Today I am happy and honored to be taking part in a blog tour for writers. I was invited by my friend, VC Bestor, fierce and imaginative protector and lover of our planet, who has written the eco-feminist visionary novel Pax of Wildly Women.
Her writing leaves me laughing, gasping and inspired into action by her freshness, intelligence, unrelenting honesty and creative courage.
Check out her blog
The blog tour asks each of us, in turn, to reflect on why and what we write and about our writing process.
When I worked as a mind-body therapist in an integrative medicine clinic, I hated making the diagnoses in the chart notes for my patients.
I loved people’s stories, their courage in meeting challenges, their unique gifts and each particular slant on being perfectly imperfect.
Giving a diagnosis felt like a violation of spirit and a distancing of myself from them.
Each time I wanted to write:
The Human Condition
Variations on the Challenges and Joys of Living
Life in a Body.
Beyond my degrees, training and therapeutic practices the greatest gift I had to offer was simply to love each one and to help them love themselves.
Now as transformational coach, speaker and writer, I am still most interested in exploring, with love and wonder, our extraordinary shared gift of Life in a Body — wild and sacred, messy and delicious, smelly and intriguing, uncomfortable, confusing and mysterious as it is.
Two years ago my relationship to my writing changed dramatically. Since I was twelve I had written -compulsively and passionately- poetry, journals, stories, dreams and musings for my own clarity, salvation and healing. Those personal writings were mostly stuffed away in dusty boxes and secret word documents.
What I completed and published and shared with the world was a little more practical. Dozens of wellness articles. Holistic mind-body curricula. Meditations for healing. A patient manual for a hospital program.
The poetry and writings which poured most deeply from my untamed core remained hidden from potentially critical eyes.
Then, two years ago, my dad died. Something big shifted in me through his dying process- something I still can’t fully explain. Living in the heartbreak and courage of his last months, the holiness of his last hours, hearing stories from students and colleagues transformed by his work and sorting through his files of unfinished projects starkly reminded me that sometime relatively soon (maybe today, or maybe thirty or forty years from now) it will be my turn to leave this body. I decided it was time to stop waiting (for someone, something, some permission) to speak my truth more fully.
In the month following his death I committed to my creative voice and to my writing in a whole new way. I committed to it as I would say Yes! to a passionate, demanding and generous lover.
Please tell me, How can I be true to you? I asked my new Writing Lover.
Support. Courage. Send out.
No more waiting.
I started a small writers’ group for support. I started writing with more abandon and courage and I started submitting to a wide variety of programs and journals. Committing to my writing has been one of the most thrilling and terrifying experiences of my life. I’ve had exciting acceptances, publications, readings, performances, wonderful gratifying feedback…and worthy rejections.
My Writing Lover is a Wild River.
Sometimes my writing flows sweetly and lazily and carries me and we’re just groovin’ along in peace, love and rainbows and I am sure I am in the right place and I wonder why I ever waited to do this, because it’s all so much fun and so very easy.
More often it is not so very easy and sweet.
Sometimes words wake me up in the middle of the night as uncontrollable torrents pounding over a rugged mountain cliff, startling me with ideas I do not understand but am pierced by and I fervently pray I will be able to hang on through the next bend of rapids and to find words for that which has only existed in remote wordless air.
Sometimes - this morning in fact- my writing is a putrid river of muck. I sit at my computer and fret about my deadline and feel myself stuck thigh deep in rancid, heavy, viscous mud. I wail and whine and wonder why I am here and want to give up and the leeches (Of course you knew there were leeches right? Scores of of them!) the leeches in the grey green greasy gunk agree that I might as well just climb out of the river right now because what I am writing is pure slime and no one will ever care about it and I am wasting my time. And I wonder how long it will be before the spring floods come and rescue me and then finally I just hunker down and slog on, one leaden leg at a a time, feeling sure I will throw up and probably even die mired right here in this disgusting filth and then finally from somewhere a tiny trickle of fresh water begins to come into this mess and then finally the muck is a little less thick and I can actually pick my feet up a little bit and then a little bit more and then finally I can swim and then finally I am carried along and of course I still have no idea if this river will ever take me anywhere that matters to anyone else.
But this is my Wild River Writing Lover and I am in it now for life, sticking with my muse through muck and ease, joining the rising tide of women’s voices until I drown in joy.
Next week the blog tour will continue on June 23 with postings by three innovative thinkers and writers:
Vicki Hannah Lein, MS Counseling, is an award-winning international motivational speaker, educational consultant, singer/songwriter, author, humorist, and Authenticity/Creativity Coach. Legally blind and relentlessly uplifting, Vicki knows how to infuse meaning and purpose into our everyday lives. www.findthefunnyfaster.com
Suzanne Mathis McQueen is the author of 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks. Demystifying the female hormonal rhythm for women & men is at the heart of her work.
Susan Clarke is an inspirational coach and speaker who empowers people to lean into their oh Sh*t! Moments and discover the joy in being messy, raw and real. She is the author of the forthcoming book: The Path To Great Results, How Teams Can Turn “Oh S*t!” Moments into “Aha!” Successes www.susanbclarke.com
Be sure to check out their blogs!
And I’d love to hear from you.
Has the death of someone you love changed you?
Have you made a decision that changed your creative life?
Is there a commitment you are longing - and waiting- to make?
Love and Abbondanza for All!