My book: who’s running the show?


My friends,

I had wanted this New Year’s Art of Being e-letter to announce that after all these years I had finally finished writing my book. But I hadn’t. The actual story was written months ago, but it still needed about 35 excerpts from my workshop talks, and to dig them out of the 1400 pages of transcriptions now available to me was no easy thing. I had to to it myself. No one else could know why I had written INSERT at particular points in my story. They were places where I intuitively sensed a strong connection between my personal life and The Art of Being. Even with the help of the MS Word search tool it was painstaking work. My winter break from workshops was to give me the weeks I needed. The social whirl of the Christmas season said otherwise.

I was so disappointed not to finish the book in time for the first e-letter of 2012 that I decided I would not produce the second one until it was done, even though this meant no February e-letter because much of January and the first part of February was taken up preparing and leading High on Life, our 2-week vacation workshop. Once that was over I buried myself in the book, hoping it would be finished by the time we – Martina and I – left for Europe in late February. It still was not done and when we arrived in Prague, I spent a very jet-lagged week in our new apartment working day and night on the transcriptions. The only other thing I did was to write the March e-letter. I wrote it on Wednesday, February 29th, an hour after Susann, my translator and editor, emailed me that she had just now finished her second novel (hours before her publisher’s March 1st deadline). I took a leap of faith and wrote in the e-letter that my book was finally complete, trusting that by the time Andreas had designed and sent out the e-letter on the weekend, it would be so. On Friday I flew to Switzerland, by now working on the pieces for the final chapter. I worked on the plane, on the train, and when I arrived at Waldhaus to begin my first workshop there the next morning – the 3rd Circle of The Art of Being Training – I again worked late into the night. I went to bed with just the final piece to edit.

Throughout Saturday, every break I kept at it. Early Saturday evening I received the March e-letter in my email. Andreas had sent it out. I still needed about an hour to finish the last piece. In the session after dinner, for the last part of the evening I put on soft music and gave the group the space to connect with each other. While they did so I sat on the sofa and completed the final edit. Ah, the bliss! My book was finished, just 4 hours late! But how many years? No matter! I sat there a while, a lovely space opening in my psyche where I have so long carried the weight of this work in progress. Ending the session, I told the group what had just happened and how much it meant to me. Then, making my way back to my room, for no apparent reason I remembered that it was March 3rd. All my judgements about the years it has taken me to write the book evaporated. The book ends with something that happened years ago, a very special day in my life. The date? March 3rd! It leaves me wondering, who’s running the show? Viva the mystery!

Aloha, alan