Today is the last day to sign up for Align Your Story at the sale price, and I'm so excited to start the course again today! I won’t be offering the course at this price again (if ever) for at least nine months.
This course is for you if:
* You feel out of sorts with yourself and want to come into better alignment
* You would like to access more ease in your writing (in any genre, including business writing) and in your life in general
Since some of you have had questions about how the course actually works, I made a little video that walks you through the nuts and bolts of the course, what is in it, how students interact with it, and more; you can watch the video below.
All the course material is housed online where you can access it at any time—forever—and go through at your own pace.
Each module has a different theme, such as Freewriting, Deep Listening, Childhood, Revision and more.
The lesson for each module guides you through the ideas of the module so that you can approach your writing (and your life) from new perspectives. It is delivered in both text and audio format so you can read or listen at your convenience.
Each module also comes with close readings of exemplary texts from my favorite authors, across time and genres, from Rumi to Tolstoy, Emily Dickinson to Zora Neale Hurston.
Each module also comes with carefully selected meditations and yoga practices.
The meditations help you clear the static from your mind and access deeper, clearer insights and creativity.
The yoga helps you clear stagnant energy from your body and access the stories and the wisdom that your body carries.
There are more than 90 carefully selected writing prompts that guide your writing, whether you’re new to writing or whether you take the course to help you work on a book project.
In addition, for each module there is a live group coaching call with me where you can ask questions, where we practice together, and where we discuss the course material. These calls are always recorded if you can’t make them live.
And there is an active, ongoing facebook group with writers around the world.
If you are looking for a traditional course where you hand in work each week for feedback, this course is not for you.
If you are looking for a course that guides you to become your own best witness and write more deeply, freely, creatively, and powerfully, this course is for you.
It's for writers working in any genre and at any level; the course meets you where you are.
You can, and are encouraged to, share writing on the facebook group. And if you do the premium plan, you get lots of one-on-one support including editorial support to finish and polish a piece, from me. But the main focus is not on editorial critique, but instead on learning to take risks, expand your range and trust your own voice.
Why sign up?
*) This course will guide you to write the work you’ve always wanted to write.
*) The course guides you towards better writing and also better living.
*) Students in the course have started new blogs, finished books projects, and "found" their authentic voices.
*) Students have also reported finding their authentic self and purpose and coming into greater emotional and physical health.
Still not sure?
The course starts TODAY, but if you don't have much time, you can go through the course at your own pace. There is no falling behind because you have lifetime access.
And if you don’t like the course after completing the first two modules, you’ll get a full refund. So you have nothing to lose.
Until this evening, the basic plan is on sale for $449 and the premium plan (with hours of one-on-one coaching and more) is on sale for $997. Then the prices go back up to $669 and $1399 and won't come back down for at least nine months)
Investing in the course is like buying a life-long enrollment into a writing and a personal growth community with coaching support from me. A single one-on-one session with me normally costs $197 but the course gives you hours of live time with me, facebook support, and a wealth of material you can access for life (watch the video below).
Payment plans are available (where we split the cost into two or three payments but I won't charge you extra)—just reach out to me through email or phone: 617-785-6627. I will work with you to make this course accessible to you if you want to take it!
See more and sign up here today: https://www.nadiacolburn.com/align-your-story.html
If you think you might want to take the course at some point, this is the time to sign up.
Pllease take a few minutes to watch the video I made which walks you through how the course actually works and answers a lot of questions.
And if you have any questions you'd like me to answer or just want to chat about whether this course is for you, as I said, reach out to me.
I'm very excited to start the next round of my online writing course Align Your Story this Monday, April 9th! After Monday, the price goes up and I won’t be offering the class again for nine months.
I love this course and community and I'm excited to share it with you!
I believe in the course so much that if you are not satisfied with it after doing the work of the first two modules, I’ll refund your entire tuition.
So, why do I want people to sign up?
I created this course to help people—at a low price—honor and integrate their voice and their authentic self because that is something that I care so much about.
