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Gillian Sanger

What is inspiring you right now?

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I’ve read it and elements of it really helped me get through the grueling process of writing my book at the point that I had written all chapters except one that just would not be birthed (known as ‘writer’s block’) no matter how I approached it. I don’t consume alcohol but that year of utter blankness and countless failed starts after 13 chapters that had poured out like a river made apparent to me why so many writers embrace the bottle when wandering in a state of amnesia in a dead dark lifeless cave, which is what it feels like. I especially benefited by Natalie’s articulation of the process of writing as ‘listening’ (I don’t remember if this is in the book or if I heard it directly from her (our social circles overlapped and we would occasionally converse) which was pointing at the same thing my Native American mentor at that time frequently spoke about: cultivating the ability to ‘hear’ / ‘remember’ the ancient messages encoded in ancestral (genetic memory) which I hadn’t yet thought to apply to the writer’s block. I had been trying so hard to ‘think’ through the block instead of staying in ‘hearing / remembering’ mode. I then stopped trying to push the river and completely walked away from the chapter. Some months later, in the middle of a particularly challenging rock climb, bam ... it started flowing again. I abandoned the climb, rappelled down, sat down when my feet hit the ground and wrote the outline of the chapter. It felt like breathing again. 

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I’m currently rereading Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her by Susan Griffin. Here’s a quote from it:

"We say there is no end to any act. The rock thrown in the water is followed by waves of water, and these waves of water make waves in the air, and these waves travel outward infinitely, setting particles in motion, leading to other motion and motion upon motion endlessly. We say the water has noticed this stone falling and has not forgotten. And in every particle every act lives, and the stars do not frighten us, we say, starlight is familiar to us. The Magellanic Clouds. The Orion Nebula. Star clouds in the Milky Way. We say our lives are part of nature. We say in every particle every act lives. The body of the tree reveals the past. That the waves from the stone falling into the water were frozen in the winter ice. That stars pull at the bodies of crabs, and oysters know the phases of the moon. The elliptical orbit. The pull of gravity. The satellite motion. Time in space, we say, the half note pushing the air, the quarter note traversing the earth. The bud, the egg, the risen bread, the right time for things.”
 

 

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What a beautiful excerpt. That last line in particular struck me. "The bud, the egg, the risen bread, the right time for things."

Re: Writing Down the Bones...

Yes, there is a section on 'Listening' in her book, which really shifted something for me as well. I will share a few quotes as a reminder (and for any other writers here):

 

Quote

 

"Writing, too, is 90 percent listening. You listen so deeply to the space around you that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you." Natalie Goldberg

"Take in the sound of the season, the sound of the color coming in through the windows. Listen to the past, future, and present right where you are. Listen with your whole body, not only with your ears, but with your hands, your face, and the back of your neck." Natalie Goldberg

"Basically, if you want to become a good writer, you need to do three things. Read a lot, listen well and deeply, and write a lot. And don't think too much." Natalie Goldberg

 

 

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Houseplants have been inspiring me lately. I really like to take care of them and watch how the plants grow and bloom. To make the plants feel better in winter, I ordered 4 Honesorn 600W grow lights. Found them right here https://homemakerguide.com/led-grow-lights/. I have a lot of flowers and while the sunny day was very short, atmospheric light reigned in my house.

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On 4/27/2020 at 1:29 PM, Gillian Sanger said:

What books are you all reading? What podcasts are you listening to? What is inspiring you to stay balanced, mindful, and present amidst the changing times? 

Personally, I have been immersed in the work of Charles Eisenstein lately. His essay 'The Coronation' really blew me away as it calls us to mindfully consider some tough questions as we navigate where we go from here. He is a remarkable philosopher!

Also, I listened to this short video by Ellen Emmet this morning (I shared elsewhere but will post it here as well). Her take on emotions is really beautiful and I appreciate the more 'feminine' approach to the necessity of venturing into the instinctual and emotional real of this flow.

 

The Rain Technique seems appropriate here...

R-Recognize what is Present, even our Feelings.

A-Allowing Present moments to be as they are.

I- Investigating what is Present, i.e. Investigating gently what you need to do for yourself to feel better.

N-Nourishing yourself-what do you need to hear or do to make yourself feel better.

Edited by Rick @ FinestCoaching
to modify my comment.
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It's great reading what is inspiring everyone1 

I have the good fortune to be vacationing in the Northwoods of Wisconsin for 5 weeks and then I will be going to Colorado. Nature is so inspiring! I love the fragrance and calm of the woods. We got a visit from a mama bear and her cubs who feasted on our garbage!

20210615_190012 (1).jpg

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Wow! No wonder that her book affects you so much;  that quote is beautiful. I especially like "the fiery light that sees and knows". Richard Mendius in a beautiful CD along with Rick Hanson does a prolonged meditation on "the one who knows". Both your quote and Richard tip towards the mystery of "the one". To me, it suggests consciousness itself. Near death reports are full of descriptions of a magnificent light that is creative and totally loving. For me, those are characteristics of ultimate consciousness in itself. The consciousness of which we are all a part. Filling your life with friends, lovers, partners who nurture that awareness in themselves and in you is not easy for me. I have had the experience of two such people in my life. As we are aging, I realize that they won't always be with me nor I with them. However, our impact will remain as long as we draw breath  and perhaps even more so after life. Daniel A. Detwiler

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Lovely to hear from both of you, @luma and @Daniel A. Detwiler.

Luma - It sounds like a beautiful vacation you are having. Five weeks in the woods! Lovely photo. Keep us posted on anything else you encounter and would like to share.

Daniel - Yes it is an incredible book! I return to it frequently. That last line struck me as deeply profound as well.  In regards to the rest of the passage, it is such a blessing to have these types of friends in one's life, even if only a few. I am glad that you have had the blessing of two such people in your life.

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I am currently reading 'Coming to Peace: Resolving Conflict Within Ourselves and With Others' by Isa Gucciardi and it is wonderful. It resonates deeply with my inner mediator. A lot of important points are covered, such as the importance of self-responsibility, honesty, and inner wisdom. She also covers how 'coming to peace' is not just a process for when we are in conflict with others; it can be used when we are experiencing some time of inner conflict.

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