Annie …on writing…

Writers can touch the humanity of their readers.

Humanity is Messy, Lonely, Complex, Sad, Magical, Mystical, Beautiful, Sensual and Deeply Poetic

As a writer, be as human as you are. As a human, pour your inner longing into your writing.

Writing is the naked task of bearing your soul for all to see…Pouring out your heart for all to feel…Allowing elements of your own perceptions to be perceived by another person’s mind and sent into the universe.

It is not for the faint of heart. True, meaningful, writing is for the courageous of spirit and mind.

If you are feeling fear, then it is fear that  should be spilled upon the pages.

 If you are feeling passion, that passion should ignite a spark that could set your pages ablaze !

If you are feeling sad, then let the pages of your writing catch your tears.

Writing that comes from the soul, sends an imperceptible energy connection between yourself and the reader.  Writing can  transcend time itself, and connect humanity in all its conditions.

Creative Flow Writing Exercise for Self Exploration

This is a creative writing therapy, self discover exercise that I have thought of just now. I am sure someone has done this before, but it came to my head just now.

You can try this yourself. It is good for times when you

1. Can’t think of what to write

2. Need to express something and cannot find how

3 Are not sure what you feeling

4. Are nor sure what you are thinking

5. Want to explore your mind

Here is the exercise.

 Begin with the first word that comes to your head.

 Write one word to connect to the first word and then continue down to 10 words.

Next I will write phrases. This can be poetic, rational, fantasy or whatever comes to your head. This should be good for you.
You write the words quickly, using the first thing that comes to your head. Do not overthink this, Just keep it flowing, Don’t worry about rules or sticking with anything, Just write!

First word is – Time

Time

1. Fleeting

2. Gone

3. More

4. People

5. Closeness

6. Meaning

7. Remember

8. Metaphysics

9. Same

10. Time

Phrases starting also with the word Time

Time

1. Time is interconnected

2. People are interconnected

3. People move on

4. New friends come in

5. Trust needs to happen

6. It is hard to know who

7. Trust needs to be earned

8. Trust requires faith

9. Faith is within you

10. Even when it has been broken, it can come back

* You can come up with your own starting word, Here are some suggestions, if you can’t think of one.

Love, Friendship, success, writing, blog , connection , life , death, compassion, kindness, peace, future, pain, comfort, book, child, mother, lover, passion, desire, past, cell phone, story, addiction, mind, thoughts, feelings,

Reading Random Various Blogs for Inspiration

I was reading through random blogs today and enjoying hearing other people’s ideas. I came across one particular blog and there were some very interesting ideas that spoke to me.

The main thing I am thinking right now, that I want to share with you, is the value of reading other people’s blogs. Not just other blogs, but blogs that are outside of your usual routine.

Every now and then, just type some tags in and see what pops up. Read some random blogs that you know nothing about. Even type in a tag that you would normally not type in. There are actually a lot of interesting things that come up when you type in the tag  “blogging”

Tonight I was looking at various blogs and I came across this young man’s blog about his struggle with mental illness. I really likes the way he described things. There was a different slant on things than the way I usually think about them, or at least write about them. The ideas rang true with me and I felt inspired by them, to write.

“We are not machines, we are people. We are not built, we are grown, We cannot be fixed, we need to heal”

This is a quote from brodybetz blog 

I love this blog because this young man knows how to communicate about how thoughts and feelings in a meaningful, transparent way that shows that vulnerability can mean strength. I was struck by his words of inspiration and I wanted to share some of them with you. I just happened to stumble upon this blog tonight.

“my brain was working overtime to keep up with me, and that it would lead to crashes in my system that would leave me feeling tired, apathetic, and depressed.” bodybretz

I think that this quote depicts the way that so many of have felt. Our brains are running too fast. Our thoughts are going and going and going and torturing us. It seems like the more anxiety we have, the faster these thoughts go that are running through our heads. The faster the thoughts run through our heads, the greater our anxiety gets. We have no way to stop the thoughts and feelings that seem to be attacking us.

The idea of a “crash in the system” is very interesting. When a computer gets viruses in it or gets overloaded for some other reason, the system “crashes.” I think that this is a very good analogy of mental illness. PTSD is an overload of stress on the system.

What happens is PTSD is that a person experiences too much fear and trauma, for too long. Then the “system” being the brain, crashes and can no longer tolerate fear and anxiety. It can no longer deal with any reminders of the trauma. The person’s brain can no longer do it’s job properly, as far as differentiating threat levels.

Anxiety causes a system crash also. The obsessive thoughts get worse and worse, until our brain can no longer function properly. Our social skills become affected. Our decision making process is affected.

