In February, while planning a huge plot overhaul on a WIP, I started to feel antsy. Restless. I wanted the novel finished yesterday. I described it as “feeling impatient with myself,” but a well-timed Twitter chat with Amy Oscar nailed the feeling as anxiety.
Oh, yes, my old frenemy. So we meet again.
I realized the anxiety arose from the tension between feeling like I was here, in a place far behind where I should have been, and not there, an imaginary place where I felt I should have been already. In reality, I was now, in the moment, exactly where I was. If I could have been anywhere else, I would have been there. Those here and there places only existed in a story I was making up about myself in my head. Embracing the idea of be here now allowed me to rise above the story and make better choices for myself and my writing. Staying present has been a recurring theme for me this year, and sometimes staying present with a writing project requires reminders like this one.
A few years ago I heard Gabrielle Bernstein speak live. I only remember one line: “Hold your dreams lightly.” Yes, I visualize and journal about dreams I hardly dare speak out loud. But staying present with the work, allowing creative flow, is the only way I truly get anything done. (This is something my coach Kirra Sherman keeps reminding me).
Visualize the outcome. Say, “I ask for this or something better.” And then release it. Don’t choke your dreams, and be open to their manifestation looking different from how you’d originally imagined. Be here now.