Most writers write to say something about other people and it doesn’t last. Good writers write to find out about themselves and it lasts forever.Gloria Steinem, from a note she wrote to herself in college
I am going through old journals with the intention of tossing anything that no longer inspires or occupies me. I found the above quote from reading Gloria Steinem’s autobiography a few years ago, a book I had borrowed from the library. I found it inspirational then, and I find it inspirational now.
In some ways it really does not matter what I write about. What people write about. What is important is what we are impassioned about, because that is the topic we will give our best time and energy to. I love talking to people about their passions and interests, because it is there that I get to the meat of what makes them who they are. Everybody can inspire someone else in some way.
I had a tenth grade Sociology professor in Orchard Park Senior High School named Harry Whiteside. I have never forgotten Harry Whiteside, because he had a true teaching gift for getting his students to look inside themselves for kernels of gold we might never have otherwise discovered, so I was paying attention one day when he suggested to the students filling the seats of his classroom that “None of you know who you are.” That single statement became a life time pursuit of mine. The above quote from Gloria Steinem belongs to the same category.
There are many pathways to self-knowledge, I suppose, but what is difficult is peeling back the layers of the conditioned personality to see what inside one’s self feels true and real. It is quite possible to create internal bridges between the waking consciousness and the Subconscious. What seems to need to happen is to get the part of the brain that is always talking to itself engaged in some positive activity that fully engages one’s attention – and I do not mean in the least television, video games, or even a good book unless you are writing it. What is needed is one’s engagement with one’s own creativity. Solving a puzzle, inventing a new machine or repairing an old one, sewing, making art or music, writing your best novel. I have known wise men in the Gurdjieff work who created many self-portraits. It was another way to look at one’s self.
At the moment I am in a place of inner stillness. I feel neither driven nor lazy. This is a new place for me, so I am sitting still looking at myself with this quiet awareness. Words, for the moment have left me, so I thought that for today’s blog it would be good to share Gloria Steinem’s inspirational awareness. Who are you today? Where are you today? How are you today? What are you today? And what are you finding out about yourself that will last forever?