Living a Resillient Life
Throughout the process of writing, editing and shaping A Life Suspended, I felt mildly overwhelmed. The story was my story to tell, but I hadn’t anticipated the intensity of re-living some of the events as I wrote them down on paper. It was cathartic, for sure, and, over time, I felt the story itself was healing me. This, I hadn’t expected. My intention was to bring it to others, but the Universe said, “Heal your heart first.”
When I was ready to hire an editor, I happened to go to a book signing at one of my favorite bookstores, Titcomb’s. They were hosting Brunonia Barry, a fiction writer from Salem who was there reading and promoting her book, The Fifth Petal. During the Q & A I asked her about any editing advice or resources she would give to a “young” writer just starting out. She mentioned Grub Street, which was a writing center in Boston. I went online and found a list of editors for hire. I read their descriptions and visited their websites. I came across an editor who looked like she would be a great fit. I actually FELT it in my body. A knowing. A spark of energy in my creative center (my sacral chakra—below my belly button). The feeling was so strong and new, it scared me. I shut my laptop and ignored my inner guidance system for several months. I made excuses about money and time and her out-of-state location.
But the truth was, I couldn’t stay in this place of resistance forever. The need for my book was ever present. Other moms sought me out to hear my story and to ask for advice. Media outlets popped up with similar stories I couldn’t deny. The book, the story, was meant for others to read, to heal, to learn from. It was never meant to stay on my computer in a file. So, I revisited the editors list again, and I had the same intense energetic feeling. This time I sent an email. And she responded.
A few days later we were on a phone call discussing my book. After I gave her the summary of my memoir, my experience with my son and his autism diagnosis, there was a pause. “Full disclosure, my child has the same diagnosis and a few weeks ago, I pulled her out of school…” She was being professional in her transparency. I began to cry. Not only because it was another mother in the trenches, but because I saw this relationship was divinely led. Going to the book signing was a spontaneous and quick decision I had made on a Saturday afternoon. The fact that I chose her out of ten other editors was largely based on the energetic pull I felt. Finding out that she too had a child on the spectrum, that she shared this story, was something that couldn’t be denied.
A year or so later, I was ready to hire a line editor. I had made the decision to self-publish, but knew I needed help with spelling and grammar. An editor was recommended to me, so I gave her a call. After a short while on the phone, she told me she had been a special needs professional in the public schools, and she had worked with kids on the autism spectrum. She kept things light with personal comments in the margin. There were only a few of them, but there was something surprisingly sweet about having the story read and seen.
There were so many confirmations along the way getting me to this point. Little nods from the Universe, God or Spirit, to let me know I was on the path. To be a published author, write my story down on paper and send it out into the world was a process. Not only professionally, but emotionally. I have become more and more resilient with every submission, rejection and especially when things fell apart. It didn’t mean I was a failure and it wasn’t a death sentence, it just meant I needed to look at it differently. Maybe it was a slight reworking of paragraph or editing out entire chapters, but either way the “failure” of it, didn’t define me. Failure was just part of the process of becoming.
Resiliency was the dance of living a creative life…
As I move on to the “next right thing” towards publication, I revisit the spiritual breadcrumbs which led me here. The people I have met, the lessons I have learned, and the resiliency built within this evolutionary process, is what I carry with me. I think about my son, Jack, and his story of resiliency and I feel my heart expand. We are all human. We are all divine. We are all curators of our present and future selves.
And so, it is…