Memoir Writing – Discover Your Life – Choices

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Building on last week regarding intentions, tones and themes I want to think about choices this week.  Choices in the mundane and the significant.  Choices can say a lot about who we are.  They are interwoven with intentions.  They are good friends.  Can’t separate them actually.

Do you take the stairs or the elevator?  How do you respond to a compliment that you are given today?  Did you even recognize the compliment?  We make choices all the time and are unaware of it.  Choosing to roll over in bed and look at the clock versus just getting up is a choice.

Make note of some of your choices today and reflect on them.  Write in your diary or journal, “Dear Choice, Why did I make you today.  What was my intention behind choosing you?” Or perhaps you could not make a choice.  You had two options, or a dozen, on how to handle a situation. Why couldn’t you decide?  Maybe you can write to Contemplate.

If you can write to that part of you that you wish to reflect on it can help a lot.  In my journey to find my purpose I noticed that I contemplated things a lot so I began journalling to Contemplate.  It was truly beneficial to write to this part of me that was dominating my life.

Second step, reply to Choice or Contemplate.  After I wrote to Contemplate, Contemplate would write back.  It was like writing to my heart, my soul, my divine nature.  You would be surprised by what you get out if you can relax and sink into this process.  Relaxing is the key.  Let your heart do the speaking and your hand the dictation.

Remember, I haven’t mentioned it for a while, but be aware of those thoughts that are just floating in your mind.  The ones that sit on the edge of your consciousness.  Gram ahold of them and be sure to write those down.  That is your heart talking to you.  When you can see its words staring back at you on the paper you will be in awe.

If you don’t feel like writing you can do mind mapping, draw pictures, do whatever you wish but get your thoughts out in some way.

Here is an excerpt from Sunlight of my experience with this.  It goes on for two and a half pages.  Write until you have nothing more to say.

Dear Contemplate,

I’m really exhausted by your inability to make a decision. You toss me around and give me doubts. I can’t see or think straight. One minutes I think that I will be good at one career and the next minute I’m thinking of something else. I doubt every decision. I don’t know what I am good at or what I should do. When will I know?

Dear Marlene,

Indecision keeps you in limbo. It keeps you fantasizing about all the lives you could have. Dreaming is fabulous. Dreaming leaves all our doors open. We can do everything in our minds. We can do every profession. We can really experience life this way.

Dear Contemplate,

No, this simply won’t do. This is not actually living. I’m on the couch and not really experiencing anything. My fantasies play like minute movies in my head that I don’t actually ever get to feel the air of another country, taste the food, shake the hand of a friend. I don’t get to actually do anything. Reality has got to be much better than my imagination.

I want reality but feel scared to make a step in any direction. It might be the wrong one. What if I end up right back here? I don’t ever want to be here again and I don’t want to be here anymore. I was hoping that I would know the path but I know nothing and so much time has passed. Do I know the answer of my next steps? Have I been ignoring or not being aware of what I actually want to do? Do the answers sit on the periphery of my vision and never come in?

Dear Marlene,

There you go again. Your daily ramble. Over and over again you say these things to yourself. You’re waiting for some magical answer to plop on your lap while you sit on the couch. Do you not think that you need to get out there and start experiencing life to find where your interests are? You live in a fantasyland and you encourage it by watching movies every day.

You want to live an imaginary life. You want to create a new life for yourself, a new project daily. One day you think you can be a writer, movie producer, mediator, philosopher, life-skills coach, digital graphics, what else? How do you know if you never try any of these things.

You can’t commit to anything. You can’t even commit to flossing your teeth daily, cooking a good meal for yourself. Christ you wear your pyjamas for two or three days sometimes. What do you want from life?

Photo compliments of Emma Larkins

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Shenpa

My husband and I are discussing homeschooling. I try never to call it unschooling cause that really stresses him out. He is a very traditional man and the whole concept of unschooling let a lone the word goes against his very being.  Today’s conversation is about him wanting me to ensure Emily make goals. Not only does he feel it is a great lesson for people to learn it also will help me keep track of what she is doing.

I agree with the idea of goals but I also feel more credit needs to be given to Emily. She is very ambitious with her art and has many goals for herself. But it isn’t laid out in a grade sheet or a way for my husband logical mind to measure. As usual I find myself getting anxious and pulled into some argument with him. I am getting angry at him because he is so ridged. When he says the word ‘goals’ I feel like cement is being poured on me and I am weighed down. So I take a few deep breaths and turn inwards to investigate what triggered this.

How do you deal with being hooked?

I recall reading something from Pema Chodron regarding being hooked. She refers to it as shenpa in Buddhist philosophy. She says that shenpa can show up in the force behind the words. I realize that is what is happening here. Craig is pulling me into an argument whether he is doing it intentionally or not.  Craig says ‘goals’ with a cold and ridged force. I say ‘goals’ like something light and airy, a personal ambition to hold one accountable. More of a force like the wind.  It is an energy and it comes from within.

With this realization, all in just taking a moment to reflect, breath and look inwards, I was able to continue talking to him about the subject. Recognizing that we had different shenpa behind our words even though we had a similar definition. It was our intention that differed. I can deal with that. The end result will be productivity despite his wanting a heavy hand on the situation.