Natalie Goldberg's writing centers me. When my rhythms didn't gel the way I'd expected this morning, I pulled out Writing Down the Bones. With no intention of reading for very long, all I needed was a snippet. This is what she said to me:
Although such concerns certainly can emerge - for us all I'm told - today's skewed perspective didn't really have anything to do with others' perception of my choices. On the surface, anyway. Instead, my need to sort out my mental energy revolved around the need to quell the voice of my own inner critic. This critic was keeping productivity away by talking to me of how I should have gotten up earlier, worked out, already been an hour into the design of that specific web project I'd hoped to have completed by last night. My critic was also remembering the bald man walking down Cone yesterday with his gas can and how seeing him there sparked an idea for my novel. The voice reminded me of how afterward, over coffee, I'd told my friend, writer Chris Laney, about having my first new story idea in a month. I was reminded that I'd meant to make those notes about the new idea before I went to bed, but I didn't.
And now the voice is quiet. All I needed was a simple reminder from a book I've loved for 20 years to remind me to slow down, breathe, remember that my authentic rhythms bring me the greatest pleasure, the greatest productivity, the finest groove. And then? If tomorrow I want to wake earlier and add more productivity to my morning, that will be fine too.
Thank you Natalie.