Freedom in Truth


Starbucks Ueno
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Got some freedom in my truth today – Starbucks was the classroom!  I had the privilege of saying hello to a friend today in Starbucks and she asked about my writing.  I spoke it out loud!  I told her I hadn’t been writing manuscripts lately because I had lost faith in myself.  I said it.  I had known what was going on inside for some time, but I finally said it out loud.  In one way it felt really good, in another way it was pridefully unsettling, so I then quickly commented that I was writing poetry and other things – to cover up my own shame or judgment.

I left Starbucks with a myriad of feelings: relief that I finally exposed feelings that were containing and blocking my creativity and desires; self-condemnation for not driving myself towards a goal, fear of what others might think if I am less than (even though I knew this person understood and was very accepting of me – it wasn’t about her, it was about old feelings of shame, I knew that); and if I dig deep enough I know there are more.  I am not unique.  I know you have had such experiences.  We have multiple feelings, simultaneous feelings, and contradictory feelings inside all of the time.  I am challenged anew every time an event like this occurs because I have come to learn that my goal is not to necessarily judge the feelings, shame the feelings, make them all go away, but can I be with all of them, accept them, and know that they are all present for a reason without judgment.

The gift of the morning was that I exposed that I have been struggling with writing; I exposed the fears of a next step in the process; and I didn’t judge all of the internal responses and feelings.  Grace and acceptance are wonderful things.

Hope today is a day that you can extend yourself grace, expose safely things that are hindering you, and accept that in this moment
feelings can be simultaneous, complimentary, and conflicting, and they are all ok.  I am glad that I went to Starbucks
and saw a friend.

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Anywhere is Inspiring


This morning , after voting, I had to get my car serviced.  Another task in the day.  I arrived at the service center and of course there is a wait.  There are five chairs and there are five people sitting in those chairs.  The observant man behind the desk said, “Have a seat, we will be right with you.”  I wasn’t in my cocky mood this morning, so I didn’t respond with, “And whose lap would you like me to sit on.”  I smiled instead and walked away.

It was in the 40’s outside, but I headed out to find a step to have a seat.  It is funny how you can convince yourself that 40 degrees is warm and that you love being out in the cold.  Truth be told, it actually felt wonderfully good. 

I am reading Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the writer within, by Natalie Goldberg (1986, 2005).  I was reading about writing in different places, under different circumstances, with different people, and moving out of the “box” of writing for 60-minutes everyday as a task to be completed…the good girl/boy approach.  What better place to walk the walk.  I grabbed my pen and notebook…and began writing. 

I don’t always know about what I am going to write.  I don’t know what is going to come out either.  But I did know that I had strong emotions today.  Writing is much like an adventure and today was no differently.  I have been practicing the art of surrendering in emotions…being ok with having multiple emotions; being ok in the emotions without judgment; normalizing and validating the feelings, and writing has become a part of that practice.  And so, I took a few moments to breathe, to look around and be present with my senses, to surrender and lastly to invite…and the words began to flow.  Haiku that is.  Separation, aloneness, lost, disconnectedness poured forward in Haiku.

There I sat, on freezing cold cement, outside the auto service center, in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, looking at signs of life, Fall, leaves, beauty, writing about the aching pains of not feeling connected, learning the lessons from my own words…we are always connected, there is no separation, and I can rest in that knowing.

“Miss, your car is finished.”  I returned in thought, put the pen and notebook away, and had a moment of gratitude for the solitude, the cold step, and the words.  I always learn from my words.

I hope today that you can find such a sacred place.  Don’t be surprised at where that place is and what that place inspires.