I can’t find anything clever
Or beautiful to write tonight
the moon is gone
Who does that?
Who takes a moon?
So much comes up for us as writers. Concerns and vulnerabilities around our subject and themes. We ask ourselves: Who am I to share this? Who cares? Is my writing or message good enough? I feel so vulnerable and even afraid to share my story, so why share it? Will any of this make a difference?
All these concerns and vulnerabilities, I want to reassure you, go with the writer’s life. You have probably seen The Power of Vulnerability by Renee Browne. This is worth another viewing.
I would pursue your inner nudge to write and to share your story. I am working on a book for writers. The name of which reveals a universal experience we writers (at all stages of our writing) have: So What and Who Cares? The thing is, those of us who have a personal and vulnerable story and who have likely been shut down or shut up, have to dig inside for that courage, that calling, to share our stories. Sharing our stories is important and valuable. (I will keep saying this. Truth is worth a repeat).
The other truth is: IT’S DOABLE. I can truly say if I can write a book (now 11), and get them published, anyone can. This is where the trust comes in: trusting your calling, trusting yourself and trusting others (me, future readers, the world). And, I am certain your writing is far, far more beautiful and well-written then you may let yourself know. I start all my writing with stream-line of consciousness — this is great. I just get the idea and words on the page, no concern of how well the writing is. This is a perfect place to start. Then we get to go back and re-write and explore all the ways we can make what is meaningful to us, meaningful to our readers.
For the past two weeks I have been offering a free virtual writing circle (for 40 writers). At least 20 show up every day. In my welcome email each morning I give writing prompts for on and off the page. Here are mine for today (enjoy):
Writing Prompt: Using a stream-line of consciousness, write about what you don’t remember. Repeat this line: “I don’t remember,” without lifting your pen off the page and without stopping to think. Even if you have to repeat several times the one line, I don’t remember, do so... keep the pen moving. Something will come, something will show up on the page . . .(You can pick a subject or person that’s relevant to a writing project).
Off the page prompts: Today, spend some time on your deck, porch or in your yard, with your field notebook. Take notes of the sounds you hear. Make a list of every sound you hear. Then later today, bring the two pieces together — What you don’t remember and the sounds you heard. Write a poem.
Tonight watch https://vimeo.com/watch. Fantastic Fungi (if you haven’t already).
"We shall awaken from our dullness and rise vigorously toward justice. If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion." – Hildegard von Bingen
Buy your Writing Sherpa a Cuppa of Java: HERE. But no worries if you can’t! That’s how this works — I can offer free retreats and virtual writing circles and consultations because those who can buy me a cup of java, do. It all works so beautifully. Thank you. And, keep writing.
How are you doing?
One way I navigate this time of confinement is to be on-line with others as much as possible each day. My virtual writing circle meets up every week day from 11:00 till 1:00 PM and there are 40 of us writers who are "in" each day. It's lovely to see the email response expand and get that sense of us being together, writing. I also do ZOOM visits and consultations, as well as ZOOM counseling. I just got a call from a friend in Florida who I haven't heard from in decades. My daughter and I have decorated the sidewalk with messages and will do so again after the rain. I am sending out cards, texts, and my version of smoke signals.
Being confined doesn't have to mean isolated.
I offer writing prompts along with each virtual writing circle meet up -- if you need a writing prompt, send me an email request and I will send one out to you. And if you want to join in with the virtual writing circle for next week, let me know.
There are ways to connect.
Please reach out.
You can take The Initiated Writer™, my on-line course. I'm signing up for one David Whyte is offering, and I'm seriously considering Neil Gaiman's Master Class on Fiction Writing. Of course there are many, many wonderful writing classes through the UW, Madison Continuing Studies (I teach a Creative Nonfiction Class).
Here's another good read and resource: Writing Through Wordlessness in a Time of Isolation by Tishani Doshi on Seclusion and Life Along the Coast.
We are in this together.
I am here.
SOMETIMES. by David Whyte
if you move carefully
through the forest,breathing
like the ones
in the old stories,who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,you come to a place
whose only taskis to trouble you
but frightening requests,conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
andto stop what you
while you do it,questions
that can make
that have patiently
waited for you,questions
that have no right
to go away.
Buy A Cuppa Java for Julie One-time Blog Donation: https://www.julietallardjohnson.com/payments.html
Your support helps keep this Sherpa writing and helping others.
“Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.” – Lynn Ungar
When someone I know had lost a loved one or a dear pet, I felt uncomfortable and uncertain with what to say. But when my brother died a couple months ago, I found the simple “sorry for your loss,” profoundly comforting.
