Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Have you ever put a writing project on the back burner thinking it needed time to simmer, and then forgotten all about it? If so, you know that days pass. Then weeks. Maybe even months, or years. Your project has migrated from close to your heart to a cold, deserted island.
At first you have no idea where it is. You miss it. You start looking for it. You think you see it: a speck across a body of water, barely visible. You pine for it as you peer longingly across the water, and wonder how you’ll ever reach your beloved but distant project. It’s too far away to swim to and you don’t have a boat. Your writing project feels impossible. You believe there’s no way you’ll ever get to it.
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to go to your project; your project will come to you. Call it back. Gently. Lovingly. Call it with care and compassion. Tell it you are ready. Say, “I love you and I trust you. I’m ready to listen to what you have to say.”
Sounds a little like a relationship, right? Well, it is. Every writer has a relationship with her work. As is the case with most relationships, the more you listen and love, the more open you are, the less you judge and condemn, the healthier and happier the relationship. And, of course, the more you give, the more you receive.
Your project will return if and when it feels welcome. Your readiness is all it requires. The way you get “ready” is by creating space for your writing, in your heart and mind, but also in your weekly schedule. Put dates on your calendar. It doesn’t take a lot of time to write. Figure out what works best for you. Can you write for fifteen minutes twice a week? You’d be surprised what you can get written in half an hour. The important thing is to say yes—and to honor that yes. Your yes is a vow, a sacred contract and must be treated as such. Writing requires a long-term commitment. This may be difficult for some, but those who have made this commitment understand that the rewards are great.
Maybe you need a change in perspective. Perhaps you need to hold your desire to write close to your heart, keep whispering, “yes” into its ear, and embrace your writing practice with both arms. Maybe you need to hold on tight, or perhaps you need to surrender, let go, and melt into its strong arms. Maybe you need to post signs near your computer that say things like, “permission granted”; “You can do it”; or “Give me everything you’ve got!” Maybe you need to tap into your inner reservoirs of wisdom and love.
Recently, in yoga class, my teacher read us this quote by Indian spiritual teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing; love is knowing I am everything, and between the two, my life [and writing!] flows.” As people, and as writers, we move between nothing and everything, between wisdom and folly, between love and fear. This is our art and our practice. Don’t judge where you are on the continuum; just keep showing up!
It may feel like your project is stranded on a deserted island, but that doesn’t make it true. Feelings come from thoughts. Thoughts are neutral and have no power—unless they are backed by beliefs. Challenge and, if necessary, change your beliefs. Ask for help if you need it, then watch your life and your writing practice change right along with your beliefs! Try it. Keep the faith. Call back, embrace, and complete your writing project!