Friday, December 26, 2008

All That Matters Is That I'm Writing

Friday, December 26 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

What does this Muse want of you? Why won’t it go away?
It won’t because it can’t. It can’t any more than you can ignore it.
As long as that siren sings to you, neither you nor it can rest until you answer...
~ The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write


All that matters is that I'm writing... I repeat this phrase, mantra-like, in the hours before dawn -- in the hour before my alarm goes off -- trying to drown out the fear and anxiety rattling around in my head. All that matters is that I'm writing...

Like many, these days, I find myself in the throes of financial uncertainty, not sure how I'm going to stay afloat...not sure if I'll stay afloat.

After four years of financial miracles -- miracles that got two books completed and published, miracles that allowed me to travel this country countless times, miracles that freed me to bring the gift of my voice and my words to many of you -- it has been feeling as though the well of miracles has run dry. With money seemingly running out and bills appearing unpayable, I'm now completing my fourth week as a retail stockman in a seasonal job that will likely stretch beyond the holiday season.

It's a relentlessly physical job with long hours and with a paycheck that only begins to cover my expenses at a time when more remunerative coaching, editing and speaking gigs are not showing up. And I've spent most of these past weeks more resentful than grateful, more worried than trusting, more afraid than alive.

I realized on Christmas Day, though, that the well of miracles never runs dry. It just takes on different forms for different times and different needs.

Among those miracles is the job itself, one that fell into my lap with no interview (when other applications went unacknowledged, when interviews elsewhere reaped no offers) and one that pays more to start than similar positions in town. Another is one of my co-workers, who always makes me laugh, even when all I want to do is cry. A third is my ability, surprising even to me, to manage the job's physical rigors without ill effect.

Then there are my close friends, whose combination of loving support and tough-love pep talks have kept me going through these challenging times.

One of those friends sent me an email earlier this week in which he repeatedly reminded me to "write, write, write." "It is your soul work," he wrote. "It is your gift."

I read his words and, sobbing, remembered a revelation I had last month as I was heading back toward Albuquerque after six weeks on the road. I knew that after a decade of fits and starts, it was time to complete The StarQuest, one of two projected sequels to my novel, The MoonQuest. "Regardless of what it takes and what is required of me," I remembered saying, "I commit to getting it done. It's time, and I'm ready."

That realization receded somewhat in my early days back in town, preoccupied as I was with home-hunting, job-hunting and a Thanksgiving visit from my daughter. It pushed back to the surface with my friend's email, which made me teary not only every time I reread it (which I did often) but every time I talked about it.

A few years ago, when I was still traveling and offering regular inspirational and sound-healing teleconferences, one of my talks was about passion, heart's desire and purpose. We must follow our passion and heart's desire, regardless of cost and consequence, I said at the time. More recently, in The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, I quoted Abraham Lincoln as saying, "Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way."

What I've come to realize is that it's now time for me to live those words. All of them. More fully than I ever have before.

I have to write. I have to complete The StarQuest.

Yes, my Muse demands it of me. But, more importantly, my soul demands it of me.

If I've such a powerfully emotional response to this renewed call to write, then it's a call I must answer -- regardless of cost or consequence. I cannot write, speak and teach what I write, speak and teach without honoring that soul imperative, without surrendering to this profound yearning.

I love inspiring you to follow your soul's call in all the ways I have done over the years -- through coaching (writing, life and spiritual), through sound healings and activations and through transformational art and energy portraits. As well, I love sharing my life with you through these newsletters and blog posts. And I will continue to do all these things as opportunities arise. (I'd much rather generate income from these avenues than from my current job!)

But I cannot inspire you to follow your soul's call unless I'm following my own. And I cannot follow mine if I keep worrying about how I'm going to live and what I may have to give up to do it. All I can do is do it.

If doing it means working as a stockman, then that's what I must do. If doing it means I have to move or do without, then that, too, is what must be done. Whatever it takes is whatever it takes.

Another gift of my current retail stint is the discipline it is teaching me. Not the "hard discipline" of having to write a certain amount or for a certain period each day. But the "soft discipline" of being a disciple to my writing, of recognizing that if this call is so important to me, I have no choice but to follow my own advice in The Voice of the Muse and carve out whatever time I can, recognizing that I have no greater priority in my life right now.

The rest is up to God, however you define it. There is no other way. Because, in the end, all that matters is that I'm writing.

What is your soul calling you to as you launch into 2009?
What sings to your heart?
What are you not doing that would feed your essence?
How is your fear holding you back?
How are you allowing your light to be dimmed and your life to be diminished?
What are you afraid of losing?
What are you afraid of gaining?

Please share your thoughts and comments, your fears and desires, here.

May the new year bless you as you open to the yearning of your soul. And may you recognize your innate strength and limitless courage as you answer its call.


• If writing is your passion and you're having a difficult time acknowledging it and/or acting on it, this guided meditation -- an audio excerpt from The Voice of the Muse Companion: Guided Meditations for Writers and my holiday gift to you -- may help...

Image of The Muse by Richard Crookes from the cover of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write (LightLines Media, 2008)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mark David Gerson Wins 2008 New Mexico Book Award for The MoonQuest

Friday, November 21, 2008 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mark David Gerson’s win, for The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy, was announced on November 21 at an Albuquerque awards banquet designed to honor authors in more than 30 categories from New Mexico and beyond.

His award, in the statewide contest, was in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category.

The MoonQuest, Gerson’s first novel, is part of a fantasy pantheon that includes The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

It’s the compelling tale of a young bard’s quest to restore vision and imagination to a mythical land where stories have been banned and storytellers put to death.

This is The MoonQuest’s fifth award and its second this year. In March, it won a Gold Medal for Visionary Fiction in the Independent Book Publisher Awards.

The fantasy, popular with adults and young adults alike, has also been recognized in the USA Best Book Awards (visionary fiction), the Reader Views Awards (young adult fiction) and the New Mexico Discovery Awards (unpublished fiction). This is its first fantasy/science fiction prize.

As well, The MoonQuest has been lauded by U.S. critics as “an evocative and emotionally moving tale of adventure” (Midwest Book Review) and “an exceptional, timeless novel” (The Mindquest Review of Books). Library Journal praised it as an “emotionally solid tale” whose “songlike prose [offers] a match for its ethereal characters and allegorical message of inner truth.”