I find this basic truth helpful as we navigate this critical time: Keep it simple. We are connected, and we can help each other in simple but profound ways.
PANDEMIC by Lynn Ungar.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath--
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
I hesitated sending out this blog, again confronted with the internal resistance of what to say. Does my share and reach-out really matter?
That’s it for each of us really. Even if only one of you receive this message as helpful, you are worth my time. Reaching out, letting others know you are with them in heart, that’s important. It matters.
Sorry for your loss.
How can I help?
I am here.
Times such as these can bring forth the best within us: our generosity, our humanity and our knowing that we are in this together. We can choose to learn and evolve from such frightening encounters with crisis, or not.
What I understand about this situation is that it’s not whether we get through it but how. And that this health crisis is likely to happen again, in some form or another. There will be losses. But let not the losses be our compassion or connection to one another.
I invite you to consider what you can do, to go to that uncomfortable but resilient place of reaching out to neighbors, strangers, and loved ones. I invite you to bring forth the best in yourself and others through simple acts of generosity, connection and service.
On my to do list?: Purchase a book from my local bookstore. Write uplifting messages on my sidewalk with chalk. Send out this blog. Share poems. Set up a virtual writing circle. (Email me if you want to be part of it.) Take a virtual yoga class. Write letters to friends and family. Write on my book. Check to see how I may help in my community. Meditate a bit more. Make phone calls. Offer my on-line classes for free to people who can’t afford them. Check up on the elderly in my life who are confined. Deliver a care package from Amazon to a few people. Contemplate how I might be of help to someone today. Walk my dogs. Get caught up on stuff. Smile at everyone, from a distance. Write some more.
I am here.
How can I help?
“Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)”. – Lynn Ungar (Check out and purchase her lovely poetry book!)
My on-line classes: Be The Cause of Your Life
The Initiated Writer
I am available for phone or ZOOM sessions during this time of confinement. Email to schedule. Julie@julietallardjohnson.com Fee is based on your ability to pay.
Email me and let me know how you are doing! Julie@julietallardjohnson.com
“While memories may not give us the power to change reality, it can at least raise a question in our hearts when a lie comes our way.” Yan Lianke
Yan Lianke, in a letter to his students: “I hope that each of you, and all of us who’ve experienced the catastrophic COVID-19 will become people who remember.” Here is is full article (worth the read): lithub.com/yan-lianke-what-happens-after-coronavirus: What Happens After Coronavirus? On Community Memory and Repeating Our Own Mistakes.
As writers, may we help raise those question in future hearts "when a lie comes our way."
One of my favorite weeks as your Writing Sherpa is working with writers at Write-by-the-Lake. I have put together all the best of my writing prompts and methods to generate movement for you as a writer. No matter where you are at with your writing -- be it an idea, journals filled with notes, or a first rough draft -- You will leave fully equipped and ready to continue to write about your life experiences, stories, and wisdom.
This dynamic workshop has helped dozens of writers frame their ideas, get their book written and out to publishers. You too will know how to share your wisdom, ideas and stories in a captivating way. Write a narrative that reaches readers and gets publishers’ attention. The magic and skill is in making what is personally meaningful to the writer (you), meaningful and captivating for our readers.
I use transformational writing prompts that inspire you to write and the reader to be engaged in your stories. We will be writing inside and outside the class, with every day full of writing prompts, explorations, and methods to inspire you to write captivating nonfiction.
Extra bonuses from this class will be your ability to write better blogs, articles, or any other creative nonfiction piece. In addition, all my work with writers includes helping them to identify personalized ways to make a living from their writing.
Write‑by‑the‑Lake Writer's Workshop & Retreat
Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Early bird pricing ends May 18! My Write‑by‑the‑Lake workshop is limited to 15 writers and can fill quickly.
REGISTRATION DETAILS here.
Here is an excerpt from The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are. A favorite practice of mine. For the graphic of the Mandala that accompanies this practice please email me a request and I will send you one. Or find it in The Zero Point Agreement.
The Wish-Fulfilling Mandala
The wish-fulfilling mandala is a simple tool that allows you to manifest your intention, as you release a pain story. You will experience immediate results through the use of this mandala. It’s a simple practice to transform negative mind-sets and experiences to allow for direct spiritual and creative experience. It facilitates the transformation of pain stories, difficulties, and resistances into a way of living that is inspired by intention. It’s a wish-fulfilling tool.
