April 28, 2017
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey
Last week I finished and printed the first draft of my memoir. Since doing so, I have observed how my mind is eager to skip past the celebration of this significant milestone (after close to 10 years of starting and stopping) and immediately consider all the places the piece could be better. Intellectually, I know there will be many iterations before the book goes out into the world, yet there was a part of me that unrealistically hoped this first shot would feel different. I see how any effort to capture the living, breathing, ever-evolving story of my life in between two fixed walls will require capturing tales that too have a pulse and heartbeat. It is a dance. It is a process. The story will continue to converse with me, and I will know when it is complete and ready for the world. And much like the lesson of trusting to live in the open flow of life, there is no failure to be found in the process. Staying in the game is a badge of honor worth acknowledging and owning.
The other night at a dinner party, I was speaking of the writing process with other creatives. We were all sharing our love of Steven Pressfield’s “War of Art” and reflecting on the ways we focus and tease out the often painful bits of a story we wish to tell, especially when personal or traumatic. Showing up requires courage and trust that there will be personal freedom and growth on the other side of any painful excavation. That desired freedom is a key component to Last Cut. We learn through the act of distilling our past into shareable words and stories, and that alone is a treasure.
Each new draft of the manuscript, like our ever-evolving versions of self, is worth celebration and recognition of the effort invested in every new place of arrival. Otherwise we are always looking ahead and forgetting to honor the beauty of this now, and this moment is quite phenomenal.