Patience and Epiphanies: Maximizing the In-Between Time

“Dreams take more than hard work. They take passion, perseverance, authenticity and the ability to sit still for more than a few milliseconds at a time without pulling your hair out.” – me

When I was a tyke, my mom gave me “quiet time” in the corner when I became too much of a handful, which was often. I recall standing with my nose in the corner for hours, aching with all of my might to jump, dance, sing and sprint around the house, wondering how I could possibly survive this torture! A few years ago, I learned that I rarely stood there for more than a few minutes. It seems how we spend the in-between time makes a big ‘ol difference.

My Girl Boner book proposals (yep, multiple) have been in the hands of the same considering publisher for over a year, or 10.6 million years in 3-year-old-ese. I suppose I’ve grown up a little, as as much as I’d anticipated a swifter process, I honestly haven’t felt impatient. I’m grateful for their interest and my agent’s diligence as we work to find the best way to package my work. Even so, I’ve been unsure lately whether the process is going as it should—particularly as more time passes. I’m at what you might call a watershed moment. Which is exciting.

I’ve learned to trust the path, keep my options open and follow my instincts. Rather than allow myself to feel impatient or tortured with my nose in the corner, I now work on myself, craft and career, as dedicated creatives do. Recently, I’ve added meditation to the mix, a practice I’d long deemed impossible for my monkeys-partying brain. I can’t tell you how transformative it’s been. Perhaps that’s why my perceived confusion of late feels like a watershed.

Waldo finds himself

Most of all, I continue to pursue my passions, even when I don’t know precisely where I’m headed career-wise. I’m guessing some of you can relate—yes?

If so, you know that such efforts pay off in all sorts of ways. I adore my show, listeners and readers, have some awesome speaking engagements and potential film and TV projects on the horizon, and can feel myself growing in ways I can’t quite articulate. And yet, something seems missing. (All of you who relate to this, too, say AYE.)

So I asked myself the other day: Self! What is missing? What would fill that elusive void that’s keeping your panties in a bunch?

August McLaughlin blog

Almost immediately, women flashed in my mind—the many I’ve interviewed, heard from and spoken to since Girl Boner was born. It isn’t the the delay in securing a publishing contract that irks me, I realized. It’s that I’m not doing as much as I could for these women. Simply writing that brought tears, as YOW went my heart.

That doesn’t mean I’m rushing off to self-publish, though I’m always grateful that’s an option. I am, however, committing to doing more. Later this week, I’ll share one of the stories I wrote for my initial proposal, based on an interview with a courageous woman named Butterfly. I can’t wait to hear what you all think. While many women have inspired me these past few years, seldom does a day or week go by that I don’t think of Butterly.

In the meantime, here some quotes I love that can help us maximize the in-between time, whether you’re between projects, seeking representation or simply aren’t living the life of your dreams just yet:

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” — Joyce Meyer

quiet butterfly quote

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

“Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

“It’s not about what I can get, it’s what I can give.” — Marie Forleo, Super Soul Sunday

Can you relate to any of this? How do you move forward when things aren’t happening as quickly as you’d hoped? Are you meditating, like me and Waldo? I love hearing from you! ♥

Leave a comment

22 Comments

  1. Oh, can I relate…. 😉

    Ironically, it is your sharing of information about book proposals that is helping me really define how I might help people with autoimmune illness. What is emerging is that self-publishing suits some of my work–I think this venue will make the spiritual growth information more accessible–for the alternative approach to illness, I need much more research and frankly, more experimenting on my part.

    Like you say, every facet of it intrigues. The more patient I am, the more possibilities I see. At the same time, I keep focusing on the work, as you say. It is as if I opened the door, finally, to my passion, and I am thrilled to be there. There is no mountain too high.

    Great post, August. As always, so inspiring, and what a great way to start the week.
    Karen

    Reply
    • So glad you’ve found the info helpful, Karen! Writing up a proposal and querying/pitching to agents and small publishers (who don’t require an agent) are great ways to learn more the market, gain feedback, etc. Same for simply researching on our own. I’m a fan of considering/exploring all of our options, but leading with our instincts. (Meditation’s helping big time with that! :))

      Reply
  2. Catherine Johnson

     /  January 12, 2015

    Great quotes, August! Have a beautiful day.

    Reply
  3. Such a great post! I am becoming more still. Even for two minutes–this morning I simply sat, closed my eyes, and concentrated on my breathe. This is huge for me–thanks too for all the lovely quotes. Amy

    Reply
  4. Lovely post! I have been going through a couple months of restlessness, overwhelmed by all the thoughts and ideas I want to accomplish this year, and not having any idea which step to take. A ‘crunchy’ feeling I like to call it, as I’ve been there before. Meditation, prayer, and reading inspirational words (like yours!) help me center and focus, it fills the well so to speak, so I can find my way as well as give out to others.

    I have to remember to take care of me, because I have to give and serve others out of my overflow, and an empty tank is not going to give me anything for myself, let alone overflow for others. Self care is so hard for us women sometimes! But when I set aside that ‘quiet time’ it gives me the confidence to take those tentative first steps to test the waters and explore which paths to take. Giving the thoughts solid form with word lists helps, too. 🙂

    Reply
    • “Crunchy” — such a great way to describe restlessness! And you’re so right about the importance of self-care. GREAT on you for cultivating awesome ways to take care of you and find that necessary peace, Kristin. I’m so glad you find inspiration here!

