Life is not linear, nor is progress

In my last post calling for a strike against time, I essentially stated that time as we think we know it, in linear and segmented form, is an artificial construct. It is my personal belief is that we don’t exist inside of time, but time exists inside of us, individually and as a collective. Meaning actual time is most definitely, NOT linear.

It’s amazing to me that a species for which every culture has a beginning where our ancestors operated in the knowledge and understanding of living in attunement with themselves, each other, and everything they knew, has become the very antithesis of its origins and being. There is absolutely nothing in nature that is linear and even. Once upon a time, we knew this. Deep inside, we still know it in ourselves. Why else would the common complaint and theme be rage and rebellion against the linear constructs of our lives?

We tell and teach that there is a linear and progressive order. Numbers and alphabet are ordered and taught. Children’s intelligence and academic success is measured according to how well they learn and integrate this artificial system of linear progression into their beings. Deadlines and sales statistics are the linear measure of talent, potentiality, and success. Creative artists: writers, sculptors, painters, musicians, designers, and all the rest, need to create in the inconstant ebb and flow of the natural rhythms of experience, inspiration, and creation. Yet, for the sake of financial security, they either have to choose between their inner breath of life or existing in a living death. Some are able to build a bridge between inner life and external death in order to fit into linear “norms.”

Which brings me to my book project.

Last week I announced that I was committing my 28 Days of August’s accountability group to developing a book based on this blog. My, very linear, measurable commitment was for me to read through three of my posts a day, from it’s inception on December 15, 2011. It was my plan to take notes in order to write the linear progression of my recovery journey and the linear lessons learned along the way. I would have the linear framework in place for the book.

Day One went off without a hitch. I not only met that commitment, a couple of additional elements came into being as well. It felt amazing. Over the past two days, though, many things have happened that made me realize I needed to be much less linear in my approach to the book.

One is the realization that “working on the book” isn’t simply a matter of me adhering to a plan – especially a book of this nature. I realized that all the writing I do, not just what is specifically regarding the book itself, is integral to the creative process of bringing the book into being. One such thing was the unexpected and sudden desire to volunteer to get up in front of the people with whom I congregate regularly and tell them my story.

Yeah, that happened. Last week.

When I hesitantly, and with not a little internal conflict, approached one of our newly appointed elders and told her I felt like I was supposed to get up to share my story, I was not prepared for her enthusiastic and thoughtful questions regarding if I knew the topic I wanted to speak on or how I wanted to present it.

Today, a lot more of it came to me. A LOT. The inner critic started accusing me of avoiding my commitment to the book, telling me I’m procrastinating because I’m afraid that I don’t actually have anything of worth that others want to know. There is likely an element of truth in that accusation. However, I recognize it for what it is – Impostor Syndrome rearing its ugly, little head.

There has been so much to my journey of healing, growth, and development which has not made it’s way into this blog. HIR blog is just one portion and the beginning point of my progression.

Just like time isn’t linear, neither is progression on the journey of healing and growth. Twists, turns, backtracks, and side excursions are part of every journey. I would venture to assert that those things are what differentiates a journey from a commute. Each one of those things brings growth, knowledge and can be an opportunity to gain wisdom. On the other hand, staying on the designated path of the most direct route from point A to point Z and all 24 points in between, is merely a commute with a set number of checkpoints at specific locations along the way.

From this I allowed myself to accept the second reason for being less linear with the book. My life is not linear. There are too many moving and continually shifting parts. My life could be the epitome of a perpetual motion machine. Therefore, I will do a much better job of writing if I go with the flow instead of fight against the current.

I’m finally making peace inside of myself and understanding that where I’m at is where I need to be. What I’m doing is what I need to be doing. What I have is what I need. Like any innate artist will tell you; you don’t impose the shape of your creation from the outside onto the creative medium, you merely work with the creation which already IS and allow it to emerge and be revealed.

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