I saw the words as “brain bump” – which is what the last few days have felt like. A weird bump, a calvert where the car got stuck that time when we were leaving on a cross country trip that ended up feeling like a disaster. Maybe because it was an ill-thought out disaster more about my pigheaded enthusiastic optimism than reality, maybe because I am in a space where I am not sure if anything will come to fruition anymore and I’ve lost my sense of optimism and I’m not sure what to tackle next on my to-do list because nothing feels quite do-able.
Everything feels don’t able.
And I don’t know how to get over that bump. That hurdle. That stretch, even if tiny.
My draw bridge has pulled up. For too long. And I don’t know how to get it down. I’ve hired a coach, I’ve joined programs but the thing is, I need to do it.
I could play a song of “I’m all alone” but I’m so not alone.
I might be lonely and I’m not alone.
Writing that makes me want to go back to bed because I have had an awful cold and when one is physically ill one is allowed to take a break and be pitiful.
I stopped writing. I need to keep starting.
That old mantra I used to use.
I hear my phone ding.
Maybe I need to call my Mom.
Maybe I need to write to Amy.
Maybe I need to… my timer says it’s time to stop.
I need to stop for now. Fifteen minutes. Come back.
= = =
What if I couldn’t get it wrong?
What if whatever I did was the just right next thing?
What if I didn’t have to worry about making anyone happy or upsetting the (invisible, after all) apple cart.
What if I chose to enjoy, to allow the support of the divine to uphold me.
This morning, lying on the sofa, feeling the down in the cushions shaping around my shoulders, holding me securely and sweetly – just right, with strength.
This is where I would normally insert some life coach-y wisdom, some “rules for the road” some didactic-aren’t-I-showing-my-smarts-by-using-a-word-like-that punch line or brushstroke or silken thread of awareness so that the reader would immediately have an a-ha she might pick up and run with to her next enormous success in life so we will all be satisfied and thin and have the perfect hair and well behaved children and… and… and but today. Today I am simply listening to free music on youtube, the ticking of my inexpensive yet adorable kitchen timer and letting myself hold onto the freedom of not needing to be right or… is it needing to be wrong?
That’s an intriguing place we may go with our free writing.
Who would confess to needing to be wrong, after all, who wants to be wrong?
I lift my hands off the keyboard, reach up and wrap them around my head awkwardly in an embrace much like you hold…. A box from Ikea you are not sure how you will ever fit it into your car. So you just hold it a moment until you figure out how to shove it in without breaking it or your car door.
(I paused from that pose long enough to write it).
I lift my arms again, bending my elbows and allowing myself to be awkward, to feel into being wrong and then relaxed into being fine with whatever nonsense my elbows and fingers would manage to feel their way into in that precise moment.
I repeat the process, two more times and each time I do so, everything gets looser.
The floppy feels good.
I am not rushing the words, I am not rushing the release.
I am not worrying about getting any “it” right or wrong, I am just enjoying the way the chair is supporting me as I sit.
The chicken timer keeps ticking.
I shake my hands out and allow myself to feel the hunger banging lightly on the top part of my belly. It’s an appropriate part of the day to do that, after all. If I was in preschool I would have had my graham cracker and juice by now.
I decide to get up and walk a bit, around the block even. To come back, to read aloud, to see what I discover, knowing that any choice I make along the way is just right. No, beyond just right. Whatever I decide along the way is absolutely right.
(and then I experienced the most remarkable walk in a long, long time. Just around my block. And into my awareness of no possible way of being wrong. And everything. Feels. Like. Heaven and is. Heaven.)
I stumble upon a poem by Jane Hirshfield called “Against Certainty.” I record it on Anchor. It fits this theme. Perfectly.
I bow my head.
I’ve found several “lost” things today.
I need to create a spreadsheet, something I don’t know how to do but I think I’ll try it next, knowing there is no way I can get it wrong when I’m learning.
No way the process can be wrong, ever.
Just to confirm it isn’t so – I am going to read the poem with/for you.
I’m going to call this complete for now, and move along with other things I can’t get wrong. Shifting into that and this and this and that… And I will be back with brain dumping tomorrow. And this very prompt.... I am so excited to not get anything at all wrong with you, too!
This blos is where I share my own 5 minute writings to the prompts offered by the #5for5BrainDump broadcasts, instagram posts and in our PeriWriers facebook group. Feel free to share links to your blog posts, broadcasts or instagram images here as well.
Prompt: I was inspired to action when.....(note: I've written essays about this story - but never included this particular aspect of it.)
Maybe I don’t tell this part of the story because it doesn’t seem spiritual enough or abundance based but I'm just allowing my fingers to flow, I realize it is a time when I allowed myself to stick up for myself in a very definitive way.
(This happened the same weekend, I see now in retrospect, that my coach-trainer told me I couldn’t have 16 clients in my less-than-six-months-old coaching practice which would have been fine for him to believe but the reality was I did have 16 clients in my “fledgling” coaching practice.)
Anyway – the task was to climb a 44 foot rock climbing wall.
I gave up before I started until I decided I actually REALLY wanted to do it, to prove myself – and that decision was made in an instant when I got to the first platform of four, a space to rest enough to tell Fear to go to hell and realize my own strength and will was much stronger than any iteration of fear that might cook itself up.
Samuel said the other day “We remember so we can tell the stories later.”
My heart burst (figuratively) to hear him say that because we are a family of storytellers. We value stories of triumph as well as tragedy and comedy and pure silliness and “remember the time when” usually told on roadtrips fill our miles while driving rather than handheld games and loud music blaring except for when the music becomes a part of the story.
So on that occasion, being angry and proving myself – being brave in face of fear, being committed to myself and my vision… and the applause of my timer peaked through right when I got to “in face of fear” – perfect. And they’re still applauding!!
Julie Jordan Scott
is the founder and creator of 5For5BrainDump. She has been inspiring artistic rebirth since 1999.