Posts Tagged With: narrative
Narcissus, “Reality TV, and the Power of a Compelling Narrative in the Year 2020 – NY JCF Roundtable Event
A student asked me: “I see my stories… So am I done?”
Un-Storying is not ultimately an intellectual process. The first stages can be seen that way, though, as we step back and see the constructed reality we’ve been living, and strive to understand how we’ve created it. That’s not to say necessarily, why things have happened TO you, but your perception of and interpretation of what it means. This part of the work can be rough, as we use the mind to look at the mind. But once this work has taken hold, and becomes the natural ongoing process, the next part begins.
If I am not my stories, then who, or what, am I really? If I am not a person with struggles, or a fortunate person, or a person who is happy/unhappy/victim/hero/etc, then how do I define myself.
THIS is the bigger work. Is it okay that you don’t have to know who or what you are? Must you have a definition in order to keep control over your experience of life? Can you sit still in silence with yourself and simply live? How does that feel? Is there resistance? If there is, then that points to the next underlying mind story to see and be with. Can you feel a deep compassion for yourself and for others, ALL others, even if your mind tells you otherwise? At this stage, the work focused on seeing that everyone and everything is made of that same stuff. What is THE STUFF? Well, that would once again cause us to intellectualize and label. Thereby separating ourselves from “the stuff”… Or that which simply is. This is not about anti-intellectualism, but about accessing a different type of wisdom. In this space, compassion fuels decision making, though it may not seem like a decision, as it simply becomes the natural response. It is jot about protection or fighting, it becomes about seeing,connecting, and feeling compassion.
This is not a hippy dippy, run through a field of flowers process. It is a rough road inward. One that does away with our beloved projections of ourselves and the world around us. It is at once brutal and liberating. There is no longer anyone to blame or rail against. There is only being alive. There is only the stuff of life daring itself to experience itself. THAT is the ultimate “goal” of un-storying. The goal to see that there is no goal. We are uncovering the reality within.
Here on the East Coast, we’re a-broiling!
From a Mythological/Depth Psychological perspective, heat brings about alchemical reaction. Where there’s heat, there’s a burning away of the old; a sweating out the toxins of things that no longer serve us.
Keep in mind, the same sun that helps things grow, and then causes things to wither away, gives us Vitamin D, and causes skin cancer, is a big ball of gaseous fire! And fire, as we learn from the tale of Prometheus…brings CHANGE!
Change in the way we live our lives, a transformation of the “old” ways of doing things, and ushering in an aspect of Enlightenment in our lives. Yes, granted, Prometheus paid a terrible price for his generosity and his disobeying of Zeus’ direct orders, but often those who bring about change and enlightenment to others, risk ticking off the establishment!
Prometheus, the Trickster Titan, knew that fire would be integral in the development and evolution of humankind, so he took that risk. What old patterns in your life will you allow to burn away in the alchemical heat wave we’re having?
As for me… The end of this month will bring about the completion of a very long process, the awarding of my PhD. This road took me into self-doubt, and out again; into the space of nonduality and into the depths of depression; moving house four times and finding community; leaving classroom (middle school) teaching and beginning college/university teaching; starting a business and taking on a ridiculous amount of student loans; losing my beloved grandfather and gaining new friends and closer relations with family; losing a lot of weight and gaining it back again; and through it all, nothing has really changed, not in the depths of who I am. All that changes is fleeting, wrapped up in an identity of who I believe myself to be. The never ending rollercoaster of life, spinning and dipping and twirling around, always coming back to the place where it began…in the stillness of non-motion – in the pause between the rides. We choose to get on the ride, whether we consciously realize it or not…so enjoy it!
Let the alchemical heat transform and burn. Grow and shift! After all, the things that change are not who you truly are, they are the amusement park ride we’re on…going through the rings of fire and back again.
Just wanted to share this wonderful mythic example of nonduality with my blogsters!
The Greek story of Demeter and Persephone celebrates the springtime. Persephone, who had been spirited away beneath the earth by her uncle, (they did that in those days…) Hades, to become the Queen of the Dead, returns in the spring to reunite with her mother, Demeter, the Goddess of Fertility and Harvest. This return to the light and the world of the living, mirrors the return of longer and (hopefully) warmer days. That which had been dead is now reborn, along with tulips, daffodils, and Cadbury chocolate eggs!
What will you do now that you are entering this time of renewal and emergence into the sun? Is it time to write that book you’ve always had burning inside you? Is it time to learn more about who you really are? Or, is it just time to sit on your deck, porch, or lanai and let the sun gently caress your face, enjoying the sound of the birds chirping and lawnmowers beginning their springtime rituals…
The words below from the film Hugo speak to the importance and interconnectedness of everyone and everything…You exist exactly as you should and your life will unfold perfectly. (That doesn’t mean you will get everything you want, but the story of your life is always an intricate masterpiece of sheer perfection!)
