Wrapping up 31 straight days of writing always takes it out of me. I tend to forget how much I enjoy writing and linger with the sense of accomplishment, of completion. I finished something.
And yet, with writing, it's never done. There's always more to be said.
"Health is not just about what you're eating. It's about what you're thinking and saying."
Losing my voice.
Two weeks ago, I woke up in Los Angeles without a voice. My throat was dry, and the energy it took to speak physically exhausted me. Ironically, I was in California to assist and take part in a workshop created for women to know and use our voices, to own our spotlight in leadership and be courageous in speaking up for what's right, and what we believe in. My offering to the group left me feeling disheartened. I was barely audible above of a whisper, the tone and inflection of my heart lost as I stretched my vocal cords beyond what they could handle. I felt disconnected from the group; I was an outsider looking in on something I couldn't be a part of.
Then I realized maybe this was a time for me to listen, and I found that silence actually healed my voice.
But I only got sicker.
I also started a new job two weeks ago. It's been years since I've worked in an environment with so many people on a daily basis. My co-workers, also battling illness, took turns working from home to avoid infecting anyone else and doctor's appointments littered the calendar. 'Tis the season, they said. My voice was back but I had a cough I couldn't shake, and on Thanksgiving Eve an infection settled in with plans to set up camp. I came home from the office drained of energy and congested to the point I couldn't breathe out of my nose. My husband came home the same way.
Mat and I spent Thanksgiving day pushing fluids and taking drugs and filling our trash can to the brim with used Kleenex. There was no turkey, no family time, only movie-watching and soup-slurping. I sweated out a fever while Mat waxed nostalgic with a movie from his childhood that I can't remember, I cried heavy tears during The Little Prince, and laugh-coughed through Love Actually, taking sleep as it would come in between each film.
My writing has all but stopped while I've tended to this sinus infection. I haven't been able to think clearly. I haven't been able to keep up with my daily practices of meditation, self-reflection, and my gratitude journal has sat untouched, gathering dust. I've forgotten what being healthy feels like. I miss exercising.
I miss myself.
Fat with spirit.
"What you seek is seeking you."
I had an aura reading recently. I didn't know such a thing existed, but a friend I trust recommended it and the woman who provided the reading knew me through mutual friends on Facebook, so not very well. I did it for fun because I was curious, and it can't hurt. I wondered, what did my aura look like? Can someone really see it over the phone? Overall, it was an uplifting experience that gave me some clarity around the ongoing writing block I have toward the book I'm currently writing.
I promise you guys, I am writing a book.
Among the many pictures the aura reader saw and described to me, there is one that summed me, this entire year and the process of writing my book up completely:
I'm seeing a cartoon version of you. You have a funnel attached to your head and spirit is pouring directly into you. You are tapped into a higher source right now, you're open to it, and you're loving it. In fact, as you walk, you get fatter and fatter with spirit. The walk turns into a waddle. You struggle not to tip over. Spirit works two ways, though. You take it in, you give of it. Repeat. For some reason, you don't seem to be releasing spirit the way you know you should.
The best part about writing a book is the research, at least for me. Collecting information, connecting with others through new experiences or alternate practices, seeking ways to actively change my mind - I've been soaking it all up, it's fun, and I'm absolutely fat with spirituality.
The worst part about writing a book is the actual writing. Not because I don't like writing, or don't know how to be disciplined with my time, but because this is going to be the writing I can't delete. This writing isn't for blog posts on a website that can be taken down if I ever decide I don't want to do this anymore, or the words no longer apply. These are the words that will be printed and may be bought and placed on shelves in libraries and bookstores and homes. These are words I can't take back. And that is terrifying.
I've changed a lot this year, and I've tried new things. I'm incredibly proud of myself. My understanding of myself, partnered with the discovery of choice - of what I believe - while being purposeful in the practice of spirituality has balanced me out. For the first time in my life, I have found freedom in the pursuit of faith. There are no strings attached, there are no rules. There is only what I have chosen. And I can always change my mind. I'm changing still.
For the remainder of the year, I'm consciously doing another hard reset. What I mean is, what I've learned and how I've grown this year has also brought to light how quickly I am to jump on any other bandwagon - so long as it's the complete opposite of whatever bandwagon I've been on. I've been Christian, and now I'm not Christian, but that's not what I'm all about - being religious or not being religious. There is more to the practice of faith than tying to or ripping from the anchor of organized religion. As I've abandoned certain beliefs, they seem to have a way of finding me again and reminding me to be grateful first for entertaining them at all.
Basically, what I'm saying is, I think I need a break. Getting sick always reminds me that while I think I'm good at pausing and caring for myself - simply being - I'm not really as good at it as I claim. Being sick forces me to recognize what I really want to be about.
I write for myself but I also write for you, and that is a path I'm willing to forge - a calling I answer every day - because being a published author is a dream of mine, and writing is my favorite medium.
My Discovery Process
Over the few weeks, I'll be publishing the rest of the My Discovery Process posts I've collected from friends and readers. I believe each one is important to share, that each person's story of discovery and belief is worth being told. Then, I don't know what I'll do with my blog while I write my book. But I'll still be here. And when I feel compelled to write, I will. I just won't be on a weekly schedule anymore.
With the help of antibiotics, I'm taking this sickness down, and it's time to release the spirit I've been holding hostage for selfish reasons, because of fear, and write the book that is already written on my heart.
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."