Ok, it seems a little weird to keep writing in my blog about writing in my blog, but I’m going to do it anyway. I really love the challenge of putting something in writing on a regular basis, but it truly is a challenge. I have lots of impulses during the day about things I might want to share on the blog. But often an idea that I can sense welling up inside of me ends up disappearing before I can get my arms around it. This morning I was writing in my journal and I had an experience that gave me a little bit of insight into my own creative process.
As I put the date at the top of my journal entry, I wanted to write “I am struck by the movement of the days,” but as soon as that thought came into my head, I started to dismiss it in favor of trying to find a more conventional (less weird, less dramatic) way of describing the passage of time. Happily, I caught myself dismissing it and then had an inner dialogue that went something like this:
Me #1: “I need to find the right way to say that.”
Me #2: “But ‘movement of the days’ is the way I felt it.”
Me #1: “Nobody would understand what you meant by that.”
Me #2: ” A. How do you know that? and B. THIS IS MY JOURNAL FOR GOD’S SAKE!!! Nobody is even going to read it besides me!”
Me #1: “Fine. Write whatever you want.”
Me #2: “Thank you. I will.”
What I am starting to recognize is that I am constantly editing the way I express things, whether spoken or written. And I think that the editing often happens so immediately and so quickly that I don’t even have a chance to know what it is I want to say. If it’s happening in my journal, I can only imagine all the blog thoughts and ideas that don’t ever get a breath of air or a bit of sunlight. Being conscious that I was dismissing a phrase this morning (and being able to recall the content of what was dismissed) is a relatively new phenomenon and one that I plan to cultivate.
I have always valued my cognition beyond all else. My intellect has occupied the throne in my metaphorical kingdom (I really just wanted to ditch that throne phrase because it seemed silly and dramatic) for as long as I can remember. I definitely credit my “smarts” with my very survival. After all, I was a great student and I could memorize like a machine and aren’t those the things that have gotten me by (Me #1: of course they are, what do you think made you successful in law school? Me #2: Have you noticed that I just went into semi-retirement from the law?). My brain has definitely served me. There is no doubt. But what I cannot account for is all the ways in which it has stopped the other parts of me from speaking. What haven’t I been able to hear from my heart, my creativity and my intuition because my brain has been standing guard?
It’s time to let my brain know that it doesn’t have to work quite so hard. That there are other parts of me ready to step up and share the load.