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"Bringing Your Inner Treasures
to the Outer World . . ."
with Naomi Rose
January 2009 Newsletter
1. Introduction: "Remembering the Wealth Within "
2. Feature: "Writing a New Chapter in the Book of Your Life
(What You're Seeking Is Seeking You, Too)"
3. Playtime: "Writing as Play "
4. Naomi Rose Services: "Book Development"
and "Creativity Coaching & Consulting"
Remembering the Wealth Within
those of you who have been reading the Writing from the Deeper Self newsletter
for some time, welcome to a new year's worth. And for those of you who
are new, welcome as well. I hope that this year will bring you wonderful
things, experiences, growth, and fulfillment. And I hope that my offerings
here can be a part of that.
Writing from the Deeper Self is an organic approach to writing, by listening to the deep desires, wisdom, and creative pathways within you. It doesn't ask you to figure everything out ahead of time and then fill in the paragraphs. It's more like something inside you is figuring you out, and you learn how to follow. In the process, you discover the great wealth within you, develop your inherent artistry, and create nourishment for the minds, hearts, souls, and spirits of your readers.
In this time when money is on everyone's mind, it's good to be reminded of the wealth within. It can keep you focused on what's real, and help you find ways to externalize that wealth, in ways that support your true being instead of working against it.
In that spirit, I hope you will read this newsletter "at leisure" (i.e., slowly and receptively). That more relaxed pace, itself, will help you remember the treasures inside you. Whether you decide to write a book or not, it's good to remember the ocean of potential within you, from which you can draw to create what you need. When you are in touch with this ~ and sometimes, it only takes becoming aware of the gift of your breath ~ realization of your wealth and creative inheritance is just a breath away.
In harmonious prosperity,
WRITING A NEW CHAPTER IN THE BOOK OF YOUR LIFE (What You're Seeking Is Seeking You, Too)
I am looking
at a magnolia tree from my office window, its lavender-and-white tulip-shaped
blossoms already in bloom, its leafless branches just barely starting
to bud. It is a January day so fragrantly warm that, like the magnolia,
I have premature spring fever. After a client left, I took a rare break
instead of popping back into work; lay down on my cushioned window-seat
and let the sun warm my body, like a cat.
I was going to write, this month, about writing a new chapter in a book you've been writing for a while ~ something that feels relevant to the beginning of the year, when resolutions abound, both personally and (a week before Obama's inauguration) culturally. I was going to write something generically useful about how, as your book gets further along and new chapters take the writing into new directions, themes seeded in the early part of the book make their way back in, calling out for attention, deeper understanding, and perhaps even resolution. That we are, despite being pulled by the pieces of our lives, really made of whole cloth, and our psyches seeking that entirety of fabric: the design begun young that we hope has matured despite all sorts of wrong turns and negative interventions, and become more beautiful with the intervening years.
But I just wasn't that interested in giving theoretical, generic wisdom. Instead, I wanted to tell you about the amazing magnolia tree, reaching out widely with its branches and upwards towards the sun. I wanted to tell you that it is a new chapter for me to rest, after a client, instead of steering myself back into work; to seek the sunlight with my instinctive, animal body, to let the warmth lace into my cells. I wanted to convey, in a more immediate way ~ the way that images do, and descriptions do, and poetry does, and the flow of breath behind the words does ~ what it is that impresses me, and to bring that impression to life so you could taste it, too.
Seeing Ourselves Deeply in Writing, and in Reading
in a way, that's what Writing from the Deeper Self is: it's having your
own direct experience of what you're writing as you're writing it, so
that people reading it get to have that same experience, laced with the
warmth of your own opening to what is there. When you write from that
deep place, you open the door to your readers to come in, and meet themselves.
For I think that ~ more than anything ~ we read to know ourselves more
deeply. Few people have been seen at the level they crave.
What allows you to see yourself that deeply in writing ~ no matter what the subject you are writing about, no matter what the genre or the form ~ is the same thing that allows you to see yourself deeply in non- writing ways (meditation, relationship, therapy: anything that brings you below the surface of life):
What You're Seeking Is Seeking You Too
In writing a book from the deeper Self, you can rest in the assumption that what you are seeking is also seeking you. It may take a while, it may involve some false starts, it may require multiple revisions ~ but if you stay with it, always you will find that what you've been seeking has been in you all along.
It's not like you're just "channeling" information; you really are creating something, making room for it, making decisions all along the way. But neither are you crafting the whole thing from your ego, or your mind. Something else, something whole at the base, is knocking at your door, asking you to put down the pieces and, finally, to understand the journey to wholeness they all lead to.
When, about two years ago, I first decided to expand my 1993 book, MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to Money , I had a certain idea about what this expanded "Part 2" should be. Because "Part 1" was a story from my own life ~ a story about the connection between the loss of self/inner wealth and the loss of the mother ~ I had felt (with some obligation born of embarrassment) that I "owed" my readers a way to bring MotherWealth more clearly into their own lives. I had thought this meant giving good generic advice, and leaving myself out of it. After all, hadn't I already taken up all that space in Part 1?
