From a Facebook post from – Feb 2 2021 in our “The Way of Your Inner Voice” group, this was written during the very first go of “The Artist’s Way”. I think I’ve been here before, but I always panic and re-lock the door. This time I am not running away. I’m still trying to break free, still pushing on that door, battling all the blocks. Here’s what I wrote on the post – I’m remembering now that writing them is easy the work is the sharing. Because at the end of the day that’s what this is all about, being actually seen and heard. What are you holding in that needs to get expressed? Perhaps your Inner Voice is calling to you as well?
Come out and Play – one shot poem written Feb 2021
There is a knocking
Inside my head
At first just a rapping
A gentle tapping
grows more insistent
Each passing day
a sense of wonder
trapped inside a box
Buried under fears
wrapped in layers of shame
it grows louder though
more insistent, consistent
let me out to play
becoming a banging
begging for attention
a chance to spread
I try to keep it closed
It’s very wild and
It always wants to play
It isn’t very grown-up
And others say it’s wrong
But if this racket keeps up
My wall, my resolve
may not stay as strong
I wonder what will happen
If I let it out to play
Alexander Milov’s sculpture, Love, appeared in the 2015 Burning Man festival and is so much an image that makes me think of our Inner Voice work and this ongoing struggle to know and let the real and best me out to live, love, work, and most importantly….PLAY!
I had a series of unfortunate events (hey mr. Lemony Snicket it happens to all of us) Nothing earth shattering in and of themselves but combined with my current mental health work it sent me skittering off the rails and barely able to handle day to day living let alone making actual progress.
While you make plans.
I knew it had been awhile since I had written but I had no idea it had been over 10 days :O Talk about life happening. I had a series of unfortunate events (hey mr. Lemony Snicket it happens to all of us) Nothing earth shattering in and of themselves but combined with my current mental health work it sent me skittering off the rails and barely able to handle day to day living let alone making actual progress. While I’m focusing mainly on controlling, understanding, and working WITH my bipolar nature I have other health issues I am trying to resolve as well. One of them has been my ongoing allergy/sinus kerfuffle issues. This led to a CT scan that showed my nasal passages are a wreck and that I’ve been living with a chronic sinus infection for probably years – yippee kay yay MFs – so I went on a massive antibiotic course along with a week of prednisone. Can I just say that adding steroids to your body while you are trying to get to an even place emotionally is not something I recommend to anyone. I am also notoriously extra f-ing sensitive to everything (my personality is tough my body is weak sauce LOL ) and antibiotics throw my whole digestive system into cement mixer mode which seriously impacts my ability to think straight. Just as I was coming off the prednisone I had my scheduled 2nd Covid booster AND my Shingrix(TM) Shingles vaccine…it was on the books and I didn’t think much of it. HOLY AUTOIMMUNE REACTIONS BATMAN. Now I don’t think the covid booster did much to me, I’ve already had covid and all the boosters so I feel like my immune system is pretty on board with that whole thing and never did any other of the shots HURT. But this shingles vax? OH BOY. (I got the new shingrix vax…see pic for info)
Y’all this shit KNOCKED ME ON MY BUTT for close to a week. And it hit FAST. Within 1/2 hour I was fatigued, feverish, dizzy…it hit so hard so fast I didn’t even realize it was the shot at first. I mean I couldn’t imagine that my immune system would react that quickly and severely. Boy was I in for a ride. My arm was on fire, swollen, red – it looked and felt like a softball pitch had hit me at full speed. My tattoos all got raised (a clear indication that my immune system is on high alert and a reminder that they probably aren’t all that healthy but that’s a whole other oprah) and I was tired, I mean, as someone with CFS I thought I knew tired but my idea of tired LAUGHED at the body fatigue that overtook me. I was still faithfully taking my antibiotics so I was still dealing with cement mixer digestion as well, it is an understatement to say I was not running on full cylinders. So writing was at the bottom of the list. I had ideas a few days but couldn’t hold a thought for longer than like a minute.
