3. The mind chatter begins

July 27, 2015
Barbara Cook

based on my journal entry dated   February 3   2015

“Go ahead and publish this.” ……..

“Go ahead and publish this?  

Are you nuts?

You’re not a writer. This could very well only sell fifty copies!”

mind chatter big

This thought was strong and insistent. The weakened, self-denying feeling that went with it was literally a bodily sensation. Without attaching to those thoughts, I just noticed them. Have you heard that from your meditation or mindfulness teachers? Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

“Just notice them.”

Well I can tell you it’s not that easy!   I’ve spent a large part of my life believing those thoughts in my head.

I persisted in practicing my mindfulness on them, repeatedly observing the thoughts and then letting them go. And by repeatedly, I mean over and over again during the day.

I reminded myself that the intuitive feeling to go ahead and share my story had been so strong, so completely unassailable. It had felt calm, clear, and without any doubts in my mind. Have you ever moved in a new direction because of one of these deep knowings?

I also reminded myself that a few days ago, I had actually asked for help, because I know nothing about publishing a book, and I do admit to a slight tendency to tie myself in knots trying to research every little thing, to gather every single fact all by myself till I can feel secure. I can possibly be a little bit over-the-top with trying to ensure that I have control over the situation! This could possibly be my fear talking.

But another wiser part of me had said, “You know what? I know nothing about this world of publishing a book. I need some help.”   And that’s it. That’s all I did.

The next day, February 4

“I need some help with this publishing business.” That’s what the wiser part of me had asked the universe.

Funnily enough, since my intuitive decision to self-publish, and my uncharacteristic request for help, there had been various subtle moments which encouraged me, seemed to pave the way, and let me know I was not on my own. One was a book I’d recently been given, Geelong author Blake Bauer’s ‘You Were Not Born To Suffer’.  As well as a deep resonation with every word in his book, and an unexpected affirmation that my fantasy story wasn’t crazy after all, I learned that  a) he is a Geelong author   b) he self-published, and  c) it became the biggest-selling self-help title in Australia last year.

I was also encouraged by the clear feeling that any need or desire to ‘be a success’ with this book just wasn’t there. It was simply right that I express my story now. See my very first Youtube clip about me sharing my whole self.

I felt that whatever money I paid for this seemed like an investment in myself, and seemed like a kind of ‘donation’. I was fortunate to be in a position to have the money to invest. Even if I didn’t even get any money back from sales, I would be humbled if it happened to resonate with someone, and affirm what they were experiencing themselves.

Another happy coincidence was that the first publishing consultant who contacted me had the Christian name Angel—I kid you not—as well as the same surname as my daughter!

Every step I made towards publishing gave me strength and a sense of positivity. It felt right, steady, somehow unremarkable, but very real and true. I could feel this in my body.

I love this excerpt of a quote from Henry Thoreau’s ‘Walden’: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams … He will meet with a success unexpected in common hours … And he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”

I think there’s another similar quote somewhere. It’s something about when you follow your right path, other things jump in to support you and ease your way. Does anyone know this quote?

So back to the story: I’d asked for help. I’d gratefully received it.

I was on my way–all good.

The only trouble was, it felt like I’d stepped into Narnia.


P.S. A REAL TIME note:-  Yesterday, July 27, was the day I sent the final FINAL draft of my manuscript to my publisher. They will now begin designing the internal layout and the cover of the book. It’s draft #20, and whatever’s in it will be published as is. Despite countless re-edits and re-writes and triple-checking, it’s still nerve-wracking to know that there could still be some mistakes. I’ve decided to think of it as the rug weavers Nepal do. Amongst their intricate designs they’ve been weaving for years, they deliberately incorporate a tiny mistake, to symbolise that the world is not perfect.


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