Permission To Shine

I Walked Land Where Sky Became My Shelter (Hermann)
I Walked Land Where Sky Became My Shelter (Hermann)

I’m in a store last Friday, standing in the cashier’s line. The place is busy and people are chatting as they wait. I’m not paying much attention to the hum. Then I hear someone close by me say something.

The nail that sticks out gets hammered.

Ouch. I’ve heard this saying before. It’s a warning. Don’t be different, don’t stand out, the words say. Stay small and quiet, in the crowd of everyone else who is staying small and quiet.

Fear. Be afraid. Hide, or you will get hurt.

Someone else’s saying. Not mine. Not any more.

I say, Be Love. Let Myself Shine.

I want to know all of the unique, loving being that is me. I want to surprise myself with the beauty I can create. If I hide I will never know these things.

Every day I give myself permission to be love, to let myself shine. Some days I’m not so shiny. I wake up afraid that who I am and what I create is not good enough to share, not good enough to exist in any visible way. I want to hide, fearful that I will be that nail that gets hammered down.

I don’t hide. Instead, I get out of bed and go into my studio. I sit down at my work table, and look around at all I have created. I let myself see and feel what I have brought into my life and then shared with the world. I touch all the things I’m in the midst of creating. I feel how much I love this process. How love becomes joy in the linking of marks to become shape, in the forming of words and sentences to become thought visible on the page.

The fear I feel vanishes in the face of all this love.

I am learning to do this, bit by bit, day by day. I am learning to give myself permission to feel love rather than fear, even when the world is telling me be afraid, don’t stick out.

I give myself permission. I choose.

Be Love. Let Myself Shine.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US!  Your friendship is such a gift!  xo

Lions and tigers and writer’s block

The Wizard Of Oz - original movie poster 1939
The Wizard Of Oz – original movie poster 1939

Think The Wizard of Oz. The 1939 movie with Judy Garland as Dorothy.

Dorothy and Scarecrow and Tin Man are walking through a forest. It is creepy.  The light is dim. They start talking about what might be hiding. Lions. Tigers. Bears. Oh no! They manage to scare themselves silly by the end of the scene, even though there are no lions or tigers or bears. The Cowardly Lion, who they eventually meet, is nowhere near scary.

This is what I have been doing the last two months. Scaring myself silly. Imagining lions and tigers and bears. Blocking the writing on my book.

I’ve been doing other things instead of my book. Useful good things, I tell myself. Yes, true, they are. But it is odd how I do those useful good things first, plan to get to my book writing second, and somehow never get there.

I’m watching this happen. Two months of watching and not doing. I can’t seem to break the pattern. I’m not choosing to. What is stopping me?

Over my years of creating, I have run myself into blocks and scared myself a lot. I see what’s happening and I find my way through. Every time. Except now.

I could blame it on the fact that this is my first experience writing the second draft of a book. I don’t know what to expect, don’t yet know my process for this kind of creating, or how long it might take me. I do know this long at not-writing is too long.

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This is not a test

 rainbow.alexiscreek

Start here. This is not a test.

I discovered a few days ago that I live my life as if it’s a test I have to pass. Something in me decided this, a long time ago.

The test never ends. I never know if I have aced it or failed it. I don’t know who the tester is, or if there are more than one. I don’t know what the questions are and whether I’ve been asked one, and if I answered correctly or not.

Wow.

This explains a lot. Why I am keyed up and have to consciously work at relaxing my body and mind. Why I sometimes look at others and feel I can’t stand equal with them. Why I always feel I am being judged. Why I don’t play enough and feel vaguely guilty when I do. Why everything I do has to have a purpose. Why I am frequently not satisfied. Why I pass by my successes, barely giving them and me any acknowledgment. Why I do things, love what I’ve created, then it’s bang—onto the next thing right away because I have no time to waste.

How sad.

I can say, and mean it and know it, that I am happy most of the time in my life. This is true. My heart is open and present and connected and creating. Loving. Joyful. True. I can feel it. Most of the time.

Yet there is this low-level background tension running the other stuff that I listed three paragraphs back. Stuff I have been ignoring, that creeps in between the love and joy and happiness.

Time to let this go.

I choose. There is no test. No Test. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

There is just my life and what I want to create in it. And no test.

I am letting this sink in. This feels GOOD.

My shoulders just dropped two inches. I can breathe. I can enjoy what I am doing. I can play.

Tigger and Totoro--Go Play!
Tigger and Totoro–Go Play!

Yes. I can play. I can wander out of that stuffy Life Classroom I caged myself in, give the door a slam on the way out, and watch the whole place collapse in a heap. Better yet, invite Wile E. Coyote to blow it sky high with one of his Acme missiles. Right on target. Ka-boom! Wile E. takes a bow. The Road Runner and I applaud. Then we all go play. Dibs on the slide!

Yes. Life is not a test. Go play.

Pilgrim

Archangel (Sariel)
Archangel (Sariel)

I’ve been listening to Sonia Choquette on the Hay House World Summit 2015.  Sonia talks about walking the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain.  Eight hundred kilometers.  Five hundred miles.  A pilgrimage.  She carries grief on the long walk.  Deaths of a brother and father, the breaking of a long marriage, the certainty of failure in her life’s work.  She walks and forgives, walks and lets go.  Finds her way through to Santiago, balance, and home.

