Inspired by SARK

Wow. Just spent some time listening to an amazing writer and artist talking about framing the act of writing as a delight rather than a chore. A lot of empowering information and techniques--the one that jumped out at me is to establish an inner care system that gives your inner critic(s) a job to do to keep them occupied while you write. A great cure for those kinds of internal nagging distractions.

I've seen the technique before; however, this is the first time I've ever tried it. Havi Brooks of The Fluent Self regularly talks to her "monsters,"  and you can see enlightenment unfold before your very eyes.

In SARK's game, the first step is to empower and activate an inner "wise self" to support you. You then invite an aspect (specific inner critic) of yourself that's causing you pain or anxiety into a safe circle with your wise self. Initiate an interview with the aspect that needs attention, then listen and respond to what it says.

Here's what happened:

Me: Hi, there. Would you like to come sit with me and Wise Self?

Scared self: I dunno. Why do you want to talk to me?

Me: Because I feel like you're yelling at me, crowding me, and trying to take over.

Scared self: Well, duh! I have to make sure you're not going to get hurt!

Me: So you are concerned about me being in pain?

Scared self: Of course I am! It HURTS! And I don't want you to hurt.

Me: Wow. You are soooo strong. You really must want to protect me.

Scared self: Yes! I do! You've had enough pain in your life. I have to keep it away from your door.

Me: What if I were to tell you that I've learned things from my pain, things that mean a lot to me. Things that help me not be so frightened or hurt?

Scared self: Well, I guess that's good. But I still don't want you to hurt because you're writing about it.

Me: What if I could actually ENJOY writing about the good things I've learned from pain?

Scared self: Would that mean that you don't need me any more? 

Me: Oh, no! I will always need and cherish your support and protection. But sometimes I think I can put some stuff out there that will definitely make me feel better, and might just help someone else feel better.

Scared self: Does that mean you won't listen to me ever again?

Me: Oh, absolutely not. I need you to be here to help me watch out for UNNECESSARY pain. Like when I feel afraid of things that can't really hurt me. Like when I let other people determine how I "should" feel.

Scared self: Like when I yell really loudly when someone says things about you that aren't even true?

Me: Yes! Sometimes you're so loud that it hurts my ears!

Scared self: Oh, no! I don't want to hurt you!

Me: Hey, Scared self, have you ever met Wise Self?

Scared self: Oh, I've seen her around. I don't know what good she is, though.

Me: She's just like you, she doesn't want to see me get hurt.

Scared self: That's good. How does she do that?

Me: Well, she's really, really smart. She wants me to succeed. She helps me think through problems. She helps me feel more powerful. She likes me a lot And she really likes you a lot.

Scared self: She does?

Me: Yes. She likes you so much she wants to work with you to help keep me even safer.

Scared self: She DOES? Even when I yell and hurt your ears?

Me: Especially when you do that. As a matter of fact, she has an idea for both of us.

Scared self: Oh, yeah? Uh, hi, Wise Self.

Wise self: Scared self, how would you feel about having a little more fun protecting Me?

Scared self: OK, I guess. What would I have to do?

Wise self: What about instead of yelling at Me you talk to the thing that's causing pain?

Scared self: Like, shouting, "Who are you? What do you want?"

Wise self: That sounds pretty good. How would that make you feel?

Scared self: I would feel like I was chasing the hurt away.

Wise self: Instead of shouting, would you be willing to talk to the pain and find out if it truly wants to hurt Me? That would help Me learn more about herself as well as protect her.

Scared self: I don't know about that. I've never interviewed pain before. I don't know if I could get close enough to it.

Wise self: We could practice in here, where it's safe. We could talk to the pain through a window, maybe. It couldn't come in, but we could have a cozy little chat.

Scared self: Could we have tea and bikkies?

Me: Ooooh, that sounds delightful!

Scared self: Really? You wouldn't be more scared?

Me: Not if you and Wise Self were sitting with me. We could ask the pain all kinds of questions and find out whether it really means to hurt me or not, and see if we could learn something from it. Even see if we could have a little fun with it. Maybe even ask it to join us, if it promises to behave. And then we could brew a cuppa Dimbula Oolong and get some buttery bikkies and have a Real Tea Party!

Scared self: OK, I'm beginning to like this. I don't feel so much like yelling at you now that I know you and Wise Self love you and want you to be happy and productive.

Me: That would be the very best thing in the world you could do to keep me safe. Thank you so much for visiting. I'll get you a comfy armchair to relax in by the window so you can talk to any pain that might show up before it can overpower me. Would you like that?

Scared self: Yes! Yes, I would! As long as the tea and bikkies are within reach, that is!

Me: Great! Just let me know when you need a refill!

I am not alone. Thanks, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, thanks, Pace and Kyeli, thanks Havi!


Anonymous said...

Happy Happy Saturday, KoKo!

I wuz just wondering lately, what's new w/you? Looks like there's been just-tons going on - Yay!
This is a terrific piece of transcription - and an excellent collection of guide-posts - well done, dear!

Hugs and Bright blessings ~ Karen/Kharmin

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah Duh! ~ THANK YOU for sharing it!

kokopelliwoman said...

Karen, you made my MONTH! Thank you so much. Yep, been very busy doing music until this past week. Concentrating on writing for the summer, then back to singing. Will be driving from Boston to Austin over the 4th of July week--I'm so looking forward to her being close by!

Anonymous said...

Is SARK coming to Austin? -That would be awesome! I'm definitely doing her October class in Chicago! (or did you mean Havi? That would be way-cool, too) or - or - are YOU doing the driving? Even way-cooler (well, more likely, progressively warmer (snirk, giggle)). I hope the driver (and any drivees) all enjoy the trip - stop and smell the roses, and enjoy scenery that ISN'T all Interstate medians!

Love ya! K

Anonymous said...

What a great follow up to the SARK session. You obviously did your homework. By the way, what's a bikkie/bikky?

kokopelliwoman said...

K, SARK is one of the awesome lineup of internet helpful people in World Changing Writing Workshop II. Check out http://connection-revolution.com/wcww2-tasty-treat-sark/ for the story. And I've followed and been inspired by Havi for several years,but not met her. Retirement income precludes travel more than I would like for it to :) Just driving back from the E Coast.

kokopelliwoman said...

Hey there, thanks for dropping by. It looks like most of my writing is going to end up on FOP, so doing the homework is research for WWCW2 AND a possible blog post. I'm also doing 52 Weeks, so my head is spinning and the dishes are dirty and I can't find my dang battery charger...