I’m writing to you today from the commuter rail into Boston-I’ve got a cozy window seat where I can sit and watch the sun rise over the cranberry bogs, pine forests and russet toned oaks shining in the warming day. Paul Simon is wooing me on my headphones, the clouds are marching a silent cadence across the wide blue sky and I’m lulled into musing by the gentle rocking of the train.
I’m on my way to Grub Street, my favorite writer’s hub in Boston for an all day workshop by one of my most favorite teachers ever! We’ll spend a day jamming on the craft of writing together; I usually leave these workshops with enough material to chew on for six months. Wheee!
Which brings me to telling you my secret
I’m writing a book! Have been for a few years, actually, but now it’s officially official as I’ve decided to dedicate this school year to pairing down extra activities and finishing my manuscript. So if you see me around, you have my full permission to ask How’s the Book going in an ominous voice!
There has been an undercurrent of words, experiences, personalities, beauty and sorrow building in me for the last twenty years. Words have been collecting at the bottom of my consciousness, sitting like sediment, growing in volume, pushing to the surface of my mind, creating a bridge of language between the darkest realms of my being and the external world of time and relationships. Little bubbles of haiku, the occasional folk-song written with the aid of my sweet-sounding guitar, endless scribbles in my journals gathering momentum, are spilling onto the page. Insistingly, the words demand that I listen, even more they push against my physical body and demand release onto the page, causing annoyance and painfully braced shoulders lest I ignore their burst into the grit of black and white ink.
Why I’m Scared
Yet at the same time I’m terrified. Terrified to reveal my weakness, as it’s been a long standing insecurity to have other people see me in a moment of weakness. Can you relate? But, I’ve been giving it a whirl with my latest blog posts and I’ve been humbled and awed by the response of my readers, which includes you, dear friend! People have told me that
Thank you, Gita, for sharing your experience with me.I can feel the love and encouragement that you exude in every word that you share with me
Thank you for being an incredible inspiration to us all. You are a wonderful reminder for me and many others I am sure. I just wanted to let you know that you touch me deeply and I am richer for it!!
Your emails help me figure things out in a different light. Thank you for sharing.. It helps me realize the load of grief isn’t quite so heavy if i know I’m not alone in it.
You, dear reader, give me courage to keep telling my story. After all if we own our stories then we can write our own ending! I heard that phrase from Brene Brown and I just love it, check out more about her below…
How writing can help you move to peace and health
Ideas to get started
- Keep a gratitude journal. Sounds cheesy, but it totally works. Brene Brown, a research professor at University of Houston has found that gratitude is the antidote to catastrophic thinking. You know, crazy making thoughts like I’m worried she’ll get into an accident on the way to my party, I’m worried they won’t like me, what if I get cancer, what if he has an affair. Yup, gratitude is the tonic for this type of negative nasty thinking. Here’s how it works, every night before bed, or in the morning when you get up, just write down ten things you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. For example: I am grateful that it’s sunny today. I’m grateful for my friend Anne’s laugh. I’m grateful that I have that fancy Earl Grey tea I love in the cupboard. I’m grateful for my internet access. Give it a whirl!
- Morning Pages These absolutely saved my life. I started my journey with Julia Cameron’s legendary book The Artist’s Way back in 2005, where she taught me to get up every morning and write three pages of long hand stream of consciousness writing. You just write, with no eye to reading it, sharing it, or even keeping it. In fact, most of my pages were ripped up and thrown away. The magic comes in the act of just setting down your thoughts on paper. I had wicked anxiety in those days, and I began letting my anxiety burn onto three pages. I started to notice repetitive thoughts, patterns, and hidden longings, all of which seemed to find a catalytic action on the page, beginning a life transformation. Writing longhand seems to help, the act of moving the hand across the page, of being kinesthetically connected to the words as they form into material seems to be a bit of magic in creation.
- Haiku A bunch of my colleagues love their Haiku Tuesday jam on Facebook. A haiku is just a short poem, generally 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Here’s one I wrote in grade school, it’s been following me around ever since! Roses are blooming/they are a beautiful red/they perfume the air. Haikus are easy, fun, and they capture moments in time that otherwise might rush by unnoticed.
That’s for now, my lovelies.
Om Shanthi Om, peace to you,