For Gerson, who moved to New Mexico in 2005, this award carries particular significance. “This is where I finally finished The MoonQuest,” he says. “It’s also where I finished my second book, and hope to complete my third!”

Gerson is also author of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write (LightLines Media 2008), based on his 15-plus years of teaching creative writing in the U.S. and Canada. He is now seeking a producer for his screenplay adaptation of The MoonQuest and is working on a sequel to the novel.

This is the second year for the New Mexico Book Awards, established to acknowledge the best in New Mexico books. Over the next year, The MoonQuest will be featured, along with other winners, in special displays in bookstores and libraries across the state, including in all New Mexico Borders outlets.

Both Gerson’s books are available from Amazon.com and other online retailers, from the publisher at www.lightlinesmedia.com and at selected U.S. retailers coast-to-coast.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Everything Old Is New Again

Wednesday, November 19 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Everything old is new again, as the Peter Allen lyric suggests. Here I am, back in Albuquerque, my unexpectedly brief journeying complete. And I move into a new rental here on Monday.

When I left town on September 30, I didn't know if I'd ever be back. All I knew was the call to the open road, a call I (once again) had no choice but to obey.

Through 40 days of driving, I traveled south and east into Texas, then back north into Louisiana, crossing it and the Mississippi before veering up through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. After a pit stop in Albuquerque, I continued west into Arizona, then south toward San Diego and north to Sacramento.

That rainy night in Sacramento, dining with a minister friend and her husband (who, themselves, are planning a move to Albuquerque), I knew that Albuquerque was calling me home.

As if to emphasize the point -- and to remind me that I wasn't going back, I was moving forward -- I woke up two mornings later with "everything old is new again" playing in my head. (And in case I missed the message, the song reprised itself for me the following morning.)

I don't like the expression "coming full circle" because it suggests that we're returning to a place we've already been, having learned nothing and grown not at all. My preferred image is that of a spiral, where we return to a place along the same axis, but at a higher level of consciousness and understanding.

As I wrote in The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, "Each cycle’s completion returns you not to where you began but to a higher level of awareness, mastery, openness and trust." I wrote that about the creative process, but isn't life the ultimate creative process?

So here I am, ready to embark on my own version of the Peter Allen song. Everything old is new again.

For a start, I'm committed to returning to The StarQuest, the first of two projected sequels to my novel, The MoonQuest.

The StarQuest has been in my life for more than a decade, having begun to work its way out of me before The MoonQuest was finished (even if, at the time, I thought it was finished). I've worked on it in fits and starts since then and have yet to complete a first draft.

This week, I began reading through its 200-odd manuscript pages. The book is far from complete. But it is ready to be birthed, and I'm ready to be its midwife. Everything old is new again.

Another renewal is my relationship with the Sandia Mountains. This magical range, which marks the eastern boundary of Albuquerque, is a large part of what keeps calling me back to this place.

Like my previous home here, my new condo is in the Sandia foothills. As wonderful as my last location was (half a mile from a trailhead), the new one's is even better: nothing across from it but open land and mountain trails. Everything old is new again.

This past Sunday while at church, the passenger-side rear-view mirror assembly vanished from my car. I don't know whether it was an accident, vandalism or theft, but a way of looking back -- into the past -- was taken from me. A new mirror was installed yesterday. Everything old is new again.

As I was wondering this afternoon, in the midst of writing this piece, how I would be supported in this re-newed Albuquerque life, I received a phone call from a local magazine that is seeking an editor, its content similar to one I worked on in Toronto more than 15 years ago.

I don't know whether I'll get the job -- or will even want it if it's offered -- but it, too, suggests that everything old is new again.

The turn of the spiral is complete, and here I stand at the threshold of a new life that resembles the old one in surface details only. Where do I go from here? Across the threshold and into a beginning still veiled but replete with the promise that all new beginnings offer.

Once again, from The Voice of the Muse: "From silence to silence, word to word, trust to trust -- the spiral is an infinite one, carrying you from one beginning to the next and one ending to the next on a journey with no beginning or ending."

The spiral is an infinite one... How perfect that through my 40 days of travel I, somehow, unconsciously, drove an infinity symbol through those 10 states, with Albuquerque as its center point.

Photos (c) 2008 by Mark David Gerson: #1 Sandia foothills, Albuquerque, NM; #2 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK; #3 Stone cairn, Meditation Mount, Ojai, CA; #4 Sandia foothills, Albuquerque, NM; #5 Winterville Mounds, near Greenville, MS.

More photos from the journey at "Forty Days on the Road."

Forty Days on the Road

Tuesday, November 18 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

A selection of photos from my recent journey.







Photos (c) 2008 by Mark David Gerson: #1 Salida River, Salida, CO; #2 Downtown water towers, Pratt, KS; #3 Sunset near Marfa, TX; #4 Hot Springs Mtn., Hot Springs, AR; #5 Hwy 49, near Bear Valley, CA; #6 Stupa of Enlightenment, Crestone, CO.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Prayer for Prosperity

Friday, November 7 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Geri O'Hare and her husband, Art, have been dear friends and great supporters of my work and my writing for quite some time now.

When I visited them in California last month, Geri handed me this Science of Mind treatment for prosperity she had written some years back as a Religious Science Practitioner. It's been such a powerful inspiration for me that I asked her if I could share it with you here. It feels particularly relevant in these times.

After you read it, use it or meditate with it, please return here and share your thoughts, comments and experiences. Our shared stories are always part of the healing and transformation.


A Guest Post by Geri O'Hare, R.Sc.P.

Prosperity Treatment

I know that within me there is a Universal Power which is God.

It is Infinite Spirit and I am one with this Spirit. It is Universal Mind, Intelligence and Love operating through me at all times. It guides me into Right Action, prosperity, greater abundance, peace and harmony. It knows no limitations and recognizes no lack. It knows exactly what I need and when I need it. I only have to believe, and I do this ardently.

With childlike faith I now state that all my affairs are in order. No longer do I harbor fears for my future. Instead, my heart is filled with confidence and certainty.

I am aware that Divine Intelligence is my partner and we are never separated. Together we accomplish everything, and my todays and tomorrows are assured.

Every move I make is for the best. I always have an abundance of money or whatever it is that I need to make my life happy and complete. The supply is constantly moving towards me because my Divine Partner knows exactly what to do.

