The last few months have seen me spending an abundance of time on my book.
Late last year, as I was reflecting on 2015 and looking forward to this year, the top goal on my list was to publish my book. To go from forthcoming author to published author. I knew, in order to do that, I would have to provide myself with enough structure or I would find myself at the end of 2016 making the same goal for 2017. Early this year I set the intention to have the first draft of my book to my editor by the end of March. At the time it seemed like a long time away, yet here it is the last week of March. Each week I scheduled writing time in my calendar so now I find myself ready to send off my draft. I found writing for my book has been a different experience than any other kind of writing I have been doing; writing for my newsletter, blogging or marketing. It often took precedence over all my other writing due to my deadline. It feels wonderful to not only meet my goal but to be a little closer to actually publishing the book.
As I get ready to send off my precious document, I am feeling vulnerable and exposed.
Not only because someone will be reading it and commenting on it, but because it will eventually be out in the world. Anyone who reads it will know my story. I wonder if it will open me to ridicule and criticism; or if people will find it helpful. My experience while writing was much like most of my writing experiences; the writing itself feels like it comes through me, like I am merely the mechanism for capturing the words.
Writing was a necessity because a force outside myself was compelling words to paper.
I originally intended to write an eBook. When I shared this with my writing coach last summer, he told me my words needed to be in a physical book. A book that could be held in one’s hand or be given to someone in need. Thinking about making a physical manifestation of my work made me take a big gulp before diving back in to do the revisions necessary for a real book. Each time I read the chapters it becomes clearer to me that this is the right path for this book; a physical representation of my journey through the initiation of Leah’s death. An eBook would have been safer, more elusive; an actual book cannot be denied much like the pain of losing my daughter cannot be denied.
Writing my story took me back to the days of my early grief, of my feelings after her accident, of the hospital and of the days following her death. I was glimpsing them from afar and at the same time reliving them. The tears came as I was transported back to the events that have had the power to completely transform my life. Remembering my path has made me better able to understand my client’s journeys.
Writing my story has clarified my work.
It has brought me to a place of deep gratitude for this work, for myself and for others. It has redefined my work, not only for those grieving the loss of a loved one, but for the grief that arises from loss of a relationship, job, health, or any time life turns out differently than you thought it would. I often wish there was another word other than grief to talk about what I do. People often do not want to talk about it and turn away from it until the grief becomes too big to deny. At those times, it can be so big that it is overwhelming and messier to untangle than if the feelings were met when they first came up. I have become comfortable talking about grief and being with the uncomfortable feelings that make up grief, both my own and my clients. I humbly recognize and accept this as one of my greatest gifts. I could have only come to this point by walking through this path myself.
When I talk about what’s possible with both my transformation and my grief clients it becomes clear to me that both groups can lack inspiration or feel trapped in a life that no longer makes sense. Maybe someone who is looking for a way to transform their life has underlying unresolved grief issues. As I look at the broader reach of my work I realize that everybody enters this work at their own entry point; the place that they arrive at when they are no longer willing to settle for a life that does not make sense, when they are ready to find out what their true purpose in life is, or when limiting stories have kept them stuck in a life that does not serve their highest vision.
As with every other part of my journey, writing this book at this time is important for what is coming next. My work in the world has been enriched by this experience and it will continue to be so as I bring my book into the world and allow others a more thorough glimpse into my journey.