Almost every morning my alarm clock, doing the job that I have requested it to do, begins the slow and predictable process of attempting to awaken me from my deep and well-needed slumber. It is a clumsy and awkward dance, and though I resist its persistent efforts to stir me from my sleep I appreciate the thankless job it performs on my behalf. The ritual begins around 5:00 am and usually after about a half an hour of false starts, I finally drag myself up and begin the “stuff” of my day. But some days, it just takes longer… And the thing that I am always working to squeeze in to those wee hours of the morning is writing my blog. Showered and slowly starting to come into consciousness, coffee or tea at my side, laptop resting on my knees and weather permitting, I take my place on the porch and begin to look and listen inside for the words that want to emerge. And though my body is still moving slowly and my brain is still on auto-pilot, I find it is one of my favorite times of the day. There is something meditative and beautiful about this state of being.
I carefully guard my head space – doing things like avoiding reading other people’s blogs before I write myself, mindful that I want to develop my own ideas and not inadvertently allow my direction to be influenced by the thoughts of others before I begin. Some days, it just doesn’t happen for me. In order to write an entry I need to have a minimum of about a half an hour to sit in quiet reflection and extract the thoughts I want to write about. Twenty minutes, won’t cut-it and I have a file full of half-written entries, just in case, at some point I decide I want to get back to them and complete what I have begun. But for the most part the writing is a totally in the moment, organic process. I may have an idea before hand of what I want to write about – but typically I don’t know what I am going to say on any given topic until I have finished the entry. And as I am writing this, I am thinking, “no wonder I enjoy this so much, it is like a mini-dip into the space of flow”. A-ha! You see what I mean?
I may not make it to this space every morning, despite my best intentions, but when I do, I am most certainly grateful. I don’t know why most people write – and suspect that each person comes to this process for their own particular reasons, but for me it is an opportunity to give voice to some of the myriad of thoughts that are swirling through my mind. It is a chance to express myself, to connect with other people who for whatever reason are interested in hearing what it is I have to say, and it is an opportunity to tap into that intuitive space that moves through each of us. Not unlike the experience of doing art, connecting with this automatic, organic brain allows an expression of a different sort that energizes and relaxes all at the same time. It’s an odd combination of focused concentration, non-intentional thinking and an abandonment of control all at the same time.
And like the process itself, I resist the temptation to over-analyze the experience, but find myself feeling naturally curious about how and if other people experience this same sensation, and wondering what gets them there. The draw is compelling, and though my life does not allow me to languish in the pool of flow and luxuriate in the pleasure and satisfaction it provides, I am glad to know that I can create even this small place for it within my days. What about you?