2. Retrieving my hidden manuscript

July 23, 2015
Barbara Cook

Hello again,

If you’ve just joined my blog, you may notice that it will be a serial story. I hope you’ll have time to go back and read the first one. You may remember I’d just tucked away my self-therapy story in the top of my wardrobe.

Over twenty years later, I recently had yet another major upheaval in my life. You’ll read more about this on the Home page and About Me on this website. I was eventually able to see the big picture about why I had to have this beautiful and painful experience. When I go through something big like this, I usually ask myself what it taught me. I will be forever grateful that this crisis gave me the opportunity to clearly see in the mirror that I had been hiding away the fullness of how I see the world, had been blindly holding onto my comfortable yet limited existence, had been dipping my toe in the water of my spiritual life, and had been failing to fully commit to myself.

The end result of this upheaval was a deep grieving process, along with a huge burst of compassion for others, and a strong instinct to share the way I view the world.

I thought, ‘I need to write about this.’  The next thought was, ‘You already have. It’s done already.’  I climbed up to the top of the wardrobe to retrieve my forgotten story, reread it, and cried with recognition. It seemed that the basic premise of my past story had just been replayed before my eyes, as if in a mirror. Right there and then I knew that I needed to develop this manuscript further.

Tassie editing

In January I took myself away to Tassie for a week to get some perspective on my grief. (For the non-Australians reading this, that means Tasmania. We Aussies tend to shorten place names.) It was there that I sat down and began the long process of refining my embryonic manuscript. There was some subtracting, some adding, some elaborating, some rephrasing, some tweaking; incorporating all that I had learned in the intervening years. Every moment I spent on it I felt energized, but calm. I looked forward to nestling down with it every day. It gave me a sense of rightness, and a gentle kind of strength. Have you had times when things just flow?

There was soon a very strong intuition in me: ‘It’s a self-help book. Go ahead and self-publish this.’

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