War in Resolution Galaxy

Previously in …War in Resolution Galaxy (#3), the EVOLVE Empire warriors special forces division were tired from all their training and fighting.  They were worried that exhaustion, illness and lack of creativity were going to cause a loss for the EVOLVE Empire against the STASIS Republic. The commander ordered them to rest and recuperate and taught them it was an important part of their training.

“Commander, we are rested and ready to resume the battle!”

“Recruits, you are not yet prepared.  It is time for some good hard PLAY!”

“What? We don’t have time. We are rested and strong.  Look at all the other EVOLVE warriors out there fighting. We must defend Darwin Vader and the EVOLVE Empire from any more losses.”

“You are part of the elite EVOLVE warrior special forces division. You are in this war for the long-haul.  Look closer at those warriors out there, getting blasted and blown to smithereens because they are mindlessly impulsive and distracted.  They are battling the STASIS Republic by leading with their minds and wills.”

“Yes sir, but shouldn’t we do that too?  We need to be strong, controlled and focused.”

“I agree we must be strong, controlled and focused, but you must learn the secrets of the Force that will give you indestructible powers and lifelong change. EVOLVE warriors will always lose when they employ tactics that lead with the mind and will. Look out them blasting at anything that moves, you are watching beginner mistakes.”

“Commander, we are anxious to learn the wisdom of the Force.  What shall we do?”

“As I said, it is time to PLAY! The Force must have an open channel within you to flow freely and grow stronger.  First, you must learn to rest and play without straying.  Do not become distracted by all that is yet to be done and by the threats of destruction.  When you return to continue your training and resume the battle you will be much more passionate and powerful warriors.”

Listen to Your Broccoli

With #writerlbsOff in full swing, you may think this has to do with eating better, but no, it is not about nutrition, but rather intuition. I thought it would be a great cross of all our interests – writing better & living better.

I have been reading Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott. It is a great book with advice from the classes that she teaches about how to become a better writer and how to manage the highly emotional and sometimes rocky life of being a writer.  Anne Lamott is a humorous and insightful writer. Her lessons are easily digested with her honest, realistic and wacky view of the writer’s life.

I was inspired by her insightful chapter, simply entitled, Broccoli.  It begins…

There’s an old Mel Brooks routine, on the flip side of the “2,000-Year-Old Man,” where the psychiatrist tells his patient, “Listen to your broccoli, and your broccoli will tell you how to eat it.”  And when I first tell my students this, they look at me as if things have clearly begun to deteriorate.  But it is as important a concept in writing as it is in real life.

It means, of course, that when you don’t know what to do, when you don’t know whether your character would do this or that, you get quiet and try to hear that still small voice inside.  It will tell you what to do.  The problem is that so many of us lost access to our broccoli when we were children.  When we listened to our intuition when we were small and then told the grown-ups what we believed to be true, we were often either corrected, ridiculed, or punished.

Anne Lamott is talking about the importance of intuition and being open to it in the writing process and in our lives. This may take conscious effort as adults if we have had our intuition shut down by past experiences in childhood or as adults.  Sometimes we close it down ourselves and favor the hard-core intellectual activity and multi-tasking that is so popular today in the work environment.  Our society and educational systems have been quite busy beating the creativity out of us in favor of more “productive” modes of operating.

Anne Lamott continues…

You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind.  The rational mind doesn’t nourish you.  You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.

Sometimes intuition needs coaxing, because intuition is a little shy.  But if you try not to crowd it, intuition often wafts up from the soul or subconscious, and then becomes a tiny fitful little flame.  It will be blown out by too much compulsion and manic attention, but will burn quietly when watched with gentle concentration.

So try to calm down, get quiet, breathe, and listen…

I think a major step in learning to rely on your intuition is to find a usable metaphor for it.  Broccoli is so ridiculous that it works for me.  A friend says that his intuition is his animal: “My animal thinks this,” he says, or “my animal hates that.” But whatever you come up with needs to suggest a voice that you are not trying to control…. You have to stop directing, because you will only get in the way.

Listen to your broccoli. Maybe it will  know what to do.

Intuition

How would you describe your intuition or your muse? I would love to hear about it in the comments as part of your update.

When I thought about my intuition/muse, the first image that jumped forth for me was a squirrel.   I see squirrels as highly energetic, wild, crazy –  running, jumping, climbing.  I see their concentrated effort when preparing for winter.  They have a quiet, cute nature when eating a nut. They are so cute when they play.  Sometimes squirrels are calm enough to come up to us and take food out of our hands.

And, squirrels can be ornery, naughty, mischievous & the most frustrating animals on Earth if you try to control them. They are clever and totally unpredictable.  You can’t tame them, cage them or control their behavior.  A squirrel fits the description of my state of consciousness on most days.  The metaphor helps me because I can immediately get into a state of not trying to control my intuition/muse when I see it as a squirrel.  I must only watch, listen and accept the antics of my squirrel. If I am still and quiet, the squirrel is more likely to come near.

So, I will Listen to My Squirrel.  That is why I need lots of nuts in my life:))

Update

How was your week? I love to chat with everyone in the comments.  Feel free to chat with each other.  The more support the better.

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