I have spent the past three gorgeous days in the city of my heart, San Francisco.
I flew here last Friday so I could attend a workshop with my writing coach on Saturday morning. I’d completedÂ the next milestone forÂ my book -Â 100 pages!
100 pages feels significant. I’d never written anything longer than 40 pages before.
How did I do it? A page at a time, or more often a few pagesÂ in a sitting.
A sentence, a paragraph, a scene at a time.
I Am A Work in Progress
Now, the book draft still needs a lot of work. I wouldn’t feel ready to show it to an editor or agent yet. That’ll come after several more drafts, more research, craft and polishing.
Yet I can see that I have accomplished a lot already, simply by sitting down and writing regularly, and by meeting all the deadlines that my writing coach has set for the group along the way.
Living in the Flow
Writing the book isÂ a process, as the manuscript evolves, one page or edit at a time. That is all we can do in life, really -Â take it oneÂ step at a time.
Yet I used to have a lot more anxiety about the “next steps” in life,Â worrying constantly about whether or not I was taking the “right” steps, and worrying about the outcomes of my actions – often trying to calculate everything six steps ahead, hoping what I was doing would bring me what I want.
It was difficult for me to just flow with life.
Learning to Let Go
I’ve been fortunate to find practices thatÂ have alleviated muchÂ of that anxiety about getting it all “right,”Â including myÂ regular meditation practice. I’m so grateful for theÂ powerful spiritual teachers I’ve encountered, and numerous friends and mentors who have taught me to trust myself and my instincts, and just to do what needs to be done in the moment.
I still have doubts sometimes of course, and simply have to move through them. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever finish this book, or who I think I am to be writing it. Will it be any good?
That is where the support of my writing coach, writing buddy, friends, and 8womendream come in, keeping me going when I am feeling unsure, helping me find inspiration and just moving forward, another step and page at a time.
The Energy of A Beloved City
Here in San Francisco I find myself dropping so palpably into that energy space of trusting and simply doing what needs to be done, taking each step and trusting that I’ll know what I need to do next, when the time comes.
San Francisco is, to me, a magical city. I love the energy and beauty here, the diversity and eclecticism. I love how it offers itself up to me anew each time I come, with new spaces, places, and faces to discover.
Today I worked for several hours at the Leland Tea Company, where the exuberant owner Will welcomed me with open arms, and his co-worker Ronnie showcased flavorful tea options for me. I had an egg salad sandwich with the crusts cut off, and Kisses tea mixed with KookieDoodle, which tastes of chocolate mixed with hazelnut. Delicious.
Dessert was with a darling friend at Cafe Gratitude, which serves raw food and has inspirational sayings painted and written and posted all over the walls. I typed the following quote into the task list in my phone to remind myself of the importance of doing what I am called to do in the moment, and letting the rest go:
“Time is a flowing river. Happy those who allow themselves to be carried, unresisting, with the current. They float through easy days. They live, unquestioning, in the moment.” ~ Christopher Morley
“She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancing…”
I wrapped up my beautiful day by blues dancing in the Mission District. The stresses of the day, the pressure of finishing this post on time and checking other tasks off my list, any lingering worries about what I should or shouldn’t do next, or what will happen next in my life, completely dissolved as I danced in the arms of one handsome man after another.
In moments like this, how can I not be in the flow and love my life as it is?
I am so grateful to be here in San Francisco, writing, living my life and trusting in what comes next!
How can you flow with your life this week, and take the next step toward living your dreams?
(Lisa has launched her dream by signing up for Ellen Sussman’s “Memoir-in-a-Year” class, speaking her story out loud at a Take Back the Night rally, and committing to a regular writing schedule – 50 pagesÂ completed by December 5th, when she also turned in her first book chapter!Â She just achieved another milestone – 100 pages completed by February 6th! Being invited to join 8womendream.com was a dream come true, and she looks forward to chronicling her writing process. LisaÂ is currently bi-coastal with her home in historic Troy, New York and her heart in San Francisco.Â Â Lisa’s post day is Tuesday).
DREAM GOAL:Â NOVEMBER 01, 2010 COMPLETED MEMOIR
Lisa Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on the Madam President Project.