Yesterday, as the sun went down, Mark and I sat in the back by the pool talking about his business, talking about my next project (at least one book about manifesting and the principles of creation), talking about marketing and what we see clients doing and also moving to a new house. The conversation was like many between long-time married couples who drift easily from subject to subject without transitions – a seeming long list of ‘to-dos’ that we will work together to create.
In the middle of the conversation, the subject of ‘we’ and ‘my’ came up. I tend to say ‘we’ for many things, and ‘my’ for ‘my projects.’ He always gives me a hrrrmph when I do that because he says it is ‘ours.’ This bone of contention ran through my business years, too, as he would say ‘our’ clients when ‘I’ was the one doing the work, ‘I’ was the one dealing with the personalities that came along with the work, ‘I’ was the one that was doing all of the administrivia and on and on. I didn’t feel that his occasional run to FedEx with me in tow at 9:45 PM to mail a client’s project ‘counted’ enough to be ‘partners’ and the business, as I saw it, certainly was not ‘ours’ though the money from it was shared willingly and freely for all those years I had it.
Yesterday, in the lap of our backyard with the blue pool at our feet, surrounded by the roses and holly berries with me maybe eight or so years wiser, I let my guard down around the subject and opened my mind to consider what he may be seeing or feeling.
I feel at ‘one’ in nearly every other area and expression in my life – Why not this one? Why is it that I feel the need to stake claim?
As we peeled back the layers, I finally said, “Well, I’m the author of this creation – that’s why it is mine.”
He replied, to what was already streaming through my mind, “Why is it that you are always fine with being about ‘oneness’ and it takes all of us to get to where we are going, and you TEACH this, but when it comes to your writing you act like it’s all yours?”
I have to admit…I didn’t know why. I just had this feeling in the pit of my stomach – a perceived truth to his words.
Then, he said, “You just don’t get it. Everything is all of ours.”
He began to give me a list of things he does to make my writing life possible. He listens. He responds to me when I ask, “Does this make sense to you?” He cooks my meals (and always has). He brings me coffee in the morning.
I can do all of those things for myself I reasoned. They are nice, but I don’t have to have them. But to write! There’s so much to do… listening and listening and gathering the drops as they come in, and the putting them on paper – actually getting them out of my consciousness and into this world! There’s work to do!
I jumped to something that came to me in my inner defense… “I have no need to claim anything you are working on. Your business is your business. I enjoy helping you and I don’t need to be considered a ‘part’ of it. I give freely.” There it was…separation. This time I couldn’t ignore it.
“Maybe that’s true, but you are. What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine.”
I bristled. “But you aren’t the one doing the work to write and to reflect and to collect all of these little messages that are coming in all day every day!” I exclaimed.
Then he said it. “Writing is easy for you. You write books like some people write articles. It just flows out of you like water.”
I swallowed hard because it was true – at least that part was true. And, somehow coming out of his mouth in actual words I felt like it discounted the process – the writing. That maybe it is too easy.
We drifted to another topic content to agree to somewhat disagree and somewhat to agree.
Later that night, I realized the writing IS easy for me…like breathing. I listen and follow. The structural part is more challenging. Putting myself out there even more so. The facing the business aspect from my true core as a creative soul has been the greatest challenge – even though I know what to do! I know how to run a business. I know how to grow businesses, but when I’m in my creative heart, I tend to be like other creative souls.
Our conversation simmered in the back of my mind. Something Mark said to me, “At the end of the day, Tina, you can’t be like everyone else. You can’t just forget that you have a business mind in there somewhere. That’s what makes you different, and what won’t allow you to just let things go.”
I wondered, Is that true? I remembered the feeling when he said it – solid as a rock. True.
This morning, as I ready myself to write. I see now what is at the core of all of this. Magically, it’s what is at the core of everything else around me right now, too. It’s about work. Who does the work?
Whomever does the work is the one that owns something. The belief that has been the fly in the ointment for far too long.
Wow, what an outdated notion. Puritanical for sure. A rush of thoughts comes to mind in this moment. I used to argue that an executive’s wife deserved as much out of a relationship because the person behind that person contributed as much to the creation as the one who actually goes out in the world and ‘does the work.’ So Mark is right…about me.
Funny how beliefs work. We can consciously think one thing and be running and living another.
I do believe in oneness… this is how I write – in response to what others are asking for. Yes, I’m the messenger, but the message is not mine. Like a baker who bakes a cake with flour and eggs and milk…the farmer, the land and many sun-filled days brought the flour, the chicken sent the eggs and cows lent the milk. Even those who ensured the chickens ate everyday contributed, the delivery people who took these to market… and every step in between… who sent water to the field? Who ensured the water pipes were laid? On and on and on in an infinite circle of creation… and, with me? If there were no questions for others, no desires for what I am writing… well, I would be a messenger without a message to deliver.
I remembered how when I first started writing – back in elementary – I used to think, Is this writing? I’m just listening and writing down what comes to me. Is this cheating?
This has affected me my entire life, but until today I didn’t know why. It doesn’t ‘seem’ like work, and true to this belief that has been driving this part of me (the one who does the work owns it), how could I lay ‘claim’ to something if it wasn’t ‘work’ if ‘work’ is the only thing valued? I would, based on this belief, create more ‘work’ – ouch!
Time to let this one go.
Wow. I feel free.