So this may be the world’s most boring blog post but it’s a reminder that sometimes our best intentions are sidetracked and that is not a reason to give up or surrender. (#nevergiveupneversurrender) All things are temporary, #thistooshallpass is such a great thing to remember. So past me probably would have given up and said some dumb things like “well I ruined that”, “I can never catch-up” (to the arbitrary goal I set), “here’s proof that I’m a loser”, and other fun downer thoughts. But new me post #theartistsway me knows that you have to get back up and just keep #fillingintheform and one thing that kept me going was no matter what I wrote my #morningpages and that kept me from losing the thread entirely. It matters.
So that’s it my totally boring, non-sequitur blog post that serves mostly to remind myself that I can keep getting back up. And when life happens plans are just delayed or mutated not destroyed. What have you let lapse that you could pick back up? It’s never too late to start again.
Slowly but surely I could feel things inside me starting to shift. Long lost (suppressed) dreams and feelings came bubbling up.
OK here’s the background lest those that know me see a prayer in here and wonder if I’ve been body-snatched: All of this (my therapy, writing, sharing, pursuing my dreams) is finally happening thanks to “The Artist’s Way” by the good witch Julia Cameron. A small group of friends and I, in January 2021, took a leap and started it together. I built a small group on Facebook and Telegram so that we could share our journey. And every week we would get together and discuss our experiences and progress on Zoom. It was a game-changer.
Slowly but surely I could feel things inside me starting to shift. Long lost (suppressed) dreams and feelings came bubbling up. It wasn’t always easy but something about it worked for me. And the personal progress I have made in the last 18months because of it has been nothing short of amazing. And it worked for others in the group too. It’s their story to tell but it was so gratifying seeing others’ dreams blossom as well.
But the whole time I was personally working against a tiny issue. (spoiler alert it’s not tiny at all for me) “GOD”. You see Julia is a believer and I am most decidedly not. I’ve tried to go the route of “it wasn’t god that hurt me it was just humans in the church” but it didn’t take and I just can’t quite get behind the god idea. Make no mistake though the church messed me up good and that was the beginning of my questioning of the sky father but it was not the end of it.
So part of my process to work through TAW (the artist’s way) Was de-deifying the god talk to something palatable for me. Over time I’ve come to even feel that I don’t really work from a place of “source” either. It’s just another word for god, but I did appreciate my effort and figured I’d save it here for posterity’s sake. Maybe I’ll take it one step further and demystify it completely.
You see, I’m seeking a small mantra of affirmation similar to this that is about my state of mind, not something outside of myself. That’s what brought me back to this project. It’s not quite what I want but it’s a nice starting point. I guess this all makes me an atheist but I prefer the term agnostic because I’m not comfortable with the idea of saying “I KNOW” anything for sure. I feel it’s hubris of the highest order to say we know diddly squat for certain. But that’s a whole other Maury.
This is generally where I get all apologetic to believers…but ya know what? If you believe you are totally allowed to, it’s 100% your business and choice but I’m done apologizing for my beliefs. If you are allowed to believe, I’m allowed not to. I choose to live my life as a decent human regardless of possible rewards and punishments and I choose how to treat others based on compassion that is inherent to my being, that is all. What I realized through this work is I wasn’t extending my compassion to myself and I wasn’t allowing myself to BE ME unapologetically, and that was the missing ingredient. (man I can’t stop my tangents) So this is me shedding my shame about being agnostic. No more dancing around it, it’s not a condemnation of believers it’s just who I am.
ANYWHO I give you the non-denominational prayer to source version of the lord’s prayer (pssst I grew up catholic I’ve read the bible, I’m baptized, 8 years of catholic school and a metric tonne of church time so don’t at me with religion I promise not to try to change your mind if you can extend the same courtesy to me)
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Promise to the Universal Source
We honour source, that which surrounds us and connects us
Source is the sound of Aum that resonates in our hearts
May that sound lead us to loving harmony that we may experience and spread peace and understanding in every moment
As above so below As within so without
We are grateful for the bounty of the earthy and joyously accept its nourishment
We promise to forgive our own weaknesses and imperfections as we forgive them in others
We promise to seek loving-kindness and reject deceitfulness and harm