Monday, April 17, 2006

Silence. Will. Weekend.

Human will is the most underestimated faculty on earth. And possibly the most misunderstood.

When we will something, we do not worry about it, wish for it or hope for it. We decide – and then we let go of the process and even the outcome.

Will is operating for us when we stick to a practice we love. When we stay in the moment, moment by moment, day by day doing something that fully engages us. When we can hear the voice of our inner critic and cut it off smartly so that we can go on doing it. Writing. Running. Art. Cooking. Practicing for the Scrabble Hall of Fame. When we spend a four day weekend (in my particular case) doing beadwork. Not returning phone calls or falling prey to a thousand possible distractions. Taking my own work seriously.

Will also operates for us when we falter and stop. It’s a good servant and doesn’t discriminate. It listens to our feelings, to our internal talk, and whatever talks loudest and longest wins. It’s wise, therefore, to pay close attention to those yakkers in your head. What are you saying to yourself? What are you telling your will to bring you?

I’ve been thinking about what a miraculous process it is when you feel your will working for you. And how, for years, I didn’t understand that I wasn’t helpless against the voices in my mind – the ones that are misguidedly trying to protect me by keeping me out of the line of fire. The ones that are criticizing me before anyone else gets the chance. The ones that judge and condemn.

I haven’t turned them off. This isn’t “positive thinking,” or a matter of happy little mantras. I respect the fact that those voices came into being as I grew up and needed to protect myself. At best they are an inner council I turn to when I need to balance. At their worst, they cripple me with guilt, indecision and self-doubt.

This weekend, I’ve felt at peace with myself. Mostly in silence for four days, I’ve listened as my inner voices speak. The old tapes play, telling me what I can’t do, can’t accomplish. I’ve listened to the voices that want me to worry about becoming too insular and unsociable.

And I’ve gone right on with my work, unperturbed and unafraid of making mistakes or wasting time.

Priceless - simply to hold the needle, weave the beads and watch something come out of nothing.


Jess D'Zerts said...

It's a seductive process, isn't it, creating something. Best to go ahead and be seduced when it happens, enjoy the ride and the immense satisfaction at the end. It's not like that happens every day, after all.

herhimnbryn said...

I know 'Will', a positive or negative entity!
I understand, oh I understand about the 'solitude' and the creativity.

I think I just need periods by myself. Partner/family and friends seem to accept this now!

"Solitude is a wonderful thing, so long as you can talk to someone about it afterwards!" ( anon?)

Mary said...

Yes, and yes again. This is one of the most helpful things I've read in a while LJ, thank you.... I know I will be back to re-read it.

Um, those voices. What accents do they have?

LJ said...

J, not every day. But I think that's what "setting your will" means too. Not feeling compelled to push when you need to sit. I couldn't quite get this right, but I think will is related to faith...the faith that you put your best in, keep at a thing and eventually, it takes you somewhere. No need to force it. Just a steady effort and joy in the doing - and the pauses in the flow don't scare you. Me. Anyway.

H...Another silence seeker, huh? I see Will more as a neutral entity. It simply tries to bring you what it thinks you want. Which is why superficial things like positive affirmations don't actually work. You have to know what's going on in the babble. The Toltecs call this babble of voices "The Mitote"...the marketplace. You have to listen to the voices, understand what they are trying to do FOR you - because no matter now negative they feel - they formed, at some point, to protect you.
That way, you turn them down with respect, instead of trying to shut them up. You don't create the resistance of refusal. (Does this make sense? It's very hard to describe.)
And H - I loved the quote!

M. - Accents? They don't actually (they are Canadian, you know and we don't.) They have ages though. I know this because I have been crazy enough, once or twice, to start naming them and keeping a journal in the different voices.

For anyone who might be, about now, thinking I am using a tea kettle for a brain, I recommend reading the books of Hal and Sidra Stone, who pioneered an interesting theraputic technique called, "voice dialogue"...

Thanks everyone, for reading and comments.