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Naomi Rose : Slowing Down and Listening Inside

Slowing Down and Listening Inside, to Make Room to Receive What's There

By Naomi Rose

Excerpted from Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You by Naomi Rose

What's your image of a writer sitting down to write? Someone staring at the blank page or screen, fidgeting in the chair, and frustratedly deleting passages and paragraphs? Or someone so absorbed in translating into words her or his inner experience that the fingers fly on the keys effortlessly, giving to the writer more than the writing takes?

Perhaps the process of writing needs to be rescued and reclaimed from the junk pile of stereotypes. You, in beginning your book, are not being accosted by a blank page (often, a seemingly critical blank page, at that). You are giving yourself the magnificent opportunity to bring forth what is in you: to be a creator. And lest you think that you don't have it in you, keep in mind that, according to the Bible, we are created in the image of God. So, as God can, we too can create. It's innate. We just have to bring it forth.

Listening to what is in us is a profound and true way to bring forth our treasures in writing. Listening before we demand of ourselves a perfect book all fleshed out on the page. Perhaps even listening before we write anything.

Listening will bring us close to ourselves, will quell the chronic buzzing of our worries, thoughts, and doubts, and make it possible to hear the autumn bird that is singing right outside our window. Listening is the gift that brings us into the present, and lets us hear the ever-present guidance of the Divine in ways that are native to us.

How do we listen?

We begin by slowing down.

Practice: Slowing Down

Sit comfortably in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes (after reading these instructions) and begin to notice your breath. Just by noticing it, it will even out; become deeper, fuller, more refreshing. Notice your breath coming in and going out. Notice your breath, breathing itself. Notice yourself being breathed.

As you begin to experience this quieting, notice how the thoughts in your mind become more conscious. You may be aware of the buzzing of thoughts, or of energy in your forehead or somewhere around your ears. As you begin to become aware of this, notice how the rest of you is more relaxed. Put your attention into the places that feel more relaxed, breathing into them. If you wish to, put your attention into the congested places, too — the places where the thoughts are all bunched up ("I can't do this writing…this is stupid…why did I think I could write a book?…I'll never…," and so on.) There is magic in becoming conscious of what's going on. Once you notice it, it loses its hold.

You are beginning to listen to yourself.

Now you are connected enough to your inner experience in the moment to bring your attention to your heart, in the center of your chest. Feel your heart beating. Experience what it's like to be aware of that rhythm. You might wish to breathe in that rhythm. Breathing in a regular rhythm is like an inner vacation, like being at the beach and watching the waves come up to shore and then recede, and return again.

You are slowing down enough to pay attention to small and subtle things. You are listening.

Can you hear your breathing? Can you feel the temperature of the air on your skin? With your closed eyes, can you see colors or patterns or little dancing motes of light on your inner screen? All this is part of listening.

If you can do this, then you can write from the deeper Self. You will be able to cast your net and bring up whatever you need in service of your writing. You will be able to listen for what you need, and notice from where and how it is coming to you.

From this place of listening, you will be able to hear what it is inside you that wants to be written, and how it wants to be written. That "what" depends entirely on what is most alive within your heart. And that "how" depends on who you are, and how the creative process works, uniquely, in you. •

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 »

7/27/07