This integration is something that our world often doesn’t give us much support in—we can often feel cut off from ourselves and our voice.
But when we ground our writing work in deep inner work, the rewards are almost limitless.
We can come out of stress and write (and live) with much more ease, power and courage.
Most writing classes focus only on craft and technique. This class is different because it asks you to listen deeply to your own voice and calling; it guides you to explore, step out of judgment-mind and integrate mind and body.
So many writers are often anxious and unhappy, but it doesn’t need be this way.
So many people shy away from writing because they don’t consider themselves “real writers.” This is a lost opportunity.
Align Your story gives you support. You’ll be inspired by the texts we study, and by the writing of your peers in the class.
Inside the course, you can choose from several different “tracks” how you interact with the material and then come back and try another track later when you have more time.
Once you enroll, you have lifetime access to all the material. And you’ll be part of a lifelong world-wide community of supportive, engaged and inspiring writers.
You’ll also get direct support from me in the facebook group and on the coaching calls.
And a bonus for the first 20 people who sign up for either plan ALSO get a thirty minute one-on-one session with me. There are a few slots left.
But my biggest why is seeing the students who have already taken the course flourish. This is what some of them have said about Align Your Story:
I had never before written with so much freedom and personal insight as I was compelled to during Nadia’s course.
Working with Nadia through Align Your Story allowed me a depth of internal movement and self-integration that infused new life and strength into my path and voice."
(see more below)
I try to keep the price low for this course so that more people can access it. It is on sale now with a discount of more than $200 for the basic plan and more than $400 for the premium plan. If you sign up with a friend, you each get an additional 15% discount. After April 9th, the price goes back up.
See more about the course and sign up here
You have nothing to lose:
Worried you don’t have time? Don’t worry, sign up now and do what you can now and more later--you have lifetime access.
Worried you can’t do the yoga? There are several ways to interact with the course. Do the no-yoga track this time
Worried it’s not for you? My money back guarantee ensures that if you try the course and are not happy with it, you’ll be refunded.
Sign up by April 9th ; give yourself the permission to invest in yourself and honor your own voice and integration.
I promise you, you will grow in this class and when you look back, the investment will seem small in comparison to what you gain!
What more people have said:
Nadia's course, which combines yoga, meditation and serious literary work, catalyzed a fundamental change in how I approach my writing, and now, I write with enthusiasm and minimal anxiety. Align Your Story finally allowed me to achieve coherence between my spiritual, physical and creative lives—something I'd been looking for that all of my life without knowing where to find it.
“The revisions I've done since taking this course have seemed so much truer to my own voice…and my work is much more powerful as a result."
I know that I wouldn’t have been able to come back to myself fully as a writer had it not been for this course or to come back to my faith in my own abilities."
My voice is getting stronger. I'm finding ways to connect it to my body differently. I feel like this course is an amazing countainer that holds me and protects me so I can do the things I need to do. It's like a womb and I'm coming back to life. In the time of this course alone, I've started two new projects, two blogs that I wanted to create for a long time.
At last I discovered a writing mentor, Nadia Colburn, who dares to value both the craft of writing and one’s personal journey of body, mind, spirit and voice.
I found my way into the course during a time of navigating several transitions and personal challenges this winter, including the loss of a loved one. In the midst of all this, I found that the tools Nadia offered were a helpful way to process what I was experiencing, offering both a chance to look inward as well as to join together with a community…accompanying one another on transformational journeys.
Since taking Align Your Story, my writing, my sense of self, and my ability to find my center have all shifted to a place of greater clarity. Thank you, Nadia!
The combination of readings, writing exercises, yoga practices and meditation made me unfold layer by layer until I found me, my real me, myself.
Align Your Story’s approach to writing as storytelling made me lighter and happier. What I have found with Align Your Story: a new relationship to myself.
See more and sign up now here
As always, please share this email with any friends (if you sign up with a friend, you each get a 15% discount).
And I love to hear from you; send me an email with questions or just to say hi!