Even our ability to leave the house and go to work can be shut down. I have had days that I barely got out the door for work, because the anxiety in my brain made me feel so threatened.

Depression is also a system crash. We feel depressed for a day, and then another day. The longer it continues, the more our brains don’t work. We have trouble remembering the simplest things. When I am severely depressed. I have trouble remembering a simple direction for a task, that a coworker gave me a few minutes  earlier.

So, I thought I would share these thoughts in my head with you. I like to read random blogs sometimes, just to explore for treasure. If I find an idea that sparks my creative thought process, then it was worth taking the time to sift through the blogs and see what gold is there.

We learn and grow from hearing other people’s ideas. Often our ideas come out, after our minds follow a path of thought which was initiated by another person’s idea. Sometimes our brains take bits and pieces of other ideas and then end up coming to a conclusion that the none of the other people got to.

Therapeutic Value to Various Blogging Methods

Blogging as Therapy?

Can writing be therapeutic for us? Many bloggers would say that they find blogging very therapeutic for them. Sitting down at our computers and writing our thoughts and feelings out, gives us an outlet for our emotions.

It is a way to let our feelings out and not keep them bottled up inside. When there is no one to talk to, we can sit down and talk as much as we need to.

Types of Writing

What  different methods of writing have you found to be beneficial to you? Do you write with a main topic in mind and then let it flow? Do you create an outline, with the main ideas and subtopics on a piece of paper first?

Perhaps you have experimented with a  free writing or  “stream of consciousness”  way of writing. Or maybe you do some research before or during your writing process.

All of these methods are valid. One is not better than another. People tend to have one preferred method of writing. Although they may utilize one or two the other methods as well.

What is your primary method for writing for your blog posts? I am sure you can picture yourself sitting down to write about something right now. How would you begin?

Writer’s Personality and Preferred Writing Styles

The therapeutic value, to the various writing methods, is a bit different because each one requires a different type of organizational and thinking process. Your primary method of writing is tied to your personality.

Even the number of methods you use on a regular basis has to do with your personality. A person who has a regimented, scheduling type of personality will most likely stick to their tried and true method, without straying too far away from it. A more eclectic person will most likely want to utilize more than one writing method.

Mood of the Writer

Someone with a wide range of personal mood fluctuation, like myself, will select their writing method, based on the mood or mental state they are in at the time. There is no right or wrong to your choice of writing methods. It is an individual thing.

A new writer may use a certain method because it is easier for them at the beginning. Most likely this would be a method that requires some pre-planning in order to feel confident before beginning to work on the piece.

Experiment with Different Writing Styles

As you grow in your writing abilities, you can experiment and be a bit more playful with your writing style and experiment with various writing methods.

To expand your view and enhance your writing, I would check out all different kinds of blogs. You will see that there are very different approaches to writing that end up with very different results.

Various Types of Blogs

Also some blogs are focused around the person themselves, while other blogs are about a general topic or concept. It is fun to make it a game and see if you can identify what writing method the writer likes to use.

Journal Style Writing

Some people write their blogs in journal style. That is, they write what happens in their lives from day to day. This type of blog is in chronological order and is usually started by the writer with the intent of being a therapeutic outlet.

The original purpose of this kind of blog is met, as the blogger writes out their thoughts and feelings. The subsequent benefit is a self esteem boost, when the blog becomes more popular.

Research Method of Writing

It may surprise you that writing by using the research method, can be therapeutic as well. If you are having anxiety, the act of going through the research process, will focus your brain on what you are learning. There can only be one part of the brain dominating your mental state at one time.

If the rational, analytical part of the brain is switched on, then naturally the other functions will become subordinate. The amygdala, which is the fight or flight part of the brain, is in charge, when you are in a state of extreme anxiety.

You mind may have trouble focusing at first, depending on how severe your anxiety is, but the more you get the analytical part of the brain turned on, the less your brain will be able to continue with the racing thoughts that are causing your anxiety, Your fears will be able to calm down.

Stream of Consciousness Writing

Another method of writing is called “Stream of consciousness” writing, This method is at the other end of the spectrum from research writing. Whereas, in research writing you are being very organized in your writing, in stream of consciousness writing there is no organized structure.

I am a musician and in music we would call this “improvising.”  You are letting the music stream out of you as it comes to you. In the case of writing, you are letting your thoughts flow out, by way of your pen or keyboard.

Writing to a Prompt

There is also “prompt” writing, where someone gives you a writing prompt and you have to base what you write around the original prompt. This is sometimes done as a contest or a game, given by other bloggers or writing sites. A prompt can be a line from a story, a famous quote, a photograph or any other bit of inspiration.

