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Today's writing prompt: “When I think of a moment of bliss, I remember….
Before you read the lesson, allow the prompt of the day to seep into your mind. Don't actively seek the words yet, instead allow it to just be there, settling into your mind, as you go through the lesson itself.
Perhaps you might call it one of my trademarks:
the ability to experience bliss almost anywhere.
I wrote about it earlier this week, how coming
close to an agave plant left its mark on my spirit.
I wasn't expecting to experience bliss while waiting
at a bus stop at the intersection of Speedway and
Stone in Tucson, last Friday morning.
Certainly the words "riding the bus" and "bliss"
are usually thought of as mutually exclusive, right?
Once again, I couldn't help myself. I love connecting
with fellow humans – and there is nothing quite so
human as climbing onto a public transit bus and
moving from one spot to another surrounded by strangers.
Yes, it can be cumbersome and slow and yet, it
always fascinates me. You may be shaking your head
as you read: "Really, Julie? You experience passion and
even bliss while you are on a public bus?"
So many people who are "forced into riding the bus"
are angry about it.
I see it completely differently.
Riding the bus is an adventure. There are few people as
friendly as bus drivers and even fewer people who want
to help you out as much as your fellow bus riders.
That Friday morning at the intersection of Stone and
Speedway in Tucson, I had already had a soulful moment
with an agave cactus. I had experienced a thirty-second
friendship with an unusual fellow traveler and I was
working my way toward University of Arizona and eventually
to see my daughter, Katherine, who was singing in Tucson
and was the entire point of my visit.
I didn't know when I stood at the corner of Speedway and
Stone I wouldn't make it to U of A. I didn't realize I was
actually one block too far north to be where I wanted to be,
but I did manage to discover a local smoothie spot called
Xoom and drink the best smoothie of my life.
In those moments at Stone and Speedway, I met a man
Suddenly I wished with all my heart I had studied French.
"English is difficult," he said, in sunrise clear, melodious
English. His voice sounded like a tenor recorder or the
deepest notes on a flute.
I wondered what he would sound like speaking French or
whatever language his people speak in Burundi.
Until today, I had never met anyone from Burundi.
I took photos, I smiled, I waited, I felt joy. I spotted an
art gallery in that very unexpected place. Art lives anywhere
and everywhere, just like its sister experiences of
passion and bliss.
In the past twelve months I have ridden buses in Seattle,
Sioux Falls, San Francisco, Tucson and Bakersfield. You come
face-to-face with reality when you ride the bus. You can't
hide from what is so and yet you may shift your perspective,
as I do. I smile at the rambling woman next to me, sporting
a smile with more teeth missing than present.
I wonder about her story.
I smile at the child riding the hip of the surly faced Mom,
who is probably in need of listening and understanding. The
surly face is, I am betting, because she hasn't ever been
heard. She hasn't been witnessed. She doesn't know what it
means to feel love purely and simply because she is
who she is.
I pray for the child as I smile into her face. I pray for
her Mom and figure it isn't an accident that we are on this
bus together. Perhaps the Mom's surly face comes from no
one ever praying for her. I exhale and watch Mom's face
soften just slightly.
This year I've ridden the Metro in Los Angeles and the BART
in the Bay Area. I have ridden Amtrak several times.
I love looking at the faces of people riding along together
due to whatever set of circumstances urged them to take Bus
#5 at 9:29 or into the subway at precisely the same
moment I did.
You can't have these experiences tucked away underneath
your seatbelt of your Toyota Corolla or Ford Explorer. You
can believe yourself to be safe in there, all alone,
windows rolled up, mindlessly listening to the radio or
helping yourself to grow by listening to a book on tape.
I would rather be standing under an aging tree, gazing up
at the blue sky, conversing slowly with someone who wishes
I had taken up the study of French at some point in my life.
These moments of bliss happen because I make a choice, just like I make a choice to write. Sometimes I have to choose to write gobbledy gook, write anything – even exceptionally badly – to keep from procrastinating or doing anything EXCEPT writing.
Here is what happens when I procrastinate even knowing all I know:
On those days – and I am not sure why, I just don’t manage to get focused
enough or present enough to write what I was meant to
write here. Maybe it is because I got sucked
into the mire of stuckness.
Stuckness is something I normally proclaim (boastfully),
"I don't believe in it!"
Sometimes I find myself moving over to facebook
or twitter or blog hopping in attempt to get someone to
engage me in something – a comment, a segue, something – rather
than what I knew was my most important thing to do
right here, right now.
I have discovered the best thing I can do when I am stuck in a procrastination mode is to follow much of the same pattern when I am blissful: make a precise choice and then let the choice work its magic.
It might be as simple as the day when I was getting nothing done and I chose to take a shower, randomly out of the blue.
On that day, my shower was close to perfect.
What surprised me was as soon as I crossed the threshold
into the shower, the `a-ha's' started appearing. It was
almost like I was at an Idea Dog-and-Pony show, each
idea stronger, faster and more fitting than the last.
This spectacle inside my mind reminded me there is
never a reason for procrastination except for my will.
I need to remember when I write statements like the
one from my morning pages yesterday. I wrote, "I'm
a profound world changer and I wish to experience
freedom through plenty in every aspect of my life.
I want to have enough financial flow and money freedom
in and around me so that there are no worries about
paying for anything or having enough cash flow for
whatever my heart desires, whatever "stuff" is
necessary for this role as a world changer, there
are more ways than my way-too-small-will-
as-of-late has shown me."
Remembering this way of thinking that is so inherent
to who I am is what gets me off my butt and into action.
It is so simple.
All it took was stopping the sludgy trip into
not-even-very-enjoyable-indulgence of facebooking and twittering and checking to see if I have any blog comments to return and getting
my mind, body and spirit all cleaned up.
For now, I will continue to be open to making
empowered choices – even the small and simple
like taking a shower - and follow that opening
with simple, intentional passionate action which
will have a cumulative effect so much more
profound than "just taking a shower."
What will you to choose something other than procrastination the next time you find yourself wasting time and NOT writing?
What choice will you make to experience bliss wherever you find yourself?
We’re going to make a list of moments of bliss:
And then, we are going to write that moment of bliss, starting with “I remember”
Today’s writing prompt: “When I think of this moment of bliss, I remember….”
When you write of bliss in this way, you may even begin to forget to procrastinate. Make it a habit to remember bliss and to choose to write, no matter what.
Add a link to any blog entries you write which relate back to our writing prompts. We would love to read your words.
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