I'm writing with a reminder and an announcement!
First: Reminder: This Friday at 12:30 (eastern) I’m going to be hosting a free, online meditation and writing session. I hope you'll take some time from your busy day and give yourself the gift of some quiet and creativity! Sign up here for the log in information.
This session will be a bit different from the ones I’ve offered before. I’m going to focus my prompts on the theme of working with our stories.
As John Kabat Zinn said, wherever we go, there we are. Whatever genre we work in, too, there we are. Our writing—like our living—comes from us, from the things we have lived and experienced, from our fears, our expectations, our dreams, our loves.
So… Who are you? Where do you come from and where are you headed? These basic questions of identity in and through time are central to most indigenous healing systems. They are central to who we are as humans.
And yet, we rarely have time to contemplate them and explore them in creative ways.
This is especially too bad because in these complicated, rapidly changing times these questions are more needed than ever.
It’s no wonder that it’s hard to keep our bearings, but our creative life can help us rediscover, recenter and redirect ourselves.
In this free session (which you can join over video or phone) I’ll lead a short meditation every fifteen minutes and then give you a new writing prompt to help you work with this theme.
Come on the call with a project you want to work on (these questions can usually help a project that is already developed, but that just needs a little inspiration) or come with a blank page.
I hope you’ll join me! And then next Tuesday, March 20th at 7:30 Eastern time I'll be leading another free session on Working with Emotions: Joy
As I said, it’s completely free free to sign up—and if you can’t make the live call I’ll send out a recording to those who sign up! Sign up here for for the log-in information for both free sessions.
Second: From now until April 9th, when Align Your Story begins, I'm holding a sale on the course! I'm dropping the price by more than $200 for the basic plan and more than $400 for the premium. I’m so enthusiastic about this course, I want to make it accessible to everyone who wants to take it.
From now until April 9th, the basic plan will cost only $449.
And the premium, which includes one-on-one support, coaching and editorial feedback from me, will cost only $997.
After April 9th the price of the course will go up again. While it's always available for purchase, I only go through the course once or twice a year module by module with live conference calls.
I won't be going through the course again until October 2018 at the very earliest, but most likely I won't go through the course again until January 2019 and prices may never be this low again.
Because I encourage friends to sign up together to go through the material together, friends always get a 15% discount, even on the sale price.
If you sign up, you also have the option of being paired with a buddy to go through the course with! People have made great writing partners and friends this way!
And the first 20 people who sign up get a bonus 30 minute one-on-one session with me (a value of $75.)
These prices are amazingly low for a course that is essentially three courses in one (a writing course, a meditation course and a yoga course) and that includes lifetime access not only to the online material but also to all the live conference calls and the ongoing facebook community.
Students have gone through the course three and even four times and found new material to work with in new ways each time. So really it’s like enrolling in a lifetime writing meditation and yoga coaching program and community. You can see more here: www.alignyourstory.com
I'm so committed to making this course accessible to everyone who wants to take it, if you need a payment plan or other consideration, please reach out to me!
And I want to be transparent about my pricing, so anyone who signed up early with my “early bird discount” will get refunded the difference in price plus a little extra as a thank you for signing up early! I think I know who you are and will send you an email, but you can also feel free to reach out to me, too.
As always, reach out with any questions and pass this on to any friends who might be interested!
With thanks and love,
And if you're free this Saturday, there are a few more spaces in Still Harbor's all day retreat, The Courage of Connection, where I'll be joining an amazing team of facilitators and leading a session on Working with Our Stories and co-leading a session on connection, movement and the body.
Happy Monday, with a little extra light for those of us who are in daylight savings zones!
I’m so excited to announce that the next session of my online course, Align Your Story, will start again April 9th!
Align Your Story is a unique writing course with meditation and yoga for a more holistic approach to accessing the fullness of our stories and creativity. When I brought together my deep love for literature with the transformative power of meditation and yoga, I could go deeper, see farther and tap into more ease and more courage in my writing process. So I created a course that brings these modalities that are so often separate together for others.
