Jane told me she was so exhausted she could hardly keep her eyes open. "Why don't you take a rest or go for a walk?" I asked. "Because I told myself that I would finish this chapter and stay on deadline!" "What's important about getting the chapter done by your deadline?" I asked, even thought I knew that I would get an exasperated look with the "duh" implied.
"Because in the past, I haven't met my own deadlines to get this book out, and so now I am GOING TO GET THIS OUT!"
"Are you loving the work?" I asked, standing at a bit of a distance so flying objects wouldn't hit me.
"I'm so sick of this writing, I practically don't care about it anymore. I just want to get it published and off my 'to do' list so I can say I did it!"
"I so get that", I said, thinking about my own list of broken promises to myself.
"What if you went for a walk or to bed, and asked for some Grace to Be with this whole thing in a different way? What if you let your intuition lead you to a life-giving place? It seems like this way is just sapping your energy."
She hung her head in that "I feel like a failure" posture and took a deep breath. "OK", she sighed quietly. "I'm not really producing any quality here anyway. In fact, maybe I'll just take tomorrow off altogether, even if I blow my chapter deadline again. I really could use a little space."
The next night Jane called me. "You'll never guess what! she said excitedly. "I went to the Art Institute because it always gives me inspiration. While I was staring at a Renoir, an old high school pal that I hadn't seen in years tapped me on the shoulder. She's just moved back to the city....and she's an editor! We talked about my book and she loves my topic. She wants to work with me - just like we did when I was a reporter and she was editor of my high school paper!!! I'm so psyched!" Then she stopped for a moment. In wonderment she asked,
"Who would have guessed my intuition would lead me in this direction?!"