It's great to be back to writing today, taking a break from what has been an intensely focused summer for me.
In mid-May of this year, with spring waning and summer making a blazing entry, I made a commitment to completing my soon-to-be-published book, "Me, Myself, and I: 28 Days of Creative Self-Love." It's a mixed media book that includes its own YouTube playlist of 112 songs/videos and Flickr gallery with over 300 pictures (still in the works). I had finished writing the book in February, yet getting it to the point where I could publish was dragging out further and further.
So, I decided to dive in deeply. As poker players say, I was "all in," focusing all my energy and intentions on two very specific tasks: providing intuitive readings to my private clients and taking decided steps toward finishing my book. I set up an action plan of what was to be accomplished and in what order and have been working diligently to check off each item, every action in my plan.
Three months later, I'm still chiseling away at what I planned 90 days ago. I've remained committed to my commitment, saying no to anything that would distract my energies from the tasks at hand and spending long hours each day in near solitary confinement to work on the book. The intensity of my work reminds me of the bright heat of the summer's sun, glaring down on the little seedlings that were planted in springtime and accelerating their growth with its warmth.
In the summer, showers also nurture spring's tiny sprouts. In the same way, my relationships with other creative souls connected to the book and with those who've been encouraging and supporting my focus have fed me--mentally, spiritually, and even physically--in the past few months. Warm summer breezes provide expansion and movement to plants, as has the work with my clients given me space away from all the required details for a multi-media publication.
Intense focus like we see in the summer heat can serve each of us at various times in our lives. Being focused doesn't mean that we can do nothing else. All work and no play does indeed make Jane a dull girl. It means staying true to what's important and setting boundaries on how we spend our time and energy. Intense focus validates the worthiness of our dreams. Walt Disney once said, "If you can dream it, you can achieve it." I'm figuring Walt didn't relent one iota on what he dreamed of accomplishing!
In my private practice, I've observed clients who have indeed gotten stymied at every step along the way to their desires. Some can't begin to name what their hearts yearn for; their dreams are vague and disconnected from their daily lives. The possibilities sit in the dappled shadows of their hearts, unable to thrive without the light of growth and the rain of nurture. If you find yourself at this place, begin by noticing what makes your pulse race. What subtle signs of passion stirring beneath the surface are you ignoring?
Others know well and good what they want, but don't have the courage to take one single step out of the lives they're living to reach for it. For them, status quo is the beguiling temptress that says, "No, stay with me a little longer." The idea of focused intention at this stage begs a close examination of how you spend your time.
Are you clear on your desires, but not making an effort to attain them? What distracts you? What do you need to say no to? In response to your dreams, what's one little step you can take that not only honors them, but also gives you an opportunity to see if they're real? Keeping on with habits of the mind or what's always been creates an endless winter within us with all our potential laying frozen beneath the surface. What can you do to thaw things out a bit?
Then, there are those who have already taken steps, but are lacking clarity on exactly how to proceed. You might have gone so far as to list the important tactics needed to achieve your dreams, but seem to lose energy when it comes to carrying out all of them. My attempts to grow tomatoes and cucumbers in my partly wooded yard has been alot like this. The sun is out, the rain is pouring, but not enough of either is reaching the plants.
Focus and commitment give a consistent and adequate level of energies needed for growth that comes through clarity. Are you clear on what it will take to reach your dreams--even if you're not sure of the final destiny?
Every journey of significant distance requires adjustments and detours, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't start mapping out the path to your intended destination! How will you get there? What steps can you commit to taking on a regular basis to maintain momentum?
These dog days of summer can be the most productive period for some crops. In the same way, there are still several weeks of intense focus left to go in my own two-fold commitment to my book and private clients. It won't be long, though, before the rich growth can be plucked and shared with many others--including you. I look forward to a day in autumn when we're all enjoying the fruits of this labor, reading and celebrating 28 Days of Creative Self Love!