This piece was originally published in my weekly Digest in May 2017
This weekend, i went on my first writing retreat. Let me add some perspective here, never before have i prioritised writing (i.e. a weekend retreat talking, thinking, breathing and doing just that - writing).
Yet i've wanted to write since i was 5 years old….
And i'm now 37.
For years it's taken a back seat - a secret obsession. Notebooks galore, chunky on the shelf, taunting me with all the stories. And quite possibly all the bad grammar too.
It's always been my “thing”, you know, the “thing” family and teachers thought i'd “do”. I even worked as a journalist for a while (respect to journalists cause that stuff is HARD AS HELL and i didn't enjoy it, not because it's not a good job, just that i found it really difficult bbz!).
Fiction, well, “fact fiction” (a new genre i just this mo invented, what do you think?) was my burger, you know? I wanted it all in my mouth and my belly. To write and be brave enough at some point to share it with people publicly (whole different kettle of fish tbh).
But to be honest with you, i´ve been scared as hell to even try.
Because! Life is scary!
So, over the years i invested a lot of cash, not on exploring how i could get closer to that writing dream, but rather other trainings related to yoga stuff. Sidenote: the yoga stuff was also one of those scary as hell “i can't do that” things. But here we are! (gratefully…)
No regrets on this journey mind, just interesting - energy flows where attention goes and all that. And for me, it took just over three decades to really listen to the call, nay the burning desire, to write.
And you know what? Despite all that time it never left.
If there's something you want to do in this world, we need you to do it.
This is your friendly reminder.
Imagine me as the voice of your guttural yearnings, that thing you reeeeally want to do.
You never forgot though, did you?
It's ok! If i can procrastinate for 32 years i'm pretty sure you're going to be ay-ok, cause it doesn't matter how long you put off your dreams, you can still make them real.
Real life and not pretend.
If you're set on your mission then go-head love, do your thing!
If you're still reading and stuck as to how the hell you can make your burger happen, or overwhelmed at where to begin, here's some things that helped me.
I hope they help you.
1. Break it down into bite sized chunks
Ok so there's “the thing”, and there's “where you are right now”. It´s often easy to feel defeated before beginning, but you're going to draw a map to get there. Don't worry - i've got you! Here's a secret-but-not-so-secret technique i shared at the new year retreat in Brighton. You can use it to first identify the thing/s then create tangible steps to get there. Cool? Yay!
Reminder: your route there doesn't have to look like anybody else's. Do you, boo!
2. Prioritise your stuff
I nearly didn't do this writing retreat cause it kind of made it “real” and “real” can feel scary sometimes (especially when imposter syndrome creeps). I thought of 100 other things i could be doing instead, all work related, all useful, and all things that i do actually want to do, but i kept finding excuses to get in the way of my passion. You have to prioritise your passion even if it's now and then.
Reminder: You are important. Your passions are important.
3. Keep it real!
It might not be your day job now but who knows, perhaps one day it might be. Or not, if you don't want it to be. Either way, be ok with not being perfect at “the thing”. Perhaps you have dreams of playing an instrument, or starting a business, or going on that trip, or treating yourself to something wonderful, or becoming a world class meme dealer (get in touch if this is the case btw cause meme's save lives for real), we all have to start somewhere. And your place is perfect. It's always going to be a journey so appreciate that. There's another Pinterest pinnable for ya!
4. Practice your craft
I write every day. I don't say that to sound “writery”, i need to write every day because for me it's one of those things that is necessary and healing and keeps me in-flow. It helps to have momentum though, as i miss the days i skip. Feel them in my bones and my cranky levels.
I've been secretly writing on the downlow every day for years. Things really felt “official” in my “secret-but-not-so-secret writer status” when i started doing Morning pages seven years ago. If you've ever been on a workshop or retreat with me you'll know about that. This ritual keeps me in my practice and focussed even if for a little bit of secret indulgence. Here´s a guide if you're interested.
Practice is vital. It's the same with my business, since starting it in 2010, continuous studies have been really important to me, not only because i'm a nerd for techy development thingies (official name?) but also because i haaaated the business studies module i did during my degree ions ago. (I dunno, too many boxes. I digress…)
And it's the same with my Yoga studies, and so on. I can't necessarily afford to travel somewhere in the world to train, but there's a helluvalotof books, articles, talks, online education plus my own #MovementStudies i'm happy to get stuck into. I allocate time in the week to study each of these things in addition to the day to days because, well, i'm interested, and i want to keep learning and growing.
And on that note:
5. Let yourself be open to whatever
It might feel daunting at first, but that's ok. You'll be ok!
You might end up hating "the thing". That's ok too! You can drop it! Something else that tickles your fancy will surely surface, so let yourself be curious. Explore. No pressure.
6. Take a leap
Yeah i know, it's scary, but sometimes you just have to do the things that scare you.
At risk of sounding like a Pinterest inspiration poster robot:
Bottom line (part 2): if theres something you're interested in, especially if it's one of those dreams that make your guts fizz, you have to create time in your day to give it attention. Or else it will sit in the wings begging you for attention and love. It deserves your attention and love.
I really hope there was something useful for you there….
Let me know how it goes eh?
Oh and if you fancy some yoga explorations, this week i made two (!) vids for you, we're breaking it down babes, tuning up, using our attention to focus in and explore. Find them in my youtube playlist here.