Last night, my friend said, Whatever you want, you deserve it.
Do you ever sink into that belief, even just sometimes? And then let yourself want big? Like, quietly, when no one’s looking, do you think, I really want to live in Paris for a year: and then let yourself experience the possibility for a moment, fully, before the naysaying editor voices jump in and stomp all over it?
This morning, in my notebook writing, I made a list of the things I want — and, as I read through it, felt: why not?
Some of the pieces:
– A home by the ocean from which I can see the sea, hear the waves and sea animals
– multi-week and single-session workshops that deal with sexual joy and play, sexual trauma, finding our erotic voice, military sexual violence, opening our throats again after war, after extreme abuse
– time every week to dance and cry and laugh
– collaborative work with others who are also finding their way through healing/transformative practices individually and in their work in the world
– A team of health-care and bodywork folks who I trust and love: a therapist, a doctor, a nutritionist, a yoga practitioner, a tai-chi teacher (*), a dance teacher, a personal trainer, a qi gong/body mindfulness practitioner (*), a sex coach/therapist/somatics practitioner — so I feel like I have a net around me as I am moving fully back into my bodies. (This part I find terrifying!)
– a team of helpers around my other work: an office/admin assistant(*); a pr assistant(*); a web coach/helper(*poss); an accountant; a coach; an advisory board(*);
– a dog to walk on the beach with and to hang out with me while I write and to play with when the writing is done
– two workshop spaces: a big, open, light-filled living room in my home, with plants and books and room to move around, and places to go to write (on the steps, on the front porch, to the kitchen table); and a warm, elastic room that has access to a kitchen and bathroom, that has plenty of space for 10 people to meet and write, that has posters and pictures on the walls, that is shared with others.
– for my writing projects to come to fruition
(the little (*) means I have someone in my life who connects with this work… so grateful!)
The truth is that I want to do really hard work with people, because it’s also really joyful work — and if I don’t replenish, if I don’t also have celebrations and my own sorrow, I don’t I can’t do the work anymore. If I don’t name and own and care for the space around me, the place where I breathe and am charged, then I am enervated and lost.
A prompt for today: make a list of your or your character’s most secret dreams and wants (this is a great way to get to know a character!) — the ones you/they never tell anyone. Choose the one that’s the most surprising or seems most ridiculous/impossible, and write for 10 minutes about what it’s like after that dream is realized. (Yes, it’s a super-sekret visualization exercise…still, it can bring up some interesting and gorgeous writing!)
This is a write from this weekend: it came up in response to a different prompt, but the first line sparked the idea for yesterday’s prompt, so I’m sharing it now.
This is what she does when nobody’s looking — she takes the whole weekend for heart/home/hearth work, she steps away from the computer, she w rites stories and songs of the sex her lovers don’t want to think about, she weeps with abandon, in public places and refuses Kleenex and wipes her nose on her sleeve, she releases the unread Important Books that have numbed her bookshelf for a decade, she gives $5 to the brilliant opera singer who released his baritone (tenor?) into the deep body of the Downtown Berkley subway station — I mean she pays attention to her gut, her intuition, that spark of knowing and yes and this, here, now — why does that sweet clear voice flow only in solitude? Why can’t she hear it when she’s with other people — maybe she can tinge it with color, mark it with butterflies or glitter or the sound of a puppy yipping to get her attention to get her attention how does intuition get the attention of a young (young?) woman trained (yes) into knowing and attending first and only to what was unspoken by others, trained to read others that deeply, trained to meet everyone else’s needs before her own (because hers didn’t matter/were selfish/you know this part), just so she could sleep safe (even though the days weren’t safe at all) — how to sharpen and unlearn that training, how to relinquish the pride I felt, seeming to read a lover’s mind when I twisted and trained myself in a direction they never even had to ask me to go — this is that work, now. I need a CODA meeting, I know it, and instead I find the notebook, sacred solitude, I let the words pool and pour again. Sometimes the shit comes up first, but no one is watching (Ani said it: What if no one’s watching?) — what if this is my own life to pay attention to? What if that’s the most audacious thing of all?
Thank you for all of your dreams, for your amazing and deep listening (and the ways you pay attention to all the voices in you, even those very quiet ones telling you how gorgeous and brilliant you are). Thank you for your work and your words.