Monday, 26 November 2018
Another Point of View
As it does: life pushes, pulls, prods, cajoles, encourages, at times even demands; a change, a reassessment, an expansion, a release, a reinvention, a reconsideration, a transformation.
I returned to Ireland this autumn, in fact I'm still here. Closer now, to the end of this visit, than to its beginning. Thoroughly fed by the current experience, anticipating all things known, from whence I came - looking forward to another Ireland odyssey, sooner than later.
It was clear when booking my flight for this current trip - "I want to go back because I love being in Ireland." Purpose more explicit than that, wasn't necessarily defined, in no small part, because I don't know what powers within and without me, have in store for my experience.
I loosely had in mind that I would continue what I started with respect to my book (which had launched on Amazon last year while in Ireland).. I went on to having it placed in some local shops as I travelled and doing a couple live events.
Indeed something did transpire with respect to my book. I stopped into a shop in Derry to check in, what is the status of my books placed there? Are you happy to continue to have them (knowing that "space" in a retail shop represents revenue ... I couldn't presume to occupy it indefinitely).
As it turned out the shop owner had revamped the shops, reassessing what was popular and what wasn't to be carried at this time. Books didn't make the cut. I can't fathom it myself, but mine is not the only perspective. So I was to have returned, twelve copies of my book. Honestly I wasn't strongly disappointed, maybe a little. But I truly felt grateful to have been given the opportunity. I was more concerned about, the physical inconvenience of traveling with that many books.
She wrapped them in 3's and gave me a couple stout bags to carry them, that was a blessing right out of the gate. Without this act of kindness, I would have had to carry some loose, try and stuff some in my day pack, all of which would be awkward, and potentially muss the books.
Within a very short period of time, I was able to relocate all twelve copies. I gave one each to the staff at the B & B (for a total of 4). They have been so kind to me each time I have stayed here. (they still joke that I may hold the record for collective duration of stay) - B&B's more commonly being short duration refuge, for those going somewhere else.. I like to fully immerse in a place, so I took up residence..
Another two copies went to a friend ... perhaps to be passed on to family or friends, or a client. The fate of the remaining six copies, I am particularly happy about. One night I woke upright, with the notion that the lot of them; were to go to the support agency in town, I had connected with last year. I had intended to reconnect with them anyway; so, once I determined where & when they met, I just brought the books along.
The organization is called Me4Mental, it is located in Derry. They now have their own space to work from and meet in. They provide a vast array, of support services to those dealing with mental health issues. I have sat in their support circle three times now, and it is a beautiful experience. I'm not qualified to determine the parameters of "mental wellness/illness" - or at what points, I'm dancing on the line or have stepped across. But I certainly can say, the love and acceptance present in that room is a boost to my spirit, anytime I've been there.
Not all times "on the road," are comprised of stunning vistas, peak experiences and inspiration (at least that's true for me). Of course those experiences occur, my facebook page is plastered with them. However, the unfamiliarity, the intensity at which one can come face to face with themselves while traveling, can be daunting ... what a blessing, that I was welcomed into this circle of people, with open arms.
They happily put the six copies of my book into their library. It is an absolute privilege and honour for me to consider this outcome!!
Further to the path involving my book; I was introduced to a publisher at a friend's book launch event. I was invited to submit my manuscript for a look see. This marks the first submission of that sort, I have allowed myself. Again, what a blessing to be given the opportunity, to submit.
I was convinced previously, at the time of the book's inception that I wanted "Autonomy," and I still value that, for my life in general. However, ongoing self-exploration, yields that issues from my past, spawned through me - various forms of "control issues." I would need to continue to be very aware, to discern; when I'm legitimately standing in my own power, and when I'm simply not trusting (anything).
Interesting the amount of time I have spent with various groups of people, been engrossed in various written guidance; all proclaiming the need to "let go and let God.." I've neither embodied it full time, nor ignored it all together. I'd be hard-pressed to explain it, let alone "prove" the virtue of it.
One would need to have some willingness to at least be open to the idea that a "higher power" exists. I'm not sure it matters what you call it. Did this power - declare; my name is: GOD!! - "hey you over there, you spelt my name wrong, - ya it looks like Yahweh... but it's pronounced GOD!!"
At any rate I'd be writing all day and never be able to articulate anything conclusive. So, I side step the existence question and proceed to letting go to, whatever remains. Sounds simple doesn't it? In essence I suppose it actually is. Perhaps there are those that do it all day, every day and would wonder why anyone wouldn't. More likely if they are that thoroughly aligned, there would be no need for concern about who does and who doesn't; they would just trust, that relationship, is being looked after between each and "their maker."
Trust .. that is the "muscle" I'm discovering that became atrophied. From the environment I came from, to not remain "in control" - meant further hurt. I want to believe in a Divine loving source, I suppose if I did more thoroughly, I would "turn it over," surrender, and Let Go; instantly.
There isn't overwhelming evidence that I "know best," if my life is examined. Of course I haven't in all cases, acted out erroneously either.
I have faced "abandonment/rejection" issues in my life on a number of levels. However, this is my first book. I have heard the reference/metaphor to written works being like, "your baby." I'm realizing that it cannot serve any greater good; if I cannot separate this book (or anything further I write) from myself, my worth, my "success." The book must stand or fall on its own.
This feels like a cross-road for me. I "know" virtually nothing about publishing/marketing etc. I know there are those that are "butcher, baker, and candle-stick maker" - I have discovered, I just want to write. Does that mean this book or any future book will then, automatically become "published?" No it does not!
The thing is, to be fair, it's possible I have the "raw talent," - but I most likely can't, serve as my own crucible, (to apply the necessary "pressure," refinement, direction etc.) to yield all my potential has to offer. I'm more likely to either sit back self-satisfied; while the best is "left on the table," or drive myself to distraction, through unhelpful perfectionism, that will never submit anything.
The book features a labyrinth journey. My experience continues along labyrinthine paths. The "arrival" at the first completion and self-publishing "goal-line" - doesn't necessarily mean, the journey is complete. I know self-discovery to be an on-going walk - and so it is.
This might well be the first of countless submissions. I have no way of knowing. This book might ultimately go "nowhere.." or perhaps where it has gone, is exactly where it was meant to go. I had to face myself to write the first book. There is no free ride where that is concerned, from one "completion" & thence forward. To sit before the blank screen is to see reflected, all of me - from there I move the pieces around and see what forms. Love it or hate it.... it's me!! It's not my business how it is interpreted by others. (memo to myself)
One thing is for sure.. there will be nothing gained, without a submission. The peaceful way to make that possible for me is to "Let go of the results.."
R. O'Neill ( November 26, 2018)