All my anxieties and fears have evaporated. I see that I have everything and that I am lovingly protected at all times.

Thank you, Infinite Spirit, for the tremendous changes in both my life and in my thinking.

I now enjoy perfect abundance and perfect prosperity. All the good in the Universe is my good now and there is no limit to it.

It is my birthright because God and I are united in Spirit and I am deeply grateful.

I know, I believe and it is so!

Lovingly,
Geri O’Hare, R.Sc.P.

Photo of Geri O'Hare by Mark David Gerson

TGIM

Monday, November 10 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

TGIM? Don't you mean TGIF?

Well, my colleague Scott Stratten would like you to start thinking about why we bless Fridays and curse Mondays. More importantly, he'd like to help us bless all days and to praise Mondays with the same passion we now praise Fridays.

Check out Scott's message, "Thank Goodness It's Monday" and be part of the paradigm shift.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes, You Can!

I think I can
I think I can
I think I can
I
know I can
~ The Little Engine That Could

Tuesday, Nov. 4 ~ Needles, California

On this historic night in the United States, it's important to remember that whatever our dreams, whatever our challenges, whatever our hopes, whatever our fears, yes we can!

Yes, I can.

Yes, you can.

Whatever it is, however unlikely it seems, it is possible. For you...for me...for all of us.

Believe it.

Know it.

Embody it.

Be it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Power of Being

Friday, Oct. 24 ~ Surprise, Arizona

I'm sitting on the patio of the Olive Garden restaurant here in Surprise, Arizona. Dinner is done and I'm waiting (and waiting and waiting) for my check.

Frustrated, I set down my book and am immediately aware of a vortex of energy spiraling out of me and around the patio, touching everyone and everything in its path.

As I focus my attention on the swirl of light I seem to be radiating, the young man sitting by my left shoulder darts a quick, wary glance at me, as though I had tapped his arm. Just as quickly, he looks away. 

I've been on the road nearly 30 days now, a tiny fraction of the 30-month duration of my previous road odyssey. In both instances I've sensed, without objective proof, that part of the purpose of the journey is as an activational presence -- in effect, doing energy work on everyone and everything I encounter, including the land I drive or walk across. 

In 1997, just before my first such journey, my then-Reiki Master likened all who are initiated into the Reiki energy to crystals. Without making any conscious effort, she said, we would be radiating healing energy -- just as a crystal does. There was nothing we needed to do but be the energy.

In the years since, I've come to expand her dictum in the realization that we are all energy vehicles and that our energetic presence -- our beingness -- is always a crystal-like presence in the world. 

It can be a presence for en-light-enment or not. That is our choice and it depends on the resonance or vibration we are holding at any given moment.

If we are in fear, mistrust, anger or hatred, then those are the energies we project around us and those are the energies with which we affect others. 

If we are loving, compassionate, grateful and forgiving, if we are walking in the path of our highest calling and potential, we can be a powerful force for healing and transformation.

"Be the change you want to see in the world," Gandhi said. He didn't say "make the change." He said be the change.

When we live from our hearts, practice compassion and surrender to the highest imperative we can access and touch in any given moment, we are agents of change, angels of light and healers of the highest order -- without having to do anything.

It's happening through us, whether we're aware of it or not, regardless of what we're doing. Of course, our actions are important. But they will flow naturally from this place of beingness and will be the most appropriate actions possible, even if they don't seem that way in the moment.

I understand this. I know it. And I believe that this journey I'm now called to is powerful work -- in my life and in the life of the planet. Yet my doubting mind still seeks proof at times, still seeks validation, still yearns for confirmation...even as I know that none of these are objectively necessary.

My Olive Garden experience -- though not as dramatic as parts of me would have preferred -- offered a hint of what's really going on in my life and reminded me that all I need to do is open my awareness and I will get all the "proof" I need.

Yes, I still wonder some days why I'm not doing more. I wonder why I'm doing so few sound-healing events and sessions, why I'm not promoting my books as aggressively as I was a few months back. 

I'm open to doing all these things and do them when called or when the moment feels right. But I'm learning to accept that my beingness will always be a more powerful and effective tool of healing and transformation than any doingness I can muster up.

When we hold the resonance of trust, faith and love out in the world, that's the highest work we can be doing -- regardless of external circumstances. We can't always see the impact of that "work" (and might, in my experience, not always prefer to see it), but it's happening. 

By being all we can be, by surrendering to our highest imperative, by living from our hearts, we not only transform ourselves and model that transformation for others, we activate everyone and everything into that same force field of change. 

One final note: There are many days, here on the road, when I wonder how just "being" will pay my bills when there's little that I'm consciously doing to bring in money. 

Then I remember the many miracles that have turned up for me over the years -- just when I've needed them. I remember, too, that God, however you define it (God Self, Higher Self, Spirit, Universal Mind, etc.) is the true source of my support and supply -- not my books, not my clients, not an employer.

My only job is to be -- open, receptive and surrendering -- and to let that beingness define and determine what I do. From that place, I trust that I will be supported, not because of what I do because of what I am. I trust, too, that all will be well...as it always is.

Art by Mark David Gerson: "Heart of Fire (#403)" -- As you look into this drawing, hold your hand to your heart and become aware of the fire within it. Feel the passion that burns in the center of your beingness, a fire that burns eternally yet destroys nothing but your own sense of your own limitations.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Rebirthed from the Earth

Thursday, Oct. 2 ~ Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Whites City, New Mexico

It's an hour's hike down 755 feet of spirals and switchbacks to the floor of Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New Mexico. My knees protest the unrelenting steepness of the trail and my emotions protest the loss of light, the descent into darkness.

This journey into the womb of the earth scares me, which surprises me. I recall neither physical nor emotional intensity during my last visit here, in 2005. I remember only the sculptural beauty of the calcite formations and the ghostly otherworldliness of this underground realm.

This time, though, the trek has me close to tears at times, and I'm embarrassingly relieved when I complete the mile-long circuit of the 8.2-acre Big Room and find myself waiting for the elevator to whisk me back to the surface.

As I return to the light, I'm suddenly aware of the powerful metaphor I have just experienced. On this day before my birthday, I have had my own rebirth: into the womb, which, however embracing, is still dark and confining for a spirit accustomed to infinite light and space...up through the birth canal with remarkable speed and ease...and into a new day, a new life, a new outlook and a renewed purpose.

