This post was written using the #5for5BrainDump technique. We write within 5 minute chunks, stream of consciousness style: no editing, no forethought, no judgment. When we allow the words to flow, insights appear and miracles sprout: especially when we write in community. To participate with that community, join our free Word-Love Writing Community. At the bottom of my writing is a link for you to register to receive notifications of our upcoming sessions and weekly writing tips, prompts and videos to help you sustain your practice.
Here is my writing for today:
When I dive into the roots of my purpose….
I notice my eye starts to twitch. Well, not my actual eye itself because that is mostly immobile but my eye lid, my lower eye lid…
This sign of stress has been a part of my life since my junior year in high school. It was and is a physical manifestation of “look at what is up, Julie, look around you and look inside you.”
Ironic because I have been sitting doing anything but writing to this prompt for the past two hours!
To honor the call to choose stress or choose peace, I am choosing peace.
I look at my rootedness and I gaze at the vision board I made of my reader, last Spring. I remember taking it and placing it at the root of a blossoming almond tree – this vision board slowly coming to life as my project is coming to life. Almost complete.
That "almost" doesn’t live at the root. The root gives breath to the branches tips – this space where the ending and completion takes place.
I look at the tip of the arrow and can’t quite make out what I wrote there, those months ago. I look at the faces on the vision board, the “I think I can” little engine that could train… the children, the families, the zebra being “walked” by a little girl. The quirky, the moon – the blond child, the curly haired child, the Mom watching from a distance as if in prayer, the girl, lying on her tummy reading – absorbing, enjoying.
When I dive into the roots of my purpose, I notice there is peace to be found there always. That when I feel unwieldy on the edges, the roots are patiently waiting to be of service.
What a pleasure to remember. To return.
I am grateful for my tenacity. I am grateful for the imagery I collected and kept and I am grateful for the me of what, six months ago, who moved the vision board to the back of the front door. I am grateful to my family who didn’t ask what the heck I was doing, they simply flowed with Mommy’s eccentricities and now, this weekend, when it is complete – I believe I will frame this vision board. Surround it in root imagery. Choose to peacefully remember and be.
I feel most supported creatively when I have time to create within – which may sound strange because I am in control of my time, right? The thing is, I am, but I have a distorted belief nearly everyone else on the planet deserves to be served exactly when they wanted.
Nearly everyone = people in my sphere I love, admire and don’t want to lose. ß a-ha moment.
Boundaries, Julie, boundaries and I think/write of the opposite:
I feel creatively unsupported when people don’t respect what I am working on, as if this is just some wacky hobby I do because of some ego-driven purpose.
No and no and no.
I create because I believe I am here for a specific purpose and my gifts support my purpose. So creating actively means I am being on purpose. Granted, I may manage my own time better. Couldn’t we all?
I feel creatively supported when I ask for help and people respond YES. I actually also feel creatively supported when people tell me No, too, because that is a surefire thing. Mostly, I feel supportive when people are clear of HOW they would most like to offer me assistance. Here lies the truth: the support lives in ASKING, especially with intention.
I ask, “What do you bring to the table?” when I’m on a committee. “Where do you most like working, creating, collaborating?” rather than coming with ONE task for that person to take on, have a list of possibilities so there is a definite, give and take right from the beginning.
I feel creatively supported when I have the tools (pens, paper, art supplies, computer, wi-fi) close at hand. I would love to have a personal assistant to help keep me in line *put that in my before too long pile of realities.)
I look up at my timer and see it failed to ring after 5 minutes was up. I take a moment to create a "to be continued..." list.
This posting was written using #5for5BrainDump signature methods: it was written stream-of-consciousness style without editing, forethought or judgment and published with minimal "fixes".
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Your prompt - and today's Live Broadcast is below the text so you may write alongside us.Creatively, I feel most supported (+ + + ) when I…
I feel the least supported (+ + + ) when I…
It amuses me when I attract…. What I say I don’t want but that I obviously haven’t been 100% clear about what I want and my past ideas or values rise up and… well, here is what happened this morning.
