Do you ever feel like you're walking through molasses - or worse yet quicksand - as you progress toward a goal? I know I have. Things never seem, at the time, to be happening fast enough. For me, it's been a steady, at times stop-and-start, mind bending (or blowing), deepening, maddening, gratifying and continual path toward making a full-time living as a writer. When I allow the frustration that it's not happening yet to creep into my work and consciousness, it always stops the flow, even if it's just for a moment.
I saw this quote the other day and it filled me with peace.
"Profound commitment to a dream does not confine or constrain: it liberates. Even a difficult, winding path can lead to your goal if you follow it to the end." - Paulo Coelho
The winding path reveals more truth.
It hit me that I've always followed a winding path, for which I have profound gratitude. Gratitude because, for me, the winding path is infinitely more interesting and has led to detours of unexpected guidance, wisdom and magic, even if they are at times couched in questions or pitstops disguised as fear. Because what never ceases to amaze me is that, through the detours, interruptions or distractions, the pathway opens up to an even greater understanding of the goal, dream or mission.
And, what's interesting is there are straight shots of success that happen all the time along the winding path because the winding path is life. The winding path is unconventional, which has always suited me better.
Pieces fall into place that would never show up if divine timing is rushed. My experience has shown me that everything happens in its own timing, diving right timing, as it's meant to be.
How often do you hear about overnight successes or someone hitting it big when you come to find out that their overnight success took years in the making. I had two occasions recently to witness the amazing results of this very thing.
I attended the book launch part for friend and author Gwendolyn Womack's first novel, "The Memory Painter." As Gwen stood to introduce her beloved novel (which BTW is a masterpiece of fiction) she told us how it took over ten years for the novel to be completed and to find it's home in the global reading room. Now, Gwen's no newbie writer, she's been writing for decades, but the moniker "first time novelist" is misleading in its representation of this experienced writer.
And, at a "Madmen" Final Season Event panel discussion at the Director's Guild, moderated by David O. Russell with series creator Matthew Weiner and his Season 7 directors, Weiner went into fascinating detail about how it took him ten years for "Madmen" to become a reality because he stuck so steadfast to his vision for what he knew the show was supposed to be. He had been a professional television writer previously, most recently on "The Sopranos," but it was "Madmen" that his baby, his dream and his purpose.
Embrace the rhythm of your own drum! My whole life I've been told that I beat to the rhythm of a different drum. For the longest time I sat in judgment of that - self-judgment - as if something was wrong with me. But, now I wouldn't have it any other way. But, it's my drum and I'm the drummer!
Don't let anyone else determine or dictate what you KNOW to be your path. And, if you're not quite sure what that is yet, read Paulo's words above again and know that it's all in your favor.
Get quiet. Embrace your own drum. Beat it at your own pace. Walk your own path and surrender your own to divine right timing. They belong to no one but you.