Writer’s Series: Day to Day Action
Every morning I wake reluctantly, checking in through dream layers on my way to the surface. I recall dreams with people and conversation, and as I pass through, I collect pieces of the conversations to take with me. I file them away in my head under Illumination for later reflection. Sometimes the people conversations are angry or filled with hurt. Those are filed under Past Markers, clues for inner self citings to be explored at another time.
The dream world is a valuable field for a writer to access. There are clues of the inner self, creative insights, and future vision. Following nightmares down into their interior is not easy, it takes practice. But, I have found I learn a lot about my past when I do. My nightmares seem to be trigger points that unlock deeply suppressed memories that form the story foundation I live on a day to day basis. The future vision dreams reveal to me where I’m going. Typically, I spend time in these dreams to study complex patterns and to shape new patterns that help me solve present-day life challenges.
As I surface from my dream layers, I open my eyes, close them again, go through this several times. The waking world is more of a disciplined experience. The dream world takes discipline, too, but once a writer learns how to access and follow dreams into the interior, the dreams flow. Writers don’t have to make dreams happen. But, when I finally open my eyes, swing my legs over the side of the bed and pause before I stand and step on the path of the day to day actions, I am hit by the reality of gravity.
In the dream world, I demonstrate to others my fluid deep squat, but in the waking world, my first steps to the bathroom are stiff and painful. It’s as if my body needs to catch up with the vision of the future. Or maybe I will always be nimble and relaxed in my dream world, constrained by stiffness and pain in the waking world. That's not really my call. My job as a writer is to write about it all, from the dark to the light and back again.
Coffee is top of the morning list. As I wait for the water to boil, I visualize my feet. I visualize tracing an outline of each foot, drawing a line down the center and across the arch, making a grid of four quadrants. I subtly shift my weight through all the grids, visualizing each quadrant lighting up. The colors change day to day. Sometimes I assign colors, other days I let colors declare themselves. I visualize the sit bones and every time the sole quadrants light up, the colors bounce back and forth from sole to sit bone, waking up my legs.
Then I’m ready to sit down at my desk. Every writer has a desk. Mine is honey blonde oak, with carved legs and one large drawer pulling out at the front. I remember being told it was once my great aunt’s, my paternal grandfather’s sister, Emma. Means the desk was build in the late 1800s. I’m not sure that adds up. Seems doubtful a woman would have a desk of her own at that point in history. Still, I think of it as once belonging to Emma, and I find it an excellent writer’s command station.
I check my email, aware I’m eager for distraction. I can feel this inclination, it’s a hyperarousal flutter in my mind, a leaning forward, eager to cross the threshold into chatty email response. This morning there are none. I check my horoscope online and again am tempted to follow the links to more elaborate readings and predictions.
I focus on visualizing the sole to sit bone connection. It’s easier to find when sitting, and since I sit a lot, I have disciplined myself to use the opportunity to focus on specific muscle organization awareness I have developed over the years. Every idea, concept, word or phrase are tools a writer uses, but I found if I craft the story from a checked out body, my authentic writer cannot emerge and craft the story. I visualize the adductor Magnus attached to my inner knee, visualize pulling it back and underneath me like a resistance band, locking it onto the sit bone. This is an automatic background as I write, building to other muscle awareness throughout the day.
When I take on the first writing exercise for the day, I note the urge for distraction, place a marker at each one to respect the pattern, and visualize my quads lengthening all the way to the leg sockets. This helps me focus.
Each day I ask for a bit more detail than the day before. I feel the guy who likes to mine the fields for material, who brings in tons of stuff to sort through, fidget. He’s not interested in fine-tuning the shape, honing his crafting skills. But, the word has come down from the boss in the sky that he no longer gets to just be a field operative. He has to put in his time at the desk, craft his notes into authentic stories. He is the only one, after all, who really knows what the notes mean.
The distraction markers form a challenging pattern, one that needs to be unlocked and reset. At each marker, I pause and visualize I’m a skateboarder working the chute, soles and sit bones in a fluid, lit up communication, like my dream guy squatting up and down with ease. Once I have checked back into my body, I take the challenge on: for example, what do I intend a specific word to convey? When I thump on it, I can hear if it is hollow or not. If it’s hollow, it will be a weak foundation brick. I have to hang out with the word and try on others until the emerging pattern lights up and I can continue.
I also have to watch for signs that I’m reluctant to wrap and be done. My morning writing exercise is meant to be a get-in-there- craft-and hone, let it go and move on. Not a wander-around-forever kind of thing. I take this desire to mean I’m probably experiencing illuminations I’m reluctant to acknowledge. Like, “Wow, I was more honest about what my dreams are for me than I ever have before.” I pause at my desk, rest my hands on the tops of my thighs and slide them back and forth, visualizing the sliding motion lighting up my legs. I feel my back muscles flowing up like a fountain, lifting and flaring out at the top. My shoulders float on top of the fountain. I focus on the floating sensation to counteract my forward typing tension shape.
Time to wrap the exercise. It’s been over an hour. I jot down a few notes. What percentage would I say I felt at home in my body? How did I do, making myself keep going when I wanted to quit and get distracted? I press the publish button, fill in five hashtags and finish my daily warm up. Another deposit in my writer’s pot of gold!