Begin with the center circle. In this circle identify a strong assumption or pain story you hold that you know influences your inner and outer landscape. Identify something that you are struggling with. This could be about how you view yourself or the world around you. Consider it as a title to a pain story. Examples are: “I am never enough,” “No one can be trusted,” “I am not appreciated at work,” “I can’t finish what I start.” Typically these will have a history (a historic pain story), which results in them seeming unchangeable. These pain stories prevent you from having direct experience with your true nature and creative intentions. They are at the center of the mandala because they hold a position of authority. They are also the point of transformation. When we name these, when we bring what holds us back out into the open, transformation begins. If you keep the pain story under the radar of your consciousness, you are not likely to transform it. In this case you are doing and thinking things on a daily basis that sustain it. You may want to journal around or review from previous chapters what holds you back or where you feel stuck. We start with a pain story that keeps us from our creative and spiritual realizations and move out from there.
•The second thin circle is for coloring. Choose a color that you consider uplifting, transformative; a color that symbolically represents the transformation of pain. This color communicates to your brain and mind that movement is taking place around this hindrance. The psychology of color and its influence on us is vast. Color signals action, influences our emotions, and elicits a physiological response.
•The third circle is made up of agreements that sustain the pain story; that support and endorse the particular assumption about yourself or the world. First write in your journal a list of cognitive and behavioral agreements that you have around this pain story. Cognitive agreements could include beliefs and assumptions. The difference is that there is an added energy around them—agreements are beliefs and assumptions that we invest in. They are like contracts that we have made with ourselves. So for example with the pain story of “I’m never appreciated,” what are some agreements that sustain this core assumption? They might include: “I compare myself to others,” “I don’t believe in myself,” “I think others are always judging me,” “I expect the worst,” “I don’t believe others when they do compliment me.” Notice how these sustain the pain story of “I’m never appreciated.” Now write out some behavioral agreements that sustain your core pain story. For the same example these might include: “I don’t risk signing up for new things,” “I say no to most social invitations,” “I isolate myself at home,” “I get defensive at work a lot,” “I complain to my spouse,” “I take an antidepressant.” After you have written down several agreements that sustain the pain story, write them out in the third circle. Notice how these keep your pain story, a core assumption you hold, active.
• For the fourth circle, choose two agreements from the third circle, one cognitive one and one behavioral one, and write it out like this: “I no longer agree to . . .” (fill in with the cognitive agreement); “I no longer agree to . . .” (fill in with the behavioral agreement). To continue the above example: “I no longer agree to assume people are judging me” (cognitive); “I no longer agree to complain to my spouse” (behavioral). Choose only two because this keeps it simple and you will soon discover that these two are connected with the others. Success with breaking these agreements helps you break all the agreements that sustain the pain story. Just focus and commit to breaking your agreement with these two.
Now you have made room for what wants in and for the more creative self to emerge as well as for more possibilities. This dismantling of what holds your authentic and creative self hostage results in room for your intention. This is another reason to start with the pain story and its sustaining agreements—dismantling them makes room for you to fulfill your intentions.
•In the fifth circle, write in your creative intention. This could easily be the one you already came up with in the “Create an Intention to Live By” exercise (remember, simple is good), or if you like, you could come up with another one. Then write your creative intention out in a favorite color. It may be something like: “I live an active and creative life.” Or, to go with the example above, it may be: “I take an open heart into all situations.”
•Now, the final outer circle is made up of the two sustaining agreements of your intention. First identify in your journal up to five cognitive and five behavioral agreements that will reinforce your intention. Then choose two of the agreements from the journal entry, one cognitive one and one behavioral one, and write it out like this: “I agree to . . .” (fill in with the cognitive agreement); “I agree to . . .” (fill in with the behavioral agreement). To continue the above example: “I agree to assume more positively of others” (cognitive); “I agree to say yes to invitations to join others” (behavioral). Choose only two here to keep it simple. Again you will be creating the internal and external environment for your intention. As soon as you make this mandala and use it, you will have direct experiences with your intention— guaranteed.
Taken from, The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are., Julie Tallard Johnson, MSW, LCSW
There is no primer for how to become who you want to be. No one path to the successful writer's life. No manual on how to be. We must take this explorer's journey and find out for ourselves who we are through our creations and encounters. This is our life's work. This is the priveldge of a lifetime -- to become ourselves. To become who we already are.
We may not be obvious heroes and change agents; we may not seem to be doing much to solve the big problems that face us now, or even change a situation that we are presently in. But we can be a light in the world, bring simple beauty and love to this day. We can choose to make a commitment to something or someone.
