Beginner's Heart


via wikicommons

via wikicommons

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve visualised my mind as an old house. And lately it seems more like a house that needs a LOT of TLC — re: it’s  kind of a mess.

So when the facilitator at the writing retreat I’m at today asked us to ‘make a list’ to begin our morning, I couldn’t imagine where to start. I finally just wrote down a list of what’s on my mind, ranging from the rats (the RATS!) to my beloved’s health to new ink pens to moving. It was all over the place.

Here’s the thing about writing (at least for me, and most of the folks I know): it’s therapy of the best kind. Like cooking (another great therapy), you have a product at the end of the process. But the process in itself is great — you get to fiddle w/ words, maybe draw or doodle something to go with, and in the end, if you’re lucky (and persevere), you have something to show for it.

How cool is that?

the author's

the author’s

As I wrote down what was on my mind, I began to see how much I worry. I worry about everything, folks: my sons & daughter-in-law, my beloved, the bees, stuff that hasn’t even happened yet! Sister Ellie — an Episcopal nun who leads a wonderful local meditation class — would call it ‘building crap castles.’ And she is so right. My mind’s house is full of… RATS! And the dust bunnies of worries, half-formed fears, irritations.

But when I write them down? Somehow both their fear factor and my feeling of helplessness are lessened. I can see that aging IS inexorable. And no, I can’t fix these things. And yet… and yet… When I write them down, they are reduced to scale. They don’t dominate me. I can breathe again, and walk quietly around the uncluttered rooms of my thoughts.

This won’t work for everyone, I know. But I’m nudging you — ever so gently — to try it. It’s just a list, folks. Who knows where that writing may lead you? Or just how it may heal you? Isn’t that worth the gamble of a couple of minutes?

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