I wrote two brain dumps. The second one I recorded and shared with the Word Love Writing Community, Click here to join us - for the inner sanctum of all things #5for5BrainDump related. The thing is, the text disappeared and I wanted to publish something so I was left with this, the even more vulnerable writing of the two.
So - dear ones. May this writing be of service. May I not be completely horrified to have shared it. And as I often say, "Perhaps no one will read it so what will it matter?"
When I allow myself the space to be empty, when I leave room for silence, there is a process – sometimes shorter sometimes longer.
There is this ball of sludge. (Substance. I’m reminded of David’s ball of substance he referred to as love or source or whatever he called it specifically I don’t recall. He never actually said the word love in my presence not in the early days not in the end days, I heard him say “I love you,” on the phone to one of his eventual followers – tribe mates, whatever one calls the people he surrounded or surrounds himself with now but for me, then it was “Thank you for not making me say the things I can’t say.”
That ball of sludge I name “depression” Depression for me is sludgy.
It is the gumball stuck in my throat. My inability to breathe when it lodges itself there. When I have my stress cough fits, I’ve learned to relax, to pull over, turn off the car, exhile myself into the bathroom stall. “Don’t come in” as foreign other substance – not the gumball – pushes against all matter in its way from the inside out.
Not pleasant. Sometimes leaves my throat to ache for days and my muscles to contort, reminding me “don’t mess with the status quo unless you want more indescribable pain.” Who wants that?
Depression is something I wasn’t allowed to have.
Having a relationship with depression is shameful and ugly like a boil or a zit or a walk with an ungainly limp or bad breath or any number of things that repulse or repel others.
Alice is just happy to sit beside me and purr. (Poor cat, she doesn’t know I have this gumball still wreaking havoc and blocking everything and nothing. Tomorrow I was supposed to have been successful.
Magical realism come to life in my life.
I needed to empty that.
I needed these words.
I needed the words to express this. The sludgy ball of substance, like an egg can crack over my head and slime out and over me, get lost on my skin.
8/27/2018 0 Comments
Writing Prompt: I remember when I received the gift of.....
I remember exactly how it felt when I lifted it up from under the Christmas tree. A guitar. A guitar?
I was taking a guitar class but never expected, didn’t even ask, to receive such an extravagance. I was the one who thought of everyone else first. My flimsy, not-that-important desire to sing and play guitar and be the next generation Carly Simon had any real bearing to the rest of the world.
I don’t remember when I first played it – though I do remember the first song which then launched me into a daily guitar playing practice before I even knew there was such a thing as practice. Unlike the clarinet which was chore like to me, guitar was pure pleasure.
My brother, Jim gave me a follow up gift which was almost as exciting as the guitar itself.
I remember sitting in our big blue Dodge Van at the Willowbrook Mall. Jim handed me a package and inside was a book called “Carly Simon Complete” which was part biography, part sheet music collection.
The first song I played was “Anticipation” and much of my free time became practicing singing Carly Simon songs and then Carole King songs and then occasionally writing a song or two or seven or more of my own.
I haven’t written a song in years, but oh, it feels so great to remember those gifts.
I almost cried when I received both.
I didn’t give a thought to being bad at playing or singing because the desire was so much larger than the fear. When in doubt, stir up desire. It can rise up above that fear goblins any time.
Tell me about the gifts you have received.
In our live broadcast on Periscope today, I shared about my awkward first attempts at livestreaming.
This week #5for5BrainDump will be live on Periscope at 630 am PDT and at 4 pm PDT on Facebook Live at JJSWritingCamp.
Hope to see you there!
8/26/2018 0 Comments
Today we are claiming our freedom to begin, again. Tomorrow we will begin moving our pencils and pens across the page and our fingers will move freely across the keyboard for five minutes a day for five consecutive days. Join us for the live community experience on August 27, 2018 at 6:30 am PDT on Periscope, at 4 PM PDT on FacebookLive with a YouTube video available with the prompt a bit after midnight.
