"Bringing Your Treasures into the World . . ."
(510) 653-ROSE / (510) 653-7673
~ Free initial consultation by phone ~
May - June 2011
1. Introduction: "Internal Flowering "
2. Feature: "Writing What Can Be Said, and Writing What Can't Be Said (Why We Need to/Why We're Called to)"
3. Writing Your Own Book: Closer Than You Think"
4. A Peek Inside the Writing of Starting Your Book
5. Writing Medicine: “Flower Essence Remedies for Writers & Readers”
6. Starting Your Book: New, revised, gorgeous edition available
As spring shows herself and offers us the gifts of flowering life, I find myself easily thinking about internal flowering.
What is it to cultivate the depth and beauty in yourself? What does that take? What are the seeds to be planted, the nourishment to be provided? How can we remember, in the midst of all the other things we need to do, and which not only take up our time and attention, but which also can veil us from the source of profoundly beautiful growth arising from our own hearts?
Sometimes I see life as a balance between "growing" and "building" ~ the "growing" being the allowing to unfold what is within us, with the trust that there actually is something within us, and it is unfolding; the "building" being what we make of things, our desires, goals, actions, and so on. The "building" gets more air-time, in our culture, and certainly it is important; but the "growing" is essential, and when we give it room inside our being, its flowers and fruits make themselves known and nourish us and others, in ways we can see and beyond what we can see.
Because writing books is the path I have been given ~ and helping others write books from a deep place ~ this is the vehicle I use for growing and building. This is the actuality and metaphor I use in hopes of reminding you of who is inside you, and why it makes a difference to articulate it and share it in writing with others. I hope that my feature article in this month's newsletter speaks to that in you, and gives you food to grow on.
In that spirit, my book on writing a book from the standpoint of who you are ~ Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You ~ is now, beautifully, in print (also as an e-book). If you have ever wanted to write a book, reading this one is sure to encourage you that you really can. (And an interview with me about writing that book is available for you to read, too. Read on.)
What do we read books for? We're told it's knowledge, information, self-empowerment. All true. But the deepest reason we read is to find out (or remember) who we are.
You can write a book for that reason, too. I hope you will. Your readers do, too. As I say in my PR for Starting Your Book : "I miss you. Please write. Love, your true nature."
~ Naomi Rose
WRITING WHAT CAN BE SAID,
AND WRITING WHAT CAN'T BE SAID
Why We Need to / Why We're Called to
Not long ago, I was going through
one of those times ~ transfor-mational, one hopes, rather than just debilitating
~ when the very roots of my assumptions about myself were being shaken.
To have been told, as I had by an exceedingly wise spiritual teacher,
that transformation did pry loose one's self-identities, in the course
of opening one to the larger Being within, was the only mooring I could
cling to, as wave after wave of loss of self-image washed over me.
Something inside ~ that place that can witness, despite the turmoil being experienced and so deeply felt ~ took note of both the process of ego-dishevelment and the contents rising up: primal contents, never consciously known before or willingly brought forth in what I had hoped was the steady soup of myself. Theories about some of my lifelong patterns, too stuck to the bottom to ordinarily be visible, jounced through my mind: I must have been a forceps-delivery baby, brought forth before I was quite ready (and accounting for my tendencies to feel pulled along too fast, even when I was the one doing the pushing, and to arrive places late). I must have been left in my crib, cold and hungry and wet, to cry, and no one came. There was, of course, no way to prove any of this, no alive parent to ask. But there had to be something to account for that hole at the bottom of things, despite my accomplishments and development in life and in the world.
To feel what has been called "pre-verbal" feelings, when you are beyond middle age and known to the world and yourself to be articulate, is to be humbled into the realization that one is no better than anyone else, and perhaps at base no different. It is not that there is no point in striving for some of what we are encouraged to strive for ~ even worldly success, I have read on good spiritual authority, develops highly useful inner qualities (endurance, persistence, and so on) that can be put to use on other levels as well. It is that in allowing our exclusive focus to be on success in the world ~ whether as an entrepreneur (which I am), a creative person (which I am), the author of a book (which I am), or a self-improved version of the original self ~ apparently takes us away from the real focus of why we are here on earth, and who, in actuality, we are. The inner tsunami/earthquake/ hurricane of an upsurge of preverbal self-lessness at least temporarily reveals as a fiction the persona of being on top of things all the time, having it all together, and being a separate being. We share in the universality of being, whether we experience it through the narrow door of personal suffering, or the illuminated door of belonging to everything. And sometimes, the narrow door leads to the illuminated one.