I was broadcasting our #5for5BrainDump outside – because I love being on my writing porch in the early morning.
Unfortunately when you have neighbors who are drug users, dealers or have a history of such activity, others who engage in the same or similar destructive activities tend to arrive on the doorstep and early in the day – people are especially ornery because – in the case of methamphetamine use – they need that first dose, hit, whatever they call it.
So this morning I was broadcasting and we were in the midst of writing about being creatively supportive (or not) when one of those folks arrived and started banging on the door, ringing the bell, spewing hate and ugliness for the world to…. Certainly not enjoy…. And I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I actually found it entertaining and used it during the broadcast.
I felt supported because I had witnesses to what I’ve been going through for the last couple years. Apparently the house has been sold and my prayer is the people who move in are not also in any sort of illicit business that attracts the same to the neighborhood.
The noise and disruption they caused is frustrating. It causes squirming and discomfort. If it WASN’T because of the people writing with me, I probably would have gone inside and slammed the door and festered in my anger. Instead, we stayed the course, together.
Like anything else, we are our own best gauge of support or lack of support.
When we effectively communicate with those around us, “This is what helps me, this is what doesn’t help me.” And “This is what I respond to and this is what annoys me and may cause problems in our collaboration.”
When we are open and truth-filled without attachment, everyone gains.
My initial five minutes ended without the timer sounding – and I believe each word was important.
Besides, as I often say “There are no rules, there is just writing (moving your pencil and your finger across the page.) This prompt is an important one – and one to revisit later today, tomorrow, next week and month and whenever you are engaged with different people.
Mutuality of support will make this world a better place not only for creatives, it will make the world a better place for all of us.
To stay "in the loop" and participate in our next #5for5BrainDump experience, "Focus on Your Creative Rebirth" please sign up now for emails to stay inspired and aware of our upcoming sessions, visit here to register. It is always free.
7/9/2018 0 Comments
I choose peace when I return to what I don’t understand. I choose to create peace when I stop being frustrated, when I let go of my opinions and instead, stay open to the peace I see waiting for me on the edge.
It is like taking those sips and gulps of crystal cold water, on my hands and knees, over the rocks… and feeling the coolness in my mouth down my throat and smiling, full grin mode, looking up to moan happily… mmmmmmm…. Peace!
This is it!
I didn’t ever do this as a child, but as an adult I just might roll over on my back and moan and twist myself in happy twists and breathe in the taste even more deeply. This fuels me, this peace and this memory of peace. I remember Mom also remarking Grandpadaddy taught her to take sips from the creek right above the rocks.
If all these adults I cherished said this is must be true, right? It must be true.
Like peace. Peace is also true – and in these moments I remember I have the power to create peace at any point and any moment of my life.
Peace feels like really soft sweat pants – fleece, when I pull them on and notice how gentle they are and how much warmth they bring me when I am cold.
Peace feels like a cold swimming pool on a hot day. It sounds like the ocean when I have been away for far too long. Peace feels like a long hug from someone who I know cherishes me and who wants closeness, mutual closeness, demanding nothing but to hold and be held in that moment.
Peace feels like looking someone in the eye who understands in my silence what I am meaning and what I am needing and offers herself or himself or themselves up to me without question if I can reciprocate (or not).
I am so grateful for these moments of writing with so many people who are grateful for what I do and who I am, as an expression of myself fully….
I am grateful for… being comfortable with knowing even if that above sentence makes no sense, I know what it means and it felt good to write and this is ok.
I am grateful for air conditioning and hazy days. I am grateful for the shade at Hart Park.
I am grateful for periscope and the magic I have found there –
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“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.”
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.”
= = = = = = =
I’m going to be honest.
Quotes like this have a tendency to piss me off: “Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” Joan Borysenko said it, she is a smart woman, I trust her judgement but how can she make it sound so easy?
If you have a perfect life, nice house, extra money, a housekeeper, a partner who adores you and lots of mutual support in every dimension it would be so easy to choose peace.
