For me, the purpose of my novel revolves around the genre and theme — visionary fiction and self-awakening. In this rewrite, I have several goals in mind to start. Other things will develop, I’m sure; however, I want to set up a later, larger societal conflict that is revealed through personal conflict within two large firms. I’ll explain a bit as we go along. Revamping the intro becomes easier keeping this in mind, I think.
One of the firms is Paragon Engineering. Anne Lafarnge is a mid-thirty structural engineer who has made a name for herself. I will need to develop this. I thought maybe I would start with two of her colleagues, Kathryn Frank and Edward Sampson.
Edward: What do you think, Kathryn? Does Ms. Lafarnge seem like someone we would want to work closely with for a year or more? I already have an opinion, but I don’t want to influence what you say.
Kathryn: I’m not 100% sure. She purposefully passed on using us on the Convention Center? She told me that things looked pretty good, and then, nothing. She didn’t even say anything to me until the project was underway.
Edward: You’re right about that. We have discussed this so much I am almost sick of it. We were hired the same week, and for five years we’ve just been doing what amounts to intern work.
Kathryn: Well, a little more than that, but you’re right, Ed. I thought — and still do — that Anne was different, like maybe people mattered as people to her — not just talent to be used for…
Edward: …politicking in this mega-company, like everyone who is a junior or senior associate does?
Kathryn: Yeah, Ed, like that. I still feel like Anne is different, though.
Edward: So, what are thinking about this offer, Kathryn? Ms. Lafarnge did ask for us. It seems she wants us to be on the Riverview Canyon Bridge team.
Kathryn: Ed, you know me. I need more information to be sure. Why did she pass us up before and now she wants us? Would she be offended if I asked her? Was she playing politics in the company? You know, I heard that Stan Boyle is super upset about Mr. Egan even considering Anne for the new senior associate opening.
Edward: Kathryn, how do you hear these things? You always know these little tidbits.
Kathryn: (laughing) Hey, when you ask a lot of questions, people tend to tell you things, don’t you know?
Edward: (smiling) You seem to have mastered that skill. But, Kathryn, you still haven’t told me if you’re going to take Ms. Lafarnge’s offer to join the Riverview project team.
Kathryn: Ed, do you think we would ever be anything more than glorified draftsmen if we turn this down?
Edward: Still not answering my question, Kathryn. You only asked another one.
Kathryn: Oh, you’re right. Sorry. Okay, yes, I’m going to accept it, but only because of Anne.
Edward: Don’t you think she is playing the political game, too, since you’ve heard she’s up for senior associate?
Kathryn: Yep, she might be, but I think there’s more to her than that.
Edward: Why? What would lead you to think so?
Kathryn: Because of all the questions she asked me!
Well, that’s a start. No, I am not writing it as a script, but this is just to get some ideas set. I will add transitional actions in the lines of dialogue.
Beyond that, here are two young twenty-something people who see how corporate politics can affect and control their lives.
I know when I taught I often felt those influences on students and on us as staff. The only real answers to such is to listen to Heart, know our own truth, and make decisions based on those. To decide based on the political maneuverings of any power block is to become part of the political machine. To ego, that may feel safe. To Heart, it’s a copout. Again, acting on Ego or Heart either one does not make one right and the other wrong. However, Ego often makes one confused, angry, or guilty on at least a subconscious level, while Heart gives peace and confidence.
Yeah, that’s a big theme of The Fellowship of the Heart.
Well, friends, tonight I institute a little different tone and character to my nightly articles. I received my manuscript evaluation for my novel from my editor. Let’s just say I’ve got some major work to do. Honestly, after allowing myself about twelve hours of wallowing in Ego pity and rationalizations about why I just needed to give up, I am excited to dive back into the novel work.
My posts have all been thematically connected to my novel, The Fellowship of the Heart, for the last 201 days. The novel follows the course of self-awakening of some of the characters and the effects of that in lives. As I wrote daily over these past seven months, I sought a heart message tailored to the day. I invested myself emotionally in each day’s work, regardless of response or lack thereof.
You probably know that I start the day with a Morning Pages post, which embodies a seed idea. Many times that idea requires some reading, research, and reflections before I write my article in the evening. Then, I prepare a pic message and caption before bed. These things along with the social media work make up about 9 or so hours of every day. And I love that work because it is my Heart and expression for my life purpose right now.
