I am in the early stages of following a “path of dedication” to my writing. As soon as I heard this phrase when listening to David Whyte’s What to Remember When Waking it resonated deeply with me. And it has enabled me to keep showing up to the page. To keep the discipline of writing in the morning before work – even though I am not at all a “morning person” and not at all a fan of “discipline.”
“I am following a path of dedication.” Yes. Somehow I know that to be true.
I wonder what it is that you want, not just wish for, but really want?
Something worth your dedication. That desire that is in the “bottom of your heart” as I recently heard Sue Monk Kidd say.)
Maybe it’s going back to school, or completing your degree.
Maybe it’s caring for your body through yoga.
Maybe it’s preparing yourself to be a mother.
Maybe it’s growing your business.
Maybe it’s making your home a place of beauty and welcome.
Maybe it’s loving your partner.
Maybe it’s learning how to love yourself.
Maybe it’s learning how to have challenging conversations about racism and sexism.
The possibilities are literally endless.
Before you read on, I encourage you to take a moment to let that desire rise up. To hear yourself say, ”Yes! I am on a path of dedication to _____.”
For Sue Monk Kidd many years ago - before she wrote the bestseller The Secret Life of Bees - the answer that rose up and surprised her was, "I want to be a novelist."
Did you pause. Did you feel-hear it? Good.
I don’t know. (Aren’t you glad you read this far so you could get that great tidbit of wisdom?)
But there's another thought that's helping me right now that might help you too.
The other idea that keeps me showing up is this. "You may just have to do the work and have the revelation come through the work.” (David Whyte again.)
Sure, sometimes revelation comes ahead of time, like a download from the Divine, or from my heart (which may both be the same thing, I’m not sure where the lines are there.) That’s what happened with the piece I posted last week about my son leaving school. I woke up on a Saturday morning and felt compelled to start writing. It just flowed.
Sometimes it happens with my other work as well – the salaried job I do throughout the week. There are moments of inspiration. Days when regardless of the puzzles that show up for me to solve, I have the feeling of being “in the zone.” Those moments are lovely. But...
Most of the time if I wait for inspiration to hit… I won’t get out of bed.
if I wait until I feel ready to face the day,
or the page,
or my office,
or that conversation I know I need to have…
I will stay stuck.
Oh, I’ll get up literally most of the time (my good girl/good student training rarely fails me in that regard) but inside I’ll be under the covers, trying desperately to find more ways to fill up my soul FIRST, before I step out. To find inspiration FIRST, before I try to write. To stop feeling afraid before I take a step.
It seems that in this phase of my life, my growth edge is not only to honor my sensitive soul, to leave room for imperfection, and to let go of pushing-harder-striving-more energy as the path to success, though all of these are still essential. But also to find nourishment in the midst of action. Even through action.
It’s a time of integration.
It’s a time that requires some daily disciplines that don’t feel good, but that provide a container for my creativity and growth.
It’s a time when often I need to step FIRST and then the bridge appears.
(Can anyone tell me what movie I’m thinking of in which that happened? Foot out over the cliff – bridge starts to appear; foot removed – no bridge.)
I wonder where in your life you are in a similar place?
Where does your heart and soul long for you to commit, to choose a path of dedication to something?
I wonder where you might need, like me, to take that next step and trust that the step after that one will appear only after you take the first one?
It's terrifying. And it's exciting. Want to experiment with me?
“You may just have to do the work and have the revelation come through the work.”
I would so love to hear about your journey.
Here’s to thriving!