You have managed to fill most of my day with various insignificant tasks that didn’t really need to be done today.
You have also showered me with your version of inspiring thoughts and ideas that you insisted I investigate and explore immediately of which I obliged and these have also kept me very busy.
Some of these tasks brought me short-term joy, such as the instagram post I created using Canva and finding a new recipe to cook for dinner tonight that my husband will love.
But here I am at 4 o’clock in the afternoon feeling deeply unsatisfied, as well as a little bit anxious and guilty that I have managed to let most of the day pass without doing what I really want to do.
Lately, inspiration has been raining down upon me and I have a growing list of books that want me to write them. Yes, that’s right, book ideas have found their way to me with titles and phrases and ideas, some vague and some more concrete but without a lot of detail or structure because they need me to delve deeply into a relationship with them to discover what wants to be written.
I know that if I don’t honour these book ideas with my presence, time and willingness to write that they will find their way to someone else who will.
The other thing I really want to do that I’m not doing is to start marketing and promoting my book, The Path We Make. The manuscript is finalised and it’s time for me to help it make its way out into the world and into the hands of those people it is destined to support, inspire and heal. But I’m not a natural marketer or salesperson and I feel daunted and uncomfortable by this whole task.
Procrastination, I know you are trying to protect and distract me from my discomfort and fear of failure and inadequacy, but I gotta tell you something…
Letting you run the show actually causes a lot more suffering and you don’t really protect me from anything.
With you running the show, I have ended up feeling much worse than I have in facing my fear and discomfort, which I am doing right now, sitting here writing to you. I faced the blank page and discovered what wanted to emerge word-by-word, thought-by-thought. And once I have posted this letter to you on my blog, I will return to my book marketing plan and look at just the next step because as one of my fitness apps tells me, “Progress is progress no matter how small.”
And as I discovered on my Via Francigena Pilgrimage on those long and steep climbs: “Sometimes you have to stop looking at the big picture and just look down at your feet in order to take the next step.”
Procrastination, I cannot make you go away. Like a puppy, you may still nip at my heels and beg for me to play with you, but right now, I am placing you in a basket at my feet where I can rub your belly with my foot while I sit here and do the work that I really want to do, that fulfils my heart and soul, and that feels meaningful.
I choose to face the fear and discomfort because I know when I do only one thing happens: I grow.
And it is this practice of facing fear and discomfort again and again that makes me free and that’s all I really want to be.
With love and courage,