Thank you for reading my articles here. If any piece resonates with you, I encourage you to share your reactions, as they will likely resonate with other readers, too. I also invite you to visit my website to learn more about REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life. Much Love and Many Blessings, Alice
Monday, April 4, 2011
Honor by Surrender
Well, my baby’s off to the publisher. I’m thrilled beyond words but also feeling a bit of the separation blues. It reminds me of sending off my graduating honor students more than 10 years ago when I was teaching at Cornell. I was so incredibly proud of them, as if they were my own kids. At the same time though, I missed having these fixtures in my office throughout the year prior, when we worked on their honors thesis projects. After so much quality time together, it was hard not to feel some sense of loss when they left the nest.
The same goes for my manuscript. I practically lived and breathed the birthing of this book for the last 3 months. Now that it’s done, I can’t help but feel a sense of letdown that often follows the coattail of an extended period of intensity. However, I also recognize that this is an opportunity to practice honoring by surrendering – one of the principles I wrote about in my book.
Part of honoring an experience is to do the part that’s ours to do and to surrender the rest, including attachments to the specifics of the process and the outcome. Writing this book is clearly mine to do, and so is following through with getting it to a publisher. I did both. More will come with the production process and marketing, and I stand willing and ready to do my part in these upcoming steps as well. But, for now, the manuscript is out of my hands, and it’d be good for me to detach emotionally from it as much as I can.
Practicing detachment was exactly how I dissolved the writer’s block I got a couple of months ago. You see, on most days, I could hardly wait to get to this book. If I didn’t have to stop to eat or sleep, let alone tend to my day job and other responsibilities, I’d have been so deliriously happy! Yet, on one particular extended weekend, I felt an old familiar resistance. I was exhausted, and started to feel the same old excuses bubbling up on why I should stop writing.
Because I recognized the old self-sabotaging pattern, I first gave myself a break to regroup. Then, I asked myself why I was feeling the resistance to write. With some reflection, I realized I was trying to fit almost a full chapter of old writing from as long as 3 years ago into the creative flow. Up to that point, I was having the most beautiful experience with allowing whatever needed to come forward to be written. There had been no force-fitting. However, trying to rework old writing to make it fit into the creative flow in process felt very much like force-fitting. It wasn’t that the principles I was writing about have changed. It was just that my writing voice has transformed, and so has how I create. I have simply outgrown the old material that was relevant before, but which no longer carried the voice of my evolved consciousness.
I realized I needed to release my attachment to the old writing that no longer served this book. So, I honored the purpose the old writing served and how I have grown from it. Then, I let it go, and surrendered to the ongoing creative process. With my conscious decision to honor how I create by surrendering attachment to outdated material, the writer’s block was dissolved. I returned happily to allowing my inner creativity to come through effortlessly. As a result, that chapter turned out deeper, richer and more authentic. More importantly, if I had hung onto the old writing, the writer’s block would probably have persisted, and I would very likely have given up writing – again.
In the end, even as an artist friend ached for me at the thought of “throwing away” creative work, that conscious detachment on my part opened up space for something much better for my dream of getting this book written.