Writing

My first byline read ‘Lindsay Sheridan’. My immediate thought was who is Lindsay? My second thought was that would be a good pen name – but no one I know would know it was me. The publisher had made a mistake going to press. I decided it was okay since that first article was not really helpful anyway. By the time it went to press in the college newspaper, the event I wrote about, ever so concisely, had already happened. But it was a start.

My next piece – with a corrected byline – was an investigative report on plagiarism. The publisher said he wanted me to do it and gave me the name of a professor on campus to interview for the story. I found three more leads on my own to interview. During this creative process I realized I was having so much fun researching, interviewing and writing the story and discovered that it was not so difficult. Nine hundred words later my investigative report was the lead story in another issue of the newspaper.

In middle school, as I recall, I really did not like writing stories, papers, reports or anything. I had to write a creative paper in class and I remember using a simile – something about the top of my boots falling over like a wilted rose. My teacher liked that and told me to keep going. I could not. My creative drive was, well, wilted like that rose. I had no desire or motivation or inspiration. Anytime anywhere that a paper needed to be written, I used a minimal amount of words or if possible, avoided it altogether.

Later on in my working life I was asked to write a mission statement for a committee I was involved in.  I froze. I had no idea where to start. Instead, I enlisted someone else at work to help me write it.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself out of work due to the downturn in the economy in the late 2000’s. Interestingly enough I worked for a local newspaper where I was not a journalist but a clerk in the accounting office. After numerous attempts at finding work in my field I decided to go back to school at a community college and try something new. While I was studying there I joined a club: The college newspaper. I don’t know why, I just walked in. I didn’t like writing as I have stated a few times in this story. Actually, I did know why I joined.

A few years earlier I had been to see a channeler who said that I should try writing books; that I had a lot to say. Start with a children’s book, the channeler or rather the entity coming through the channel had said. I did not agree and wondered if the message may have been meant for someone else. So, perhaps by walking in that day to the college newspaper I was humoring the universe or just curious to find out if writing was what I was supposed to be doing. That day I decided I would keep an open mind. 

Here’s how I have learned to tell my stories. For me, writing is just like gathering facts and information and adding adjectives, a simile here and there and writing as if I was talking to someone about what happened. Another way I learned to write was listening to the radio or television news to hear how a story was structured and presented. Also, reading a lot of books on any topic. The newspaper journalist and book author Pete Hamill has also said that reading a variety of books growing up is what helped him to be a good writer.

But how writing came to be something I love to do now is a mystery to me. Maybe it was there all along and maybe it was destiny. Maybe it was a bit of both. I know what stories I’m meant to tell. I believe I just needed to have had the experiences to share and hopefully inspire people. Perhaps this story is one of them.

Channeling

Several years ago a friend invited me to a group meditation at the house of a friend of hers. The group meditation was to be followed by a channeling session. Meditation is not my forte because I usually fall asleep or recite a mental to-do list. I really wanted to be there to see what channeling was; I had heard of it before and I was intrigued, but I did not know what to expect.

Before the evening began and introductions were made, I expressed this to the woman facilitating the group meditation and channeling that night. In fact, the only channeling I had ever seen was in the movie, “Out on a Limb”, based on Shirley MacLaine’s book and starring her and the actual channel (depicted in the book as Kevin Ryerson). Watching that in the movie was riveting to me. So I wondered if this woman channeling would be just as interesting.

During the group meditation about fifteen people sat in chairs or on throw pillows scattered on the floor. Soft meditation music played, a single candle lit and the guided meditation begins. I cannot tell you what thoughts came to me. All I recall are the lights. My eyes were completely closed and I could see bright white flashes of light and then blue/green/magenta flashes of light. I knew that there was a single candle but it was not that bright. These flashing lights were dancing in the center of the room. I knew they were spirits, angels even. And I knew if I opened my eyes the lights would no longer be there. Keeping my eyes closed I enjoyed the light show. There was a lot of energy in the small living room. Angels, archangels, spirit guides and crossed over loved ones of everyone there that beautiful spring night.

After a break, the channeling began. I sat next to her but before she began she explained to me what would happen. And then the room became quiet until all of a sudden her body started moving, as if she was dancing in her armchair. A voice came through. It was her voice but with a slight, playful accent. The entity she channeled was known as ‘One’. ‘One’ greeted everyone, gave a short message and then opened it up to the participants for questions and guidance of a spiritual nature, generally. No one asked for the winning lottery numbers.

When it was my turn, I asked ‘One’ about the weight I was carrying around my waist and abdominal area, my solar plexus. No matter how much exercise I did the weight seemed to stay where it was. The answer I received was this. The weight is related to not being getting enough out of life. I was not getting out enough possibly because of some things happening in my private life. ‘One’ made a pulling motion from the channeler’s midsection to show pulling things out of the abdominal area to demonstrate what it meant. I understood. The solar plexus, the power chakra, is the body’s energy center for assertiveness, self-esteem and will power. I was grateful ‘One’ did not mention a serious health issue.

I just want to say another thing about channeling. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all conduits or channels of universal energy. I call it being in the ‘zone’ when I feel like I am on autopilot. And if you’re in the zone and you get a series of numbers, play them.