Fall is finally here. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning and the light is the kind that only shines in October. As this season of change comes into fullness, I have been reminded again of words I wrote down this summer. I recently found a page full of notes I made after first listening to Brene Brown at the beach back in May. They seem prescient and wise and even more instructive than they did five months ago. As I continue to journey through her book and e-course, The Gifts of Imperfection, I am becoming clearer and clearer of the path I want to pursue. It can be hard to follow those trails that seem to beckon beyond the limitations of our vision, but I’m trying to trust, follow and be open to new directions.
One thing has become very clear to me: I need to write more. I have never, ever been a journal writer. But if the mid-40s are teaching me anything, it is to never say never because you will end up making a liar out of your own self. Blogging is about as close as I have ever come to journaling in a sense of regularly recording my thoughts. And although I do love writing in this space, what is posted has been revised, massaged, finessed and edited over and over again. I can be obsessive like that, but to me, that is half the fun of writing. With journaling, however, I’m talking about old-school, long-hand, pen and paper. Uncensored, unedited and raw. Scribbling what looks like nonsense, but trusting that somewhere among the stream-of-consciousness ramblings are nascent threads and emerging themes that can only be seen in retrospect. So, yes, I need to write more. Because if you know anything about me, you know words are how I navigate. They are my touchstone, my currency, my art, my soul.
I was going to make journaling my new year’s resolution. Start fresh in January and all that. But as I find myself alone in the dim kitchen on these dark, dark mornings, I keep hearing John O’Donohue’s gentle admonition to court the soul by candlelight. He warns against examining the self under bright light – both real and metaphoric – and instead advises welcoming the heart in still places, heavy with shadow. So I’m beginning now, this third week in October, with a bit of time and space to simply record notes to myself. I’m hoping the soft glow of my candle will welcome all voices, from the boldest ones I cannot ignore to the softest whispers that need to speak their truth as well. Those words I wrote last summer seem like a list of directives of exactly what I want to cultivate during these fall mornings.
- to be vulnerable
- to be creative
- to show up
- to be uncertain
- to draw forth from who I am and who we are
- If I am filling myself with who I am not, who then speaks?
- to come at things sideways and find what fills us
- to be confident that I am enough
- to be confident we are enough
- to trust that there is divine purpose and I am not asked to give more than exactly who I am
- to foster courage, compassion, connection and creativity
- to engage
- to plan, but to leave space for what arises
- to embark on the day/the month/the year with a plan and a purpose BUT to be open to what arises in the present moment
- to trust that if I am truly being creative, there is no room for comparison
- to create out of who I am for who is in front of me. No one else is in the room. The chatter of other voices are hushed in the quiet stillness that I cultivate.
- Vulnerability and control have inverse relationships in my life
- Can I see vulnerability and how I am protecting myself when I have the need to control a situation?