Over the past few days I've struggled with my writing. As I chronicled last week, I took a break from my daily writing and good things happened. My mind was free and empty and the space allowed for calm and quietness. Eventually, new and inspired ideas emerged. It was fresh and unforced.
But this week, with the holidays upon us and a change in my usual routine, I had a new awareness. It was a need - an almost pressing need - to come up with Something Important to Say. Reflecting on my experience from last Friday through today, though I wasn't sure how it happened, my freedom was gone. I wasn't approaching writing with a willingness to be empty and see what would come. For whatever reason, perhaps it was the excitement of sharing my writing on Less Stress More Success, I had created pressure on myself to Come Up With Something Big.
If you're wondering about the point of capitalizing phrases like Something Important to Say and Come Up With Something Big, there is one. Quite simply, those were my thoughts on overdrive creating a whirlwind of judgement. Me judging me. My thoughts had gone on a Writer's Rampage. I was worried if whatever I wrote was Significant and Worthy enough for others to read.
This became a recognizable struggle through this morning when I started and ditched three different ideas for articles. One was about nonprofit work. Nope - not interesting enough. Then there was one about Success and why we deem it to be so important. I liked it but too light and not inspiring enough. I finally gave up after trying my hand at yet another Bye Bye 2020 article. I think we've all seen a few of those. Everyone gets it by now.
With a half hour before a coaching session, I meditated for 15 minutes, something I hadn't done since the previous week. While the meditation was focused on gratitude and I was appreciating the experience, suddenly I had the idea to write about this experience - exactly what you're reading about now. I grabbed the piece of paper I had set aside for coaching notes and jotted this down. All of the sudden, there was no judgement. My thought about Significance were still there. Yet I became quite comfortable recognizing that it was a thought. It might pass and it might not. Either way it was OK. All of the sudden I was comfortable in the silence. Rather, I was comfortable simply writing as a practice and as an exercise in creativity.
This isn't a pitch for meditation though I do recommend it. Rather it's a pitch to cut ourselves some slack. Nina Blackwood put it so well in "What If There's Nothing Wrong With You?" when she stated that we'll always come up short when we compare ourselves to others. It's even worse when we compare ourselves to ourselves. Personally, my thoughts had created an arbitrary bar for Significance (whatever that is!) that my writing had to hurdle over. I had forgotten the joy of simply creating.
It would be extra dramatic and in fact seem very Significant to say Never Again! I will never let my thoughts rob me of that joy! The truth is that probably won't be the case. For the moment though, I'm comfortable in the silence of having nothing terribly significant to say today, just a new awareness. And I appreciate your being here till the near end of this little journey.
We'll see what happens tomorrow...