What if ...

Thursday, March 8, 2018

pink floral botanical - assorted markers & gel pen / Susan Black ©

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. E. E. Cummings

What if ... you already know

This fantastic new book project (128 pages about how to have a happy life written, designed & illustrated by me - what ???) is by far the most crazy, challenging project I've ever attempted. Notice I'm still referring to the project in the pre "attempting" lingo as I'm very much still in the trying to turn over my engine phase. The book proposal itself was a fairly comprehensive document, 20+ pages of text/content, lots of drawings and presented a pretty clear idea of what this book would eventually become. I felt oh so confident at that phase. But, fast forward and there's a huge difference between twenty pages and one hundred and twenty pages. Plus I'm sure you've all experienced the phenomenon that is as soon as you say Yes ... I can do this ! to something big all those pesky resistance gremlins come flooding into your psyche. The more challenging the project - the more gremlins there are, the more important the project's success is to you - the more toxic their resistance poison becomes.

I've know that this project was probably going to happen since early in January of this year (I could comfort myself at this phase with a no biggy 'cause it might not happen ... no need to freak out). I've known it was a for-sure done deal and signed a contract in February (oops here we go - I slid rapidly into a deep pit of despair and depression, into an "oh my god who do I think I am ? I can't possibly do this project justice, blah, blah, blah" funk. It was horrible and went on for weeks. Even though I had experienced all of these feelings before (my crazy 30 day Starbuck's mural project), and even though I kept trying to talk myself down from that ledge of intense insecurity but I couldn't do it. In the end I had to just live through it as best I could, try to be kind and gentle with myself, let that freaked out, resistance riddled phase pass through me and over me.

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is 
to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.  Steven Pressfield

Here it is the second week of March. Freaked out has turned into excited and invigorated. Crazy thing is, of course it did ! I knew it would, yet last month I could not convince myself that this shift would eventually, inevitably occur. Being freaked out by the hardest thing you've ever done is normal, sensible even. Being terrified about the prospects of failing at the biggest and best opportunity that's come your way ... makes sense to me. Now.

As I work away at the project, trying to sort through my crazy big literal and imaginary pile of ideas, quotations, motifs, compositions, sketches, typography, thoughts, feelings sorting them all into chapters and page layouts and drawings, my brain all the while working away in two modes conscious and subconscious, second guessing my every step and mechanical pencil mark, those resistance gremlins nipping at me like gnats, their most favourite refrain "you have no idea what you are doing" I find myself thinking about this question.

What if ... I already know ? 

OMG ! What if we reminded ourselves that we do know how, where, what, who. We probably already know the answer to almost everything. At the very least we might know. There's a 50/50 chance so why not test it. What would happen if we approached life's challenges believing we already know what to do. Just try it on for a day, for a situation. Ask yourself "what would you say if you did know?" Your subconscious and your intuition knows so much more than we ever give them credit for. 

That's where you'll find me in March, reminding myself (on repeat) that I know.


  1. I always accomplished more under pressure! Hated it, but I did it. I didn't think much about taking a deep breath and meditating back then! One just got on with it. In today's world...aaahh! We take a deep breath and meditate. I suspect you take that meditation walk every morning. Quit worrying! Just go back and remember from way back then until today. :) You have always been an inspiration to me with the way you tackle life. I can't wait to read the book. It's going to be wonderful and most of all it will be from your heart! :) There is much wisdom there. Just do it! :) PS. I miss the recipes! :)

  2. Thank you so much Wanda for this comment ... it made my day and helps so much with that self doubt and worrying ;-) I will consider adding a recipe or two as I do still love to cook. Much love from all of us and thanks again xoxo Susan


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