“We had to live in the present; each moment had to be absorbed for all that was in it, to satisfy the hunger for life…When a ray of sunshine comes, open out, absorb it to the depths of your being. Never think that an hour earlier you were cold and that an hour later you will be cold again. Just enjoy.
“Latch on to the passing minute. Shut off the workings of memory and hope. The amazing thing is that no anguish held out against this treatment for very long. Take away from suffering its double drumbeat of resonance, memory and fear. Suffering may persist, but already it is relieved by half. Throw yourself into each moment as if it were the only one.”–And There Was Light, Jacques Lusseyran, a blind man in the French Resistance.
I am scheduled for hip replacement surgery June 24th. Something new will happen with the third book, though I do not know yet what that will be. I read and wait for inspiration to come. I have no timeline now, just the present, whatever IS in each moment…doctor and dental appointments, a week’s vacation, and “things to be done” whenever the opportune time arrives…in other words, an ordinary life.
Here is a quote that spoke to me today: “For five years I raced around digging ponds, chopping trees, clearing paths, pulling rocks, unclogging channels, planting–always making lists, plans, agendas, always “improving” things…According to my schedule, I could begin enjoying my land twenty-five years down the line. Something was dreadfully wrong.” John Taylor Gatto, What I Did on My Summer Vacation.
Upon reflection it is my intention to let go of my timetable for publishing, to embrace the gifts that are given to me and uncover the gifts I have to give in every area of my life, day by day. However I find that balance, is how it will be. This morning I met with friends for breakfast, then began working on book three, but by mid-afternoon I adjourned to the nearby state park to feel the sun on my arms and the breeze against my face and listen to the laughter and chatter of hikers as they emerged from paths in the woods.
One more quote:
“Life is not something we go through or that happens to us; it’s something we create by our decisions.” (Kathleen Dean Moore, If Your House is On Fire)
I thought The Miracle Teachings would take two months to update, format and edit. It took five. I guess we never know when we start a “journey” what that experience is really going to be. Obviously, it is for my own learning! Here are two excerpts from Mary Oliver’s insightful verse, “The Journey.”
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice–though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles…..
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones,
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn…..
The “voices” are inside, of course, shouting “Why bother?” Or, “It’s already been written.” Or, “So you think you have something to share?”
And the “fallen branches and stones” for me would be the life I’ve lived until now, messy and misguided as it might be, all of it leading to moments of inner stillness, all of it leading to a magnificent inner wonder and gratitude for the journey, and everything else.
5 books in 365 days? The second book update/edit has taken 5 months instead of two! Final edit (is there ever a final edit?) will be finished today. Everything touches everything it seems. Lines in recent poems nudge me into consciousness about what my own mind is doing, and echo straight through me,”It’s true, it’s true!” The first excerpt, from “Mind Wanting More” by Holly Hughes:
But the mind always
wants more than it has–
one more bright day of sun,
one more clear night in bed
with the moon; one more hour
to get the words right….”
–And from The Guest House by Jelaluddin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks:
“A joy, a depression, a meanness,/some momentary awareness comes/as an unexpected visitor.//Welcome and entertain them all!/Even if they are a crowd of sorrows/who violently sweep your house/empty of its furniture/ still, treat each guest honorably/He may be clearing you out for some new delight.//
In the War of ArtSteven Pressfield says “Grandiose fantasies are a symptom of Resistance. They’re the sign of an amateur. The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.” Seems to be a true thing. Editing the second book, “The Miracle Teachings” is taking far longer than I thought. And the marketing! Ah! Well, I’m reading up on that and I see what I could be doing….I do have to get the word out about the first book. That’s first on my marketing “to-do” list…right after this!
From Janet Conner, Writing Down Your Soul: “Why write? There are, after all, other ways to access internal wisdom…There is only one reason: writing works amazingly well. If you want to engage in a vibrant conversation with the wisdom that dwells just a hair below your conscious awareness, write.”
I saw the movie about Stephen Hawkins and family today. He wanted to find the scientific Answer, to the riddle of the universe. The movie was many things and I was moved by it. The first half of the second book is nearly done, though not the cover. And I’ve run into some formatting glitches that have to be worked out. My eyes can barely focus and need eye exercises that I forget to do.
I welcome comments. Thank you for the one I have just received. No doubt we can turn everything to the one goal of experiencing wholeness and inner peace.
The second book contains my diary during the first month when the first three books were dictated. I’d forgotten a great deal. The peace I felt during that time was a gift. A miracle, perhaps? I thought it would last forever. It did not. Spiritual Guides, too, have a “theory of everything,” and they go about offering it to us, each in their own way, as an experience that, in time, brings certainty, and lasting peace and joy. We all participate in the experiment in our own way, however we can. I hope this book will help at least one person to find that peace and experience being wholly joyous. I would love to have it published during the month of February, if all goes well.
On a T.V. show, I watched a disabled veteran (with both of his own legs gone) climbing a mountain, a dedicated guide at his side. The guide said it’s the challenge, setting the goal, and making the effort that gives you back what you thought you lost, your true self, confident, active, and able to move ahead with your life. I like that. It’s mid-January and I’m already a month behind the schedule I set myself for editing the second manuscript. I think this second one will be in two volumes, instead of one. And the first volume is not yet finished. I don’t know if I can publish five books in 365 days, that is, “reach the top of the mountain,” but I’ll keep putting one editing foot in front of the other and be grateful that I’m learning a lot in the review process.
This week I have looked at the opening pages of four different books dictated by unseen spiritual teachers or guides, reading the scribes’stories of how the messages came into their minds. No doubt these four are the tip of the iceberg, for I am aware of many more, each an individual approach. I’ve heard it said that when the old doctrines and traditions no longer serve inquiring minds, many more search in various ways for inspiration, and some hear voices or are otherwise inspired to relate messages of hope, guidance and a fresh way of understanding the truth of who we are. I don’t know. I may never know. I will publish the messages I heard, because I said I would, and leave the rest to Universal Inspiration and the Source of all creation, because I trust that there all hope, compassion, peace and love reside, willing to light our way “home” to inner peace and joy.
The days have been slip-sliding right into January, and I am two weeks behind my editing schedule for book two. But I have seen stories during this holiday season about those who have carried on and not turned back, and as we all do when we are able, I am going ahead with the project, book two: The Miracle Teachings…
A line from a poem by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky: “All I now say is safe to Drink.” And from another poem in his book The Subject Tonight is Love also by Hafiz/Ladinsky:
My only duty that now remains
To this world
Is from every direction
To forever serve you wine and
I have been away from the computer for five days: a three-day trip and two days upon return, including 4 holiday events 4 days in a row, meeting a local writer, and a Packer game thrown in for good measure. The three F’s can challenge any writer or editor: friends, rich food and brain fog (or fluctuating blood sugar levels). The holidays are a challenge! It took a whole morning to get reoriented and back to formatting book 2.
Everyone I know is NOT interested in the first book, Miracles and Messengers. My old friends are not A Course in Miracles advocates or particularly interested in inspirational guidance received by me through channeled messages. That means they will not be interested in books 2 through 6 either. Had to think about that for a while. I am taking Barbara Kingsolver’s advice:
“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”
– Barbara Kingsolver