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 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.