The Work :: Part One

I want to be careful about this. And this may become a two or three part entry. So bear with me ~ I'm flying by the seat of my pants here...

I could say the Desire to Inspire Book Launch was an event that happened after weeks of planning and organizing, but it was actually more akin to a blossoming. Soon after the book was officially finished and on its way to the printer, contributor Anne Carmack called me and said, "Let's have a book launch at the Ambrose [where she works]," and that is when the seed was planted. Once the date was set and I posted the first "Save the Date", the book launch developed a momentum of its own, and my job was to let it lead the way. This is an experience I've had over and over again in my life, where I embark upon a dream, and before too long I realize I'm not in control of it and need to just get out of its way ~ do the work, but don't try too hard to sculpt it in a pre-conceived form. This has been such a powerful awareness that I devoted an entire chapter to it in Desire to Inspire. It is my job to set the wheels in motion, and then to let the dream steer.

Nearly four years ago I made the decision to self-publish Ordinary Sparkling Moments, and that dream came to life in its own magically unruly way as well. Like always, events transpired that I could have never imagined on my own, including an extraordinary book launch at the first Squam Art Workshops (SAW.) Beyond deciding to publish the book myself, just about everything else related to that book came about on its own. The release date was set because of where my printer could fit me in their calendar, the book launch was planned spontaneously the day the first SAW website went live, and it just so happened that many of my best friends at the time were going to be there. I set the wheels in motion, but then the book took me the rest of the way.

When the Desire to Inspire book contract was finalized, it was not my intention to compare this experience with that of Ordinary Sparkling Moments (OSM) every step of the way, but I have looked at this as an opportunity to be mindful of the journey that began with the release of OSM. Because as joyful and beautiful and magical as that experience was in the summer and fall of 2008, there was also a fair amount of strange drama. In the days and weeks that followed the official release of OSM, I went through a time of disillusionment, disappointment and ~ let me say this plainly ~ the aftermath of experiences that were deeply hurtful. I felt unmoored in many ways, and totally lost.

One of my favorite expressions is "The first step is to lose your way", and in that period of feeling like I was in a hot air balloon floating in a sea of clouds, with no sense of where I was, where I belonged, or where I was headed, I understood that if I really wanted to work through these things, I had to take a good, long look at my own behavior ~ at what I had done to set myself up for the experiences I had just gone through that sent me into such a tailspin. Blaming others or continuing to play the soundtrack of these stories was going to get me nowhere; the only way to steer clear of such situations in the future was to change my own behavior.

{more tomorrow...}

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide