I went to see my therapist, Julia.
I went in ready – I had figured out why I felt uncharacteristically unmotivated at the beginning of the year and I wanted to run it by her.
There were several layers of reasons for my unusual laziness:
- I was legitimately exhausted from work and family activities, and needed rest.
- I was also a bit apprehensive about getting my big plans for the year into motion.
- I have a great year of shows scheduled (including concerts in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia and maybe Macedonia).
- I gave myself a hard “early January” deadline to finish my book (Un)Broken and have it ready to pitch it to publishers.
- I promised myself I’d finish writing my “big memoir” in the first half of the 2020.
Pretty ambitious goals, no?
I had all the pieces worked out, I just didn’t want to start. So I’d lay in bed till late morning, enjoy long coffees and lunches with my mom, work around the house, and watch movies in the evenings.
I took a day to go shopping with Blais, exchange some Christmas gifts, and buy a new journal (my old one ran out of pages).
The process of picking out a new journal is an important one for me. Each notebook I’ve filled out since I was nine years old, becomes a book, a story, a chapter of my life with a beginning, middle and end.
And when I look back, I recognize each story by the looks of the journals. The cover and the content somehow meld together – not by design, but by the process itself.
The one I just finished is a thick, Italian-made book with purple and pink flowers on the cover. It has small lines that allow me to fit a lot on it’s thick, quality pages. As I finished it at the end of 2019, I realized that it had lasted me three years. The most challenging three years of my life, that is.
Standing at Barnes and Nobles, looking at different journals, I felt fear creeping in.
How do I pick now? Where do I find the courage to start a new journey into the unknown when the last one turned out to be so difficult, sad and devastating? Even as I worked through it and healed and found grace in each hardship, I couldn’t make myself set on another one just yet.
So, I told Julia, “I gave myself time. I took it really slow. Even to the point of sluggishness and no motivation.”
After a while, I picked a simple brown journal with two dandelion seeds on the cover. Somehow the lightness of it appealed to me.
When I got home, I didn’t want to start writing into it. I wasn’t sure I liked it and just couldn’t commit to it. Perhaps I’d take it back.
But, I also wanted to move ahead with each new day that was not ever going to come back for me.
When I finally opened it to write, I was disappointed. It was all soft and bendy, the lines were thick (like a 4th grade notebook), and the paper was thin so my nice gel pen bled through.
“So I said, fine! Be that way!” I was explaining to Julia what happened. Then, speaking with excitement (and with my hands), I said, “It’s just a journal. I don’t have to commit to it. I can just cancel it. Go get a new one. Change my mind. I don’t have to keep it if it’s not exactly how I want it to be.”
Julia was laughing, as I was being pretty entertaining.
But then I stopped.
“Or I’ll keep it.” I said a lot more quietly.
“It’s never going to be exactly how I want it to be. I have no idea what its pages will hold. I just have to admit that I’m scared and work through it.”
I looked at her and felt like crying.
“Let’s take a breath and check in with the part that is scared,” Julia said gently. “What does that part need right now?”
“To know she will be safe no matter what,” I said.
Julia then took me through my favorite meditation. I took slow breaths as she read:
Be still and know I am God
Be still and know I am
Be still and know
And in between each line, between each breath, I felt myself surrendering a little bit deeper into Love and the safety of just being wrapped in that Love.
No matter what goes on around me, how big the pressures and my responsibilities are, or how challenging the road becomes, I am always just a breath away from this sense of complete peace and safe surrender to the Love and Life that supports me.
When we finished, I said with honesty (and a mischievous smile): “I am becoming really good at surrendering to Love and feeling supported by the goodness of life – especially in the early mornings when the coziness of my warm bed feels so good and when staying under the covers feels exactly like self-care I need. But then, it’s 10 am and I am sluggish and unmotivated to do anything. Especially working out!”
“Well, you’ll just have to push yourself through that one. Surrender won’t help you here,” Julia said in her ‘tough coach’ tone. “Exercise will become the motivation you need. You just have to do it.”
Her timer rang, and I put on my coat.
“Well ok then. We’ve had better sessions, but thank you!” I said smiling and feeling the kick in the butt. “No excuses for you – the part that would much rather eat chocolates than exercise. We are going to behave!”
The next morning, I put my running shoes on and coached myself out of the house and into the little gym at our club house. And yea, I felt better. A lot better.
I’m excited and ready. Even with just a few days of sticking to my commitment to exercise, my mind is sharper, I feel more energized and the sluggishness is gone. I was able to make some big decisions about this year that will help me stay on the path that allows me to be of most service – and support my family!
And I was able to finish up (Un)Broken on time (more on that soon 😉)!
All is well 🙂 And I’m not stressed out! Amazing!
Life is this magical balance of pushing through and surrendering – and thank God for all the people in our lives who help us to adjust this balance when we lose it.
So… what do you think?
What might be ahead of you that you are unsure about? What might be holding you back to take each step with excitement and purpose.
Where do you need to push through and simply do, and where can you surrender deeper into the Grace and Love that will guide you?
Tatiana “Tajci” Cameron is an award-winning music artist, published author, inspirational speaker, and certified transformational and spiritual life coach.
She has many passions and is dedicated to helping others while also creating an enriched life for herself and her three sons. When Tajci is not on the road performing gigs, she volunteers with local organizations dear to her heart, spends time with loved ones (often involving music!), and collaborates with other artists to bring creative projects to life.
Tajci’s most recent projects include a meditation CD, an annual retreat & sea cruise in Croatia (that she organizes and hosts), and a multimedia CD/book (Un)Broken: Songs My Father Taught Me.
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