After all this time I am coming back to …
…my source of inspiration, my happy place, my comfort zone.
It is a pen, a piece of paper, just the right conditions on the outside and the deep knowing that writing is my spiritual practice.
I have been off; the routine is broken. My writer’s workshop is inactive as I get to activate my body now early in the morning. Yoga practice instead of writing practice. I believed to need to get back into my body, feeling and sensing rather than thinking through and building whole worlds of possible futures with my thoughts. And I still hold it to be true: future castles in our head don‘t allow us to live as we drift away in thoughts, failing to live our actual life which is always – always – only happening in the NOW. (After all, even when thinking about the past ort the future the thinking is happneing in the NOW and as soon as our future plan takes place, it is taking place in the NOW. Thank you to Eckardt Tolle.)
Yet, what I erred about was my judgment of writing as an only cognitive, head-based activity; that kind of knowing the world which I had been trained in so well and which I now want to trade in for a more inner heart-based, body-based knowing. So I abandoned writing. I traded it in for yoga practice, long walks, therapy sessions, gardening. And while I don’t want to miss any of these activities I miss writing more than ever.
Now, one could say, then just do it! But my writing is not just telling a made-up story or narrating what I have done during the day. My writing is my spiritual practice – as I see it now. It leaves me in awe, because all too often I don’t know where I will end, what actually needs to be said. As I put my pen down and start creating words, the meaning comes with the flow. I think I want to write about a topic and then, I am directed towards a different end. In this way, even though writing requires a form of cognitive process, it goes beyond. My head has an idea of what I want to say, but my body knows the story that needs to come forward. And I own that story through writing, by putting words to it, wrapping it in colours and sparkles and thus, bringing it to life. The story has been there all along. All I have to do is getting quiet and receptive.
By denying myself the practice I actually floated further away from knowing; which indeed is somehow ironical. I cut myself off of my divine channel. I get to communicate with a deeper way of knowing through writing. Some meditate while walking, others pray in groups or devote their energy to a ceremony of tea. It is the conscious act of being in that moment that makes it a spiritual practice. And while I am still focused on how far others are with their yoga figure or what plant would go nicely with this flower while gardening, I am aware and open-hearted when writing.
I have to admit and acknowledge as much as I wanted writing to be my profession, my career bringing me financial independency (and maybe fame), it is my spiritual practice which I am performing for no one except myself and the knowing. Turning away from the idea of me becoming a famous writer and „turning the hobby into a career“ leaves a bitter mark – this was my vision, my anchor, this could have been the light at the end of the tunnel. It actually is the second time in my life that I needed to farewell my dreams and aspirations which I held to be true for so long, but didn’t align with my purpose. Back then, it also left a mark and a space which needed filling. After all, I had planned for so long to follow that path and now what?!
Yet, the idea, in this case, of seeing writing as my alternative career path kept me caged. As if writing was my way out of a daily routine that I didn’t want to follow anymore; as if writing a phrase had to be planned cautiously as it might end up in a book. In this scenario writing is belittled to an end to a means. I want to earn money, therefore I write. I know: the knowing wants to communicate, therefor I write. And it wants to share.
Words are powerful. I am glad they are. I can sit with them and feel extraordinarily enlightened by them. In writing I discover the world’s soul, my soul.
(Photos by Lisa Gellert)