I woke up from a dream this morning that says it all. An evil man was pointing a gun at me, and I knew I was going to be killed. I rather hoped he would get it over. And as I crouched down with my hands over my head, I said a prayer to God, “I’m sorry I didn’t write more.”
I was born with the gift of wordsmithing. From the time I was eight years old, I knew I wanted to be a writer. No one I knew was a writer, and so I carried that knowing in my heart, reading as much as I could and going to the local library with my Aunt Veen every weekend. I was happiest surrounded by books. To this day, when I walk into a library or a bookstore, my heart sings.
When I was entering high school, I told my high school guidance counselor that I wanted to be a writer and that I was interested in the theatre. With the pomp and circumstance of an overinflated ego, he took his wireframe glasses off his stout, balding head and tossed them on the file folder in front of him – my file folder, holding what he deemed as all the information he needed to direct my life. Then he looked me squarely in the eye, “You’ll never be a writer.” He never even addressed the theatre. I sank into the hard oak chair beneath me, feeling my life force seep into the floor.
Luckily, my life force was stronger than his mandate, and I became a writer and I have an impressive portfolio. As I’ve admitted before, there have been moments in my life when I placed other demands before my writing, even forgoing my 15-minute writing practice in the mornings. I’ve often said that’s the biggest sin I’ve committed – not honoring the gift I came into the world to share.
Of late, even though I’m involved in multiple writing projects, some of my own and some of my clients, I’ve been spending far too much time in meetings and far little time doing what I love to do – doing what makes me come alive. Writing (and rewriting a.k.a. editing) has been squeezed in – an hour here, an hour there. A day here, a day there. I haven’t honored my gift. I haven’t honored myself.
I’ve often made decisions about my schedule based on what I think others need. What I’ve come to know is that my clients, my friends, and my family need me to show up as who I am and with all the love and presence of someone who knows what she came into this world to do.
Philosopher and civil rights leader Howard Thurman says, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
I come alive when I’m writing. Every cell in my being sings in joy when I’m crafting an essay, a marketing piece, a course, and a book. Time stands still. When I’m not creating, I’m aware of the ticking of the clock.
So, I’ve made a huge decision for 2024. My weeks will revolve more around writing and less about meetings. I’ll have room in my day to walk, do yoga, make a pot of soup, and watch the people pass by from the balcony while I ponder a developing character or plot – or how to best market a book.
While I will always make time for my clients to meet with me and discuss their projects, I’m devoting space for my creativity to breathe and to listen more closely to what the Universe wishes for me to express in the world. I believe this is an example.
So, what makes you come alive?
What will it take to commit to this in 2024?
Because if not now, when?