However, my novel also is part of that, which is why now the best I can do is invite you along on my journey of a re-write. I hope you will enjoy it. I will still have heart-truths embodied in my articles, because my novel deals with those issues. There’s no way it comments on the broad range of topics that I have covered over these last months, though. Maybe seeing my thought process, struggles, and just personal touches will be meaningful to you.
I’ve gotta say I am not totally comfortable with this. I have had to process my emotions from yesterday when I read the manuscript evaluation. Oh, there were positives, but the difficulties with the text requires a rewrite. At first, my ego ran with this. OMG! “You have wasted all this time writing articles and posts tied to this stupid book, and now you’ve got nothing.” Or try this one on. I couldn’t even believe it was coming from me! “Just cut your losses, quit the writing shit, and grab any 40 hour a week job so you don’t go back to this. You know you can’t put in 60 or 70 hours a week writing for something you don’t even get paid for AND work a regular job”
Yes, some hours of despair, but my own writing, my own faithful heart, and messages from some of you who had no idea of what I was feeling helped me quickly navigate past Ego and into Heart and life purpose. Someone who had never commented on any of my IG posts said, “Love your posts. Keep it up!” That was exactly 23 hours ago. Confirmation, while not required, sure in the hell helps.
This is already longer than I anticipated, so let me share this: I am enthusiastic and see fresh approaches to my characters and development of my plot. I have already laid out, very sketchily, the first four new chapters. I’m going to be sharing specifics I work with every day, because I have to do that or quit this. And I am not quitting this, thank you!
Heart truth: Remember my purpose; I am Discovery and currently working to manifest core Self, personal truth, and expressions of life purpose — and help others discover the same. Have those reminders around, like my own many months worth of writing. Be aware of Ego voice and actively choose the hOS — Heart Operating System. Finally, open my eyes to the signs of Spirit and Universe working all things for my good. (By the way, I added more followers on IG today than I have for a few months — never been a lot, but hey, more is more!)
I sincerely hope you are enjoying this magic-filled life, and while choosing heart makes it possible to see that, it doesn’t make anyone superior. Life is life, love is love, and love and life are to be valued, no matter how one processes this wonderful experience.
With that, love and peace!
At my uncle’s funeral yesterday, I heard little groups of people who I didn’t know talking about him. One group knew him as a great soccer player and coach. To others, he was a financial advisor who made investments for folks and helped them to create very nice lifestyles. None of us had a complete picture.
So what? This is what. We only have a relatively complete picture of our very immediate family. Therefore, when we encounter others or engage in a relationship with them, we should make a conscious choice to process our relationship and thoughts about others through Heart.
In order to be able to do that, though, we must have our relationship with our own heart right. I am not telling you that choosing heart makes you a better or worse person. The only thing I have intended through all of these posts is to address the expressed and observed needs of people.
Everyone, no matter what central processing unit they use on a day to day or minute to minute basis, loves and hates from time to time. However, I know if we have not awakened to self, it creates a searching for meaning that can leave us empty and a host of other negative emotions. Awakening to the call of our own heart makes it possible to act supernaturally in relation to many aspects of life.
Someone who I feel knew this is Walt Whitman. I would like to very briefly highlight a few places in his poetry that illustrates this supernatural ability to relate to and interact with people — no, more than that, identify with them. That’s relating.
In “Song of Myself,” Walt speaks of forgiveness, which is an essential element of relationships, often required for reigniting a personal relationship or beginning new ways of thinking about possible relationships when negative preconceptions have erected a barrier. In Section 21, he says of one who is considered a sinner, “Prodigal, you have given me love — therefore I to you give love! / O unspeakable passionate love.” Not only does he offer forgiveness, but also he gives a deep, true love.
Walt makes it clear that it doesn’t matter how far someone has wandered, he will include that person in his thoughts and life purpose of poetry: “I am not the poet of goodness only, I do not decline to be the poet of wickedness also. / What blurt is this about virtue and about vice? / Evil propels me and reform propels me, I stand indifferent, / My gait is no fault-finder’s or rejecter’s gait, / I moisten the roots of all that has grown.” He doesn’t judge or discriminate. He equally cares for and relates to all in his poetry. He understands that root, core essence is the Spirit of all, which makes all eternal, immortal, despite behavioral expressions here as mortals.
