Monday, 4 June 2018
On Blowing Your Own Whistle
For those that are not familiar with my book "What Goes Around Comes Around;" it features the account of a 40 consecutive day labyrinth practice that I undertook. Just as the walking meditation practice of a labyrinth provides a pathway that begins on the outside and penetrates to the centre, the book also contains much deeper, richer content. The story of walking the labyrinth each day is only the most superficial attribute of the book. The book reveals candidly and transparently,various challenges throughout my life, as well as those that I encountered, during the walking each day.
It shares questions I was asking about my life and about life in general. Various insights and revelations that I received during this process, are made available to the reader. Each chapter is entitled with a different attribute that contributes (one way or another) to personal growth. I "tell all" with respect to what I learn of the human condition (mine) the reader can relate as they see fit. At the end of each chapter are 15 - 20 guideline questions formulated around the chapter theme, that people can then use as templates, for examination of different aspects of their own life.
I share of myself so that it is clear, that though I was participating in a form of "meditation" (which some consider a part of a "Spiritual path;" that I was then "writing" a manuscript, which at the time, I envisioned would be my first book, that now, I have successfully self-published; my life has been full of some significant challenges (some of which were life threatening) none of which, were allowed to become roadblocks to my fulfilling this dream. I want this to be inspiring to others. So that they can look at the dark roads I have traversed and yet various successes were still possible - I believe this true for anyone.
The completion of the 40 day practice, the writing (and numerous rewrites of the manuscript) were milestones of accomplishment in themselves. It didn't stop there, in fact in many ways - it only began after attaining these completions - (a metaphor contained with in the labyrinth's path & the title of the book)
Next came (and continues to be true) the ongoing promotion of the book, said another way, ongoing self-promotion. This in itself, is a journey that for me, has been replete with self-discovery. Essentially, if I forego the promotion of my book - it largely comes to a grinding halt. Though the book currently is cloaked in relative obscurity, without my focus and intention, it would drop off the radar entirely.
So you see it is my continued valuing of my previous effort, the book itself, belief in myself and the book's value as a tool to help others to identify goals/dreams of their own, determine what both their personal assets and those qualities (or limiting beliefs) are; which will help them on the road to realizing their dreams, or make it's attainment more difficult, respectively.
I do this knowing full well, that mine is not the variety of book that is for everyone. Oh anyone could utilize it, but many will not. Naturally to begin with, not everyone will resonate with my writing style or what I have to say. I also realize that a book that offers the story of and templates for, self exploration, won't necessarily be abundantly popular. It is a "road less traveled" for a reason - many don't care to go there. I don't always want to go there - even now, there are "blind spots," that I will come to discover about myself, and I know from experience, I'd rather have them be discovered in someone else. Still I know that as uncomfortable as some of this self-discovery can be - it most certainly leads to a great many rewards. But not, without doing the work of discovery first.
Why do I spend my time and effort on a book that might be the written equivalent of pushing a boulder uphill? (in terms of marketability) Because I believe whole-heartedly in human potential - mine and yours. It doesn't matter where you've been and what you've done (or haven't done) - your life can be considerably different, no matter where you are starting from. I have experienced that in my life, as I have worked at digging myself out of my own personal hell, and drained the swamp - I began to dream of being of service to others that wish to do the same. This book is my first overture to that end, which combines my life experience, and my passion for writing.
Maybe I could make more money in a different genre, it doesn't matter, that's not where my heart is. This whole matter is my personal demonstration of living "my dream.." not someone else's. In living my dream I wouldn't dream, of not, "walking my talk." That's why I have no qualms about sharing my foibles - just because I am walking toward and in various ways living my dream, doesn't mean I don't step squarely into a big pile of, you know what, along the way, sometimes I'm the guy that built the pile. But I still am reaching for my dream and trusting in what I believe in.
The quest has been full of frustration, failure, unforeseen challenges, thrills, surprises, unforeseen support and opportunities; I wouldn't trade it for anything.
There's never been any guarantees - there still isn't. I have a stack of boxes full of my books in my bedroom (in that sense you could say I'm "full of myself") - but as they say, "No guts, no glory" - I also have about as many books (gracefully stored for me) in Northern Ireland -left behind from the launch of the book over there & awaiting my resuming it's distribution. These mountains of books are both monument to a modicum of success and taunt me as talisman of potential, "close but no cigar!"
Just to further illustrate some form the challenge has taken, I was at a "Health/Wellness/Intuitive Arts expo one weekend - there I sat with my books for two full days. I believe I sold 4 and gave 2 away. Talked to a great many people, got "exposure" I wouldn't have had otherwise - who knows where that might lead. Meanwhile right beside me are two young guys selling rocks, raw crystals and jewelry made of the same - most of the weekend, there were people lined up three deep and they were taking in money hand over fist.
I have to admit at times I felt bewildered, befuddled and a little envious; It reminded me of the old Charlie Brown Halloween special (every house he went to he lamented: "I got a rock!" - yours truly's version would have been, "I got the table beside the guys, with the rocks!!"
Still, that is their passion (I presume) and I have my own - I will continue to follow my inspiration and work with and represent, what is true for me.