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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Out Of Whack!

I’ve been out of whack lately. The thing about being out of whack is that you don’t fully realize that you’re out of whack, but the people who know you the best can usually tell that you’re out of whack. You avoid these people because, even though you don’t know that you’re out of whack, deep down you really do know it, but if you admit to it, then you’re responsible to do something about it. Truth be told, you don’t know what to do about it, so denial remains the best course of action. Whew!

Got that?

Actually, I didn’t realize how out of whack I was. I had inadvertently taken much of the positive energy that I was receiving from my work, and recycled it into anxiety. I did this by becoming obsessed with expectations, how tos, and outcomes. “How am I going to market my book? When will I get the e-book done? How can I drive people to my website? Will they love my novel as much as I do?” And then this weekend, after a very long period of scratchy static playing in my head, my spirit broke through the noise and spoke to me saying, “Hello! Spirit to Leah! — Sit still and do ONLY those things that you’re inspired to do.”

Wow! Makes sense! Actually, that’s how I used to do things—before I got out of whack. How could I have possibly forgotten something so simple?

Without inner discernment and direction I wouldn’t know what to do next, and the thousands of mass media voices that scream for my attention daily would eventually drive me loony! You know about those voices don’t you? They sound something like this:
Discover the 10 Secrets to Successful Everything.
Fifteen Things That Successful People NEVER Do.
How To Self-Publish Like a Pro
Five Things That Big Time Publisher’s Don’t Want You To Know.
And on and on…

I was inspired when I wrote my book. I was inspired when I started my blog. I was inspired when I published the book, although looking back on it now I can see that I began neglecting my life some time ago, forgetting that my life is the actual source of inspiration, and that the other things are merely the condiments. I guess I’ve been trying to survive on condiments for quite a while now, and although I learned as a young child how to appreciate the delectable tanginess of a mustard sandwich, the nutritional value of such food is very limited.

Inspiration is everywhere if you simply open your eyes.

I treated my life as an intruder, becoming somewhat snappy with it when it would try to get my attention. Chronic intrusions tend to do that to you when you’re trying to concentrate on something that you perceive to be of the utmost importance—mustard.

My writing is supposed to reflect the content of my heart and life. It’s a tool for my soul’s expression—I forgot how important inspiration was—and how good it felt, and that inspiration is the soul’s perspiration, it only comes while engaged in active living. Without it we lose direction, heart, and power.

I started a month of meditation this month with Jodi, at Soul Speak and although I’ve fumbled along with it, fighting off monkey mind, forgetting to “check in” with the group, and fidgeting like a toddler in a car seat, I believe the mindfulness of setting a small part of my day aside for quiet time and reflection has helped me to rediscover my center. This is a perfect example of simple efforts being rewarded.

I realize now that man was not created for work, but work for man, and that putting anything ahead of the loving art of living is not art at all. It’s intrusive fear based busyness; the fruit of which can be very costly.

So, now I’m back to center where the essence of inspiration dominates over the stench of ego, and where my actions line up with my belief system—that I was created to learn, love, and give back, and that the order of things (and there is an order) will flow as I stay plugged into love and the limitless supply of inspiration that love provides.

As Corrie Ten Boom would say, “Snuggle don’t struggle.

I agree Corrie.

A couple of inspired fellows.


The Loerzels said...

Amen sistah! You took the words right out of my mouth! I'm glad the road took you back to simplicity. Of course the trick is how to stay there.

thormoo T. Davis said...

The first paragraph is the single best definition of being "outta whack" (as I have always referred to it) that I have ever read...right on the $$ as far as I'm concerned.

I too have made the mistake of forgetting that "living my life" was the inspiration of my written work...if I was caught up in all the mundane wasteful details, well I was no longer truly wonder the inspiration well ran dry!

Lastly I must say that you stopped me dead in my tracks with the observation that: "I treated my life as an intruder". I had to admit that I have been in that same was a valuable realization, thank you Leah, T

Dangerous Linda said...

Hi, Leah! ~

I love the photo of you snuggling with your puppy!

Great post! I've given up on the idea that I can ever avoid being out of whack permanently and without interruption. There are real gifts that come from breaking down, right? As long as we don't stay there. And we never stay there -- it's not how we're made.

I'm glad you're over your hump. As valuable as those out of whack wake up calls can be, they're not the funnest part of the cycle of life.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

"Snuggle, don't struggle." Love this!
So glad you have reclaimed your center, Leah. I have certainly been in the whack zone myself at times and as I begin to explore the world of self-publishing in depth, I'm sure I'll become more than a little bit anxious and off-kilter. Your post here sends up that red flag of warning, so I will be sure to do creative things that keep me in balance.
Thanks for this marvelous post!
Love and blessings!

Stephen Hayes said...