Walt knows that this eternal nature of the Heart, that core Self, creates unity, despite outward appearances. I find this so difficult, mostly when thinking of myself, to remember and deal with my eternal nature, my true identity. This unity with eternal Spirit, though, connects us with everyone, everything else. Ego would preserve and protect physically-focused self and disdain connection with “bad” guys. Walt recognizes that “Whoever degrades another degrades me, / And whatever is done or said returns at last to me. // I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms” (Sec. 24). Equality in relationships and opportunities marked this aspiration of Walt’s.
“Through me forbidden voices, / Voices of sexes and lusts, voices veil’d and I remove the veil, / Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigur’d” (Sec. 24). He wants to show, make clear the unity among all. Pretty solid grounds for entering into significant relationships, even with folks who we may consider evil.
He goes on to say, “Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from…” Wow! Here it is, that sense of godhood in each of us. It takes Heart knowledge, Heart relationship to be able to see this, experience this with others.
Decent grounds for relationships. For those of you who have followed me and the posts, I see these qualities in you. I do in others, too, but I don’t know them. For this part of our lives we share through social media, I value you immensely.
I would like to tell you, even though I do not know what tomorrow may bring, the nature of my posts will probably be different starting tomorrow. I will explain more then.
Have a blessed night — or early morning if that is when you see this.
The relationships we crave in life, because we are humans, often begin with preconceptions. I don’t want to call this prejudice or bigotry. Preconception has a milder connotation than either of those words, even though it’s technically synonymous with prejudice. It has the sense of a new yet incompletely formed thought, idea — it’s a process. Prejudice connotes a thought that is a preconception yet it’s a solidified opinion.
Why do I bring this up? I don’t know if it’s possible to be a conscious, thinking human being without some pre-thought, some mental process already going on. I suppose it is in a super enlightened state, but I’m dealing with normal life, just discovering things that make us tick. And my point is this.
Our response to our preconceptions determines if they become prejudices, and those are avoidable.
How could that be? Quite simple, really. We make a choice: will we respond to our preconceptions with Heart or Ego? Which filter and operating system will we use to process our preconceptions?
Decisions about people or situations based on ego will produce division, perpetuate differences, promote hatred, and foster further disgust and alienation. Ego energy, words, and actions spread to society and leaven it. Enough negative attention creates societal impressions about issues like racism, ethnic biases, and others. This in turn colors impressions and opinions of the preconceptions of individuals. It’s a nasty little cycle, but totally preventable.
When we choose Heart, we choose love. We grab hold of our preconception, whichever way we were leaning, and expose it in the light of love. This does not necessarily mean a sappy, milquetoast acquiescence to people or things we don’t believe in, but even if we disagree, love responds differently than hate, Heart responds differently than Ego. Heart does not fear, and Ego responds based on unfounded fear. Of course, with Heart, no fear is founded.
Many will ask how could we respond differently to “bad” people. How do you define bad? What is sin? Preconceptions, because the energies of hatred, murder, jealousy, thievery, all of them sweep through us at times. I know what some will say; we don’t do them, at least not mostly, but Ego assuages us — “You’re better than they are.” Shut the f — k up, please.
I would remind religious folks that prophetic messianic passages, which christians believe refer to Jesus of Nazareth, has Messiah completely identifying with sinners, being sin himself. Why? Heart understands the unity and core Self of all is eternal Spirit. All arrive on this Earth scene to fulfill and experience various purposes. Evil people can experience evil and then awaken to Heart. Or they can live and die without ever doing that, but inside, true Self, takes it all in.
This is why we must, if we desire to experience full, significant, meaningful lives, choose Heart. It makes a difference to all others, especially those who walk in a lost, searching, consuming darkness. For those who walk in Ego and believe others are so inferior, I have a word of caution.
Jesus identified with and accepted all brands of those labeled wicked and evil. However, two groups who competed with each other and believed they were superior included the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Pharisees believed they had all the answers, and they were self-righteous a-holes; Jesus condemned them because their beliefs held people in the bonds of guilt and fear of eternal condemnation. Guilt and fear are useless human emotions, even though we experience them from time to time. The Sadducees basically said there was no eternity, no hope of going on. We do go on; there is hope. Jesus condemned these, too, who would hold souls down in hopelessness.
Now, when many codify preconception into prejudice and systems of belief, they make others guilty and would hold the oppressed down in hopelessness — because such people operate out of Ego, which means that somewhere deep inside, fear motivates them — fear of the different, the other, fear of being inferior, fear of risk, fear of faith and believing in something you can’t see. Yeah, that ain’t no way to live. It’s safe, but it’s not life.
Heart, though, Heart is the choice that forges connections and produces relationships founded on love.
