2023 the year we learn to listen to life
Week 16--in which we remember the puppy who made deep soul writing happen
Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,
When you open this Notes from the Field on Sunday morning, as I know many of you like to do, you will be reading about the 26th anniversary of the arrival of deep soul writing very near to when it actually happened. Given how powerful deep soul writing is, this timing does feel a tad magical.
I know the date was April 23, 1997 because I wrote 4-23-1997 at the top of page 1 in a blank journal. A journal I still have. And I know the time was around 10 am because I’d dropped my seven-year-old at school and returned home to make a pot of tea and sit and sob in the living room until it was time to pick him up again.
That had been my life—sitting and sobbing and surviving on tea—for four months, ever since I filed for divorce that January.
If you’ve read Writing Down Your Soul, you know the story. But even now, 26 years later, I’m still stunned by what happened. It’s so outrageous that it would be easy to doubt it ever happened, except I have the journal. I have the book with the dog’s bite marks. And I have my handwritten notes from the astrology reading on March 4—the astrology reading in which I was told, “April 23, 1997 will be the most important day of your life.”
I confess that when April 23 came and went—and as far as I could tell nothing had happened—I poohpoohed the astrologer and astrology itself. Clearly she had missed something.
But it wasn’t she who missed anything. It was me. It has taken me till now to realize how perfect her prediction was.
So let me tell you the weird magical thing that happened on April 23, 1997.
My son was safe in school. I was sitting in the living room with a big pot of Prince of Wales tea beside me. Harley, my Great Dane puppy was resting his head on the ottoman and looking up at me with his soft unconditionally loving eyes. He was worried about me and didn’t know what else to do but stay close. Very very close.
As for me, I was crying. Because I, too, didn’t know what to do. My husband’s behavior had escalated so dramatically that I was afraid to leave the house. I had no idea what to do. Neither Harley nor I knew what to do.
Suddenly I realized Harley wasn’t with me. I stared at the empty ottoman. “Harley? Harley?” I called. Nothing. This was odd. Harley never left my side. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without him pushing the door open and sitting in front of me.
“Harley? Where are you?”
I heard a shuffling noise, sighed, got up, and saw him at the end of the hallway. His head was bent and he had something big and heavy in his mouth.
“What you got there, babe?”
I walked to him because whatever he was carrying was too heavy for him to walk to me. I lifted his head and there in his jaws was my untouched copy of The Artist’s Way.
I had purchased The Artist's Way the year before, thinking it would be smart to begin a journaling practice. I even purchased a blank journal. But I never opened the book. I just stuffed it into the packed floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in my office.
But there it was. In Harley’s mouth.
As much of a wreck as I was, I still knew: Help had arrived.
And help wouldn’t wait. So I wiped the Dane drool and plopped down to read. I didn’t get very far. I didn’t have to. On page 15, Julia Cameron writes:
“When I am stuck with a painful situation or problem that I don’t think I know how to handle, I will go to the pages and ask for guidance.”
I threw down her book, ran to my office, grabbed my untouched journal, opened to page 1, wrote the date, and began to write.
I had a lot to say. A lot. I was truly in a painful situation and I clearly had no idea what to do, so the page had a lot of listening to do. Two hours’ worth. Maybe more.
Nothing happened. No big guidance came. But I felt a wee bit better. So the next day, I dropped my son off, drove home, locked the door, made a pot of tea, sat down—with Harley’s head right where he belonged, and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. Same thing. No miracles. But I felt better. Day after day I showed up. Didn’t take me long to breeze through that first journal.
One day, maybe a week in, I showed up with my tea and puppy, and did something different. Maybe I was getting sick of hearing myself whine and complain and scream. I don’t know why, but after vomiting onto the page for 45 minutes or so, while my hand was still at full throttle, I asked a question.
I wasn’t conscious that I hadn’t asked any questions until that moment. I wasn’t following any instructions. I was just following gut instinct. And my gut threw a screaming question onto the page.
That was the miracle. The moment it all began. I asked a question and someone answered.
I was so startled, I dropped the pen. I knew that whoever answered that question was not me. No way. No way were those wise loving words coming from angry, frightened, hysterical me.
I had to take a couple deep breaths before I worked up the courage to put the pen back to the page. But sure enough, I was so upset that my hand returned to spewing and my gut tossed down another question before my conscious self could stop it.
And words came flying through the pen. Words I knew did not come from me. Somebody was talking. Somebody was alive and listening and responding. Somebody was helping!
In 1997, I didn’t know that what was happening to awaken that mysterious voice was that I was slipping into the theta brain wave state.
I didn’t learn about theta until 2007, when I interviewed a couple in New York who had been through extensive brain wave biofeedback training at Dr James Hardt’s Biocybernaut institute. It was they who told me I had “trained myself to enter mystical theta.”
I had no idea what “mystical theta” was, so I jumped into Dr Hardt’s website. There, amid hundreds of scientific papers on brain wave states, I stumbled upon a mention of Lauralyn Bunn, the brilliant Akashic Record consultant. Lauralyn was integral to shaping what became Writing Down Your Soul. After a couple conversations, she insisted I read Ervin Laszlo’s Science and the Akashic Field to begin to understand what was happening in deep soul writing.
I’ve now read that book seven or eight times, maybe more. It’s one of those treasures that has a permanent place in my library. Listen to this on page 100:
“[W]hen the censorship of the waking consciousness is not operative, information can reach the mind from almost any part of aspect of the universe.”
So what happened 26 years ago today—and every day since—is that when I pick up a pen, address the Voice by name (who now has three luscious sacred feminine names), and slip the bonds of all the programming of our linear patriarchal culture, I fly. And magic ensues.
Magic that is still a mystery.
- Yes, it’s true, I wrote the book on soul writing.
- And yes, I’ve written six other books all centered around the mystical power of deep soul writing.
- And yes, I’ve taught tens of thousands of people how to drop into theta.
- And thousands more have read my books.
- And yes, I’ve started my day deep soul writing almost every day since.
- And it’s still magic. It’s still exciting. Every single day I wonder what will happen.
So let’s see, there have been 9,490 days, plus a few leap days, since that April, so I’m guessing I’ve written almost 9,000 times.
While you’re pondering that detail, you might wish to chew over a few questions:
- How did Harley get the book off a packed bookshelf when there are no teeth marks on the spine?
- How did the astrologer know that April 23, 1997 would be the most important day of my life?
- Are there “most important days” in everyone’s life? If so, what are yours?
- Why are questions so powerful, so magical? How do they help us to fly out of conscious mind?
- How could deep soul writing still be thrilling after 26 years?
- When we exit conscious mind, where do we go?
And this one:
7. How many other ways can we get out of conscious mind and drop into theta?
I love that sixth question and am playing with creating a prayer intensive later this year to share a few of my favorites.
In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate today by sitting in the Florida spring sunlight and deep soul writing my gratitude.
And sending Harley some kisses.
to remembering the gift that Harley gave me, the gift that is still giving, to me and to you
PS: If you haven't read Writing Down Your Soul, here's a page on my website you might enjoy visiting.
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