Close to the end of my favorite walk here you hit this shady spot… ahhh!
For some reason I’m feeling an urge to tell the story of my “guidance” about writing and the twists and turns of it even though I haven’t reached some obvious conclusion –like, project became successful or project was total failure, etc. This is more the story of a process and an exemplar of how following intuition can become a long and complex journey. The creating reality and law of attraction teachings often imply that you pretty much focus your vision on something, think some positive thoughts and it will come to pass. I’ve said before that I’ve found it often doesn’t work that way; this is a story that shows that process can go on for far longer than much of those teachings ever reveal.
I began studying all this “spiritual stuff” in 1985. A couple of years in, in meditation I was told that I was meant to write and I received images and messages that indicated the writing would be very successful. Since I wrote short stories all the time as a child and then became good at writing essays and briefs in adulthood, this seemed pretty natural so I started trying to follow a writing path. Initially I assumed that the book would be about my spiritual journey and I began chronicling my journey [in which I assumed I was taking giant leaps forward into highest consciousness :>) ] in a book entitled “Peeling the Cosmic Onion”. I struggled with it, wasn’t happy with the pedantic tone I seemed unable to escape and put it aside.
When I went through Nine Gates Mystery School (ninegates.org) I finally realized my hubris and humbly began serious study, feeling that I needed to know a lot more before I wrote a book that could serve as advice for others. A couple of years later my kundalini experience began and I virtually channeled a novel, Echoing Ancestors. I went through all the steps to get it published and worked hard to get reviews (got one great one), get it in bookstores, etc. but all for naught. Other than friends I don’t think anyone ever bought it. I felt hugely disappointed but a meditation also helped me to see clearly that given the major health problems I still suffered at the time, I really didn’t have enough energy to match the size of my dream nor enough energy to do all that would be required if my book became bigger.
I loved being back in the world of writing fiction and fairly soon started a second novel, at which I worked diligently for quite a while and then it bogged down. I could see that the creative writing spark I had as a child had suffered in the years of writing academic and legal pieces but I couldn’t see how to get back there.
Because of the book I started a web site and, having read that you should offer something for free to people who visit, I began to write “Insights for the Spiritual Journey” and once a week or so I put a new one on the site. After a while when I asked in meditation what I should be doing to earn a living, I’d still receive the answer that I should write, but now in the form of “write the insights”. I chafed for a while because I wanted to be told to write my novel but eventually I caved. For several years I kept writing the insights and posting the insights and having no readers and developing no interest in the novel. Eventually, though, I’d written so many that I began to see how to thread it together into a book. The next couple of years I still worked at other jobs and trying to get workshops off the ground but as much as I could I devoted time to editing and writing new material and organizing until I had a complete book, Insights for the Spiritual Journey.
I tried a couple of places that had been encouraging about the novel but got no interest. I also did enough research to realize that the publishing game changed to include a requirement for new authors that you show up with a sizable market already in your pocket. Since I didn’t have one I wasn’t sure what to do. So I put the book aside and focused my efforts on my yoga and movement classes. After a while I started having “insights” forming in my head again, but this time shorter and pithier and with a sense of humor. I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I turned again to meditation and received the answer “start a blog”.
First I had to find out what a blog was. I found WordPress and set up a blog and, again on advice of my meditation “counsel”, began to do two posts a week. Which I read and a friend of mine read. For six months… All these years I periodically pointed out to the universe that if my purpose was to be alive here on earth and writing that it would be helpful if the writing provided a way to actually stay alive… I usually received either silence or advice to trust and keep writing. Sometimes I shook my fist at the sky. After six months I was tired of posting into nothingness so I did some research on how to get people to read your blog which led to posting more often, subscribing to a growing list of blogs, expanding the blogging life to hours and hours a week instead of a couple… I got subscribers and made blogging friends and had more fun but still had no numbers that would be interesting to a publisher or that would attract advertising.
But after a year-and-a-half or so, I realized that in the whole collection of blog posts I had some themes on which there was a fair body of work. I’d also begun exploring the e-book world and the relative lack of constraints (like getting rid of the 180,000 word minimum) and heard a story of a friend’s friend who wrote little metaphysical books for Kindle and received a $300,000 check for one pay cycle. That really goosed me into thinking about what I could do with those blog posts. In the meantime the manual for my continuing ed movement classes had grown too big to be copying and hauling so I learned how to work with Kindle in order to put the manual up so my students could all get it easily and cheaply without the clerical work from me.
I soon saw the first topic on which I wanted to do a little e-book. I’ve also had some crazy little pieces that have kept floating in my head the last year which are soon to form a second e-book that has a working title of Saying No to Mr. Wrong. The first one, which I’m working on here in Marin, is so far titled Relating Heart to Heart: A guide to playing well with others. I’m excited about them. And I can see that all these many steps along the journey were what it took for me to develop a style that feels right and like me. To gather the wisdom and insight to have things to teach that are actually helpful.
I also can see how my trust in the universe always had limits which was why I kept trying to take other jobs and teach yoga and then my movement classes. And I have to wonder whether I might possibly have reached the writing style, etc. faster if I’d just trusted and followed only what I was guided to do. But really I believe that it all needed to happen this way. I feel very good about this little book. My health is also finally good enough that I could do a signing tour or say yes to giving talks, etc. without facing a probability of collapse. It’s about 25 years since I first received the guidance that writing was my path. I’ve worn a lot of other hats and made my living doing lots of other stuff over those years. I’ve grown and changed and become healthier not only physically but mentally and emotionally.
The recent blow up that finally has me focused on the writing even seems like a blessing in many ways. I kind of wish I’d followed my intuition earlier instead of reaching the point where the universe felt like it needed to yank the rug out from under me. But I probably needed that lesson too. The point of all this is that I really believe the messages I received 25 years ago were true. I also believe that I had a very long journey to accomplish in order to reach the place where the vision could become reality. It’s possible that I’m going to discover there are some more lessons that have to happen but right now I’m excited to see what happens when the “Relating” book goes up in a month or two. More important, I’m really enjoying the process of creating it. And I promise I’ll be posting about it whichever way it goes…