Tag Archives: journey

Thoughtful Thursday – #244 – Stream of Consciousness Writing

Standard

I usually write with stream of consciousness because it’s easy and therapeutic. Here’s an article about several writers who use this method very effectively. From Quiklit.com.

10 WRITERS WHO USE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE

By May Huang

A narrative technique that has perplexed and fascinated readers for centuries, the stream of consciousness technique has been used by many writers to trace the seamless (and oft erratic) musings of characters such as Mrs. Dalloway and Stephen Dedalus. Below are 10 writers whose works – ranked amongst the finest in English literature – feature the stream of consciousness technique.

Okay, but what is Stream of Consciousness?

Stream of Consciousness is a type of writing that originated with the works of psychologist William James (Brother of Novelist Emeritus Henry James). Basically, its purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style. Its lack of structure is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any order. Stream of consciousness permits deeper patterns of order to emerge, ones based on the genuine movement of information in your brain. It also permits writers to simulate different forms of consciousness, such as dreams, comas, drug use and hallucinatory seances.

  1. Dorothy Richardson

Considered the pioneer of the stream-of-consciousness technique, 20th century British author Dorothy Richardson was the first author to publish a full length stream-of-consciousness novel: Pointed Roofs. In fact, it was in reviewing Pointed Roofs that British author May Sinclaire first coined the term ‘stream-of-consciousness’ in April 1918.

On one side was the little grey river, on the other long wet grass repelling and depressing. Not far ahead was the roadway which led, she supposed to the farm where they were to drink new milk. She would have to walk with someone when they came to the road, and talk. She wondered whether this early morning walk would come, now, every day. Her heart sank at the thought.” from Pointed Roofs

  1. William Faulkner

Recipient of both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, American author William Faulkner used the stream of consciousness technique to great effect in The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, exploring the depths of different characters’ inner conflict through disjointed, unpunctuated narrative. In one short paragraph, the reader is at once exposed to different smells, sounds and movement:

“Nonsense you look like a girl you are lots younger than Candace color in your cheeks like a girl A face reproachful tearful an odor of camphor and of tears a voice weeping steadily and softly beyond the twilit door the twilight-colored smell of honey suckle. Bringing empty trunks down the attic stairs they sounded like coffins […]” – from As I Lay Dying

  1. James Joyce

Dublin born writer James Joyce employed the stream-of-consciousness style in all of his novels, including Finnegans WakeA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and – of course – the 1000-page, 265,000-word long Ulysses. It is easy to get lost in any paragraph in the novel, as the protagonist Stephen Dedalus guides us quickly – and disjointedly – through his thoughts and surroundings. One moment he is asking himself, “Would you go back to then?” and the next he is on Grafton street, pondering whether to buy a pincushion while the “jingle of harnesses” sounds in his ears. Then, out of the blue, he answers himself and concludes that it would be “useless to go back.” Next thing you know, he’s moved on to Duke Street and we’re not quite sure how he – or we – got there.

  1. Virginia Woolf

 

Recognized as the most important feminist writer (and perhaps one of the most important writers in general) of all time, Virginia Woolf used the stream-of-consciousness technique to great significance in her work. Paying scrupulous attention to detail and describing even “the footman’s hand,” “parcels and umbrellas.” Woolf takes readers through different minds, perspectives and surroundings in Mrs. Dalloway. She makes us wonder who is speaking – and about what.

  1. Marcel Proust

French writer Marcel Proust also used the stream-of-consciousness style in his works, notably in the seven-volume long Remembrance of Things Past, in which even the simple childhood memory of eating a petite madeleine plunges one into the “vast structure of recollection.” Reading Proust, one is caught up in the taste and smell of the pastry, “the water-lilies on the Vivonne” and “Sunday mornings at Combray” – all of which are memories that converge in the narrator’s stream of consciousness.

