by Dave Ursillo
[Editor's note: This is Day 21 of the Be Your Own Guru series - and this week we're getting into a lot more "how to". This is Dave's second appearance in the series, and this 20-something whippersnapper's got moxie. Take a cue from Dave today and let your mind flow and find more courage and confidence as you write.]
If you want to become your own guru -- a centered source for self-growth, burgeoning awareness and spiritual expansion -- you must write.
Now, I should say that I don't throw around must's and should's very often. And in this case the 'must' is only as true as your intrigue by the concept itself: that writing, beyond all other mediums and forms of human communication, is an extraordinary albeit complex means of not just sharing ideas and telling stories, but becoming deeply attuned to one's own truth, beliefs, ideals and aspirations.
I have come to believe that writing is the most divine of art forms. First, writing is a means of understanding: by putting pen to paper, you engage is a reflective (if not confrontational) process of facing your own truth. That means that, in writing, you are bound to encounter every fear and insecurity that plagues your subconscious; every shred of hope and aspiration that makes your heart beat; every touch of pain that has ever scraped your skin and each taste of love that has ever graced your lips.
When you write, you are unearthing yourself.
As you dig, you will learn. And the old, outdated, naive or ego-bound pieces of your former self will be buried. Let them rest, for today they do you no good.
There's the first heartbreak that was just a child learning to let go. There's the trauma of shame that still binds you with fear to stand before a crowd. There's the worry that everything you do today is missing some bigger point about what matters most in life. When you write, you will unearth every ounce of fear, worry and insecurity that we are bound by in this human experience.
But once unearthed, you can choose what to keep around, and what to let go.
Writing itself is not just a confrontation with your deepest fears and uncertainties. From the upturned soil, new life is breathed into components of your soul that you likely never knew existed. From writing you empower yourself to reinterpret the world, its events, and your life within it -- one of six billion upon a swirling marble in an endless night.
The more you write, the deeper you go. The more you interpret, the more you comprehend. The harder you question, the closer the answers become. Writing provides this personal, powerful catalyst of introspective growth and awareness. And being a guru begins there: within.
The next step is the extension: taking your writing beyond your own self-exploration, growth and awareness and sharing it with the world. This is the realm where the guru finds his purpose, his reason to be: when we write for the world we extend a sincere and earnest invitation for anyone, everyone and no one -- all at once -- to engage our thoughts by his or her choice alone. Writing is necessarily invitational by its nature. Unlike spoken word, which is more oppressive by its nature, we cannot command someone to read and interpret and contemplate our words upon the page.
Thus it is not enough for our guru to share her thoughts, her ideas and her stories in writing -- she is obligated to fuse them with relatable story, earnest emotions, depths of her own vulnerability and authentic voice that resonate her humanity through the page.
Only then is her writing invitational, engaging, and gravitational enough to captivate the attention of another soul and empower him as he reads to consider these words and their message for their prospective worth, whether for sake of artistry or entertainment, or for some deeper gain or benefit, and all that might, perhaps, strike a cord in his soul so deeply that the words may change him and help him and thus never leave him -- all within the scope of one single, solitary, fleeting moment.
Writing is a tough gig.
The process is as erratic and unpredictable as the weather. But it's effect upon you as writer is always good -- although, like exercise or running or yoga, sometimes your efforts feel enlivening and freeing, whereas at other times you feel like a fat slop who drinks too much on the weekends.
But in the end, writing does contain some shred of divinity that I myself have yet to personally experience so profoundly in other forms of artistry and creation.
And whether or not you feel so called to "become your own guru," writing itself will provide you the means to understand how a human being living in this unpredictable, curious existence always retains the choice and ability to cultivate simple order and understanding from the natural chaos of thought, circumstances, and life.
Writing binds the endless landscape of creativity and dreaming and imagination into some rudimentary semblance of cohesion -- and if only for a moment, if only for one passing soul to taste it before moving onward in her life, that cohesion is enough to help you give thanks for the remarkable fact that you are here, alive, a part of this existence for just long enough to taste what you desire, to share it with the world, and to do your loving part in support of what is good, just and true.
Dave Ursillo believes that written word is the most profound and powerful art of all arts. He writes to inspire, to explore, to learn, to create change — and, especially, to understand. He is a multi-published author and entrepreneur who helps creative self-starters live their leadership through artistry. His latest project, The Literati Writers, is a private-membership digital writers’ group dedicated to helping writers “live and love” their creative journeys every step of the way. Dave's website is his outlet as a communicator, a connector, a conduit and a life-explorer. You can also connect with Dave on twitter and on facebook.