There is a positive energy field when we choose to begin again. It might feel slightly scary to you - it actually feels a little bit scary to me. I have written once today and I am going to write again, as a warm up for the week. Are you ready to write a bit?
Here is my writing, hot off the ends of my fingertips - #5for5BrainDump Style:
I usually procrastinate when it comes to being a complete beginner. I am being honest here, completely vulnerable and honest – so let me be the first to raise my hand and tell you that any confidence you are seeing is because I am a leader so I feel compelled to wear my leader hat.
It is like when I started traveling alone with my kids: because my focus was on making them comfortable, I acted like I knew what I was doing and was totally comfortable but I wasn’t.
I am much better off when I am squiring others. When I go alone in to a new situation I dread it. I am not wild about it. Sometimes it may vary but I am talking about the norms.
The norms are, when I am new, I feel awkward and bumbly and embarrassed.
What I would rather feel or like to feel is confident: even alone.
I would love to feel welcomed and open and grateful for the opportunity.
Yesterday I went to a training – I didn’t know anyone there. The leader I had met before, but she didn’t remember me so naturally I felt completely unforgettable and less than from the beginning. Thankfully it didn’t last and the cause was bigger than my feelings of struggle.
When I am a beginner I aim to stay in that space of excited curiosity like on the first day of a new grade when you may know a classmate or two but the setting is different. I want to feel that “I’ve been looking so forward to this!” energy, the butterflies in my belly feeling.
That’s what I am claiming for tomorrow and this week:
Those butterfly feelings of maybe, possibly falling in love and meeting my next best friends – I am claiming that even if I make mistakes or some things go wrong, the worst that may happen is temporary embarrassment.
(--> Note - We conclude our 5 minute writing sessions with gratitude, to always conclude on an upward glide)
I am so grateful for this time of preparation, that I didn’t push this through last week. I am grateful for the people reading, watching and listening, for those people who are to come that I don’t know yet and I am grateful for my schedule becoming more free at exactly the right time. I am grateful for this process. And you, I am grateful for you.
In preparation for next week's #5for5BrainDump session, I am writing for 5 minutes and sharing here throughout the next week to illustrate how the process works to clear the brain, allow the words to flow, and serve your growth as much and more than you might imagine before trying it yourself. Link to sign up is below this five minute writing.
"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement." --Golda Meir
It’s a strange thing, loss and sadness and fear of loss and sadness.
I could throw some metaphors down to prove I am able to be poetic but I get tired of metaphors.
I’ve been working/playing/creating/adventuring this week in choosing how I want to feel every day before I go to sleep as a part of my journaling and purely living a better life practice.
In doing so, I have experienced profound results.
I have made progress with a chronically stuck project and it feels so satisfying.
I have naturally stumbled into favored methods of self-care because I had devoted my spirit to feeling those feelings, plus I created a YouTube video saying I was doing this, so there is that accountability lense right there, looking back at me asking “so what have YOU done?”
I have been looking at my life through a light filled lense: yesterday I spent more time with friends and loved ones and in those experiences I found myself in presence, query and witness. I only felt the all too familiar feeling of anxiety when I was running late and offered myself grace because instead of perfectionism the twitching eye and the shallow breathing walked out of the room.
I wasn’t expecting that choosing how I wanted to feel would change my level of self-trust, but it undeniably has had that effect. Last night before going to sleep after midnight I found myself wishing I had someone to talk to about what was happening either for affirmation or companionship or both and I simply allowed myself to feel the “wouldn’t it be wonderful if I had that person to chat with?” and then I let that wish go, turned off the light and fell asleep, trusting.
So how to tie all of this in a thoughtful red bow? I am not going to right now.
I am going to trust in what’s next and take forward facing action, with love and care and optimism, which I realize is a lovely bow all on its own. My five minute timer went off about a minute ago. Thanks for reading.
Sign up for the next free session by clicking the image above. I look forward to journaling with you!
Are you cranky today? I am blistering from my core, like lava flows pouring out onto my softness.