The thing is when there is little of the sustenance stuff and just a smidge of your patience left, staying in a space of peace and love and no stress feels next to impossible.
My eye is twitching wondering how positivity people are going to judge me for saying this, big gasps echoing around the room yet, I also have to ask…
“Isn’t choosing peace even when in the midst of chaos what prayer and meditation and retreat are all about?”
Immediately I think of the Lovingkindess prayer and how much peace I have had in using it.
I think of the “Fall in love with Selling Challenge” I did recently with my friend Vie and how focusing on my purpose and beliefs literally brought me a fearless form of high.
Wasn’t that a sort of choosing peace?
I think of my conversation last night with Chuck when I shared about my plans to let go of my old self, shed that old self skin and devote myself publicly to my renewed way of thinking and being and no longer buying into my old, worn out my goodness I am so sick of it narrative that drags me down each and every time.
I could be simple as simple can be: a tiny book of LovingKindness throughout the day whenever I feel myself sliding into stress and/or whenever a bell rings.
I may choose to live the question, “Have I chosen stress or peace more today? What actions may I take to choose peace next?”
Today, on retreat, I will devote myself to choosing peace.
Your #5for5BrainDump Prompt:
Peace feels like….
When I choose peace, I become more….
When I choose stress, I feel like…
Make a list of times when I have consciously chosen peace…
In the moments today when you stop feeling peaceful, take your list of times when you felt peace and use them to inspire a quick one, three or five minute writing session.
May I be the first to say congratulations. Today, you are actively choosing peace. Stay the course and inspire yourself!
Let's stay the course and write with #5for5BrainDump -
Before I share my brain dump, I have to confess I didn't even realize how much I am being called to write of my heart.
Note to self: review your writing. Review your WRITING! Review YOUR writing!
I'm remembering how Julia Cameron suggests people do not review their morning pages. Sorry, lovers of all things Artist's Way, I think this is a big mistake. To not review my writing, my heart and soul and tears and insights poured onto the page is unwise.
So - off I go for five minutes to write. I hope you will join me - and then join me for next week's #5for5BrainDump session.
I am being called to look at my heart.
Called to look at my heart quietly. When I sat at my desk to consider the thought of it, the first response was “I don’t want to look at my heart. I just don’t want to do that.”
Fear? I wouldn’t think so and yet what I learned last week and almost forgot, I am not entirely honest when it comes to heart examination. It is easier to hide than to be continually growth oriented with my soul stuff.
Samuel walks by. I look up. Distract me, please!
Back to my heart.
I imagine myself sitting under a tree, sitting under a tree with my heart personified.
She isn’t particularly pretty, my heart, not conventionally.
She has tears and fissures. She has scars and pock-marks. She looks tired, beleaguered.
She isn’t shaped like a heart.
Resilience. My heart has resilience. My heart deserves my best. My heart has been waiting for this meeting for a long time, this one I have avoided.
Today I am printing a long awaited book project, a final step before THE final step I have claimed I wanted to finish. I didn’t really want to finish. “It is too scary!” I told my heart.
My heart looks back at me, not exactly frustrated and not even faking a Mona Lisa smile like I might.
“You are making it scary. It isn’t scary. It is something that exposes you and exposes me and makes us ripe for the plucking. I remember…” she says, somehow, without a mouth.
The timer goes off and I need to continue just a couple moments more.
The last time I published a book on my own, I saw a conversation between two people belittling me and my work.
“Was what they said accurate?” my heart asks me.
“Nope, it was their opinion and it wasn’t accurate.”
It wasn’t accurate yet I gave these two guys, these do-nothings whose names I can’t even recall the power to NOT speak up and perhaps make a big difference for a lot of families.
I am going to close with a quote I found and read before I sat down.
“I never said I wanted a 'happy' life but an interesting one. From separation and loss, I have learned a lot. I have become strong and resilient, as is the case of almost every human being exposed to life and to the world. We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.”