But the more I strove to take myself out of the picture in Part 2, the more lifeless the writing became: the more "expert," the more generic. I had thought I was doing readers a favor by withholding myself; but gradually it became clear that my very presence was the steady stream that allowed readers to bring themselves into the picture, to take from the book what was theirs.
Once I accepted this (and it was not an overnight process to accept it; I sometimes go through the same "Who am I to____?" doubts and fears that I help my clients address), I settled into the rewriting process with an intimacy I had been missing. I set first-thing-in- the-morning writing times, lit a candle in the almost-dark, and allowed what I had written so far to speak to me. If it did not, I simply sat with it to see what understandings would bring it closer, so that I could feel its aliveness and truth, myself. I'd spend hours covering just two pages with marginal additions, arrows, numbered zigzagged mosaics of refinements, until what was down on paper was not only what I needed to say, but also what I needed to read.
this, in itself, brought me into a new chapter of my life. I was no longer
the "purveyor" of helpful wisdom: I needed to acknowledge myself as simultaneously
the knower, the not-knower, and the Source from which the knowing came.
I could no longer "write myself off" as incidental to the book. I had
to honor that what is in me is essential to the life force of the story,
and to that story being a doorway for readers seeking the truth of their
There are ways in which new chapters in a book have themes and awakenings that spiral back to earlier chapters ~ just as in life. You'll be writing about the worst time of your life, and suddenly you'll realize the gifts it gave you for who you are now, and the compassion you can bring to that era that was impossible back then. Perhaps we are always working and reworking the basic themes of our lives, starting new chapters and winding back to what was in the earlier ones, with more meaning now, and more clarity of heart. Like a Bach composition, the basic theme is soon taken up with complex and surprising variations; and when the ending finally comes, and the theme comes round again, it is informed and richly textured by all that has transpired in between.
And once in a while, you come to realize that you have at last done what you had to do, and there are no new chapters to write. There is only a brand-new book.
Maybe it will be a magnolia tree, come spring.
Copyright © 2009 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
Writing as Play
I know that writing a book can sound a bit daunting. It's a commitment of time, focus, and money. It's a lot longer than an essay. And it seems to generate equal amounts of excitement and anxiety in potential book writers.
But it's not all hard work. Some of it is actually (dare I say it?) fun.
It's time to take back the enjoyment of writing. Remember when you were little, before "creating" had punitive consequences? Before grades and reviews, when you could just write down what happened as you saw it, or went into the far reaches of your imagination? When writing was actually fun? (If you didn't have this experience in writing, perhaps you did in story telling.)
One thing that artists tend to do is seek connections between things that at first seem to have none. (This is a different aspect of intelligence from linear, logical, step-by-step development, like making an outline and filling it in.) You may be more familiar with this innate tendency to connect parts into wholes from, say, interior design (unifying a room through color, design, shape, texture) than specifically through writing. The point is that the urge to make connections is an innate part being human. When it's not given room, we can feel empty. When we give ourselves to the process, we feel joy and connection to the Source of life. We feel creative and whole.
You don't have to write a book to play with writing. You can just have fun looking for connections between things that you wouldn't ordinarily think would have them. (And if you do want to write a book, this kind of play really helps with that, too.) Why not try it now?
Playtime: How Do the Following Things Want to Come Together?
In this Playtime, I'll suggest some possibilities for you to play with. If any spark your interest, dive in. Just discover what's there for you to discover. Have fun.
Instructions: Read the following phrases slowly, letting your mind relax. You'll notice that each phrase is quite different from the others.
Let there be spaces ~ fertile spaces in your mind ~ between them. Something is likely to arise in your awareness that can bridge the gap (like making new neurological pathways through the synapses of the brain).
Notice what arises, and write it down immediately, exactly as it presents itself to you. Fill in the blank, linking one phrase with another however that connection comes to you.
Instead of making judgments about it, just be interested in how the writing is unfolding. It might be a poem. It might be a very short story. It might be a vignette, or a grocery list. Just see what it wants to be. If you like doing one, indulge in a second.
(My guess that this process gets easier and easier, the more you do it. It even may affect other areas in your life, besides writing.)
[Insert your own list, and then fill in the gaps.]
Author's Note: You don't have to share these results, the process, or the effects (beyond writing) with anyone. But if you want to, do. And if you want to share these with the other people reading this newsletter ~ a kind of "show and tell," but for grownups ~ send me what you want shared, by email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. NAOMI ROSE SERVICES:
the Book Harbored in Your Heart
CREATIVITY COACHING & CONSULTING
You can work
with me in a creative way even if you don't want to write a book ~ or
write at all. Any creative form and path that calls to you, we can work