My thanks to yoga instructor, Jocelyne Leach, for inspiring this week’s blog post.
The world feels as though it is full of extreme views right now. When we listen to the news, it is no wonder we feel the antagonism. In recent years, conflicting views about politics, policy, and the behaviour of world leaders, have divided families, and friends – certainly here in the UK, and from what I hear, in the USA.
We take these thoughts and feelings into our daily lives, as we absorb the negative energy. So, finding our equilibrium – a fulcrum on which to find a balance between extremes is needed now more than ever.
Creatives are prone to extremes in emotional response. It seems agents/publishers are fond of saying I/we loved … before going on to give an honest and balanced critique. It is IMHO an overused word in the publishing world – used, maybe, to manage our fragile egos.
Authors want readers to love their books and fear that they might hate one. It is always love or hate. We swing between feelings of elation and despair. Those great highs are often followed by an adrenalin dip, and/or the need for another high. That is perhaps why we feel the need to constantly check sales, reviews, or social media comments. It is an addiction to receiving positive reinforcement.
I know that I have a need for approval. For most of my life I have had a habit of ending my statements with a question – isn’t it? Don’t you? A boyfriend once pointed this out to me.
Like many new writers, it was important to me to receive validation. I have had this through the belief of my agent, feedback from editors, book reviewers, and readers. This should be enough but l find myself swinging from either end of that scale – it’s all fantastic or doom and gloom. I am trying to focus on that steadying fulcrum in the centre, to accept the reality, the ways things are – perfectly OKAY.
I know that my need for approval goes back to my childhood, wanting the approval of my parents, particularly my father. There are some painful childhood memories that I have buried but there lies the root of my need for approval. Understanding myself is the first step to letting go of that need.
There is nothing sexy or exciting about OKAY. To accept what is and be still with it will take time and patience for me. I am trying to break the habits of a lifetime. I will do this through meditation. By noticing my emotional responses with compassion and then letting them go.
Julia Cameron wrote in The Right to Write, Keep the drama on the page. Creatives love drama, but there is no need to play them out in our lives. Let’s try and find that quiet, mindful path, between extremes.