There is Always Write Now
You are enough. You are in a position right now to be enough. Not next week, not tomorrow, not later today, not in an hour, not in a minute, right now. Right here in what we might call the eternal present you can choose to accept that you are enough. By making this decision you accept the freedom and responsibility to do the great work you’re here to do.
As writers it is important that we acknowledge this so that we can create without pressure (the future) and live without fear or regret (the past).
I remember vividly a moment when I was a kid trying to grasp the concept of eternity, forever, infinity. You may have had a similar experience. It’s mind blowing, painful even to try and get your head around the idea of never within the confines of our understanding of time. My mind was torn between the past and the future; the notion that forever is both directions.
And I remember having a moment of what might be described as mindfulness; a seven year old sat in his bedroom, realising that eternity was nothing but an everlasting series of nows. There is no past or future. Just now. There is always Now. Now. Now. Now. That last now is gone. It doesn’t matter, here’s another now. Now. Now…You get the point. There is never not a now.
It can be hard to remember this and easy to be perpetually discontent with our position. We spend so much time looking back, remembering, and pining through the rose-tinted glasses. And when we’re not doing that we’re anticipating the future, either with perpetual fear and anxiety, or perpetual hopes and dreams. This is such a prevalent issue for those of us who create, and desire to make a difference. Where we want to be always feels slightly removed from where we are.
But if we want to do great work we need to admit something: the ‘now’ is not like it used to be and it’s not like it will be. That’s a fact. The only thing we can control is how we perceive what IS.
We are often guilty of building limbo around our creative work; a sense of ‘not quite’, it’s either not quite what it was, not quite what it will be, or some weird mixture of both. We tell ourselves a story about now to make it feel more manageable and to justify the fact that we are not in step with the ‘now’. We offset our responsibility to the past or future, which when you consider the eternal now don’t actually exist.
I am bad for this lack of attention to conscious and mindful living. I am often so far off into the future in my head that you need a time machine to come and find me. I tell myself that great things will happen, but not until some abstract and undefined future comes into being. Or I look back with the belief that I can never create anything as good as I did in the past.
I recently read a quote from Eckhart Tolle:
Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’
There is a lot of truth in that. Most if not all of our stress is caused by this sense of disconnect between where we are and where we want to be, whether that’s a place in physical space (e.g. home) or a place in time (past or future). And for creative people, stress is often found in that space between what we’re making and what we ‘want’ to be creating. But unfortunately we are finite beings with finite resources and limitations.
I mentioned that you have the choice to accept you are enough. And that’s the counterweight to this idea of stress. It’s accepting where you are and what you’re creating without desiring to be doing anything, anywhere else.
When you embrace this idea choosing now, you allow yourself to be moved into a mindful sense of the present where you can say ‘I chose to be here and that’s ok’.
By owning the process, and whatever you happen to be creating in the present you are free from the guilt, shame, regret etc of the past, and the fear, anxiety, and unknowing of the future. You focus on now, the writing in front of you and what needs to be done where you are, with what you have, in the place you are.
It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments. If we are not fully present for many of those moments, we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives but also fail to realize the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth, and transformation.
The choice of ‘enough‘ is to bring our goals into focus now, and to apply ourselves fully to the things we can do in the present, leaving everything else alone until it becomes our focus.
Over to You
What is your mindset at work? At home? When you’re with your family? Do you accept the choice of enough? Can you become more present in your day to day? Share in the comments.
About Andy Mort
Andy Mort is a UK based musician and writer. He is the founder of SheepDressedLikeWolves.com, which is a Blog and Podcast aimed at encouraging HSPs and introverts to embrace their creativity and push against the expectations of an often overwhelming world. Twitter: @atlumschema