How to start again.

Recently, Lisa Winkler, a beautiful human being, writer and author of the Lisa K Winkler blog, wrote to ask me if I had any ideas on how to get started again after taking a long hiatus from blogging. “How do you do it?” she asked – blog everyday.

Habit. Mostly.

Though in March 2007 when I first began my daily blog thanks to the encouragement of fellow writer and friend, Mark Kolke of Musings and other writings, it took a lot of discipline and commitment to set the habit in place.

Even when I only take a couple of weeks off, as I tend to do in the summer, I struggle to find my way back into my routine.

There are two ways that work best for me —

One is the first imperative — and that is I meditate before I write. I will often carry a question into my meditation — like, ‘what am I grateful for this morning?’ or ‘what is on my heart?’ I also often awake with an ‘idea’ in my head. I have learned not to push it away but to invite it to simmer and percolate so that when I sit down at my keyboard, it is willing to become visible through my writing.

The other is to write to a photo I took of the world around me or a piece of art I’ve created.

I write first thing in the morning so I don’t get distracted by my day. My photos are mostly taken on my walks with Beaumont the Sheepadoodle so they are nearly always about nature.

And then…. on those mornings where no thoughts arise as I sit down to write, I begin with the sentence… I have no idea what I’m going to write about today.

From there I just write whatever pops into my head about ‘having no idea what I’m going to write about’ until… as it inevitably does, the words morph into something from my heart. And then, when I’m done, I go back and delete the first few sentences/paragraphs – the one’s about not knowing what I’m going to write about. ūüôā

Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I’ll simply write about what I’m seeing. As an example, when I was responding to Lisa’s email, I wrote what I was seeing outside my window in front of my desk and right beside me:

Right now, there is a chickadee hopping around on the bare branches of the bush outside my window. I watch his joyful hops and feel my heart skip joyfully in harmony with his antics. The sky is grey. Beaumont lies at my feet, every so often nudging my knee with his head as if to say, “It’s time to get going.” I keep waiting for it to get brighter outside but I think it’s a losing battle. The sky is overcast, December grey. It’s time for me to go for my walk.

In 2007, when I first decided to get into the habit of daily blogging, I wrote a Commitment Letter to myself and posted it by my computer as a reminder and prompt for my writing.

I commit to writing a post a day.
I commit to being okay with writing 'bad'.
I commit to not letting judgement of the worthiness of my words stand in my way. 
I commit to being present to the page and whatever unfolds.

And then… I just let myself ‘write bad’ to get to ‘the good’ without fearing my inner critics yammerings.

In the beginning, I probably spent as much time editing as I did writing the first draft of my posts. Over the years, editing has faded by the wayside. As I became more trusting of ‘free-fall writing” – which is how I tend to write on my blog, I became more trusting of the ‘wise inner knowing’ within my heart and body – not my head. It means, inviting the critic (that critical voice of doubt and worry who sits on my left shoulder) to take a nap. This is why I avoid editing as I write – Editing invites both ‘the critic’ and my thinking brain into my process, interfering with ‘the flow’.

Writing everyday has become part of my life. It centers me, calms me and opens me up to the wonder and awe of the world around and within me, and, it connects me to the world ‘out there’. To you who visit and spend time with me here or on my social media feeds.

Writing every day is my contribution to creating better in the world around me, because, my commitment to myself is that, no matter what is going on, when I sit down to write, I must find the value in the darkness and share the light, the beauty and wonder and possibility I see.

By sharing light, I raise my own spirits. It helps me fee like I am living my life purpose “to touch hearts, open minds and set spirits free to dance in a world of love, joy and harmony.”

Thank you for being part of my purpose and for making my world so joyful and bright. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Namaste.

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On another note, I was invited to participate in an online holiday auction ‚ÄúA Fresh Start – Gifts for the Holiday Season presented by Fiera Capital‚ÄĚ on behalf of Fresh Start Recovery Centre. Fresh Start has been helping people impacted by the disease of addiction to recover and reuniting families for 28 years.

The invitation reads, “Your gift creates impact! Life is the most precious gift you can give ‚Ķ the next is hope. You give hope for a second life to someone struggling with addiction, to a mother worried about her son, to a child getting a father back, to spouses reuniting or a grandmother reconnecting with an absent grandchild. These are gifts you make possible. Consider giving these gifts of hope and healed lives.” 

If you are looking for a beautiful, unique gift that also does good in the world and can help change lives, please check out the A Fresh Start Auction for Holiday Season Gifts presented by Fiera Capital. Click HERE to go to the website.

(I had trouble getting my submission together so it won’t be on the site until later today. The painting above is one of the three I submitted)

The auction ends at 8pm on Thursday, Dec 17th.

Let your heart run wild

 

Art Journal Entry Jan 5 ©2015 Louise Gallagher

Art Journal Entry Jan 5
©2015 Louise Gallagher

I love layering when I paint. I love combining words and images, colour and texture. This painting was created in my art journal. The words were added in photoshop and are from my journal.

I am not sure which came first. The painting or the words. Or if they evolved together.

It doesn’t matter how they unfolded. What matters is, they did.

It is part of the flow. Of being in the process versus thinking about HOW I am going to make it happen.

Sometimes, like when I’m painting or writing, I find myself in the flow, at one with its unfolding and I feel embraced and supported by grace and ease.

Other times, like when talking with someone about something that holds an emotional charge, it is a bumpy ride fraught with energetic discourse that doesn’t flow all that smoothly. It is only when I come back to the page, either written or visual, that I find myself again effortlessly easing into the flow that was always there, awaiting my return.

No matter the measure or pace of my journey, whether I willingly surrender my resistance to being present or not, when I allow myself to awaken to the evolutionary impulse to create better, to create more of what unfolds my human condition in Love, miracles happen, art appears, words become my truth.

The other day, while having lunch¬†with my friend Mark of Mark is Musing, he asked me, “Do you know what you’re going to write when you sit down at your computer in the morning?”

I laughed. Seldom do I have a plan for what I’m going to write. Often, I begin with the words, “I wonder what will appear today as I write…” As long as I keep typing, the letters form into words, the words¬†into phrases, the phrases into sentences until eventually, I see the wholeness of what was unfolding through me when I first sat down to type.

“I then go back and delete the beginning thoughts and simply allow what appeared to be present. I seldom edit. I simply let it be.”

It is always a mystery and a miracle to me.

It is always a journey of letting go of fear and trusting in the process.

May you journey through Love today. May your heart be filled with joy. May your body be at rest. May your mind be at One with all that is when you let go of imagining what you need to be or do is anything other than surrender to Love.

Namaste.