I can’t believe I am going to share this with you. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of creative entrepreneurship that I don’t share because I don’t think it will be helpful. I often advise clients, and try to take my own advice, and only share what I think will help you. I focus on writing things that solve problems, and ease pain. I know my stories and experiences have a place within that, but I do put the focus on serving. Sometimes the lines get blurry.
I share as much as I can about my simplicity journey, my health, habits, and my life. I thought I was being completely transparent with my work too, but I haven’t been. I don’t share as many lows as highs, and there are just as many or more. I don’t share the struggle I have in deciding what to share, what to create, and how to show up in the most authentic way for both of us. When I start to articulate it, the words sound like whining to me, and neither of us have time for that. Then again, maybe it’s helpful for you to know that I don’t have it all figured out.
I want to be here for you (more than you know), and I want to be here for me too. I want this work to light me up every single day. While I love writing articles that are easy to consume in neat bullet points, telling you exactly how to clean out your closet, or simplify your finances, and I genuinely feel grateful and blessed to be here doing this, there is something about this work that I love more.
What really inspires me to come back to the blank page are the times when I know my words, and stories are moving you. Moving you to tears, laughter, connection, or action. Because when that happens, that’s when I know I’m really showing up for the right people, and that I am creating from a place of genuine connection with my heart and soul. It’s an honor that I can not fully express in words.
This is what I wasn’t going to share with you.
I am writing my heart down to create a book I love, and one I hope you will love too. It’s about what I compromised in my life to have more money, stuff, and status, and how things changed when I realized that wasn’t working. It’s the book about how simplicity brought me back to love, and how it can bring you back to love too.
I definitely wasn’t going to share this part … I started writing at the beginning of the year, and by March, I changed the direction of the book so it could fit into the self-help section of your local bookstore. There were still pieces of my story in the book, but lots of recommendations and action steps too. It got messy. I got stuck trying to figure out how a book mostly about me could be about you too. How could my story solve problems and ease pain? People told me a self-help/personal development book would sell better if I skipped the memoir part, and I listened to them.
I spent months of time, energy, and other resources writing something that will never see the light of day.
Looking back, I see that I stopped writing down my heart. I lost myself trying to create something that I didn’t really want to create so it would fit in somewhere it didn’t really belong. I stopped writing down my heart, and eventually, I stopped writing down the words.
When you live or work outside of your heart, there will always be a breakup, a breakdown, or both.
I’ve been coming back to the book I really want to write, and have been very inspired by memoirs that move me like This I Know by Susannah Conway. I think about books like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, or Eat, Pray, Love, that I love curling up with again and again. I’d never think of those books as “self-help” and yet they’ve helped me in so many ways.
I’ve also begun to listen to the voices that stir my soul (like this conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert and Jonathan Fields), instead of the voices that give my brain rational, fear-filled information. Information like …
- “Your story is not that interesting or important.”
- “You don’t know how to write a memoir.”
- “No one will like the book.”
- “You’ll never finish it.”
Most of those voices are my own of course, but there are outside voices from the present and the past too. I’d love to say that I am done listening to them and I’m just going to write the book, but all I can say is that I’m not going to listen to them today. Today, my heart is going to show up and lay down in the form of ink on paper.
Why did I hold back?
I didn’t tell you about the book before because I didn’t want to let you down. I wanted to finish it and tie it up in a pretty package before I told you what I wanted to make. I told my husband, family and close friends and when the book stopped going somewhere, I felt like I let them down.
I had to tell them it wasn’t working, and that didn’t feel good. Guess what happened though? Instead of showing disappointment, they showed me love. They saw my struggle, but they didn’t see failure. I trusted them with my pain and they lifted me up. I held back because I was afraid, but the people I love showed me that the only way to be lifted is to let people in.
How does this help you?
You’ll have to tell me. Does sharing my struggle help you with yours? I want it to help you live and work the way your heart wants you to live and work even though the voices, inside and out, will tell you otherwise. I want it to help you know that you are not alone in your struggle to express yourself creatively, or to make decisions for your health or family that you aren’t sure are going to work.
I want it to remind you that we never figure it all out, and unless we keeping coming back to the very core of our being for answers, we will never have clarity.
Most of all though, I want to demonstrate that I care and that I understand, that I know you, because I am just like you. Our stories might be different but our hearts are very much alike. Let’s take care of them.