I am days away from launching Creating Space: the Practice of Transformation, Vol. 1 – Inspiration — a book I started writing in 2004. My dear friend, Jeff, calls it my opus. Not so long ago, I would hear other authors exclaiming over their own 5 or 10-year book-writing odyssey and shake my head wondering how anyone could drag something out for that long. In my youth, patience would have long passed. My eye would have picked up on and galloped off with some other ‘shiny bit’ of interest.
In fairness to old habits, four other books did leap to the forefront and became the fodder of my working days. Fortunately, three of the four are since published, which leaves me pondering why such a long haul for the first one?!
Writing expresses who we are to the outer world. It reveals truths about ourselves of which we may still be unconscious. Our written words strip away the masks of arrogance and denial leaving us standing naked in our essence and in the world. Such vulnerability is a lovely feeling and one that also needs tending and protection. Shedding my warrior persona for this new skin I now inhabit required a safe cocoon to test out new behaviours and experiences. With the new comes uncertainty, inner conflict, insecurity until this, too, passes and the unknown becomes known.
Beauty & the Beast
Like the frost haze of a sub-zero Arctic morn,
I stand still,
too dense to see through crystallized air,
too conflicted to step forward, not backward,
tho’ the feel is of a backward tug.
That beast of willful impatience has me wanting,
salivating for luxury living,
for filling myself up with nothingness,
as though something is lacking.
Disappeared from view, the visionary creations
of revelations on paper, the sacred space,
the unfolding and flowing forth of soulful living.
The beast in me would strive to survive
while the beauty stretches to thrive.
As most know, soulful living does not lie within the power that shadows material wealth, but rather “within the ring of fellowship — one’s circle of friends, loved ones and companions on the path of life” (Lerner & Lerner). Yet at times we catch ourselves like Gollum, alone and miserable, panting after precious. When I find myself slipping into wanting instead of appreciating, I am re-inspired by the epiphanies of dying patients as documented by Bronnie Ware —
Top Five Regrets of the Dying:
I wish . . .
1. I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected.
2. I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I’d stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I’d let myself be happier.
Their words leave me accepting and appreciating the completion of a 10-year writing journey fraught with adventure and sadness as well as the silver lining of a finished product (me); for now.
What is present in your life that tugs on your beauty and your beast? Can you move past arrogance and denial and create the space you need to see the truth — the silver lining?