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And the Beat Goes on Your Path Called Life

Winding path

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.

 

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Stop Being So Nice: Just Be Real

By Cindy Yantis

Real isn’t always nice. I saw a friend recently and she told me she saw a change in me, that I was more grounded. “You’re more real, not so nice.” And, I got it. 

When I was about nine, growing up in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, there was a neighborhood club called, "The Nice Club," run by a group of girls my age. And, no matter how hard I tried they wouldn't let me in the club. I was my nicest nice, but it clearly wasn't good or nice enough. Turns out the nice club wasn't so nice. And, I've spent the good part of my life trying to get into that damn Nice Club. Ha! No more.


BeRealNotNiceLetting go
of nice leaves room for more real. Niceness many times covers up a fear of the truth, which in turn hides fears of being rejected, or not being good enough if, God forbid, someone actually saw the realness underneath.

For the first time, and for the thousandth time, I truly understand what it means to transform. I’ve been in the midst of a much deep growth and transformation over the last couple years. It started with stating my true desires in a relationship. In the end, the relationship didn’t last but I was still whole when it went away because I didn’t lose myself into another person, which had happened many times before. And, the fact that I was awake to see and feel the difference speaks volumes about the deep change that was happening.

But, the rocking of my world started in a writing class with Jack Grapes, where his writing method helps to crack through to the deep, true writing voice. Well, what I didn’t expect to happen was that I would crack the walls -- in some cases break the walls down -- of my really dark rooms. The writing was surprising and dark and real. I was surprising and dark and real. And, real is cracked and wrinkled and snarky and bloody and serene and calm and sad and small and prickly and hairy and bloated and scared and brave and powerful and heavy and loving. 

I realized it all starts there. That’s a foundation that’s as solid as brick and strong as rope, weaving a web of truth that’s steadfast and human. It’s the most powerful energy I’d ever felt as it coursed wildly from my tiptoes to my fingertips and through my solar plexus shooting into my brain where the thoughts explode into genius. 

Suddenly state of mind or mindset feels confining, like a set of rules that holds you back.  What I got a glimpse of is realness. And, realness is permission. Real is not nice. I’m not talking about kindness. Kindness is an essence and kindness is a truth. But, nice is paint.  Nice is at the heart of beige. Nice is fitting into a box. Nice is being what you think people think you should be. Nice is Capra and the image of Disney.   

Hemingway and Van Gogh? Can you imagine if they were “nice” in their work. The best art, film, fiction comes from the creator knowing the underbelly, the grease and grime, the ache and heart, the truth of what’s underneath the story. The best comedy many times comes from gut wrenching angst. And, the beauty of it, because we all have those dark rooms and shadow truths, is that swarms of people can relate. They may not know why they feel such a connection to the words or character or painting, but still they cry or laugh until they cry.  They feel their own realness, down deep, under the nice.  

So, let's be real. How nice would that be?

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com