Thursday, March 9, 2017

Revising My Spiritual Memoir: Thursday's Reflection

In case anyone is wondering where I am, you can find me at my desk in the garret. The majority of my waking hours these days is focused on working on my manuscript, tentatively titled Finding Home: Steps on a Pilgrimage. 

For over two years I have been working on this book, piece by piece, chapter by chapter. Sometimes with enthusiasm. Sometimes driven. Sometimes just because I said I would. Writing is like that.

Finally, I have the draft of a full manuscript, and that means it is time to revise. Revise, revise, revise. Fortunately, I enjoy the process of revision.

Here's the catch. Early in April I will attend a pitch conference. At this conference I will meet with three different agents for  eight minutes each and in that time I will "pitch" my book. I have written my pitch and am practicing and refining it daily. So far so good.

What if one of the agents shows an interest in my book? (Be still my heart!) If that happens, I need to be prepared to send them whatever they request: a chapter or two, a book proposal, the full manuscript. Who knows! 

That's why I am at my desk all day, everyday.

Of course, life continues, no matter how many more chapters I need to revise.

At the beginning of the year I was drawn to these words, "Sacred Yes. Sacred No." Words of discernment. 

When I feel drawn away from my desk, is that distraction or a need for a nurturing break?
How do I balance other demands and interests and connections?
When do I cross the line from commitment to obsession?
When is life in the garret a protection from or excuse for avoiding something I don't want to do?
When is a choice life-enhancing and when is it energy-depleting?

Here's what I am learning. The process of discernment, which is a process of listening to the divine within, doesn't just apply to the big decisions, such as changing jobs or moving to a different location, but we can learn to discern, to listen, whenever a choice, a question, a yearning, big or small, appears in our life. 

Do I have lunch with a friend today? Sacred yes? Sacred no?
Do I leave the garret and move into the snug, put up my feet and read? Sacred yes? Sacred no?
Do I start my day with my normal meditation process? Sacred Yes? Sacred No?
Do I make a phone call to my senators supporting their efforts and registering my concerns? Sacred Yes? Sacred No?

You get the idea. 

               Consider an area of your life needing a decision.
               Ask yourself, "What do I know deep inside me
               that relates to this decision, even if I can't explain
               it? What do I already know about myself and 
               about the situation I am in that I need to pay 
               attention to here?"
                                              Nancy Bieber

An Invitation
What needs discernment in your life? I would love to know. 

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