Instructions for Living

Instructions for Living

I just read the words below five minutes ago, and something in me simultaneously settled and thrilled.

“Yet it is good to know about our terrible selves, not laud or criticize them, just acknowledge them. Then, out of this knowledge, we are better equipped to make a choice for beauty, kind consideration and clear truth. We make this choice with our feet firmly on the ground. We are not running wildly after beauty with fear at our backs.”
– From “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg

I’m sitting on my back deck, in the late afternoon, with the long grasses blowing. I have a cowboy hat to keep off the sun, a sweatshirt from my much-loved college, reading glasses, and a mind in the process of expanding.

I’m reading Natalie Goldberg’s book because I am writing a book. I’m looking for all the help I can get, and a friend gave me “Writing Down the Bones”. As I read that paragraph I realized that these are directions for writing, for the therapeutic process, for life.

Ostensibly, I am writing a book for family caregivers for someone who has Alzheimer’s. Even as I stumble through the outline process (I made it through getting my PhD without ever outlining anything) I realize that my book is not just about caregiving—it is about living more authentically.

It is about running after beauty with our feet on the ground. I am thrilled and terrified.

Natalie G’s words helped solidify the knowledge that this book will expand me, even as I write it.

Just like life.

For more information on Natalie, including her 30th Anniversary Edition of “Writing Down the Bones” go to:

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