Yes, I know my last blog post was August 4 and here it is November 11. At least it is still the same year. My last post ended with the words, "The answer appears when there is balance, mindful balance," and I believe that and attempt to achieve it, but these last months the balance has not included attention to the blog. I hasten to add, however, that I have been writing, and I have loved the time I have devoted to writing. Writing is what I most want to be doing right now. And not just in the morning, which was my previous pattern, but any time. All the time. Over time.
During the last months I wrote and submitted a book proposal for my book of essays, The Spiritual Invitations of Grief, Loss, and Change. The targeted publisher has had the proposal now for almost 11 weeks and since according to their website their response time is three months, I can feel my anxiety level increasing as I await word from them. Therefore, I need to remind myself how I felt the day I finished preparing the proposal.
Instead of tucking it into an envelope and sending it on its way, I decided to slow down the process. Let myself breathe. Let the manuscript breathe. I arranged the books in my own library published by my "hoped for" publisher in a circle around my book proposal. I not only wanted it to absorb the good feelings in my office--that happy, productive space where my writing seems to be coming to light, but also to imagine what it would be like to be in the company of those other books. A good feeling.
My mother so often said, "Now that's done," and the message seemed to be one of relief for having completed something distasteful. I have used that phrase often myself and in doing so have lost some of the pleasure in the moment of completion. When I finished the proposal, I didn't feel relief, for once I got going and really committed myself to the task, I thoroughly enjoyed the process. Rather than relief, I felt elation, knowing I had fulfilled a commitment I made to myself. I felt eager for what could happen, for possible connection and acceptance. I didn't feel fear. I didn't feel anxiety. I felt pride. I felt love. I felt a sense of certainty that I am doing what I am supposed to do. I felt awe because I actually did it. I used my gifts and God was present, leading me along this path.
I am realistic that my proposal could be rejected. If that happens, I'll send it someplace else, for I do want it published and read. No, it won't be the same if it's not read, but I am different because I committed to this project. I am different and I hope better because the writing has been a spiritual practice. I believe I am in the world in a different, even more profound way, because of the loving and open energy I give this work, and in the deepest place in my heart, I know that makes a difference.
Once the book proposal was released into unknown, but I hope respectful hands, I started writing a new essay for the book and even though I often felt I was slogging my way through an uncharted swamp, I have finally finished it. "Spirituality 101, The Invitation to Open to Spirit," and now I am ready and eager to begin the next essay.
Oh, and by the way, I have been published this year. In September my essay "Closing My Eyes Lightly, Not Tightly," which was adapted from one in my proposed book, appeared in Presence, An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, (See http://www.sdiworld.org/ for more information.) and any day now another essay adapted from the book, "No One Understands: A Guide to Receiving the Understanding You Deserve," will appear in Coping, America's Consumer Magazine for People Whose Lives Have Been Touched by Cancer (http://www.copingmagazine.com/).
Will I write more in the blog? I hope so. I will try, for I am so grateful to those of you who read it and for your comments as well, and I want to maintain that connection.