In Beauty I Write

studiodesk.spring.nemiah.focusd

Before I begin to write, this is what I do.

I ask for help.

I am writing, I say. Come and play and imagine and daydream and write and create in concert with me. I say this to my angels and guides, to Source, to the universe around me and within me. Come and play.

I am always answered.

Two days ago I am doing this, thinking ahead of the blog post I want to write today. Into my mind pop the words ‘in Beauty I walk’. The Beauty Way Chant.

I am not Diné. But I am human and these words show up in my life at various times.

In Beauty before me I walk,

In Beauty behind me I walk,

In Beauty below me I walk,

In Beauty above me I walk,

In Beauty all around me I walk,

It is finished in Beauty,

It is finished in Beauty,

It is finished in Beauty,

It is finished in Beauty.

 

The words are here now.

This chant, this blessing moves into me as soon as I read or hear the beginning words.

I breathe deeper. My mind slows, my body quiets. I feel my weight on the earth. I am present to this moment in time (time doesn’t exist, I hear as I write this, there is only now). My heart opens and listens.

Here in this place of no-time, I stand in creation. Here is all balance and harmony, all life in concert with all life. Here is holy, sacred, all blessing. Here is love. Joy. Here is breath and being and all connection. Here is Beauty, whole, one.

These words shift me into communication with life. I am not just Cat, the single small me. I am Cat, a creation point among many creation points. I am supported, guided, gifted with inspiration and vision.

This is what asking for help does.

It connects me to all that supports me.

I have had two long conversations this week about releasing old feelings of being alone and unsupported in work and life. I know this is no longer me. I know all I need do is ask for help, and help arrives. Words, resources, and people show up. Ideas and images appear. I have a whole world supporting me. I am never alone, unless I choose it.

This is what the words and energy of the Beauty Way Chant do for me.

They connect me to all that supports me. Instantly. Perfectly. With ease and with grace, they stand me in creation.

Every one of us has something that opens us into grace like this. It may take the form of words or image or sound, an object, a person, a place. We just need to recognize it and then choose it, deliberately and consciously. Choose to ask. Choose to be supported, connected.

Choose to stand in grace in creation.

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Happy Birthday, Bryan!  I love you.  Your presence in my life is a gift. xoxo Mom

 

 

 

 

Start at the very beginning

etchasketch.blogDecember 31st.  The end of this year.  One step away from the year to come.

I am ending and beginning my year with beginner’s mind.  Open.  Curious.  Passionate.  Allowing.  Accepting.

Beginner’s mind is creation mind.  For me, the best and only place to be.

Last January, in the beginning days of this blog, I wrote about beginner’s mind and Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.  I love this book, love how it both enlightens and mystifies me.  Suzuki Roshi knew creation mind.  I am sure of it, because this is what he said:

‘The Zen way of calligraphy is to write in the most straightforward, simple way as if you were a beginner, not trying to make something skillful or beautiful, but simply writing with full attention as if you were discovering what you were writing for the first time; then your full nature will be in your writing.  This is the way of practice moment after moment.’

Then further along, he says:  ‘This is also the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.’

This is how I am choosing to end and begin, stepping from 2015 into 2016.  This is how I am choosing to live 2016.

Be a beginner.  Give myself permission to play.  Be open and curious and in love with my life.  Risk the possibility of ugly art and bad writing.  Risk the possibility of beauty that shines through the drawing and sings in every word.  Use everything in my life, and see what happens.  Let myself stand in this present moment and receive what is here for me.

Do this, and through it all, choose love, choose love, choose love.

Happy New Year, Cat!  Happy New Year, all of Us! xoxoxo

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In this post:

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, originally published in 1970, currently published by Shambhala

Given grace

Crowgirl Words
Crowgirl Words

I have a new word in my heart’s vocabulary.  Grace.

New to me, yet this is an old word.  I’ve heard people talk about the ‘grace of God’.  There, but for the grace of God, go I.  The song Amazing Grace tells of being taught by grace, and saved by grace.

In this world, I see grace being beauty, being tenderness and mercy, being forgiveness and reprieve and absolution.  Grace as a gift, given unexpectedly and lovingly, that relieves, rescues, saves.

I think grace is connection, a gift in the same way love is a gift.  Always here with me.  Always available and speaking to me.  Always holding me in its embrace.  I need only open my heart, and become grounded and present.

Grace is another word for love, another word for Source, for God.

I see the grace given in my life.  Love.  Connection.  Forgiveness.  Beauty.  Gratitude.

Grace is what writes with me, these words on this page.  Whispers in my ear, write this, then this, and this.  Grace opens my heart to my life, all of it.  Opens my senses to what is around me in this moment.  Says to me, use everything.  All is inspiration, when I am open to grace and vulnerable to life.

Open.

Letting myself become vulnerable.

The dictionary defines vulnerable as being available to injury.  In other words, I am being advised to stay closed off.  Closed is safe.  Vulnerable is being in danger.

Surely vulnerable can simply mean open.

When I am vulnerable to all in my life, I learn and understand.  I feel and do what could be difficult and painful, but I hold it and myself in love.  And then grace holds me, and I find my way through.  Nothing to force or fight, nothing to push against in anger or fear, nothing to close away from.

I think the dictionary writers got it wrong.  Vulnerable is not being available to injury.  Vulnerable is being available to grace and love. It is standing deep in my life, open-hearted and accepting all I experience.

Available to my life.  Using everything.  An open heart.  This is grace.  Given, and accepted.

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Mentioned in this post:

Amazing Grace, song by John Newton (1725 – 1807)

Postcard #6 – Revising

5 Crows Silver, 6 Crows Gold
5 Crows Silver, 6 Crows Gold

I had this idea I could whip through creating the second draft of my book.  I’ve got a month.  The first draft is pretty good.  No problem.  I can do this.

Hmmmm.

I am revising my idea of revising.  Like, I maybe should expect that this second draft will take me as long as writing the first draft.  The first three weeks of April have shown me this.

I admit it.  I am a virgin when it comes to second drafts.  I mean, I was a virgin.  Can’t claim, and blame, that any longer.

I am in the messy midst of second draft, and I am enjoying it.  A different process than first draft.  I am pickier.  Rather than ‘let’s get this down’, it is ‘let’s get this right.’  I am playing with words in a different way.  I am studying them, drop by drop, rather than pouring out a whole bucketful of water onto the page and moving quickly to the next page to pour another bucketful.

First draft was falling in love with a crowd.  Second draft is loving the individual beauty of a word, phrase, sentence, and hearing how they link and don’t link to those beside them.  Second draft is choosing the particular beauty I want my book to be, and matching all to this.

I still love the parts that don’t link up, that don’t match this single beauty.  I see their different beauty, and know they will fit somewhere else, some other time.  I put them aside.

I’ve had to adjust my word goal for Camp Nanowrimo.  Downwards.  Make it smaller.  Doable.  That is alright.  I am learning a new writing process, my revision process, and this is exciting.

So, a toast.  Raise your coffee mugs, tea cups, wineglasses, and all.  Here’s to a longer revision process.  Here’s to getting it right, and to particular beauty.  Here’s to second drafts and being a writer.

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Mentioned in this post:

Camp Nanowrimo     http://campnanowrimo.org