Feel the fear and write it anyway

I want you all to join my e-course. I want you all to join my e-course.

I have written that line. And deleted it. And written it again.

The course is excellent. I have seen students make choices that have led to better relationships with their families. I have seen people have difficult conversations with partners that would never have happened otherwise. (Conversations that are challenging. Conversations that say ‘I love you’.) I have seen people finally knuckle down and sort the office out, or book tickets for that round the world adventure they have been putting off. And I have seen them write beautiful poetry.

I’m not sure if my resistance to championing the course is that I don’t want to scare you off with a ‘big sell’, or that I still have a few shadowy wisps of resistance to success (my word of 2011, this year’s was ‘confidence’). I suspect it’s a little of both.

I have buckets of gratitude to those teachers whose work I drew on in writing this course, and buckets for the students that have taken it in the past. I am grateful to the students because when they pay it allows me to keep doing the work that I love, and it allows me to keep drinking the rich, dark coffee that smells so good and which I really should cut back on.

Part of the course is about learning to act in a positive way, whilst feeling the resistance you have to acting. The second week is inspired by Dr. Morita, a Japanese therapist who worked with people suffering from agoraphobia and other anxiety disorders. He understood that feelings come and go, but that we can still take care of the things we need to do right in the midst of those feelings, whether that’s sweeping the leaves, or writing this weekly newsletter.

“Lacking cash to buy firewood,
I sweep up leaves from the road in front,
Each one as valuable as gold…”

from a poem by Ryushu Shutaku
Tr. David Pollack

Morita also understood that you start from where you are. Today you sweep the leaves. You can build the house tomorrow.

“My way of doing things is simple. It’s not necessary to make impossible efforts when troubled. Put simply, when you are vexed just be vexed and say, ‘Yes, and what shall I do?’ Just be in suspense about the outcome and move forward a little at a time.”
Dr. Morita

What can you do today?

Registration is open now for my e-course Eastern Therapeutic Writing, and for Writing Ourselves Alive, with Satya Robyn.

Heron image by Steve-h 

Comments & replies

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