That was my experience, within a single day. While feeling like an emptiness wearing clothing, an insoluble question convinced of no response (because from that cold, wet, hungry, abandoned, dependent infant place, there had been none), I took myself to a spiritual celebration: the presence of the 22nd-generation granddaughter of the "best-selling poet of our time," the 13th-century mystic Jelal ad-Din Rumi. I came with my emptiness, and sat amidst women, men, and children. A beautiful, stately young girl had greeted me at the door, offered to anoint my wrist with rose perfume. Sitting in the large room; seeing and feeling the love there; watching the babies rest in their mothers' arms, wriggle happily to greet a neighbor; hearing the drone of the droning instrument and the melody played on top of that by the strings, I felt I could be there with my emptiness and there would be room for me, and for it inside me.
We sat. I listened, as a loving welcome was spoken in a voice resonant and bass. I came to remember that there was nothing I had to make myself do; that when I could be here with my heart, whatever lovely or strange gifts it brought up from its bottomless well, there was no way I could not belong. The painful separation was internal, and could also be repaired from within.
Breathing, I stood; I danced; I turned around, centered in my heart, turned like the planets in the sky. And I noticed how my heart began to return to me, how it became the center of my being and my point of viewing; how that was what I had been hungry for, and had mistakenly thought (as old, preverbal feelings rose up) that the remedy had to come from outside.
And at the end, we formed a long circle, and each one of us passed each one standing in and forming the circle. As we passed, we paused. We extended our hand, grasped the other's in it like a loving fist, and at the same moment kissed each other's hand. I had never come across this greeting before, and I was taken with it. You got to bring your settling-down heart into your eyes, to use that gaze to see and even bless the person across from you, and at the same moment to place your lips on the outer rim of their hand, linked to the outer rim of your hand, which they were bringing their lips to in the same moment. There was something so immediate, so beautiful, and so natural in this ~ so friendly ~ that I felt encouraged with each person I stood in front of, receiving their gaze and kiss and giving mine in the same moment. When I got to the end of the line, I became the next one in that line, so that those behind me now stopped at me and I went through the same ritual, just from the other side.
It had happened, while I had been traveling around the circle, before landing in the host position, that I found myself directly in front of Rumi's 22nd-generation granddaughter. "We're going to kiss!" I realized, emptied in a very different way from earlier before. She looked at me with a great, deep affection. "Do you know what this means?" she asked me, taking my hand and raising it to her lips. Her eyes were directly opposite mine, that way, about six inches from mine.
I shook my head no.
She twinkled. "It means, 'Our souls are the same.'"
~ ~ ~
In digesting this, and what it was like for me to feel my heart open inside at a depth I had been longing for and unable to reach, I become aware that there are at least two ways in which writing what cannot be said can take place. The first is when something from old that occurred before words were available to one's very young being arises ~ something primal, from perhaps the now-famed reptilian brain. A lizard doesn't self-reflect, it just slithers and eats and does what it does. So to bring words to an internal uprising of unexpected pre-egoic identity material is pretty much not possible while that material is being felt. Only afterwords can some effort to give it form, containment, meaning, help come in. "It was like being devoured by emptiness," I could later say of that uprooting experience. Or, "I must have been a forceps-delivery baby, pulled out before I was ready, not given room to use all the way the force of birth latent within me." And, with those words, gaining some foothold that allowed me to start climbing out of the dark hole it had felt I'd fallen into.
But there is another way in which writing what cannot be said can be done, and that way must be attempted, if one is to reach for the largeness of one's being. Often, while writing, I have had the experience of opening to some inner knowing, some inner world, that no matter what words I use, what metaphors I am able to come up with, there is the distinct awareness, "That's not fully it." It's like (and, a metaphor here to say what can't be said) touching the top of the sky and naming that experience, only to realize the sky has no top. Even so, your naming the top that seemed to be the top raises you and your readers that far.