Tomorrow, on my birthday, I expect to ascend to the heavens and touch the stars -- with a visit to the McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains of west Texas.

The rebirthing continues...

Carlsbad Caverns NPS photos by Peter Jones: #1 Cavern entrance; #2 Big Room formations

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reach for the Stars...and Touch Them

With all there is
Why settle for just a piece of sky?
~ from the score of Yentl, Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman


Thursday, Sept. 25 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

I'm walking on a nature trail in Albuquerque's Sandia Mountain foothills, the late-day sun gilding the granite outcroppings and illuminating the sage, cactus and juniper.

This is one of my final farewell walks in a landscape that has so nurtured and inspired me.

You see, in five days I will be gone from here, launched yet again on an open-ended, Spirit-directed odyssey into the unknown and unimagined -- my third such journey of faith in the past 11 years.

My first, in 1997, opened me to marriage, parenthood and life in a new country. The second, which spanned 30 months and was sparked by the end of that marriage, led to my two books and CD and kindled for me a more empowered professionalism. Both journeys pushed and expanded me, challenging me to surrender more fully to the divine imperative that directs and prospers me -- when I let it.

In each case, I knew nothing of what lay head. I simply stepped off the cliff of my certainty and into the void from which all creation emerges.

Was I afraid? Sometimes.

Did I allow that fear to stand in my way? Rarely, and never for long.

As I think ahead to what's next, this lyric from Osibisa's song "Woyaya" plays in my head:

We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
We'll know we're there
We will get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will


I'm also reminded of the scene in The MoonQuest where Toshar and his three companions must step through an opening that will carry them "beyond the end of the known world."

Dense smoke chokes them where they stand as the jungle through which they have trekked burns up. There is no way back.

The only way is forward -- into the unknown, with its challenges and opportunities. With its secrets and mysteries. With gifts more wondrous and miracle-filled than any they could imagine.

When I left Toronto in 1997, the only direction I had from my GPS (God Positioning System) was to head west. Ultimately, it landed me in a new life in Sedona, Arizona.

When I left Sedona seven years and a Hawaii sojourn later, my GPS also sent me west -- at first. In the many months of cross-country travel that followed, I always managed to find my way back to the New Mexico that has been my full-time home for the past year.

Now, as I prepare to leave Albuquerque, my divine compass points eastward, directing me to the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas.

I've felt pulled toward the home of National Public Radio's StarDate since August, when I knew I would be returning to the road.

It was a mystifying pull because, as stunning as is the observatory's setting and as fascinating as is its planetarium show, I've been there -- twice -- and never experienced any life-altering epiphanies.

At a conscious level, at least, it was a fun place to visit. Nothing more.

Yet if I've learned anything through my years of personal and spiritual growth, it's the importance of surrendering to the highest imperative I can access in any given moment. (There's a reason why the word "surrender" appears 67 times in The Voice of the Muse!) Like Toshar and his friends, I too must surrender to whatever lies beyond the end of my known world and be open to all the wonders that await me on the other side.

And so, if that highest imperative is sending me back to southwest Texas, I'll go -- whatever it means.

I've asked what it means countless times in recent weeks. Today, on my Sandia walk, I ask again.

For the first time, I hear an answer: "To remind you to reach for the stars."

Now, as I write these words, that same inner voice adds: "Reach for the stars...and touch them."

We all need reminders to reach for the stars, that potent metaphor for our highest, most divine potential. In these challenging, turbulent times, we also need to be reminded that those stars are not beyond our grasp. We can touch them. All it takes is a hand, outstretched to the infinite...the infinite we already are.


Photos by Mark David Gerson: #1 Sandia Foothills, Albuquerque, NM; #2 From the McDonald Observatory, near Fort Davis, TX

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting the (Common) Sense Knocked Out of Me

Tuesday, Sept. 9 ~ Sedona, Arizona

I'm walking along Hwy. 179 in Sedona's Village of Oak Creek, nursing a bashed nose that's still tender and a bit bloody after its run-in this morning with a plate-glass slider.

Sedona, which has always been good to me through the two times I've lived here and through countless visits since, seems to have taken on a Mommie Dearest persona on this trip.

Although Saturday's talk and book-signing at The Well Red Coyote went wonderfully, I've had no end of challenges with my hotel: locks and keys that don't work, a mattress that leaves my back aching each morning, rowdy guests who wake me in the wee hours and, of course, the glass slider in the breakfast room.

If this is a dress rehearsal for a return to on-the-road living, it's not going well.

You see, when I get back to Albuquerque on Friday, I'll be packing up and preparing to return to some version of the road odyssey that I've written about so often on this site.

Meantime, in true Sedona style, I'm sort of stuck here. That's because my daughter's ninth birthday is the main reason I'm in town, and that's not until Thursday. I suppose I could change hotels, but it doesn't feel as though this particular hotel is the real issue.

As I continue my walk, trying to clear the fuzziness from my head, my cell phone rings. It's a dear friend who has been experiencing challenges of her own. Her call is not about challenges, though. It's about the angel who volunteered to help her out over the weekend and then gifted her with a massage.

I don't often get direct messages for people when I'm not in session mode. But in this moment, a powerful inner/higher voice urges me to say to her, "Don't doubt that you're being taken care of."

As I speak the words, my voice catches and I feel a surge of emotion. These words are also for me.

I realize in that moment that all the mishaps that have been feeding my anxiety about going back on the road are because of my anxiety about going back on the road.

Why am I anxious? Because I'm afraid I won't be supported.

Of course, there's no reason to feel that. Through 30 months of full-time travel I was always supported. Miracle after wondrous miracle kept me going, and never did I feel abandoned.

Yet I fear abandonment now because this journey isn't like the last one. How could it be? Why would I repeat something I've already mastered?

No, this is a new level -- of something. And not knowing what kind of void I'm about to drive into leaves me feeling fearful.

Conventional thinking and common sense support my fear. But conventional thinking and common sense also argue against the way I live my life: leaping off cliffs and trusting that I'll sprout wings on the way down...stepping into one void after another in the certainty that I'll be supported...surrendering unconditionally to the highest, most divine nature I can access in any moment.

It's no accident that my friend's call came after I bashed my head. Perhaps I needed common sense knocked out of me to make room for the higher, divine sense that generally directs my life. Perhaps I needed to be reminded what is true (my faith) and what is illusion (my fear).

