I’m leading a group on the Enneagram at my church these days. It’s been enriching for me to delve more deeply into the work. I’m learning more about the various personality types and enjoy helping people both understand themselves more deeply and see the significant differences between us, in terms of our perspectives, capacities, challenges, and gifts.
In the process, of course, I’m being reminded about aspects of myself as well. One of the paradoxes of my particular type is that we can be profoundly creative at our most healthy—and struggle to create when we let our emotional coping mechanisms take over.
For example, I’ve previously mentioned those many writing ideas I’ve had. I will be attending the Women Writing the West conference here in Tucson in late October, and have a brief opportunity to meet with an agent or editor to pitch a project. I am finding myself feeling paralyzed when it comes to choosing a project to pitch. Should I aim for a selection of these blog posts, focused on a particular Western-oriented theme, given the nature of the conference? Should I gather together some of my poetry, following the same idea? Should I pitch something that will likely require inclusion of my photographs, understanding that this makes for a much more expensive printed book, or use the opportunity to learn about electronic publishing so I might include my photography? Do I worry about which of these might be most lucrative, or focus instead upon what I believe to be most valuable for potential readers?
I am writing this post at 4:30 am because I’ve let these questions, and more, keep me awake. Naturally, this is probably not the best or healthiest way to proceed. Some days are like that. Accepting this fact is part of having compassion for myself. And, learning how to be a healthier version of myself can allow me to better handle these questions—to avoid taking them into the territory that I call “spinning,” where I mentally go in circles, returning to the same questions again and again, without finding answers.
Which is why I am sitting at my computer, typing this at 4:30 am. I have learned that the best way to stop spinning is to get up and do something different. If I am still feeling wide awake when this is done, I will probably edit a client project for a while, then return to bed and hope to sleep in, or take a bit of a nap later. (One advantage of the freelance life is that afternoon naps are sometimes possible!)
Self-understanding is helpful in many aspects of life—most definitely including the spiritual. Much of my work is inherently spiritual—the content, my perspective, my reliance on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide me and those with whom I work. That can lead me, in less healthy moments, to take my relationship with God for granted. When I find myself awake at 4:30 am, it’s also a reminder that I need to make time for God in my rhythm of life—no matter the hour.
Maybe, before diving into client work, I’ll go hang out with God for a bit.
Shirin….your question, “Do I worry about which of these might be most lucrative, or focus instead upon what I believe to be most valuable for potential readers?” can be answered. What is most valuable for your potential readers will be the most lucrative. But your level of enlightenment has already led you to that answer already. Of that, I am sure.
Thank you, Susan. I hear all these “six-figure income” sales pitches and wonder how much true spiritual worth can be hidden within something so focused on the bottom line. That is more what I meant. You are right that value leads to a willingness to invest, be it of our time, our talent, or our treasure. Thank you for your thoughtful contemplation of my post!
Your middle night foray came to fruition as you turned toward God rather than away toward spinning. I dare say that getting up in the middle of the night to write was the first turning, through your deep yearning.
Maybe you don’t need the one right pitch. Maybe you just need one right pitch. As you well know from experience, one need only begin somewhere and that will lead onward. Start with whichever sort of pitch resonates most in your heart. Follow your heart and the rest will follow. I trust you completely to take a strong step forward, once your heart points the way.
Prayers ensuing, dear friend. AllForLove ✨?✨ June
Thank you, June, for your support and encouragement. Yes, following God involves a lot of showing up and listening… to subtle movements and strong ones. Many of those have arrived in the wee hours of the night…perhaps because I’m still enough to listen!