“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
Today I learned a lesson. It’s been an odd and stressful day and sometimes that’s when I am the most teachable. Twice I tried to write a blog, but lack of time prevented me from finishing. I dealt with a lot of obstacles, fears and confusion. I was frustrated that I couldn’t write. Fortunately my Muse teased me by asking, “Where’s my blog?” That calmed me down and helped me realize something.
The day just felt too busy and I didn’t get time to finish any writing. Then I got this e-mail this morning from Stephen Dinan of The Shift Network. It said this:
For me, there is no better way to access my heart's truth, my soul's wisdom, and free myself from the past than writing. It's a pathway into total honesty, emotional nakedness, and sacred insight.
We're trained to think of spiritual practices as something we do on a cushion or by focusing our awareness in quietude. And yet the journey of liberation is a lot about getting really honest and clear. A transformative practice of journaling is one of THE most important ways that we can free ourselves from old stories, clear negative emotions and open to your higher wisdom.
It is time for writing to take a respected place of honor among more venerated spiritual practices like meditation and prayer. Indeed, there is perhaps no more powerful tool to work with our stories, our emotions, our dreams and our hopes.
By focusing our mind on crystallizing the essence of our feelings, peeling back the layers of truth and seeking a higher vision, we can create an open channel for our soul to, quite literally, incarnate into our lives.
Writing is a spiritual practice. It gets me in touch with God and myself. It calms me down and brings me peace. Interestingly, a friend told me I needed to take time every day and think about what’s really important. That’s why I write every day. It reminds me of what’s important in both practical and spiritual matters. When I write, I’m not only thinking, I’m taking action. The point of the action is to be peace. The point of being at peace is to approach life and its inevitable problems peacefully. I need to be calm and spiritual.
Today my youngest daughter fell apart because of a complex homework assignment that overwhelmed her. In addition, her sister was going swimming with some friends and my youngest wanted to go. She also wanted to finish her homework. With tears streaming down her face she said, “I just don’t know what to do!”
I’ve had that feeling before and I knew that I needed to be the calm and spiritual one who could help her. So we sat and worked and talked and discussed. It was fun. It felt like I was doing something important and necessary. We didn’t finish, but all she needed was someone to say, “I know you’re confused. It’s okay. I’ll stay with you. Just write.”
That’s what my Muse does for me every day. Often I approach my writing with fear and confusion. I might be tired or scared. I might not know what to write. I might be worried that someone won’t like what I write. But then my Muse says, “It’s okay. I’ll stay with you. Just write.”
So I’m writing and that’s my message and my Purpose. I’m writing because my Muse is standing by me. Even when I don’t write, she’s standing by and waiting. Of course, she waits quietly (unless she’s teasing me) and she doesn’t usually give me any ideas until I start working, but I can always count on her. So I want to make her happy and that’s why, despite the busyness of the day, I don’t mind staying up to get a message to her, to thank her for her love, support and faithfulness.
I don’t mind telling others and telling myself to Get Started and Keep Going. Today was an odd day and even a fearful day, but I still got a lot done. The most important thing I realized was that fear and obstacles and busyness could not stop me from being with my Muse. I also realized that I want to center tomorrow and all my activities around writing. Being with my Muse will be my priority and everything else will come after that. That was my lesson for the day.