Are You Connected?
To write from the heart, one must feel a connection to the whole of life. Yet the writing life itself offers so many enticements toward separateness and disconnection. When six weeks have passed with no word from my agent about my most recent manuscript, acceptance of the whole of life is difficult. When months have passed, it can become almost impossible.
To continue working, writing the next story, a way must be found to accept disappointment and rejection. Not simply to resign oneself to it, but to embrace it as a given part of the process, no less important than its opposite. For me, the first step is recognition that I am running away as fast as I can from these painful feelings. I need something to stop me in my tracks and make me pay attention. Often it’s OHM.
OHM is the most often chanted sound of all sacred chants on earth. It is the sound of connectedness with all of life. I’ve noticed sometimes when I begin meditation I feel a resistance to chanting the OHM. I feel a draw to maintaining my separateness.
Tara Brach explains this tendency to separateness by telling a funny story.
My first inclination is to judge this tendency toward separateness as petty and self-absorbed.
Looking more closely, I can find compassion for myself . This pulling away is a natural human reaction to pain, and has been an important part of the evolution of humankind. In past generations, it was necessary to flee from pain in order to survive. In the present, survival depends upon connection. Turning away from the perception of separation to write from the heart is my small contribution.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
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