I have more to say about this, and I will probably continue this tomorrow. In the meantime, I want to apologize for the Morning Pages post today. I did it very quickly, even though I didn’t put it up until later. I had a funeral to attend today, and everything was rushed and different. Actually, some of the typos are funny.
Until tomorrow, all blessings to you
If you are reading this, you are in a relationship with me, loosely speaking. If you are consuming oxygen, you are engaged in an incredible number of relationships, in fact. We arrive on this scene to be in relationships, make connections.
This basic element of existence gives life texture, meaning, and purpose — oh, and don’t forget it also supports the mental health professions and associated support industries. 2016 will probably see just a shade under $200 billion expenditures on mental health care. That is not total cost of mental health problems, because that has no bearing on lost work days or other physical problems caused by mental health problems.
I’m not doing research here past this, but most of these issues are pretty directly tied to problems in relationships. People hurt when connections to almost any aspect of life significant to them are disrupted or severed, so professionals are required, and great professionals are sorely needed.
I saw the effects of relationship problems many times in education. I won’t even begin to breach the devastating, crushing issues and circumstances I was privy to as a trusted teacher. But as someone who others perceive to be a good listener, over the years I have heard just as many horror stories from adults. I know your natural tendency might be to want to know specifics, but it’s just too yucky to do that. I have also experienced my fair share of relationship issues, so I know the feelings and consequences of relationship problems. Everyone does.
Do you know who really, really does, though? Egos. Yes, when we are threatened — and disruption in a primary life element like relationships is a threat — egos kick into high gear. Do any of the following, out of the thousands of questions I could spend days on end writing, sound familiar?
Is there a way to calculate cost to benefit ratio for relationships? What about ROI (Return on Investment)? Do they care as much for me as I do for them? Why do they always wait for me to say something, do something, make the first move, mess up, give the best gift, start a conversation…(and the list could go on ad infinitum)? Why won’t he or she do what I want them to do? If he loves me, he would make me happy, wouldn’t he? Why doesn’t she pay more attention to me? What more could I possibly do? What are they looking for from me? Don’t they see how freakin’ hard I work for them, so why don’t they recognize me? Why won’t she love me back the way I love her? Why can’t they see I’m right?
Each and every one of those questions is a product of Ego. How do I know? All of those questions create more problems, do nothing to restore, extend, or strengthen relationships. They are all selfishly centered. I can guarantee you if you have a conflict with someone else and ask any question remotely similar to those, you will get nothing out of it except for your ego feeling better and in the process placing a harder, thicker shell around you, isolating you even further.
Therefore, let me move to my inevitable point. Not one relationship in your life or mine can begin to be what it should be or is capable of being without establishing the essential relationship with Heart. We must awaken to who we are.
Can you answer the questions yet, “Who am I, really? What does that say about my purpose in being on this earth?” You MUST be able to answer those questions if you would avoid even minor forays into mental health issues, at least avoid the necessity of professional care and loss of living your life purpose.
Awakening to core Self by choosing Heart as the framework, filter, guide, confidant, and love allows us to establish healthy, profitable, fulfilling, significant relationships with the rest of this amazing creation in which we live. Oh, how much we miss of this beautiful life when we don’t come to see the beautiful Self that we are at Heart core. When we see and know Self and when we daily walk in the fellowship of the heart, everything looks different. Our brains work differently and our mind and thoughts evaluate, analyze, synthesize, and conclude in the most mature way of all — LOVE.
When we know our Heart and discover our personal truth and core Self, we have purpose, and purpose puts us in right relationship to the world and everyone in it. Specifics may become complex — especially if ego creeps back in, which it does — but always going back to purpose and Heart sets us right. Heart relationship, once established, known, and owned, will not allow us to become bound in relationships with others or circumstances and situations which deter us from living our personally created life purpose.
In the fellowship of the heart, we can relate to anyone and anything in equanimity, in peace, in love, and in passion, too, when required, but never in despair, hopelessness, hatred, or loss of love. Love, such an expansive, enlightening, embracing concept, one that puts us right with the world. True love begins with loving oneself, knowing Heart, and learning and walking in the identity of core Self, not egoic self.
I don’t think I’m in danger of putting any health care professionals out of work, and I deeply appreciate those who practice according to their heart; however, I would like to make their work a lot easier and more rewarding. And I could do nothing more effective or greater for you than encouraging you to meet yourSelf. You’ll find a pretty awesome being there in your own Heart!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!