I’m in Taos hosting my annual writing + yoga + self-kindness + miracles retreat at the creatively super-charged Mable Dodge Luhan house.
I love so many aspects about leading the same retreat every year – getting to be with precious students, the luminosity of Taos, the thrill of seeing writers writing, the miracle of the retreat archetype in motion, and this year, getting to hang out with Marianne.
I also love checking in with my self.
It’s been a year, Jenny Be. What’s good? What are you grateful for? What needs attention?
I sit under the covered porch between coaching writers (I provide on the spot coaching if you get stuck) and I reflect.Writing porch with writer!
On my health, my relationship with Lilly, my Bobby, the year’s projects, friendships, what’s calling me now… and always, always, on my novel.
Am I writing THE novel?
One of my callings for the last 11 years has been to write a novel. In that time I have written one first draft, sketched out other stories, and started a second novel. But I have yet to polish and submit a novel to a publisher.
This used to make me feel badly about myself. Very badly. I didn’t matter if I had written 2 other books, two dozen + magazine columns, a gizillion blog posts, tons of course materials – aka a whole lotto o words – because the novel remained elusive.
The snow leopard of my creativity.
This year I’m still slogging on a novel. I’m still far away from a first draft of the new story.
But this year I don’t feel bad about that or myself.
Signal the bugles. Bow to the angels. Hip sway of gratitude.
And when I let myself be satisfied with the novel writing as it is, there is room for so much joy and ease in being here in Taos, with these women. So much vast, humble gratitude for this experience.
We like to think change happens in leaps and bounds and then beat ourselves up when our change is slow and halting, unsure and unclear. I’m here to say:
“It’s another year, I still don’t have a finished manuscript, and that’s okay.”
Maybe you have an annual retreat or other event where you catch up and reflect on your life?
Maybe you punish yourself for the weight you haven’t lost yet or the difficult conversation you haven’t had yet or the business you haven’t launched yet.
Can you join me in a feast of noticing what you have done? In celebrating what did change, where you did grow, what you did do? From there you can decide what might change between now and next year. But first, let’s celebrate our fortitude for living this life.