I am following a read-along of Liz Lamoreux's book Inner Excavation which she is hosting for free over on her blog for the next 6 weeks. (The read-along lasts a total of 7 weeks - one week for each chapter - there is still plenty of time to catch up and join in!) It dawns on me that I am a rather social hermit; while I require oodles of quiet time to myself, I also need social interaction and connection to help me clarify the inklings that arise from my creative navel-gazing. Ideas shared in community tend to flesh out, have more weight and meaning when exposed to the light of other's eyes and minds.
So here I am, sitting in the middle of what Liz calls the dig site that is my life, shifting through feelings, memories, aspirations, dreams and fears that for too long lay buried and lost. I've been doing this work for some time now, but the timing of Liz's inner excavate-along coincides with my own sense of staging a more conscious effort to seek clarity within my life and my actions.
This first week I decided to incorporate the prompts from chapter one into ongoing projects - my mini sketchbook and book of days and this blog - rather than start a separate new journal (and yes, I had a moment of mouth-frothing anticipation as I contemplated a new journal to be justified; in the end, I've let practicality - and my intention of clarity - win out as I just cannot add another project onto the pile. Rather, I see this process as augmenting practices already in place.)
Chapter one is entitled "I begin" and I've carried that phrase with me throughout my week. FIttingly, this week I began - yet again - my morning meditation practice. Like a mantra, the phrase "now I begin ... " has gently informed the photographs I've taken, journal play and lots of writing.
breathe out, breathe in
start again -
the gunk of an unruly mind
pooling away like retreating snails,
leaving an iridescent slime trail in the morning light of this meditation
the thoughts that dog me
whether I am awake or asleep,
eclipsing possibility of clarity
but I begin again
always hope filled,
chasing away hungry crocodiles
with each breath
“now is the moment that matters”
now is the place where
the magical is visible,
where the seeds of dreams
can begin their germination
within the tranquil pool
of this spacious breath
always I return
to this place of beginning,
for it offers me possibility and forgiveness,
a mona lisa smile,
an endless moment holding me
and all my contradictionsin a welcoming embrace.
Beginnings feed hope. Last night in an anxious dream I said "To have all the answers would leave no room for Hope." I'm not sure what that means, but it feels important. As someone who wants to understand everything, perhaps my subconscious is reminding me to allow room for mystery and uncertainty; that the unknown holds much magic, and that the unexpected is a place where I can be comfortable and grow beyond my boundaries.
So here I am, ready to begin again. But choosing to walk slowly, resisting my impulse to rush forward. I don't want to miss any of the magic.