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  • Writer's pictureBeth Burke

The Mind BoardRoom

I started working with a writing coach and this week's homework really made me think about my own mind and even a made me dig a bit into my past. Although a few of the items were painful to think about I think in the long run it is good that I realize these things now so I can begin to deal with them. The homework was to think of my mind as a boardroom. Who are the people on my board, whether they be real or fictional or metaphors. This really made me think about the voices that are in my head and the voices that make me who I am.

The first people on my board are my parents. My dad for his strength and determination to make sure that everyone is taken care of even at the detriment to himself. He was the one that taught me a strong work ethic and that sometimes we have to do things that we don't like but it is for those we love and that make it all worth it. My mother is the more judgemental voice of the pair. She does not seem to agree with the way I live my life and she says that I write stories that she would never read because she won't read romance.

The next person on my board is one that shouldn't be and that is my abusive ex. He spent years telling me that I was stupid and no good. After so many years of hearing him say these things I still hear them in my head.I have made huge steps towards unseating him and getting him out of my mind and off my board. She told me that I was a wimp and that I would never be able to sit for a tattoo because of the fact that it would be too painful and would not be able to handle it. I now have three. He also said that my stories were silly and no one would care about them. I have been able to get past that and have now published two books and I am working on my third. So I know I am making progress towards unseating him from my board. It was a hard and painful realization that he is still on my board.

Next is William Bryan, he is a ancestor of mine and was the rightful prince of Ireland who was unseated by the British. When he fought to get the throne back the family was kicked out of Ireland and dropped into what is now Virginia. He is my connection to my past and to my Irish roots. He is also a symbol of my rebellious nature. I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe is right.

Next I have Leonardo Da Vinci as a symbol of my creativity and want to learn and explore and understand the world around me. I channel that creativity through arts and crafts of all kinds. I am always exploring new aspects of creativity and trying new projects and new supplies in order to find new ways to express myself.

Another aspect of my creativity is that Walt Disney is at the table. He represents the storyteller in me. He always found a way to bring the audience into the story and to be a part of the story. That is what I try to do with my stories and with my characters. I try to make them real so that people can relate to them and therefore be a part of the story.

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird is there as the voice of my social justice warrior. The need in me to find justice in a world full of injustice and to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. This is something that has been instilled in me since I was a kid and I still feel that every person deserves to be treated with respect no matter if they are different from you or not. I strive to give a voice to the voiceless.

The next two seats are filled with two different aspect of my mind that are constantly at odds with each other. On one side is the logical side of my brain that is represented by Sherlock and his extremely logical way of looking at the world. On the other side is the anxiety that is represented by Piglet. These two voices are constantly arguing with each other. Sherlock tries to reason his way through a situation and Piglet is absolutely sure that the world will burn down around us if we make the wrong move.

The last two seats are taken up with what I see as the light and the dark of my mind. Death represents the darker aspect of my mind along with my old struggle with suicide and loss. The darker aspects of my stories are influenced by this voice and is the reason that I explore the darker side of human nature in my stories.

The last seat is my Phoenix. My will to survive and determination to keep going when things get hard. When people tear me down and the few times that my life has literally burned down around my ears I have always found the will and strength to continue on and to rise from the ashes to build anew. I have survived everything that has been thrown at me and I know with my Phoenix at my table and by my side I will be able to survive

This was my journey this week exploring the aspects of my own mind and personality. It was an interesting journey and there were some breakthroughs and some pain at this exploration but the journey is always worth the good and the bad. I know that through this experience and these steps I have become more aware of myself and the things and voices that are still holding me back. By realizing what is holding me back I can begin to break down these walls and move forward. I know this does not mean that the next step will be easy by any means by the first step to change is to know what is standing in your way.

So I will pose the question to you. Who is on your board?

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