A couple of weeks ago I started writing my newsletter about a topic I love – pleasure. As I wrote, I was frolicking with words, playfully tossing them up to see where they’d land.
And then I got sidetracked.
I left my pleasure article holding a knapsack on the side of the road as I went off in other directions. Each day, I’d see “write newsletter” on my to-do list, and each day I’d find other things to do. This went on for two weeks as I kept avoiding completing the article.
Then one morning I showed up at Nia dance, feeling a bit frazzled and out of it. I started moving and found my brain was going into overdrive as my body followed the moves of the instructor by rote. I was just doing well enough to, say, not knock anyone over with a mindless sweep of my arms by going the opposite direction of the class. My body was keeping time with the music, but no one was home.
When I noticed this, I shifted back into presence. My head and body moved back in sync and after a few minutes, the download began. Rather than the annoying, repetitive cycling of my earlier thoughts, now my thoughts felt more like fresh packages delivered to my door, sent to shift me in a better direction. Delightfully, this is what happens when we take the time to move back into the present moment.
One of those packages was the sudden realization about why I couldn’t write about pleasure. I had been trying and trying to recreate the mood of the moment I had been in when I was happily writing about pleasure, but then life had shifted and a new direction was calling to me. The longer I kept my eyes closed about what I really wanted to write and forced myself to continue the first article, the more I suffered.
What really wanted to be written was how we fragment in life when we start getting too other-focused.
I had been in the midst of full summer riot gear. I was helping guide one teenage daughter as she pondered jobs, colleges and boys; was annoyed with the giant Elizabethan collar our dog was wearing since his hot spot flared up, and was busy supporting my husband in the midst of employee changes.
So I didn’t want to talk about pleasure. I wanted to talk about how do we hold onto this cord of “I” and honor it and connect to it in the midst of pulls from every direction. I wanted to see why we release the cord of what we need, with the result being a slow backyard drip that we don’t even notice, other than to feel a little more spacey and fatigued. And how, even in the midst of that, we can ultimately reconnect to what’s most essential in ourselves.
It seems, now that I’m coming to the end of this article, I haven’t written about either pleasure or distraction. I’ve written about how we need to honor ourselves by writing what’s true for us in the moment, because that’s where the juice and the healing and the aliveness are. I suppose I could also add how sometimes we don’t really know what we’re writing about until we’ve finished writing it. Like I just have. Ahhhh… that feels better. Almost like pleasure.
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As founder of Backyard Pearls, LLC, Carolyn Scarborough helps people tap into their inner wisdom and express it in the world through writing, entrepreneurial creativity or simply being a creator in living your life.
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I’d love to hear your comments on the article, what pearls you notice when you begin reflecting. Please share your thoughts below in the Reply box …