What Now?

Lydia releasing a banded duck, 2014. Photo by Nancy Frost

“Awe is What Moves Us Forward.”  Joseph Campbell

When there is no more awe, no more wondering what could be next or what is possible, we may give up on life. I don’t know if this is what Robin Williams experienced. I have witnessed others so deep in their own darkness or depression they can’t see anything in front of them. This makes it hard to keep moving forward, to keep living. We have to have something to move toward.

What helps you keep the awe alive? Many Buddhist teachers refer to this awe as a sacred curiosity. Last night in one of my zero point circles another Wisdom Keeper had us all asking the question, “What now?” There are times in our life this question comes naturally, other times we have to engage our awe and curiosity and look up from our lap (tops).

What helps you move forward?

What brings forth a sense of awe in you?

Where can you cultivate a sacred curiosity?

What’s worth exploring?

What people help you put your gaze forward?

In writing my novel I find this question, “What now?” moves the story forward. If a scene or a story has come to a conclusion of some kind, I have to give the reader a reason to read on – usually this means some flavor of suspense. I want to get the reader to ask themselves, “What’s next in this story?” In all of my nonfiction books I help the reader to build their own sacred curiosity. In living the zero point agreement it is all about living life actively from within while engaging in the world in a compassionate and curious way.

Off the page when a commitment or path has come to some conclusion it is time for us to ask, “What now?” At the end of every scene in our life we can cultivate a sacred curiosity about what’s next.

So, What Now?


My next open and free writing retreat day is Friday August 29th.









209 thoughts on “What Now?

  1. Hi Julie,

    What now? is exactly the right question to be asking. I wish I could attend your next event on August 28th but I will be back at the Carbone Cancer Center for a check up on one of my cancer markers that has shot up! This happened after my best female friends of decades died unexpectedly. Following that; her stepson, an attorney, and the trustee of her estate is now sueing me for 50% of the value of a condo we co-owned in AZ. She left it to me although she paid for the bulk of it. The suit calls in unjust enrichment! While I am still grieving her loss (we talked nearly daily, traveled together, spent holidays with her, & Jeff and I stayed at her condo in Madison during UW-Football games. All three of us got along and she preferred our companionship to her stepsons. There is a lot of other money involved which I have no part of in the trust or the wills. I didn’t expect to be. We took ownership in the condo with right of survivorship due to my ongoing health issues! There is such irony in this life.

    Two years ago, we went to Italy and Sicily together. We were planning to return to Jamaica and hopefully Europe again. I cannot even testify to anything she said to me due to what is known as the deadman’s statute. If they prevail, they will essentially force me into bankruptcy. I am nearing 65 years old, on disability and enjoy a quality of life due to Jeff’s loving behavior and support and my faith. This law suit flies in the face of what she wanted for us. She was a guest in my Mom’s retirement home in AZ. for circa 12 to 15 winters for vacation. That’s when we hatched the dream of owning our own winter place out there. We had just fulfilled that dream last June. We arrived out there in October . She came back to WI> to see her MD. because she believed in him and wasn’t feeling well. I was expecting back in time for Christmas. She died Dec. 16 from a PE.

    I just went in for a routine procedure and the G.I. MD. found Zenker’s Diverticulum in my esophagus. The fix? Another surgery. What now? I am stuck and mystified.

    I enjoy reading your higher level approach to what happens on this planet.


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