Hopefully, this struggle has prompted you to refocus on what's important in your life. Your batteries obviously need recharging and I think this is what you're doing. The best is yet to come.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

It is so hard to not feel like you are running around in circles when a new book comes out. Good for you for taking some time to recharge. Have a beverage. Breathe. It's all good.

Cheryl said...

Finding balance in today's world is very complex. I ride the wave between calm and stormy all the time these days. Still finding an inspiration, a passion and in your case a talent should help even things out.

I am currently out of whack as well but I have a book coming from Amazon...due here today that was written by a talented writer named Leah...that will give me a respite.

Christine said...

Great post! That is one of my biggest philosophies: that I have to be living my life in order to have inspiration to write.

Leah Griffith said...

Marie, if I've learned anything in this life it's that life is like a spiral staircase going around and around and yet somehow moving us upward toward our goals.

Leah Griffith said...

Dear T,
Out of whack. I felt drugged but not in a good way. It amazes me how I can willingly move so far away from the truth and believe that I'm still in control. What a joke.

Anyway, I'm friends with my life again. Not shooing it away, but embracing it and allowing it to speak and teach me. I wish we were equipped with a fuel gage so we could tell when we were running low on inspirational fuel. LOL!!
Thanks for the visit T.

Leah Griffith said...

No Linda they are not fun, but as you said they teach us plenty—and as long as we are alive we will have them.

It's a funny thing how we can so easily believe the lies of negativity and how difficult it is to embrace the loving truth. It's as though our default setting is set on "We don't deserve to be happy." Bump that! It's a tired old lie.

Sending love!

Leah Griffith said...

Martha, I'm so excited for you. If there is anything I can do just let me know. We're all in this together;)

Leah Griffith said...

Stephen, you used the exact phrase that I've been saying to myself for years: "The best is yet to come." On a good day I believe every word of it and on a dark day, well—not so much. It always puts a big fat smile on my face when I hear it though, so thank you for that. Yes! The best is yet to come.
Going off to recharge my battery;)

Leah Griffith said...

Karen, I think about you so often and how you have already been down this road and are just about ready to do it again. Sometime I wish that we lived near each other so that we could compare notes and share beverages;) Yeah...we'll be toasting your latest novel soon! I'm so psyched!

Leah Griffith said...

Cheryl, I love that my book is on its way to you and that soon you will be reading it. I connect with you in a special way. I can't define it; I can only feel it, and the anticipation I feel with you reading my novel is chocked full of good stuff.
Sending love Cheryl.

Leah Griffith said...

Christine, you seem to never run out of inspiration. For someone with so many health issues it amazes me how you continue to smile and inspire others! Your philosophy is working sister;)

Tameka said...

So many great take-aways here Leah! I think whenever you have worked really hard at something and achieved it the mind goes into overdrive about how to further propel the success. It's okay to take some moments to slow down and decompress and refuel. I love that second pic of you too. It's nice to be surrounded by love because it brings us back to the center. Tell Mr. Out of Whack to get to stepping! Cheers and hugs mamita! You are the! :-)

Farfalla Dreams said...

WOW! I really needed to hear this! Out of Whack is how I have felt for awhile now. Not wanting to FORCE my writing, but consumed with fear that I would lose what little readers I have. haha I need to listen to my Spirit, be patient, and wait until He leads me to write. LIVING... is inspiration! I love this! "Snuggle don't struggle"... So true! Thank you for this post!

Pocket Perspectives said...

Leah...oh, I know that sense...what a way to describe it..."out of whack"...and, I'm SO happy to hear that you're back to center...back to that essence of inspiration...that's such happy news!!!! : )

Jodi Chapman said...

I love that you are getting back to your roots - your essence - that truest part of you who has been waiting patiently and who always knew you would come home.
This really spoke to me:
"...forgetting that my life is the actual source of inspiration, and that the other things are merely the condiments."
You said it perfectly.
I'm so inspired to see how, in just a few days of stillness, your entire life is opening up. I love that.
So glad we're journeying together... Love to you!

Jayne said...

Ah, life personified, Leah! I feel like I'm on that same wide out-of-whack path, so I empathize. Only, I'm still in the denial phase.

(Note to self: read Cory Ten Boom.)

True to your character you saw the fork in the road and took the right turn, and then circled round to tell us about it. So glad you did. Your posts always make me feel good, Leah. Always inspire. And today, after only a 2 hour sleep last night, I sure can use your smile. Love that pic! :D

Nikky44 said...

sometimes keeping the mind busy with work or blogging or projects is only a way to hide from reality. That is what i am experiencing right now. When the truth is too painful to see, I hide.
It's so important to acknowledge what was going on and reorganize things in life.

Leah Griffith said...