      Reply
  5. Ginger Calem

     /  January 12, 2015

    I can completely relate. I have so many tasks/plans/events going on at the same time, my mind was constantly buzzing and I felt pulled so thin. But at the beginning of last year, I ramped up my yoga practice to ‘most’ days of the week. Then this past Oct I traveled to Mexico to attain my 200 hour yoga teacher credential. I was there for over 3 weeks and every single day started with 30 minutes of meditation, in addition to other meditative practices throughout the training. Life Changing!

    I now meditate daily, in some form or another. It sets the groundwork for the entire day. In fact, when I miss, I feel ‘off’, and a bit scattered.

    Powerful stuff.

    Good luck on your projects, August!!

    Reply
    • I have chills, Ginger. Thanks so much for sharing! You’re an inspiration — a kickass one, at that. Best wishes to you as well! Meditation, man. Who knew??? 😉

      Reply
  6. Raani York

     /  January 12, 2015

    I have to admit, I’m not getting to the success I wanted to have with some of my work. Besides being a High Level Executive Assistant, a Graphic Designer and a Writer, there is something more I do – and sometimes it seems I’m stuck everywhere. The fun thing with me is the possibility of “jumping” between the different professions and passions is easy. And that’s what I do in my “in between”-time.
    Unfortunately I cannot meditate. I immediately fall asleep. (Which wouldn’t be so bad, as I was told – if I weren’t scared I’d start snoring, grunting and drooling all over the place… LOL)

    Reply
    • LOL I envy folks who can fall asleep so easily, Raani! Perhaps walking meditation would be more helpful for you — unless you STILL fell asleep. (Yikes! ;))

      I usually meditate with my eyes open, thanks to this awesome book from my friend, Karen, written by Pema Chodron. She suggests keeping the eyes open as a way to learn to stay present and mindful no matter what’s happening around us. Maybe that would help….? Regardless, I hope you feel less sometimes-stuck soon! Whatever it is you dream of, I have no doubt you can make it happen.

      Reply
  7. StyleByRayne

     /  January 12, 2015

    Love this! I am a sufferer of always having to do something, push projects forward and have trouble letting God/Universe do their job….believe, have faith and do your best while your living.

    Reply
    • That’s definitely my tendency, too! Pretty miraculous what happens when we “let go and let God” (as my Mom says ;)). Daily stillness is helping me work smarter, rather than harder/longer.

      Reply
  8. Hi August: First of all, sorry about the absence. Between the three jobs (both of us) have been working, Ginger Brooke’s health issues and trying to finish our book, we feel as though were drowning. But Ging goes in the hospital tomorrow for surgery and hopefully on the fast road to recovery where we can start blogging regularly again. Now onto the post. Brilliant!!! Aye!! Most definitely we can relate. Sometimes it feels as though our wheels are spinning and we’re not getting anywhere. Course it’s women like you, strong, powerhouses that act as inspirations for us. August, you touch so many lives that your work is constantly producing positive results which is pretty freaking amazing when you think about it!! Teaching, listening, sharing, laughing, just a few of the many gifts you give through your blog & show!!! So although certain things aren’t happening YET, other great things are!! Know this, you are a phenomenal woman and we’re proud to call you friend!! 😉 xoxo ❤

    Reply
  9. The publishing world is a slow world, isn’t it? I’m shopping around my second novel, and everything is a waiting game. But how exciting that you have an agent and publishers who have interest. I’ve been very impressed with how far you’ve come over the last couple years. I know there must have been lots of hard work behind it, because all those great accomplishments don’t come easily, so kudos to you. Pat yourself on the back. You’ve earned it!

    Reply
    • Aw. Thanks, Carrie! That all means a ton from you. It’s definitely a slow-going business, and sorting out the next best move can be challenging. I’m so grateful for all the process has taught me, regardless of where it all leads. Determined to do what’s best for GB-land, whatever that is! Best of luck with your second! I’m cheering for you. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Great post! Patience is a huge virtue in the trad publishing world, where everything runs at glacial pace. It might take six months to negotiate a contract for a book with delivery deadline 18 months or more hence. And once the MS has been delivered, another year or so might pass while the publisher deals with it. Sometimes things stretch even further. My longest-standing contract, in fact, was signed with Penguin in 2003 and it’s only being released this month. Seriously! Years ago I used to champ at the bit and get antsy – especially when I’d finished the book and was eager to see it out on the bookshelves. But these days I let it all flow by me, Zen-like; and things unfold, as they properly should in the fullness of time.

    Reply
  11. karenmcfarland

     /  January 14, 2015

    “Dreams take more than hard work. They take passion, perseverance, authenticity and the ability to sit still for more than a few milliseconds at a time without pulling your hair out.” – me

    August, of all the quotes you shared, I love what you wrote the most. Why? Because I think it’s more real. It’s not a bunch of fluff. Not that the other stuff is fluff mind you. But they were written by those who have come into means. Not that they’re out of touch, but you simplified things. Your thoughts sounded very genuine. Real. And it’s stressful to wait. Especially when it’s about something so close to the heart. Yet, you don’t want to give up. You’re doing a great job keeping true to your dreams! 🙂

    Reply
  12. Oh I can totally relate! I meditate (almost) every day and find it is incredibly beneficial. Ok, so sometimes I still want to smack people and I still get frustrated. But I also find that once I get over that initial “grrrrrr!” that meditation helps me to expand my awareness and see all sides of whatever my dilemma-du-jour is, facilitating solutions instead of continued frustrations. So very happy to see you’re finding meditation to be a helpful modality!

    Reply
  13. You inspire me, August. You’re so right, too, about patience and finding your way while waiting. I’m finding my quiet space too, through some hypnosis and self-actualization classes, and I know they’re going to help!

    Reply

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