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Naomi Rose : Writing a New Chapter in the Book of Your Life

Writing a New Chapter in the Book of Your Life

By Naomi Rose

I am looking at a magnolia tree from my office window, its lavender-and-white tulip-shaped blossoms already in bloom, its leafless branches just barely starting to bud. It is a January day so fragrantly warm that, like the magnolia, I have premature spring fever. After a client left, I took a rare break instead of popping back into work; lay down on my cushioned window-seat and let the sun warm my body, like a cat.

I was going to write, this month, about writing a new chapter in a book you've been writing for a while ~ something that feels relevant to the beginning of the year, when resolutions abound, both personally and (a week before Obama's inauguration) culturally. I was going to write something generically useful about how, as your book gets further along and new chapters take the writing into new directions, themes seeded in the early part of the book make their way back in, calling out for attention, deeper understanding, and perhaps even resolution. That we are, despite being pulled by the pieces of our lives, really made of whole cloth, and our psyches seeking that entirety of fabric: the design begun young that we hope has matured despite all sorts of wrong turns and negative interventions, and become more beautiful with the intervening years.

But I just wasn't that interested in giving theoretical, generic wisdom. Instead, I wanted to tell you about the amazing magnolia tree, reaching out widely with its branches and upwards towards the sun. I wanted to tell you that it is a new chapter for me to rest, after a client, instead of steering myself back into work; to seek the sunlight with my instinctive, animal body, to let the warmth lace into my cells. I wanted to convey, in a more immediate way ~ the way that images do, and descriptions do, and poetry does, and the flow of breath behind the words does ~ what it is that impresses me, and to bring that impression to life so you could taste it, too.

Seeing Ourselves Deeply in Writing,
and in Reading

And in a way, that's what Writing from the Deeper Self is: it's having your own direct experience of what you're writing as you're writing it, so that people reading it get to have that same experience, laced with the warmth of your own opening to what is there. When you write from that deep place, you open the door to your readers to come in, and meet themselves. For I think that ~ more than anything ~ we read to know ourselves more deeply. Few people have been seen at the level they crave.

What allows you to see yourself that deeply in writing ~ no matter what the subject you are writing about, no matter what the genre or the form ~ is the same thing that allows you to see yourself deeply in non-writing ways (meditation, relationship, therapy: anything that brings you below the surface of life):

  • A slowing down.
  • A willingness to be present to whatever is there.
  • Being fundamentally okay with not having answers right away.
  • Holding an intention in your heart, even if you've never experienced the fruits of that intention before.
  • Seeking wholeness in what seem to be separate, unlinked pieces. Making room within to search and search until that wholeness ~ that suddenly appearing tapestry, that music ~ finds you and writes itself down.

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