Let’s draw that out

This depressing truth – everyone suffers – led to [George] Vaillant‘s first revelation, which is that our mental health is defined by how we cope.*
Jonah Lehrer

Drawing is so much more THAN GOOD OR BAD. IT IS A language from another part of you.**
Lynda Barry

Writing is one of the best ways to work through the difficult things that life
simply is.
And when we add some pictures, it becomes even stronger.
when words are difficult to find,
Drawing something out –
Not in some fancy, polished way,
But in a scratchy, playful way –
May be the place we need to begin
finding the words.

Lynda Barry is doing just this in What It Is,
Julia Cameron offers us morning pages,
There are many different ways.
I began journaling every day some twenty five years ago
to help me figure things out,
accompanied by my higher being,
like Journaling Anonymous,
And I keep on developing it.

It’s just a simple thing I thought to
offer up this morning,
Simple and inexpensive,
Simple and immediate,
Simple and significant.

*Jonah Lehrer’s A Book About Love;
**Lynda Barry’s Making Comics.

Escaping the outline

Revision isn’t only the act of composition.
Revision is thinking applied to language,
An opening of discovery,
A search for the sentence that says the thing you had no
idea you would say
Hidden inside the sentence you are making.

You’ll never know what you think until you escape
your outline.*

Verlyn Klinkenborg

Discovering your Self in language is always an epiphany, even if finding the words to describe your inner reality can be an agonising process.**
Bessel van der Kolk

Just yesterday,
I had been asked about dreamwhispering,
So I went back to the 90s,
Describing how I knew back then what I generally should be doing in my work,
But wanting to know what I should specifically be spending more time on:
Out of the outline and into my passion,
One might say.

Over the ensuing years of exploration, trial and error,
What has emerged is dreamwhispering,
the contribution I love to make beyond all others.

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.^

Life is about finding our specific words and language,
And then creating our stories.

They don’t have to be many,
But they do have to be ours:

Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote The Cat in the Hat with only
250 words,
He then went on to write Green Eggs and Ham with
It’s about having the
right words.

You’re welcome to get in touch and find out more about

*Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Several short sentences about writing;
**Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score;
^Albert Szent-Györgi, quoted in Rohit Bhargava’s Non Obvious 2019.

Older and heavier

Some people as they grow up become less … . Other people as they grow up become more.*
Eugene Peterson

Today I am 63 years old and I am determined
to grow up,
For the contents of my life and the state of my heart
to outweigh my possessions.

I am my weaknesses,
I know this so well,
I am more than my weaknesses,
And this is my exploration.
May those stronger parts in me become
denser, thicker.

The wanderer becomes one with himself or herself and the universe. We connect with the energy of all living things. We live according to our inner nature.**

*Eugene Peterson’s Run With the Horses;
**Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.

And … or

Every life is a piece of art, put together with all means available.
Pierre Janet

In the presence of the God of Beauty our own beauty shines.**
John O’Donohue

This and that.

But we cannot do “anything” and we cannot do
“everything” –
This is the deception of “And.”

This or that.

We can do “something” and we can become “someone” –
This is the freedom of “Or.”

We will know this path by its heart, service
and suffering,
But it is our home.

When I connected dreamwhispering with my university’s^ list of
student attributes, I selected identity, resilience and creativity for their resonance.
Only this morning,
I found myself connecting these to Erwin McManus’ three human quests
for honour, nobility and enlightenment^^

The quests lead us firstly through
Humility, gratitude and faithfulness,
helping us to determine identity.

These in turn grow
integrity, wholeness and perseverance,
All necessary to resilience, a garden of possibility.

The fruits of which are
courage, generosity and wisdom,
The gifts we bring to others.

*Quoted in Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score;
**John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
^The University of Edinburgh;
^^Erwin McManus’ Uprising.

Creativity at the end of keeping going

It is where the synergistic interplay of courage, wisdom and generosity make us most creative.*
Erwin McManus

No-one was sent into the world without being given the infinite possibilities of the heart.**
John O’Donohue

For Erwin McManus,
Courage and generosity and Wisdom
are the result of three quests
or journeys
that we make.

Courage is the product of integrity,
Which is in turn the result of
humility –
A response to pride.

Generosity is the product of wholeness,
Which is in turn the result of
gratitude –
A response to greed.

Wisdom is the product of perseverance,
Which in turn is the result of
faithfulness –
A response to foolishness.

We can be creative at any point along the way,
But if McManus is right then each of us is capable of even greater creativity
if we keep moving.

This will look different for each of us,
But my guess is,
You will know what you must do.

*Erwin McManus’ Uprising;
**John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty.

A life worth living

I think love is fostered by a capacity to experience cosmos.*
M. C. Richards

It’s while it’s being lived that life is immortal, while it’s still alive. **
Marguerite Duras

All I know
is that whilst we rightly contemplate
and explore
whether there is life after death,
it is positively critical to deeply ponder and curiously wander through
life before death.

Whilst hedonistic and nihilistic extremes
lose the plot,
there are some elemental thoughts to
have some fun with as you
complete them:

Life is hard …
I am not as special as I think …

My life is not about me …
I am not in control …
I am going to die … .

*M. C. Richards’ Centering;
**Quoted in Maria Popova’s The Marginalian: The Backdoor to Immortality: Marguerite Duras on What Makes Life Worth Living in the Face of Death;
^Richard Rohr’s Adam’s Return.

Wonder beyond understanding

I would rather wonder than know. … I think wondering is a way of inhabiting and lingering. There seems to be more dwelling. To dwell, inhabit and linger. I’m interested in those things. And you can do that when you don’t know.*
Mary Rueffle

We do not need understanding, we do not want understanding, we want love. Understanding already separates the observer from the observed. It is faintly condescending, faintly superior.**
M. C. Richards

To wonder or to understand?
Such a difficult choice.

Is there is another way?
To know and yet wonder?

It would be the most difficult way of all:
To grow in knowledge and also in our sense of wonder
in all our discoveries:
In each other, in our world of things and ideas,
In ourselves and beyond.

As creatures of wonder,
It seems to me that it is this way
Mary Rueffle and M. C. Richards
desire to take them
beyond understanding alone.

*Quoted in Austin Kleon’s blog: To wonder rather than know;
**M.C. Richards’ Centering.

And suddenly

Read, look into other areas, use different learning mediums, ask better questions, reflect, be open to ideas, be surrounded by learners, and prioritise learning*
Michael Heppell

The only thing we know for sure is that we will die one day. But before that we can try do do almost anything.**
Margareta Magnusson

Nothing is really “suddenly.”
A summating sentence can provide a false impression,
That what we want will come quickly:
Only a genie’s wish or some pixie dust away.

“Suddenly” is really our perception of something that has taken a long time
to appear or to happen.

Transformation lies at the end of a slow, long road,
So best to focus on the contents of the road.

*Michael Heppell’s The Edge;
**Margareta Magnusson’s Döstädning.