  1. Jack Kerouac

American writer Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is now remembered as one of the defining novels of the Beat Generation – as well as a modern example of stream-of-consciousness writing. Originally written over a course of 3 weeks on one scroll of paper (deemed the ‘original scroll’),On the Road is based on Kerouac’s road trip across America, a journey at times vividly recounted in continuous stream-of-consciousness prose, fusing both description of land and memory:

The brown hills led off towards Nevada; to the South was my legendary Hollywood; to the North the mysterious Shasta country. Down below was everything: the barracks where we stole our tiny box of condiments, where Dostioffski’s tiny face had glared at us […]” from On the Road

  1. José Saramago

Portuguese Nobel Prize Laureate Jose Saramago, like Woolf, also liked to alternative between narratives and use stream-of-consciousness in his writing. In Blindness, Saramago uses long sentences and eschews quotation marks to enhance the seamlessness of his prose, allowing the stream-of-consciousness to run free of interruption:

The very air in the ward seemed to have become heavier, emitting strong lingering odours, with sudden wafts that were simply nauseating, What will this place be like within a week, he asked himself, and it horrified him to think that in a week’s time, they would still be confined here, Assuming there won’t be any problems with food supplies, and who can be sure there isn’t already a shortage, I doubt, for example, whether those outside have any idea from one minute to the next…” – from Blindness

  1. Samuel Backett

The second French writer on this list, Samuel Beckett used the stream of consciousness technique in his Three Novels (Molloy, Malone Dies and the Unnamable) to deliver a stream of observations and musings on time and existence. In fact, Molloy defies conventional grammar and tense rules in order to emphasize the continuity of the narrator’s non-stop train of thought:

What shall I do? What shall I do? now low, a murmur, now precise as the headwaiter’s And to follow? and often rising to a scream. And in the end, or almost, to be abroad alone, by unknown ways, in the gathering night, with a stick.” – from Molloy

  1. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Although Crime and Punishment is Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s best-known work, his 1864 novella Notes from Underground also sits amongst the classics of Russian literature. Throughout the novel, the ‘Underground Man’ expresses his continuous train of thought through long, comma-filled sentences (even in brackets).

If you take, for instance, the antithesis of the normal man, that is, the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but out of a retort (this is almost mysticism, gentlemen, but I suspect this, too), this retort-made man is sometimes so nonplussed in the presence of his antithesis that with all his exaggerated consciousness he genuinely thinks of himself as a mouse and not a man. It may be an acutely conscious mouse, yet it is a mouse, while the other is a man, and therefore, et caetera, et caetera.” – from Notes from Underground

  1. Toni Morrison

83 year old African American author Toni Morrison published several books on slavery, the most compelling of which is undoubtedly Beloved. The story of a ‘ghost baby’ who returns to her family in the form of a grown woman, Beloved is both a harrowing tale about the horrors of slavery as it is a testament to the unrelenting power of memory. Morrison uses stream of consciousness in one of the final chapters to reveal the intermingling of three characters’ thoughts:

Beloved

You are my sister

You are my daughter

You are my face; you are me

I have found you again; you have come back to me

You are my Beloved

You are mine

You are mine

You are mine

I have your milk

I have your smile

I will take care of you

You are my face; I am you. Why did you leave me

who am you?” – from Beloved

 

 

Recovery and Resiliency

Standard

If there is one thing wonderful about being human it’s the ability to change. When we experience trauma or other upsetting situations we can recover and bounce back and end up thriving. However, the journey is not an easy one. Even though there is no one path to healing there are some guiding principles to recovery.

  1. there are many pathways to recover.
  2. recovery is self-directed and empowering.
  3. recovery involves a personal recognition of the need for change and transformation.
  4. recovery has cultural dimensions.
  5. recovery is holistic.
  6. recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and wellness.
  7. recovery emerges from hope and gratitude.
  8. recovery involves a process of healing and self redefinition.
  9. recovery is supported by peers and allies.
  10. recovery involves (re)joining and (re)building a life in the community
  11. recovery is reality.

The idea here is to find your way to recover. There is no right or wrong way to recover and it is your journey with lots of helpers along the way. Don’t give up.

Helpful Resources

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org

Child Welfare Information Gateway http://www.childwelfare.gov

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center – 1-888-357-7924

American Psychological Association Public Education Line – 1-800-964-2000

 

This list is from Page 19 of Mental Health First Aid USA – for adults assisting young people. ISBN:  978-0-9885176-0-8.

 

Thoughtful Thursdays #77 – Luck

Standard

I often say to myself how lucky I am. There are serendiptious events that happen to me all the time. Like getting the perfect parking spot, avoiding a disaster, not getting what I want.

I usually shout ” I am the luckiest person in the Univerise”. No I do not have tons of money or fancy job or wonderful perfect life. On the contrary. I don’t have any of those things. I make lots of mistakes, I get scared, I make decisions with my heart instead of my mind, I fight with my gut feelings all the time. As deeply as I cry, I can be just as mean.

