As far back as I can remember I’ve used writing as a way to focus my thinking and express my innermost thoughts. As a teenager I kept journals, I’d write love letters and I also had a number of friends over the years that lived some distance away and we would write to keep in touch. Writing for me is always a cathartic experience. That said, it’s not always cathartic for the reader…
Writing is the most focused form of thought, and it’s our thoughts – and feelings attached to them – that create our experience in life. It’s no wonder I created a lot of tumultuous times in the past! Often I’d turn to writing as a way of working through things that were hurting me, it brought me back to a quiet centre of stillness.
The need to for others ‘to know how I feel’, I have learned, is something to be very wary of. Unleashing on another your innermost fury or fears is only likely to have an adverse affect, it holds them in that time and space where they (likely inadvertently) hurt you in some way.
I remember at one point in my earlier career a new salesperson at our system suppliers saying “ah, you’re that Shona, that letter you wrote us is infamous”. Of course as soon as I had written the letter, spelling out in every detail my expectations and disappointment with the process of developing a new system together, I had the clarity I needed about a way forward and I had forgotten all about it. Not so at their end. Oops.
Many times in my life I have regretted something I’ve written. Now, in my mid-40’s I’m starting to get better at it, though my children’s school will attest it’s still hit and miss. However, I am now more aware and focused on being in a good-feeling space before I write.
It’s much healthier to get myself into a good place and then use that writing to focus on what I wish to experience instead of what I have experienced. Not something I’d recommend sharing if it’s directed at a person, a bit too sanctimonious. But if you can figure out what you’d like to experience and start thinking of examples of when you have observed that kind of behaviour from them, well, that is something to share in appreciation.
People ask me about my journey as a writer, and I struggle with the answer because writing – for me – is an instrument. I’m grateful for the gift, I cherish it, but it’s an instrument none-the-less. Until a few years ago, it was generally associated with all I have talked about until now, working out the kinks in my life.
In my career, aside of the few disastrous attempts to work through issues with co-workers, my writing had been used to better effect in bringing people on a journey during change and transformation. My others talents, as a visionary, and as someone who can proverbially weave together lots of threads to create a big picture, work beautifully with my talent for the written word.
But as I became more aware of the dichotomy within – that the life I was living and who I was being on the outside was no match for the person on the inside - I made a more determined effort to figure out who that person was. I realised that there were two versions of me and I became determined to allow the one within to bubble to the surface and reveal herself. That is the point at which I started a blog.
So writing for me is a portal into growth and learning, for exploring the mysteries of the universe within. I can’t say that I was ever taken aside by a teacher in English literature and told how beautifully I write, in fact, it held very little interest for me at school. Instead I opted for math and business studies.
There is somewhat of a genetic heritage though I believe, my great grandmother was an English teacher, and the importance of good grammar, punctuation and spelling was imbued from childhood.
There was a point (many years on) when I was exploring career options that I considered writing. In typical fashion I saw that playing out (in a 2 minute ride in my imagination) and leading to lots of travel to promote books and so forth, and that is where the dream got shut down. It was just the wrong point in my life. I did go so far though as to purchase a book on self publishing and another on writing well.
One I read cover to cover, the other made a good support as part of a pile of books under the bed. William Zinsser’s Writing Well is a classic and deservedly so. The key message I took from it was about flow, the purpose of grammar and spelling and such forth, is simply about allowing the reader to get swallowed up in what you are writing about rather than getting tripped up on how it’s written.
That made sense to me. Though these days there are sites and people online who will edit and ghost write for you, so there are no excuses for keeping your ideas locked inside.
I am truly grateful for this gift that I was given, but it is not the sustenance of my life. It’s the exploration, the learning and the growth that I express through my writing that sustains me. The inner journey to the realms beyond those we can touch, except with our hearts and our imagination, is where my true joy lies.
The practice that requires of you an absolute desire and intent to hold yourself in a good feeling space is where my quest lies, for within that alignment the secrets to the soul unlock. Each week as I sit at my keyboard, it is for the deliciousness of that experience, and that alone, that drives me.
I encourage everyone to follow their passion because I believe that is where true success lies. A world where everyone is tuned into their natural wonder, talents and abilities is a world far removed, yet attainable, from where we are today.
Knowing I’ve helped in some way through my writing means a lot - I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m always happy to help if I can. To be the first to receive these posts, you can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
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