Twenty-four hours have passed since I walked into the glass slider. I'm sitting in the same hotel breakfast room wearing the same Voice of the Muse t-shirt I wore yesterday.

Today, though, a fellow hotel guest notices my shirt, asks me about it and, ultimately, buys a copy of the book. Ten minutes later, I've sold a second book. Within an hour, I've sold a third.

All three sales occur right by the plate-glass slider that knocked common sense out of me yesterday -- to remind me that I'm always supported on this uncommon journey of faith.

As I travel east this fall, I'll be looking for opportunities to present talks and sound activations, offer classes and workshops, and do book-signings. If you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions or are open to hosting an event, please drop me a line.

Photos #1 & 3 by Mark David Gerson: #1 Sedona Red Rocks; #3 Hwy 167 near Mono Lake, California. Photo #2: The patio by my hotel's breakfast room.

Be Inspired Today

Tuesday, Sept. 9 ~ Sedona, Arizona

Just in case you missed my newsletter invitation, I'm repeating it here: Please join me online on Thursday, Sept. 11 when I'm the featured Inspirational Luminary on InspireMeToday.com.

The site's basic inspirational features, including mine, are free. But you can also sign up for an enhanced membership that will continue to inspire you every day.

It's easy, whichever level you choose. Just click on this link on 9/11, register (using this code: IVYIBTZCXT)  and be inspired! (When you click on the "View Luminary Profile" link, it will take you to my inspirational resources.)

Thanks for joining me, and be sure to come back here to leave your comments!

Recognizing Blog Brilliance

Tuesday, Sept. 9 ~ Sedona, Arizona

My fellow author and blogger Marvin D. Wilson has had his Free Spirit blog nominated for the web's Brilliant Blog Appreciation Awards, a singular recognition.

Marvin's blog focuses on both spiritual evolvement and good writing and is certainly worth checking out. If you do, please add your vote to push him over the top in the award competition's "Best Christian/Inspirational" category.

You can vote using this link. Just be sure to cast yours before the midnight (PT) deadline Friday night, Sept. 12.

By the way, I'll be featured on Marvin's blog in a Sept. 11 post. Please check it out!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Vehicle of Faith

Saturday, August 30 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

I'm sitting in the showroom of a local car dealership. It's been a long day of car buying. Nearly eight hours long.

Although the quintessential auto-purchase experience in terms of time spent (why does it have to take so long!?), my day here belies all stereotypes about car salesmen. Brad and Kelly, my salesman and his sales-manager boss, have been warm, engaging and genuine.

Still, I'm exhausted and stressed.

After two failed attempts at car-buying in recent months, I was reluctant to give it a third try, even as I knew it was time for a new vehicle.

Then, seemingly from nowhere, I got an e-mail and follow-up call from this particular dealership. They claimed they were responding to an internet request for information -- a request I have no memory of having made.

I put them off for several weeks, somewhat gun-shy after my previous experiences. Finally, today, I relented, no longer able to ignore the many synchronicities of the situation (not to mention the end-of-season discounts).

Now, the test drives are done, the credit apps have been processed, we've negotiated back and forth on terms and down payments and I'm staring at final figures -- the figures I said I would need to see in order to make a decision today.

When I drove in this morning, I asked Spirit for a sense of what a new monthly car payment would look like. Not surprisingly, the resulting figure pushed my financial comfort-zone buttons...just as a comparable figure had three years ago under similar circumstances. Yet I knew that if I acted today from a place of trust, centeredness and integrity I would be taken care of, as I always have been.

The "final figure" now before me is uncomfortably higher than the one I sensed this morning. Yet despite my fears, I know I must say yes. Not because I've been worn down after eight hours in this shabby showroom. But because all my higher senses tell me to.

I say yes.

When I get home, I’m so fearful and frazzled I can't get out of the garage and away from the new car quickly enough.

I spend a restless evening and sleepless night mired in doubt and distress and wake up exhausted and barely functional. Fortunately, pep talks from a couple of friends give me the courage to begin to take ownership of the vehicle. I browse through the manual, marveling at all the gadgetry, and call my insurance company to switch my coverage.

And then the phone rings. It's Dana, the dealership's finance manager. My heart sinks.

Eight years ago in Hawaii, I drove a new car home from the lot only to get a call the next day from the dealership, sorrowfully advising me that I would need to kick in more money or the deal was dead.

I had warned the Albuquerque dealership that if that were to happen here, I would return the car.

"Yes?" I answer tentatively.

"Could you come down to the dealership this afternoon?"

Oh, God, I gasp silently. "Why?" ask hesitantly.

"We'd like to lower your monthly payment."

"What?"

"We’d like to lower your monthly payment."

A few hours later, I’m back at the dealership, signing a new set papers. My interest rate has dropped by a third, my payment has dropped 14 percent, and my new monthly payment is within the range I had (erroneously, I thought) predicted.

As I drive home, considerably lighter-feeling than during the same drive yesterday, I think of the journey of trust the biblical Abraham went through when God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

A man of infinite faith, Abraham began to prepare for the unthinkable and unconscionable. Only when his knife was a whisper away from Isaac’s throat did an angel appear, praising Abraham for his faith and releasing him from his vow.

I feel like Abraham right now.

During the past 24 hours, my faith has also been stretched beyond all reasonable limits. Like Abraham, the only thing I have been asked to give up is my fear.

Now, having let it go, I have been rewarded for my trust and am free to move forward on the next leg of my journey -- in my vehicle of faith.

Art by Marc Chagall: "Sacrifice of Isaac," Musée Marc Chagall, Nice, France

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stepping into the Void...Again

Friday, August 22 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

O'ric raised his hands over my head in benediction. "Ride north one league at a time. Aris will guide you at night. A path between the suns will guide you in the day. Your heart will guide you always."
~ The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy


I knew it could happen any time. I knew my days in this house were numbered. But when I listen to the woman who owns the house I’m renting, I'm numb with shock.

"This isn't working," she says of her attempts to sell the house with a tenant (me) in it. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you notice."

This isn't how it was supposed to be. I expected to stay in the house until it sold, which in this market could have taken months. Meantime, I've been scouring Craig's List for suitable alternatives.

Now...what?

It takes me a few hours to settle into an emotional state conducive to meditative activity. Once there, I feel out the energy of my known options:

1) Find another Albuquerque rental
2) Find a rental somewhere else, in or out of state
3) Hit the road for some indefinite, transitional period

If you've followed these Chronicles for any length of time, you know that the last time I did #3, I ended up on the road for 30 months!