I think everyone is as lucky as I am because there is a natural flow to life and if you take a look at those times when things worked out they way they were supposed to be, then you are truly lucky.

Next time that happens shout “I am the luckiest person in the Universe”.

 

Carry on.

 

Happiness – Abraham Hicks

Standard

The best thing you could do for anyone that you love, is be happy! And the very worst thing that you could do for anyone that you love, is be unhappy, and then ask them to to try to change it, when there is nothing that anybody else can do that will make you happy. If it is your dominant intent to hold yourself in vibrational harmony with who you really are, you could never offer any action that would cause anybody else to be unhappy.

—Abraham

Excerpted from the workshop: Chicago, IL on April 25, 1999

7 Core Spiritual Truths: Principles of Infinite Being

Standard

After you’ve been on the spiritual path for a while, certain recurring truths tend to turn up – ideas that are prevalent at the core of some of the oldest wisdom traditions, no matter how different they may appear on the surface, or how dissimilar they may seem in their practice and ritual. Often these are deeply intuitive ideas that can be confirmed directly through the practices of meditation and mindfulness, though very rarely explained with words. The following 7-point break-down from infinitebeing.com is as clear a crystallization of these truths as any we’ve found. Minus any extraneous fluff, they are lucid, concise and consistent with many of the core spiritual truths found both without, and within. Take your time, and enjoy. {WP}

1. Infinite Being is All That Is. Nothing exists outside of it.

The universe exists within the consciousness of Infinite Being. The physical world exists within the consciousness of Infinite Being. We exist within the consciousness of Infinite Being.

2. We are Infinite Being

Creation is holographic in nature. For example, the oak tree produces an acorn and yet the life-form of a complete oak tree is contained within the acorn. If a picture hologram is divided into two, both parts will retain the complete original picture. You are an expression of the consciousness of Infinite Being. Like a hologram, therefore, all that Infinite Being is, you are.

3. Destiny exists due to your pre-planning the themes of your life

At a soul level, you pre-plan each physical life before you enter it, choosing the themes that you wish to explore in that particular life. Your life’s themes are largely preset by your choice of parents, the time and place of your birth and the environment of your childhood. Many issues related to life’s themes unfold automatically from this initial setting. This pre-planning gives rise to the occurrence of related, meaningful events in life and the impression that destiny exists.

4. Free will enables you to explore your true potential

Free will can be used to any degree that you choose. The most productive use of free will is to explore your true potential within the themes of your life, thus gaining the greatest possible experience from your life plan.

5. Life reflects what you project

Reflectance is a property of the universe. Life reflects your beliefs, emotions and actions. The stronger these are, the more apparent it becomes that life is a mirror of what you project. Every time you change the way you view life, the universe, like a mirror, reflects your new view of reality.

6. Abundance is natural

Natural abundance comes from “getting into the flow,” by doing work that brings a sense of inner excitement. The phrase “Follow your inner joy” is actually the key to abundance. Once you follow your excitement and find yourself doing work that you love, then synchronicity begins to flow. Synchronicity is the universe’s way of telling you that you’re on the right track. It is a flow of events where everything clicks into place to support your efforts. It brings you opportunities, people, events and circumstances exactly when and where they need to be. When life flows naturally, the natural abundance of the universe follows automatically.

7. Love is the only reality

Unconditional, holistic love is the answer to all of life’s challenges. You are here on Earth to learn how to love yourself and others, and to accept yourself and others completely and without judgment.

Every person has a unique set of beliefs. While their beliefs will always be different to yours, they are best suited for that person’s need to gain experience in this life. Regardless of their outward belief system, it is the inner essence of the person that you recognize, love and accept. It is this unconditional love that will heal the world.

Unconditional love and acceptance can be developed by the use of affirmations. The more often an inner truth is repeated, the more it becomes integrated with your outer personality. The most powerful of all affirmations is “I am Infinite Being” because it encompasses all qualities and all possibilities.

The Infinite Being meditation uses the statement “I am Infinite Being,” both as a focus for the attention and as an affirmation to naturally enhance the quality of life.

re posted from http://www.wisdompills.com

Thoughful Thursdays # 64 – Going Underneath the Recesses Of My Mind

Standard

A few weeks ago I wrote about suicide. It was before the Robin Williams incident. And I got a lot of people concerned with my mental health. Here is an explaintion and update on how I am feeling.

