I’m back in Florida now. This summer I didn’t experience much of the peace and solitude I usually get at our mountain cabin. Living amidst that wild beauty was restorative, but this was mostly counteracted by the 10 hours I spent at my computer every day unless Fred, the kids, or guests were there. I love the writing phase of a book, but promoting it is an entirely different matter! Neither my personality nor my brain finds anything fun or easy about that. It didn’t help that my computer skills are rudimentary and our internet service was wonky!
Another thing. After months of obsessing over final edits and revisions, double-checking citations for my sources, answering my publisher’s questions, and attending to numerous other mentally demanding details, by summer’s beginning I was thoroughly out of touch with many realities of daily physical life. Adjusting to the drastic changes in setting, home, and social responsibilities required skills I hadn’t used in a coon’s age, and sometimes this magnified my usual social and sensory spaciness to embarrassing extents!
Of course, the stress of having to employ my inferior functions day after day was an open invitation to my Shadow! She found these changes in my habitual lifestyle so difficult and frustrating that by mid-August I was resigning myself to the new and decidedly uncomfortable self-image of curmudgeon! Or as my friend Eleanor calls it, crumbdungeon! Naturally, my perfectionist Spiritual Bully was not amused to see this “flaw” in my Persona.
But I learned some very valuable lessons. My difficulties forced me to ask for help more often than usual. And I received it, especially from Fred and two of his office staff in Florida. And when the kids visited, my son cleaned out over 100 items on my computer that were causing unnecessary obstacles. HUGE help! Plus, my publisher’s marketing department knocked itself out on my behalf. These almost daily gifts warmed my heart and took a huge chunk out of my tendency take the blessings of my life for granted.
In short, my “vacation” was unusually challenging but surprisingly gratifying. For example, persisting despite my struggles reactivated some left-brained circuits my brain hasn’t used for far too long. It was eye-opening to see the limitations of my personality type—INFJ on the MBPI—and the perils of obsessing over it. Combine one-sided rigidity with the natural effects of aging and you have a recipe for diminishing mental functioning. You know the saying, “Use it or lose it.” I get that now and I’ll be more proactive about balancing my inner and outer lives from now on.
Launching my new book will offer additional challenges in the coming months. With many more obligations than usual, I’ll need to think farther ahead and plan more carefully if I want to keep doing everything that’s important to me. One of these is publishing two posts a week. Thursday I’ll be presenting for the Literary Sala in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and the following week’s schedule contains four more book-signings. Yikes! This leaves little time for writing.
But I think it’s going to be okay. This summer I also learned that while I can’t always be balanced, flexible, or free from my shadow’s influence, the energy and skills I need to pursue my passions will be there when I need them…as long as I remain healthy, self-aware, and open to redefining myself every day!
You can order Healing the Sacred Divide at www.larsonpublications.com or www.amazon.com.
Here’s a link to the site of the San Miguel Literary Sala for whom I’ll be presenting Thursday evening: http://sanmiguelliterarysala.org/archives-2012/september-2012/
For a neat video of the San Miguel de Allende writer’s conference, click this link: U-TUBE VIDEO
Ego and God-Image: Part VII
Intellectually the Self is no more than a psychological concept, a construct that serves to express an unknowable essence which we cannot grasp as such,
We are all works in progress; perfection is death, in the end.
I’m not far off finishing the book so aiming to get a review done soon, once the mountain of boxes is reduced to a manageable level and I can write without guilt!
Hope it’s sold nicely, as I think lots of people would benefit from reading it. Would you like to do a guest post for me about it some time?
“Perfection is death, in the end.” Absolutely! Which means that if there is meaning and purpose to our soul’s life here in Earth School, it is to live fully, to evolve, to grow and change as much as we possibly can before it’s too late. Not that I think the death of the body marks the death of the soul; I don’t think that. But I do think that remaining open to the constantly changing circumstances of physical life is essential to spiritual growth.
Talk about the changing circumstances of physical life! I’m honored that you’re thinking about me and my book in the midst of massive changes in your life! Leaving a beloved home and moving your entire household to an entirely different setting has to be one of life’s biggest challenges….and opportunities! As your knowledge and experience of the world increases with this move, I’m wishing you expanding openness, flexibility, and self-knowledge in your inner world as well.
Thank you for your good wishes for my book, and for your generous offer to review it! I’m very grateful. It’s still very early, but it seems to be moving along nicely. This, too, is a constantly changing process. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?
I’d love to do a guest post for you…if you’ll return the favor. Let’s talk about it when things settle down for both of us. As I noted in this post, I’ll be doing 5 book-signings in three different cities in the next 11 days.
I get it. Yes, I do. I’m still in the book proposal and figuring out who would write a puff or review stage. So many things to be done, and I don’t know how to do most of them. I’m anxious and sleep poorly–even though I know that all this doesn’t matter in the larger context of a life. I’m grateful for my book development editor at Swenson Book Development who holds my hand on all this social media stuff, but there sits my to-do stack including your book. I think it’s glowering at me. I spent the summer reading spousal bereavement memoirs for the comparative title analysis, many good and some not, but now I know what’s out there. So I have to hurry and write the proposal before more books are published on the topic of spousal loss.
I’m so glad about your coming opportunities to speak about your book and spread the word. This reader understands if you need to skip the second weekly post once in a while and send out a repeat or an excuse. From my perspective, spending a relaxed evening doing something fun with Fred might be more important. Send us a photo.
With warm best wishes for you and your book.
Surely my book isn’t glowering at you!! It must be the entire stack that’s becoming curmudgeonly with weighty disuse!! 🙂 By the way, I know nothing about your field of expertise and I’m sure those are the kinds of comments you’ll want for your book, but if you decide you’d like a puff from a Jungian and sister author, feel free to ask. Thanks for your good wishes! I send them back to you. Jeanie
Oh, you know I’m playing, Jeanie. I’m glowering at myself and doing a little projecting. Thanks for your kind offer. You’re on my list! Elaine
I know you’re playing! Me too! Happy to be on your list.
Have to chuckle at your frustrations – be glad for your ‘J-ness’. I’m guessing an INFP (which I am) would still be muddling through! See you soon.
I’m smiling! Yes, despite a powerful need for closure and a tendency toward perfection that I think my J-ness contributes to, it is a blessing that compensates for a lot! Looking forward to seeing you! Jeanie
Jean Raffa, Author Blog: http://jeanraffa.wordpress.com/ Email: email@example.com Fan: https://www.facebook.com/jeanraffa Follow: https://twitter.com/#!/jeanraffa