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Beyond Expertise : Page 2 of 2

Beyond Expertise

continued from page 1

But today, as I mentioned, I felt the call not only to write from my Deeper Self but also to write to my self: to explore in a very personal, transparent way (for my own sake and my readers) the larger, deeper question of how I came to know about being present through my lengthy childhood experience of not being present. And so, willing to take to the streets again to search my heart with the lighthouse beacon of memory, I wrote this excerpt:

In light of how much joy learning to become present has given me, I sometimes feel a little wistful when I think back on the many years in which I had no way of being present, no notion of what it meant, and not even a realization that I was not present. Something had grabbed my attention early on ~ something that put me in a state of perpetual inner conflict too difficult and painful to even try to name ~ and this cloud that traveled with me became me, and whatever spark of joy simply in being that I'd had as a very young child seemed so covered over as to be nothing more than a memory of a memory: a hearsay burst of happiness for no reason, a faded inner snapshot no longer recognized as myself.

I was prone to bump into things, to find it hard to catch all the words of my elementary school teachers (a lapse that showed up on my test scores). I had difficulty following instructions ~ not from rebelliousness, at that point, but because I could not understand them: by the time the first string of words had been said, the second string did not connect in my mind with the first. When I was ten, walking disconsolately behind a friend's house, I walked right into an open casement window: its sharp lower edge grazed the surface of my scalp, but I did not know I had been hurt until my hand happened to brush my hair and come away red with blood.

I walked, out on the street, with my head facing down, missing the sights around me ~ storefronts, immensely tall buildings, crowds of people coming and going in every direction, the sliver of blue sky that might be seen between the zigzagged abutments of the tall buildings. I memorized the sidewalk cracks, became intimate with pavement. Perhaps I sensed that my very life was paved: but with what, I did not know, nor how it had gotten that way when ~ though I could not actively remember this ~ once upon a time I had been alive to everything, to the very air as it settled in from the high vault of blue, above.

Had there been, in those days, the penchant for naming children's difficulties in adapting to what was said to be normal life, I'm sure I would have received some sort of acronym: if not ADD, then perhaps JDGI (Just Doesn't Get It) or TSIHOIW (Too Sunk Into Her Own Inner World). But I lived under the radar, and no one noticed that for all intents and purposes, despite my very demanding and unreconcilable inner life at the time, on the outside I was not really there.

# # #

Many things can hem in and swallow a child's aliveness, turn it in on itself so that it does not know that the source of life dwells within oneself. For me ~ though there are many ancillary reasons I might point to to explain the premature freezing of my natural-born hope ~ the essential cause was the absence of my mother's presence….

This is the secret: You cannot absent yourself from your writing and expect someone else to enter into it. You must enter into it, with all desire and perhaps a bit of trepidation. You must enter into it to find what you yourself are seeking, your heart the rudder. You must give space to that place inside you which has not had a voice before: that only now, as you make room to listen it forth (perhaps feeling things as you write, perhaps seeing inner images, perhaps hearing some inner music that draws you on to landscapes you think you don't know) comes into being.

This expert way of writing (for who knows your life better than you?) and not-expert way of writing (you don't know what you will say until you are walking on the streets of your self) is a prayer and an act of praise. You excavate what is in you in the very act of writing; more light is then available to illuminate what is there. In the process, you get to be in the presence of the Something that provides that light ~ perhaps the same Something that calls you forth to write in the first place, revealing insights and connections that never came together that way before. When you write in this "in-the-field" way, you don't think of asking yourself "Is it any good?" when you are done. Instead, the natural response is to say, "Thank you" to that Something that heard your (perhaps unvoiced) prayer and fulfilled it out of the very stuff of your own being.

This is a taste of what it's like to write from the Deeper Self. Some false starts, some challenges, but mostly a wonderful yearning, and then ~ that yearning heard ~ its fulfillment. You get the fulfillment for yourself, and your fulfillment-in-writing is nourishment for your readers. What could be better than that? •

Copyright © 2009 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 »

12/18/09