I have been talking a lot about motivation these days. Saturday evening I went to see Midnight in Paris with a meet-up group I belong to. The movie brought me back to Paris, especially at the beginning of the movie where Woody Allen gives us a grand tour of the city. But the movie is also about literature and writing and a longing for the past and it made me think how my writing is moving at such a slow pace and that I am lacking the passion that I seek in writing.
These meet-ups are always an opportunity to meet new people. And I did. I met Judy. It so happens that she’s a counselor and when I mentioned to her how I was lacking motivation in my writing she responded by saying what I’ve known for years: follow your intention with action. It’s not good enough to just want to picture myself as a writer although that is a necessary step. At least for me it is. She suggested that before I fall asleep I ask whoever or whatever it is that makes good writers write to give me the motivation that I need to keep going on my novel. This I do. Not only before I fall asleep but when I awake. I pray to the gods of motivation. Give me names I can hear you skeptics out there. So here they are:
Thoth: credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of writing.
Ganesha: Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles.
Athena: Greek goddess of crafts, which I am taking to mean as the craft of writing.
The Archangel Uriel: Lord of powerful action.
Metatron: second only to God which is a pretty good contact, for writing or otherwise.
These names I learned from Julie a Reiki master that I go to in the change of seasons to align my energies. I love being in the presence of Julie because she is such a loving person and I am not sure whether it is the treatment she does on me or her love that makes me feel so great after I leave her place. I was there last Thursday and I mentioned to her my lack of motivation. “Whenever you notice yourself being veered away from your writing be grateful that you noticed it. But don’t be hard on yourself. And ask for motivation when that happens.”
Motivation was also a topic of conversation a third time. Yesterday evening I invited some friends over for supper. While sipping on some Cremant de Bourgogne I asked Maryam how her PhD was coming along.
“I have a hard time with motivation,” she said. “The problem is that I don’t know if I’ll get a job when it’s over.”
So much like writing. You spend years on a novel not knowing whether it will be published. Sometimes I find that I have to forget about that and simply write for myself. Write what I’d like to be reading.
“So, what do you do to get your motivation back?” I asked Maryam.
“I imagine how happy I will be when it’s over.”
Isn’t that what The Secret is all about? Visualizing the end result.
Still, though you have to show up. Which makes me think of Wah! In the jacket of her CD Unplugged she writes about how the song Show Up & Be Heard came about. Her producer confronted her by saying, “I want to hear about YOUR LIFE. What is going on inside YOU?” Wah! writes, “He was right. I was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t write a song about my life because “I” was never there….Why can’t I show up? Is it fear? Am I afraid to open myself up and see what’s really there? Am I lazy? Do I stop before I actually reach any degree of honesty?”
The refrain of Show Up & Be Heard goes like this: Well you know it’s fear and maybe I’m lazy/I just don’t want to work that hard/In the middle of this crazy world/I’m just hoping I’ll show up and be heard.
I couldn’t find Show Up & Be Heard on YouTube but I did find this by Wah! From her CD jai jai jai: It’s a mantra that Swami Satchidananda translated as “I meditate on the great effluent light which enlightens all three worlds. May it enlighten me, too.” The three great worlds are the mortal, immortal and divine planes. Wah! Explains that “this mantra carries energy of divine light, powerful as the sun. It easily nourishes and helps all living things grow.”
Maryam, may you be enlightened in the writing of your PhD and to all writers seeking motivation, including myself, may we be nourished.
As you listen to this picture yourself being nourished by the great light of motivation.