The most constructive action to take in moments like this is always, always, ALWAYS creative movement be it going for a run or taking time in a yoga pose or moving your pencil across the page. Here is an image and a prompt. Pluck from it what you will. Move your energy constructively in spite of any quarrelsomeness fussing about you.
5 minutes at a time, #5for5BrainDump style - and be sure to sign up for our next session which begins August 21, when we will collectively be refreshing ourselves for a passionate, purposeful and productive Fall season.
Prompt: Today, I am listening to.......
The past me wrote a poem to the present me and today, I listened.
I took a backdrop which appeared to be written in anger and I’m cradling it. So here we go, beginning now.
I’m listening to opposites today. Beauty and Not beautiful.
The stench of sweetness. The pleasantly bitter. The pleasingly painful.
Where does that land for you, right now, in your body?
Even that question may sound foreign to you and yet, I invite you in to explore. I invite you in to at least open the door slightly and look around.
This morning I looked out my window, an every improving sight of the tree in my neighbor’s yard. It is a flowering crape myrtle with lavender blossoms, one of my favorite colors and although my sometimes cranky neighbors don’t know, one of my favorites.
I watch as a man ambles past my window's view, one of the many drug addicts who frequently called on my neighbor on the other side who has moved away, rather force-ably sort of. I said aloud, though he couldn’t hear it, “He’s gone! Didn’t you hear? He isn’t here anymore.”
The man kept ambling and I kept typing, worlds though not very far apart.
“It’s a take no prisoners sort of day for me over here,” I texted a friend.
All of it, real.
Everything. All of it. Sacred.
The ambling drug addict.
Once neighbors and all their collective travails.
Blessings and gifts others don’t even know they are giving which we receive with quietly upturned lips in gratitude.
Listen closely to what is whispering. Not all shouting is angry. Not all seemingly angry is what it seems.
7/26/2018 0 Comments
On August 19 our next generation of #5for5BrainDump, the transformative journaling program where a 5 minute writing prompt offered daily brings renewed insights, energy and an action plan to those who join us, in community, to share the best of the rest of our lives.
The image for our upcoming #5for5BrainDump was taken of me in October, 2011, when I was writing as I walked along the trails beside Walden Pond, the same place where Henry David Thoreau wrote, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Before the end of the year is upon us, we are taking these last moments to start fresh - to look with new eyes at what excites us, what calls to us and what it is that will create our most compelling end to the year.
I am thrilled to discover alongside you as we enter this critical time - gather your friends, your family, your neighbors and let's write together August 21 - August 25. We will be live on Facebook Live and Periscope and we will also have daily videos on YouTube and you will receive emails with the prompts and links to the Daily Video.
Lots of other surprises are in store and we look forward with our whole hearts to you joining us - whether this is your first time or your many, many, many times of writing with us via #5for5BrainDump.
Click this link to register, as always for free, now!
Yes, I continue to work with the 5 minute magic that is #5for5BrainDump on a daily basis. This week i am writing from last week's prompts - this is one I didn't spend much time with and today's writing is eye-and-heart-opening. There are more insights happening AND I like to honor the process so you will hear MORE about them later. Now, for my five minute writing - unedited, no forethought and no judgment, just moving my pencil across the page.
By the way - the opening called for a restart. I had to laugh. The font in my document was too small so I fussed about it - very briefly. Away we go now!
When I stand up for my wholeness, it is like when I stand up for the right font on my document. Right now I am frustrated because it isn’t sticking, it keeps falling back to what is the automatic, unwanted font rather than the intentional, exactly what I like best font.
Take 4 here we come!
Ironically that whole struggle took about two minutes, but my less-than and crooked, torn self would have said, “It takes forever for me to….(fill in the blank) that’s how bad I am at making even the simplest changes!”
I’m resetting my timer. Preparing for wonderfulness to follow.
When I stand up for my wholeness, I begin to see me as others see me. It isn’t the way the contrarian who battles for control over my thought process portrays me, it is the soft yet radiant slanted light of transition that shows up.
