Part 3: Turning Pro

A month ago, I was spending a day in New York City with my two children. 

That sentence doesn’t really feel like my life. 

My son and I traveled to visit my sister and her baby in New Jersey for spring break, which is where my daughter lives. My daughter was adopted at birth -I’m a birth mom – and she’s going to grad school while living at home with her awesome parents and she joined Rowan and I for a train ride into New York City for the day. 

It was awesome. I could count on one hand the number of days that I’ve ever spent alone with my two children. (We’ve spent many days together with family via it being an open adoption from the start.) 

After visiting the MET, we were walking toward the Strand bookstore (one of my favorite places in NYC is Union Square and the Strand, but turns out not so much for my kids.) So I drug them down to Union Square Park and I was telling Phoebe, my daughter, how I’d submitted a book proposal to a semiannual contest at HayHouse this past winter and in February it received an honorable mention and was in the top ten. 

Her face so genuinely lit up with excitement that it was one of those moments that I was transported out of the tunnel-vision of “This is my life where I frequently struggle and I’ve got to just keep plugging away at it” and into a realm of “Oh, she just reflected that this is super cool and you know what, IT IS!” 

And we were headed into the STRAND! Such a fantastic independent bookstore, and I was like, “All I want is to have books published!! Look at all these people who saw it through, who did it. I’m doing it!” 

And then I looked down and saw the book Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield. I’d read The War of Art a few years ago when a coach had sent it to me, and I definitely took it as a bit of a sign that I’d just shared not only that I’d gotten close to winning a publishing deal, but also, that I knew why I hadn’t. 

Heartland is incredible. It’s a new idea, it’s an original transmission, it’s well written, entertaining with sacred stories, and full of a “codex” of new information for women to come out of scarcity and into a regenerative and prosperous ethos. This book has not been done before (couldn’t possibly, because like Liz Gilbert describes in Big Magic, it’s coming through me) and also, the world needs it. HayHouse recognized that. They told me that clearly I was a gifted storyteller and the idea of writing about women’s resources as they related to men & patriarchy was important. 

The constructive criticism they gave was spot-on. My most important chapters hadn’t been polished, so I didn’t submit those in the proposal. What I submitted didn’t give them a true taste of the teachings within this “teachable memoir.” I think I can win the contest without an editor (I got an honorable mention without an editor) but the Heartland that would win the book proposal contest is a more poignant and powerful version. It’s the one I’m now able to finish. 

I bought Turning Pro. Of course I did. 

And it was an awesome decision, and an awesome book, and I’m pretty much listening to Steven Pressfield weekly at this point because he talks about overcoming resistance, putting your ass in the chair, and showing up for the muse. 

(That’s what I’m doing by writing this five-part story update, you see?) 

Steven Pressfield doesn’t let you get away with bullshit. Nor would HayHouse, nor does God, nor should I. 

So, I’m writing daily, in my new house. I’m showing up to the keyboard and the projects and it is painful like birth some days getting myself to show up, and then, when I do, it’s like euphoria. Pretty much every time. And every time I write Heartland, it writes itself. I’m honestly writing things that my human ego personality, that would hold onto suffering for eternity if I let it, can’t even believe I know or I’m saying. 

I don’t know if I’ve ever really admitted that for all the things I can do, for all the things on my resume to all the things I spouted on about on that podcast, to the way I can channel and hold sacred and profound spaces, I have still struggled and suffered so much as a human – both who didn’t know I was worth it to actually struggling to survive really dark and horrible shit. Like, for example, losing a daughter at 19, and then on and on from there. One of my primary life lessons in Human Design is about mindset. Where will I put my focus, and what can happen if I practice all of what I preach? 

I want to turn it to gold. I want to disown nothing and allow everything and still turn it all to gold. 

I don’t know if I’ll win HayHouse next year, but I’ll publish this book regardless, and then another, and then another, because this life of mine requires it. 

Requires it. 

People who know me well say that they trust me, as a leader and teacher, because of my willingness to be real and honest. I think that this is me, owning my humanness, and expanding in self-trust at the same time. 

This is me, sitting my ass where my heart wants to be, as Steven says, so that I do something with this precious life and this collection of sacred and mundane stories, skills and talents that maybe, just maybe, I can affect the world with. 

My work now is to show up inside the process because the process itself is calling. My work is not to do anything so that some result happens. The work is commitment, it is living, it is answering the soul’s call and not waiting another day or year. 

Part IV is next…. I have no idea what I’m doing.

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