The course is designed for writers of any level of experience (from complete beginners to professional writers working on their fifth book) and working in any genre. This is possible because the course gets at the roots of the creative life and explores techniques and the writings of some of the world’s most interesting authors and thinkers, across time and genres.
I’ve been delighted to see the students in the course grow and transform!
As one student said, “The combination of readings, writing exercises, yoga practices and meditation made me unfold layer by layer until I found me, my real me, myself.
And another; “I feel empowered by participating in this course, as it has encouraged me to write with more courage, vulnerability, freedom, and authenticity and to appreciate the ways in which my yoga and meditation practices nourish my writing and creativity, and vice versa, linking mindful expression and reflection in an integrated process.”
Gearing up to start the course again, I’m offering a number of free meditation and writing events this month! I hope you'll try them! They're completely free. Just sign up to get the log in information and, if you can't make it live (though I hope you can), a recording.
Friday March 16th from 12:30-1:30 (eastern) join me for a free call-in/video-in meditation and writing session on the theme of Working with our Stories. The session will help you come to more clarity about how your life and your writing intertwine—whatever genre you’re working in and however you want to interpret the questions. Come with a project you are already working on or be led by the prompts.
Tuesday March 21, from 7:30-8:30pm (eastern) join me for a free call-in/video-in meditation and writing session on the theme of Working with Emotions: Joy. Joy can be the hardest emotion to tap into in our writing for any number of reasons. Come with a project you are already working on or be led by the prompts.
Again, sign up here to receive the log in information for these two free sessions and to receive the recordings!
The week from March 23-March 30th, I’m going to be offering a seven day writing and meditation challenge, in which you’ll be guided to meditate and write daily with a new recording. More information is coming about this event, but mark your calendar now/
And finally on April 4th, at 12:30 (eastern), I’m going to be hosting a free online question and answer session in which I’ll be answering any questions about the writing life, meditation, yoga, the Align Your Story course, or other related questions. Email me questions in advance or come onto the live session with questions. More information is also coming about this event, but mark your calendar now.
I’ll hope to see you soon!!
And I rely on word of mouth, so if you have any friends who might be interested in joining any of these free events or Align Your Story, please pass this information on to them! Thank you in advance!
And when friends sign up for Align Your Story together, they each get a 15% discount!
Joy, paradoxically, can be difficult. After all we live in a complicated world! The joy module of my writing course Align Your Story is often the stickiest for students: feelings of joy also bring up feelings of guilt, fear, sorrow. We run away from our own joy. But if we learn to sit with it and write from it, we can develop our joy muscle and our ability to be fully present for the fullness of our human experience on the page and off it.
Please join me to sit and write with joy and with whatever else, without judgment, joy brings up for you tomorrow, Tuesday, at 7:30 pm (eastern standard)!
As usual, I’ll start each fifteen minutes with a meditation and then offer a writing prompt. Come be led by the prompts or come with a project you’re already working on. If you haven’t already signed up, you can sign up for the free log in information here: https://www.nadiacolburn.com/please-join-me.html
Because I’ve been thinking about the trickiness of working with the emotion of joy, I wrote an essay about working with joy, and I'm delighted to say that the essay was published just this afternoon in Elephant Journal. In the essay I discuss what Brene Brown calls “Foreboding joy,” that sense that when something good is happening, the other shoe's about to fall. I also discuss a Wordsworth poem that I love, and I offer three steps that can help us develop our joy muscle.
I’m excited to share it the article with you! Please read it here. And if you like it please “like” it and share it
How do we sort through all the variety and complexity in our lives and in our world? What do we focus on? How do we decide what tone to take?
Sometimes writing can be a wonderful way to make sense of the complexity. The exploratory nature of our writing can be a gift and can guide us to what we really think and believe; as E. M. Forster quipped, “How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?
We can discover ourselves through the writing process.
But too often in that discovery process, we can feel uncomfortably lost and overwhelmed, and we run in circles as a result.
