“More Dharma, less drama” Julio said just as I couldn’t take any more of stretching.
Welcome to another Yoga class with Julio who pours his whole being into the class. He will oftentimes share revelations that help me get focused on the task at hand. This week’s phrase serves as a spiritual fly swatter when the physical heat and the ghosts from my past start circling my thoughts and distract me from my duties, namely writing and mothering and yes, Yoga when in Exhale Studio.
We all have ghosts hanging out within us spooking us from doing what we want, pursuing our Dharma.
You know, it’s that old boss who didn’t see you as management material, or your mum and dad who seemed to favour your siblings over you, that ex who dumped you when all you wanted to do was to please him or her.
If you’re a parent, it could be your children’s teachers who don’t see what you see in them. Their reaction to your child(ren) may trigger ghosts from your own past of never having been recognised for your innate gifts.
That’s a whole lot of ghosts haunting your spiritual house.
Naming and Shaming
“Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?” – Alanis Morissette (You Oughtta Know)
As creative people, and all of you out there is a creative being, we can name and shame those ghosts and this may provide relief for a while.
But don’t confuse that for healing. Healing cannot happen if your ghosts come back bigger and stronger after every time you “defeat” them.
Sex and the City made a name for itself and its author Candace Bushnell (aka Carrie Bradshaw) for outing the types of dysfunctional, emotionally unavailable, immature and ego-driven men residing in NYC. In the series, true to her pattern, she kept finding more and more insensitive dudes to disappoint her. The guy who breaks up with her on a Post-It note takes the cake in my mind. It was TV gold back in its day.
But these days if you’re wanting to write a memoir, naming and shaming should not be the goal writes Louisa Deasey, author of two traditionally published memoirs with a third one on the way.
If you are indeed after blood, Louisa says:
“Cancel that memoir-writing plan. Pick up a journal, sign up to a reality TV show or get some therapy instead. One other thing: if you’ve just come out of a messy divorce or a painful episode of some other description, check you have enough critical distance to write about it accurately, objectively, and honestly.”
I had a short-lived LinkedIn column, Job and the City, where after I’d been inevitably fired from yet another unsuitable job, I’d point out all the faults in those who chose to hire and pay me. Talk about bad netiquette and a total unprofessional attitude!
I wonder why anyone hired me in the first place?
Also, you might ask why anyone would date Ms. Bradshaw knowing they might end up in the paper. Let’s just say love relationships and employment arrangements operate on similar relationship dynamics.
So why did I go through a dozen or so jobs before I stopped and took notice that my Dharma is to write?
Oh, that’s right.
I was unaware and didn’t know better than to search for the “perfect job” – the ones with a great culture, ping pong tables and lots of shiny happy co-workers that recruiters are trained to get you into. Of course, none of these jobs lived up to the gold standard of how much purpose a job is supposed to inject into one’s life. My purpose in life wasn’t to take calls or file paper and play ping pong during closely monitored lunch minutes.
And I wasn’t aware of my Dharma as a writer so there was oh-so-much drama with all that getting hired and fired with the efficiency of an autopilot.
“Memoir writing is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. A published memoir has the ability to reach across time to our loved ones after we die – how powerful is that? BUT, it comes at a price. The best memoirs show self-awareness, introspection and depth, and you will need to dig deep (and submerge yourself in a story for long enough to write it well) and be compassionate, patient and kind enough to yourself – and every other player involved – to pour your life and heart out on the page. Check your motivation, and willingness, to dig deep and work for this dream. Superficial motivations (anger, the last say, quick fame) won’t even carry you through the first draft.” – Louisa Deasey
Awareness, like memoir writing, comes with a price. As you start getting in touch with what life’s moments have to offer, it’s not only the joys and the positive tones but the full spectrum (the morose greys, blues, etc…) of emotions you can feel going through your being.
Without understanding the emotions that move you to action and observing and developing your palette, emotional range, one can’t paint a picture or compose a symphony with their words that others will marvel that will take a permanent place in their memories.
Awareness is what you must strive for if you wish your work to be unforgettable to those it touches.
Writing is emotional Yoga, so remember Julio’s words – “More Dharma, less drama.” Write your internal drama and contain it. Drama in your life is like being stuck in a quicksand that will drown your creativity.
Dharma infused creative work, such as memoir writing, is the healing we all need to form functional relationships with ourselves, family, community and other close ones.
Over to you…
Try to remember a traumatic event.
It could be when your sibling was born and you were no longer the apple of your parents’ eye, or maybe when you were passed over for that promotion at work and a new employee grabbed all the accolades, or maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend cheated on you or broke up with you when you did everything you could to be the perfect girl or guy for him or her.
It felt awful at the time and maybe you sought revenge for what was done to you by those unappreciative, heartless and narcissistic jerks.
But can you now look at those life-changing events from a higher perspective and see what role you played (yes, you played an active role. You are not a poor, innocent victim. We all have the power to control how we react to what happens to us) in drawing out the drama and wasting energy?
What did you learn?
How do you foresee your Dharma, your unique path in life, keeping you safe from falling back into the same self-destructive patterns?
E-mail me, Eda@WritePublishGrow.com and let me know.