For two months ago, I began recording and listening to random thoughts of mine using my voice notes from my phone. I had always kept a journal, but this was easier.
Then, after reading Cheri Huber’s book, ‘What You Practice Is What You Have’, I learned to use these recordings for a simple purpose—to remind myself of what is true and good in me.
Now, keep in mind, this is not positive self talk, even though there’s nothing wrong with that. This was a way to support myself by using…myself.
My recordings are not a way to make myself feel better, it’s a way of directing my attention to what is real. For instance, what is real is this – I am alive, I am not at the moment in pain, I have my health, and so on. It can also be what I feel, what I’m thinking, expressing myself right now in the moment.
But it can also be used to direct my attention from the life that I am living to one that I want to live—how I want to feel, how I want to live, how I want to be.
It seems silly at first, you talking to yourself. But it works.
I have been doing them in the morning while I make my bed and do my stretches. Listening to these recordings now for about 50 days, I can tell you that my self-talk is way better than what it used to be.
And I’m at a point now where when I wake up, I automatically think these true and helpful things. These recordings are made by me, it’s true, but Cheri tells us that they stem from a place of true goodness. Call it God or Love or Joy. And here is who speaks to you: your mentor.
I love this idea, especially as a writer. After all, aren’t we already talking to imaginary characters that represent real emotions and ideas? Except your mentor is not imaginary but tea. Again, it sounds silly and odd even as I write his, but I also believe it because I believe in my muse as well.
So I decided to begin my writing sessions with a specific recording telling myself what kind of session I’m going to have, how it’s going to be great, and that if problems do come or if there is some struggle, I have the capability of writing those wrongs. I’ll let you know how that goes.
The most important point that Cheri makes in her book about these recordings is that this is not a self-improvement tool. I’m not improving anything because I don’t need to.
Everything that I have is inside of me, everything that I need to be successful is already here because I am already successful and I’m already happy. It’s the storylines and the conditioning that we grew up on that get in the way of our happiness.
This tool is a perfect way to do it. And she mentions that writing a journal isn’t good enough because it’s a literal representation. But when we record how sad or happy or amazed that we are, and then hear our one and only true teacher we’ll ever need—ourselves—telling us that it’s okay and that we can do it, it gives us so much good self-talk.
Try it out. If it’s too odd for you, cool beans. But give it a try. What can it hurt?
It’s not about adopting some positivity or some new way of thinking, it’s about letting go of the negativity and about letting go of all the delusions and all of the excess weight of the expectations on our shoulders.
I have suffered for many years with the weight of unnecessary storylines that I would tell myself over and over—that a writer should be this, that a writer should be that, that I wasn’t good enough for this, that I needed to do more work, that I needed to do anything but make a blog because I wasn’t ready or write a novel because I wasn’t worthy.
Fuck all that.
Vietnamese mediator and guru Thich Nhat Hanh wrote in his book ‘How To Love’ that there is no good or bad in the way we are with our love, but either skillful and unskillful. I love this!
This description opens up a whole world to you because it places you in the realm of the learner learning to be skillful and not some judgmental, damaged person who is good or bad. This is an immense change in your mindset. That’s exactly what I’m working on now.
When I turn my attention to skillful-unskillful, then I can say I can work on this and not take it so personal. And that’s really what this is all about—taking all that unnecessary weight off your shoulders, off your mind, off your heart and allowing yourself to get out of your own way, to do what you were meant to do, where you’re one with your heart and do what your heart is craving for.
As far as working on the novel itself, I’ve made what is 99% of what my synopsis of the second draft will be. Whatever this may be going forward, right now I love it what this is going to be. I love also that I have an ending. Endings have been elusive for me. So that’s a good thing.
I tried out different scenarios and became very loose with my own writing and where this is going to go. This freed me up and made me more creative. I’m super charged to get it going.
I can’t tell you exactly what this thing is about yet until at least the next draft. I am a firm believer that creation that is written or spoken is something that we can’t get back once it’s ‘out’. This is why we’re always a little hesitant to talk about any ideas that we have early on because the talking of it will get it out of our system.
So going forward I hope you’ll understand that I won’t be telling you all of what I’m doing in specifics but only in feelings and only in my habits in my everyday life which I hope is good enough for you.
Please check out Cheri’s book here.
Please check out Hanh’s book here.
Have yourselves a wonderful safe and creative day.
Create and Complete!