To be honest, sometimes when I sit down to write I can feel caught up in the complexity itself, unable to find my way out. Where to start? What to focus on?
So before I sit down, I like to know what kind of writing I’ll be doing, what my goals are, and the direction I want to be headed in.
This is the case not only if we’re sitting down to write a short piece, but also and especially when we’re in the midst of a longer project:
How do we keep all the different strands going? How do we keep the tone consistent? Should we follow that other question or plot line instead of the one we were following before?
Many people ask me: Should I just start writing and let the writing guide me, or should I have an outline for my project/ book?
I believe that at a certain point 99 percent of writers will benefit greatly from an outline, a clear roadmap to where they are going!
My father worked as an editor and publisher in New York City publishing, and he always said that he could tell from the synopsis and one page of the author’s writing whether the book was a go or not. Even the most talented writer couldn’t write a good book if the synopsis didn't make sense, he’d say.
I used to find this discouraging. But now, the more I work with writers and see the writing process unfold across different genres and for many different writers, the more I see what good advice it is.
I’ve had students and clients come to me after wasting years on incompletely formed book ideas; because they don’t have a clear form or outline to guide them, they made a wrong turn and then headed in a wrong direction, sometimes literally for years.
If you want to stay on track and write with more direction and save time and energy, I encourage you to ask yourself these two simple questions:
1) What is the MAIN idea of the project you are working on. Try to boil it down to one page and then to one paragraph.
2) What HAPPENS in the book—in real time. Go through chapter by chapter and map it out. What is at stake in each chapter?
Often, you need to write your way to these answers.
It can also be immensely helpful to talk these questions out with a friend or coach. We can often hear things differently when we say them aloud to another person. And feedback is invaluable.
Once you really find your way to answer the two questions above, the writing process becomes much easier and more enjoyable. And the work itself becomes much more powerful.
If you’re interested in exploring this process of getting clear on your main idea and structure more, please join me March 2nd for an all day workshop at Grub Street in Boston.
There will be time to write from prompts, to do interactive exercises and to discuss your particular project and get feedback.
If you’re not local or are not free that day, I also have a limited number of spots available for new one-on-one coaching clients. A few sessions can help clarify ideas and save lots of time and energy!
I find this process of coming to and staying with our main idea not only practical, but also a good corrective to the way we often live. Books provide a beautiful depth of attention, knowledge and vision in contrast to the normal distraction and shortness of attention of our contemporary world.
Similarly, the writing process itself cultivates a beautiful clarity, attention and centering vision in an often de-centered world. This process of writing can be a powerful and transformative experience of focusing and clarifying.
I'm delighted to share my interview with Harrison Blum! We talk about creative, embodied buddhism, mindfulness and social justice and much more!
Harrison is inspiring in the ways he brings his buddhist practice to life through dance, through sharing the teachings with traditionally underserved communities, and through his work as a chaplain with college students.
The editor of Dancing with Dharma, a collection of essays about dance and dharma and a strong advocate for equity in mindfulness trainings, Harrison thinks about mindfulness in creative outside-the box ways!
We talk about some topics close to my own heart:
*) embodied mindfulness and creativity
* ) translating the language and wisdom of the body into verbal language
*) social justice and mindfulness
*) the misrepresentation of mindfulness in a consumer culture
* ) and much more
I so enjoyed talking with Harrison, and I hope you enjoy the conversation!
You can see more about Harrison's work at his website.
As always, I love to hear from you.
And please share this with anyone who might be interested!
I’m just back from Colombia, where Simone and I had a great time visiting friends. What a beautiful and complex country: sophisticated, unequal, stunningly beautiful and ecologically diverse, sometimes dangerous, friendly, and so much more.
Our time there reminded me that there is never, of course, one story of any place—or of any person. Sometimes the complexity can even feel overwhelming.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about looking inward, listening deeply to the more difficult parts of our own stories, and getting the kinds of support we need to do that work. How do we do that without getting overwhelmed? How do we make order of the complexity?
