There's leaning in, and then there's leaning away from...

One of the projects that I've been working on is partially responsible for my writing here again, and I'm pretty excited about that. This particular project has been like mental cross training, in that I've been writing about something I'm not familiar with throughout the week. I don't have the option to say, uhh I don't feel like writing, so I'm just not going to. I've had to push through and get it done. And finally a switch flipped and I'm here. Again.

About the same time I started this project, I also started reading The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship by David Whyte. I thought this book was going to solve a lot of the stresses in my life and help me to have everything figured out in every aspect of my life. Raise your had if you've ever approached a book with those expectations. Okay. So I'm not alone.

One evening a few weeks ago, I collapsed onto the couch and made a mental request to the book. I thought, please share a secret with me. One that will blow my mind and get me unstuck and out of this weird mental no man's land. Give me something. Just a simple request, right? Then I started to read the story of Whyte's time as a rock climbing teacher. (I almost skipped it because I had zero interest in rock climbing. I said almost!)

Whyte talks about how novice rock climbers will cling onto the rock as the climb gets tougher, pretty much guaranteeing that their feet will slip off of the holds due to the physics body positioning. As the slip further, they will cling harder, ensuring that they don't progress up the mountain. If the novice climbers would lean away from the rock, they would actually be in a better position to climb. 

In many ways their clinging creates a false kind of intimacy with the cliff that leads to immobility.
— The Three Marriages, p. 130

Busted. I had been clinging (so tightly) to my craft that I had essentially immobilized myself. It wasn't until I started working on something else- on positioning my mind differently- that I was able to move. For the Disney inclined, it's equal parts "let it go" and "just keep swimming." But don't let go entirely, you don't want to fall off the Matterhorn. And that's about as far as I can take that...

I hope this helps, if you're feeling stuck or trapped in any capacity. While I often look to favorite authors for guidance, I've learned that books don't solve anything. They help, but it's actually YOU that does the work. And I'm here to cheer you on. Just FYI