"Curiosity is the fundamental experience of attention." santikaro bhikku
When as writers we maintain a curiosity about our subject and themes, we will discover that our pages fill with our stories. David Whyte recommends that we continue to visit the place of a poem. For example, if we keep visiting that tree, or time of day, or person, we find that the poem begins to speak to us through this encounter. When we stay in the conversation with a subject and theme, stay present and curious, we will receive a plethora of words, worlds, ideas and story.
This is true of life.
I find in my 3rd month of yoga teacher training that my body aches more and that I often find myself in a yoga class as the oldest, stiffest Yogi. So what am I doing there? Instead of blaming the teacher for doing too difficult of a pose, or comparing myself to other students, I get curious about my own body and experience. I give my attention to my experience and I take 100% responsibility for my experience. This is living life from our side; this is The Zero Point Agreement. The fundamental, root power we have as human beings is taking a 100% responsibility for our experience. In novels, you will notice that the villain blames others or circumstances for their plight. (Or much of the protagonist's character arch is discovering this truth of ownership). Not taking responsibility in not living life from our side is the sickness in the world, the breaking point of our humanity, where we blame others, god, or our circumstances for our experience.
When we remain curious and therefore attentive, we find that there is so much in our situation to tend to and to discover.
Write about a time you were disappointed.
Did you write about how circumstances or others disappointed you? Or did you find a way to own this disappointment, therefore turning it into a truly transformative experience? All our creative juice, all our ability to make real change, and to engage in the world in an authentic and vulnerable way comes with taking responsibility for our experiences. Comes from our ability to live life from our side.
Write about a time you held someone else accountable for your state of mind or experience. (Disappointment, apathy, confusion). Then, rewrite this pivotal moment and take responsibility for your experience. Be curious and notice the difference. She made me unhappy; I was unhappy. He was confusing; I was confused. The first one I cannot do anything about really. The second, I can do everything about. Even when the other is disappointing, we can only take care of our side of the dynamic. This may mean asking for clarity, or, exploring our emotions and assumptions. You can explore this root truth with your antagonist and protagonist. One has the power to change their experience, the other doesn't. Write those scenes.
Our root truth is that living life from our side, taking this responsibility and staying in the conversation with ourselves and our writing gives us the ability and imagination to take the path that is right for us; the path that is ours to claim.
Join other writers and (ageless) yogis for an in-person retreat this August at Perennial Yoga in Fitchburg.
The Sacred Thread Retreat: Yoga & Writing Retreat for Transformation A physical and contemplative journey toward an inner and outer Self that is here for you to claim. An invitation to be with your imagination and your physical experience. Facilitated by myself (the Writing Sherpa) and Molly Chanson (the Yogi) August 19th through the 22nd. More information HERE.
All Write Wednesdays: World into Word
All Write Wednesdays is a blog about living the writer's life. Everything in our lives is material to explore & write about. Here, the spiritual path meets up with the writer's path. Read the All Write Wednesdays posts.