Thank you, Isabel. Thank you, Heart. I will continue now. I wrote for two extra minutes. I will review my heart's calling. And write more. Take back the power I had so freely given away, afraid repeatedly of being wrong.
For this session of #5for5BrainDump I am experimenting with including poetry as a supplement to the standard #5for5BrainDump content. Each day's session is thematic. Each livestream day includes a writing tip and each day has a poem or two. Each summer session follows a theme. This theme is "Journey" which we will take metaphorically and/or actually. The choice is for each person to choose and then follow our word-flow.
One of today's poems is NON-Commitment by Chinua Achebe. My reading of the poem and video may be found underneath my writing, which was done #5for5BrainDump style which means no editing, no forethought, just throwing down words on the keyboard or written on paper stream-of-consciousness. Today's writing was done at the keyboard and took me by complete surprise. (In other words, delightful.)
Read on, beloved, read on...
June 27, 2018: Five Minutes After Chinua Achebe
My heart isn’t cautious at all.
It leaps, willy nilly, constantly if I let it my heart would become the Greg Louganis of..
Wow, really? Am I being honest here?
What has shaped my life the most? Stillbirth, dead-before-arrival and ever since I have dug my heels in and done anything, absolutely anything, to prevent stillbirth again so much so that conception is altogether impossible for me and has been for a very long time.
My heart is so prudent it is asleep.
My soft-intellect, the one most closely related to the heart space is angry now. How dare you, she rears her head and starts pointing that damn finger.
No, she’s right, says the most child-like of the bunch. She’s woefully right. I have been petrified of stillbirth, worst has been since 2011 which she just finally committed to believing this morning when she sat on the porch and wrote her morning pages.
Now the writer me takes over and says, “Friends, this is more than a bit ridiculous. I am now writing of me in the third person from several different self perceptions. The writer me is confused and wants her hands chanting, ‘be specific, how many times must I tell you to BE SPECIFIC!’”
I almost stop writing.
I didn’t expect reading Chinua Achebe’s poem would incite a riot in my head AND heart, my intellect AND spirit it is no wonder I am teetering on the edge of depression daily. Sleep, depression, mania, what shall it be today?
I pause to be sensible and get a prescription filled. At least that is a measurable milestone I can check off my to-do list.
Done and done and I have a choice.
Do I publish this mis-mash of written non-sense or do I act like I’ve got everything under control?
If Chinua could write so beautifully about seminal rage and Biafra and get all those honorary degrees and really, I have no connection with him except reading that one novel back in 1982 and yes, I know more about Africa than most white people, sure.
I’ll hit publish and birth this wackiness and will leave my questions half answered because at least I can make the choice. And show my eccentric side. And smack depression (and her partner-in-crime, my motivation) on the forehead.
For now, I’ll take happy mania and life, thank you Chinua. Thank you.
This writing came as a result of the prompting from #5fo5BrainDump. Lots of intensity flowed as I allowed myself to simply and purely write without judgment or forethought. Here we go!
Trust lives in the heart. Distrust lives in the brain, in the swirling business that happens when we are afraid.
Trust grows in the breath, when we breathe into our heart space, when she share from our heart space.
Take notes from the heart.
What happens when I take notes from the heart?
I am sitting in my recliner, my laptop and lap desk across my legs. I am attempting to write, in that I am making frowning faces and not allowing my fingers to move across the page.
My lack of action – letting the words to flow from me – is yet another way my brain – my thoughts – my worry – my fear – stays in control. The blasted safety net that actually becomes all too quickly like a noose made up of mediocrity and status quo is like handcuffs on my words.
I take a breath and allow myself a moment to recollect.
“Five minutes isn’t very long!” says the intellectual snob that sometimes take residence in my brain, a cross between a long ago sitcom character and my next door neighbor who is perpetually mad at me for something (or at least I believe he is.)
Another deep breath. I am writing about trust, I am writing about taking notes from the heart.
I am writing about taking notes from the heart.
