Have you ever been “stuck” and didn’t know what to do next? I have. In fact, this isn’t my first experience with what I now call “being in the in-between.”
Each time, my “in-between” was coupled with some kind of physical ailment: adrenal fatigue (too tired to “Do”) and something that prevented me from going off into the woods by myself to figure it out. The first time it was Sciatica that kept me from hiking or even walking in town. This time it’s Plantar Fasciitis.
It’s been four months since the diagnosis of “adrenal fatigue.” I spent that time watching reruns of TV series on Netflix like NCIS (learning “make ‘em cry” screenwriting in the 15th Series) and doing my job as the property manager, mostly dealing with an older tenant who, like Goldilocks, wants to try all apartments in Durango.
But he’s gone now (Whew!) only one month before his lease ended, and for the past week, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to DO next. My energy is back again, at least for a good six hours of the day and I am so ready to DO if only I knew what.
I spent the past year writing and publishing a trilogy memoir. Huge mistake! The self-imposed deadline was too much for a single indie author to handle. The books were not adequately edited despite the money paid to editors to ensure error-free reading. They were not correctly launched. And so, after a brief success in the first week, sales hit the dirt.
I tried AMS ads – by myself, and then hiring a team to do it for me. Even the pros couldn’t sell the books! You know what came next: giant waves of failure!
The writing was tossed aside, including this blog. I was stuck for months in my own mantra, “If I can’t be successful doing what I love, maybe it isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing.” I was hamstrung by my own belief — that each one has a purpose in life and if we’re doing what we love, then we get all the help we need. If not, well…
Without the woods to guide me, (even walking hurts!), I resorted to old friends: the Runes.
The consistent reading amounted to “You’re stuck. Movement is futile. Put your life in order and wait on the will of Heaven.”
Okay… permission to Netflix!
But in July, as soon as I could shuffle cards (did I mention the broken finger?), about three months into the “in between,” I asked the Tarot, “Should I drop writing based on my failure so far?” The reading was slightly different:
“No, just keep doing what you’re doing: property management, taking care of your body, and working on your mind (thoughts).”
But in August, despite the same cards in a new reading, I understood it differently because I used a different resource. Using Stephen Sterling’s Tarot Awareness — Exploring the Spiritual Path, I got this: “Your weakness is your lack of resolve to deal with past difficulties. Your direction in life is off course. A renewal of faith is needed, along with nurturing the flame of adventure.” Ouch!
Bottom line: I had not taken responsibility for my failure!
And just to be sure I got the lesson, the next film I watched on Amazon – as a fill-in for the last two hours of movie time after the one I’d chosen proved to be way too violent before bed — was about a guy who finally came to terms with his own failures.
Coincidentally, like that character, I had stuffed the experience of failure!
Since then, I have been coming to terms with my part in all my failures, not just writing, shedding lots of tears and chanting Ho’oponopono, sometimes with the help of Kali, my cat who knows when I’m in trouble and shows up to lick and snuggle with me.
Now, I have about a week* to choose what I want to do next. (*“A week” is an arbitrary deadline based on what I know about the process of a new tenant moving in today and keeping in mind my long-term astrological transits.) The only thing I’m sure of today is that I will keep writing, even if it’s only in my journal, and without expectations. I’m learning to DO for the joy of doing.
Life is about finding what you love and doing that with no expectation whatsoever about outcome.
Success requires commitment and hard work — as an indie author, owner of a business, or as a partner in a marriage.
Life is about Balance: mind, body, and spirit in harmony. Workaholics have a hard time with this. Rediscovering the childlike joy of writing, for me, means I must master balance.
Have you ever experienced failure? How did you make your comeback?
“Till next time, please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows.” ~ Pam Young
It’s tough when our fundamental tools for coping are snatched away, even temporarily.
!!Coincidentally, I have been going through my boxes of manuscripts that no one will ever read. Purging.
Remembering that I wrote my 2 notable successes for my own sake— they were burning inside me to be written, despite my skepticism that anyone would read them. The others… I recently reread Red Sunset and found myself sorely wishing I could take it through one more comprehensive rewrite, eliminate a couple of gaucheries and reach for more sophistication by simplifying. Not too hard on myself, having had no earthly reason to believe I could write good fiction.
Kathleen and I had a good visit with Butch and Sandra at the luncheon after the memorial for Vicki. Both are looking good.
Thanks for sharing. That trilogy was also a burning passion, an act of love for my nieces who are now the same age I was when I had the experience.