Photo / Tom Holmes
There are days when I wake up and think,
"I don't want to write. I have nothing valuable to say. Everything I produce is shit. What am I doing to make things better in the world? What am I doing?"
The air gets sucked out of my lungs and I can't find a spacious channel between truth and action. Even as I write these very words, I'm sitting beside my noisy critic, trying to breathe through her banter.
A moment ago, a fat, gray bird smacked into the window with a dramatic thwap and scared the crap out of me. It swerved and then flew steadfastly in the opposite direction. Like that bird, (bless its startled, feathered body), when I hit a wall, I often fly in the opposite direction while I wait out my fear.
But the wall doesn't want me to back up.
It doesn't want me to wait out my fear. It wants me to get closer, (at a slow speed so as not to fall unconscious), and befriend my fear like a lonely neighbor.
Fear is so lonely. Nobody likes it. Everyone avoids it. Fear just wants to be included. The wall and the critic - they want me to lean in and say,
"Good morning fear. I see you. I won't ignore you and I won't stop moving forward. Let's go."
When I write, I carve a trail through the world. The trail leads me from truth to truth. The critic and the wall, they are steep parts of the trail - places where I can deepen my relationship to perseverance - areas where I can remove debris and widen the path.
They are wonderful messengers.
When I run from them, when I take their appearance as a sign that I'm fucking up, I miss out on an opportunity for expansion.
Do the work you are doing. Know it is not about good or bad. It is about deepening.
When a wall smacks you in the face, melt and listen. Inhale, exhale and stay with it.
As we build new paradigms of peace on the planet, we must persistently tend to our trail.
All these paths are leading to a great meeting point. Move one foot in front of the other. Welcome your resistance with a curious, patient, persistent willingness.
Don't turn back.
We can do this.
I am a Portland, Oregon based writer, filmmaker and choreographer. I believe stories dissolve the grip of isolation and return us to each other.