When I stand up for my wholeness, my priorities fall into line.
Last night I borrowed a prompt from the last session of #5for5BrainDump and I found myself re-inspired and in happy tears. “This is why I write, naturally, I forgot in all that busy-busy-busy…” (and yes, the contrarian had her say, briefly… which I managed to set aside.
When I stand for my wholeness is it much easier to set that stuff aside, that ongoing not-so-great narrative I have been working to restore this year. Still working on it. Gathering some new tools and will go back to daily writing when I return from my upcoming trip.
I stand up for my wholeness in the choices I make.
I stand up for my wholeness when I make plans with other people.
I stand up for my wholeness when people ask me my desires or ideas and I respond with concrete ideas that I am willing to risk. I stand up for my wholeness when I accept compliments with joy, when I laugh with myself instead of sarcastically putting myself down while aiming to get a laugh from my friends (or occasionally my children) which is more sad than anything else.
I stand up for my wholeness when I make an appointment for a massage and take a moment to embrace that reality.
I stand up for my wholeness when I make my house prettier and return to projects that delight and inspire my nesting instinct which in turn, inspires my creative process.
I stand up for my wholeness when I reward my five minutes of writing with a cup of fresh coffee in a favorite mug.
This morning is turning out very well.
This is a modified #5for5 for me. It is more guidance than true free flow. Please take it a such and as I've been doing this week, I will write to the prompt later. Today's livestream is beneath the second prompt image.
Today’s prompt: When I stand up for my wholeness:
(This has been an ongoing challenge for me – in relationship to standing up for myself for ANYTHING) and yes, so connected with our ongoing growth and integration).
I haven’t talked “integration” for a long time, I think because I received a critique that came at me unexpectedly – and then I turned the critique and the unexpected nature of it and turned it into a nugget of fear which morphed into a knot in my throat which stopped my fingers from moving and from there it moved outside of me and surrounded me and then it filled with water and pressed toward me until it was just me, treading water, no longer to even think about that word, integration, that experience of integration which works… ideally… like this.
In Julie World, Integration is knowing something on the soul level and slowly (or instantly) being able to communicate it to others in a way that isn’t foreign at all. It is coming into your wholeness, without separation of this from that and the other, over there in the corner and oh way on the other side is your inner…. (artist, scientist, anything other-than-acceptable-to-those-who-love-you) self.
Your body knows it – your knees and elbows and armpits and spleen and lungs know it (whatever “it” is) because you’ve been becoming more and more in harmony – in alignment – in deepening understanding so let’s think of an example.
I use integration with grief.
People (in my eyes inaccurately) talk about “closure” and “getting over” grief. In my experience, I don’t “get over” grief, I integrate the loss into my every day life.
My daughter Marlena died.
I will never forget her. She will always be my daughter. I can’t remember, though, when it stopped being important to say I had four children. I don’t know when I became comfortable with saying “I have three children.”
I still tell people I have four brothers, when asked. “I have four brothers, one has died.”
Marlena’s death has been integrated more deeply than John’s.
I think it was Wednesday when I said to Christine, out of the blue, “You know what? I can really write.”
She said something like, “You didn’t know this?”
To which I responded something like, “Well, I knew it on some level but I had forgotten and then I read something I wrote and I thought, ‘damn, I can really write. Really, I can!”
Integration involved conscious choice (choosing stress and/or peace). It includes a solid foundation of comfort and intimacy. Integration is quicker if we have a support system. If we have a map and several possibly paths to take… we have support. We know where to find answers if we don’t know already. We are confidence we will find or create or learn the way.
Integration invokes the deep dive. It calls upon us to be purposeful in a different way – an effortless blend of being and doing. I am reminded of walking, slightly stylistically, intentional. Feeling each step rise up from your core and slink from your hip to your thigh to your knee, calve and toes. Sole to soul to yes yes yes!
Writing Prompt: When I stand up for my wholeness:
And for further integration into wholeness, try this prompt:
Today, I recognize it is time to say yes to _____ because____ so I will….
