Everything in life is always a work-in-progress. Nothing is ever finished. In his book, Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore (psychotherapist, ex-catholic monk), describes this work - talks about how we ignore important signs. Signs telling us that the only work that matters always comes from the inside out...
You have a glorious wedding day - and then there's the ongoing work of a marriage. Do you negotiate problems well - together? How can you overcome snoring, moods, dirty laundry etc. without going mad? Is it abusive or nuturing? In the end, however much you belive in marriage - a loving partnership cannot always survive the storms of life.
The miracle of birth? A baby is an adult for most of his life - so there's the ongoing work of a familial relationship. The subtle dynamics of family life shift and change - a kaleidoscope of colours.
A career? You qualify, you get the dream job and then... there's the ongoing work of the reality of your choice. Does is enhance your life? Does it damage it? Is the dream more of a nightmare? Are you nurtured or trapped? Appreciated or used?
You find a lost child, a grown woman and yet still a precious child. Where's the road map for that journey? Work-in-progress.
Your son goes to prison because of his conscientious objection to the war in Afghan. You rage against a world that is still stupid enough collectively to believe that blood means peace. You miss him every day. You worry for his health. You fear for the future of the human race. Overcoming anger and fear - work-in-progress...
Someone once said (I forget who) "...the first step to wisdom is to call things by their proper name...". Where do you start with that? When a builder builds a house she names the materials. Timber frame. Concrete foundation. Door. Window.
When I approach my life it's from the inside out - there's no other way - we all do it whether we're aware of it or not. I have to name my emotions. Fear, squeamishness, irritation, joy, love, confusion and so on. Then I have to name the places where they come from. Then I have to name their destination. And the destination is always the same. Gone, gone, gone. Everything passes. Everything changes. Everything becomes something else. A dark mood, a war, a beloved grandmother. Anxiety becomes serenity. War becomes peace. Grief becomes a knowing acceptance.
So, this brings me to the ebook I'm writing about spiritual healing. Because let's face it, as a wise recovering junkie once told me - "...get the spiritual part right first. Because if the spiritual stuff (deep stuff - I'm not talking about religion here - just a soulful approach to life) is right, everything else follows..."
Creative writing prompts are jumping off points. I'm working on a book that is full of these jumping off points. Combined with the art of meditative freewriting - a playful, exploration of your deepest world is the only work you really need to do. The rest will follow.
Anyway, if anyone out there has an idea for a good creative writing prompt - a word or phrase which can act as a door or a window into the real world - the world of the human soul - please let me know!!!
Peace, writing and love, Jill