I facilitated an expressive writing class today. There were to be ten people attending. Only a few women showed up. It didn’t matter. I love working with women as there is much in their experience that is difficult, if not impossible to get into when men are in the group.
I understand that men have their traumas and their pain, and indeed, we are all human and can share the pain. However, for women struggling to make sense of their pain, shame, and guilt, having a single sex group is helpful.
I enjoy engaging with women. The irony of that statement is grounded in my youthful dislike of women. I didn’t know then what I understand now. That is not to say that I have patience for those females who are superficial, mean-spirited, or airheads. Listen, I never said I wasn’t judgmental.
We learn from the stories other women share with us. Years ago, I wrote a non-fiction book on women and creativity. The stories that were offered to me during those interviews were precious. For the most part, after speaking for a short time, the raw stories of these women tumbled out. I was honored that they shared so openly with me.
I have taught many workshops, most of them to women and every time, the sharing has had a profound impact upon me and others. I cherish those women, their honesty, their courage and their willingness to share.
I think too much. I once had someone say to me, “It is too bad you have to hang out with yourself.” LOL. Really! I can worry and ruminate and whirl about something that should be left alone. I sit at my computer trying to organize my workshop for tomorrow. The challenge: each session will be complete. People will regularly change. How do I impart anything about the writing process if each session is completely new.
I sit working on my novel, long term project of mine, and I reach a point where I have to change the approach. I get tired and have to stop. Just as I can think too much, I can write too much narrative and not enough dialogue and action. I have been accused of being too much in my head.
Maybe that is why I get headaches. LOL. I am keenly aware of my habits, the feelings in my body, my thoughts. I have been working on mindfulness and positive thinking. Right now I feel as if I have to practice “Acting as if…” Do you know that expression?
There is always respite from myself when I exercise and when I pick up a book to read. Today, I will use both those tools AND I just got Netflicks so perhaps I will watch for the first time House of Cards to see what I have been missing….Oh, I didn’t talk about my art. Since Sept., I have been painting with watercolors. Some of my work is impressive, some of it is awful. However, that is another blog.
What I know: My workshop will happen, and I will learn some lessons. My novel will get written and published, and I will learn some lessons. I will address my behavior and learn some lessons. Hopefully, I will accept the joy in learning the lessons.
I am by nature a fearful person. The irony is that I am a strong, fearful person. Figure that out. This week I begin a new project. I am going to teach a creative non-fiction writing class at a substance abuse treatment center. I am scared. Why? because that is my first response. It doesn’t matter that I have taught college for many years. It doesn’t matter that I have facilitated workshops many times. It doesn’t matter that I understand and write about addiction. It doesn’t matter. The old voices in my head scream out to me, challenging me.
I am much better at handling those voices then in the past. I have learned how to diminish their power. It was many years ago when I first became aware of my inner self talk. I hesitate to use the word voices as I do not suffer from a mental health disorder. But, I do suffer under a mean and wicked judge who doesn’t like to give me a break.
A friend of mine told me, “What are you worried about. Even if you could do something wrong, who would know.” I think part of the problem is my desire to be unique and outstanding. I have a wealth of creative energy and understanding to offer and want to change your life. LOL! There is a saying in 12 Step rooms that is ” I am an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.” So, I will prepare my workshop, and hope that I can touch someone’s life for the better. If I can do that, I can’t loose anything.
Peaceful thoughts, calm energy, and mindfulness to me and all of you.
I have no idea what that title may mean. I am sitting here at my computer planning the day’s work with thoughts tumbling about in my mind. So, I will write about a few things as the hot days of summer get going. I love to travel, and I associate travel usually with summer time. After all these years, and it is many years to be accurate, I am still on the old school schedule. Summer vacation!
I just came back from visiting my daughter and that was great. In July, I plan to visit a friend in CO and in August I am scheduled to go to a wedding in Ireland. I would like to travel in the fall. I actually thought I was going to Paris in the fall, but that has been delayed replaced by the Ireland trip.
Switch subjects: I went to a fantastic Christian McBride concert Sat. night. This year’s South Florida Jazz Concert series was outstanding. Next year’s promises to be wonderful as well. One of Sat. night’s trio was a 24 year old piano player, my my. What an extraordinary talent he was and just a baby, as it were. So exciting to see that talent and hear him play.
Sunday was father’s day. My husband was visiting our daughter: my son is away in Nashville, and I went to visit my dad at his resting place. He would have been 93 yesterday. I do miss him. He was a good guy, funny guy, talented guy. My sense of humor and perspective had a lot to do with my dad. I am grateful for him in my life.
Today I was reading a Buddhist magazine. Yes, I am reminder of being mindful. I have many blessings in my life if I stay out of the negative stories I spin in my head and remember to disengage and observe.
Happy, mindfulness to everyone on this hot summer day.