Follow the Rhythm of Your Destiny

Yes, yes, yes!  I am sill working on a book!   

Oh, I know I’ve been working on it for years, and I know I keep saying it’s almost done.  It is almost done, dammit!  But book writing is an incredibly slow process, and I can be “almost finished” for months or (please God no) even years.

The problem is that I keep slowing down the completion of this project by trying to do it faster.  Every month, when I stop to write my magazine column, I resentfully toss together a few ideas so I can get back to my book, thus ensuring that the column will need several rewrites.  Every time I need to run an errand, I become so distracted and anxious that I forget important items or information and end up taking much more time than I’d expected.

These days, with everything happening so incredibly fast, I think most of us are feeling rushed.  Every time someone asks, “Haven’t you finished that yet?” or “So how’s the [your project goes here] coming along?” our guts clench and our minds race.  In that moment, as we try to speed up, we invariably slow down. 

I have a theory that during prior periods of history, working harder and bearing down actually did increase the speed at which we could complete tasks.  But things are changing on planet Earth.  Events are much more sensitive to the energy we broadcast and the energy that makes things happen is love.  Fear – including all varieties of anxiety and rushing – causes a tension that chokes off what wants to happen.  Remaining calm, as calm at the end of an event as at the beginning, facilitates a smooth relaxed completion.  A pattern I’ve heard described by many fellow coaches is:  trying hard to finish something; getting closer to the finish; getting excited or frustrated; encountering all sorts of maddening obstacles and delays; giving up; then suddenly receiving a fire hose blast of everything we were trying to accomplish.

As I attempt to finish my own long term project, I have developed the goal of making this process less traumatic.  That means relaxing, instead of tensing, when people ask me “aren’t you finished yet?”  It means being as fascinated with the sentence I’m writing as I am with the concept of being finished.  It means letting the present moment bring whatever love it intends.    

One of my coaches recently went to work on me as I wrestled with this issue.  Instead of the statement “I have to get finished with this book,” I came out of our session with the conviction “This book has to finish me.”  As it balks and refuses to be finished, it teaches me to follow the rhythm of my destiny, rather than the rhythm of human expectation. When I do that – when we all do that – our various desires and objectives will not only finish themselves, but finish teaching us how to bring everything we have imagined into reality.

10 replies
  1. john
    john says:

    happy christmas martha i think i have learned that self improvement doesent work unless i just pick a couple of ideas or just one and gratefully accept it…so ill continue to pray for more life …any attachments will always be just that but there has never been a time when i was too poor to pray for the children…of here…..thats where repentence comes…in…

    Reply
  2. Tina
    Tina says:

    My dear Martha,

    Happy Christmas morning and firehoses of blessings to you for all the relief, joy, hope and magic your work has seeded in the world. You’ve made an immense difference in my life. Thank you, thank you!
    love-

    Reply
  3. Jo Self
    Jo Self says:

    Each and every day I am so grateful for you, Martha. I am feeling crazier and more screwed up — and yet on the right path — every day. Nothing is going as I want it to, and yet when I read your books and your blog posts, I can’t help but feel things are going exactly as they are supposed to and that anytime now what feels like complete chaos is about to turn itself into something more beautiful and amazing than I could have fully imagined. I am trusting and taking steps in the direction of shackles off — in complete terror and trust in what “is.” Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    Reply
  4. Paddy
    Paddy says:

    The classical motto ‘festina lente’ is a good one to remember – it means ‘hurry slowly’, or very much what Martha is saying above: if you want to get finished, or deal with a problem that is making you tense, allow yourself to slow down mindfully,rather than speeding up.

    Reply
  5. Tara Baklund
    Tara Baklund says:

    I can totally relate to this! Fortunately before I embarked on my first book-writing-journey, I had worked as an artist in the physical/visual realm. One of the most beautiful lessons I learned from painting is to listen to the painting and respond to the process. Some paintings call for endless hours of touching up and fixing. One of my favorites was completed in under an hour- a peony in a mason jar on a table done in two colors: white and dark blue. It’s simply beautiful! Another drawing I did of ballet slippers I was ready to throw in the towel after 2 hours (at about 1am). But something told be to persevere, to deepen the shadows and to allow the ballet slippers to rise from the paper. they did, and it’s another of my favorites! Creating is an amazing process! A baby develops over months, ideas develop over time, and sometimes other things have to happen (socially or simply for the paint to dry) for the next step to be “visible”. Warmly, Tara

    Reply
    • LIsa
      LIsa says:

      Tara, That is so beautiful – sometimes you have to wait for the paint to dry for the next step to be visible. That made me want to cry!Thank you for your take on Martha’s post.

      Martha, you are amazing and you shine such a light for me on my path. We are on similar paths (I’m part of the Team) and your story helps me to keep my own anxiety in check, and life, and creative process! I can’t express my thanks for what you do enough. I hope to someday share with you how your guidance helped me help the world with my message. Your support gives me strength to do what I desire to do.

      Reply
  6. Ms. Mauikai
    Ms. Mauikai says:

    I have followed your writing for years now. I first discovered one of your articles in O Magazine, and I’m so happy to have found this post.

    This line > “follow the rhythm of my destiny, rather than the rhythm of human expectation” is everything!

    Thank you for your light and insights!

    Love & Gratitude,

    Ms. Mauikai
    http://www.msmauikai.com

    Reply

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