Hello, friends! Welcome to week three of the Return to Self series. It's beyond amazing that you have taken this time for yourself in this busy, busy world. I am still working on writing an extensive piece on discerning between human thoughts and emotions and your soul's wisdom/ voice. Yet, today I am going to share a chapter of my 30-Days of Self Love book, which will come out around January 2018. The bonus of jet lag was that I was up to walk during the magnificent Colorado sunrise (see picture above). You probably don't need a reminder, but if so, you and your life situation are imperfectly perfect in every way. Here's why...
Everything Is Perfect, AND...
Week Three: Return to Self Series
Most of you know I love to read; it is one of my top ten joys of being in the physical body experience. One of my favorite writers is Anaïs Nin, who lived from 1903 to 1977. She was born to Cuban parents in France, lived in Cuba and Spain, but mostly in America. She was known more than anything for her copious journals, which she had been keeping since childhood. One of her most famous quotes is, “We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
I doubt Anaïs ever fathomed that her journals would still be printed today capturing the imagination of thousands of readers. It’s the piece of her that lives on in this world. To her, writing was simply a way to deal with the world around her – it was her drug of choice. She talks about her obsession with her diary in ‘Volume One: 1931-1934’ of her journals:
“This diary is my kief, hashish, and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice. Instead of writing a novel, I lie back with this book and a pen, and dream, and indulge in refractions and defractions…I must relive my life in the dream. The dream is my only life. I see in the echoes and reverberations, the transfigurations which alone keep wonder pure. Otherwise all magic is lost. Otherwise life shows its deformities and the homeliness becomes rust…All matter must be fused this way through the lens of my vice or the rust of living would slow down my rhythm to a sob.”
For any of you creating in any medium, you likely can relate to Anaïs’ view that her medium - writing - serves as her preferred lens of perception of the world around her.
Isn’t the world around us so much easier to take in when we are creating through our own lens? For me, books are a way for me to step from behind my own lens and view it through another for a while - an experience I welcome.
I think the first time I ever felt the power of another person’s art so profoundly was in reading John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, which I have read no less than ten times. Through the magic of an incredible family story, Steinbeck makes a point that forever changed my perception of the world.
The book is an inquiry into the term, timshel. Timshel is the Hebrew word, traditionally been defined as ‘thou shalt’ like in the Ten Commandments. He uses the twists and turns in the story to show that Timshel’s true meaning is ‘thou mayest.’ Thou mayest choose between good and evil, and it doesn’t matter. Perhaps there is no such thing as good and evil? - something I write extensively about.
In my Catholic upbringing, I always felt icky about the concepts of good and evil. It seemed dogmatic and limiting. Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning words gave me permission as a teenager to explore other alternatives beyond dualistic thinking.
I could go on for hours about how writers have shaped consciousness, but that’s another book. It’s starting to get ridiculous over here in my word hoarding habits. Words are now crammed in cabinets where dishes used to reside. The closet can’t be opened anymore for the words stuffed inside will come tumbling out, making an incredible mess. Time to get back on track.
Here’s my story for today:
It wasn’t so long ago that I had my first ‘real’ writing job at the age of twenty-two. I had just graduated from college and my parents were adamant about no longer supporting me financially. A family friend found me a job at a daily newspaper in South Carolina where I made $11.13 per hour.
Every great writer from Hemingway to Steinbeck and on worked as a journalist to pay the bills and build their craft. I had built the life of a newspaper reporter into some sort of fantasy, and it was a rude awakening when I stepped foot into my first ‘real’ job.
I lived in a housing project because that’s what I could afford, and I ate a lot of Ramen noodles. My apartment was about 250-square-feet. I had a Murphy bed, the kind that pulls out from the wall. To go to sleep each night I had to push the couch up against my door and pull the creaky, rusty bed from the wall. I had only a mini-refrigerator and a two-burner stove in what could hardly pass as a kitchen.
I was living in a small town in the Southern United States, which was like going back in time and consciousness a few decades. Every morning I woke up and wondered how and why I created this crummy situation for myself - little money, low vibration surroundings, work that would drain me to the bone and leave me drooling and calling for my mom at the end of the week. Why was I working my butt off writing ten stories a week for a newspaper that could barely pay me? What was the purpose of it all?
Fourteen years later, I can finally answer that question.
It was so I could learn to write in a way people could understand and relate to. While I’m no longer covering crime stories and yawn-worthy city council meetings, the skills I learned to be able to write volumes on seemingly nothing are what are serving me now writing about the self-realization experience, or humanizing divinity journalism as I’m calling it.
Because there appeared to be very little to write about in sleepy small towns, I learned to read the energy between the lines. I learned to take a whisper of gossip and turn it into a feature story. I connected the dots between my intuition, ability to see and sense energetic patterns, and skill in writing a story readers could comprehend.
It was indeed the perfect situation for me, one that would serve me immeasurably throughout my life, in every job and beyond human jobs. Yet, you could not have convinced me of it when I was scraping together four quarters to get my laundry done in the nastiest laundromat you have ever seen, washing my sweat shop-made suits in the rusted machines.
About a month ago I started waking up each morning, mouthing the words, “Everything is perfect. Everything is perfect.” It was undoubtedly the voice of my soul, whom I call Sar'h.
It wasn’t an affirmation. It didn’t even feel voluntary. It was the words to go with the sensation that every single little piece of life was serving me in the best possible way NOW and back then. Even if I did spend Fridays night eating Ramen noodles alone in a filthy laundromat, it was absolutely an entirely perfect situation.
Today I invite you to look at how seemingly shitty situations actually served you perfectly, and perhaps apply it to your life now. Breathe and expand your own lens of perception to a bird's eye view.
Often we, as imperfectly perfect humans, become so hyper-focused on our immediate situation, we forget so easily the old yet wise saying, this too shall pass - something that applies to all experiences, seemingly good, bad, and ugly.
Yet, we can always find the lotus flower blooming in the muck from which it grows.
The soul - your soul - is amazing at this. Simply ask..."Hey soul, can you show me how this seemingly crap-tastic situation is serving me in total perfection right now?"
I'm willing to bet you'll be amazed at the answer, which will come forth in relaxed patience.
If you choose, ask yourself the following, and allow the soul wisdom to pour forth. You can write, speak, paint, or sing the answers in your own unique way. Also, you can use the method I shared in Week One for accessing the soul voice, or do your own thing...
Thanks everyone for BEING here. I hope you enjoy some time with yourself on this perfect Sunday. Requests always taken and patience appreciated. Big hugs from Colorful Colorado!
 Nin, Anaïs .The Diary of Anaïs Nin: Volume One: 1931-1934. New York: Mariner Books, 1969.