This post was written using the #5for5BrainDump technique. We write within 5 minute chunks, stream of consciousness style: no editing, no forethought, no judgment. When we allow the words to flow, insights appear and miracles sprout: especially when we write in community. To participate with that community, join our free Word-Love Writing Community. At the bottom of my writing is a link for you to register to receive notifications of our upcoming sessions and weekly writing tips, prompts and videos to help you sustain your practice.
Here is my writing for today:
When I dive into the roots of my purpose….
I notice my eye starts to twitch. Well, not my actual eye itself because that is mostly immobile but my eye lid, my lower eye lid…
This sign of stress has been a part of my life since my junior year in high school. It was and is a physical manifestation of “look at what is up, Julie, look around you and look inside you.”
Ironic because I have been sitting doing anything but writing to this prompt for the past two hours!
To honor the call to choose stress or choose peace, I am choosing peace.
I look at my rootedness and I gaze at the vision board I made of my reader, last Spring. I remember taking it and placing it at the root of a blossoming almond tree – this vision board slowly coming to life as my project is coming to life. Almost complete.
That "almost" doesn’t live at the root. The root gives breath to the branches tips – this space where the ending and completion takes place.
I look at the tip of the arrow and can’t quite make out what I wrote there, those months ago. I look at the faces on the vision board, the “I think I can” little engine that could train… the children, the families, the zebra being “walked” by a little girl. The quirky, the moon – the blond child, the curly haired child, the Mom watching from a distance as if in prayer, the girl, lying on her tummy reading – absorbing, enjoying.
When I dive into the roots of my purpose, I notice there is peace to be found there always. That when I feel unwieldy on the edges, the roots are patiently waiting to be of service.
What a pleasure to remember. To return.
I am grateful for my tenacity. I am grateful for the imagery I collected and kept and I am grateful for the me of what, six months ago, who moved the vision board to the back of the front door. I am grateful to my family who didn’t ask what the heck I was doing, they simply flowed with Mommy’s eccentricities and now, this weekend, when it is complete – I believe I will frame this vision board. Surround it in root imagery. Choose to peacefully remember and be.
I feel most supported creatively when I have time to create within – which may sound strange because I am in control of my time, right? The thing is, I am, but I have a distorted belief nearly everyone else on the planet deserves to be served exactly when they wanted.
Nearly everyone = people in my sphere I love, admire and don’t want to lose. ß a-ha moment.
Boundaries, Julie, boundaries and I think/write of the opposite:
I feel creatively unsupported when people don’t respect what I am working on, as if this is just some wacky hobby I do because of some ego-driven purpose.
No and no and no.
I create because I believe I am here for a specific purpose and my gifts support my purpose. So creating actively means I am being on purpose. Granted, I may manage my own time better. Couldn’t we all?
I feel creatively supported when I ask for help and people respond YES. I actually also feel creatively supported when people tell me No, too, because that is a surefire thing. Mostly, I feel supportive when people are clear of HOW they would most like to offer me assistance. Here lies the truth: the support lives in ASKING, especially with intention.
I ask, “What do you bring to the table?” when I’m on a committee. “Where do you most like working, creating, collaborating?” rather than coming with ONE task for that person to take on, have a list of possibilities so there is a definite, give and take right from the beginning.
I feel creatively supported when I have the tools (pens, paper, art supplies, computer, wi-fi) close at hand. I would love to have a personal assistant to help keep me in line *put that in my before too long pile of realities.)
I look up at my timer and see it failed to ring after 5 minutes was up. I take a moment to create a "to be continued..." list.
This posting was written using #5for5BrainDump signature methods: it was written stream-of-consciousness style without editing, forethought or judgment and published with minimal "fixes".
If you would like to participate in an upcoming always free session (they're always free and starting in Fall 2018 will be offered quarterly) please register for our mailing list here. THANK YOU!
Julie Jordan Scott
is the founder and creator of 5For5BrainDump. She has been inspiring artistic rebirth since 1999.