Home' Nova National : August 2010 Contents 23
was written. I would find myself at my
desk eight hours a day, with words
pouring out of me. It worked for Annie
Dillard, and countless other writers who
locked themselves away day after day,
thrashing out words, deleting two thirds of
them, emerging haggard, but exhilarated,
at sunset. Yeah.
It took me a loooong time to realise I
wasn't that sort of writer. I wrote quickly,
in bursts over a month or so. Sitting down
in odd moments, tapping out a few
hundred words, then running away from
the desk as if repelled by fly spray. Four
novels later, I know I have not the stamina
for a novel, and even less enthusiasm for
the rewriting process. Once I've told the
story, I've told it, now let's move on to
something more interesting.
Dedicating myself 10% more each year
to something nebulous was ridiculous.
It was like saying, "By age 50, I will be
different." Which is something I found
myself writing in my journal not so long
ago. Huh? Different how? Thinner?
Longer hair, shorter hair, no hair? Living
elsewhere? Suddenly acquiring a sense of
style and fashion (oh, how my daughter
longs for me to get this)? Perhaps I'd
change sex or species. Or lose my
obsession with chocolate, only to take up
a healthy lifestyle of celery consumption.
No wonder the universe scratches
its kindly head and wonders what it is I
Time and again, I've read books that say,
"Make the goals real enough to see, hear
and taste." Visualise, create vision boards,
be clear about what I want. The times
I've done this have been remarkably
successful. Two years ago, I went overseas
for the first time ever.
The seeds were sown when I was
lamenting to a friend that I hadn't travelled
overseas and he said, "If not now, when?
There will always be something stopping
you." I got brave, sweaty and fearful and
booked my ticket. Friends helped with
money. A kindly travel agent talked at
length to my fears and calmed me
somewhat. An unhelpful (now ex) partner
showed me aeroplane crash TV specials.
I created a vision board -- pictures of
San Francisco, Denver, Pike's Peak, and
safely aloft aeroplanes. I went, I saw, I
crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and stood
in Muir Woods. I rode the cog railway
up Pike's Peak. I slept somewhat on the
flights. It all happened, and not one bit of
it was the way I'd secretly feared (mugged
in San Fran, lost in Denver, food poisoning,
terrorist kidnappings, earthquakes in San
Fran, plane crashes, etc). I spent a lot of
time before that trip listening to people
who'd had a wonderful time overseas,
and asking them to tell me in detail what
they'd seen, eaten, and heard. I had
all those strong images in my head for
months on end.
While I didn't set an actual intent, I
sent some pretty strong messages to the
Now, when I find myself drifting in my
life (periods of that are no bad thing, but a
lifestyle of it drives me crazy), I remember
to set an intent, and to be specific. Not
"10% more dedicated to my writing", but
"a new chapbook of poems by the end of
the year ". Not "a trip away somewhere",
but "an overseas trip to somewhere warm
when it is cold here in Melbourne".
Setting the former goal has netted me
the idea of a new story to be told in poem
form. Setting the latter had circumstances
fall into place that I needed to take
time off and go someplace warm. The
circumstances weren't pleasant, but I have
learned and next time I will add the rider
"with harm to none and for the good of all".
The universe listens, always. Whether
it is through a vision board, prayer,
spellwork, or pure mental intent, it hears
what we want. We don't always get what
we ask for the way we thought we should.
We learn to be more specific next time.
So, hear me universe: by the end of
2010, I will be able to perform Uttanasana
(bent in half posture in hatha yoga) with
ease and delight. Please -- I don't expect
to look like the tall, thin women who
arrange themselves in postures, like they
have no bones. I know I will still be short,
curvy me. But I will bend in half easily,
touching head to knees, chest lower than
butt, with a smile on my face. It is done.
Universe, make it so.
© NOVA AUGUST 2010
'The seeds were sown when I was lamenting to a friend
that I hadn't travelled overseas and he said, "If not now, when?
There will always be something stopping you."'
'The universe listens, always.'
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