Thursday, 26 September 2013

What writing does for me.

I've been doing a lot more writing of late - not so much on my blog - but writing for my newsletter and another project I'm involved with right now.  I have found a pattern to the way I feel before I write, during the process and after I've put my idea down on the page.
Firstly, on my days off from working with clients, ideas about my next piece of writing start to bubble to the surface, filtering through to the forefront of my mind.  This often happens when I'm out walking, running, cycling or just drinking tea in the garden. The outdoors certainly seems to be a catalyst for my creativity.
As the ideas present themselves I try not to grab at them or make sense of the images or words popping up. I stay with it and let it happen, though I can feel slightly nervous as a sense of needing to take more control over how I want the idea to evolve takes hold.  But if I am patient, and if I can leave it alone I know it will make for a much better piece in the end.  I often wonder too where that first seedling of an idea has come from.
Then a bit of fear creeps in as I become a little bit scared at the idea I won't have time to put down what I want to say or I won't word it well enough to be understood.  So, as if to prove to my headmind that it's just made a very pertinent point I avoid sitting down with my pen and notebook for a few days.  But then the idea quietly, and steadily takes on it's own form in my mind.
I know if I don't sit down soon I will start to feel agitated.  I have a hunger, a real feeling in the pit of my stomach that is screaming at me to sit down and write - if I don't there is a very real belief I might die.
I get a cup of tea - not too strong.
The cats are in, their bowls filled with food and water, my son is at school, my man is away golfing, the door is locked and I have a feeling of peacefulness matched by an equal dose of anticipatory excitement.
I sit for a moment in trepidation.
I put on some classical music, piano, orchestra, opera - depending on my mood -  then I listen to it for a few minutes, pick up my pen, open my notebook and start writing.
The moment is here!  The opening of my notebook signifies the green light for my thoughts, feelings and emotions to make contact with the paper. They are now formally introducing themselves to each other - like a family reuniting for the first time in years. They knew of each other, and always knew one day they'd get together, and now finally they get to share in this harmonious union.
As I start to write I feel an intense happiness.  My emotions are acutely linked to the words being drawn out on the sheets of paper.  The pen seems to write without me being very involved in the process.  That feeling of unity between the paper, the pen, my thoughts, my emotions, the music brings with it an indescribable sense of peace.
Once the writing is complete I feel a huge sense of relief, but also a gratifying emptiness that I know means I have created space for the next idea to present itself.
I've never written about what goes on for me during the process of writing. I wanted to share this with you, but also with myself.  Not sure how self indulgent that sounds!
My hope is that during those moments when I feel stuck, I can re-read this and remember how intensely enjoyable and healing writing can be for me, and hopefully for the reader too!
"I can't write to please everyone, but someone, somewhere will be touched if I put my heart into it." - Sara Winters
"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." - William Wordsworth

Sunday, 1 September 2013

How to get off that roller coaster of approval

Think of a roller coaster..only this one is different.. once you've boarded it there's no getting off.. it just keeps going and going stopping.
That relentless, tumultuous clattering going round and round, up and down, our hearts in our mouths one minute, then that sinking heaviness as we suddenly dip uncontrollably downwards. 
This nightmare reminds me of the futile cycle of seeking the approval of others.  This is especially true when the approval is sought from family members and loved ones.
Like children we present our best picture from school with baited breath and a fluttering anticipatory excitement in our tummy.  We wait to hear the response while searching for the glee and pride to spread across the face of our loving parent -  but nothing.  
Down we dip...lower and lower.
This sequence of events can be carried from our childhoods up into our adult relationships; so unless we learn how to stop the out of control roller coaster we are destined for a life filled with perpetual attempts to do the "right" thing, in the hope that we finally gain that elusive seal of approval from our loved one(s).  
Right now is the time to take back control of the choices you are making. Start doing what you want for your own fulfilment, and sense of well-being.  
No hidden agenda.  
No niggling thoughts of how this will be perceived by those you have being trying to please or gain approval from.  
Live your life from your unique view.  Take steps every day to do things that make your heart sing and leave you feeling uplifted.  Live the life you are here to live. 
Making choices based on the invisible belief we might get a pat on the back from someone is a waste of two priceless attributes - energy and time.  We want to preserve both of those things, and I'd rather use my energy and time doing things that engage, challenge, stimulate and uplift.  
We can only be accountable to ourselves for ourselves.  By genuinely being ourselves there is a certain inevitability that we will please others - it just might not be your parents or loved ones.  
However, if your improved health and the ability to step off the relentless roller coaster is the result then I encourage you to start making your plans now! 
"A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep." - Vernon Howard
"Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people.  Don't base your self esteem on their opinions." - Harvey Mackay