Tameka, you always make me smile. You have more energy and drive than most folks I know. I was so proud of you for finding a spot on NPR.
Yes, it is good to take a break in order to refocus and allow inspiration to lead the way. What a difference it makes in living day to day.

Leah Griffith said...

Farfalla, when we get off course our art suffers and our lives suffer. Peace flies out the window and we end up grinding our teeth and snapping at the world. I can't live in that place for long—it's not a happy place. I'm thrilled that this post inspired you to return to inspiration and joy. Stay there as long as you can;)

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Kathy for coming here and showing care and support. You're such a cheerleader, always rooting for happiness!

Leah Griffith said...

Jodi, I hate when I get into a place where I dread each task. I can't live in that place. I do it to myself by my perfectionistic nature.
The meditation is helping me to go inside myself to that place where I live from...central control, and plugging in to my authentic nature where the truth is the leader and lies fall away. What a relief! I'm glad you're with me too and that we're making this exciting journey together. There is so much to be grateful for and to look forward to.
Love and Hugs!

Leah Griffith said...

Jayne, I know you've been wrestling with some hometown political issues which is a turn away from your regular path. That alone will make you feel out of whack. They lit a fire in you and you're fighting back. I think it's awesome. They have no idea how powerful you are with pen in hand.
I do hope you can find balance and peace in the midst of the battle. Tall order I know, but the Suburban Soliloquist is fierce and rational.
Sending hugs!

Leah Griffith said...

Nikky, I understand what you mean about staying busy to hide but eventually one must face themselves and allow the truth to catch up. The funny thing is the very thing we hide from is the remedy for our lives. My mother had a saying when she saw people running from themselves. She would say, "They wouldn't know what was good for them if it landed on their nose."
Good wisdom ma!
Slow down and find peace Nikky. It's your friend;)

sulekkha said...

Balance is everything, meditation helps. Congratulations on your book,hope to read it soon.Inspired by your success, writing my own soon.

janaki nagaraj said...

You have been there and done, is the time to sit back and relax. I am somewhat in a situation same as yours, after the April challenges, I really feel drained and out of words. Yeh, inspiration is every where, but when the heart and mind are fatigued, you don't feel inspired enough.

melissa said...

So beautiful Leah! You understood life perfectly. It's normal I guess to be so excited over everything esp. with your new novel carried across the world (Congratulations :)

We all need rest. Sometimes, I'd like to ask some friends to give me a break LOL...but I think it should be my decision to have one. I decided not to carry work on Saturdays and to go out more often.

You are doing yourself a favor to have a healthy life in its totality. Nourish yourself :)

Love you :*

Tameka said...

Thanks so much Leah! I'm smiling broadly. Nice to see all of these reassuring comments here. What a nice community you have. Cheers! :-)

Rimly Bezbarua said...

Leah I can totally understand what you mean by saying out of whack. I have been like that lately, somehow everything is like a heavy weight crushing me. I worry, I tense up too easily, I want to burst into tears at the slightest provocation. I have been trying to take deep breaths wanting to lighten this lump that seem to have lodged permanently inside my heart. I know the reason. Ron, my son will be soon leaving for college, for the first time out of my protective circle and I am worried. I keep telling myself to calm down and accept it but not so easy. I keep praying for strength. So you see I am also out of whack. I am yet to indulge in mustard though. LOL! As always love reading your posts, my friend.

My latest poem. Do have a peek if you have the time.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you so much sulekkha. The meditation is helping to center me when I find myself out in left field. It's this mind of's so active and imaginative, which is usually a good thing, but sometimes—not so much. LOL!!

Leah Griffith said...

Boy Janaki, you hit the nail on the head when you said how when we are fatigued inspiration is very hard to find. I'm in North Carolina now, and I'm wide open to inspiration. I hope you have found some by now, if not, I'll bottle some up and ship it to you!

Leah Griffith said...

Melissa, you should be a therapist. You're so smooth and understanding. I'm in NC nourishing myself, enjoying my people, and allowing myself to move forward within the natural flow of things.
Make sure to take time for yourself too Melissa. It's not that we stop doing what needs to be done, we just need to learn to discern what those things really are.
Sending a huge hug!

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Tameka! Yes, I have some amazing people here with me of which you are one of.

Leah Griffith said...

Oh Rimly, I'm sorry that you're battling with worry over your son. Our kids are the most important people in our lives...we feel responsible for them—forever. But, we must learn to let go in order to give them confidence. I imagine myself handing them over to God and saying, "I trust you with them." This doesn't mean that I don't worry from time to time, but that kind of worry is dangerous; it can consume you if you're not careful.
Sending love and prayers for mommy Rimly. Let go and breathe honey.

Rachel Hoyt said...

I love the comparison of trying to live on condiments alone! No can do!! :)

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