As a rule, I’m a woefully impatient person. Put me behind someone on their first day of TSA precheck, and I will very possibly lose my cool. Someone blocking the exit at 42nd St. on the 2 train? Jesus, take the wheel.
I’m built for quarantine. I just am.
I get that not everyone is. But as an introvert Gen-Xer who grew up with four channels, five TV shows, and didn’t have email until after I could legally purchase alcohol, I believe I’ve trained my whole life for this.
Still, the reason this is weird and hard is because a) we have no power to change what’s happening out there, and b) we have no way of knowing what will happen next.
What’s funny? That applies to everything, all the time. Pandemic or no pandemic.
Since when did we have the power to change what’s happening? When did we ever know what was happening?
One woman wrote to me that she wanted to be part of this Six Week Sprint program I’m offering for people who want to really dig down into their work, their writing, in a creative, interactive environment…but that she worried that now wasn’t the time because things were so…unpredictable.
Financial struggle is REAL right now. No doubt.
But it raised a question: Were things ever predictable?
The pandemic doesn’t in and of itself make things unpredictable; it serves as a potent reminder that life always was.
That’s the mean trick of unpredictability: It gets us just when we think it’s a regular Friday.
Now that we know things are unpredictable, are they? Because in fact, much of our life, for the foreseeable future, just got REAL predictable.
And if we ever thought anything was totally under our control, we were dreaming.
I’ve been reading The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Was Letting Go Can Empower Your Life by Judith Orloff, M.D. She’s fascinating—a conventionally trained psychiatrist AND full-blown intuitive empath.
The concept of surrender is fairly foreign to me, as I like to take action, and sometimes, pick fights. (It’s not my best quality.)
But she reframes surrender—not as a weakness, failure, or capitulation, but as a source of strength, because you can stop muscling through and actually put yourself “in flow” with something larger.
The effect of surrender? Calm. Clarity. Strength. Yes. Sign me up for that.
Logic and reason are often cold comfort. Times like these, we need to lean on that steady, internal rudder, our intuition.
This line of Orloff’s stood out:
“The only thing that stands between you and intuition is the incessant chatter in your brain.”
To find any peace, we need to stop the chatter FOR A SINGLE GODDAMN MINUTE.
Problem is, we feed it with a steady diet of bad news.
But what if you fed that other part of you, the part that’s, well, wiser, clearer, calmer? You can. It requires a blend of focus and freedom.
Next week for five days straight (am and pm), I’m going to help feed your intuition, via a series of prompts and live, timed writing sessions, that we’ll do together, quietly and collectively.
It’s called the 5 Day Live Challenge.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a writer; that’s not the point. The point is to use the act of writing to tap the part of you that isn’t panic-eating while watching Lester Holt.
Through this very specific approach to writing called the Gateless Method, you’ll get a taste of how it feels to feel free and focused doing one of the most productive things you can do with your time: WRITE STUFF DOWN.
Nearly 200 people have already signed on to do this, together. (If it speaks to you, great, if not, fine!)
But if it whispers to you in any way, join us. It’s five days and it’s free—and you can come whenever you damn please.
P.S. This is great for ANY age–have your kids, cousins, neighbors’ antsy teenage boy join us. My 12 yo niece will be on! JOIN US.