buttered side down

everything is going to be alright. unknown
(if you know who the photographer is, please tell me so i can credit them)

so, now there’s been a great breaking down, days where my toast would have landed on the floor buttered side down if i’d dropped it, what happens next?

natalie goldberg, in her marvellous book writing down the bones says:

you can’t go deep into your writing and then step out of it, clamp down, go home, “be nice”, and not speak the truth. if you give yourself over to honesty in your practise, it will permeate your life. you can’t straighten up during writing and then hunch back down when you let go of the pen. writing can teach us the dignity of speaking the truth, and it spreads out from the page into all of our life, and it should.

i guess then, that gives me a few options:

  1. stop writing the truth of my life
  2. keep writing the truth of my life here, but not allow it to spread out from the page
  3. keep writing the truth of my life here, and take that same truth out into the world

because what i did was fairly easy…
i didn’t have to look you in the eye as i was writing. i was hiding in bed, sharing some of my dark thoughts and how i really feel, sharing the truth. because a lot of people who read my words here don’t know me, have never met me, and i don’t have to interact with you during the course of my daily life. so you’re never gonna know if i don’t live with this same honesty as i emerge from under the covers and step back out into the world.

the real change will begin when i learn to take this same truth out of my writing and into my daily life – speaking this truth as i interact with the people around me… because if i don’t, or if i continue to only speak this kind of truth when i write (on, or offline), then i will end up living a dichotomy that is likely to be my undoing.

this is my promise to myself for 2010

  • i claim VOICE as my word for the year and TRUTH as it’s backup singer
  • i will speak my truth gently, understanding that whoever is listening has their own truth and may not want to hear what i’m saying
  • i will ask for help if i need it
  • i will begin

(thank you to you all for your wonderful responses & lovely email messages. i am braver because of you)

12 thoughts on “buttered side down

  • That is a fantastic quote. It’s brave to live what you write, or how you write I’ve been working at it. It feels good to let that part of you out of its box, though.

  • LOVE this image and LOVE natalie’s quote. it’s like everything i’m finding here today is giftgiftgift/exactly what i needed. thank you!

  • I happened across your blog and this post via Jennifer Lee’s story about your brit bloggers visioning party. The gathering you all did sounds lovely. I’ve been writing like crazy these days and the quote you chose of Natalie Goldberg’s has struck a chord for certain. Your declarations are like wind for my own 2010 sails. Thank you!

  • I read your previous post a few days ago, but at the time wasn’t able to grab the time to comment. I already think that you are beautifully brave. It takes so much courage to open ourselves up on here and I admire your honesty and courage. The dark moments can be so damn difficult, but it’s always so wonderful when the cracks of light begin to appear and new possibilities, ideas and hopes reveal themselves.


  • #3

    So….it will be Leonie and the Leoniettes :-)

    Absolutely amazing post! Truly an inspiration!
    I need to read your words over and over again.

    THANK YOU for your honesty and courage!

    I can’t wait to watch you unfold into more and more TRUTH!

    Bring it on!

  • Waving big, poufy pom poms for you, wise Leonie. Fuck yes to honouring VOICE and TRUTH in 2010! (Even the great singers sometimes need a backup or two to help them sound spectacular, don’t they?)

    This is awesome in every way. Love you.

  • Those are beautiful promises – I especially love the promise to speak truth with gentleness. We don’t have to sacrifice kindness to tell the truth.

  • yes, yes, yes.
    i relate to this (and the last) post so very much.

    i am one of many heart-filled cheerleaders of this journey of yours. and wanting to live deeper in my own truth too.

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