As writers, we can gift the world our poetry, our stories, our remedies, our ideas. The way to live the life you are here to live is to simply keep opening. Opening to what you want; to the conversation with your inner self (soul). Opening to the moment, its darkness and light and the dance between the two. As writers we have the gift of opening on the page. We open to ourselves as we write. Our readers then open to some truth or idea as they read our words. (This is no small exchange.)
Listen and open to your longings. Then be faithful to your longings.
I know. I know there is such intense loneliness in this world. We all carry this aloneness within us. I know. I know there is loss and division and cruelty. I know there are distractions and addictions. This is why (and where) we must be true to our longings as writers.
Open. Then commit. Choose to finish the story, write the poem, send the letter or manuscript out. Choose to leave the job that kills your spirit. Choose to join one thing and drop another. Say yes to a friendship. Commit to a circle or class. Once we commit, our energies are then focused, this choice then opens us up to more possibility. Instead of having our energies dispersed and distracted by too many options, (or from living a life that is not true to our soul), we have made a choice, and as a result everything that is connected to that choice comes into focus. More becomes possible. When we do not choose, and do not claim our selves as meaning makers, we are bullied around by other's agendas and a myriad of distractions.
So much comes from a simple choice. Everything really. And once that choice is made our life continues to unfold in simple but miraculous ways.
Join me and other writers for 4 Saturday mornings in May and June: BEING FAITHFUL TO OUR LONGINGS: Exploration, Recognition, Opening and Commitment to our True Lives (as Writers). SAVE THE DATES: Saturday May 9th and 23rd; June 13th and 27th. Email me with questions. Saturday's from 9 till 1:00. Limited to 10. For more click here.
After the final no
there comes a Yes
and upon that yes
the future world depends. –Wallace Stevens
"You have to count on living every single day in a way you believe will make you feel good about your life." –Jane Seymour
For us writers securing a writing time and place to write is part of what makes our life good. Yes? There are so many interferences to writing, which ultimately come down to internal struggles. The outer hindrances to our writing such as work, relationships, illness, loss, other commitments, are, well, just our life. To live the writer's life we must admit that our internal world of emotions (fears), beliefs, ideas, resistances, assumptions, distractions and doubts are what stops us from fully living a writer's life. The life that we can feel good about; a fully lived life for us writers means a time and place to write.
For example, if we don't feel that our writing is of value, we will find it hard to carve out that space in our home or time to write. Writing keeps getting kicked to the side.
"Your life takes the form of each new day that was given you." –John O'Donohue
Each day offers up new possibilities and potentialities. A good preparation for the days to come is to create that inner and outer landscape for your writer's life. Challenge any negativity around writing. I highly recommend Steven Pressfield's book: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Reframe and reinvent your writer's life. Hold a conscious relationship with your writing intentions and goals. Another great read for all writers is The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who Who Already Are.
There is no subject that hasn't been written about, so focus on the personal message and theme, that which only you can write about. (See my Master Class below, offered at the upcoming Writers' Institute).
Writers build worlds.....Build a writer's world. I recommend that you join up with other writers in circles, readings, and retreats. Join other writers and me at the upcoming Writers' Institute (see below). Create spaces to write. I have at least 2 writing spaces in my home, separate from my working space. I also enjoy writing in noisy busy places, like Sjolinds in Mount Horeb or Barriques in Fitchburg. (Stay tuned for future dates to join me there!). I have a free (full day) Spring retreat coming up in March too. It's always good to join up with a writing partner to write. Just like a good meditation practice, if you can give yourself a few days to a couple weeks away from the routine, go on a writing retreat.
"Complacency, habit and blindness often prevent you form feeling your life. So much depends on the frame of vision–the window through which we look." –John O'Donohue
Oh, and I never leave home without a notebook. I may not write on my novel everyday but I am always taking notes.
Join me and other writers at this years UW Writers' Institute in beautiful downtown Madison, March 26th through the 29th.
Want to get your message across to readers? Sign up for my master class!:
Master Class - Soul Writing: Making What’s Meaningful to you (the Writer) Meaningful to Readers –by Julie Tallard Johnson
This session is for writers that are using their life experiences to write a memoir, the new autobiography, autobiographical fiction, blogs, essays and creative nonfiction.
We will explore and use writing techniques that rely on and develop the autobiographical and personal nature of your story. You will explore and apply writing techniques and approaches that bring forth your most meaningful writing.
