Consulting the Spirit Before Writing
Before I write I consult with Spirit (ideally). Opening my writing practice with Spirit serves multiple purposes. One, it gives me a sense of purpose for my writing, my work. If I request that my work be aligned with Spirit's will for my life, how can my work not be meaningful and impactful? Two, it helps keep me grounded. Academic research and writing can be so cerebral, at times I feel like I am going to float off down the river of my thoughts and never return. When I make conscious contact with Spirit, I feel light and airy, but also grounded. Anchored. I am once again connected with all and not merely the narrowness of my mind and ideas. Three, it reminds me that I don't have to be perfect. I am right where I am meant to be. I am learning the lessons I need to learn. Four, it humbles me. It reminds me that I am more than my narrow field. I am part of everything that is and ever was. Five, and finally, it eases my anxiety and boosts my confidence. Connecting with Spirit, for me, is a form of meditation. I ground. I light candles--purple to be precise--and incense or Palo Santo. I read my affirmations. I may pull an oracle card. I look at pictures of my Black feminist adopted ancestors. I keep them close by. I keep their words close by. I create a spiritual space because writing, even academic writing, is a spiritual practice for me.
When I remember to connect with Spirit before writing, the process is one of joy and pleasure. It can still be difficult. Articulating my thoughts clearly and eloquently is difficult for me. But I feel gratitude because I feel like the struggle is part of my greater purpose. I feel divinely guided. No longer alone. In my ideal world (including a world no longer ravaged by the Corona Virus and COVID 19), I would come together with a circle of sister-scholar-writer and we would connect with Spirit together before diving into our work. Share our work. Laugh with our work. Cry with our work. We would heal through our work together and then send it off into the world (i.e. to Reviewer number 2) confident that we are participating in the larger work of healing the world or at least our corner of academia. That would be my ideal writing practice in community.