The Intimate Fruits of a Writing Retreat : Page 2 of 2
The Intimate Fruits of a Writing Retreat: Coming into the Wealth of Inner Being
And the pages on the table ~ twelve of them ~ seemed not only not an effort, but a gift: both to and from me. I was so happy and full, that I did not push anything. I knew when to stop ~ I knew when I needed stillness, quiet, replenishment (by food, water, light, air, a mini-walk barefoot on the still-green grass). I trusted that more writing, in the right time, would come.
And it did. In the three days I spent there, I wrote over 40 good pages. Not perfect pages ~ they would still need revision ~ but good, substantial, real: the kind of writing that, when I read it later, would speak to me as freshly as if someone else had written it, a message to my ordinary consciousness from my deeper Self.
A retreat is a precious thing: a time ~ even with all the attendant nervousness beforehand ~ to really listen inside. After the first day of writing, I no longer thought about the outer world; I no longer noticed the sounds of passing cars out in the street. My inner world was so expanded, my heartbeat so present, that mostly what I felt was joy in being able to hear so closely what was within me. That writing was a significant part of this only added to that intimacy. For if the inner listening is hearing what God wants to tell us when we are still inside, then the writing from within such a place is what allows God to discover who God is, through us.
There is something, for me, about writing in such a protected space that feels both ancient and new at the same time. The ancient part is the silence that comes with refraining from speech while writing. I believe it taps into older knowings within us, especially soul and spiritual knowings that bring forth certain memories over others, and link previously disparate experiences in a surprisingly meaningful tapestry of being. The new part is that in this divine dialogue, something never-before existent gets said, gets born ~ to my surprise and frequent great joy. And perhaps to God's, as well.
We don't all have three days to ourselves in an outer protected space. But that inner space is really where the inspired, authentic writing takes place. It certainly helped me to have a loving and generous friend invite me into her outer space; I walked into it already feeling cherished. But having tasted that, my task now is to cherish myself, and to cherish the limitless depths of being and knowing available to me through writing with an intentional inward focus.
The truth is that everything we need is already inside us. The world, which we need, and which needs us, can nevertheless take us so easily away from ourselves. When all of us is available ~ our concentration, our commitment, our heart, our mind, our instincts ~ in one place, it's not difficult to write fluidly, deeply, authentically, and beautifully. True, there are skills that are useful to have in your toolkit: a way with words, a wish to explore, a willingness to dig as well as soar, an ability to put the critical voice on the shelf so you can write without interruption. But even just to be all-there and see what wants to show itself when you make full room is enough to bring forth (even roughly, at first) proof of your magnificence, your healing, and your gift to life and your readers-to-come.
As the weather gets colder and the days grow shorter, coming inside ourselves is a more natural phenomenon. This fall, and later on in the winter, may you have some retreat time within yourself to write ~ whether that book you've been dreaming of, or something shorter ~ so that you get to be Written by the ineffable Presence within you, as well. •
Copyright © 2008 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
Naomi 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 »