The Touchstones of PenHouseInk - A Guild Of Wise Women In Relentless Pursuit Of Creativity
bring yourself, come as you are
bring your curiosity and your willingness to indulge it
bring your heart and your willingness to listen to it
bring your wisdom and your willingness to act in accordance with it
bring your honesty
bring your work and your willingness to play with it
to laugh at it, to cry about it, to take pleasure in it
bring your willingness to give and receive
bring your willingness to make larger the circle of kindness
bring your commitment to participate in your life
Wise words indeed and just as valuable today as when we first wrote them.
There were five of us, the fearless women of PenHouseInk, Dixie Lewis, Dee Doyle, judi goldberg, Ingrid Kincaid and Leslie Hoffman.
We came together as writers.
We came together as friends.
We formed a Guild and over the course of about 5 years we published 4 volumes of writings.
Naked Writings dedicated to 'all writers who haven't yet'
June Bugs Out Of Season dedicated to 'those in relentless pursuit'
Remembering Our Future dedicated to 'the few becoming the many remembering our future'
Refractions dedicated to 'the relentless human spirit'
It feels good to me at this time to be reminded of these words.
How do these Touchstones touch your heart?
A Waste of Time - Or Not
Yesterday I spent several hours working on a project that was technical, troublesome and tedious and when I finally completed it, I found myself with the inner and outer dialogue of how hard it was and how much time I'd spent or wasted and how it kept me from doing all the other important things I needed to be doing, should have been doing.
So this morning as I was writing my Morning Pages, (thank you Julia Cameron), I asked myself: What if I would stop the thoughts that what I had spent so much time doing was wasted or stressful or wrong somehow and look at it instead as having done the thing that was being called to be done at that moment? And if something else was needed, I would have done that. This line of thinking presented a very different perspective, a shift. I could change my story from 'there was something more important or better that I should have been doing' and state the fact that it was just what I did.
No matter what we do in life, it is our experience and experience adds to what we know and knowledge and experience affect the decisions and choices we make in the future.
I'm not fond of expressions like 'I learned a lesson' or 'I was working out my karma'. The thread I have just spun and woven into the great loom of the Wyrd will affect the pattern of my life as an individual as well as the pattern of the whole. Some people will be more affected than others by my threads, depending on where and how often their own threads cross mine. At the same time, what I spin and weave can only come from what has been before and can only be woven into the web that was already laid in place by the Norns.
So nothing is a waste of time. There was nothing else I should have been doing. Life just is.
If I Really Tell The Truth
A client of mine told me she didn't want to do a writing exercise I'd recommend because she didn't think it would work. She didn't like to write.
It's a simple yet powerful exercise called: If I Really Tell The Truth.*
It involves setting aside some quiet, uninterrupted time and taking pen to paper and writing out the prompt 'If I really tell the truth....' and then just allowing yourself to write whatever comes out the end of the pen. You do this over and over again, at least 25 times and it allows you to get to the root of things you are dealing with pretty quickly.
I asked her why she believed that she didn't like to write and she rattled off a list. "I always procrastinate when I need to write something. I hate answering emails. I don't have anything interesting to say and who would want to read it anyway?"
So, I said, give me an example.
"Well, I recently found out that a relative of mine has cancer and had an operation. I bought a card but just couldn't get around to writing it and sending it and then finally I did because I felt guilty."
When she had finished I said, I don't believe that you don't like to write; my sense is there's something else going on here. Let's use the exercise. Finish the sentence, If I really tell the truth....
"I don't even like this relative", she blurted out rather quickly. " I haven't had any connection with her in years and besides I 'm angry by the way the news was handled. No one ever called me or sent an email. I found out about it on Facebook."
How quickly the writing exercise worked, even though we weren't writing.
It's not unusual to say we don't like something, when there's actually something else lurking at a deeper level, something perhaps that's more truthful.
What are you hungry for?
The Irreverent Wise Woman
*If you'd like to learn more about the process "If I Really Tell The Truth" and how to use it, send me an email.
title Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash