Saturday, March 1 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico
Please tune into my March 1 radio conversation with Rebecca Jernigan of Journeys with Rebecca. It's an hour-long exploration of creativity, spirituality and life that will entertain, uplift and inspire you.
You'll find the audio archive here.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday, March 1 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico
Friday, February 15 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico
I'm still in bed when the phone rings. It's my daughter's mother, calling to say that winter storms in Northern Arizona have rendered the roads so snow- and ice-bound that the drive through Flagstaff, AZ to Gallup, NM is too dangerous to make.
Normally, when my eight-year-old daughter comes to visit me from Sedona, AZ, we all meet in Gallup. That was to have been today's plan, with Guinevere spending the President's Day holiday weekend with me.
I hang up the phone and begin to cry and then cry even more because I'm so surprised to find myself crying.
Sure, I'm disappointed. But that disappointed? After all, I just saw Guinevere five weeks ago and will see her in Sedona in two weeks.
And yet the tears continue to flow.
So often as we move through our days and weeks, doing what we do and being what we be, we're unaware of the sea of emotions that ebbs and flows far beneath the hard surface of life's routine.
It's easy for our major triumphs and tragedies to pierce that surface. We expect tears of joy and sadness when something life-changing occurs.
Yet as we open more fully to our emotional subtleties and as we surrender more completely to feelings we have hidden, even from ourselves, it takes much less to trigger those tears.
It's a cliche to say that it's important to "get in touch with our feelings."
We do it, though, not by dropping a probe into that sea of emotions and poking about. We do it through a moment-to-moment practice of opening our hearts more and more fully -- not to anyone or anything in particular, but to everyone and everything in general. We do it through a moment-to-moment practice of surrendering to the call of our heart, by answering that call, by living that call.
Living from the heart means being open to all that the heart would reveal to us -- and to all the ways we have hidden from it.
Living from the heart means that both the sea of emotions and the tears that flow from it are closer to the surface than at any time since childhood (when our defenses were not so impenetrable).
Living from the heart means surrendering to those emotions -- and to those tears -- as we allow all that we feel to move through us.
As I dry my eyes and begin to move through my day, I'm grateful for the phone call, grateful even for the disappointment, grateful for the deeper opening to my daughter...and to my heart.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Sunday, February 10 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico
I'm fond of saying that there's no difference between creativity and life, that the precepts of one apply equally to the other, that the first rule of both is that there are no rules.
Yet I've discovered that once you commit to the highest possible path and purpose, there's a trinity of principles that's always at play:
2) Let Go
First, you trust the voice of your deepest heart, which is also the voice of your divinity, your god-self, your muse, your highest imperative. Next, you let go of all resistance, clinging and clutching (which doesn't mean you're not afraid). Finally, you leap into the void -- just like the Fool in the tarot.
Legendary sci-fi author Ray Bradbury says about writing that you must leap off cliffs and trust that you'll sprout wings on the way down.
Not only do I do my best to write that way, I do my best to live that way. It's scary, but ultimately satisfying. And even though it means living and writing without a net, those wings Bradbury talks about have never failed to appear.
I think about all that today, nine days after a shipment of Voice of the Muse books and meditation CD sets arrive on my doorstep.
It's six months to the day since a voice interrupted my on-the-road reveries to urge me to refresh, revise and overhaul my modest Voice of the Muse eBook into an expanded and published form. "You want me to do what!?" I exclaimed.
Yet once the initial shock dissipated (The MoonQuest had been out barely a month at that point), I surrendered to the higher imperative.
I trusted, let go and leapt...and watched all the requisite resources begin to fall into place, often miraculously.
Now, not only have my wings sprouted, they're lifting me higher and higher and higher. In just over a week and after a single book-signing, library authors' event and announcement at a meeting of Southwest Writers, sales of The Voice of the Muse have surpassed The MoonQuest's first full month.
Trust. Let Go. Leap. It's a chapter in The Voice of the Muse. It's the only way I know how to live.
In writing as in life, it always works.
Read/hear excerpts from The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, and hear a guided meditation for writers from The Voice of the Muse Companion 2-CD set, here.
Order your copy of The Voice of the Muse book and/or CD here.
Thursday, January 24 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico
I said it wouldn't happen.
I said I had a much bigger emotional investment in my novel, The MoonQuest.
I said I wouldn't cry.
But as I rip open the FedEx envelope and pull out one of the two advance copies of my new book, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, the tears begin to flow.
In a way, these tears -- like those I shed when I held my first copy of The MoonQuest -- are identical to the ones I shed when my daughter was born.
A book -- any artistic creation of the heart -- is like a child. It births from the deepest core of your beingness. It carries parts of you but isn't you. It emerges from a co-creative act that is an expression of your passion.
I've heard other authors claim one of their book as a favorite. But I could no more choose one of mine over the other than I could with my children, if I had more than one.
The call, in art as in life, is to love all our creations -- to love them fully, unconditionally and without judgment, even as we acknowledge their inevitable faults and flaws.
Neither The Voice of the Muse nor The MoonQuest is perfect. Neither is my daughter, though I love her beyond love itself.
Yet I can love my books and my child not despite their imperfection but because of it. Because of it it, they will grow. Because of it, I will grow. Because of it, all those whose lives they touch will also grow.
That's part of the miracle of creation, and that's why I'm crying. It's a miracle that takes something insubstantial and etheric -- an idea, a soul -- and, through the perfect imperfection of human creatorship, moves it from the realm of the heart into the physical world, where it can touch and be touched.
Creation in all its forms is the ultimate act of alchemy -- giving substance to what has none, revealing meaning where none was apparent, allowing love to create form that is now free to transfigure its creator...and the world.
That's why I dedicated The Voice of the Muse not to any individual, but to the creator alchemist in us all.
Writing is alchemy...truly a tool of wizards, witches and sorcerers. It’s the magic wand, the incantation, the wave of the hand that transforms all...
~ The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write
Art by Mark David Gerson: Genesis #115