As cheesy as it may sound, this novel is not mine. It came through me.
This kind of thing does not happen to me every day! Last January, I was in an unusually peaceful state when I returned home from a ten day silent meditation retreat. It was snowing outside when I sat at the kitchen table to journal, with no expectations in mind. I was astounded when the entire first draft of Other Wise poured onto the page, filling four handmade journals, in just two and a half weeks!
I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant. I am speaking with reverence about something greater than me. My creative approach during the birthing of Other Wise was a akin to meditation, to remain in the present moment and scribe what arose. The plot, the characters, and the message of the story took on a life of their own.
Now, the afterglow of my meditation retreat has worn off, and the daily practice of editing begins. I love the living impulse in this book, and I am very enthusiastic to finish it. I hope you will donate to my Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign which will allow me to focus on it full time. I believe that reading Other Wise could change people’s lives, affirm their intuitions, and encourage them to be more authentically themselves.
All art is a self-portrait to some extent, just as the outside world is a projection of our inner life. Despite my meditative approach to writing Other Wise, it was impossible not to draw from my own life experiences. Many of the scenes in the book convey life in a squatted village and among flamenco artists, the atmospheres I was immersed in during the three years I lived in Spain.
Internally I resemble the protagonist Aia as well. Like her, I struggled to accept the world as it is, rather than rejecting society for not valuing my spiritual experiences. There are many role models in the book who are based on real-life mentors I have been fortunate to meet. They taught me how to be vulnerable to be strong, and how paradoxical life is.
All of you artists know from experience that all we create is a mirror to some extent. Anyway, there is no need to separate subject and object. One is not more important than the other. It is the relationship that counts.
In this blog, I have spoken often about the spiritual nature of the psyche in an attempt to de-stigmatize psychological crises. I have mentioned holes in the system and how we can improve upon it. All this is in line with my lifelong mission as a holistic mental health care professional.
As you consider whether to donate toward the completion of this novel, rest assured that Other Wise is not a clinical or analytical discussion. While I illustrate how healthy community can help people in crisis (all of us for that matter), I am not denouncing conventional care. This story does advocate hardships can make us stronger, but it is anti-nothing. It is a work of art, a fictional tale of initiation, and art is meant to uplift.
My own life has taught me that human relationships are the initiations of today, and it is with this knowledge fresh in my heart that I describe Aia’s healing adventure. The vision of the world that we project outward becomes clearer not by perfecting ourselves, but by owning all our differences, the diverse parts of our humanity, by becoming “other wise”.
I hope you will take an interest in this project. Please spread the word about my crowdfunding campaign, follow my progress, and let us support each other to live self-determined creative lives.