So about this book. Over six months ago, I shared my "DSquaredS" (aka Deepest Darkest Secret), which was that I didn't really believe in myself. Soon after, I started doing the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, a book that encourages us to "unleash our creativity" through a twelve week dedication to morning pages (the process of writing three pages each morning) and affirmations (positive statements about ourselves).
At the end of each chapter, the Artist's Way poses a few questions. One of these questions asked, "if you could be anything, what would you be?" I immediately wrote down author. Then I paused. "Author?" I asked myself incredulously, "that's strange." But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how often I feel called to write. From a young age, I kept a journal under my bed, filled with poems about my dead bunny, daily concerns, or aspiring careers. (Like most nine year olds, I wanted to be a marine biologist or zoologist. This is strange considering I don't even like animals that much.) I would spend hours planning and writing about what my funeral would be like when I died. (I've always had a small obsession with death). I would write down every positive and negative quality that each of my friends and family had and would try to figure out how I could deal with their negative traits. (My sister Shannon always reminds me of this entry, which now reminds me of one her negative traits: she is a snoop).
Writing has always been an outlet to me, which is why I felt drawn to blogging two years ago. The Artist's Way, however, triggered something even deeper in me--and that was to write a book. But on what?
As I completed my daily affirmations, I noticed how hard it was for me to write positive comments about myself, particularly comments that encompassed notions of my own power. The idea of power has always been something I struggled with--internally debating whether it was something I innately had or something I wanted to avoid. In my morning pages, I started to explore what it means to "powerful," not just relationally, but spiritually. Part of power is the belief that we are complete as we are.
Most of my life, I have struggled with the feeling of "Inenoughness"--that is, the feeling that I am not enough as I am. I always had to be smarter, faster, more athletic, stronger, thinner, happier, more spiritual, etc. A constant dialogue played inside my head, whispering that I needed to be "more of this" and "more of that." I didn't know it at the time, but I was constantly being unkind to myself.
Through writing and reflection, I discovered that my inherent power was missing—which was the first step in getting it back. Some people are lucky to have a profound epiphany where they wake up and are enlightened, i.e., Eckart Tolle's experience in The Power of Now. But for me, re-harnessing my power is a slow journey of small and unremarkable conscious decisions. My power is not always as accessible as I'd like, but now that I realize that I have it, I can't ever return to the state of believing that it doesn't exist.
So, my book is on Women and Power. I will explore how we define power, when we have felt/feel powerless, and what tools we can utilize to overcome our feelings of inenoughness. This book cannot be written by me alone. It will also be written by other women who have shared their stories, insights, and fears. I don’t have all the answers, but I think all of us together, including you who reads this now, have most of them. Through our stories, we can share the collective journey of power and completeness.
If you or anyone you know would like to share your thoughts on this, please email me and firstname.lastname@example.org. Any comments or questions will inspire me.