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Our Experience Is A Metaphor - Only We Know What It Means

Chandra Alexander

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Sitting nude in front of the keyboard should have given me a clue. Initially, it never occurred to me that my nakedness could be a metaphor for my writing. And yet every writing session started and ended quite the same. I would begin fully dressed, removing item after item of clothing as I neared completion of the topic.

At the end of each chapter, I was completely undressed. I remember being amused at myself, thinking it was good that I lived alone. Exhausted, I would pick my clothes up off the floor and head toward the bedroom. I was glad this was a solitary project. It certainly wasn't something I could do in public!

Every day, I would sit down at the keyboard to begin the laborious process of culling my psyche. Physically, I was ready. I had showered and put on comfortable clothes. Although I loved this writing process, it was not easy. What was hard was the discipline. Sometimes, I would sit for long periods waiting for just the right words to come. I had done creative things my whole life, but somehow this felt different. I had always felt exposed doing something new, but now I felt really vulnerable.

What made it even scarier was that I had just closed my art gallery. After six years, the gallery had served its purpose. I could literally feel the energy changing. My decision to close was never conditional-I had no idea what I was going to do but I knew it was time to move on.

Writing was never something I thought about. One day I found myself overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts I just had to get down on paper. Often, in the middle of the night, I would awake and write something. During the day, I would jot down ideas and inspirations. I could feel something congealing but that was as far as I could see. I felt compelled to sit at the computer, even if nothing came out. The discipline was to stay open, to remain connected to my heart and to trust the process. The mere act of writing was healing.

Experience often teaches us in metaphor. There is no book of dreams that can tell us what these things mean. Only we know what something means for us. The process of writing is hard. We write and then we rewrite. Each step requires an unveiling, an unabashed vulnerability. This internal shedding process is a stripping away of illusion to get to the essence. To realize the metaphor instantly connects us back to our heart and our life. Unguarded, we sit naked in our nakedness.

Chapter 24 from Reality Works Copyright © 2002 Chandra Alexander

Chandra Alexander, MSW, has been living and teaching authenticity for the last thirty years. Selected by The Oprah Magazine as the Life Coach to deliver twelve coaching sessions to the grand prize winner of their Toyota Moving Forward contest, she also spent five years on NBC/TV/Daytime giving a weekly “Reality Check. " Her blog, is a real find for any true seeker on the path to authenticity. Along with a private practice in Tampa, FL, she coaches clients all over the world in the areas of relationships, work and consciousness. To learn more about her books and CDs, visit her website at

tampa life coach coaching authenticity fl

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