*How to write autobiographical pieces that capture universal themes
* Writing soulful (meaningful) pieces
* Understand and explore the universal nature of one’s subject
* Identify and draw out the autobiographical theme of your subject and writing project
* The use and value of symbolic writing, using metaphorical templates, third things, and myth.
* Identify a possible personal myth
* How to follow your theme
* The 5 Elements of Soulful Writing
I wasn’t sure what to write for you today. My brother Ricky passed away Saturday and everything is touched now by his absence. I know that sending out this blog, like sending out a letter, poem, book or article is a way to send up a smoke signal: I am here. This is me. Where are you? Who are you?
My brother was a closet-poet and filled journals of his poetry throughout high school. He was a big thinker who lived courageously with schizophrenia his entire adult life. Those poems have long been lost.
I will let my heart continue to break open on the page, and off. I will read poetry and essays that lift my spirit and reveal to me a path through this winter loss. I will take my daily walks and listen.
I will let spring arrive on its own, as it will.
I am here. This is me. Where are you? Who are you?
Let the rest
in this rested place
rest for you.
Let the birds sing
and the geese call
and the sky race
from west to east
when you cannot raise
a wing to fly.
trace your loss
in the stonework
against a fading sky.
you can give up
and give in
and be given back to,
so that you can let
come and live
fully inside you,
the loving path
that brought you here.
So you can cry alone
and be alone
so you can let
to be lost,
so you can
let the one
you have lost
alone, so that
you can let
you have lost
So the world
who has ever lived
and ever died
can come and go
as they please.
So you can
not know, what
you can be
even more generous
in your letting go
in their leaving.
So that you can
So that you can let
the world alone
to think of spring.
THE BELL AND THE BLACKBIRD
Poetry by David Whyte
APRIL 2018 © David Whyte and Many Rivers Press
“The grief of losing a loved one, the need to walk, to remember, to heal when you cannot heal, to remember what you do not wish to remember. The unconscious call for invisible help, and the not knowing consciously, how, in any way, to ask for it, the way everything refuses to console until we are ready for that consolation. The way winter turns to spring.“ David Whyte
This is a repost of a blog I wrote in 2013!
Every kind of manifestation relies on our finishing what we started. Through our perseverance we achieve creative and spiritual states we would otherwise not experience. In fact, a lack of joyful effort, of sticking with “it” results in discouragement and unhappiness. Our perseverance is often all we have in the face of distractions, resistance and disappointment.
Evidence points to perseverance being central to feelings of lasting satisfaction. Those who persevere with their commitments are happier and more satisfied, and more financially sound. When we are not joyfully participating in our creative and spiritual life, we are likely under the control of such habitual states as resistance and fear. Enthusiastic effort is one of the six perfections in Buddhist philosophy. (Generosity, Ethical Discipline, Patience, Enthusiastic Effort, Concentration, & Wisdom are the six perfections). Joyful effort is really all about perseverance with an attitude.
Because each of us is unique we need to find what motivates us, what keeps us going and what helps us hold an enthusiastic attitude toward our intentions and commitments. “Motivation determines the ultimate worth of any activity.” Geshe Sonam Rinchen, Ruth Sonam, The Six Perfections.
I hear a collective groan in my spiritual journaling class when I refer to this perfection as the one that makes everything happen. The groan reflects not a resistance to what I said so much as it is to the shared challenge of staying enthused when it comes to certain spiritual practices and creative commitments. The paradox is that most of the practices and commitments are known to be of benefit. We typically sign up for commitments that will bring us happiness and fulfillment! We initially say an enthusiastic yes but find ourselves discouraged or distracted.
It can be hard to keep going, or to return to what really brings us meaning and satisfaction in our lives. But, I am not going to address the “why we are this way.” Fortunately, we don’t have to answer this question in order to generate enthusiasm. We can cultivate joyful perseverance without knowing why we are the way we are. (And, this can save you lots of money too – instead of searching for reasons why you are the way you are, explore what will generate movement in the present moment and put your money and energy there!)
Here are simple ways to maintain joyful perseverance in your spiritual and writerly life–
Be mindful of your first thoughts and words upon rising in the morning. These are known to set a tone for the day. I use the practice of saying my bodhisattva vow out loud three times. Don’t recite something robotically, instead recite it intentionally and mindfully. Enthusiastically. I first started this practice at a time when I was self-critical So, I began with setting a tone for a kinder self, and said out loud upon rising: Julie be merciful to you. When I could start with some kindness toward myself, I experienced more kindness with others. A more recent one that I often include after my vow is: Thank you for this day! Choose or create a vow, or intention or some statement that will uplift and bring you in alignment with something positive.
