Lately, I believe the best thing to happen for writers is an exciting spiritual practice such as energy work, meditation, manifesting, and visualization. After all, when we pick up our manuscript, we're really doing soul work. Therefore a steady spiritual practice can keep us inspired and excited with a steady productive output.
However, it occurred to me that all these "woo woo" spiritual practices don't exactly take me out of the crazy category when I sat down for Christmas dinner with my extended mid-western family.
With this new cache of books for spiritual creatives like Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, Doreen Virtue's The Courage to be Creative, and Pam Grout's Art and Soul Reloaded, it seems that there's a solid tribe of female writers moving out of the old melancholy stereotypes about writers (i.e. suicidal and alcoholic) into a new type of crazy (i.e. the world of woo).
Still and all, a lot of writers are shy about coming out of the spiritual closet. Myself included. I wasn't about to sit down at the Christmas table in front of my distant relatives and explain my new technique of "manifesting my next book by moving it through the chakras." They'll think I'm crazy. Again.
Then I came across this quote:
"Let us be the crazy ones, the ambitious ones, the ones who see beyond the limits of today."
Ertharin Cousin said that, she's the Executive Director of the United Nations World Hunger Programme. No big deal. Cousin's words became my new battle cry. When you're doing meaningful work, it's important to be brave enough to be called crazy.
But does that make it any easier?
Yet, a conversation with my fourth grade boys reminded me of something I already knew, but it made me braver. This happened a few weeks ago. The class clown was insisting that he believed in Santa and everybody was making fun of him.
I had just been doing an energy training that morning, so I decided to seize the opportunity. I got them organized and asked, "How many of you believe in Santa Claus?" One guy raised his hand.
"Alright," I continued, "You know the Christmas story, how many of you believe in angels?" Five hands went up.
"How many of you believe you have a soul?" I asked. Half the class raised their hands.
"How many of you believe in God?" Everybody raised their hands except for one guy.
The point of the conversation was, that if one guy believes in Santa Claus, big deal, there are a whole spectrum of beliefs in any given room. Spiritual beliefs are not driven by consensus.
Didn't I know that already? So why was I sheepish?
This is where Ertharin Cousin comes in. When you voice ideas that other people consider to be crazy, you start to realize that you're not alone. Before you know it, you become a group, then a movement. Suddenly those ideas no longer seem that crazy.
But most importantly you feel more authentic about yourself. Perhaps you may be judged by some people, but the fact is, we're all going to live together anyway, so they might as well know who you are, not who you're pretending to be. Put on the Santa shirt and wear it!
So the action for this week is pretty simple. No, I'm not asking you go around reading random people's chakras. Instead, embrace your crazy, in whatever manner you feel called. Try something you were nervous to try. If that thing is writing a book, be sure to take advantage of the free coaching opportunity below. Click on the "Coach Me" button at the bottom of the page, and get advice on how to move forward with your writing!