Writing and the Word.

The more you pay attention to the results, the more you aren’t paying attention to the now. People need to hear what you have to say, but the more you think about how you are going to present it, the less you are actually presenting it.

Don’t worry about the title of the book or how you are going to manage the book tour. Just write the book. And how do you write a book? Word by word, line by line. If you look at the hugeness of the idea of a book, you’ll never get started. If you start to wonder if “hugeness” is really a word, you might not even get to the next paragraph.

I find it helpful to work in other mediums as well, such as painting, collage, and beading. Any creative exercise is the same. You can learn something about the process of creating while doing anything creative. Whatever you work on, it will almost never end up the way you planned. Often that is a good thing. Whatever the medium you will learn patience and practice and process.

Let the Spirit of the Creator work through you. We are merely vessels. We aren’t the life-giving nourishment within. We are just a way to hold it.

What if someone needs water, and you bring it to them? Do you bring them a glass or a bucket? Or perhaps they need a sippy cup. Or just a handful? They need water to live, but bringing it to them in a way that they can’t handle isn’t fair or helpful. They can’t drink from a firehose. Perhaps they can handle a garden hose, but then they would feel like you don’t care.

Do you use your best stemware, or do you use a plastic cup from Taco Bell? The water is the same. They need the water to live. But how you present it makes a huge difference.

Some might feel that they aren’t worthy to use the stemware. It is handcut lead crystal. It is from Waterford, Ireland. They are afraid they will drop it. They are afraid they will chip it.

Then there are those who feel insulted if you serve them water in a plastic cup from a fast-food restaurant. “Don’t you know who I am?”

The same is true of giving people the truth. They might not be ready to receive what you are ready to give. They might not like how you are serving it to them.

You can’t please everyone. Serve the water. They need it. You can make it easier or harder but you still won’t reach everyone. Write what you want to write, the way you want to write. Some will get it. Some won’t. That is ok.

A change of perspective.

A change of perspective will do you good. Try out different things. Eat at different restaurants. Sit in a different chair. Read a different kind of book.

It is important to have different perspectives. However you see reality isn’t THE reality. It is just your take on it. You will see things from the limitations of your sense organs. Your eyes are different from mine – you might see blues a little better. I might be shorter than you and catch a different angle. Together, if we explain how we see what we are looking at, we will both gain a better understanding of what we see.

Just because someone else sees something differently doesn’t mean that they are wrong and you are right. You are both right, for yourselves. You both have made your decision based on the information that you have. You can both make a more informed decision if you widen your information by sharing.

Don’t be like a small child. The terrible twos are partly called that because children will call out “NO” vehemently when told to do something. They are asserting their independence. They are saying that they are not puppets or pets. They can’t be told what to do. They have their own agendas, and they want to make sure that they are listened to. This is an important phase of growth, but it is important to grow out of too. Don’t say “no” to someone else’s take on something just because it isn’t the way you see it. They might have a piece of the puzzle you are missing.

We are all in this together. Life isn’t about being right and wrong. It is about sharing and listening to each other. It is about dialogue instead of debate. It is about love instead of judgment.

We are all flowers in a garden. Each of us is different on purpose. If we all were the same kind of flower the garden would be very boring. Variety is indeed the spice of life.

We are all instruments in an orchestra. If we were all the same instrument, the song would sound very dull. Be the piccolo or the trombone or the bassoon or the bass drum. Be who you were made to be, and be it to the best of your ability. And in the meantime, learn to appreciate the other instruments for their contribution to the song.

Being jealous of someone else’s success is a waste of your time. The fact that they are successful does not mean that you can’t be successful too. They are successful at being themselves. You are different. Be yourself. Being jealous of someone else is childlike. They haven’t taken away your toy.

I know people who are jealous of people for losing weight. The fact that another person has made the time to exercise and worked up the discipline to eat well does not take away from your ability to do the same. The more time you spend getting mad at another person’s success, the less time you are spending on creating your own. Perhaps you can learn something from the other person’s story that might encourage you. Perhaps you might learn a new way of thinking that will make it easier for you to get healthy.

This all applies to religion as well.

I saw a t-shirt at a New Age shop in Boone, NC with this quote. “There are many paths up the mountain, but at the top, the same bright moon.” I can’t remember the author, and my web search just results in “Asian saying”. I don’t think it matters who said it so much as that it was said. I know plenty of fundamental Christians will freak out over this saying, using the “Jesus is the way…” quote, but they forget that Jesus was all about love, and certainly not about telling everybody off. They also forget that the apostle Paul tells us that in Christ there is no East or West, or male or female or Jew or Gentile, and that Paul himself adapted to the language and customs of whoever he was with.

I like this quote because it seems so simple and so honest. Our goal is God. Keep moving upwards. The closer you get to the top, the more people you are going to see from different faith traditions because the mountain is getting smaller as it goes up. Why do you care how they got there? Are you jealous? Is it “your” God? Or are you concerned for them? Are you afraid that their way might get them lost? Are you so sure of your way? If your way leads you to judge them, then you have a pretty good clue that you are close to falling off the mountain.

There are no shortcuts to success or happiness or enlightenment. They all require an odd balance of hard work and of letting go. I wish you peace on your journey.