In a previous blog, Got Change?, my break in consistent blogging was blamed on writer’s block and rebellion; I just needed a change. Now I have a new reason! Well, in all honesty, it’s not really new…it’s almost 21 years old. Writing these blogs has inspired me to work on a book that I started years ago…in fact the concept for it came to me on June 18, 1998. (Side note, I’ve been journaling for YEARS, so I have quite a collection of experiences and dates well documented!)
I was living in Los Angeles and had been playing with the idea of writing a book, a self-help/inspirational book, but wasn’t sure where to start. My mom, who was in Massachusetts, was having difficulties with what was believed to be some kind of depression (later diagnosed with dementia). I had been totally immersed in the New Age/Metaphysical genre for years, in fact my interest goes back to childhood. And my mom was immersed in Catholicism. Although we were always reaching towards the same goal, I guess you could say we spoke different languages. So, my intention was to write a book that would cross borders.
One day upon waking I thought, I just want her to be happy…I should write a book on how to be happy. (Another side note…this was over twenty years ago before the market was flooded with a million books on happiness…or I may have just sent her one of those!) With that thought in mind while taking my morning walk, the concept hit me. I usually get my creative downloads when I’m out there communing with nature. I was so excited when the idea for the outline came to me, but when I got home and started writing, I went blank. How the hell am I supposed to write about being happy? I mean, I have my moments of joy and happiness, but I’m certainly no expert.
Over the last twenty years, I have devoted large bursts of time and energy towards writing this book, only to eventually fizzle out and move on. Something would happen to shut it down. Sometimes external events, like 9/11, the slow deterioration of my mom’s health, some toxic jobs and relationships, you name it…but mostly it was internal. I needed to learn and experience so many things in order to truly flesh out this book. I am a totally different person than I was twenty years ago, and I have the battle scars to prove it.
Sometimes I think it’s almost a joke…world record for longest time to write a book. I hesitantly tell people that I’m writing a book, and in the back of my mind I hear myself saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it!” And the longer it goes on, the greater pressure I feel to make it fabulous! But I always tell myself, this book needs to write itself. It is my life’s work. And to quote Orson Welles as the face of Paul Masson, “We will sell no wine before its time.”
I was thinking of the Boston Marathon. Marathons are 26.2 miles, so you could almost say each mile represents a year. If that’s the case, then I’m just reaching the top of the famous Heartbreak Hill in Newton, which starts around mile 20, and I’m about to head down Cemetery Mile. I’m definitely not a runner, and totally amazed at anyone who even considers running a marathon. It takes a lot of training, a lot of time, energy, and all sorts of aches and pains. It ain’t easy. But with strength and stamina, you can cross the finish line.
Writing this book is like my own personal marathon, with all its hills and hurdles. More than just a finish line, it’s like a carrot dangling in front of me, leading me into various directions. It’s been a guiding light for my life. I mean, who doesn’t want to be happy? And I mean truly happy…not the fleeting happiness you feel when some great external event happens. So on my journey, I stumble upon an idea, and in my research, find myself going down several rabbit holes. But with patience and perseverance, I will finish it. Even if it takes 26.2 years (or more)!
In the meanwhile, I’ve been investigating new ideas and have even started a second book based on a coaching method I am creating. I have been really fascinated with energy medicine and the unseen world. I have just finished certification for Reiki II and have been delving into sound healing. I have no idea where this will all take me, but I’m enjoying the ride.
Challenge for the week: What’s your marathon?
Is there something you’ve always wanted to accomplish in your life? Whether it’s to learn something, create something, participate somehow in something? Your marathon speaks of truth in you; it will cause you to go deep, reach inside and put everything you’ve got into it. It doesn’t come easy, but will be well worth it in the end…even if it’s just for your own satisfaction.
If you have something in mind and the finish line seems too far away, break it down into baby steps. As it says in the Tao, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Have patience and be present, and enjoy every moment.
Have a great week! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.