Despite our best intentions life and business does not always go to plan. We put in the work, show up and are ready and willing to take action, but regardless of our efforts we spin our wheels.
So what do we do, push even harder to get the job done?
Or realise this is the time to pause and pull back?
One of my own intentions for 2019 is to finish writing my book and publish in the autumn. I’ve connected with a lovely copy editor and thought I’d have the draft copy done and dusted and sent over to her by the end of February. But alas no. The deadline came and went.
I haven’t been shirking. This delay was not due to a lack of effort on my part, as I’ve diligently spent hours and hours sitting at my desk writing thousands of words. However my thinking at the beginning of the year was that I just needed to flesh things out a bit.
Who was I kidding?
As I began to revisit my initial draft it transpired there was plenty more for me to write about that was calling to be included. And so, the deadline shifted once more towards the end of March.
This writing process has been entirely different from anything I have written before. It isn’t a business book. It’s about my own journey through grief, healing and transformation so of course re-visiting the past means there is always more that rises to the surface ready to be released and healed. And it all takes time, it’s own time.
Here’s the thing about creativity – it does not adhere to a strict timetable, it arrives in a flash when it feels like it and not a moment before. Creativity will not be conveniently scheduled into our working day and diary. However much we try and stick to a plan. It strikes at the most inopportune moments and can even wake you up from a deep slumber with a spark of inspiration, which typically is around 4am for me. And if the creative spark is not captured immediately it can disappear instantly. So you could say the pressure has been immense at times to recall and remember the nuggets of wisdom and get the words down somewhere, whether it’s day or night.
As well working on completing my book I also have a not-so-new petite business to establish and run. I’ve been here, there and everywhere talking to lots of lovely people over the last nine months so it has all been a little challenging to say the least trying to find any sort of work life balance. There is a lot to do.
Rather than panicking I decided the best course of action would be the gift of a little more time and once again thought that I’d have the second part of my book conveniently finished by the end of March, just before we went away on holiday.
But you’ve guessed it, this deadline came and went out the window too.
The old me would have been miffed to miss not one, but two deadlines. I would have bashed and berated myself for not doing the work in time, as once I make a commitment I tend to stick to it. Even if it takes its toll on my well-being. But the newer version of me is approaching everything differently, with more kindness and care, especially towards myself.
You teach what you need to be reminded of yourself
As I was feeling the immense pressure, mostly of my own doing, I had several conversations with friends also experiencing their own pressures too. Whilst offering support to them, it dawned on me I needed to take head of this advice too. If your instinct, inner knowing or internal guru that knows best is telling you, or even screaming at you to pause, pause you must do. Despite what you think. Or what your schedule says.
We believe we must do, when really we just need to be
The newer me is learning some new tricks. Especially when I feel myself going down the deep dark hole of self-criticism. I understand that I am not able to deliver my best work if it comes from a place of striving and pushing. What is my best work is when it flows with more ease. It just comes naturally. Bish, bash, bosh. This is in alignment.
As well as re-living and writing about my own life experiences and trauma, I’ve also had to do the deep inner work on understanding the many paths that have helped me heal. Whilst reflecting on the past, present and future, I’ve experienced a remarkable and transformative past life regression which again needed some space and time for me to make sense of. So is it any wonder I needed more reflection time and space?
As I continued to write there were more questions that arose and I sought answers before I could even attempt to articulate my findings into words. And then just when it seemed I was going to complete the second part of my book on time, I began to do some more work researching the divine feminine and this stopped me in my tracks once more. This subject is so expansive that I realised I needed to sit with my thoughts and beliefs a little longer, therefore I chose to trust divine timing instead of my pile it on and get it done schedule.
Go off grid and get your soul right
Soon it was time for a long overdue breather, so fortunately Mr M got some time off work. I downed tools and we headed to the wilderness of Northumberland for a few days for some much needed time out together to unplug and reconnect.
This getaway enforced me to pause, stop writing or even think about what to write next.
There is nothing like being in the middle of nowhere to get you completely out of your head and right into the present moment.
Often we’d find ourselves travelling along isolated roads, with no one else around for miles. We crossed over the border into Scotland and a glimmer of light hit the road in front of us, so we decided to park up and got out of the car to enjoy the view for a moment. And then appeared an incredible blue orb of light.
The landscape was breath taking and I have never felt more alive, at peace and re-connected to myself and my surroundings. Being outdoors immersed in nature does wonders, which of course I know but desperately needed to be reminded of.
Our overnight accommodation was in a lovely B&B near Kielder forest. Initially I felt alarmed as there was no phone signal. What?! But they did have WiFi, so we weren’t totally off-grid. Then a little more alarmed there weren’t any shops. None. Whatsoever. The nearest one being six miles away in the next village. And even more alarmed that we were in one of the darkest, most isolated spots in the UK. As I do not like being in the dark. And boy, this was dark!
But despite my fears of the dark and isolation I had to get over these quickly as we had an important date with the Universe and the stars.
Mr M being the kind-hearted soul that he is, had bought us tickets to go to “ A Universe Full of Stars” at Kielder Observatory for my birthday treat. We had to be completely in the dark in order to see anything. So despite my trepidation and the anticipation of what to expect, we made our way up a dark, winding road, around two miles upwards towards the summit. Along with my trusty pink torch in my bag.
The Stars Aligned
The wind howled and it was bitterly cold. We waited patiently in the dark outside the observatory building, waiting with the other visitors for this unique experience to begin.
It had been a cloudy day so we weren’t expecting to see a lot. Fortunately as we sat inside the cosy wooden cabin for the initial presentation on the Universe, the clouds miraculously cleared and as they say, the stars aligned. We were led back outside to a spectacular viewing area and experienced an incredible cosmic feast. Our eyes had to adjust to the darkness therefore no phones were permitted, not even to take pictures.
When they opened the roof panels, we all looked upwards and as if by magic we could see everything. No longer completely in the dark we were surrounded by twinkling lights in the sky above as far as our eyes could see. It was magnificent. As though we were immersed and at one with the entire Universe. Pretty humbling really.
In groups we were shown to specific telescopes and saw planets in the solar system, including Mars. Another galaxy and the International Space Station passed over head.
Wish upon a star
When we came back inside we were shown more of the Universe in another presentation and it still blows my mind, the level of detail and knowledge they shared with us.
But there was something else that also enlightened me. Something miraculous I had been waiting for. The answer that I had been grappling with for my book popped into my head. This experience and insight re-affirmed that yes indeed, everything is infinite, including us. We are beings of light. And I have never felt more certain of this as I do now.
However tempting it can be to try and stick to schedules and deadlines, sometimes it is best to stop seeking the answer and let it come to you by whatever means possible.
It pays to ask the Universe for guidance, as it always delivers. Maybe not strictly to our pressurised human schedules, but if you try wishing upon a star it can work a miracle. It certainly did for me.
So it’s back to the writing for now until it is finished, my book “Living with Amazing Grace – a journey through grief, healing and transformation” will be published in the Autumn.
You heard it here first. This deadline simply will not be moved.