Which Type of Writing is Best for You?

All of these methods are valid, and you can create amazing posts by experimenting with each one of these. The more things you learn about and try, the better of a writer you will become.

Even if you experiment with a method and decide it is not your forte,  you will still gain some insight into yourself,  by doing some writing in this style.

You do not have to post your experiments, unless of course you want to. This is an exercise for your brain, in order to stimulate creativity.

Have Fun and Grow Your Strengths

It is also a way to get in touch with possibilities and tap internal resources you may not be aware of. The more different types of writers you read and the more methods you try, the more versatile of a blogger you will become.

As you explore your personality and find your voice as a blogger, your self esteem will be boosted. This has tremendous therapeutic value, in addition to being able to write out your feelings. Many bloggers find that blogging is very therapeutic for them, including myself.

Happy blogging! Have fun with it!

Light the Menorah / Ode to an Angry Ex-Boyfriend

We were standing in the back of a parking lot
You and I
Next to a huge pile of fertilizer
A big smelly pile of manure
You were smoking cigarettes

I was trying to make small talk with you
One year of living together
You still didn’t really get me
Didn’t understand the way I see things

Your cigarette was almost done
I looked at the manure mountain
Don’t drop it near the manure
I said
We don’t want to light the menorah!

I laughed out loud at my play on words.

You just looked at me
Wondering whether or not to be offended

You usually came to the conclusion
to be offended
Before I could explain anything
You wanted to be offended
You were always seeking a reason to be angry with me lately

You said “What do you mean?”
Looking very annoyed
I said “a menorah is something with candles that you light,
We are standing next to manure.
It was a play on words”

You looked more annoyed and confused
You said,
“But what do you mean?”

Me – “The manure fertilizer is flammable.
A menorah is candles that light with fire”
You – “It doesn’t make any sense. Why did you say it?”

Me – “It was a joke.”
You demanded, “Explain it to me!”

Me – “The moment is gone. It isn’t funny if I have to keep explaining it.
Just let it go.”

Then I had another thought about the manure
This big pile of fertilizer is like our communication.”

You – “I don’t understand”

I explained, “Our communication is like the manure”

You – “I am still trying to figure out why you were talking about a menorah”
Me – “I know”
You – “Why did you say it?”
Me – “It was a joke”
You – “How was it funny?”
Me – “It isn’t funny anymore.”

You – “I don’t understand”
Me – “I know”
You – “What do you mean?”
Me – “The way we communicate with each other”

You – “What is the point?”
Me – “The point is that our communication is like this pile of manure.”
You – “I don’t understand”
Me – “That’s the point.”
You – “What is the point?”
Me – “That you don’t understand the point.”

You – “You don’t make sense when you talk. Can’t you just say what you mean, like other people ?”
Me – “I am saying what I mean.”
You – “I don’t understand”
Me – “In not understanding, you do understand”
You – “I don’t understand you”
Me – “I know”

The Truth Will Set Us Free

Your truth is what you know it to be. Do not let anyone manipulate you into believing what they say is the truth. You have your own mind and your own heart. You have your own point of view and way of seeing the world.

Your way of viewing the world may be different that other people. It may even be very unusual. You may feel like you are the only person in a situation that perceives the truth the way you do.

Your truth is valid. It is your truth. The other people could be completely wrong in their perspective of a situation.

Many people just go along with what everyone else says is the truth. However the masses see it or however the social group sees it, they internalize that reality.

Your reality is your reality. If you see that something is unjust, it very well may be. Just because the others say it is justice does not mean they are correct. Hold onto your beliefs.

Sometimes someone will tell you that you handled a situation the wrong way. It was not the way they would have handled it. It was not in their best interest. It was not within the “rules” or the “status quo”

Screw the status quo. Think for yourself.

When everyone goes along with everyone else, no one thinks at all. When individuals stop thinking for themselves, they put their liberty in harms way.

We are individuals. We have various perspectives on things. Sometimes two people with a different perspective on a situation can come to a very wise solution if they hear each other out.

There may be truth in each point of view that the other person did not think of. In listening with respect and considering each other’s point of view as intelligent, they can come up with a better plan together than they could alone.

When people blindly follow the masses, there is a lack of individuality. There is a lack of perspective and creativity.

All the great inventions and visions came out of creative thought and an ability to think outside the box. Gandhi was a visionary and a revolutionary. He could see the truth and what had to be changed. He stood by his beliefs.

Galileo discovered that the earth revolves around the sun. The church at the time taught that everything revolved around the earth. This is called geocentrism.

