Naomi Rose : Writing In A Spiral
Writing In A Spiral
Circling Round, Arriving at a Healing Place
By Naomi Rose
There is something about writing that seeks its own healing ~ rather than, say, seeking to explain or persuade ~ that often tends to find its deepest expression in a "spiral pattern." We all know what a spiral looks like: a curved line that begins at the center and gradually winds its way outward around that center; or we could also see it as a curved line that begins on the periphery, following its way closer and closer, smaller and smaller, until it reaches the center. Either way, it looks just the same to the eye; but to the artist drawing that spiral ~ or to the writer writing into it ~ it makes a difference where you begin the spiral from.
The spiral is both a wonder of nature and a symbol of the Goddess. It does not start and stop in a linear, gridded way, but emerges from the beginningless place of Being and winds upward and outward, allowing (as with a spiral staircase) glimpses of the very same territory with each turn and rise of the spiral, but each time from a different perspective. So one could look at, for example, a particularly trying time in one's adolescent years from the spiral-height of middle age, and recognize not only certain persisting patterns but also a concomitant deepening within that allows a clearer, more compassionate perspective to arise. Spirals, when seen vertically, repeat, but not exactly: offer themes and variations, as well as the opportunity to spiral out into something entirely new and wondrous, something as amazing in our own lives as a galaxy is to the larger cosmos. And even if, by the law of spiraling, they will at some point arc back on a return loop and show us what is still with us from earlier times and awareness, they also open up a very real possibility of moving into previously unknown territory and taking the whole of us with it.
Seashells, galaxies, ear whorls, snail shells, the growth pattern of a baby's hair, the unique prints of our fingertips ~ if Nature can inscribe Her signature on life in this way, then why not also on our ability to heal and find something indelible of ourselves through the spiraling writing of our seeking?
As those of you who have followed my previous feature articles on Writing from the Deeper Self know, I am a big proponent of seeking through writing: of beginning with a burning desire to be present to healing, or of a question, or simply the desire to be present to what comes. After many years of being taught to write the other way (completely prepared, outline in hand, points marshaled and ready to line up and explain), I have come to the conclusion that this time-honored way of writing leaves much out ~ specifically, the inner being of the person who is doing the writing. And so writing is one place where I become courageous and inherently trusting (despite my own arising doubts and fears, at times): trusting that if I come close to what I do not yet know, if I wade barefoot in its waters lapping the shore, something in those waters ~ some meaningful attraction between my land self and my water self ~ will open up understandings and images, even internal music, that I could never have gotten close to by planning things all out ahead of time.
Recently, I was at my studio, where I see clients and often do the business of book development and publishing; and a potent, palpable desire arose in me to make this space available for writing, again. It was not the thought, "It's been a while, I really should be writing on my book" (though that whispered in the background, too); it was actually a yearning to heal something that had been with me for many years. And this yearning ~ and perhaps, the healing from the other shore ~ called me to the writing.
So I lit a candle, and I lit some incense, and I cleared off a space on the work table in my studio. I felt the outer-directedness of my thoughts and consciousness taking me away from concerted inner attention, and I gathered them back in, until all of me was available for writing. And so a sanctuary was made.
It was not so much the candle and the incense that made this space, often used for more outer-directed pursuits, a sanctuary. It was the total concentration inside me. It was the inner quiet, that feeling of being poised on the lip of something extraordinary, waiting to see what would be revealed. That this "something extraordinary" would have to be within me was clear: for there was no one and nothing else present, only a rather tremulous receptivity to something inside that was calling me to write it, to find it by writing. It was that "something" that magnetized my attentions, that told me there was to be found in this attentive, searching silence something I was seeking for my healing and my completion.
I did not know what it was. I had, only, a hope. And the form this hope took was to trust whatever came to consciousness in me, and to write into it. Not to judge; not to edit (yet); not to perform; not to turn away; simply to be there, allowing my heart to take the lead, and to bring to the surface of my awareness enough of a thread to see its color, and to tug on it gently so as to make the interwoven threads revealing the healing dimensions of that story visible.
What I was writing was a sequel to a book I had written over a decade ago called MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to Money. One day several years before, I had taken this book out of the closet and re-read it; and, expecting to dismiss it as an earlier, dimmer understanding, I was instead startled to realize that still it had much to teach me in present time. "I want to live like that!" I exclaimed, touched that a period of such life-disassembly as had occasioned the writing of MotherWealth had produced something timeless and universal. And so I began writing a sequel called Living in MotherWealth.
I have been writing this sequel for some years; have gone through its initial, awkward phases; watched it tell me, "No, this is not who I am" and shift direction entirely, offering me the option to come with it; which I have. Shelved were my files upon files of outlines, topics to be filled in. The book itself wanted to live, to breathe its words into being.
Since much of the premise of Living in MotherWealth is that when we are connected to our true nature, we are provided for ~ and that it is living outside our true nature, in our adapted-self guises, that causes us to think our survival and well being depend entirely on our own (often forced) efforts ~ the writing itself had led me to conclude that it is our identification with the particulars of our conditioning, which we then generalize, that causes us to feel impoverished. That if we could open to our true nature, we would experience the limitless wealth of Being ~ a consciousness that would be met from outside as the provision of whatever we need, as a loving mother seeks to know what her beloved child needs, and to give it freely.
Yet despite the subject of my book-in-progress, like many others in our time, I was struggling financially. A double angst: for not only did I need more money, but I also did not want the money to come to me in the usual way, through my habitual overexertions and self-pressurings. I wanted to live in MotherWealth, live in the ease that being true to my real nature would support me. For that to happen, I sensed I would need to let go of conventional ideas about money and wealth, and revisit some of the earlier spirals of my life, to see what had gotten stuck there and what healings might arise from the looking.