Artists who despair of their writing ~ and there are many, and they often are really good artists ~ sometimes do so because they sense, internally, what they are trying to reach for; and they know that, no matter how beautiful their writing, they have not fully limned that place, have not justly placed their hand around it to bring, a triumph-jewel, to their readers. I have been there; so have my writer-parents, who were both really wonderful writers, and who easily and frequently despaired.
But what I want to tell you, having in a single day touched into both wordless realms ~ the "devouring emptiness" and the expanded allness ~ is that it's okay. It's okay to bring back a glimpse of what you've touched, rather than the whole comprehensive package. It's okay to point a finger at the moon, rather than being able to bring back the moon on a string. It's okay to seek an elusive goal, to bring your best attempt at words to describe what cannot be described in words, it's okay; it's what we can do for ourselves and each other, to remind us of who we are below and beyond the poses of self-improvement. Whether disheveled or magnificent, we are on a journey to know ourselves as aspects of the one Being, and so everything we offer through our writing ~ humanly foibled or illuminated, or places in between ~ tells us something of who we are, tells our readers something of who they are, and erases the lines of separation that we ordinarily believe are real but in fact are only internally drawn lines, and at that, drawn in chalk, not stone.
~ ~ ~
"Ah, but a man's reach must exceed his grasp/
Or what's a heaven for?" ~ Robert Browning
"When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky
"no one ever asked me did I have a purpose, no one ever
wondered was there anything I might need,
for there was nothing
I could not
"It was when I left all we once were that
the agony began, the fear and questions came,
and I wept, I wept. And tears
I had never known
"So I returned to the river, I returned to
the mountains. I asked for their hand in marriage again,
I begged ~ I begged to wed every object
"and when they accepted,
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
'Where have you
"For then I knew my soul ~ every soul ~
has always held
~ Meister Eckhart
Copyright © 2011 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
3. WRITING YOUR OWN BOOK
Closer Than You Think
85% of people
believe they have a book inside them ~ here's a simple way to find out
like 85% of Americans (and others elsewhere in the world) you believe
you have a book inside you ~
what are you waiting for?
Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You will show you how you have it in you to write the book of your dreams.
Raved about by readers. Endorsed by creativity experts. An intimate companion for your dreams of expression, self-discovery, and book-writing,
Available now, in print and e-book versions.
The book you long to write is in you. Listening can bring it out.
"I miss you. Please write. ~ Love, your true nature."
4. A PEEK INSIDE THE WRITING OF
STARTING YOUR BOOK
Naomi Rose interviewed about the writing process
If you like behind-the-scenes
looks into the creative process, click below.
I was fortunate to be interviewed as part of the "Friday Author Series" on Self-Publishing Experts, and that interview is here for you to read.
Why read it (aside from its helping me promote my book)? Because when you look into someone's experience of the creative process, it intrigues and stimulates your own.
Writing ~ unlike, say, dancing ~ can't really be watched while it's happening. It's a largely invisible act, only visible once it's done. But what you can learn from is the writer's reflections on how the work came about, what was going on, and how it may relate to your own (current or future) process.
Besides, it's really interesting! Give a click and a read, here.
5. WRITING MEDICINE:
Flower Essence Remedies for Writers & Readers
Flowers are your healing friends!
Did you know that flower essence remedies can help you write your book (or poem, story, thesis, etc.) in many wonderful ways? It's true. And it's as easy as taking a few drops under the tongue, in a glass of water, or directly on the skin.
Rose Press' line of Flower Essence Remedies for Writers & Readers has been expressly designed to help writers get through obstacles and impasses common to human beings who want to write a long work like a book. Gently, effortlessly, they bring certain positive qualities to your emotional "body" so that you gradually begin to feel those qualities in your own mind and feelings. Once you experience clarity, for example, it's easy to see what you need to do in your writing. Once you experience confidence, the whole landscape of your writing changes for the better.
