The process of writing my print book has brought me a lot of joy and happiness. It's also been incredibly challenging and at times it's made me extremely grumpy. But, that doesn't deter me from writing. Over the years, I've found that happiness, joy, and curiosity go hand in hand with challenging projects. Without a challenge, my creativity seems to dry up and my focus seems to wane.
Interestingly, I've also learned that too much focus can be a bad thing. I've found that when I'm zoomed in on writing I'm not as present as I should be. For example, on Wednesday I left my knitting circle and headed to Coava Coffee to work. The hours flew by and before I knew it, I had to go. I wandered out to my bike and discovered that it was unlocked. I'd been so consumed with thoughts about my book and editing that my bike was propped up by a two-hour parking sign for way too long without a lock. I can't believe that it didn't get stolen!
I learned a few things from this little incident.
First, live in the present moment. As William James once said, "The education of attention would be an education par excellence."
It's easy for me to get caught up in my own head space. I bet you've had similar experiences too. For example, have you ever driven your car home, gotten to your destination, and then wondered how you got there in the first place? I've had that happen before and it's a very unsettling feeling to have gaps in your memory.
Second, most people are good. Yet, it's easy to think otherwise. When I listen to the news, I'm more likely to hear about war, famine, rape, and murder, instead of the good things happening in the world. I don't want to minimize these problems, but it's important to focus on the positive too. For instance, it would have been all too easy for someone to steal my bike on Wednesday. Taking a time out for a little bit of introspection and reflection reminds me that most people are good.