Do you remember the sense of trepidation you felt when you were asked to play with the big kids? Your fear-based self-talk may have gone something like this, "Oh, they want me to play! But, I'm not good enough. What if I can't keep up? I don't want to look silly."
Then, you forgot yourself and your worries. You began to enjoy the game and have fun. When it was all over, you felt a sense of accomplishment for taking a risk and joining the big kids. Yes, they truly wanted you in the game. In fact, they saw strengths and abilities in you that your fears had over-ridden.
On 73 Ways to Become a Better Writer, Mary Jaksch suggests attempting different genres of writing. Poetry is one genre that I'm not comfortable with - neither reading nor writing. So, why not start there?
In a recent post to Kayt Hoch, I commented:
@poetwist One of these days I may be brave enough to take u up on ur poetry challenge! 🙂
— Marianna Paulson (@AuntieStress) August 6, 2009
Kayt Hoch punctuates the day with daily tweets of encouragement which help us prod our inner poet. Yesterday, she tweeted the following prompt to the Twitterverse and my declaration to go for it.
@poetwist Will send u my first foible...playing with the "big kids" now! 🙂 Why I'm making it public is beyond me! :~o
— Marianna Paulson (@AuntieStress) August 12, 2009
This was my first public attempt at poetry in a number of years. Many, many years!:
Promptly cheering me on, Kayt replied with:
@AuntieStress thanks for joining in 🙂 pushing the boundaries & risking a bit is palm sweaty for everyone - way to go for it!!
And a compliment on my very public poetic tweet:
@AuntieStress very nice write! excellent opening line - 'curtain' of joy is a wonderful turn of phrase - thought provoking message too!
The interesting part to me was the process. I knew I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone and a tweet is a perfect place from which to fly - only 140 characters, plus Kayt was gently pushing me out of the nest.
Once I committed myself to writing a 140 character poem, it happened in mere minutes. That's the power of the heart. It's the strangest and most wonderful of feelings! The words seemed to appear out of nowhere - it's almost a sense of not thinking, or perhaps, more aptly, not trying to think.
As I continue to transform my stress and balance my nervous system by using the power of the heart, I experience this flow on a more frequent basis. It's what cortical facilitation is all about - the quietening of the fear-based "noise," in order to be able to hear and convey the true essence of what you want to say.
Finally, in a further email discussion, Kayt had this to share:
"I can relate too, to the description of your process - I am an intuitive artist/writer - the initial work is more like a channel opening than me actually 'deciding' to 'do' anything. After that of course comes the intensity of disciplined crafting, molding the raw material into a final product."
I feel privileged to be playing with the big kids! Thanks to Kayt for awakening our poetry palate and creating a space for us all to play and experiment!