Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting Out of the Way

I've been thinking a lot about my book project lately. It is out for an initial review and I have honestly no idea what the response will be. Strangely, for the large part, this feels OK. Will I be told it's crap? That it has potential? I don't know that it matters. There's something here that I fear is ambivalence which actually feels like freedom. As if I have some degree of non-attachment to the whole thing, which isn't because I don't care or don't want to finish a completed, polished manuscript or that I don't know the woman reviewing my work, therefore I'm not invested in her comments.

Is it a knowing, perhaps? That I'm on to something, even if I don't know exactly what it is? Or how it will turn out?

I recognize it now as my style to have pieced together my first draft, regardless of how shabby, to then be able to reshape and re-vision and spiff it up from there. Like roughing in the framing of a remodeled room, I can now sit back with the parameters set and imagine the possibilities. It's a, "what do I have to work with here" mentality that lends itself perhaps not to endless options, but to more options than I could ever want or need as long as I remain open to what's available.

It's a bit unnerving to be here, in this place I've never been. But exciting, too. Each successive step in the book-writing process is its own animal, yielding rewards and complications and wonders unique to the moment...that I will come to know each time, for the first time.

That's what living in the now is all about, isn't it? For evolutionary purposes, we have been designed to retain all our old information: what happened here or there, where are the potential pitfalls. We needed this to survive, to anticipate what would happen before it actually occurred. I would argue that in this age of relative ease and convenience, the same rules do not apply -- at least not in the same way. Suspending our preconceived ideas and expectations of what we think something will be or even should be allows us the freedom to imagine what they could be. Or at the very least, appreciate them for what they are.

All experience is just a microcosm informing something deeper -- our personal process for living our own lives. Experience is a tool by which we can witness how we view the world, either as another dragon to slay or as an unfolding of possibility, each moment flush with its own potential.

Working on this book project, for me, is such a tool. What I've recognized is: we are the now. Each of us is this present moment, ripe with the potential and possibility just waiting for us to get out of our own way to see what -- or who -- will arise.//

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