Your job is simply to be ready

You are on the path you’re supposed to take today.

Enjoy today, enjoy the moments for what they are and allow them to bring forth what you need—whether you know what you need or not.

Breathe and on your exhale let go of whatever worry is on your mind. Maybe you’re behind on your word count goal. Maybe the lit agent hasn’t gotten back to you. Perhaps your characters have gone AWOL.

It’s okay. Believe that what is happening right now is what is meant to happen because you have proven yourself worthy of this challenge.

Your job is not to worry about when. Your job is not to worry about how. Your job, simply, is to be ready, whatever that might mean for you. Maybe you’re a spiritual person or not, and maybe you have a hard time giving over to an unseeable force. That’s okay. All you really need to know is that the power and intention is within you anyway.

You’re really only going to see this when you’re living and experiencing as many moments as you can in joy. If you’re constantly getting down on yourself for your bad luck or bad timing then there is no room for joy.

Things will happen for you when it’s the right time for you—not when you think it’s the right time. This is hard to swallow. We’re all on insane deadlines, aren’t we? Propped ticking clocks on the bedside of our dreams. We want things to happen in a certain time and space so that we can check that off on our Great List of Things To Do and move on to the next thing.

"We've put ourselves on insane deadlines. Propped ticking clocks on the bedside of our dreams." - katejohnstonauthor.com

Breathe and tell yourself that your timeline is based on when you are ready. Sometimes that means days, other times that means years. Sometimes being ready requires only a mental shift in awareness, or a decision that pivots your life.

Your version of “being ready” is not necessarily the same as the universe’s version.

This is why so many great opportunities are missed. We didn’t see them for what they were.

Exhale. Don’t waste your valuable, precious moments wondering when or how or where. Rather, focus on your job and be in the moment of that job—whatever that means for you. If you have to take a self-care day, then step out. If you have to give up your hour of Survivor to tackle edits, then get to your project.  Maybe you need to engage in a tough conversation with the person standing in your way, sign up for the writing conference you’ve been avoiding, lock the door to your study during your writing session—each day be in the moment that is asking of you.

Things will start happening for you as long as you’re working toward what you want. You will be guided to follow what will bring out the best in your plan, whether it’s what you planned all along or you’re faced with an unexpected opportunity or challenge.

And what if you follow the wasteful, the critical, the discouraging, the impossible? That is where you’ll grow the most.

Breathe and grow. Breathe and grow.

One time I followed a path I was sure was the only path and it turned out to lead me straight into the Land of Lost Confidence. My foray in this land lasted for years, no joke. When I finally saw the distant, hopeful light, the direction that led me to a fresher, brighter, more joyful path, I had to start my creative life from scratch, all because I’d been beaten down too much.

Initially this angered and frustrated me and quitting again seemed like my only option. Then I began to understand the meaning behind being a totally different person—starting from scratch made so much sense and felt refreshing, rejuvenating.  Everything I once knew or believed belonged to my previous version of myself—and that version no longer worked. I wanted to shed that skin.

I embraced my transformation with enthusiasm.

“We don’t wait for the future to come to us. We give birth to the future.” – Alain Yaovi M. Dagba

 

This transformation was made up of many smaller changes that took place over time. One intensely impactful change was when I banished the word “balance” from my vocabulary to define my daily grind. I talk about how that move helped me manifest more time in my day, something that I used to struggle with for years.

Interestingly enough, while I was writing the rough draft for this blog post, a hummingbird came around to my study window. As you may know from THIS blog post, I’ve been trying to be ready when nature makes an unexpected play for my attention.

I was curious if the appearance of hummingbird had anything to do with what I was writing. Here’s what I discovered:

  • Hummingbird reminds us to find joy in what we do and to sing it out.
  • The wing movement of hummingbird is a figure 8 pattern—a symbol for infinity and links to the past and future and the laws of cause and effect.
  • It’s a wonder of migration; every winter it makes an amazing journey.
  • It’s a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible.

 

There are more elements to Hummingbird’s symbolism, but those notes are directly applicable to what I was thinking about when it showed up.

