photographer holding a cameraThere is a saying for getting ahead in the corporate world: Do the job you want to have.

Or perhaps you know this version from the world of healers and spiritual growth: Be the change you want to see.

Buddhist author Leo Babauta puts it yet another way: If you want to be a writer, write!

What these three bits of advice share, each in its own way, is that if you have a goal or vision for yourself, don’t wait! Do whatever you can right now to start living that goal.  Continue reading

Flow and the Dark Side of Journaling

A kayak near a still  lake shrouded in fogWould-be authors are often advised to practice their craft by journaling every day. This can be a helpful tool, particularly if the focus is on playing with specific writing styles or techniques. Simply recording facts, experiences, or ideas from the day, however, can quickly lead us into the “dark side of journaling.”

I was lucky with  my first book, which was a memoir, because much of the experience I was writing about had been recorded in an Internet work space at the time it happened. Later, when I went to write the book, it was all there waiting for me. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I was also aware that I would be writing a sequel one day, so I began trying to capture that same level of detail in my on-going life through journaling – and that was when the dark side began to get its hold on me.  Continue reading

The Fine Line Between Teaching and Healing

A leaf in sharp focus in front of soft focus leavesWords have the power to heal. In shamanic traditions, this is sometimes called “word doctoring.” It can refer to spirit-given words or phrases which the shaman transmits to the patient, or it can be a “healing story,” often associated with other shamanic work on a patient’s behalf.

Story-telling, when it comes from the spirits, can also carry healing power for an audience. I believe this goes beyond “teaching” Continue reading

The Right to Remain Silent: A Compassionate Writer’s Manifesto

A rural, artistic-looking houseI’ve been thinking lately about spending less time on Facebook. Not that I don’t like my friends, but that I don’t like hearing quite so much about all that is dangerous or wrong in the world.

This isn’t new with me. It started 30 years ago when I stopped listening to the radio, then the TV news. Over the last few years, I’ve stopped reading national print news, and last year I even canceled our local, community paper.

It’s not that I want to stick my head in the sand. I am an activist in my own right. In the ’80′s, for example, I marched frequently for the ERA in Wyoming and Colorado. (That’s the Equal Rights Amendment, for those of you who have arrived on the planet more recently than I have. Its purpose was to specifically include women as citizens and human beings in the U.S. Constitution. It never passed, but it isn’t dead either, by the way, just sitting a closet awaiting final ratification to fall from a spider’s web or something.)

No, it’s just that I know fear and reactivity to be contagious, and I don’t want to “catch” it Continue reading