If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Posts tagged ‘Natalie Goldberg’

With Two Voices

How much can you do with two voices? You can sing thirds or you can sing fifths or you can do a background harmony.  Paul Simon

I just texted my friends on the street corner. They are protesting the painting over of their street art. Power to the people. Does that mean I want their art? I don’t know…I want to hear their voices! I want to hear mine with theirs!

Later today I will write with a young woman who wants to be a writer, but isn’t writing. We will write timed writings together. The topics from Natalie Goldberg: 1. I’m looking at…and 2. I’m thinking of… I want to hear her writings. I want to hear mine with hers.


The True Secret of Writing

I’m so excited. Natalie Goldberg‘s newest book, The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language, is being released March 19. Here’s the book’s description, as found on Amazon…

Sit. Walk. Write. These are the barest bones of Natalie Goldberg’s revolutionary writing and life practice, which she presents here in book form for the first time. A whole new slant on writing that she developed since the publication of her classic Writing Down the Bones, True Secret workshops have been limited until now to small, intensive groups at a remote center in the rural Southwest. In The True Secret of Writing, Goldberg makes this popular seminar available to any reader.

The True Secret is for everyone, like eating and sleeping. It allows you to discover something real about your life, to mine the rich awareness in your mind, and to ground and empower yourself. Goldberg guides you through your own personal or group retreat, illuminating the steps of sitting in silent open mind, walking anchored to the earth, and writing without criticism. Just as Goldberg cuts through her students’ resistance with her no-nonsense instruction—“Shut up and write”—the True Secret cuts to the core of realizing yourself and your world.

The capstone to forty years of teaching, The True Secret of Writing is Goldberg’s Zen boot camp, her legacy teaching. Stories of Natalie’s own search for truth and clarity and her students’ breakthroughs and insights give moving testament to how brilliantly her unique, tough-love method works. Beautiful homages to the work of other great teachers and observers of mind, life, and love provide further secrets and inspiration to which readers will return again and again.

I have attended three of Natalie’s workshops at Mabel Dodge Luhan’s in Taos, NM and used her writing practice for the last 12 years. I know it is empowering for me.taos

The Writers Circle

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.~ Wayne Dyer

The poet, the sci-fi writer, the young mother, the newly retired and me. We catch up on news of writing on our own–some submissons, an acceptance, our blogs, a new project. We write and share three ten minute writings from Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind–1) I remember, 2) I don’t remember, and 3) an abstract statement (I chose “I’m sorry.”) We discuss how we want to move forward in this group. We set personal intentions for the week.

It was just a couple hours with some very creative women, and it was exactly what I needed.

Wild Mind Part 2

wild mindI began working my way through Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind several weeks ago. I’m reading the chapters and doing the exercises. Opening to wild mind.

Today the exercise asks me to read with interest and compassion what I have written for the last 10 days’ worth of writing. I have one notebook containing morning pages, one of classroom stories as observer, teacher and student, and a third of observations and ideas on everything else.

I am to underline sentences that stand out and put parentheses around sections I like, then develop these writings further by using them as timed writing topics.

What am I expecting? What will I learn? Where will it take me? How will I know unless I just do it?

  • Wild Mind (itstartedwithaquote.wordpress.com)

Wild Mind

How does one successfully blog while participating fully in the life around them?

I pick up Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind. Now I have read and worked through this book several times, but not recently. I want to take my writing deeper. Blogging has been a writing practice for me, like morning pages, a discipline to keep my hand moving. But it’s not enough.

I also teach, both children and teachers. I want to write a book of my experiences, but the forty years of my experiences are more than “cute” stories. I want authenticity, honesty. I want to be able to say the uncomfortable things, in a way that can be heard.

So I will continue my writing practice, my teaching commitments, and working through Wild Mind again. And if I don’t self-destruct (although that might be a book for someone) I’m trusting that what I want will unfold.

Passing It On

I went to bed last night thinking there was something else to be learned from this month’s book club meetings, but I needed to let go of the analyzing.

And this morning I “get it.”

A young woman came to yesterday’s book club for the first time.  When it’s her turn to talk she says she hasn’t read the book, but wants to be a writer and thought coming to a book club would be helpful.  She also tells us that four months ago she lost her grandmother whom she took care of for the last two years.

“Do you journal?” I ask.


“Do you know about Julia Cameron’s morning pages?”

“No,” she answers, but seems interested.

“If you stay after the meeting, we’ll talk.”

She stays and I listen as she tells her story.  I begin to see myself as her “journal.”

Tomorrow will be the tenth anniversary of my son’s death and I know how important talking to my journal has been.  I share this with her.

We make plans to meet next week to do timed writings together.  Something I learned from attending Natalie Goldberg workshops.

Something I can pass on.


Going Within

nightpagesGo within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out.
Katherine Dunham

The heart beats.  The lungs breathe.  The brain thinks.

In sitting meditation I breathe, my heart beats, the thoughts flit in and out.

But the thoughts… I need more help letting them go.

Writing meditation, timed writing, learned from Natalie Goldberg.  Take a topic…a spinning thought.  Set the timer for ten minutes.  Put pen to paper.  Do not think.


Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


~ creative ideas for making a difference ~

...the house I live in...

A journal of life pursued