Although I'm not keen to embark on another open-ended odyssey, the romance of the road still carries a certain appeal. Still, my first choice is #1...though it’s proving hard to find anything that measures up to where I now live. As for #2, I'm open, but nothing solid has presented itself.

Frankly, I'm open to all options, despite my conscious preference. I’m particularly open to the options I can’t yet see or imagine.

That's just as well because whatever inner/higher/heart intelligence is guiding this human journey, it keeps urging me to "expect the unexpected" and to pack in a way that offers me the most flexibility (#3).

Like Toshar, the questing protagonist of my novel The MoonQuest, all I can do is follow the path that presents itself in each moment -- wherever it carries me, whatever the consequences.

If there's one thing I've learned through my years of personal and spiritual growth (and writing The MoonQuest was a potent teacher in that regard), it's that the unimagined and unimaginable is nearly always far more wondrous than the known and predictable.

Travel beyond the end of the known world, Toshar and his companions are told. A similar voice constantly offers me the same counsel.

Not for the first time in my life (and, undoubtedly, not for the last), what's ahead is beyond my ability to predict or project. Not only is there a catalog of options betyond nos. 1, 2 and 3, there are variations -- 1a, 2c, 3f -- that my mind can't yet figure out because it can't yet see them as possibilities. They lie beyond the end of my known world.

Living in this place of unlimited openness isn't without its stresses. Not knowing whether I'm moving or roving, not knowing which contingency to pack and prepare for -- these information voids catapult me well beyond what's left of my comfort zone.

Yet through it all, I have an abiding knowingness that when I trust and surrender, when I let go and leap, I end up somewhere magnificent, somewhere I could never have imagined, predicted or chosen.

For today, all I can do is to start packing and let tomorrow take care of itself...and me. It always has.

Art by Mark David Gerson: "Surrendering to the Mystery, Surrendering to the Void (#34)"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Freedom's Dream

Wednesday, August 20 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

"To the Vilda'aa it marked The End of the Known World. To me it promised a new beginning."
— 
The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy

I had a dream last night.

I dreamed I was on a large prison campus, large enough that it seemed like a small city. 

As I stood there, watching prisoners and guards and at least one politician walk by, all dressed in civilian clothes, I knew something that none of them did: This prison campus had no walls, fences or gates. Anyone could leave at any time if they opened their eyes to the truth and made that choice. 

In the dream, a friend and I had made that choice.  

I remember kneeling on the lawn in front of some official building, going through the contents of my backpack as I decided what to take with me and what to leave behind. I remember now only what didn't make the cut: a variety of maps, articles and documents that linked me with my past. 

When I woke up soon after, I was both exhilarated and disconcerted. 

Absolute freedom does that. We both long for it and are disoriented when we get it.  

The irony is that, as my dream demonstrated, we all have it. All of us. Always.  

But it's our choice whether we claim it, whether we act on it...whether we open our eyes and heart to a truth that has always been present, to a choice we have thus far declined to make. 

As my dream also demonstrated, our past is often a big part of that prison.

How often do we view and thus limit our choices through a prism of the past? How often do we assume that the way something has always been done proves that it's the best way, or the only way? How often do we let the burden of our past slow our awareness of the present and hinder our walk into the future? 

For me, one of the most powerful scenes in my novel The MoonQuest remains the coronation, where Crown Prince Kyri is directed to throw all the jeweled accoutrements of the old king's regalia into the fire as he and his subjects-to-be chant, "The past is passed. We let it go." 

Only when all that has encumbered Kyri to the old reign is consumed in the ceremonial flame is he ready to chart his own course as monarch. 

Later, King Kyri honors his father, now a simple subject, by kneeling before him. His father pulls Kyri to his feet. 

"Do not bow to me, my son. I stand here as the past, and you must never worship the past. ... Set your sights on the future by seeing to the present. Don't, I beg, let your vision linger longingly on the past. Let it go, my son. Let it all go. ... Let me go." 

Of course, the past is not without value. It's one of our greatest teachers.

Yet we not only condemn ourselves to repeating our mistakes by ignoring the past, we condemn ourselves to paralysis by residing there, by refusing to recognize each new moment as its own life with its own imperatives — imperatives that must be informed by the past but not directed by it. 

Of my Ten Rules for Living, the first two speak powerfully to that concept. 

Rule #1: There are no rules 
Rule #2: What works today may not work tomorrow  

Only by stepping away from the limitations of "how things have to be" and "how things have always been" can we free ourselves to step beyond our known world and into the limitlessness of our infinite potential. 

Only be seeing the prisons we have created for ourselves can we recognize that nothing but our own choices keeps us locked within them. 

Only by daring to see the truth of our innate freedom, can we live all the wondrous, as-yet undreamed-of gifts that our freedom has already granted us. 

In my dream, I tell my prisoner friend that he, too, can be free, that there is nothing to keep him locked away. I then invite him to leave with me, to walk out of the prison city and be free.  

Won't you be that friend? Won't you leave with me? Won't you walk with me into the freedom that's already yours?   

Photo by Mark David Gerson: "Flying Free," Mission Beach, San Diego, California

Song & Spirit of Liberty

Wednesday, August 20 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

The United States was founded on a break with the past, on the notion that a fresh start could be the spark that ignites a new world of liberty and freedom. 

That America hasn't always lived up to that ideal doesn't diminish freedom's call. Nor does it diminish the powerful symbols of liberty and of America's potential that continue to move and inspire freedom-seekers around the world.

As you meditate on this image, inspired by the Statue of Liberty, the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell and by my 2005 "Freedom Trail" travels and writings, remember that freedom is your choice, that liberty is your birthright and that the prisons you have built for yourself have no walls, fences or gates.

In this moment, you are as free as you allow yourself to be.

Art by Mark David Gerson: "Song & Spirit of Liberty (#62)"

Friday, August 08, 2008

Trust. Now.

Friday, August 8 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mistrust has deformed this land,
twisting it until lies are truth and truth is a lie,
embedding it with layers of fear so thick
even the brightest light can't pierce through. ...
It has spread so subtly we don’t even see it.
Yet it's there. And it must be stopped.
We must stop it and begin again.
~ The MoonQuest


How do we begin again? By trusting ourselves.

