epilogue: independence day

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“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
      –  William Faulkner

Ask and you shall receive…

I asked for self development, growth and transformation. I requested change and challenge in the form of written chapters that could help guide my story forward. The Living Chapters structure and its players generously provided, giving all that and more. Trusting my initial intuition, I let go and put faith and trust in the ones I loved to guide my path.  Now it is “Independence day”.

Just a few days into freedom from the structured chapters and how do I feel? It’s as if I just finished a 12-month marathon, or a 12-step program? Either way – an intensive mind-body and soul makeover.  I’m a bit sore, in shock, and invigorated at the same time.

Now that the year has addicted me to the process of reflecting through writing, I feel the need to take at least the month of July to wean myself off the program by responding (in writing) to the feedback, questions, critique and comments I have been given from the Living Chapters participants and readers.

This “Independence day” post is directed in response to question #1 from radio producer/interviewer extraordinaire, Aaron Henkin.  Aaron played the wild card for chapter six and also invited the Living Chapters players and I on his popular Baltimore radio show The Signal. Today Aaron asks me, what many have been asking all along, what will I now do with my new-found freedom? Freedom! A scary thing to many – a blank slate and abyss of choices!  Just what will I do?

IMG_5219    “What’s it like for you now that LC is over and done?  Do you know what to do with yourself when you wake up in the morning?”

Well Aaron… yes, I actually do know what to do each morning! Even without a monthly chapter prescription!  It seems these days, there is rarely a moment when I don’t know how to utilize my time.  And as far as mornings, I am very specific about it!  After waking, I have, for once in my life, become remarkably consistent. Chapter 4 brought a new meditation practice into my life: 15 min in the morning and 15 min in the evening each day.  I have kept with this practice and am now averaging 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  Meditation isn’t the only thing that has stuck with me through the roller coaster existence moving through one month to the next.  But it’s one of the most helpful and useful tools I’ve picked up.

I was inundated with a plethora of requests filling each month. I thought it virtually impossible to accomplish them all in four week’s time.  I tried though and merely scratched the surface of many tasks attempted. I am now eager to dive in and try some out again. Returning to the past chapter tasks will not only help me understand how the LC process has changed me, but will be a good way to test and try on the lessons learned.

In addition to meditation, the major transformation occurring, now that the project is over is my love of writing.  Writing for me was the main physical goal of this project – an act that I had been avoiding both personally and professionally for years. This task, before June of last year, seemed incomprehensible and made me anxious. Instead of writing, I would grab my camera, or my audio recorder as a means to reflect, express or document my world.  Through Living Chapters this has now changed.

So what will I do now that it’s over?  All I can say is that I will continue to write.  In what form, I don’t know yet. Living my 12 chapters and writing about them this year helped me find my voice and use it in a new way.  I had always felt my strong sense of intuition and inner guidance but now, after living out my chapters, I can honestly say that I hear my voice more clearly and trust it more fully.  As I continue to live on my story, the logical next steps are, of course, to hone my skills in using my voice more frequently. Time to put more trust in myself and start learning how to write and sing my own soundtrack.

7/4/14

Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to learn more about what happens when you live your life through chapters.

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