“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
Offering 20% off all book Manuscript Evaluations in December for anyone who registered for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year!
Offering 20% off all book Manuscript Evaluations in December PLUS 20% off Developmental Editing services for anyone who COMPLETED their 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year!
Experiencing the world from a Non-Dual perspective, or in other words, through the understanding that nothing is actually happening other than the manifestations of mind, does not exempt one from “falling back into the drama again.”
In order to explain to “others” how a shift in perspective can reveal a change to the storyline of their lives, words and dialogue are often used to bring about an understanding. There is usually wonderment that these friends/students/colleagues can’t see how simple the shift is, and seem to cling to these stories of problems and people doing them harm. In real detachment, it is possible to see one’s/the Self as everything, and the stories the mind conjures to interpret the world and its phenomenon, merely phantoms and silliness.
But…when one is in that place of story and of identifying themselves as a person in conflict with another, it is quite amazing how the ego mind creeps back in and grabs a hold of us once more!
Recently, I had this experience. Old dynamics at play with a family member triggered an emotional reactive response. I spent days trying to figure out how to respond to possible verbal/emotional attacks and how to express to this person how they made me feel. I was exhausted and wary and defensive and annoyed. I began to think about how I could “fix” it or avoid it…whichever proved easiest and most permanent, but to no avail, because the emotions wouldn’t leave me. It was then that I remembered what my teacher had once said to me,”Feel the emotional story of your conflict, not the details of the story itself. It is never about the ‘other’ person.” It is the same teaching I now offer to others. But it is easy to forget when our own mind’s triggers arise. Once the emotional story is connected to, we can realize that the “other person” is nothing but an actor in the play of your life, offering the opportunity to experience any old unmet emotions, long since repressed deeply into your psyche. It is an embrace of the difficulty, so that old energy can be healed. And even in that, there is no need to heal anything, as it is consciousness itself causing it and sustaining us simultaneously.
I recognize that this post may resonate with some and be disturbing to others. It is not for me to convince anyone of anything. But on this Thanksgiving week, I am grateful for these teachings, as they offer me the tools to navigate life; a chance to awaken further, to peel away yet one more layer of the onion to reveal the Self in all its glory.
Offering 20% off all book brainstorming sessions for anyone registered for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year! Let me help you be ready to go in November!
You can register for NaNoWritMo at http://www.nanowrimo.org (It’s free!)
It’s a marathon of writing from November 1st to November 30th. Being prepared is half the battle.
This common refrain is heard often in the editing and publishing world. What authors may not know, is that the process of editing is much more than grammar, punctuation, and a spelling check; though those are necessary tasks for any copyeditor or proofreader.
Editing is the single most important component of the writing process.Careful and thoughtful editing can elevate your manuscript from “really good” to “extraordinary.” Often authors make the mistake of thinking that their book is finished once they’ve written a few drafts, and then they’ve checked it through for simple errors of English language usage.
The real crafting of a manuscript is done in the revision phase.A good developmental editor can help you take your raw material and fine-tune your voice and structure, making sure that your story is clear and coherent. Continuity of thought and the consistency and depth of characters are worked with, so that your readers can follow along easily without having to go back and forth in your manuscript in order to figure out what is happening. In a non-fiction manuscript, an eye to the overall development of the intended message is key to keeping your readers informed and interested.
Though the process is different for fiction and non-fiction books, all manuscripts need to be looked at by an objective expert.“Why?” you may ask. It’s because writers (all of us, including myself) get very attached to our writing and we are sometimes unable to see our errors clearly. We also tend to suffer from what Steve, my writer friend, calls “the hungadunga,” (the term is in actuality an obscure, non-related reference to the Marx Brothers’ movie “Animal Crackers”) the tendency to skip over key descriptive pieces in our writing because we, the author, already know what we are trying to say, or where we are going, with our work, but a reader may not be able to follow us as easily. The continuity exists in our brain, but not on the page. That’s a key place where a developmental editor can help.
No matter what stage of writing you are at, from brainstorming, to organizing and outlining your manuscript, to writing your first draft, to revisions, and onward, it is important to keep in mind the following questions:
1) Why am I, personally, writing this book?
2) Who will read this book?
3) Is this book a standalone or part of a series?
4) Would I benefit from writing with someone else, or enlisting someone else after I finish my draft?
5) What do I hope to accomplish with this book?The answers to those questions will help greatly in focusing your intentions on a successful book. A book that is written well and is written with clear intention, has unlimited marketability.Good luck on your writing journey!
See you Beyond the Story…