Friday, May 14, 2010

Day #2 Writing

So, my destiny card for today was the 7 of Spades. Here's the description:"The powerful Seven of Spades will challenge you to rise to higher levels of thinking, speaking and acting. Its challenges will manifest mainly in the areas of work and health, areas where you are likely to be holding some negative patterns that need to be changed. If you are willing to take responsibility for your condition and practice positivity in spite of circumstances, you can realize the powerful spiritual potential of this card and attain new heights. In its highest form, this is the card of FAITH."

Yay, another positive card!--NOT. (Already I hear a voice in my head chastising me, "but all circumstances are positive, Jen, if you know how to use them properly.") I did notice today, however, a tremendous amount of self-doubt surfacing. First it was in relation to my writing commitment. All the while that I was showering and getting ready for work this morning, my head was churning:How do I know that I can pull this commitment off?
What will I write about today? (Not this, not that, well maybe that, but. . .)

What if people don't care enough to read it?
And the biggest one:Why am I exposing myself in this way? If I write the things I really think, really care about, people will think I'm weird. People will reject me. I'm sacrificing my ability to tailor what I say to who I'm talking to.

Phew. It's exhausting to be in my head sometimes. Even when I feel the running commentary is "dumb", even when my "wise meditator self" realizes that the things my head churns out have no correspondence to reality--still, it's hard to give it up.

The voices of doubt continued throughout the day, especially manifesting in the form of approval-seeking: subtly seeking positive regard from the parents in my Music Together class, from the director of the music school, etc. And then, the doubt crept into my decision-making process of how I was allocating my time. Suddenly, I was not accomplishing enough during my 4 hour break from teaching. I had "wasted" my time in talking taking a walk, in indulging in astrology conversation with a friend, in getting groceries, in making a bank deposit.

Ludicrous, I know. But my inner critic is harsh, and it wanted to punish me for not getting things done and getting home more quickly, hence "putting off" my writing. By the time I did get home, I had 20 minutes until it was time to teach, and I was exhausted, beat up by these voices.

So, I did what any self-respecting person would do. I laid down, and took a deep breath. And then I softly gave myself a deep inner hug, in the form of these words:

Spring Within

This childish mind--
this mind that startles
and shakes in the night--
rock it to sleep with prayers and a lullaby.

These waves of emotion—
this dance between faith and doubt--
know that it is only an expression
of your longing for God.

You can't grab the truth and clench it in your fist!

So. . .
Trust and relax.
Open and love.
B r e a t h e . . . .
and feel the blossom of an eternal spring
unfolding within you.

These words have comforted me in many crying and anxious moments over the last three years. I wrote them during my brief stay in Sheppard Pratt (a psychiatric hospital), directly after having a "psychotic break". (The entire story should be told another time, but suffice to say I experience the depth of my fear and the height of inspiration within a very short time. Not a very easy experience to summarize.)

And the words worked their magic today--bringing comfort, soothing my soul, restoring my faith and my balance. I stood up slightly groggy but much calmer, ready to teach, and have continued the rest of my day gladly leaving those voices of doubt in the dust.

(At least, momentarily.)


  1. With commitment all the rules change. Keep writing. Your reflections are valuable for yourself and others. " The dance between faith and doubt" is one we all engage in hopefully. If not we are merely swept up & lost.

    Meditation is my most valuable tool. May this bear fruit for you also.

  2. Thank you, Patrick! I really appreciate your words of affirmation. And I believe you're right. Although I am, thus far, finding it a challenge to commit regularly to the writing and meditation, I feel the pride and benefit of doing so. It really is worth the effort, no matter what the voices in my head may say.