Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Meditation for Letting Go

I'm preparing to send a query this morning to a dream market. For the writers in the audience, the feeling associated with such a task is well known: The panic beforehand, the self-doubt, the obsessive thinking about it (whether it's loving the idea or fearing the response). For non-writers, it's the same as targeting some marketing at a big fish. You feel that it could change your life.

OK, now send the marketing and let it go.

.... Right.

Knowing that today is the day, I started the day with some writing:

* What am I afraid of when I think of sending the query?
* What's also true?

What I found was that I was telling myself all kinds of negative things about my talents and skills--that I shouldn't bother because it won't work anyway. And then I reminded myself of a few key truths:

* I'm powerless over my clients' workflow, cashflow, and other priorities--including whether my story works for them or not.
* Fear is normal before stepping outside your comfort zone.

And then I settled in for morning meditation. Here's the meditation I do every morning, and can be applied to anything in your life--but is especially important when you're getting ready to do marketing:

1. Settle in to your spot. Take several deep breaths, close your eyes and focus your thoughts on the middle distance, the cloudy fantasy world behind your eyes.

2. Now imagine yourself standing someplace serene and open your arms out to the side.

3. Think of the things you need to let go of: This can be the query, that fight you had with your mother-in-law or partner, your ego about another pitch getting rejected. But what I did this morning was envision my query--a single sheet of paper--unfurling from my center (the gut, or solar-plexus chakra, house of your power), unraveling up my chest, down my arm and away from my hand.

4. Keep breathing. As you let it go, take a deep exhale.

5. Imagine it now floating away. Feel what it feels like for it to leave you and for you to have no more control over it. Whatever panic, fear, etc., that comes up, notice it. But let that go, too--as if it were the strings hanging from a kite.

6. Take more deep breaths and keep imagining it till your anxiety response lessens and disappears.

7. Focus on that disappearing query with your mind's eye and fill it with love. Wish it well on its journey.

8. Imagine an unseen force scooping it up and taking it away. It belongs to your higher power now. Let it go. It's being taken care of.

Rinse and repeat. In other words, you may need to do this for up to two weeks before it takes. Letting go is a process not an event. Keep working at it--and then come up with alternative markets for your query, prepare it to go should your dream market foolishly pass on it, and talk talk talk to colleagues about it.

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