Tonight I had the exquisite joy of having dinner with my editor, Pamela Maliniak who I think of as a literary midwife. She takes a book from conception to birth and beyond. We met a year ago this past February at an event where I was a speaker and I knew immediately that she was the one to hone and polish my book entitled: The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary. As we worked together, we became friends and I value her perspective on all aspects of life, not just the written word. I joked that even though she is young enough to be my daughter, in many ways I feel she was the midwife to help me birth myself.
As we sat across the table from each other, catching up on each other’s lives, she was offering her feedback on my work, including some leaps I am taking, and said that I was an ‘all in’ kind of person. I sensed what she meant was that I put my heart and soul into everything I do. She would be right about that, since I was taught by my wise parents that giving something my all, even if the outcome wasn’t necessarily as I might wish it to be, was a measure of success. There was a time in my life when I was a laissez faire/ go with the flow kinda person, not wanting to rock the boat or make waves. I was hesitant to shine, to overshadow anyone else. I felt as if my energy could be overwhelming at times. I have since learned that life is like the hokey pokey; it’s more fun if you put your whole self in. AND I have learned the art of being subtle; discerning ‘when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.’ I was telling Pam that there were times when I feel like a little girl playing jump rope and waiting for the exact right moment when the rope is up in the air to take that leap into its arc. Sometimes ya just gotta go for it.
Athletes appreciate this concept. I remember as an age group swim team member from the time I was 11 until I was 18 (and then coached for three summers after that), the thrill I got from giving it my all, from the moment I signed up for an event, until I emerged, dripping from the pool, leaving chlorinated vapor trails in my wake. There was no room for even a shred of ‘oh well, whatever…’ when it came to competitive swimming. I won alot, not all the time, but enough to provide evidence that practice made a difference. I saw a large return on investment of my time and energy
Since the book has come out, I have been investing as much time and energy as I can with sharing it with the world and there are times when I feel I am neglecting this newborn, what with my full time job and various and sundry additional responsibilities. Any other creative souls feel that way?
I am also an ‘all in’ kind of person when it comes to relationships. My friends know that they can count on me to follow through with commitments and be present in times of need. I know that relationships thrive when the parties engaged in them trust that they are not, as my mother referred to them “fair weather friends’; there only for the good times. You can’t be totally commited…..sometimes. That’s where don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements comes in handy.
The First Agreement states: “Be Impeccable with Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. ”
To me, being in integrity calls for saying what I mean, meaning what I say and not saying it mean. While there is room for negotiation, since life circumstances can be unpredictable and fluid, the majority of the time, I am on target with impeccability. Now the avoidance of ‘using words to speak against’ myself could still use some re-focusing, since at times (so I’ve been told), I can be far too harshly self critical.
I invite you ask yourself about the areas in your life, when you have had one foot on each side of the line between what you have now and what you want to achieve. Don’t be a ‘mugwump’, with your mug on one side of the fence and your wump on the other.