I am a pilgrim in my own life.  Finding my way.  The map is my heart.  I walk with my map open, certain and sure of each loving, joyful step.  I walk with my map closed, lost and aching, blind and stumbling.  Refusing to see and feel.  Refusing to take the single action that will save me—open my heart again.

Stubborn has been one of my words, and sometimes it fits me like a tailored suit of clothes.  Resistant.  Unwilling.  Yes, those too.  I’ll do it myself.  Say this quietly.  Pretend to go along with other people’s agendas, and then shift to the side and onto my own path.

Focused is the word I use now, rather than stubborn.

I need to learn things on my own.  I can be told something, but I need to test it out, experience it for myself.  See and feel all through me, the truth of something.

An example.

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Postcard #1 – Permission

Counting Crows
Counting Crows

Raven, who came by five weeks ago to tell me to play, has come to Camp Nanowrimo with me.  He is whispering in my ear right now.  Say yes, he says and dips his head up and down, Give yourself permission.

I have been writing steadily since before last summer.  First my book draft, then the blog, now the book revision and blog at the same time.  I am writing.  I am a Writer.  Really, I have been writing stories since Grade Three.  But apparently I have not actually given myself permission to be a Writer.

I didn’t know that.  I thought if I was doing this, permission was implied.  Not, according to Raven.

My family and friends all know what I am doing and creating.  I have their steady support and interest.

Not that I asked for it or needed to ask for it, but I have full permission from the Universe, from Source.  I experience it every day in the gifts that come my way.  Time, resources, inspiration, support, response to what I create.

So I have permission from all except myself.

I love to write, draw, create.  It is joy and play to me.  It is my work.

Some old pattern in me thinks that joy and play cannot mix with work.  Work has to be serious.  Work has to be hard.  Work is not to be enjoyed.

Well, I say crap to that.  I am making a different choice and creating a new pattern for myself.

I choose that my writing is my work.  I choose that my work is play.  I choose to keep writing and playing with love and joy and passion.  I give myself full permission to write, to play with my writing, to love my writing, to enjoy my writing.

This is my place in the world, at my work table in my studio.  Paper, pens, laptop.  Head, heart, words.  The view out my window.  This is permission.  I am a Writer.

I have all I need.

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Mentioned in this post:

Camp Nanowrimo    http://campnanowrimo.org    campnanowrimo

Loved

img181It is windy today outside my studio window.  Sun. Cloud.  Spring, and the weather can’t make up its mind.  I’m voting of course for sun, my favourite.  It is warm enough to have the window open.  The air smells cool and green.

Fresh air.  That is what I am inviting in today.  I’ve been thinking about disappointment, what it is, where it comes from, what melts it away.  I’m airing out an old belief here on the page.

I woke Saturday morning with the oddest thought, flashing by so quickly I almost missed it.  But I didn’t.  I caught it.

There, caught in the net of my awareness.  I am a very young child, a baby.  Baby-me is thinking ‘I am a disappointment’.  The adult-me watching this knows this is referring to my parents.  This is all feeling, no words, but adult-me is translating the feeling.  Accurately.

A feeling that becomes a belief.  Baby-me is believing that I am a disappointment to the ones I love and who love me back.

I write this, and now I ask myself, ‘Have I believed this all of my life?’

Yes.

Is this belief true?

My heart says loudly, lovingly, firmly, No.

I can tell that my head still believes, despite my heart knowing the belief is not true.  I trust what my heart says over the belief that sits in my head.

Time to sort this one out.

I was born with crossed eyes, strabismus the doctors call it.  Some cultures believe that people with crossed eyes can see both into the future and the past.  Cool.

Not so cool for first-time parents, though, who are loving and worrying about their brand new child in equal measure.  And then there are all the well-meaning family and friends who are saying……

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I remember

 

I Called Light and Dark and Wove the Cloth of Life (Charlene)
I Called Light and Dark and Wove the Cloth of Life (Charlene)

 

I use my memories as a path of healing.

In yesterday’s post ‘Start with joy’, I write about finding joy in my physical connection to an image of beauty, to water and earth, and to a memory of myself at three years old.

For me, the process of finding a healing memory is intuitive.  I trust that I can recall all of my life, and that I can use what I recall to bring myself to wholeness and health.  The type of emotions in the memory make no difference, whether my head is judging them comfortable or painful.  I choose to use all of my life in this healing.

This takes love.  In the process of ‘I Remember’, the love I use can be for anything.  It can be for a person, an animal, a place, a toy, a pair of shoes.  Love is connection, and gives somewhere to begin.  The point is the feeling, and the stronger it is, the better.  Love includes trust and acceptance.  It allows me to trust and accept the process I am doing, my memories, and myself.

This is what I do.

I choose a space where I feel comfortable, safe, and private.  Most often, I use my studio where I write and draw.  My studio is my heart and my nest.  It is filled with things I love, that make me feel happy and inspired—toys from my childhood, favourite books, handmade gifts from family and friends, photographs.  These things are play, beauty, and heart.

A quiet atmosphere is necessary.  It is vital that I hear only my inner voice during this process.  I close the door.  My family is used to this now, but initially it took some training for all of us.  I learned to know that I am worthy of time alone with myself, and my family learned that my temporary absence would not create disaster.  They understand not to interrupt me or disturb my privacy.  I use earplugs or relaxing music to mask any noise in the house.  This allows me to focus.

Continue reading “I remember”