For the past few weeks, I’ve felt like I’ve been hit by a truck. Despite seeming that life is rolling along on my Facebook page and that I’m in a state of joy and happiness––and I am when I’m with Jude and Max––for the most part I’m feeling pretty miserable.
I have at my disposal coaching tools, RIM, meditation, EFT, and much more, and I haven’t been able to get out from under this cloud that has been following me for weeks. While I live in San Diego, and no longer see those grand clouds that take up the entire sky as they did in Texas, the cloud that has been hovering over every aspect of my being has been growing.
There is a range of emotions that I’m feeling––fear, anxiety, lethargy––that I haven’t felt in years. Then there’s the pure freakin’ anger. I’m pissed. I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars in my training, marketing seminars, marketing materials, and more. I’ve spent hours upon hours networking, virtually and otherwise. And my business isn’t where I want it to be––or need it to be, to create a livelihood that is safe and comfortable for myself.
I’ve made just about every mistake ever made when starting a business. I fell into the trap of spending more time working in my business than on my business. I haven’t valued my services in a way that honors my years of experience in writing, publishing, and in entrepreneurship.
And I haven’t been consistent in my blogging, or in my social media posting, but when I do there is an impact. The feedback I receive is that I touch something in my readers, and I get public and private messages––heartfelt messages––telling me that I’m doing something right here.
It’s not like I have no clients at all. I have a half of dozen awesome clients whose messages are going to touch the hearts of many, and help improve the lives of countless individuals. I receive a great deal of meaning and happiness from midwifing the creations of my clients, and when they give birth, I’m like a proud mama watching her baby walk for the first time, graduate from college, or get that first big promotion.
Despite all of this my client load is unpredictable––no volatile––going south fast with very little warning––just when I think things are finally reaching a tipping point––in my favor. And I’ve been contemplating why.
Writing is a tough game. You stare at a blank page, wondering what the hell I’m going to say, or who is going to read it. And then at one point or another there is the biggest obstacle of all––the fear of exposing your innermost thoughts for everyone to read––the family, strangers, the clerk at the grocery. Everyone will be seeing inside of you. Cleaning the refrigerator becomes more appealing than sitting down to the computer. I know. I’ve been there. And I frequent that place far more than I like to admit––particularly since I coach other writers through the process.
And in fact, that’s exactly what’s been messing up my flow–in all areas of my life.
I’m choking off the lifeblood of creations that I’ve birthed, left to sit on my desktop. I’m ignoring those little beings that are beginning to come into my consciousness, whispering in my ear. “Hey, how about your thoughts on this?” And then there’s the baby that I orphaned at birth––my memoir of learning to fly fishing on the Lower Laguna Madre and what I discovered about myself––and life––while stalking redfish and speckled sea trout.
It’s safer for me to focus on other people’s creations. I don’t have to be vulnerable. So when it comes to my writing, I haven’t been consistently dancing at my edge––up until now. I haven’t committed to myself and my lifelong dream of being a writer.
Which is absolutely nuts.
There is nothing that gives me more energy and joy than writing–––and in some ways, not even Jude and Max can top this. In fact, just the opposite is true. If I’m not writing, I’m not as present for them. And when I am writing, the joy I feel when I’m with them expands, and I become more playful, more willing to get down in the dirt and fight the bad guys, or snuggle for hours reading books or playing a game on the iPad.
I’m more present for myself and for those around me when I follow my joy.
I haven’t been first practicing what I want to teach others…and so the Universe had to smack me upside the head. And this time it was hard. I hadn’t been listening…for months, for years…Three clients disappeared in January, leaving me with a budgetary swing that stunned me. The same thing happened a year before when a ghostwriting client couldn’t put extra time into fleshing out his material, and pulled a project that was worth about $18,000. Then I’ve had a couple of clients who complained I wasn’t giving them enough time and energy––and no amount of time or energy could have satisfied them––because they weren’t willing to show up and do the work that they needed to do––to face the blank page, to go through those times when the words on the page feel like garbage, or to face the fear of having a project finally complete–-and being exposed in all the scariness and in all the glory. They were merely mirroring what was going inside of me, and so while their complaints initially floored me, I can now thank them.
Yesterday afternoon, I was out doing some errands, and when I came back home, and stepped foot into my living room, I stopped in my tracks. In just about every waking moment (and there have been far too many of those in the last few weeks with sleep being elusive), I have been contemplating what I’d been doing wrong–-and kicking myself around a bit (no a lot) for making a few mistakes. That’s only added to my feelings of despair and unworthiness.
And then I received grace. Spirit was able to send a little light through my self-created dark clouds, and I got it.
Life flows for me when I’m writing, when I’m allowing Spirit to speak through me and to me with the words on a page. The night before, after spending the day with my family, I came home and wrote. I created the crack that allowed grace to touch me once again. I showed up for myself and began listening to me––giving myself a little bit of my own attention.
The cloud is lifting, and while I’m a little cautious about claiming victory, I believe that things are going to be a little brighter around me.
So now, having spent Sunday morning doing what I love best, with a cup of coffee now cold sitting on my coffee table, I’m going to print out one of those babies that has been waiting to be birthed, and while it’s printing, I’m going to do a little weeding in the front flower bed, listening to what other ideas the Universe wants to share through me.