Monday, January 24, 2011
Tips from the Tops - having changed your attitude remain that way...
Usually when I do Tips from the Tops it is from a top writer - today it is from a top teacher - an enlightened person who knew that if humans worked with their minds diligently and joyfully, they could wake up and free themselves from their stuck thinking. So I am going to take this slogan and work with it in terms of writing discipline.
Tip: Having changed your attitude remain that way.
Top: Lord Atisha
What this means to me: I like it when this slogan surfaces in my life. It reminds me that I need not agonize every day, every moment about who I've decided to be and how I wish to go about being that human. With my writing practice, just like with my meditation practice, my kindness practice, my healthy body/mind practice - I can make my life difficult. How? By having to realize every day that I am a writer. By agonizing over word count, rejection letters, other people's successes and failures, my pocket-book, my personal life and on and on. When I read this slogan I remember that I chose this life. When asked what I do I reply - I am a writer. Not an author - a writer. Not a successful world-renown celebrity - a writer. And what do writer's do? They write. They keep on keeping on. Whether they are heart-broken, whether they are hungry, whether they are ecstatically in love, or burning with shame about some dopey thing they did - they bring it all to the offering table - they offer it all up to their writing.
It took me a long time to be able to change my attitude from someone who dreamed of being a writer to one who said I am a writer. It took me agonizing hours of going back and forth between thoughts of giving it up and submitting to a more practical lifestyle, one where my kids would have more cookies made by me, or bought by me, where my ego wouldn't be assaulted by red pencils, where I could settle for a very reasonable life and people would still love me and think I'm doing all right. I changed my attitude though. I proclaimed my belief in myself and I don't need to decide that every single day now. It is decided. Now that I've set my feet on this path I do not need to keep checking the map, my bag of provisions, the weather - no - I just need to walk my walk.