Happy full moon! I hope you all saw it last night, so mesmerisingly beautiful. Before I go on though, my apologies for the lateness of this blog. We were at Rottnest Island for a family holiday last week and I missed my usual Thursday blog session. We had a lovely relaxing break with some great friends and all our children. Much swimming, cycling, reading, laughing and eating was done and we are now making the adjustment back to normal life.
During our holiday I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love. I think I was probably the last woman aged between 30 and 50 in the developed world to have read it but I feel everything happens in perfect time. I loved this book and took a lot of comfort from Elizabeth Gilbert’s starkly honest portrayal of her travails, both geographical and emotional. I took comfort because the book I have written (although yet to be completed or published) about my life as a new mother facing the challenge of reinventing myself to live a life that reflects who I truly am, has meant sharing some pretty brutal facts about who I was, in order to flesh out the changes I have been through. What I love about the process of revealing oneself in the written form though, is knowing that the less perfect we are, the better others can relate to us and connect to our story. I have found this again and again in the massive array of self-help and spiritual books I have read in the last 20 years. When authors such as the inspiring Miranda Holden, share the essential human-ness of themselves by describing the low points in their lives, as well as how they recovered and moved forward, we as readers can offer our silent compassion and feel a connection to this person though their pain. Let’s face it, we’ve all got stories.
One of the personal development tools I have used over the years is journal writing. There are many ways of keeping a journal. Most people do it sporadically, when they are going through a difficult time or during a wonderful time such as on a holiday. Another approach to take, and one recommended by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way (click to go to her website), is to use journal writing as a gradual process of uncovering one’s true self. Julia recommends writing three pages upon waking every morning, preferably for months at a time. Her approach is based on the concept that the first two pages are filled with the ego-based nonsense that keeps us stuck in repetitive patterns of self-doubt and self-defeating behaviours. It is in the third page of writing that the conscious mind, having vented all the pain and frustration held there, relaxes and the soul gets to have its voice. I did this for only a short time (I’m sorry to admit) when I first read this book about five years ago, and found it very useful. This practice inspired me to enrol in my first creative writing course and I have been enjoying writing on and off ever since.
The times of the full and new moons are a wonderful opportunity to begin a new practice or let go of an old habit. I’m feeling that it’s time for me to reinstate this ritual in my morning routine.
Happy writing and reading,