Before I started writing my first book (available now!), I’d heard people say that writing a book is similar to giving birth. I thought, really? Isn’t that a little over dramatic? Obviously due to a natural barrier, I haven’t given birth. (Not that I wouldn’t have wanted the experience, but life is life.) But now that I’ve finally given birth to my book, I know exactly what those people meant!
Truly, if I had a choice between writing another book and giving birth, I’d probably choose labor.
Luckily, my good friend Heather was there along the way to help me through my contractions because, in all honesty, and after going through the initial process, I was clear that no one should tackle the book writing process alone. (I’ve already shared a little about this and my “why” behind writing a book.)
While I learned so much throughout the process, my biggest insight happened after the book was complete. I had just “given birth” and completed a goal I’d had for at least 7 years; a major accomplishment! Without skipping a beat, the conversation in my company went from “Whew, thank God that’s done!” to “Let’s market this immediately.” We were right on to the next thing, without a single pause.
This is something I’d given my heart and soul to for many, many months; a delicate existence handled with such care by my team and the people that love me.
Here’s my lesson learned.
In life and business, we spend so much time focusing on and worrying about the next “whatever” that we often don’t stop to smell the roses. But when we begin to center on what’s happening in the moment – being present and acknowledging our success – we build our gratitude muscles and start to train our minds to focus on what’s really important.
I know this is easier said than done, but think about it for a minute. Were you really focused on that amazing conversation you had recently that could change yours or someone else’s life? Are you truly grateful you get to work in your comfy sweatpants with your best friend (aka your dog) curled up next to you all day long?
Have you taken the time to celebrate the completion of your first (or second, or tenth) book?
I missed that step.
The most impactful interview I’ve ever seen is one that Oprah did with a monk. She asked him how often he meditated and his answer was truly eye opening: “All the time.” I remember in that moment a whole new world opening up for me and meditating took on a new meaning. Up to that point, I’d thought of meditation as a practice I do to bring focus to my life. But it was then I realized that meditation is my life. It’s in those moments when I’m fully awake that life happens. Not a memory or a prediction, but life.
You’d think, armed with this insight, it would be a cakewalk for me to stay in the present moment and celebrate each and every one of my accomplishments. Well, actually, sometimes it’s more like a cake stomp as I awkwardly feel my way with this new-found knowledge; moment by moment, trying to focus – sometimes being aware, but other times falling into a deep sleep for a long time, only to snap out of it by the reminder of what is available by being fully awake.
So I’m snapping out of it. It’s time for me to slow down and celebrate by giving my baby a proper introduction and baby shower! I hope it’s as big a gift to you as it is for me.