There were a series of events that ticked off my codependancy and abandonment issues so I spiraled down that slippery slope of despair. Only this time it was so painful that past memories surfaced. Hence the feeling of annilation.

Update………

Sometimes I have to allow myself to hit bottom emotionally because it is the only way up and out. I must allow myself to feel suicidal, sad, lonely, awful, cry, and scream, abandoned, needy, out of control and insane to the point of losing control.

When my ego is done yacking away with all this pain, I can feel the difference between my ego screaming and what is heart felt and realistic, instinctual and right. This is where time stops and as silly as it might sound I start to feel really lucky to be able to come up from the depths of emotional hell and be thankful for a roof over my head, my health, people I care about, talking, smiling, laughing etc.

My ego perceived lots of unrealistic things as a threat like it will die or is losing something. Those are just fears from the past rearing its ugly head and creating resistance. My ego will fight back, that is it’s nature. But eventually weakens because my ego needs to rest and then turns to being cooperative with healing and health. My ego must cooperate with expression and evolution of the self, it has no choice.

When my ego is open, raw and down it doesn’t see the options that are present. This gives me the reason to sit and go down the slope of despair.

Here is my secret……..This is where I just sit and feel everything. Let my mind wander to all the possible outcomes good and bad. I am not going to kid you it is hard to do this. It feels like no control at all. It is going into the unknown. Will I lose my mind or won’t I. I battle with reaching out for something to relieve being uncomfortable. I want the cigarette, drink, drug, person to distract me, the internet anything to stop the pain. But I must not, I must sit and feel no matter how long it takes. Going down to the bottomless pit of hopelessness. Eventually the desperation stops. I am spent, exhausted and heavy.

From here it is up. The feeling of empowerment takes over and the best therapy abounds. My own form of therapy. There is feeling of openness where answers come from. It is a form of meditation. I accept things for what they are. Here is the miracle: I can slowly move in a new direction. Still in pain I can still move ahead. Lick my wounds and heal.

I will say this: don’t listen or act on the ego it loves drama and pain. Listen and act on the positive, it loves moving like lava from out of the mountain of despair. Burning away illusions and reveals the truth of the situation. My truth and your truth. The positive wrenches through the illusion of despair and hopelessness. There is no such thing as helplessness really because it is all in the mind. But the ego does not realize this. The ego refuses to believe in possibilities. It believes in fear.

My heart must speak to the ego like a baby and encourage it to cooperate because my heart knows how to hold the hand of the screaming ego child lovingly and wholly. So does your heart. If you listen.

Peace, all is as it should be.

Into the Light ——————Here we go again.

Standard

Out of the darkness into the light

let the love for us shine bright

we are bound to each other
from this night

As the heat of fire

The coolness of the sea

we are bound to each other

just you and me.

Be my sweetness,
be my destiny,
be my loving kindness,
be my heat, my healing, my longing, my fire
my sea, my joy, my pain,
be my demon just loving me.

I will be your lightness,
I will be your savior ,
I will be on your side,
I will love you forever more
I will struggle with you
and struggle for you
I will be your savagery.

No two alike has gained like this
no two as us are likely to miss
the life of darkness of shadows and light
we are the two that will shine so bright.

As the world may see and not understand
how two strange creatures can take a stand
in a life that is hard
and weakness prevails

it is our journey and
belongs to no one else
where ever we land
we will have each other
through valley and glen
to forge forward together
hand in hand.

g.piazza

Zig Ziglar

Standard

There will always be people in

your life who treat you

wrong.

Be sure you thank them

for

making you strong.

Zig Ziglar

Boy, have I got a really long list. Whoo Hoo! I must be really lucky.

Hurting Others

Standard

This is a true fact of life:

People who are hurting,

Hurt others.

They can’t help themselves.

They hurt on purpose

because they don’t know any other way.

But that does not mean you should sit there and take someones crap. Not at all. You can still care for the person and try to help but a strong boundary is needed always.

When someone is hurting, as much as they might want to stop hurting they will bite the one trying to help them. Or they might feel justified in lashing out because they are in so much emotional pain, whether it’s obvious to them or not. It’s an extreme form of resistance.  And changing is hard work. In most cases even the sickest, most hurtful people have moments of clarity but cannot change. It is the same with everyone. We know we must change but can’t because we resist the exact thing we need.

In my opinion, people who deliberately hurt others, have a deep seated guilt about something, so they set up hurtful situations to be hurt back. Guilt always seeks punishment. Some behavior is as much a mystery to the offender as it is to the victim.

