“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” ~ Marianne Williamson.
I have been neglecting my blog for a while now, with good reason: for the past month or so, I’ve been doing a virtual Editorial Apprenticeship at Elephant Journal! Most of what us apprentices do is receive submissions edit them (sparingly). We also do social media, and are to write (at least) two pieces a month.
It is a lot of work, and I am learning so much. I’ve had to make some sacrifices (mostly in the ‘play’ element of my life, but also it seems as if chores and exercise are going by the wayside). Some days are freaking amazing, others are a bit of a struggle: what am I doing well? What can I improve on? Should I/can I write more? What can I write about? Am I learning enough? Am I fast enough? Do they like me?
It is the perfect thing for me right now. It is exactly what I need to do. I felt it in my gut the moment I hit ‘send’ on my letter of interest.
But at one point the other weekend I started to panic. I went into this sort of paralysed state as I faced the ele writing and editing work that needed completion, even though I’d created plenty of time and space for it. I’d even had a wonderful Saturday, complete with some morning work, a massage and some fresh air and social time at the horse races, one of my favorite places.
Yet my shoulders were pulled up to my ears, my forehead was crinkling up, and I was retreating into a ball on the bed. I was paralyzed out of fear. I had to go into myself and really investigate what was going on.
My life had been improving vastly over the past few months. More and more I was realizing that I had (or could have) much of what I wanted. At that moment, in actuality, there was nothing wrong.
So why was I feeling so…stuck, when everything was going perfectly?
I realized I was freaked out because I was actualizing the fact that I really do have the power to design a life that I love, to do something meaningful with it. And although this required work, it was work that didn’t really feel like work.
Everything was (is) coming together, and this is the biggest piece of the puzzle to fall into place yet.
So when I fell into that funk and started to resist the work out of fear, I forced myself go to the computer and just start.
I realized, then, how talented my brain is at problematizing! My mind is (our minds are) really good at creating problems that don’t exist. In some weird way, finding something to worry about comes so naturally, it’s almost like some strange security blanket. Like, neurosis is my ‘go to’ when I’m feeling some sort of stress, even if the source of the stress is actually good!
As I recognized this, I pushed myself into my work a little bit more. Brain went wayward again…and I brought it back. Slowly but surely, this became easier.
I worked through that fear, and I recognized when I started to feel better.
Then I realized then that maybe my fear stemmed from the fact that I could actually succeed. Maybe I was finally doing something that truly made me happy, and part of the stress stemmed from wanting so much to succeed.
I reflected then on the things that had brought me to the place I am at now, and a lot of the shifts coincided with me sharing my writing, and my passion for it.
It began after I broke up with my boyfriend and subsequently published my first piece at Elephant Journal. People saw it, people read it, people resonated with it.
Due to the breakup, I was also developing new friendships and strengthening some existing ones. These people were openly supporting me in my work, and truly interested in the things that come out of this crazy brain.
These were people that genuinely resonated with what I need and want in my life.
They know that this is my purpose, and they support it 100%.
Which made me start to believe in myself more. So I wrote a little more in my blog, and I published a couple more pieces at Elephant Journal. Then this writing helped to facilitate more new relationships and experiences. It was me pursuing this, being vulnerable, that allowed others to see the real me.
As I reflected on my path from the last ~ 8 months, I made the most important realization, one that must continue to be a main inspiration for me on this journey (no matter how scared, or tired, or stressed out I might feel):
When I write, everything else falls into place.