From there, we regain trust in our highest God selves. Then we regain trust in each other.

We trust what we know. We trust what we see. We trust in the possibility of the impossible. We trust in love.


"You either trust or you do not," M’nor stated. "There is no halfway in between."
~ The MoonQuest



Where do you still not trust yourself? Where do you still not trust others? Where do you doubt that you're capable of miracles?

How can you more fully surrender to your highest God self and trust your alchemical power to bring Heaven on Earth into your life? Beginning today.

The MoonQuest is available at selected retailers across the U.S. and through various online sites, including Amazon.com and LightLines Media.

The Art of Creative Living...and of a Creative Life

Wednesday, August 6 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you've read my words or heard me speak, you'll know that how passionately I believe that life and creativity are one, that there's little difference between the principles and precepts that foster success in one or the other.

In fact, the 10 Rules for Living you'll find on my web site and in an earlier post on this blog were adapted -- with little effort -- from the 13 Rules for Writing that appear both in my book, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, and its companion CD.

Twice this week, I was given an opportunity to share my thoughts about creative living and living your creativity. And although my talk at Saturday's Albuquerque meeting of Southwest Writers wasn't recorded, this afternoon's radio conversation with Rev. Jamie Sanders of Unity of Pensacola was.

During our hour together on Jamie's Spirituality Today book club show on the Unity.fm radio network, we talked about life, spirituality, creativity and all that link them together.

To hear the interview, click on the player icon below. If the icon doesn't show up, use this link.



How do life, creativity and spirituality come together for you?

Art by Mark David Gerson: Portal to Your Passion (#117)

Let the Abundance Flow!

Wednesday, July 30 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

The image in my mind’s eye, as I began this drawing, was of a waterfall. I saw an infinite free flow of abundance that would bless all it touched.

Once on the page, though, my waterfall looked more to me like an angel wing, a symbol of lightness, protection and grace.

When I showed the drawing to a friend, she saw neither wing nor waterfall. To her, the image was of a dolphin, the embodiment of playfulness and joy.

In the competed drawing, the three energies merge -- an angel of abundance, joyfully blessing all who are open to receiving its gifts.

As you meditate on this image, ask yourself if you're open to receiving the gifts that now wait for you. Acknowledge all the ways your heart is already open. Then ask yourself where your heart is still closed.

We all have those places. Don't judge them. Simply reassure all parts of yourself, lovingly, that they are safe, that growth and change are not dangerous, that an open heart is your passport to an abundant life. And let the abundance flow!

Art by Mark David Gerson: Angel of Abundance (#402)

A Leap into the Unknown

Saturday, July 26 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Most of my previous drawings have been linked to sacred Earth sites or to a predetermined topic. When I sat down to draw today, though (for the first time in over a year), I had no sense at all of what this drawing would be about or where it would take me.

As first one purple arc and then another formed on the blank page, all I could do was surrender -- fully and unconditionally -- to something that dwelt beyond all imagining, something that could only emerge as I abandoned all control, something I could not know until I stepped away from all expectations.

The Cities of Light incubating within us and the New Earth we are now birthing require this same willingness to leap into the unknown, to step beyond the familiar world of our experience and imagination and into a Heaven on Earth that will create itself...to the extent that we let it.

Are you ready to birth Heaven on Earth in your life? In what ways are you open? In what ways are you blocked? As you meditate on this drawing, let yourself leap beyond your known world and into the wonder and joy of all you cannot yet imagine.

Art by Mark David Gerson: City of Light (#401)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Best of...

Saturday, July 26 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

It’s hard to believe that these New Earth Chronicles have been around for 30 months and that this is the 148th post.

I was mighty resistant in January 2006 when I first felt the call to blog. At the time, I knew nothing about blogs. Didn’t much want to know, either.

But 14 months into a full-time road odyssey that had already twice carried me coast-to-coast, I felt as though a blog would be the perfect way to share my journeying -- using a medium that was more personal and immediate than the newsletter it would supplement.

My remaining doubts dissolved a few days later, when I learned that the next meeting of the Albuquerque-based Southwest Writers group would offer an introduction to blogging. Talk about perfect timing. I drove down from Santa Fe for the meeting and a few days later, this New Earth Chronicles blog was born.

Since then, this blog has followed me across the U.S. and into Canada as I've chronicled my experiences of this New Earth we're all birthing -- each in our own way, each in our own lives.

Although my chronicles of the road ended in August when I dropped anchor here in Albuquerque, my New Earth experiences have continued, as have these chronicles.

Here are a few highlights...

February 2006 ~ Santa Fe, NM -- Love Beyond Love...from a Place Beyond all Understanding

June 2006 ~ Palm Desert CA --What's It All About, Alfie?

October 2006 ~ Hillside, VA -- D(r)ving into Different States

November 2006 ~ Dalton, GA -- Family Lies, Family Ties

December 2006 ~ Ojai, CA -- Aligned with the Flow That only Passion Can Activate

January 2007 ~ Thousand Oaks, CA -- An Eye for the Right Life

May 2007 ~ Santa Fe, NM -- A Horse (or Two) of a Different Color

July 2007 ~ Sedona, AZ -- Use Me

October 2007 ~ Santa Fe, NM -- Deeper Levels of Trust

January 2008 ~ Albuquerque, NM -- Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?

February 2008 ~ Albuquerque, NM -- The Alchemy of Creation

March 2008 ~ Albuquerque, NM -- Don't Fence Me In

May 2008 ~ Albuquerque, NM -- It Only Takes a Moment

I also now have a second blog, The Voice of Your Muse, a source of tools, tips and inspiration for writers. If you haven't already, please check it out.

Photos by Mark David Gerson: #1, from The Heart of Texas (August 2007); #2, from Desert Spring (June 2007)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Metamorphosis,
or Cosmic Puberty Strikes Again

Monday, July 14 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

5 a.m. -- I wake up from a restless night's sleep with lower-back pain that shows up in my left buttock and upper leg. I try to find a pain-free position. No luck. I get up.

9 a.m. -- "I need a chiropractor," I say to myself. "No," an inner voice insists. "But I'm in pain!" I argue. I then flash on a memory from a few years ago when a series of chiropractic adjustments did little to ease a similar problem. A week after canceling my remaining appointments, the pain was gone. "Let it be," I hear. "You'll be fine."