Do you ever feel like your body and your life is like a messy house? There are so many things everywhere, and you don't quite know where everything is or where it all belongs....so you just kind of make do with what you can find but sometimes you get tripped up on something left around on the floor?
That is how I lived in my body for much of my life: it worked, I could run and dance and feel okay, but when I really quieted, I could also see that it was messy inside and often that mess would get in my own way.
One tool that has helped me enormously is yoga: yoga helped me come to more order, more peace and more energy.
Though a lot of contemporary yoga focuses on the external qualities, yogic philosophy and practice gives us really powerful tools to look inside and create more peace and health on a deep internal level.
I’ve found the teachings around the chakra system especially helpful. The chakras are energy centers that run up the body from the base to the top of the spine and above, each correlating to a different physical and emotional quality.
Often when we experience challenges in life, the energy of that challenge gets blocked in the body, and specifically in the correlating chakra.
When the chakras are in balance, we have greater understanding of and freedom with our stories. Balancing our chakras also strengthens the immune system and gives us more energy and vitality—on both the physical and emotional levels.
The philosophy of the chakra system also teaches us that we need to establish security—in the lower chakras—before we can release the upper chakras and be more heart centered.
We’re like trees: we need to be well grounded in order to be open to the winds and flexible.
This profound lesson helps us with our writing—we can’t look into those difficult places in our own stories or be our most creative and playful unless we feel grounded and supported.
It also helps us have more compassion—for ourselves and for others; when people don’t feel that security they are less flexible, open and heart centered.
I'm really excited to help share the teachings and experiences of working with the chakras this coming Saturday at Simply Yoga in Belmont!
If you're local, please join me this Saturday and next for a powerful two part series:Journey through the Chakras.
The first week, we’ll focus on the lower three chakras, to develop strength and a sense of security; the second week, we’ll move to the upper chakras for heart opening and more aligned communication.
This class is appropriate for people with any level of yoga experience or for complete beginners.
And it’s great for writers or creatives of any type—learning how better to work with the energy systems not only gives us tools to tap into our stories but also to tap into deeper levels of creativity.
We'll practice together and I'll also give you practices to take home with you!
I’d love to see you!
And if you’re not local (or are local and can’t join), I invite you, nonetheless, to pay attention to your own energy system. Over time you can notice where you are out of alignment, what needs to be cleared in your body and get the energy flowing more freely so toxins don’t build up.
I invite you to start through focusing on the lower chakras—on what gives you strength and security. You can practice with my video here.
You can also get some results simply by bringing your mindful attention to that area of your body and paying attention to feeling grounded and supported.
As I said, if you’re local, I’d love to see you this Saturday to give you more tools to work with the chakras. And as always, I'd love to hear from you.
Let me know if you have any questions or observations. And please pass this on to any friends who might be interested!
Have you ever started doing something and then found yourself questioning why you are doing it?
Or have you started out doing something with one set of expectations and then found yourself doing something quite different?
In my last video, I told you a bit about how I came to the more integrated coaching and teaching of writing that I do. Today, in this new video, I want to share some thoughts on how to stick with writing even when you don't know where it's going or when you want to stop altogether.
I share some of the experiences of two of my clients and the ways in which their most uncomfortable moments led to real growth. I discuss how isolating that particular moment when you feel most uncertain about your writing, sitting with it, instead of running away, and really listening to the messages coming up in your body can lead to exciting creative breakthroughs.
And I offer four practical tips to help anyone deepen their writing practice—especially when it's getting uncomfortable.
Next week, I'll send out another video with more tips about how to write with greater ease, but today I want to honor MLK day—and offer my own small push back against the disheartening and upsetting things we’ve been seeing and hearing from the White House.
Over the past weeks I offered both a Communicating with Courage Yoga Workshop and a Writing with Courage Writing class. I knew that courage wasn't something that could be "taught" but that something that we can cultivate by listening to and strengthening ourselves. How is that done?
