Epiphanies are like a sample from a bakery. They give you a taste but leave you searching for more. I had one this week. Quick context, I’m in a yoga collective where we study something different each month, learn about some yoga techniques, and apply it to our life for transformation. As a yoga instructor, I’ve read or learned much of this before. But taking an entire month to study these concepts in depth is really helpful. This month: desire (read: addiction). As someone who has been surrounded by others with known addictions, I’m hypersensitive in my awareness. This week, I’ve thought about this and studied myself, and couldn’t come up with a desire that urges me to do things without a lot of thought; just do something to relieve the discomfort.
I finally found something that could qualify: work. I wouldn’t consider myself a workaholic, but I will admit to a very strong work ethic. Since I’m still working on all my projects (zero procrastination or distraction—yay, me!), I thought about how many times I’ve heard suggestions about turning off the Internet when writing, turning off notifications on the phone, no games or social media or research during writing or marketing time, and how none of that applies to me. I don’t have issues with distractions. In fact, because I’m not distracted, I often sit for hours at a time focused on whatever I’m doing. I don’t check my book sales every day, or even every week. I don’t pay attention to the number of followers or likes on social media. But then I realized that I “do” more than I “am.”
With this desire for work, I delved deeper. Do I work without thinking? No. I’m not as methodical or rigid or disciplined as I could be. But I work. A lot. And when I dug around in that, I figured out it was because my writing (and all the stuff that goes with it) has grown to consume a large part of my life. And if I quit writing tomorrow, what would I do with said life? Mine doesn’t look the way a typical (is that a thing anymore?) American’s does. If it did, I might still be hunting for a desire (aka addiction). Like any desire/addiction, we engage in the “doing” to relive a discomfort. I’m still poking around, and the rest of the bakery goodness is coming to light. It’s not a complete surprise. And I’m not sure that I need to do anything about the desire, other than perhaps answer the question: If I wasn’t writing, what would I do with my life?