Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut

A dove built a nest in our side yard. The location is a bit precarious. Instead of choosing a tree, the bird constructed its home in a tire that is lying on a bench next to the wall. It’s about waist high. CB and I prefer not to bother the bird, but the location is by the side entrance to the garage. We use this door for a lot for activities such as taking out the trash, hanging clothes on the line and wheeling out the tandem bicycle out so we can enjoy the spring weather. We try to alter our habits a bit so we don’t bother the dove, but no matter how often we go out, the bird is always there sitting on her nest.

I’m no expert on this aviary friend, but I’m thinking the parents must take turns sitting on this little nest. I don’t know how they could handle it otherwise. They have to eat sometime. And I have to admit, the mama bird is looking a bit thinner.
Although there is new evidence that some birds are actually pretty intelligent, our feathered neighbor is part of the flock that is more known for their lack of intelligence. Hence the name bird brain. Yet, when it comes to determination, this dove takes the proverbial cake.

In the end, if the dove is successful, the eggs will hatch, the babies will demand even more attention (and food) until they finally fly off to create nests of their own. Then the process will start all over again. It seems a thankless job. The baby birds won’t call and check in on their dutiful parents, drop off a worm as a surprise meal, or send a card for Mother’s Day. Yet the dove sits patiently waiting for her eggs to hatch.

It reminds me the process of writing. My friend and co-author Jackie, wrote the book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within. We did it to help others improve their lives. No one gave us an advance payment, producers weren’t begging for the movie rights, and folks weren’t calling daily to ask when the book was coming out.

Instead, we put in the effort (approximately 18 months) to interview folks, research the topic and write and edit the book. That was the easy part. Next came book proposals, marketing plans, query letters and a lot of begging. In all, we sent query letters, proposals and marketing plans to approximately 200 publishers and agents. After we exhausted every option, we published Erase Negativity as an ebook through smashwords, and later as a paperback through createspace. The book is now available through Amazon, or through our website

Almost every day I receive some positive feedback on the book. The other day I got a thank you note from a reader in Nebraska. And I know for every person who contacts us, there are many more who do not. While I want to see our sales improve and our message reach millions of people throughout the world, even knowing one person has benefited from the book is a source of joy. This book was a “calling” and by writing it, I feel I am walking my true path as a writer and a healer.

However, not everyone feels the same way about their careers. In chapter 10 of our book, we discuss plugging into a higher source. A lot of the chapter revolves around doing the work you love. Here are a few tips from the Erase Negativity section of the book.

•Avoid working in a career where money is your only goal. If you are stuck in a job that brings no joy and drains you of your energy, find something more nourishing to your soul. Chances are you are feeling stuck, not because you have to be, but because you have decided you have to be.

•Be mindful of the energy exchange you experience with others. Remember that you cannot change others, you can only change yourself.

•Be open to the possibilities in life. Just because things have been difficult in the past does not mean they have to continue to be that way. Your determination and strong intent will move you in the direction you set forth.

•Find things that energize you and avoid those that constrict the energy in your heart, soul and mind. Pay attention to how you feel energetically.

•You are not your bank account, your car, or even your body. When you die, none of these transient things will go with you. Learn to love yourself. Know that you are divine and have unique gifts that only you can contribute to the world.

That is not to say that pursuing the path you want is going to be easy. There may be sacrifices. People may tell you that going after a career you love in a field that does not pay well is stupid. Our advice is to let folks have THEIR opinion and you should follow YOUR dreams. Perhaps you may choose to make money first and have a plan to work in the area you love later in life. That is okay too. The important thing is to move in the direction you want to go.

The only thing that will ever truly stop you for realizing your dreams is if YOU give up. In this regard, patience trumps intelligence. It is no wonder I love the Dutch proverb, “A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.”
Like the dove in my side yard, success comes from love and determination. People have their opinions about your choices, but in the end, it is YOUR life. So decide what you love to do, make a plan and go after it with strong resolve. Your job is to never give up. When you feel yourself slipping remember this other great anonymous quote:

A great oak is only a little nut that held its ground.

1 comment:

Jennifer Butler-Williams said...

Your blogpost is very related to the email I just sent you about the resounding question in my life. I love my part-time job (used to love my daytime job) but politics have disrupted my growth as a professional in the field. But truly I love to write and draw, I think I would make marvelous children's books.
Who knows where I'll go from here?I think I will have the patience to see where time leads me instead of stressing about my future, I will just wait for the door to open that I've been waiting for.