Martin Luther King, Jr and the many leaders and participants in the Civil Rights movement knew that to speak and act with courage, they needed to attend not only to the mind but also to body and to the heart--"courage" comes from the French word “coeur,” heart.
They also knew that courage is cultivated by learning from and surrounding oneself with courageous people (either in person or through books).
I've been asking myself how I can be more courageous. This is an ongoing question and pursuit, but one thing I can do is help share the courageous work of inspiring people. And in that spirit,I'd like to share a poem, "WHO UNDERSTANDS ME BUT ME," by Jimmy Santiago Baca.
Baca grew up in an orphanage in New Mexico and ran away at 13. At 21, living on the streets, he was incarcerated for drug possession and he spent the next six and a half years in prison, three of those in solitary confinement.
Those experiences may deaden, or break even the best people, but Baca tapped into something else. In prison, he learned to read and write, and, inspired by the books he read, began to write poetry and to access his own deep courage.
In the many years since then, then Baca has published more than twelve books , including poetry, memoir, novels and more. Today he helps bring writing and literature to disadvantaged youth.
This poem is about courage of the greatest sense: the courage to be oneself, not to give up on oneself, or on beauty and freedom even in the face of the greatest obstacles and injustice.
WHO UNDERSTANDS ME BUT ME
BY JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA
They turn the water off, so I live without water,
they build walls higher, so I live without treetops,
they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine,
they lock my cage, so I live without going anywhere,
they take each last tear I have, I live without tears,
they take my heart and rip it open, I live without heart,
they take my life and crush it, so I live without a future,
they say I am beastly and fiendish, so I have no friends,
they stop up each hope, so I have no passage out of hell,
they give me pain, so I live with pain,
they give me hate, so I live with my hate,
they have changed me, and I am not the same man,
they give me no shower, so I live with my smell,
they separate me from my brothers, so I live without brothers,
who understands me when I say this is beautiful?
who understands me when I say I have found other freedoms?
I cannot fly or make something appear in my hand,
I cannot make the heavens open or the earth tremble,
I can live with myself, and I am amazed at myself, my love,
I am taken by my failures, astounded by my fears,
I am stubborn and childish,
in the midst of this wreckage of life they incurred,
I practice being myself,
and I have found parts of myself never dreamed of by me,
they were goaded out from under rocks in my heart
when the walls were built higher,
when the water was turned off and the windows painted black.
I followed these signs
like an old tracker and followed the tracks deep into myself,
followed the blood-spotted path,
deeper into dangerous regions, and found so many parts of myself,
who taught me water is not everything,
and gave me new eyes to see through walls,
and when they spoke, sunlight came out of their mouths,
and I was laughing at me with them,
we laughed like children and made pacts to always be loyal,
who understands me when I say this is beautiful?
The repetitions of the first stanza enact the shutting down that “they” enforce upon the speaker, turning the water off, building the walls higher, locking the cage around him.
But in the second stanza, the speaker finds what he calls “other freedoms” that are beautiful, and the poem is an invitation to the reader, too, to imagine the freedoms that come from being able to fully accept the self and “live with [the] self.”
Within ourselves is a wisdom and freedom and beauty that is transcendent. When we attend to our writing, can we also attend to that deeper wisdom and beauty?
Sometimes we can feel that taking time for our writing is “self indulgent,” but as Audre Lorde says, “poetry is not a luxury.” Writing—others’ and our own—is a gateway to freedom.
I invite you to join me this Friday at 12:30 (eastern) for a FREE meditation and writing session.
Please sign up for the access code, which I will email you.
I'll also send a recording to the people who sign up
I’ll start each fifteen minute session with a short meditation and optional prompt.
The session will guide you to tap into your heart and your courage.
Most of us write in some way against external boundaries, Are there cages that you want to bring down? Perhaps you want to take the time to write a political letter.
Or perhaps you just want to play with the courage and freedom of being yourself.
Feel free to come on all or only part of the call. And please share with any friends who might be interested.