According to Steven Pressfield’s book the “The War of Art” resistance is ever present and we need to be aware of it all the time or it will kill us. Resistance is impersonal and out for blood in anyway possible. Resistance is the enemy of change. Resistance is the enemy of healing.

So what to do when a hurting person hurts you.

1. Feel your feelings.

2. Don’t deny what is going on.

3. Set up a strong boundary.

4. As tempting as it is: don’t hurt back.

5. Wait it out until you have some clarity.

6. Use kindness by trying to understand where they are hurting.

7. If they are open enough make suggestions for improvement.

8. Move on if necessary.

The person who is strong is the one who is willing to straighten hurtful situations out. The person who is weak is the one who withholds their willingness to straighten hurtful situations out.

Which one are you? What does it feel  like to hurt on purpose? What does it feel like to be the victim? What similar experiences have you had?

Are you the strong one who is willing to work things out? Or are you the weak one who is withholding.

The choice is yours.

Detachment And Other Stuff

Standard

I had a disappointing situation this weekend. I had wonderful plans that were thoughtlessly canceled.  That led me to spiral down the all too familiar slippery slopes of despair. The disappointment was a reminder of a  past belief that no one can be trusted. That is something that drives me crazy: someone you can”t trust. Say what you mean and mean what you say. But was that belief the truth?

I tried to find a way to cope with the situation. Especially since  I have a tendency to over react at times like these by turning my emotions viciously into gut wrenching personal attacks on myself.

I needed to stop. It took about half a day of ping ponging between being furious at not having control over the situation to remembering I need to detach to get perspective.

Detachment , to me, is allowing situations unfold or fold up in their own given time. I am reminded that it is not my timing that make things work out for the best. It is not my controlling or fussing that makes things go any faster.  However I find waiting  really frustrating. I want things my way and now. Well, that is the nasty co dependent, needy side of me speaking.

The nasty co dependent, needy side of me reeks havoc on my life and relationships and especially my thoughts. Co dependency is a product of my past but still alive and well living in the outskirts of my subconscious, waiting to destroy what ever I perceive as a hurt.

What is the truth behind all of this?

1. It is my beliefs and thoughts that are causing my own grief. Yes, I have the right to be disappointed but having my thoughts whirl around like a squirrel in a cage is maddening and extremely unhelpful.

2. Things don’t always go as planned. I forgot this one. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a misunderstanding and perhaps a readjustment. Or not the right time. Or not in my best interest.

3. I can’t control what others do. It is not the end of the world if someone disappoints me. Other peoples poor behavior is a reflection on them not on me.

4. People are not always loving all the time. This is an opportunity to say Ouch at the disappointment but remain open, peaceful and hopeful with the situation.

5. Time always reveals the truth behind what ever is going on, whether I  like it or not.

6. All situations are mirrors of what I need to take a look at. Interactions with others bring up feelings. Believe it or not people don’t cause feelings. The feelings that come up belong to me.

I ask these questions:

What would it be like if I made the effort not to think about these perceived offences?

What would it be like if I made the effort to stop the rushing negative thoughts?

What would it be like if I said yes to everything as a form of acceptance?

What would it be like if I practiced being really strong for myself for a change?

What would it be like  if I made the effort to improve only my life by examining my own behavior?

What would it be like if I remembered just how darn lucky I am to realize that all situations are unfolding as they need to?

What would it be like if I remembered just how lucky I am to change myself?

I know that as time passes my feelings will subside and clarity will come forward. I will learn what I need to learn and move on. If I have not learned the lesson a similar situation will come up and I will be given the chance to examine myself again.

It is my good fortune and luck to be awake and aware enough not to crawl under a rock and hide from life’s ups and downs.

It is my good fortune and luck to not hide behind any distraction and sit with the pain however uncomfortable it is.

It is compassionate and rewarding to experience suffering to understand what others might experience. Here is the miracle of connection.

From my suffering I can relate to another’s suffering. I know the comfort I need so I can comfort another.

How fortunate to get to the point of letting it go. That does not mean I am not disappointed. I am just not going to invest any more emotional energy on it. I am releasing my attention to what happened.

Here is the crux of the situation. The arduous climb, the crucial point. Here is my chance to mature and be a positive influence to the world at large.

I thank all that were involved in aggravating me. This is another chance for me to get to know who I am.

You are my teacher and I am truly grateful.