The First Rung
Today I realised my external reality has finally become 100% congruent with my internal reality.
It came to me like this...
I've written and submitted a book of quotes called Little Peaces to three publishers. Two here and one in the US.
After I sent the last one I suddenly thought What now?! It seemed that 17 years of writing and processing my mind had come to a head.
To this point.
Knowing it could take months for any of the publishers to even get back to me, let alone accept the manuscript, I didn't know how I felt about being on hold so I went and had a shower to think about it. While I was listening to my Next Phase playlist, I was reviewing what the publishers might see if they were to Google my name or look through this site.
It was then I had an overwhelming insight that what they would see, what anyone is now seeing, is who I am, sharing what I've always been. Any of the content on this site gives background and context to the quotes in that book. And this content is often generated through my journals. In other words - I am 100%, across all mediums, in all communications, and most of all, in my head, how I see myself and who I've always wanted to be.
I no longer need to 'cleanse' my history for work because my history has become my work.
I don't need to hide my skin because it's now my uniform.
I can openly talk about my previous addictions and mental illness because overcoming them has become my skillset. And I won't edit my language to a more socially palatable, shallower level anymore because my words are my trade. There are no secrets and no delusions. Every single day, all I do is openly process and share my past in order to help others in the future.
After writing for the day I watched a few TED talks.
I saw that one of my favourite speakers, Andrew Solomon had a new talk and, as usual, I was struck by how relevant it was to my current focus. In it he shares his challenges as a child, teenager then man with the shame of being gay. Through self analysis and the love of a good man and later, his children, he has come to love the person he is and admits that if he hadn't been through the adversity, he's not sure he would love any other version of himself as much. His key message is to "forge meaning and build identity".
If this is my job, then these have become my milestones. It took over 17 years of writing to forge meaning and submitting the manuscript is the first step of building identity.
In the last nine months, I've checked the job ads every day but each time there has been that sense of a reverse bungy - that even just clicking on one to read further is pulling me away from something else. That bungy drags me back to my bed, or the couch - not because I'm lazy or depressed but because that's usually where my pen and journals are. I write and write then get a cup of tea, fill up my hot water bottle and write some more. I bathe, eat and sleep in my journal, often not turning off the light until well after midnight.
What do I write about?
Un-judged free thought that takes me to depths of exploration where I lose all sense of my self, often taking me hours to write back to the surface.
Writing is what I'm drawn to do. Have always done.
In fact, it's the only thing that has been a constant in my signpostless, uneducated, drifting life.
As always, there is a point to this back story...
Sometimes I feel the need to fuel up with external stimulation. I have more movies, tv shows and music than I know what to do with but I always have the same books. I call them my reference books because every few years, when I feel the urge to forage, they always feed me and set me off in directions I hadn't noticed before.
In one of these books, "SQ - The Ultimate Intelligence" by Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall, an excerpt I've dined out on a few times jumped out again.
Using our SQ stretches the human imagination. It means transforming our consciousness. It means discovering deeper layers of ourselves than we are used to living. It requires us to find some grounding in the self for meaning that transcends the self.
When I first read this my chest wanted to explode. Could this be the permission I didn't know I needed to dive deeper - as deep as my limited sight could take me? I almost had the sense of needing to look over my shoulder to see who might be wagging their finger or shaking their head. As I re-read it, I realised they were not only encouraging me but alluding to my sights ability to adjust in order to go deeper still.
Then, if I needed any more proof or encouragement, of the six paths toward greater spiritual intelligence, I found Path 4: The Path of Personal Transformation. This is when my chest finally gave way, tumbling into a sea of tears. There were words, on a page, for anyone to read, that were saying this thing I had been doing quietly in secret was a thing, that it wasn't self indulgence and that it could have structure and purpose, and most importantly, that it could benefit others.
The last paragraph of this chapter changed my life forever...
The most spiritually intelligent of all journeys on this path is the journey to the centre. It is a journey of incredible terror requiring remarkable faith. And it requires a willingness that the ego might be sacrificed, that nothing of it might be left but the treasure that one finds in the healing that it might bring to others. This in turn requires overcoming the deepest of all conflicts, the fear of death.
I've been meticulously researching my ego for over 10 years now and even if I won't know if it's under control until it feels the lure of attention, I feel like we understand each other.
I don't fear death - one of the rewards that comes from laying one's life at its doorstep.
And lastly, ever since I was six years old and became aware of my self and the voices within, all I've ever been driven to do is help people. I've wailed and sobbed at the frustration of the overwhelming mass of compassion, trapped inside with nowhere to go.
Danah Zohar drew back the curtains and opened the window and Caroline Myss Ph.D has taken my hand and is leading me over the threashold.
I now see that Ground Zero was never the bottom, it was, in fact, the beginning and every word I read, write or speak is a step out and up. I've found my workplace and have faith in the numerous mentors that are always available to me. So, two days ago I committed to sharing this path of Self Transformation that has already guided me from the darkness of addictions, self loathing and suicide to the brilliance, warmth and comfort of love and respect for my self and everyone else.
Only 24 hours later, I had $2,700 in my bank account and these poignant words of advice from Jiro Ono...
Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work
You have to fall in love with your work
Never complain about your job
You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill
After such a heady time of discoveries, I touched base with this song and this timeless Zen proverb to keep ego in its place...
I may have found the keys to the Matrix but, in the meantime, those dishes aren't going to do themselves...
Years ago, weighed down by the heavy musty blanket of depression, I started a role where I lived with an older friend and it was my job to prepare our meals. My friend was extremely health conscious and fortunately wealthy enough to be able to afford it so after eating nothing but fat free, protein rich, abundantly green meals, I noticed my constant state of blackness muting to mere grey and that I even had brief moments of feeling happy.
I went on to rid depression altogether but I've always thought that the change in my diet started the process and this is always the first place I start when needing to get some focus back into my life. After my last post the first thing I did was get the remainder of a tub of ice-cream out of the freezer and put the contents down the gurgler. I then took some chicken pieces out of the freezer to make stir fry for dinner. These two actions had an instant impact and I was feeling lighter by the minute.
I then bought out the next tool on list.
My journal helped me download a lot of thoughts that had been rolling around unattended in my mind and gave me some perspective.
The next day, after finding out that WINZ were unable to help me with any emergency grant, the only option left was to ask my landlady if I could miss paying one weeks rent - which she happily allowed.
So I've dug myself out of Ground Zero but the quest to put down foundations and build something of substance that keeps my feet out of the dirt and pain is the next item on the agenda. To be honest, this has been on the agenda for the past forever but now that I have nothing left to lose, I'm going to sneak behind prides back and start applying to editors to write something. I may have an empty cupboard, fridge, wardrobe and bank account and nothing left to sell online but I've been hoarding stories for years. Why haven't I bought them out sooner? Like all hoarders, I've got so many that I've never known where to start but I'm optimistic I might land on a publisher that has a department dedicated to just that...
Pimp My Attitude
You need to know, right now, this is all about me. I'm not educated. I don't have any (non-driving related) qualifications therefore, I'm not about to tell you what you should do - I know my place.
And here you are.
At my place.
So - welcome.
If you're here for 10 seconds, I won't even know so I won't be offended that you left early.
If you're here for hours and keep coming back, I will consider you a friend because the only thing my diverse yet loyal friends have in common, and what I appreciate most about them, is that they just keep coming back..