My heart hears so differently than that pesky voice. My heart has a natural, profound guiding rhythm and a natural, equal method of giving and receiving. My heart is so strong yet so fragile. My heart has a reach far beyond what we can see. It’s core and its ability to send signals to others is legendary.
When my heart takes notes, it has wisdom beyond the facts. It takes the facts into consideration and it stirs it up with divine guidance, sometimes that stuff of facts that one just can’t explain but we “get” untuitively.
I can trust that invisible stuff more than I can trust the way some facts are presented.
When my heart takes notes and I allow her to speak with her gentle strength, everything feels better. Thank you heart, thank you divinity and thank you ME for giving silence a chance.
This post was written #5for5BrainDump style - I will be sharing here at least several times a week as we prepare for #5for5BrainDump in June - the next session begins in the comfort of your home, office, park or wherever you find yourself on June 18. To register to receive our free daily videos, livestreams, recaps, prompts and numerous ways to become unstuck so you may continue along your purposeful journey, register by clicking the link above the map below.
My journey lately has been a covert one, so covert I haven’t been definitive about it.
Seems odd because as I am writing this, suicide is wracking our world, appearing to be a grim reaper of choice.
Yet coffee is brewing, Mozart is humming around me – or the notes he wrote and someone is playing piano or did play piano and I am able to sit and enjoy it.
Lately I’ve felt more optimism than I’ve felt in a long, long time.
Amidst the toiling and the sadness and the maniacal people who are leaders to so many, I am daring to feel optimistic.
Daring to be the little girl who believed she could be an astronaut, who lived to protect her brother, who believed (and still believes) all people are holy – filled with a divine purpose, a reason and part of that is to connect and create and just be love for one another.
Not “just” be as much as fully be…. Fully be.
Since I had the crash and burn, I have been attempting to feel better.
Do you see that? “Attempting” and “to feel better” – I was… working on it. Continually. Could that be why I haven’t a
actually felt better except in fleeting bits and pieces of time?
This is a question to sit with as I continue to simply and purely continue this journey where the pieces of me that never left, that optimistic little girl and older woman… bid me to join hands and say yes… indeed.
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4/2/2018 0 Comments
What happened yesterday?
There are days when in the living of them I am so drained I feel my energy seeping into my feet, everything is heavy. My hands are heavy, my feet feel cast in concrete and usually that is when the things I don’t want to do rise high above the things I think would be a pleasure to do.
This is probably why I didn’t last as a county bureaucrat.
Even as I write this, five lousy minutes of writing, my to-do list is flapping her jaw about things I must do right away or the world may explode or something equally unenticing like cleaning the oven by force or fire.
Back to yesterday.
Yesterday I took trash out, repeatedly, at two homes.
I fed animals and children and myself. I washed dishes. I did laundry. I honored requests.
I wrote, blessed God I wrote.
I wrote a poem I am proud of.
I wrote a poem that scared me, that leaped from the page and seemed pretty good and people I like liked the poem so that says something to me.
I felt self conscious yesterday about the poem and sometimes that makes me worry I did something wrong, that usually makes me want to hide but yesterday I didn’t hide. I fought the urge and I stayed present and I wrote. I wrote. I wrote.
Yesterday I cried, just a little, and I felt sorry for myself briefly and I kept moving.
Yesterday I took the trash to the curb because they keep coming early and if I don’t remember the night before, all trash hell breaks loose (or threatens to, not unlike the world explosion or the oven cleaning by force.)
I keep writing. I keep writing.
I smile because this feels good even if it is just gobbled gook it feels good and I know that bits and pieces of it will flow into story somewhere somehow I can feel. I am allowed to feel good even when aspects of my day feel pretty lousy. I am allowed to feel better.
I am allowed to feel self-conscious and say “Hey, this was pretty cool after all!
The timer goes off and I laugh, because the writing started so slowly and built as I let my fingers type aimlessly about what happened yesterday. If someone had asked me what happened ten minutes ago I would have said, “Nothing much!”
Julie Jordan Scott
is the founder and creator of 5For5BrainDump. She has been inspiring artistic rebirth since 1999.