Last week, soon after returning from Africa, I received a gentle prod to post again.
The nudge came from a reader who said she’s missed reading the blog posts and expressed the hope that all is well. “I hope this email makes your day as you’ve made mine so many times,” she wrote.
“I’ve composed these posts, in no particular order, to better understand my personal journey and its meaning for me. So, it can feel like I’m writing solely for myself,” I told her.
She emailed back, noting that while each post feels “like a little surprise,” they all seem to fit within an overarching theme. Her understanding of that theme is that there’s much more to this earthly adventure than meets the eye and “it’s all meaningful.” “Each came with an invitation to look at something differently,” she went on. They’re reminders “that Life holds unexpected, unexplainable and beautiful gifts for us.” Learning that these meditations have mattered to her warmed my heart.
I received another nudge to resume posting during one of the monthly exchanges with wise ones called Spirit, communicating through daughter Liv. In my last post, some five months ago, I offered my bead on sources of inspiration and information, moving beyond author Liz Gilbert’s theory that ideas themselves are entities. I maintained that in my experience, nonphysical souls of the “departed” as well as enlightened beings like this collective of wise ones are entities who inspire my endeavors and yours.
They nudged me to expand readers’ awareness of the nature of our direct exchanges. First of all, I exercise free will in heeding their direction or not—even when it comes to expert advice about metaphysical content. They make suggestions and pose questions in the kindest way imaginable. Once, for example, they recommended that I use the word “don’t” instead of “can’t,” pointing out that the ability I described was not beyond human capability as the verb “can’t” implied; it’s just that humans collectively believe it’s not possible. That simple substitution now serves to subtly challenge a widespread assumption.
A question from them may prompt a quick and easy alteration—Does this character know that the bird is able to communicate with her? Another can inspire a deep dive into what exactly I’m meaning to say: Why are these characters so desperate to locate each other? Does temporary separation justify such a high emotional pitch? Then they leave me to ponder how to improve what I’ve already written. I do the bulk of the work from original draft to final revision.
Aside from Spirit weighing in more on the spiritual elements, their feedback on chapters is not so different from that of my writers group with whom I also meet monthly. Oddly enough, they insist that without their input, the finished book would be essentially the same because myriad sources of inspiration exist for all of us, consciously or unconsciously. Their primary intention is to accelerate my process via direct access. Not surprisingly, when other commitments sidelined the manuscript last spring, Spirit asked that I treat the work as I would a paid job that allows for no interruptions. I did my best to oblige.
But during a session just before I headed for Amsterdam and Africa for more than three weeks of travel, I was feeling sheepish about having to neglect the regular practice. To my surprise, Liv communicated their insistence that I not focus at on the project at all, except if I felt inspired to briefly jot something down. More would be accomplished during the trip if I didn’t write, they insisted.
At one point in the session, Liv hesitated, trying to make sense of their meaning. “Um, how do I put this? Okay. They say that you finally met Nu?” she said, sounding puzzled.
“Oh my God! Yes, yes! I did meet her!” I shouted, thrilled that they were alluding to a mind-boggling experience the week before, though I hadn’t yet told Liv or anyone else about it.
Moving into a new chapter, I’d hit the proverbial wall. Hadn’t a clue where to go next with the story. I decided to do a Q & A with one of the characters. It’s a writing exercise familiar to many writers. I’d used it before to jiggle out nuggets of information from a character, as if he or she is real. By “my” character’s third answer, however, I realized that this Q & A was different.
The character was delivering at high-speed a plot development that had never crossed my mind. She was providing details that stunned me—as if she, like Spirit—but not I—had already checked out my work of “fiction” in its finished form. I had this visceral sense of her not being a figment of my imagination, a contrivance of my making, but a distinct life force hailing from some hidden parallel reality, with a separate history of her own.
“You’re real!” I exclaimed, registering this seismic shift in awareness. Here was a separate nonphysical entity also capable of imparting ideas from outside of me.
Spirit took my excitement and her existence in stride, saying, “You have done the best possible thing for the manuscript by connecting with her in the Q & A. She’ll be coming along on the trip, by the way, floating six to ten feet above you. Experiencing the adventure together will impact the book.” Uh-huh.
Dream researcher Robert Moss has described how much trust has to do with opening to such a different level of experience. Staying open to nudges from the Universe, he said, leads to direct engagement with the invisible, the ineffable, the transcendent and enriches one’s life immeasurably. This deeper knowing certainly followed from the Q & A, not to mention an encounter I had with an old bull elephant in the Serengeti. But that’s another story…