What is a state of grace, ease and joy?
A blank screen sends some people into a state somewhere between panic and depression. They feel heavy with expectations, they dwell on how hard it is to write anything, even something poor and they are overcome by doubt and fear.
Sometimes we need a question to bring our mind's back to where it needs to be, the ego wants to protect you and it does so by pointing out everything that could go wrong. It is very good at it's job, but like a dog barking at the delivery person, it is not always helpful. If we want to enjoy a task, we first need to pat the ego on the head and say, “good dog, go back to sleep.” or in the more likely case we need to distract the little beast.
A question is the stick that the mind likes to chase, the moment you ask yourself a question you are giving the mind it's favourite task to do, and the more you ask it, the more excited and engaged it becomes, it will ignore every distraction and gives it all it's attention. More than that it will give you every solution that can be imagined, “What about this, and this, and this”. When the mind is in this mode, it is creative and knows no limit and it can not imagine anything can go wrong or that anything is impossible, it believes in you with complete faith.
How do you tell when you mind is actually being a good dog? It stops shouting, it stops saying, “I am stupid, useless, worthless”, it stops being defeatist, it stops pointing out your faults and why it will never happen. Instead it becomes quiet, the voice in your head changes from a dialogue between two grumpy old men to a single, clear and quiet voice. It slows down and almost becomes external, it comes from a place outside of you and yet deeper than you can see, and it speaks consistently with a strong purpose, to not just answer your question but to do so in the most truthful way possible.
So to write this blog in a state of grace, ease and joy, I should await for when I am ready to hear my own question. It would probably be written after a good night sleep, I would meditate first, then take myself for a good walk and practice being light, at ease and joyful, and if I stop for coffee, I should enjoy every sip. Furthermore, if the couple who are having coffee next to me are bombarded by what can only be describe as the most spectacular Ariel bombing of a squadron of seagulls, I should probably ask myself how can I make this as graceful, easy and joyful as possible for them. Which might involve getting them some napkins, pointing out how they are always going to remember having coffee that day and how it really is suppose to be good luck.
I would certainly feel joy at seeing how the staff kept on saying sorry for something so clearly out of their control, and how they replaced their seagull mess covered coffees and almond croissants without hesitation or charge, how they seemed to care about the experience these tourists were having instead of just their profit. It would like me smile and even make me proud that I took my own piece of shrapnel. Then I would smile all the way home, and send them the loving kindness that the couple shared the joke and was not stressed by the event.
I would only sit down to write when I was ready and could not think of anything I would rather do than write for the next hour or two. I would be in alignment with myself and the task in hand, and then I would ask the question, what would this look like if it was graceful, easy and joyful? So I started with this question as my introduction to you, I think it sets a clear intention of what I want to share with you. I do not believe in giving people instructions, I rather like it when people think for themselves, though I would like to help in anyway I can, but the kindest thing I can think of doing is to ask questions, as a good question is worth more to me than any amount of great answers, I hope it is the same for you and if it is we will probably get along well.
And I would finish without really being aware of the middle of the process, when I read it back it would make me smile and I would have had only checked the word count twice. Then I would ask the same question about the rest of my day. If you are interested, I am going to start my hunt for good questions, it may involve some reading which will give me joy and it is a great reason to meet my friends for a light coffee or a beer, ponder the world and maybe even look up into the sky, you never know when the seagull squadron is going to strike again, and they are easier to avoid if you see them coming.