Have you noticed that there is a time of day when ideas come popping into your head? When words flow smoothly onto the page? Recently, I was struggling with writing a story. The main body was done but the first paragraph just didn’t work and no matter how many times I rewrote it, I just couldn’t get it to be any better. So, I finally gave up. At 3:30 in the morning, I woke up and the first line came into my head. I loved it and thought, “I’ll remember that.” Closed my eyes and the next line came into my head. “Yeah, that was good, I’ll remember that too.” Ideas kept flowing in and I finally gave in and got up. Within five minutes, I had written the paragraph that I had been struggling with for three hours the previous day.
Words I heard, years ago, came back to mind and I found them again when I googled Dr. Wayne Dyer and Rumi. In an interview with Mark Victor Hanson, Dr. Dyer stated, “Rumi, the Persian poet said, ‘The morning breeze has secrets to tell you. Do not go back to sleep.’ Between 3 and 4 in the morning, you are closest to god. This is when you can get the greatest inspiration.” I noted it then, I’m living it now.
This week, take note of when “inspiration” comes to you. If it is in the early dawn hours, put a notebook beside your bed and take the time to write down your thoughts. If it is the golden hour before sunset, use the voice recorder on your phone. The point is, whatever the time, be aware, have tools in place and capture what inspires you. You may not use it right away but it will be a seed you can grow at a later time. The world is waiting to be inspired by you. Don’t keep it waiting too long.
This past week has been a real struggle. For every step I thought I made forward, I found myself thrown ten steps back. By Saturday morning, I had hit rock bottom. My body was out of balance – my hearing was gone, theoretically as a by-product of the vog, but I suspect it had more to do with a week of hearing answers which didn’t help me and having no reasonable solutions in sight. My problem-solving and creative skills were gone and my sense of humor and positive outlook followed along right behind them. It was a mess and I realized I had to do something to stop the downward spiral. So I stopped – turned off the computer, closed the books, took a walk and then decided to take a drive to clear my head and perhaps, on the way, stop and buy one of my favorite gingerbread cookies. Hopping into the shower, I resolved that it would get better.
It didn’t take long. Walking out of the bedroom, I discovered a ginger cookie sitting on the kitchen counter left by a dear friend who just happened to be driving by the cafe early in the morning and all they had were ginger cookies which she knew I loved. Hope started to reemerge. Stopping at the used bookstore, I looked down and saw a dime. Finding coins has always held a special significance to me since my sister shared a story. It went something like this. A husband and wife were going out for an obligatory dinner with his boss, who was quite well off. As they were heading into the restaurant, the wife saw the boss pause for a minute and then bend down to pick up a penny. She was perplexed as he didn’t need the penny and finally asked him why he picked it up. He answered, “The penny has ‘In God We Trust’ written on it. Whenever I find a penny, I know that it is God sending me a message. When I saw the dime, I figured God was “amping” up the ante for me. I still have no clue what my next step forward is going to be but I’m going to trust that it’s the one I need to take. The day continued with small wins, I found a copy of Maya Angelou’s “Letters to my Daughter” to read, Target had a portable CD player so I could listen to my meditation CD outside; Safeway is now carrying Andy’s Bueno Salsa – a favorite of mine from Kailua Farmer’s Market on Oahu; dark chocolate Magnum ice cream bars were half price; and, best yet, I had a topic for my blog.
This week, should you find yourself in a downward spiral, stop. Take a break. Walk away. Breathe. Decide to change your perspective and see what happens. You’ll be amazed.
It’s still Wednesday in Hawaii, so I haven’t missed my deadline. I delayed writing today so I could include one of my photos from the volcano which we visited last night. Standing at the top of the caldera and looking at the molten lava jumping into the air and flowing across the crater floor was awe-inspiring. If you ever doubted that the earth is a living, breathing entity, this would change your mind. The Island of Hawai’i is the only place I’ve been where I have felt the power of the earth — it is an ever-changing landscape. Where many only see the stark lava fields, I see the lava turning to dirt, shoots of plants pushing their way up to the sky, flowers blooming, birds and butterflies gracefully winging from leaf to branch. Every day is about creation and, sometimes, erasing what exists to make way for new life. How’s that for a metaphor for our lives?
This week, pick up that pencil and paper that have been dormant since the last time I gave you a writing exercise. At the top of the paper, write the following: “I choose to create a life that…” Continue writing for 15 minutes – steady flow, no editing, no judging. Anything special jump out at you? Nurture it. Be like the sprouts that are pushing their way through the lava and go towards the light. The world needs you to let go of that which doesn’t serve you and create that which does. You are as awe-inspiring and powerful as the show I saw last night!