My story – the whole thing (It’s a trilogy) – is important and relevant. Why is it so important that I tell my story? I’ve been asking myself that question for a year. I didn’t understand until today.
I love writing. I just think it’s fun. It’s like talking on paper. Many of my “fans” – who are mainly my clients and, therefore, a rather captive audience because they need appointment reminders and confirmations – enjoy what I write because they can hear my voice as they read. I like that. I do actually write like I talk.
Which might be why texting is so fun for me.
And because I have a bit of an anxiety issue in large groups of people. With texting, I can adequately have a “conversation” without getting too close.
When I initially committed to this writing project, I asked a friend of mine to critique some of my more poetic writings. He writes for a technology blog – cellphones and other techie geeky stuff like that – but he’s technically a “professional writer,” so his opinion is somewhat relevant.
He read my piece titled “The Middle of the Bed” in which I describe a very powerful “AHA” moment I had several months post divorce, when I discovered a little slice of heaven in my very own bed – that slice being the MIDDLE of the bed. That piece of real estate is still my favorite!
Anyway, he wanted more information. My story was just a little journalistic poem and maybe not even a poem at all (short story? anecdote?) – but he wanted to know more about my experience.
I suppose that’s really good. I intrigued my audience of one.
He then went on to say that I was telling an intimate story without any intimacy – meaning I wasn’t letting him really inside or showing what I was feeling.
I listened and appreciated his honesty. Holy sh!t ~ that is THE #1 issue with me and relationships.
I put the pen down, so to speak (I actually started my book by typing on my iPhone while I was on the treadmill at the gym – I figured if JK Rowling could write her story on a napkin at a coffee shop, I could do something that was more technologically in-tune with the audience of today).
I wasn’t discouraged from writing necessarily, but I was disappointed in myself. I knew I had to shift gears and find the intimacy. How could I tell an intimate love story – i.e. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told – without intimacy??
I really thought I was sharing something deep -and I only scratched the surface.
AHA moments for today:
- Discovering James Altucher.
- The story below
1. James Altucher – Thank you James for being YOU! I was recommended Choose Yourself! by a fellow blogger, and I read a bit of it and then passed it onto my followers. I then finished reading the book. He really spoke to me.
He also gave me a swift kick in the butt remotely – get the writing done. Just do it. How do I find the intimacy? I asked him, as if he had somehow transcended his physical form and became my personal Guru.
Be honest, he replied.
I can do that. Intimacy is difficult to write about – to describe what a memory feels like, tastes like, smells like, and sounds like, especially when there are other people to describe. I can see the images vividly in my mind, to the point of really feeling as if these memories are happening. When I get nervous or excited, I shake and get vicious butterflies in my stomach, like I’m about to give a public speech. When I have written and then read these moments of exhilaration, I relive it, right down to the uncontrollable shaking from my knees to my chattering teeth.
I can convey some of the feelings. The only expectation I have now is to be honest about the feelings I share and hope that the intimacy, which is important, will peek through.
2. The story below – I may not have known how to find the intimate moments in this little story, but I can always add more and edit. I have told (through speaking) this story about the Middle of the Bed to many people, who have taken that advice and still tell me how much that wisdom helped them (mostly women).
Here is the piece- I’ll share it here with you now.
The Middle Of The Bed
I remember the moment I discovered the healing wisdom of the middle of the bed. I learned what freedom really tastes like that day.
Immediately after my former husband took himself on the journey to greener pastures, I spent every night for a few months sleeping on the floor in my girls’ room.
Please do not look upon this as something bad or sad – sleeping on the floor, that is. I was listening to my intuition and following its directives because at that time, I could not trust my brain or my heart- neither functioned properly.
I am not sure they do currently either.
The floor was grounding for me, literally and figuratively. I found a little piece of peace there. I felt safe and stable, connected.
At that time, I would walk around during the daylight hours, teetering on the edge of a cliff in a haze of unreality, like the sun was haunting me.
But the night was worse; it was a cavernous abyss, like swimming in a lake in the middle of the night. Going to sleep at night became a leap of faith that I would wake up the next day. Being on the ground alleviated some of my fear of plunging headfirst into nothing, my deepest fear of the unknown.
After a couple of months of successfully sleeping and waking (practice makes perfect), I decided it was graduation time- time to walk across the hall from my daughters’ room and into the room that was once “his & hers” and tuck myself into the space that now belonged only to me. I don’t know what made me decide that – gut feeling? tired of sleeping on the floor? Probably tired of getting up off the floor…
After a few nights of doing my very best sleep practice, I had managed to succeed at really uncomfortable, not-restful sleep in the queen-sized bed- and memorizing the texture patterns on the walls and ceiling. There just wasn’t enough room for me on that bed. I contemplated returning to the floor.
One night, I tried the bed again, but I returned to consciousness shivering in a cold sweat, and my right shoulder and hip were hurting. I observed how I was sleeping – in fetal position – actually curled up like a pill bug – knees to my chest on my right side, on the very edge of the bed – on about 2 inches of territory. I must have amazing balance.
I turned to my left and looked at that vast scary space.
I said to myself, “Self – This is stupid. He doesn’t live here anymore. I’m not going to be kicked by his restless legs. I’m not going to be told to scoot over because he’s too hot. I am entitled to this entire space. Own it, Girl. MOVE!”
I kicked off the comforter and reached out and touched the cold spot in the middle of the bed with my hand.
The crisp white sheets looked like soft powdery freshly fallen snow.
I held my breath, closed my eyes, and jumped. OK, it may have been more of a slide and then a kicking of my legs as I arrived at my destination, but it felt like a great leap.
The cavernous empty space gently caught me. I was in the center of my little Universe and enveloped me in freedom.
I opened my eyes, looked up at the ceiling, and exhaled.
I took a deep breath and another. I could breathe here and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.
It was feathery soft and tickled…it was really like snow!!!
And the only thing left to do was to make sheet angels…
When I am faced with a daunting decision or the walls are closing in around me, I make sheet angels in the middle of the bed…and giggle…