As of this afternoon (Wednesday) at 2:30, on this new moon in October, I have finished the first draft of my book Making Meaning Making Soul: Nourishing Your Inner Life as a Political Act! I am so pleased, but also rather daunted by all the work yet to do! I plan to review and revise it until it’s as good as I can get it, then send it out to my beta readers who will provide feedback for me (if you’re interested in being one of my readers and offering feedback on one chapter of the book after it’s revised, please let me know!), then I’ll do another revision incorporating the feedback, and then, I’ll work on figuring out how to get the book out into the world. It’s 362 pages long right now, and represents one helluva lot of work distilling four decades of thought and experience!
The book has two parts, one part giving all kinds of reasons why investing 20 minutes a day in contemplative practice, that is, in practices that nourish our inner lives, is deeply helpful to any person whether they come to their inner lives with a religious outlook or not. Contemplative practices help us to tune in to ourselves, explore our values and how we’ve acquired those values, relax, find what gives us deep pleasure and meaning, and examine how the world around us pulls us in such a variety of ways that may not be in integrity with who we really are, what we really want, and what we really believe.
The other part of the book contains dozens of practices that one can do in 20 minutes or less to bring us back to our true self. These practices are divided into five different categories of Word, Image, Dream, Silence, and Embodiment. “Word” refers to the practices such as collecting quotations or poetry that are meaningful to us, journal writing, responding to prompts that help us explore areas of life we may not have considered very deeply, as well as other practices. The “Image” chapter includes ideas to help us notice and examine the images that we’re bombarded with every day, whether in advertising or in images of the “good life”, simple exercises in art making, color, and mark making to create small havens of beauty, and collecting images that inspire us. “Dream” includes collecting and examining both night dreams and day dreams, and helps us to notice and deconstruct all the stories we sometimes take for granted in our lives, as well as how to imagine new stories for us to grow into. “Silence” looks at the many ways to bypass words and stories to clear out space for peace, rest, and new creativity to arise, including various ways to meditate. And the chapter on “Embodiment” asks us to consider who we are as physical bodies, where we begin and end, how we are interconnected with all that is around us, and invites us to experience that interconnection in ways we may not have thought of before.
These practices are helpful in healing the wounds that so many of us have suffered, and helpful in our healing the world around us. The book is for both beginners and more advanced practitioners, for both people who would describe themselves as spiritual or religious as well as people who want nothing to do with a religious point of view. As true humans, there is more to us than the everyday, and we face deep challenges to the earth’s and our own survival. This book can help us become conscious of just how many resources we have within us, and help us to know what is uniquely ours to do and to be, for justice and the good of all of life.
With much love and many blessings,
Wow, Cat! This new moon is bringing some powerful beginnings for us! Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it!
On Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 9:26 PM Mysteries Unfolding with Cat Charissage wrote:
> mysteriesunfolding posted: ” “THE” Manuscript! A truth that might keep me > humble! Dear Friends, As of this afternoon (Wednesday) at 2:30, on this new > moon in October, I have finished the first draft of my book Making Meaning > Making Soul: Nourishing Your Inner Life as a Pol” >
Yes! Things are a’moving! Thank you for commenting.
I loved the quote about first drafts. When I took my first class in my doctoral program I remember the qualitative research professor who led my dissertation team telling me one day – “just send me your shitty first draft.” For someone like me, that was a relief as had I waited for perfect it may have never gotten done.
The content sounds wonderful and I would be happy to look at a chapter that you think I might have input on. I did this for a few other friends but I can’t say that I am an editor like some of your other friends might be. So I am here to help if I can. I am swamped on my calendar until November 4th but can take a breath after that.
You have indeed had a challenging year and I have sent prayers to you over the waves since learning of your accident. I hope you continue to heal and am so happy when I see your art and of course want to celebrate with you in this accomplishment.
Many blessings and a kiss to your keppy… Jan Beauregard
Congratulations, Cat! It’s quite an achievement to get this far! I have a certificate in publications from Georgetown University from the period when computers had become a necessary office tool. While perfectionism in life may not be helpful, it’s super helpful when proofreading! So I offer my proofreading and copyediting skills. I’m ok but not great at editing; I tend to not want to touch content. So use me as you wish, I’ll be thrilled to do most any aspect for which you ask. I’m heading back over to the home of Sadie the cat with whom I’ve been living this week while her mom is away. She’ll be sitting on the arm of the sofa near the front door — probably wondering where I’ve been! Had an appt with the ophthalmologist who can’t wait to get his hands on my eyeballs. I knew I had cataracts. I knew I was getting frustrated with not being able to see as well. I didn’t think they would be “ripe” enough yet, but they are. I’ve stopped home briefly to check mail, then I have one more night with Sadie. Peace, and love,Theresa
… Can’t quite agree with Hemingway or revision; every first draft is a labour of love and commitment. However, humbleness and humour help, but please forgive, dare I say it, horrid alliteration!
Congratulations on your accomplishment thus far – now onward, the horizon beckons.
If I would be helpful as a beta reader, I will be very happy to do so.
I’d love to be a beta reader!
You are ON!!! Thank you — was hoping you’d be willing.
Whooo!!! Congratulations!!! You have had some year, dear friend. I stand in awe.
Thank you. Yes, it has been a year — like 5 years in one year. Plus covid. Sigh. Thank you.