A poet I admire, Mark Nepo, says we should only write while fully centered in the heart. His counsel: If your mind dominates, drop the pen, still the voice, turn to another activity until the heart can take the lead again.
From a recent podcast:
So much feels out of our control these days. Speaking for myself, I sometimes find that my itch to control whatever I can infects my creative work and daily life in unconstructive ways. I tighten up and end up with a headache or a sleepless night.
But, like Nepo, I want to approach my work (and my life!) from a place of expansion, not contraction. A simple invocation at the start of a writing session can reconnect me to that space.
When it slips away, as soon as I remember, I reconnect to the biggest possible frame—to who I am and what I’m about and why I’m doing whatever I’m doing. I want to contact the biggest why possible, which is always to be more fully aligned with my Divine nature.
So: to move into that spaciousness, to call in that alignment, is a way to enter timelessness, to reenter heart space.
And this is not just about writing. It’s about how I practice yoga, how I do my workity-work, how I connect with friends, how I steward my money. I have the choice to treat everything as a thing to get done or as a big-big-big picture action.
Doesn’t everything go better and feel so much more timeless when I first remember what it’s all for?
As an inveterate list-maker who also skews mystic, I have made a study of the intersection between getting shit done and falling into spacious/timelessness. I don’t thrive without timelessness, but I operate in a time-driven world. And I do want to finish and publish my book, keep in touch with loved ones, stay on top of bills, and show up fully at my workplace.
I am starting to see that moving with ease through all these arenas is possible. It’s not about following a strict list or schedule. Nor is it about floating in the ether every moment.
It’s more about reconnecting on the regular to this big-big-big picture. Often that comes through movement, or stillness, or breath, while consciously invoking the love that’s all around. The fact that I am love, made of love, made from love.
The more I hew to my truest “who”… the easier it is to stay in my heart.
And if, as soon as I look at the clock and think what’s next, I lose this feeling, it’s OK. Because I know how to find it again.
In my notebook, I commune with my inner Wisewoman, who says things like:
Breathe deeply, this moment is not a thing to be gotten though, a task to complete. It is your life. What is coming into your senses right now? What is your body experiencing? Hold it all.
To which I say, Thank you.