There are many wonderful qualities available to you for your writing ~ or indeed, any creative work you seek to do. The Rose Press flower essences can stimulate strength, stamina, big-picture-seeing, attention to details, self-compassion, acceptance, beginner's mind, nurturance, strength of will, and many other qualities valuable in writing ~ and in living.
These special blends have names that tell you what helpful properties will evolve in you by taking them. "The Writer's Muse." "Confident Expresssions." "Flow." "Self-Compassion: Rewriting the Past." "Seeing the Big Picture." "Coming in Closer ~ A Feeling for Detail." And more.
To see what wonderful, helpful qualities these flower blends can offer you, please click here.
6. STARTING YOUR BOOK
New, revised, gorgeous edition available!
A "book whisperer" charts a path to finding your own path through writing a book - and revealing your true nature in the process.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE that how you write a book is by sucking it up and churning it out, despite who you are and what's inside you,
You have a wonderful surprise in store.
My book, Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You, opens the door to the secret, inner world of book-writing: a world rarely made public until now. Where most writing books focus on the product alone, this intimate companion highlights the person doing the writing.
And you are the beneficiary.
Now available as a revised edition (print and e-book) of this much-loved guidebook to the writer (as well as writing) of a book, Starting Your Book can help you find your way to writing the book of your heart that only you can write ~ and that you are totally equipped to write.
Based on the pioneering work that I have done for decades as a book developer/"midwife," and offering an abundance of reflections, encouragements, practices, and revelations on how to bring who you really are into your writing (e.g., do you write "top-down" from the Linear Brain; "bottom-up" from the Artistic Brain; or somewhere in between?), STARTING YOUR BOOK will show you how to discover, treasure, and use what is in you to write the book of your heart . As you get more and more acquainted with what's inside you, you'll find that writing your book flows easily, surprising and frequently delighting you with what ~ and who ~ you find. And these blessings will translate naturally to the hearts of your readers.
"Naomi Rose's writings and personal coaching sessions have imbued me with so much that I'm grateful for, transforming and alchemizing things within that have manifested as deep writing. I'm happy to acknowledge her important influence on my writing life as I have others in the past: Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, and Eric Maisel, to name a few." ~ Chris Dunmire, Creative Director & Publisher, Creativity Portal (www.creativity-portal.com)
Part I. Answering the Call/ Chapter 1: Answering the Call
Part II. Preparing the Ground/ Chapter 2: Slowing Down and Listening Inside to Make Room to Receive What's There (Embracing the Blank Page/Listening/Slowing Down) * Chapter 3: The You Who Writes * Chapter 4: Why We Fear the Book-Writing Practice (Transforming Your Fear into Bright Willingness) * Chapter 5: Coming through the "Fear Barrier" * Chapter 6: The Value of Not Knowing Everything * Chapter 7: Discovering Your Unique Creative Pathways (Tuning) * Chapter 8: Making Sacred Time and Space for Writing
Part III: Knowing Your Equipment/ Chapter 9: Engaging the Linear and Artistic Brains: The Best of Both Worlds * Chapter 10: Are you a "Top Down" or a "Bottom Up" Kind of Writer? (Or Somewhere in Between?) * Chapter 11: The Magic of Desire; the Growth Hormone of Attention * Chapter 12: Now That You're Prepared ~
Part IV: Writing It Down/ Chapter 13: Easing into Your Heart * Chapter 14: Accessing What Your Heart Holds in Store * Chapter 15: How to Tell When You're on the Right Track * Chapter 16: But What About the Rest of the Book?
AFTERWORD/ How This Book Was Written * Invitation to Share Your Experiences
"What Naomi does superbly is to evoke the creative and articulate in each person who works with her ~ to such a degree that each one is surprised at his/her own talent for expression." ~ Gay Luce
Available now from Rose Press
And to bring the healing home all the way: There's a Rose Press Flower Essence Remedy for Writers designed to go with this book, called "You are the Treasure You Seek." Read the book, take the flower essence remedy, and watch your book begin to take form in the most wonderful way. $15/bottle.
Available on "Other Fragrant Offerings" page of Rose Press site.