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Archive for April, 2011

Bird by Bird and Breath by Breath

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Last week, two people mentioned the book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I had heard of the book before, but have shied away from buying writing books. I always thought that books like this would remind me of all the things I am not doing as a writer and would only highlight my flaws. Yet within pages of picking up this book, I felt utter relief. I felt like someone was voicing exactly some of my inner feelings and beliefs.

On the second page of the introduction, Lamott writes, “One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.” I think in words. I process in writing. Most people I know process verbally and through conversation. I process with pen and paper. I process with stories and metaphors (which drives some of my friends nuts!).

Writing has saved my life – in many forms and ways. When all my emotions get stuck inside, sometimes my only outlet has been putting my thoughts on paper. I understand when Lamott says, “Throughout my childhood I believed that what I thought about was different from what other kids thought about. It was not necessarily more profound, but there was a struggle going on inside me to find some sort of creative or spiritual or aesthetic way of seeing the world and organizing it in my head.”

Lamott tells a story about a paper her brother had to write about birds and the advice her father gave him – to take it bird by bird.  With so much information to process and feelings to express, I am easily overwhelmed. In my case, I have to take it breath by breath – word by word.

Why do I write? I write to make some sense out of life. I write because it fills my heart with more joy than anguish. I write because just having one person feel connected and heard and seen is the most valuable gift I know how to give. As Lamott says, “Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.”

Feed your soul – breath by breath,
Mary Anne

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How Are You Breathing?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

I fell sound asleep on the subway on my way to work. I woke up and didn’t know whether I was going to the office or I was on my way home. I looked around to take in my surroundings. I noticed that my breath was calm and soft. Even though the train was very crowded, I felt relaxed. Was my slow breathing slowing down everything else around me?

I invite you to notice your breathing. Take slower breaths and watch what happens. Notice the times throughout your day when you are having shallow breaths or are holding your breath. What thoughts are going through you when you are in that state? Breathe yourself.

When your breath slows down, perhaps everything around you will as well. In a city that never sleeps and in a 4G world, perhaps it is time to slow down and just breathe.

Mary Anne

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What Inspires You?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Every few days I log into my WordPress Blog and clean out the spam comments. It’s amazing how many spam comments come in each week. For some reason, before I clicked the “Empty Spam” button last week, I read a few of the comments. The first comment read, “The site is uninspiring. Daily life proceeds.” I started laughing and grabbed a piece of paper to jot it down. What a wonderful reminder that my site is uninspiring and daily life proceeds.

If I had read that comment two years ago, I would have felt like a failure and questioned my writing and my work. Yet when I read the comment, I thought there are times the site is uninspiring and daily life does proceed. Inspiration comes from within. I can’t inspire people; I can only notice what awakens my mind and emotions and share that with others. There may be times an idea, a poem, a story, or a workshop inspired you. Perhaps that was because something inside was feeling connected.

What inspires you?

Daily life proceeds,
Mary Anne

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I Change and the World Changes

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Feed yourself and you feed the earth. Feed the earth and you feed yourself. ~Enlightened One {Channeled Message}

I change and the world changes.

I listen and the world listens.

I open and the world opens.

I awaken and the world awakens.

I smile and the world smiles.

I laugh and the world laughs.

I dream and the world dreams.

I create and the world creates.

I give and the world gives.

I receive and the world receives.

I love and the world loves.

More love. Love more.

Mary Anne

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What Are You Waiting For?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?”
~Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

Here in the East Coast, especially the tri-state area, we are “patiently” waiting for Spring-like weather. The temperatures have been below normal and we have had our fair share of snow and rain! As you “wait” for Spring, I invite you to remember that warmth exists inside you. You are the sunshine. You are the beauty of the season. Can you feel that?

The crocus are bursting through the earth. The birds sing their beautiful songs every morning. And the month of April reveals the miracle of the season (snow showers and all!). What are you waiting for? Perhaps it already exists.

What is living inside you that is ready to be revealed once the mud settles? Will you allow right action to arise within?

Mary Anne

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