Why I’m already humbled and inspired by the Paralympics

I’m forever reminding myself to be grateful for what I’ve got. Not always be looking for the next house, the next job, the next pair of shoes. To focus on what I’m good at. Not bemoan what I’m not.

Which is why the Paralympics Opening Ceremony for London 2012 has made me feel humbled and inspired.

Humbled because people accept their fate and just get on with things. Martine Wright, a woman who lost her legs in the 7 July bombings, has turned adversity into a triumph by becoming a Paralympic volleyball star. She slept 10 minutes longer the morning she ran onto the Tube and ran up the escalators and ending up sitting beside a suicide bomber. Other people may have reacted differently to losing both their legs. But she now believes this was meant to happen, and she feels so grateful that it did, because she’s now living a new dream.

Inspired because there is no limits to the generosity and wisdom of the human spirit. Professor Stephen Hawking, the most famous scientist in the world, implores us to keep striving and pushing boundaries. He said: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

I may not reach Professor Hawking’s insights, but I can resolve to be more curious in my own little way.

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Why I think my best writing has nothing to do with me at all

I kind of hate to say this, but I think my best writing comes from another place totally beyond my control, my life, my consciousness. I’m talking about the kind of writing I read back the next day and think ‘where the **** did that come from?!’ (in a good way, I mean).

My flashes of inspiration come from a dark cave of pedestrian writing. (pic: istockphoto.com/rozbyshaka)

I know I have flashes of brilliance in my creative writing: times when I’m in awe of the written word to convey a feeling, a moment, a heartbeat. But those flashes are little chinks of light in what can sometimes feel like a dark cave of inane drivel and self-obsessed tosh.

Getting out of the way

I’ve realised that my best writing comes when I Continue reading

confessions of a notebook addict who’s at a loss for words

I’m a notebook addict. I can barely pass a stationery store without looking in and seeing if my perfect notebook is out there that can hold my thoughts, ideas, inspirations (which often happen just as I’m about to fall asleep), and that will help me act on the brilliance of those insights. As a writer, I always have one of my many notebooks to hand. What happens with my plethora of pages is that I intend to have different notebooks for different moods, circumstances and surroundings. I therefore have:

  • brightly coloured folios in hardback for uplifting spiritual thoughts
  • a ‘gratitude book’ for the end of the day, to thank the universe for my blessings
  • my ‘observations’ book, where I log the conversations, mannerisms, annoyances and joys of the day
  • my ‘train book’, where I like to scribble whatever comes to mind, especially to rant about Continue reading

a counter-intuitive cure for writer’s block

Is inspiration all a writer needs...?

Writer’s block is never something that has plagued me. I make a living as a writer and editor, and a deadline makes writers’s block a bit of a joke; there’s no time for such narcissistic indulgences.

Which is why I was intrigued by a story in The New Yorker, brought to my attention by the wonderful The Daily Post, about how a psychotherapist cured a screenwriter from writer’s block. The method, as I understand it,  involved Continue reading

Cheers to the biggest full moon in 20 years

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The 'Supermoon' (seen from my garden)

I discovered today that the time of a full moon is a great opportunity to release old behaviours, thought patterns, or clutter. You name it: anything that doesn’t serve you any more, you can release with a full moon.

Which is why it is hugely exciting to know that the round, proud Supermoon in the sky tonight (19 March 2011) is the biggest full moon in 20 years. What am I letting go in honour of this big full moon? Well, I’m not keen on staging a ritual or ceremony, but I’d like to let go of something meaningful and momentous.

So, I’ve decided to release the two things holding me back: Continue reading