The whole book-writing process has been one enormous, ongoing spiritual lesson. It’s pushed all of my buttons, called forth all my worst “I’m not good enough/who the hell am I to say this?” demons. It’s been chock full of blind “first times” and copious amounts of “whoops” and of course, many pitiful late-night weep-fests that I’m sure woke my neighbors and their goldfish. And, I’m realizing now, after my book was brought to the public less than a month ago, that I’m only just beginning my lesson. I thought the hard part was the writing, the experience of trying to communicate something that is so deeply personal, so near and dear to my heart (spirituality) in a way that is anti-authoritarian, divinely irreverent, and that heartily welcomes all, especially my spiritually-jaded-yet-still-spiritually-curious generation. I thought the hard part was learning how to trust my unique voice, no matter how much it strayed from typical “spiritual speak.” I even thought the hard part was capturing a decent headshot. I was so naive.
I’m realizing now that the true hard part is getting this beautiful Red Book, my first child, out into the world so people know she actually exists and that she’s ready to breathe fire into their lives. Like many first-time authors, the marketing of my book is about 90 percent up to me (and, as I keep reminding myself, the funky Powers That Be). And getting it out there means getting “me” out there, something that makes every cell in my body want to hide rather than seek.
See, I’m shy. When I speak in public I shake like a leaf in a Chicago wind. I’ve almost no trouble in the one-on-one, and I’m confident in my ideas, but get me in front of a group and the butterflies swarm like locusts. Yep, the universe got me good. Oh, so good. The book was a tantalizing carrot (sure, sitting in the privacy of her own home, writing about what she loves, let’s start her with that…heehee), eventually leading me where I really need to go–outside of my quiet self, into the world, to show who I am. Loudly. Even the messy, shaky parts. All of this is helping me come to realize, in my own time, and in my own way, that I am enough.
Can you relate? What’s your “Red Book” in life? How is the universe asking you to come out and play?
(posted by Sera Beak, substituting this week for Amy)