Devotion means you have seen the limitations of who you are
and you have seen the boundlessness of what life is.
I want safety. Security. I’m 65 and damn well feel like I need these companions more than ever. And yet safety and security have rarely had seats at my inner decision table. Why would they show up now?
Life is a fast-flowing river—an exhilarating ride from start to finish. But we try to capture moments of the flow—the happy moments, the safe moments, the contented moments—and freeze frame them in a box. We still the ever-changing river by choosing the security of the known.
And die to life while still breathing.
When I succumbed to the inner command to write down and publish what I know about the ego and enlightenment in the fall of 2014, in the process I was gifted with stunning revelations and massive growth as a human being and as a writer. But when The E Word was released in January 2017 it was a shitty time for books sales. And even though I’d hurled myself into a year-long marketing and social media frenzy before the book launch, sales were slow. And I quickly found myself swallowed by despair.
Publishing is a numbers game. Slow book sales means no next book and The End to my dreams of being a popular published author. So I threw myself into what I perceived to be The Answer: Take off the author hat, become a Spiritual Teacher and do workshops.
I had to get out there NOW before it was too late! Had to shoulder myself into the marketplace filled with other well-meaning, heart-centered Spiritual Teachers hawking their heart-based products to the millions of needy people desirous of changing their unfulfilled freeze-framed lives into happy fulfilled ones.
I had to target my market. Turn myself into a brand. Craft the right message. Create the right lead magnets. Market test. Create a sales funnel. Do online webinars leading to seminars and workshops and retreats … go go go!!! Sell sell sell!
It was what my publisher expected of me. It was what I expected of myself. But it all felt so forced, hurried and wrong.
So, taking advice from the pages of my own book … I stopped. Just when it seemed the time to lean in the most … I let go of my creation and everything I logically thought it (and I) should be.
Furniture in storage, bursting with confusion and self-disappointment, I hit the road on a vacation/vision quest (publicly called a “book tour” because I had speaking gigs along the way.) For seven weeks I traveled through California, Arizona and New Mexico, staying with friends. I slept long, ate well, washed dishes, worked in a friend’s orchard and pulled weeds in flower beds. I meditated and danced, smoked some mind-expanding marijuana and sat for days alone in the cold, wind-swept desert. I did ceremony and re-engaged yoga.
And slowly I realized I’d made the right choice. Hurling myself, yet again, off the cliff into the river carrying me into the unknown was the only authentic way forward.
I don’t know the result of this choice yet. But it will match the freedom I feel inside as the flight feathers of my heart stretch towards infinity and my body melts in devotion to life.