Not Finished

Photo by the lovely Jen Gray Blackburn

Photo by the lovely Jen Gray Blackburn

I feel like I've woken up, like I'm back. Not that I was ever "gone", but my work life certainly languished a fair amount once it was decided two years ago (what?!) my husband would retire and we'd move to Santa Barbara. I had to make a conscious choice to put most everything work-related on hold in order to avoid ending up in a straightjacket. And it was a good decision; it was the right decision, but it also had me feeling as if I were standing on the periphery of What Could Be, which sits perilously close to the land of What Might Have Been. I have had to wrangle with the reality of my husband's retirement and his satisfaction at having put in more than 30 years of good, hard, honest work alongside the reality that I'm not there yet. I still have work to do. I'm not finished. It has taken us this long to get into our groove, to learn how to move around one another in the same house day in and day out. It has taken this long for me to get comfortable taking bigger leaps with my work in the midst of all the activity that takes place under our roof (we had a full house this weekend, in fact.) I sometimes don't know how I'll manage taking on more, but I'm through letting that fear cloud so many decisions. I'm trusting, and I'm letting go.

Registration for my e-course - The Conscious Booksmith - opened last week, and now I feel like I'm standing in the center of all things good and beautiful and possible. A dear friend said to me "You're going to ROCK IT," and - this feels really weird to say "out loud" - I actually had to agree with her. Not because I think I'm all that or because I know everything there is to know, but because I've been doing what I do for more than 18 years, I've worked with some of the most extraordinary people in this community and I've done it in the midst of marriage, divorce, step kids, raising a puppy, multiple moves, depression, bicycle accidents, travel, and a zillion other details. I know what I want to teach, I know what I can teach, and I am crystal clear on my intentions behind all of it. Which, believe it or not, are not about a desire for everyone in the course to come to me in three months or six months or two years and say, "Here is my book!", but about wanting to provide meaningful information, support, tools, space and encouragement that enables everyone to discern whether writing and creating a book is even for them. What I want to encourage is clarity. That is the most important thing. 

This isn't meant to be an infomercial for my course; the course just kicked off so it's on my brain, and it is inspiring a lot of feelings of excitement and courage and being-back-ness. My mojo is coming back. It wasn't entirely gone, it was just being expressed in other ways. This course won't prevent that from continuing, it is actually creating space for a wider expansion. It is reminding me of all the reasons I've been walking around with a single mantra:  I'm not finished. I'm not finished.

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide