I broke a promise to myself this past week, and I feel awful about it.
I hit my work deadlines. My clients are happy.
I got enough sleep. My body is healthy.
But I promised myself that I’d write for ½ hour a day, and I didn’t do that. I’m out of integrity. I disappointed myself, I disappointed my 8 women dream team by not keeping a promise to them, and I let down everyone who is reading this by not doing what I said I would do.
Yes, I was crazed coming back to piles of work after a dancing weekend away in Texas. Yes, my body was craving sleep every moment that I wasn’t working after all those nights of being up dancing until 5 a.m. No Excuse Is Good Enough! Then again there are NO excuses good enough for not living our dreams. Not a single one.
You either live your dreams, or you don’t, and you are the only one who is accountable for that in the end. You can either have a litany of excuses, or simply somehow make it happen.
I am recommitting to making my writing a top priority this week. After all, I have six and a half weeks left before I meet with my writing coach again, six and a half weeks left to hit my next goal of 200 pages (I’m at almost 150 pages now).
If I write 2 pages a day six days a week for the next six weeks, I’ll hit that target, and keep the promise to myself to have a complete draft of my story on paper before I meet with my writing group in June… So I’ll have time to edit my manuscript before handing it to my writing coach in October.
Why Living Our Dreams Matters
When you make a commitment to living a dream, something inside you is going to feel incomplete if you don’t give it your best shot. If you don’t at least try.
Here are some dictionary definitions of integrity:
• Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
• The state of being unimpaired; soundness.
• The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
When I break a promise to myself, and feel out of integrity, I do feel incomplete.
I don’t know quite how to explain that feeling of “incompleteness,” but I know it’s what I felt during the years when I took a break from dancing. My ex-husband and I were professional dancers together, a teaching and performing team, traveling around the country for dance workshops and camps.
When we split up after six and half years on the dance circuit together, I stopped doing lindy hop for a while. It was too painful to go to events and have everyone ask, “Where’s Adrian? How’s Adrian?”
I simply couldn’t tell the story to one more person.
Yet during the year and a half when I was away from lindy hop, traveling and trying other activities including yoga and belly dancing, there was always this nagging feeling that I should return to the dance world I had left behind.
I felt incomplete.
There was always a gnawing sense inside of “something missing” in my life.
Getting back to dancing again, back on the circuit, was like taking a big deep sigh of relief. I was right back home where I belonged with my dancer friends in the midst of a subculture that I love, staying up dancing until five a.m. again, shimmying and swiveling and challenging my body again, spinning in the arms of handsome men again, interpreting the music with my body again… Everything just felt right.
It still feels right to be out dancing regularly. My body literally craves it, and when I stop, I feel out of kilter.
Dancing feeds my soul. It makes me happy. It is a source of joy and contentment, deep-rooted.
My Soul is Calling Me to Write This Book!
I have that feeling again right now about my writing. I am not at this moment in time keeping my commitment to myself to do all that I need to do regularly to get my book written, and I feel it in my body.
I have made a commitment this time not just to myself, but to the women of 8 Women Dream, and to all of you, our faithful readers, and our new readers. I owe it to more than myself!
Due to a few busy weeks spent on the road traveling, I allowed myself to get knocked out of my regular writing schedule. I’m not yet quite back in it, although I promised myself I would return to writing ½ hour a day last week. I had so much work to catch up on and was so exhausted after staying up all night dancing so many days in a row that… I didn’t do it.
And I feel that gnawing sense inside me now, that sense that I am not doing something I need to be doing. Something my soul is calling me to do.
Why Do We Deny Ourselves Our Soul’s Calling Sometimes?
There are dreams that we feel compelled to live because at a soul level, we feel called to do the work. We get intrinsic pleasure from it. It feels like part of our destiny.
Writing my book is one of these for me, so why am I resisting it? I am in what Catherine, our fearless leader, calls “The Dip” — that challenging middle when we’ve accelerated and completed a good deal of our project, gotten some of the thrilling beginning out of the way, and now just need to plod along for a while, do the work, and see it through.
This week, I am committed to completing a dozen pages by the week’s end and to simply getting back into the habit of writing regularly.
And, I’m going to address these questions to remind myself why I’m doing this:
• Why do I feel called to write this book?
• Why does it matter to me?
• What will I gain when I complete this, and what is the gift to the world?
• What will I lose if I don’t keep this promise to myself and others?
• How will it feel to complete this book and publish it?
I want to practice feeling that celebratory feeling of having a book completed. I know I will do it.
I will make it happen. I feel called to do this, and I’ve committed to everyone here to completing it. I believe in the dream and will live it with you…
What dream(s) is your soul calling you to this week? Take some action. It matters. Do it for your soul, do it for your happiness, do it because living our dreams matters!
Lisa Powell Graham
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Lisa Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on the Madam President Project.