Less than 10 minutes ago I sent the Personal Magic manuscript to Yoly, my publisher. I am not sure if I feel wonderful or slightly sick… My friend and author Ellae calls it ‘time enforced abandonment’. Yes I know it might never be ready but it does have to go out into the world eventually.

Of all the pages of writing – the ideas, activities, stories – the writing that most held me as I wrote and then almost brought me to tears when I read it over, was the acknowledgments page. To realize where this began was profound, to observe how many people and life events have been the tapestry from which this book emerged is deeply moving. Somehow it has brought together my life in a way not expected. A mystery cake that came out of the oven after so many years of mixing ingredients into it.

If the actual writing was the baking period, and if the ‘out of the oven’ moment was sending it to Yoly, then this cake continued to have ingredients added right up to the moment it came out of the oven! Life didn’t stop because I was writing the book. Quite the opposite in fact. The book and life strode along hand in hand, each urging the other on.

Sometimes the book was pulling life along and sometimes life dragged the book out into the open. This continued right through writing the acknowledgments. Maybe that is why we resist a book ending. We can go ahead and catch the odd commas and missed tenses etc until all are accounted for, but the rhythm of life itself will go on without the companionable encouragement of the book.

I wonder if this is the same for all books? Or is it because this one is so integrated with life and how we live it, with relationships and how we nurture them, with the body-mind-spirit connections at each individual’s level.

I have learned much by writing the Personal Magic book. It provided the means by which to pull my history together and to articulate my philosophy and passions beyond scattered thoughts and experiences.  Each time I got stuck or the writing felt rote, LIFE would take the work  in hand and say, “Ok, and what about this?” There is nothing in this book that I can’t own!

Now that it is done, even more than when I began, I know how deeply powerful the process of writing can be. If you are looking for the meaning of life, well, there is no better place to begin than writing your story. The meaning becomes clear and connects the dots of the mosaic of experience.

So I am proud of this book. I know that it will facilitate others on their journey as it leads each reader/participant through their personal story and thus to finding the unique meaning of their life.

Most of all though, it is in the acknowledgments that I feel whole and an immense gratitude. The power of gratitude is that it takes you outside of inner workings and into the vast universe of ONENESS. So when I write the acknowledgments, when I take that moment, in the small space given, to recognize all who gave me so much on the journey that became this book, I am expanded. When I write the dedication, I see the meaning.

This last insight isn’t in the book – that will have to be next one. You see what I mean?! The book and Life are used to progressing along together, so here is life offering an excellent ‘Aha!’ and the book is gone!

No matter. Life does go on and the story/book comes after each beat of the heart. The story arises out of the living and is not the heart itself but a close companion on the journey. I give this book to the world, and know I will continue exploring, evolving and sharing my Personal Magic. That is the delight that is being alive! I get to keep doing it – finding the commas, the odd grammar, misplaced tenses – tweaking, fixing, adding. Unlike a book, which does have to be abandoned, my life is forever.

Today’s blog is done but I share with you the acknowledgments and dedication as I sent them to the publisher this morning. You will have to get the book to see if they were re-worked before really going out into the world. There is still that one last opportunity to hold on – if it too long for the format…

Acknowledgments

This book has taken my entire life to come to fruition and there are many to recognize as teachers (often just through shared experiences) and supporters on that journey. Here is a partial list: the students over many years teaching at Linfield College and other workshops and schools; actors, directors, writers and producers in the live theatre world; the writers in the Performing Wellness Workshops; fellow teachers and passionate advocates for the arts; Bonnie Ross, Nurmi Hussa, Colleen Hawkes; and the horses, desert, hot-springs and mountains that sustain me beyond the words and thinking.

Dedication

This book is dedicated to Alexa who from the moment she arrived in my life has been a gift, a treasure, a challenge and a joy. The honor and responsibility of being her Mother impelled me to embrace my personal magic even before I knew that is what I was doing. Thank you.

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