Last week, I sent my ‘first best seller’ called The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary to my publisher, with an Autumn release date in the works. Divine timing since I was born then too. A slew of emotions followed. Excitement, trepidation, a wee bit of anxiety, relief, wowie zowie, all clamored for my attention as I anticipate ‘her’ birth along with my re-birth. As I project out those 3 -4 months during which the pages will be crafted from my words, I have become aware of many parallels to giving birth to a human child as I imagine it to be. I am an adoptive mother of a now 24 year old son and have never had a child biologically, so I say that my stretch marks are on my heart and not my hips. A few weeks ago, I became aware of feeling queasy and even nauseous for no apparent reason. I could possibly attribute it to stress, asking myself symbolically, what it is that I can’t stomach. This weekend I was talking about it with a friend and she immediately equated it to morning sickness since I was, after all, about to give birth and am in the 5th-6th month gestation of the 100-some paged ‘baby’. Taking a deep, cleansing breath as I write these words, in preparation for what I intend to be an easy, natural delivery.
As our dialog continued, she asked me if I had expectations for what the book ‘should’ accomplish and the way it ought to be in the world. Immediately I smiled since I knew where this was heading. In the same way that I (and perhaps you if you are a parent) have dreams, desires, visions and yes, expectations for your child, so too do I hold that image for the Bliss Book. She encouraged me to surrender attachment to what the book can be and will do. YIKES! Even though I have experienced the beauty of surrender over and over in my 52 + years, I still stubbornly cling at times, to the illusion of control over every aspect of my life. In the creative realm, especially, I have learned that once I let go of shoulds and oughts, then the true beauty can emerge. When my writing ‘writes me’ and my spoken words come through me as the hollow reed that I am, then there are no labor pains, just the exquisite joy of gazing in awe at what has come through.
There are times when I look at the emergence of the inspired verbiage and think “who really wrote this?” This sense of wonder flies in the face of the fears that squawk “People will look into the stroller that bears your creation and think; even if they don’t say it: ‘What a funny looking baby.” I have likely read the manuscript hundreds of times in the past two years in which the bulk of the writing and editing has been going on, and there have been moments when I have felt…absolutely nothing. Blank….numb…blocked emotion. Even when perusing with deep gratitude, the endorsements from those who have read it, whose perceptions I value, there, at times, is an emotional disconnect. Is it a zen acceptance? Or more insidiously, a lingering self critique that blocks the beautiful flow of love present in the words on the page? I know, having been a therapist for umpteen years, that this is simply part and parcel of any act of creation, that the process is having its way with me, and that I truly signed up for it when I agreed with the Divine to write this book. And then there are other times, when I have wept with sadness and joy whilst contemplating that I have poured the essence of who I am into its contents. Another parenting parallel?
Is there a piece of me, I query, that feels that I won’t be able to appropriately ‘parent’ this sacred scroll as it takes its place on shelves worldwide? Do I imagine that left to its own devices, I will have no say in what it does? Perhaps that is a good thing, since I have no clue, the impact it will have on the lives of those who peruse its pages, much the same way we can’t really know how our own children will interact with the world. We hope that they will play nicely with the other kids and do us proud, embodying the values with which we instill them. Recently, my son shared with me his own inner journey and the choices he is making anew as a result. I felt such a sense of pride in how we both have ‘grown up together’ in the past nearly 13 years since he was 11 and I was 40 when Michael died and we became a 2 person immediate family with a large extended family surrounding us.
My intention is to enjoy the next few months, as I ponder the Bliss-birthing day, grateful for the many mid-wives (male and female:) who have shared in the nurturing process and who will celebrate grandly with me.
Feel free to share about your own ‘creative offspring’ and the ways in which birthing them has irrevocably changed your life.
http://youtu.be/jzoZnivlLhw Baby Mine by Alison Krauss