Writing Now

A great mystery lives within us. It sits with us as we flip from channel to channel. It watches as we scoop ice cream from the freezer. It stares as we pour another glass of wine. It leans against the sink as we brush our teeth, waiting and wondering—when will we notice?  (From Unfolding.)
What part of us is waiting to be noticed?  Some call this part of us our true self, others call it our higher self. I often refer to it as soul.  We long for something that will let us connect with our souls. When we pick up a pen and begin to write a channel within us can open to insights and reflections.
Souls long for the direct and immediate experience of now. When we attend to the senses, our writing can become colorfully nuanced. Writing what we discover is then a spiritual path. The purpose of a spiritual path is to bring us fully into the moment, to be aware of our soul story and ultimately to connect with Great Mysterious.
My writing process is to observe the world within and around me. What am I touching, tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing—right now! What is happening in my environment: weather, creatures, time of day, season, stage of your life?
After I anchor myself  in the “here and now” I see where my writing goes. The hard part is the practice of deep listening. We are so often told what to do that the freedom to roam can be daunting. I am often surprised where this leads.

May 1st, 2016
Racine, Wisconsin
Gnarly wooden rods press against my back. An afghan hanging over the rocking chair softens the spot where spine and spindle touch.  Dominican Nuns, here at Siena Retreat Center, create spaces for visitors to slow down and settle into each moment. Rocking chairs wait in every nook and cranny, each with its own comforter.
I sit in front of large windows facing east. Shades of powder blue form a stick straight horizon where Lake Michigan and sky meet.  My eyes follow that line looking for ships, only to find a warm yellow rising sun.
My mouth still has a slight taste of breakfast; banana and peanut butter on toast. Journal, my constant companion, leans upon my knee as I grip the pen like a kite string. I think, “What would happen if I let go? Where might my writing carry me?”
Scent of fresh linens greet my nose. Scrupulous care is given to everything here.
Steps, quick and purposeful, come down the hallway behind where I sit. At the stairway, the door opens and they and their owner disappear down the steps.
Howling coyotes awoke me earlier this morning. Their throaty cries came from the surrounding forest. Immediately I think of Rumi’s “love dogs.”  He wrote, “Listen to the moan of a dog for its master. That howl is a connection.”  Longing is our connection to the Divine.
And I wonder…
What is howling inside of me?  Where is my longing?

In my above piece the question of longing and my connection with God, the Divine, Great Mysterious appeared.  I ran out of time to keep going on that morning. Had I continued, my next step would be to riff on longing, to answer the questions that appeared.
Journaling helps us notice what we notice. Try these questions: What’s the setting…where are you? What sounds do you hear? Which colors do you notice? Is there a particular scent or fragrance? What you are sensing? Is there a message or question coming to you —what is it? Let the writing take you inside. Keep writing with specificity. Nothing left out…everything belongs. First thoughts are often the strongest.
Next time you feel lost, ungrounded or want to connect with your soul pull out pen and paper. You may be surprised what you discover when your inner oracle begins to write.
Journaling this way…
  • Strengthens awareness of our soul story
  • Creates a natural process of discovery
  • Taps into inner guidance
  • Inspires