Today...I had another one of those epiphanies that I love so much. The essence of what I mean by that is...there are times when I get self-obsessed. What do I want, what is my goal, how do I make that happen? Strategy, thinking, planning, thinking...and sometimes I forget to just be. To let the flow return. After spending so much time...isolating, focusing, feeling, doing, creating...I released my little project. And then there was a space. A free, clear space to fill with whatever I wanted. So naturally, I sought to cram as much into that space as possible. New book! Research! Life, color, vibrancy! And I followed that urge. I breathed in beauty, color, and followed the muse where it took me. I would start a new novel, this one a romance, inspired by fresh florals and scent and a mysterious botanist. And then...
I remembered when I started Ana. And the novel I sought to write, and how it left me feeling empty and artificial. And how I surrendered to the higher need to write from the soul. Again, I found myself drawn to the same old patterns. So...I step back. Why? Why pursue that, why dive into the cave again? So I took a break from thinking about it. And I asked myself...silently...what do I really want? Do I simply want to embrace things that are beautiful and live my life passionately? Or do I want to write about it? I found my stillness. I sat. Cleared my mind. And I let it go.
Somewhere in the midst of writing Ana's story, I changed. And oftentimes I wondered if I had evolved beyond that of writing romance, personally. Did it really light me up? Or was it safe and easy? An on and on, the internal questions came back. I asked myself, the universe, God...give me a hint. Am I being true to myself in locking away and endeavoring to write another novel? Maybe it will be better than the first? Or have I changed in the process, and does my soul need more now? Is there a better way for me to channel this inspiration, this magic, this connection...to give it away? Which path makes sense for my long distance goals?
Some backstory: years and years ago...2005, I want to say...I spent a summer in California. Southern California. Beautiful. Perfect weather. Open, kind people. I attended a range of transformational workshops and in that year...during those meetings, those collaborations, I made a declaration that I had all but forgotten about. I stood up in front of a room of people and told them that I would start a women's center or a women's history museum. I gathered paperwork, made contact lists, contacted the state for information on chartering...and was told that it was a niche and the Island needed it. That I might get grants for it. That I should go forward. I still have files in a drawer somewhere... however... life happened. I made different choices. This led to that which led to this which brought me here. And I love my life, I don't regret any of it or what I've learned along the way. I love where I am and what I get to do.
Case in point: today, I met a woman. She was in her sixties and could no longer perform in her particular line of work, which was creative. Ironically, working with flowers. No joke. She loved it, it was her passion, but her hands were giving out. And what to do now? Where to seek more work, and what kind of work? I knew that she crossed my path for a reason. And I thought...I wish there was a place that I could send her. A place where she could go, sit down, and get the counsel, the advice, the direction that she needed. Ears to listen, other women to inspire her, a mentor to educate her. Resources to help her. And not with a hefty life-coach price tag. These services exist, for sure, if you're willing to shell out the money. But if you're looking for work? Good luck with that. And that bothers me enough to think more deeply about it.
And then I remembered my old dream, from ten+ years back. I had floated a survey recently, inquiring about forming a women's group. And with those responses, and there were a few...I'm going to see where this leads. As much as I love the idea of writing flowery romance, which I may still do, I feel like this fits. An answer to a question that I asked in a different lifetime, it seems. Perhaps...I am now ready for it.
*If you're on Long Island and would like to get involved with this...shoot me an email. Once I have a core group, I'll set up a first exploratory meeting.*