The Only Journey

Does your life have a theme?  Or several, perhaps?  If you were to change the primary theme, how would you do it — where would you begin?

The only journey is the journey within.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

When I launched SunnyRoomStudio about two years ago, I planned to explore life themes in some depth.  So the next several posts will be dedicated to this topic as part of my 2-year anniversary celebration of this sunny, creative space for kindred spirits.  A warm thank you to everyone who has been a Studio Guest (22, so far), commented, or just dropped by to browse a while.  What inspiring connections have been forged!

  • Hope you enjoy LifeThemes2012 — a blog series for anyone who loves Rilke’s quote like I do.  The only journey is the journey within.

Of course, Eckhart Tolle reminds us that we should let go of personal story … not seeking ourselves in the present via limiting scripts from the past.  Agree.  However, I think that part of moving beyond “story” is to look closely first.  Isn’t it easier to let go of outdated self-concepts that you’ve acknowledged and understood in the first place?

Or maybe I’m just a curious writer who will always be drawn to elements of story and what we can glean from dramatic structure.  Fiction or otherwise.  What truths lurk within story?  What insights can be unearthed?

Because there is a natural storytelling urge and ability in all human beings, even just a little nurturing of this impulse can bring about astonishing and delightful results.
~ Nancy Mellon, The Art of Storytelling

Personally, when I ask myself to consider life themes, many of the usual ideas surface.  The big things we all have in common like: family, career, education.  But please don’t be satisfied with a generic answer.  The point of this series is to dig deeper, to identify insightful life themes with the potential to bring greater self and universal awareness.

If you feel stuck, unable to go beyond generic life themes, try breaking your life into segments or chapters.  See what jumps out at you.

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you. ~ Maya Angelou

A love of nature jumps out at me … regardless of my age, location, or life situation.  I loved taking my children to the park when they were young.  Or going on walks.  Anything to be outside with nature.  My book about prairie wisdom highlighted my feelings about nature and its expansive, life-enhancing qualities.

They are evidence of the universal source of life — a testament to what lies within us, also seeking creative expression.

Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact. ~ Robert McKee

Nature takes me within.  Effortlessly.  Almost as if the cosmic connection were already there, meant to be.  And more than likely, it is.  We are all life forms sharing one planet.  But in terms of a life theme, what else does my love of nature tell me about myself?  What does it point to or suggest?

  • Instructs my values to a point.
  • Provides safe haven against the harshness of the world, when loss or sorrow consume us.
  • Provides great beauty and peace in contrast to other aspects of contemporary life.
  • Leads me to consider things beyond myself.
  • Provides contentment in a world that is oddly malcontent.
  • Is linked to precious memories, stored since childhood.
  • Brings my poetry and writing to life, nature being a great teacher.
  • Keeps me centered and feeling hopeful about life.
  • Provides a meaningful outlet for positive energy.
  • Reminds me of Thoreau, Whitman … writers I love.

I find myself drawn to artists and photographers who favor landscapes, nature, and organic beauty.  Part of this life theme, of course.  I also treasure the great creativity of nature — its ability to provide a continual array of unimaginable colors and images.  There is something peaceful, settling, about nature.  Has nature been a life theme for you?

What comes to mind for you when you ask yourself to identify your life themes?  Or just one, for starters?

How can you use your answer for reflection, meditation, greater self-awareness?  Anything surprising come to mind?

  • Thank you for joining me for this journey within. 

We are only just beginning!  See you next week, here in this sunny space.

Blog posts by DazyDayWriter @ work in SunnyRoomStudio: all rights reserved.