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The Antidote to Fear is Desire : Page 2 of 2

The Antidote to Fear is Desire

continued from page 1

Desire is like many of the cats I've had in my lifetime. You do not "own" a cat. A cat cohabits with you, and tells you when it wants what it wants. Uncivilized, instinctive, close to and in the body, desire threads through us at its own will and pace, and when it is ready it tells us, "I'm here. Do something with me."

So it was that after a bout of evading writing my book and feeling bad about it, it was while I was washing the dishes ~ something so ordinary, so everyday, and so far from the seemingly loftier world of writing ~ that the solution came to me.

It really came. It arrived, like a guest or old friend who I hadn't remembered. It arrived along with the flow of water from the faucet, my body occupied holding a dirty dish in one hand and a soapy sponge in the other. My mind was on the dishwashing, but maybe a small part of it was engaging the Muse unawares. And when desire came, it announced itself right away, as if I were a thirsty tree and rain came down from the skies to water me.

I had been trying to write a certain part of the book somewhat abstractly, and having trouble getting into it with any felt-sense of certainty. Ideas are wonderful, but with no embodiment they can waft around and not really stick. Well, when this desire stopped me in my soapy tracks and straightened me up with a burst of interest, I realized that I had had an experience, as a child, that beautifully described and encapsulated not only the focus I had been seeking to write (for a section called "Being Present") but was about desire, itself. No wonder Desire tapped me on the shoulder. It wanted my attention, and my presence in writing about it.

I ran to the computer. Yes, I really ran. (It was only a room away.) I turned it on, set up a blank file, and began to write with no fear at all. Memories rose up to give substance and detail to my message, so that I got to be totally present while writing. At the same time, I was not only recording what happened years ago; I was perceiving it from my current age and understanding, and therefore able to extract just those particular threads of memory that fulfilled the story that something in me ~ desire, I'm thinking ~ was moving towards. I knew the "ending," having lived through it; but what I did not know was how I would get there, which details would come forward, how I would describe them so that the experience of reading was alive for more than just me.

When I reached the end, I knew I had traveled somewhere of value. It was like that story, inside me, had been waiting for a time and place when its telling would be most valuable; its context, most powerful. It was a difficult experience at the time that now was showing me its hidden treasures. It was the setting for a jewel to come, later in the book.

I share this with you, as I hope I share all my writing experiences, to open up to you how deeply held our experiences can be, and how when the time is right, they will come forth with such clarity and even deliberateness that they can only be characterized as a gift.

So the next time you find yourself avoiding sitting down to write, see if you can find your desire. It may be in the first place you look, or it may take a little looking. You may find it by sitting down faithfully at your computer or writing pad every morning at 5 a.m., or you may stoke the fires by giving thought, attention, even the dreaded "Inner Criticism," to the writing-not-yet-done and then just be taking a walk, or doing the dishes, and Desire arrives and says, "Now." It's a good life, when that happens. What's alive in you wants you to connect with it. And, if you give your heart to your book, you can. •

Copyright © 2011 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

Naomi RoseNaomi Rose, Book Developer and Writing Coach, has successfully used her "Writing from the Deeper Self" approach to help people with an inner-directed focus write the books of their hearts. More »

4/26/11