This Writer’s Journey
It might not look like I’m doing anything at all, as vacillate between sitting in front of my computer and ubruptly standing to jump in place or walk the hallway back and forth. It is not often enough mentioned that writing can be an aerobic activity when it is not going particularly well. Just the other day I was struggling to pull ideas and words together for a blog article. After having started and stopped several times nothing was coming to me. Anxious with discouragement, I walked the hallway of the house every couple of minutes just to get away from the computer that was taunting me with silence.
For me, writing is an ebb and flow sort of process. When it flows, it is absolute heaven. When it ebbs, it seems to take so long to come back. That particular day I tried going for a walk to clear my head, praying, meditating, and reviewing old pieces I had written in and effort to turn the faucet back on. Nothing seemed to work.
I was just about to give up when a little movie started in my head. Somewhere between fully awake with my eyes closed and the sweet spot of imagination and intuition, all of a sudden there was a clambering crowd of people all yelling different things to me at the same time, desperately trying to be heard. I put my hands up and asked them all to be quiet for a moment, and motioned to them to form a line so I could visit with each of them in turn. Surprisingly, they did so with perfect peace and precision. The line was so long it wound around the twists and turns of the path so far back I couldn’t see the end. And so, I invited one person at a time to share whatever wisdom, inspiration or truth they wanted to tell me. I was the messenger.
The first one in line was a sweet, older woman, and she told me: “Be kind. It will make you feel better.” She squeezed my hand and was on her way.
Next was a peaceful, pastoral young man, and he said: “Don’t waste your time and heart on people who tear you down and try to make you feel small. Gravitate to people who lift you up and love who you really are.” He firmly nodded once, as if to say, “Well, then, I said what I came to say.” And off he went.
The next one was a quiet, sparkling eyed, little girl who simply said: “You are not alone.” She put her hand on my cheek for moment then smiled and went on her way.
Next was a man with a warm and shining smile, and he said: “When you look for good, you will find it. It’s everywhere, in you and around you.” He took my face in his hands when he said it. It was just what I needed to hear after having been viscerally saddened and disturbed by the morning news.
The next one was a serene, young woman in lovely, flowing clothes and she whispered: “In the quiet you will find your answer. Breathe easy. Listen effortlessly. It will come to you.” She looked into my eyes for a moment, placed her hand on my arm, then walked away.
Right There Waiting for Me
Though there were many more people in line, I stopped after the fifth one so I could drink it all in. During this palpable visualization experience the words came to me so easily, it was like breathing. Just before I stepped out of the mini movie, I asked the line of people if they would be able to wait a while until I was ready to come back for more. They all nodded in agreement as if it was an obvious given, and they couldn’t believe I didn’t know that. One chimed up and said, “We’ve been here for you your whole life. We’re not leaving now that you finally hear us!” With that, a rolling chuckle went through the crowd.
Sometimes the Door Closes
The next day, I revisited the line of people and though I could see them in my mind’s eye, I couldn’t hear them past the static of to-do lists and stress clutter that was taking up space in mind. They were there, but my door wasn’t quite open to hear them. Sometimes what I need is right in front of me but I can’t reach it. Other times the doors and windows are wide open and I get lost for hours and hours in the rush of ideas, stories and words that come through to me.
I love to write. I especially love when words stream like a babbling brook, but even in the times when it isn’t easy and ideas come through in a tiring fitful manner, the result can still be surprisingly beautiful. Writing is like life… sometimes it flows and sometimes you have to dig deeper to get what you need in order to give what you have to offer.
Terry Barnett-Martin, LMFT, Licensed Relationship Therapist and Life Purpose Coach, is the award winning author of Tending Fences: Building Safe and Healthy Relationship Boundaries. (949)709-2445 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites:www.tendingfences.com www.truepurposecounseling.com