I have a new quirky expression after the emotional maelstrom that ensued this week - Bump and grow, bump and grow...The image that comes to mind is that of a bouncy balling rising and falling, rising and falling. Since I received my book from my editor, I have been completely absorbed in the editing process. Sometimes after tinkering paragraphs and tweaking chapters, I am full of excitement and exuberance. Other times, I am filled with this paralyzing self-doubt. This snarky voice causes me to question all the time, effort and money I've invested in this project, which I so desperately want to succeed.
I did my best to tend to this clamoring self-doubt with absolutely every mindfulness exercise I knew. Nothing worked. I frantically worried I wouldn't find an agent and then, even if I did, a publishing house wouldn't like what I wrote. I'm only now realizing that perhaps the winds of worry brought forth a poem I had initially dismissed. I was introduced to this haiku-like poem while working toward my certification to teach yoga. It was written by Mahasattva Fu, and he writes:
With empty hands
I take hold of the plow
When I first heard that poem I shrugged it off. I found it lackluster at best, but clearly some part of me held on to it. I spent time ruminating on those lines until the tension was released in the form of tears. I realized that my desire to see my book published had been causing an incredible amount of tension and pain. I was not holding the plow lightly. I was gripping it fiercely!
As some of you know, my mantra going into this project was "Let this book grow me," and it continues to do just that. So much of the publishing process is out of my hands. I then remembered something I had read in Rick Hanson's book, Just One Thing. He writes, "All you can do is tend to the causes - but you can't control the results...All we can do is promote the causes of the results we want." Naturally, I began flipping through the book to re-read what other gems I could discover all over again. I came across this expression "open-hearted fearlessness." I then applied a technique I mentioned a couple weeks ago in my post Pain Part III. I imagined the vast body of water as "open-hearted fearlessness" and this self-doubt as a buoy in that space. I'm not going to lie and say that doubt went away, but I did feel I could tolerate doubt's presence. Prior to this visualization it was as if self-doubt was the vast body of water and I was submerged in it.
Like I said...Bump and grow, bump and grow... :)
I will end the week with one more post or poem. I don't know if my poem will be ready, but if not I promise to have something worthy of your attention and time.