To have a writing process, one needs to be writing.
I kept up as well as I could during the pandemic lockdown amidst all the stress and added work of remote learning for my school-aged children. After the release of Anything That Happens, I shifted my writing energy to marketing. Now that I’m in the midst of summer days, full of disparate activities and routine upheaval, I need to get back to the writer’s chair. Yes, I am writing right now. But blog posts are all that I’m writing at the moment. And it’s not enough.
It’s likely I have said this before, but from what I know, important things need repeating. A sentiment reaffirmed by meditation teacher and psychologist Tara Brach. She talks about meditation as an act of remembering. Remember to breathe. Remember to clear the mind, focus on the sensations in the body and the sounds in the room. Be present. She describes the act of remembering as “waking up.”
Writing is the foundation to what keeps my happy, happy. I’ve always written first and foremost for me. I need the mental and emotional dump. Sitting at my desk, listening to The Hours soundtrack by Philip Glass, and writing poetry eases stress. It’s a place I am my honest expression, my “waking up.” And I’m usually good at feeding my writing process. This summer is different for many reasons. But I’m certain the pandemic, and the year that it consumed, continues to underlie all other stressors. I don’t have to read the news to know I’m not alone. Every therapist I know, from massage to clinical psychologist, is busier than ever.
Last month, I mentioned relaxing into the disorder of the summer. I adapted pretty well but recently started feeling like I was being ricocheted through the days. Just this week, I realized a crucial piece that keeps me grounded was missing: Writing. Today, I remember there is always time to write. There has to be. Everyone around me, especially my raucous children, is better off when I slow down and clear my mind–sometimes by meditation, most often by writing.
I feel better already.
Another virtual book launch question answered.
Where does shame now live (or hide, or fade, or die) for you?
When I answered this question at the launch, my first thought was the book. It was the logical answer. I had spent years dissecting my shame and studying guilt. The book became my container to place it all, polished and readied for show. But…
The more I thought about the question, the more I saw shame’s tendrils in my life. Why do I struggle with being an authority? What areas in my life do I still feel like I don’t deserve something? What more is there to uncover?
I know I don’t wear a veil of shame every day.
I also know that I held onto shame for so long it changed how I see myself at a deep level. So deep that I don’t notice it–I believe it’s who I am.
Shame doesn’t beat me down like it once did. But, I believe shame still tells me I’m not good enough sometimes. Writing a book doesn’t cure those feelings. Sharing the book and talking about shame helps tremendously (like this question from the launch). And luckily, I have memory. Similar to remembering to breathe and remembering to write, I remember that the more I remain true to my honest self, the tentacles of shame will let go.
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