So, I wrote a book. I did this amazing, incredible thing. I poured my heart and soul and years of pain, experience and wisdom into it and I got it done. That was the easy part.
Once the book was finished, that's where the hard part began.
Being trained as a graphic artist, and working with design most of my life, I love putting elements together in a beautiful way. I love the challenge and harmony that's involved in the process. So when that part was finished, I felt accomplished. I felt proud. I felt satisfied. The hard part came when I thought about how I would birth it into the world for other eyes to see and, hopefully, appreciate.
That's where marketing came in. Marketing sucks. That's been my belief and that's where I always get stuck. It feels too contrived, too "salesy", to pushy. I have judged it harshly, maybe even unfairly. Yet despite that, and in an attempt to overcome it, I let myself get caught up in 'shoulds' and best practices because I wanted to promote the book 'right'. Recently, like the last few days, I psyched myself out to the point of stress, anxiety and hopelessness because I felt like a fraud, insecure and that I didn't know what I was doing. I felt lost and I wanted someone to show me the way.
I took myself down that path of wanting to do it 'right' because I thought I would be more professional. I thought it would make things more successful. But all of the indecision, waiting, second guessing and more only ended up sucking the joy right out of sharing my beautiful creation.
Today, a good friend needed to remind me what I had forgotten:
I'd forgotten that sharing my book is meant to be a celebration.
I'd forgotten that it's meant to be joyful.
I'd forgotten to listen to my own heart and intuition. I'd given my power over to other's best practices thinking they held the magic formula for success.
I'd forgotten to listen to what felt authentic and what felt like fun. I'd forgotten what excited me and I'd forgotten what 'I' wanted to do.
I'm not entirely sure yet what my launch will look like but this book is now on sale. No more 'pre-order' hype. No more waiting for the perfect moment. I want a celebration! I want to celebrate those nine months of birthing this beautiful creation. I have ideas now. The floodgates have opened now that I've taken the pressure off of myself.
Covid sucks. Isolation sucks. But this book celebration will find a way. I will make it happen. Not in one grand moment but in many small celebrations and announcements spread out over time. Get ready...there's a book to celebrate!
Yesterday, I was talking with my friend Melinda Whitehead about the chronic pain I've been having with my throat for the last year. I'm no stranger to chronic pain. I've managed Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder so I've learned a thing or two over the last twenty years for how to deal with it. This problem with my throat though has got the better of me. No matter what I've tried, researched or been tested for, nothing has helped to a great extent. So yesterday when Melinda suggested I look into Dr. David Hanscom, a former spinal surgeon who quit his practice to help people manage chronic pain from a neuroplastic, holistic point of view, I was intrigued.
After checking out his website www.backincontrol.com, and then watching a handful of videos, I realized that while I was familiar with some of the strategies, there was one scientific concept that I didn't know.
He shared that anxiety is NOT a psychological problem. It's a physiological symptom of stress...NOT a diagnosis in its own right. Whether the stress is real, like someone threatening your life, or perceived like the scary thoughts that you tell yourself, your body reacts the same. It thinks there's a danger and your mind and body go on alert. So your body is in a state of anxiety but the anxiety is not the diagnosis.
I'm still wrapping my head around this concept but it lit off a huge light bulb for me. I've never handled stress well but I didn't really get the connection. I thought anxiety was the problem, that I was an anxious person. I didn't realize that I'm simply a normal person having an intense, chronic physical reaction to stress; that my body is expressing discomfort, pain and anger over constant assault, fear of threat and not feeling safe. In my case, my thoughts are the stressor causing a very physical response, just like a real physical attack.
So, when I stress about the physical sensations in my body, it reinforces more stress and more pain. And the more stress and pain, the more those reactions get hard-wired into my brain. It's a vicious cycle and difficult to break.
The way to eliminate chronic pain then (pain that cannot be fixed structurally or functionally) is to identify and work on being more adaptable to stress. There's obviously a lot more to learn but that is the idea.
My take-away today is this: anxiety is NOT who I am. It is not a diagnosis. It is not psychological, although it can express itself in the mind.
Anxiety a stress symptom, plain and simple yet so complex.
I'm sure I haven't done justice to this so please check out this link to learn more.