10 a.m. -- I'm not fine. I take two Advil, do my best to buffer my stomach and spend the day moving between bathtub and soft-seated easy chair.


Wednesday, July 16

8 a.m. -- Another Advil/easy-chair/bath day. I grumble about my inner guidance but surrender to it. No chiropractor.


Thursday, July 17

9 a.m. -- With even the toilet seat barely manageable, I abandon inner guidance and scan the phone book for a holistic-sounding chiropractor. The first one can't see me until Monday. The second greets me with voice mail. I know I shouldn't make a third call, but I do. I get an 11:30 appointment.

11:30 a.m. -- The chiropractor's office is empty and dark. I wait a bit, then leave. "Hang in there," my inner voice says.

11:45 a.m. -- On the drive home, my July 7 blog post echoes in my head: "We are morphing into a new species," I wrote. "We are stepping into our Divine Selves, into the Gods we have always been." I also wrote about "strange physical symptoms" that "kick in for no conventionally explainable reason."

Noon -- Suddenly, this thought: What if my body is trying to adjust to that very morphing I wrote about? What if I don't need a chiropractor to adjust my spine back to its old alignment but need to give my body the time and space to adjust itself to a new alignment? This explanation feels right -- to part of me. To another part, it sounds crazy. I resolve the dilemma by taking a nap.


Friday, July 18

6 a.m. -- I'm still in pain. "Damn!" I mutter. I can't get back to sleep, so I give myself a mini sound-healing session. This is my second early morning self-treatment this week and the second time a spine-shaped DNA strand appears in my mind's eye. I fall asleep.

8 a.m. -- I wake up. The pain is nearly gone.


Tuesday, July 22

The pain didn't stay gone. Instead, it ebbed and returned over the next days, each return less intense than the last. Today, I feel pretty good, if still just a little bit achey.

Why am I sharing this story? Not to prove what a wonderful self-healer I am, nor to show off my fearless, resistance-free existence. We all have the former capacity but, like most people, I don't always trust mine. As for the latter, it's not as constant as I would like it to be.

Rather, I share my story to remind you -- and me -- to listen to the voice of your deepest heart, to discern what is truth and trust it, to honor not only the demands of your body but also the call of your highest self. I share it, not for you to avoid necessary treatment, but to be open to the wisdom and healing power that is your birthright.

I share it, too, as a personal example of that Cosmic Puberty experience many of us are living. I share it because I know that many of you are experiencing your own strange symptoms -- either new ones or a recurrence of old ones.

For me, the past week involved more than back pain. I was lethargic, slept poorly and had little appetite. I also experienced a catalog of other physical and emotional oddities. Even my computer was affected: On Tuesday, my laptop's trackpad died. On Wednesday, its battery followed suit.

Today, after eight days of listless emptiness, I feel energized and transformed. It's as though I went through a physical and emotional retooling and now stand at the threshold of something new. Even my computing life has had an overhaul -- new keyboard, trackpad, battery and printer.

Perhaps I should have seen this metamorphosis coming. At the end of my talk at a local library a few weeks ago, the librarian gave me a gift: a thermal mug emblazoned with the theme of the summer's teen reading program -- Metamorphosis.

That mug has been sitting on my kitchen counter ever since, refusing to be hidden in a cupboard, its transformative message staring me down multiple times a day.

I can't tell you where this metamorphosis is taking me or what its next stage will look like. Nor can I tell you how it will manifest in my life.

The only certainty for me is that metamorphosis is an ongoing journey, one that continues to call on me to surrender to it. Unconditionally.

The only certainty for us all is that we are all evolving, that we're all engaged in the kind of r-evolution (radical evolution) I often write about. At least, we're engaged to the extent that we allow it to be so.

How engaged are you? Are you allowing metamorphosis or resisting it? How is it playing out in your life? Where is it uncomfortable? Painful? Where is it joyful? Transcendent? How can you surrender more fully to it and flow more easily along your journey to the Divine? How can you move through the human stress and confusion of these times while acknowledging the God you already are? How can you help others on that same journey?

I know you can do it. I know you can, because I believe in you.

Art: "Remembering the God That You Are" (#12) by Mark David Gerson. Graphic: Logo for the Rio Rancho Library's "Metamorphosis" summer teen program

25 Words of Living

Sunday, July 20 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

It wasn't until today that I got around to responding to the 25 Words of Work / Life Wisdom challenge put forward by fellow blogger Liz Strauss earlier this month -- only to discover that I'd missed the deadline!

Still, it's such a good exercise that I did it anyhow. Now, I want to share it and invite you to try it.

Here's Liz's idea (slightly modified):

1) Look for something you see too much or too little of, something you're feeling right now or someone/something you would like to describe.
2) Without thinking too much as you do it, write a sentence or two about it.
3) Count the words you have written.
4) Trim the sentence until you have 25 words -- no more, no less. Notice how your idea changes as you distill it and how your feelings change with each rewrite.
5) For a little extra fun, create a Wordle word cloud with your 25 words at www.wordle.net.

Because it's too late to be part of Liz's project, I invite you to post your sentence here -- or to post it on your own blog and include a link to your blog in the comments here. Include a link to your Wordle word cloud, too.

I'll be reposting this invitation on my blog about writing, The Voice of Your Muse in a couple of days.

It's a great writing exercise, but it's also a great experience in both distilling and discovering what you think and what you believe.

Here's mine: Today I remember that surrender is the key to writing and life: trusting that all is in divine order in every moment, in every breath.

You'll find more examples on Liz's site as well as at the Remarkable Parents blog.

Give it a try. It's both fun and enlightening!

Follow the Voice of Your Muse

Saturday, July 19 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Just a quick note to remind you to visit The Voice of Your Muse, my blog of tools, tips and inspiration about writing.

Since I launched it this past spring, the blog has expanded to more than 50 posts on a wide range of practical and motivational topics -- many with relevance beyond the realm of creativity.

There are a couple of ways to make sure you keep up with the new posts:

• E-mail subscription -- Use this link and be sure to respond to the confirmation e-mail. (A Voice of the Muse subscription is separate from the one that brings New Earth Chronicles posts and my newsletters to some of you via e-mail.) You can use this same link to receive new posts via Twitter or IM.

• Use a blog reader like Bloglines or Google Reader.

Whether you subscribe or not, please visit the blog and add your comments and suggestions.