November 20, 2015 -
I was teaching a workshop several years ago, playing a drum in sacred space, when a furry little animal appeared in my mind’s eye. It poked its head out of a hole in the ground, ran across a strip of grass, and disappeared as suddenly as it had arrived, down another hole. Soon it popped up again, and as I watched, it ran from hole to hole in the grass, jumping into the earth and popping up again only to disappear somewhere else.
After several minutes of this, it stopped and looked at me and said, “What’s important is knowing which hole you are jumping into.”
This message has stayed with me ever since as a wonderful reminder of the importance of intention in everything we do.
I have written about the idea of moving away from journaling as a form of writing practice because without an audience it is so easy to get caught up in the “dream.” By using a blog, newsletter, or short story format, we get to build muscle, instead, which takes us from that dream into a creative expression of our thoughts and feelings in a way that is understandable to others.
I have also written about not getting caught up in collecting all the details of our lives in order to have them handy for future books, but rather to allow ourselves to let some of that history go and to live and write more in the moment.
Today I am writing about the flip side of all that, which is the idea of holding the energy in our most important work.
As a good introvert and highly sensitive person, I grew up – as perhaps you have – with a certain amount of reticence around sharing myself verbally with others. I find, though, as I come more and more into my power in many different ways, I can now become quite a jabbermouth in the presence of a willing audience. In fact, I suspect some of my friends have even become a bit reluctant, perhaps, to ask me how I doing these days for fear of getting me started!
I have several books in my head coming to fruition and quite a lot to talk about.
Sometimes an animated conversation with another person can bring clarity to your thoughts, but how many times can you tell a story without it losing its spontaneity and freshness? How many opinions or reactions can you hear without compromising the purity of the experience you are trying to convey?
I believe it was Stephen King who advised never to share a new story until after it has been written. This isn’t for fear of it being stolen before publication. It’s for fear of its energy being released in the telling, rather than the writing of it.
A friend of mine once expressed a similar response to the sharing of dreams or premonitions. He said, if it is bad, share it to help release its energy, but if it is good, hold onto it to keep its energy with you.
So we have writing for practice and developing our craft, writing to share spontaneously in the moment, and now we have writing of high importance to develop in private and hold onto its energy until we are ready to release it to the world.
The trick… is knowing which hole we are jumping into.