How are you feeling today? Is a question I ask myself each morning. It’s my very own way of checking in with myself and connecting with a quieter voice within. It also helps ground me in my day. I write my morning pages, owing to the wisdom of Julia Cameron, with a cup of beautifully brewed jasmine dragon pearls and our two rescue dogs on the couch by my side. Writing those three handwritten pages in my Rhodia journal with a fountain pen is my own way of feeding my creativity. It allows me to hear the quieter voice within, and becomes a conversation with my deep self. Ever since I reclaimed my higher Self on a vision quest in the desert on a Naropa-mandated Ecopsychology venture, I have found writing to be the most authentic and powerful means of accessing my original nature. I sat leaning against a boulder in the deep June sand, filling my journal from cover to cover during the ten-day excursion.
I haven’t stopped writing, since.
Without being able to sit and write, I would simply drift from day to day, connecting with little and being drawn hither-thither, tossed about by the whims of others and reacting to what came into my awareness. Without writing, I would have no center and no sense of what was truly most important and lying within.
Now that we’re here, I ask, how ARE you feeling today? Tired? Have you been getting enough sleep? Exasperated, from how hard it may be during this time of sociopolitical upheaval to get a peaceful night’s sleep? Discouraged, from how hard it is to help these things?
Have you taken a few moments to write today?
For myself, my angst and insomnia frequently centers around the plight of dogs and their situations. Far too many of them are simply dying in shelters, mostly in red states – but hey, then there’s California too – for want of homes. It’s the one thing that while I try to help through my rescue dog advocacy efforts, feels an interminably taxing, heart-rending and anxiety-inducing struggle. (If I began each day with checking my Instagram feed, I’d be toast: SOS – Toby MUST MAKE IT OUT OF THE SHELTER OR HE WILL DIE TODAY!) Can you imagine starting off each day in such a way?
Instead, my best way to help advocate for the rescue dogs is to write of their struggle. Each one garnering my attention or involving my heart becomes a subject for my next essay. It processes what lies in the heart, expresses their plight, celebrates their successes, allows me and others loving on them to grieve for their passing. For what they experience is far from easy, and what those who love upon them undergo when they involve their hearts, minds and physical selves, can be excruciating. It impacts my emotional body in profound ways, and I know there are others who care deeply about similar animals. Perhaps it’s a river or a pristine piece of wilderness in peril. Whatever it may be,
it’s cathartic and healing to write about it.
What is it that’s troubling and most meaningful for you? The attack on our democracy, exhaustion from endless adversity, conflict, dissention, division, anger, chaos, fear and confusion that this particularly dysfunctional, manipulative and heinous excuse for humanity is pumping into our culture? Perhaps it’s the sense of powerlessness emanating from the white-knuckle death grip of the ones in power trying to hold on at the peril of others.
If so, how about writing about it?
It doesn’t truly matter what our particular and highly specific issues are. What matters is that in our culture at large, the toxicity in our society is impacting us in deeply disturbing ways. Many of us are responding with higher levels of consciousness and a toolbox of mental health remedies, while still others are struggling with rage or disempowerment, confusion or epic levels of fear. People simply cannot just go about their day, not if they bother to concern themselves with the well-being of others. We all need some way to process what’s happening in our culture right now. We all need a way to express how our spirits may be feeling darkened, our hopes for humanity are feeling thwarted, our fears are manipulated with each click on our social media feed, and the impact of all this on our very fragile, tender and wounded selves. We all need a way to process the deluge of doo-doo floating down this new river of technology that feels more like a flash flood in a desert canyon than a conversation with a good friend.
If humanity feels eschew and the force of adverse energy is wearing you down, all I can say is, I feel you, sister (and enlightened brother). I’m right there with you. It’s why I choose to write from my journal with that beautiful fountain pen, in the quiet of the morning before I allow anything else in for the day. It’s sacred time for conversation with my soul and peering into my own mind. And it helps express my own hope for humanity, animals inclusive, and desire for the health of all life.
Now get yourself a beautiful journal and in the words of Natalie Goldberg, a “fast moving pen,” and write your angst, your heart, your sadness, your confusion, your fear, and your love. Just, write. I guarantee it’ll do your heart good. And who knows? It just may change the heart and mind of one other person today.
Namaste, and thank you for reading.