A note: With this blog post I am taking part in the Writing Contest “Writers Crushing Doubt” hosted by Positive Writer – See details at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/#sthash.GVCwxMzo.dpuf
Something amazing happened on a bus trip to a fertility clinic back in the Fall 2009. The magic started at home. Pushed by an impulse, I grabbed the nicest notebook I had and three pens (just in case two of them would stop writing) and went on a one hour bus ride from Aalborg to Dronninglund through the beautiful and wavy landscape of North Denmark.
Thank goodness the mood dropping hormones were not starting their dark magic until later, so on the ride back home I finished my first short story.
Wow! This story took me by surprise. It was dramatic and captivating, being about wishing for children but not being able to have them and on the other hand having a son and then losing him.
The emotion roller coaster mixed with hormone cocktail and failure of the embryo implantation procedure crashed into the giving birth to something new — creations made out of words.
This was uplifting and at the same time absolutely scary.
“Can I create more of this?” something curious asked inside me.
Completely unrequested, another story started taking shape. But it grew bigger and bigger, so that it became clear: that story would not fit into two bus rides. Not even into ten. This looked rather as a book. But I couldn’t possibly write a book, could I? No, no, this was too hard and too dangerous! Because it was unknown. And I was a non-native speaker after all. Who would read an English book written by a non-native speaker coming from the former Soviet Union not even native to Russian anymore, or not that fluent in her mother tongue Romanian? Who in the world would read it?
“Right,” my brain answered, “nobody”.
In the quiet evenings, when no one was looking, I opened my notebook, peeked into it and re-read the story. Again and again. The story had its rough edges, which needed to be polished, but I still liked it. I gave it to my niece to read, and she loved it too. “I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to read more,” she said.
“Really?” I asked blushing.
“Yes, yes,” said a quiet voice in me in unison with my niece. “You should.”
“OK,” I said to myself. “Let’s try, but I will first read and learn how to do it properly.”
Magic of unexpected natural conception mixed with purchasing and reading tons of books on the writing craft.
Some of them confirmed that it was not that easy to be a writer. “You see!” a loud voice prompted. “You better concentrate on the good and real sides of life instead of pursuing something you were not made for.”
So I did concentrate on another dream of mine. Which became a reality. Being a mother to a small child.
This new reality, however, produced more hormones, more ups and downs, and more emotions. Why wasn’t I happy, when a long, longed for dream came true? This was all I wanted, wasn’t it? I had a loving husband, a sweet baby son, wonderful family and friends, and I had an interesting and positively challenging job. Besides I lived in one of the happiest countries in the world. So why wasn’t I happy? At least not most of the time?
Then on a book stand in an international airport, a butterfly captured my attention. I passed by and then came back. I took the book into my hands and read, “Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment” by Ariel and Shya Kane.
I stole a glance into the book and put it back on the shelf. “No, life isn’t that easy!” Again that loud voice.
But something quiet and strong pushed me back to the stall with the books and nudged me to buy the book.
After resisting several months to read this book by Ariel and Shya Kane, I read it and got caught by an amazing statement. There was nothing wrong with me! And I could experience happiness by simply being here, by being fully aware of the present moment.
“Hm,” I thought, “it won’t hurt to try, if I don’t have to do anything in particular and not work on something hard.”
Unbeknownst to me, my curiosity — this amazing and primary instinct we all have in us, but which is often silenced with years of indoctrination, prejudices and rules, as well as constant resistance to them — suddenly this curiosity of mine was made free.
Along with reading all the books by Ariel and Shy available then, and taking part in their workshops, something else started happening. A question started accompanying almost all loud “No’s” in my head. And the question was, “What if?”
The dialogue in my head went on then something like this, “No, no, I’m not a writer!”
“What if we don’t write a book, but just write some blog posts and see how they are received? We can stop any time, can’t we?”
After blogging for some time an unasked question was answered with a loud “No, no, I am not writing a book, and especially not about my father! His story of having lost his family during World War II, grown up in orphanages, and lead an unlucky search for his family is far too sad. Natalie Goldberg can say ‘to split open’ and others can do this if they want, but I won’t do that. It’s too much!”
“What if we only start and see what happens? We can stop and hide the book any time, right? Nobody will ever hear of it.”
As you can guess I wasn’t able to keep quiet. Instead I shared my first book even before finishing the first draft. The result: I was motivated and supported to write further.
So I published that book. And I wrote another one, and published again. Then another…
And through practicing true listening, as recommended by Ariel and Shya, listening as if from the other person’s point of view, I was able to find out who were these two chatting in my head.
“When you leave home,” I remember Ariel and Shya saying at one of their seminars, “You become your own parent. You tell yourself what you should and should not do. And then you rebel against those instructions.”
That was one of the brightest light bulbs of recognition. Yes, I did become my own worrying parent, afraid her child to fall and hurt herself. And I was still that curious child wanting to get what she was after, whatever the cost might be, and with time learning to talk the parent into allowing her do it.
So am I my own enemy putting barriers into the way of my own success? Today, after experiencing and often practising awareness and instantaneous transformation approach developed by Ariel and Shya, I don’t think so. Now I realize that nothing could have happened differently in my life up till now, but many exciting things can happen in at least somewhat safe way if I just help the parent and the child in my head being kind to themselves and each other and make the most appropriate to their best ability and any given circumstances choice. They brought me this far, and they can bring me much, much further.
Picture: When I wake up from those debates in my head I am the most productive and also the most capable to discover beauty on the paths I walk.