Discover the benefits of your practices and commitments. Journal or contemplate the benefits of meditation or walking, for examples. You may even want to read other’s commentary on the benefits of certain practices or efforts. Even reading on the health benefits of walking and being outdoors can generate some enthusiasm.
Hold a conversation with all that is around you. Keep the dialogue going from your end by paying attention to what is in front of you presently. What are you involved in at this moment? Use a field journal (see below) to encourage such dialogue with the world around you.
Commit to something small, like a one-mile walk, or a 150 daily word count but leave time and room for more. We often find ourselves not wanting to go the whole three miles or write those 500 words in our book but one mile seems doable; 150 words can be done. Then by the time we get to the 150 words or the one-mile mark we are often in a state of joyful enthusiasm and will continue on (so make sure to give yourself the time to do more).
Before saying yes to a given undertaking examine whether it is truly an appropriate course of action for you or not. Is it timely? Is it truly beneficial? Are you willing? Are you capable? It is much better not to begin something than to start and abandon it before you are done. (This can become quite discouraging as well). This can become a pattern that robs you of satisfaction.
Remember – the benefits of any creative action can only come from your efforts. No one else can write the book or run the race, or experience the resultant satisfaction of a spiritual practice for you. Remembering that we will experience direct benefits from our efforts can help maintain some enthusiasm around commitments we already made. This includes remembering the reasons you committed to something in the first place. What got you excited about it initially?
Make a creative manifestation board or mandala of images and words that inspire you.
Live out in the open! Share your stuff with others – especially your successes. Made a good pie? — post a picture of it on Facebook. Better yet, take a piece to a neighbor. Sit down and have a conversation as you share the pie. Walked that extra mile?– tell someone. Better yet, take your camera or friend on some of your walks. Wrote a poem?–, read it out loud to others. Show and tell! Experience the enthusiasm of having shared your good efforts. This living in the open can include being part of a creative manifestation group where you share your intentions. More on this in my book: The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are.
Live intentionally. Set intentions; keep them conscious and live from your intentions on a daily basis. See The Wheel of Initiation for more on living intentionally.
Keeping Field Notes. My smaller notebooks, which I carry with me, or have hidden in different spots around my house are my field notes. Since everything is the field in my spiritual and creative life, I rely on my field notes to harvest ideas and witness the world around me. These field notes feed me, keep me aware of my surroundings and help to maintain a joyful participation in the world around me. They help me cultivate attention. I have my field notebook ready in every situation, ready for that insight or experience worth documenting. I look for scenes and sights and listen for dialogue that can go in my books, blogs and journals. The best scenes in my fiction are harvested from my field notes. The most pertinent spiritual insights are typically jotted down first in my field notes, in the field. I recommend you have at least three field notebooks, each labeled with a certain theme, leaving one untitled for the more general material you may harvest during the day.
Finally, practice the attitude of enthusiastic effort by reading inspirational material. For example, I read William Stafford’s or David Whyte’s poetry and prose and get excited about what I am doing with my life. Then as the enthusiasm gets ignited, I put on my walking shoes, or write in my novel, or meditate . . . or visit with a friend.
“Armor-like enthusiastic effort consist of being prepared to do as much, go as deeply and continue for as long as is necessary to achieve a positive objective.” – The Six Perfections by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, translated by Ruth Sonam
Keep writing, keep meditating, and keep rising up each morning with your spiritual principles and creative intentions strong in your heart. Everything you give your self over to will give itself back to you.
“Assistance is the universal immutable force of creative manifestation, whose role since the Big Bang has been to translate potential into being, to convert dreams into reality.” –Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.
“The meaning of life is
whatever you ascribe it to be.
Being alive is the meaning.” –Joseph Campbell
All Write Wednesdays: World into Word
All Write Wednesdays is a blog about living the writer's life. Everything in our lives is material. Read all of the All Write Wednesdays posts.
Zero Point Blog
The Zero Point blog shares my teachings about living your life from the inside out and becoming the cause rather than the effect of your life. Read all of the Zero Point posts.
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Julie lives in Mount Horeb WI where she walks her dogs through Stewart Park, gardens her corner lot, attends yoga at Perennial Yoga in Fitchburg and waits for spring 11 months of the year. She is author of The Zero Point Agreement & ten other books. She also writes for the local Mount Horeb paper and in her free time listens in on others' conversations at Sjolinds.