The people all believed that the earth was the center of the universe because that it what the church said.

If Galileo had been like the other and just believed without looking, then he never would have discovered the truth. He wanted to see for himself. he invented a spyglass (the predecessor of the telescope) in order to view the heavens. Through his observation and calculations, he discovered the truth.

His truth was in conflict with the church. The church was very powerful and did not like to be made a fool of. They felt that they would be discredited by his findings. They wanted people to follow the church blindly.

They arrested Galileo and put him on a trial that was to prove that Galileo was a heretic for speaking against the beliefs of the church. He was found guilty and sentenced to house arrest for the remainder of his life.

Of course years later, we are glad for all the discoveries he made, including the telescope and the thermometer. He was an original thinker and looked at things from a different perspective from the status quo.

All the great music, art and inventions were created by people who could think outside the box.

When people stop thinking for themselves, no one thinks at all.

What a dull place the world would be without the creators and the inventors and the visionaries.

Thomas Jefferson was a visionary and a great leader. He wove a tapestry of some of the most beautiful and inspired words ever written. The Declaration of Independence is about the most beautiful writing you will ever read. If you have never read it, please do.

Even though this is true, the masses do not accept people who think differently than they do. The government fears people who can think for themselves. The government that we have at this time wants people to follow blindly.

Original thinkers, people who look for the truth are a threat to the status quo.
But don’t let that stop you. The world needs people who can think and see truth.

God bless the original thinkers and those who can think outside the box. God bless the visionaries and those who stand up for justice and liberty.

Look at the rules and consider them but evaluate each situation for yourself with your own mind.

God gave us our minds to think, not to just follow what others say is right.

The truth will set us free in our minds and our hearts.

Namaste,
Annie

Accepting Ourselves for Who We Are

There is a great healing that can come from accepting ourselves just as we are. To accept ourselves as a special person with strengths and weaknesses.

No one is perfect although so many would like you to think so. People act as though they are better than you but they are not.

This does not mean that we cannot strive for improvement. Accepting ourselves with all of our shortcomings and disabilities is ok.

This does not imply complacency. It does not limit us in any way. In fact it opens us up to new possibilities.

It allows us to believe that perhaps we can accomplish great things.

If we see ourselves as others do , we cannot explore new versions of ourselves that we could experience.

If we only see our mistakes, our limitations, then how can we open our own wings and fly?

What accepting ourselves does is allow us to forgive our own shortcomings and have some compassion towards ourselves. Perhaps some sense of humor about our “current” limitations and idiosyncrasies.

We are so compassionate and forgiving of others. We understand and let go so many mistakes and flaws in other people. We put up with mistakes and inabilities of other people every day.

Why can’t we accept ourselves for who we are?

Each one of us is made up of talent, skill, beauty, love, mistakes, flaws, disabilities and strengths. We are, each of us, a unique being in the universe.

In our uniqueness we are special and significant.

We are no less worthy of forgiveness and acceptance than the others. No less worthy than the ones we give the gift of grace and mercy to every day.

Let us open the box that other people have put us into. The little box that we feel we belong in.

We can go beyond the “us” that other people see, perceive and tell us we are.

Dare to do something that people who “know” us would say we can’t do.

Who are They to say we are…
too fat
too dumb
too afraid
too uneducated
too quiet
too shy
too loud
too impulsive
too set in our ways
too sloppy
too independent
too compliant

Who are They to say that we are only…
a nurse
a teacher
a stay at home mom
a working Mom
a playboy
a rebel
a womanizer
an addict
a mental case

Who are They to say that we can’t…
change jobs
change cities
change our minds!
get married
get divorced
learn yoga
dance
go to college
learn something new

Who are They to say that we have no right to…
talk to them
stand up to them
defy them
leave them

Who are They to say that we can’t become…
a poet
a businessman
an entrepreneur
a parent
a friend
a traveller
a lesbian
a mother
a spiritual advisor
a leader of men
a thinker of new ideas
a creator
a visionary
Ourselves

Accepting Yourself Thich Nhat Hanh Quote

There is a great healing that comes along with accepting ourselves just as we are.

Others say things about us. They label us, describe us, talk about us. They tell us what we can do, what we can’t do, what we should do.

They advise us on our careers, families, religious beliefs. They limit us…
They limit our potential.
They limit our possibilities.

If we allow them to keep us in the little box they have assigned to us then they will destroy what we could have become.

We are each of us on our own path. We are on a path of discovery. Discovery of knowledge, beauty and spirituality. Discovery of our own potential and possibilities.

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