This kind of magical connection sustains me during those low points, when my energy has been wasted on anything from a poor night’s sleep to frequent interruptions to my writing session. I remind myself to breathe and on the exhale let go of anything that is stopping me from moving forward.

My words are intended to offer you some respite from the anxieties you might be feeling at how much time it is taking to accomplish your goals. You are not failing. You are where you’re supposed to be. Feel the joy. Be in the moment. Don’t give up.

Summon your inner hummingbird.

Have a writerly day!

12 thoughts on “Your job is simply to be ready”

  1. This was beautiful Kate, and probably we will all feel better for reading, 🙂 I so agree with you and that’s kind of become my mantra ‘one day at a time’. As long as we work on things we want to accomplish, opportunity will come at some point when we least expect it. <3

    • Thank you, Debby! One day at a time is the best we can really do. While it helps to look ahead to see what kinds of things we want to do in our lives, I think it all works out more smoothly when we do so with the idea that whatever happens will be perfect for me in that moment. Hard to do in this rush of life, but it pays off. 🙂

  2. I clicked on this link because I love hummingbirds (and according to my husband, I spend inordinate amounts of time photographing them 😜). Hummingbirds are brave and fearless and don’t listen when someone points out that for something that weighs less than a penny to fly 2000 miles is a ludicrous proposition.

    • Hi Anita,

      I live in New Hampshire, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. When I do, I stop everything and watch. This summer, I’ve seen a hummingbird almost every day, and I am sure it’s because I’ve been extra careful lately to simply be aware. Hummingbirds are pretty amazing creatures and one of my favorites. Thank you so much for swinging by and commenting!

  3. Excellent read.. and this jumped out at me. ” You’re really only going to see this when you’re living and experiencing as many moments as you can in joy.”
    I came via Debby’s repost..
    Sue

    • Hello Sue! I’m so glad you came by to read and visit. This year I made a decision to be joyful in where I am and what I’m doing, and it’s amazing the kinds of things that have come to me from that mindset change. Thank you for your comment!

  4. When I look back on all the stuff I thought ‘had to happen’, it didn’t, or I stressed over that didn’t matter. I am in complete agreement with you. I work just as hard, just handle it more sanguinely.

    • Hey there, Jacqui! You’re absolutely right! That stuff seems so small when you look back on it. Amazing how we can get caught up in the pressures of “have to” and “get this done straight away.” I’ve been supremely happy with my mindset shift–life is more enjoyable! Thank you so much for commenting!

  5. Hummingbirds look in our window as well. In our former, temporary location, they would come up and look me in the face–especially when the feeder needed refilling.
    Very encouraging reminder. One of my own daily determinations is “do my best; do not regret what I do not accomplish.” It’s followed by this one, “be always confident and at ease, happy regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen.” Goals and objectives are essential, especially for recovering procrastinators like me. But those goals and objectives don’t always meet their deadlines. 🙂

    • Love that, John. They are so much fun to watch. I live in New Hampshire, so we don’t get as many as I’d like. When I do happen to spy one, I stop everything and watch it zip around. Oh, I like your daily determinations a lot! And I agree–if we don’t have our goals and deadlines, then we’re just going to stall out. But if we work toward our goals and deadlines with the idea of joy and things will happen when we’re ready for them to happen, then work doesn’t really feel like work at all! 🙂 Well, most of the time. 😉 Thank you so much for swinging by and commenting!

  6. Kate, reading your post now couldn’t have been better timing. I’m struggling with writing…trudging through the desert of no ideas, no desire to write, and lifeless writing. Your post gives me hope, inspires me, and encourages me to not give up! I shouldn’t seeing how I just picked up writing again in 2014 after nearly 18 years of not writing! I found reading a book from my muse (Jodi Picoult) always seems to help stimulate ideas and liven up my writing. So, fifteen minutes ago, I picked up one of her books waiting on my nightstand to be read, and after only reading two pages, I was inspired. I need to remember this! Thanks for your invaluable post, Kate. It’s truly greatly appreciated.

    • That’s wonderful, Dorothy! I love when our muses conspire to inspire! 🙂 I believe our creativity is always working anyway, even when we are unaware, so it’s really just a matter of tuning in and connecting.

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