It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Are your ideas crippling your chances? An inspired life has different parameters and party favors. Throw away everything you think you know. Because this is Float Your Boat University. It’s a different curriculum for a different way of life.
I want to give you a tangible example of how thinking differently will help you create differently . Here are 3 lessons from creating/leading a writing group I called “Freewriting Fridays” for twenty years. Read on, if you want to grow your dream career/business, empower your relationships, or get out of your head and be led-- by the wild mojo that makes things happen.
But there is already an innate expression or form that exists. When I first began my writing group, I met 5 people who wanted to write. We tossed around times. “I can only do Friday mornings,” said Ralph. The rest of us paused. We could do that. And Freewriting Fridays was born. Ralph came once. But Freewriting Fridays continued at the same very unusual time for more than twenty years—and attracted the souls who were meant to be there.
There’s always something that wants to happen in a situation. Try discovering it instead of fighting it. This is organic creation.
Today, I see this with the talks and events I do on the road. Each trip has its own signature. I look for the gifts, treasure hunting instead of collecting disappointments or brooding over what’s not happening. Believe me, the mind is born to rummage. So, I rummage for promise instead of pain.
I hold my plans lightly and I hunt the sweeter plan , the magic of the trip. It always unfolds. Sometimes, the workshops fill, and we sell cartons of my books. Another event might be smaller, but then a participant invites me to speak at Merrill Lynch or a spiritual conference. One time I met a woman on the plane who turned me on to a shade of lipstick. Yes, I get it: you think your mortgage matters more than makeup. Well, I felt like I met a stylist I could never have afforded, who up-leveled my video presence for decades to come. Every trip is a deliberate and far-reaching guru and I bow before the kindness and intelligence. I consciously turn my plans into pilgrimages. Then every trip moves me further in the right direction.
Dare to be humble-- and humbled. When you follow intuition, there are no small steps. There’s always secret bigness going on. This is a path of healing and magic.
With my writing group, I started with something so small and it ended up being one of the biggest contributors to the success of my career. Francis Bacon said, “We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps.”
I charged $10.00 a time for most of Freewriting Fridays. I ended up running that group for over 20 years. Most people scoff at earning small fees. But that “pittance” kept me in coffee and most groceries. Recently, I employed a different kind of math. I looked at how much the group paid me over time. I multiplied each tiny amount by twice a month for twelve months for twenty years. And then I giggled. Because I realized that group paid for all the expenses to originally self-publish my first book This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love—which launched my entire life. Such holy poetic justice.
I work with many clients who want to write books or create their own businesses. They hope to make big money right away or no dice. It’s a tiny hearted way to approach bigness and financial health.
I know internet marketers love to promise strategies that will “immediately” make 6 figures. But even if you could achieve success that way—which most won’t—they’re not talking about organic success, the kind that arises from your individual heartbeat. Personally, I just can’t ignore my truth anymore and force results. I already did that as a lawyer; it was an unsustainable way to work and live. I’m in this for the long haul now; the journey and the destination are the same. And I’ve made a lovely income…in a lovely way.
By the way, it wasn’t just the money from Freewriting Fridays that added up. That group became a hotbed of opportunity: life-long fans who attended my other programs or hired me as a coach; advocates of my books who sent loved ones to see me when I started touring. I even got into a major retreat center because of a student who worked there decades later. That group was an octopus, with arms that curled into my future with influence and support.
Honey pays more than money. A sense of meaning shifts everything. It alleviates depression and stress. Love is the best vitamin in town. A tiny pearl of a woman, maybe in her nineties, once said to me: “You can always find a way to make more money. You can’t always make more time.” And I’ll add: What is the time of your life worth to you?
I came alive in my writing groups. We’d howl with laughter or weep in a jam session. Then we’d go out to Tommy’s Thai or Govindas and spend hours talking way louder than any other table, sitting in the sun on a Friday afternoon drinking iced tea, exploring books, fascinations and confessions. It was a road trip every time. I’d always feel as though I opened to a new skin. I vibrated with mercy and wonder.
It was like this: I watched a woman you would never look at on the street, in stretchy pants, unfashionable glasses, and a face you could forget before you even looked at it. And then she would read a piece and I would feel like the diva of the opera had entered my button size apartment and spun it into a grand hall or an ancient temple. We’d all fall into a silence so deep, no one wanted to come back. I loved to be a witness and to share the precious: the blue cup someone cherished, the scientist who collected thimbles, the way the light fell on their wedding day and then on the casket. The words woke me out of the trance of habit and convention.
We pierced the veil. We somehow found time, made time, or stretched time to spend hours together, a band of strangers who would learn more about ourselves and each other than we knew about anyone else. I’m too young to have gone to Woodstock and tripped. And I haven’t been to Burning Man in the desert. But I will always remember these “times out of time” experiences in my vintage studio apartment on Gaylord street. No, I didn’t make much money doing these events. Ask me if I care.
So now you: where are you limiting yourself with ideas of how things should work? If you like, take a cue from Freewriting Fridays…and maybe write your thoughts without judgment for 5 minutes or more.
Remember, magic runs on a different axis. When my responsible mind starts barking orders, I remind myself of the results I’ve experienced. Then it’s easy to see the logic: It’s more practical to be magical.
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