Practice of the Preacher
I once heard it said that the 3am hour is the time when the veil between heaven and earth is the most permeable and often I have coached, “If you wake up at around 3am, then you should get up and create!” Thing is… it’s THREE A!M! And really, what I want to be doing at that time is sleeping soundly like a contented, well-fed, dry-diapered, well-loved baby.
I assume you can imagine my dismay when I discovered myself to be awake at 3:03 am. I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing where I am in time during the night hours so I am rarely surprised by the time when I find myself awake prior to my “normal” waking hour. I didn’t want to look at the clock because I knew it was around 3am and I was also familiar enough with my stirrings to know that this was not a state of being in which I would be able to fall back to sleep.
I knew that if I looked at the clock then I was going to have to rise and create something because that is what I preach – and I just did so in the booklet I recently completed for Intrinsic Universe, so I had to honor my word! Because, let’s be real, what sort of healer and coach would I be if I did not first do that which I preached to my people??!
So, I resisted looking at the clock – all while knowing I was resisting myself. I tossed. I turned. I disturbed my daughter. And I grew increasingly restless.
Then I looked at the clock…
Damn it! 3:03am.
I slid out of bed, donned my robe and slippers and stealthily walked out into the cool, dark, sleeping house. Grabbing my favorite afghan, I started up my computer, comforted by the familiar glow of her screen. As usual, I checked in with my social networks, checked email and then logged into my software where I write.
Given that I am in the throes of a new book, my brain is wont to being in overdrive, continually churning out material for more chapters than would be feasible for one book. I start writing in my sleep, dreaming of the physical process of creating letters that form words. I start seeing messages everywhere, hearing them, grabbing tidbits that fit with the theme of my work. My entire life becomes this work of art that is flowing through me, which, at times, is a bit disconcerting.
Especially when I’m trying to sleep.
So, I sat there, with my computer whirring gently on my lap, my toes curled in my blanket and my brain buzzing with ideas. I placed my fingers upon the keys and just let my brain run away with them. One of the things I love about writing for me is the timelessness that comes from this space. When I am “in the flow” of the project, I can write for hours without food or water. When I’m blocking myself, then it’s all sorts of frustrating. So, I feel really grateful for the times when I am in a space of allowing.
As I wrote, my computer made a little “ding” to alert me that I had received an email. I opened my mailbox to discover a form email from one of my mentors. Her newsletters are full of helpful information and educational videos, so I look forward to reading them. I was in a good place to pause in my writing, so I opened her video and was surprised to find a tearful, unscripted, soul-baring clip of her in her most human state – totally unlike anything I’ve ever received from her.
Near the end, she wryly said, “My coach thought it would be a good idea for me to record this and send it to you. I like for you to know that I’m human. Just not… this human.”
I grinned at that because I could so relate. As a healer and coach myself, at times I can have this self-imposed need to be “perfect” for my clients all while teaching them to be human. It is an interesting path to walk – that of a healer. My greatest power comes from my humanity, my frailty, my emotions and what I choose to do with them. And that, at times, is what I most want to hide from those around me.
As I watched her video, I remembered the times that I have been most moved by my other mentors, and by her now too. Those were the times that they let go of their “Perfect Practitioner” persona and became real with me. It was when they let me see them in action, practicing what they preached. It was when they shared how they had not done what they teach, how it affected them, how they felt, what they learned and what they are doing now. It was when they showed me they were human.
The thing I appreciate most about me being so reluctant to roll out of bed and follow my own teaching this morning is that I imagine that is how most of my clients feel at 3:03am and they hear my voice in their head saying, “If you find yourself awake at 3am, get up and create!”
Ugh! I am with you, my friends! It sucks to be up this early. And, still… it has its rewards. If, for nothing else, I just practiced what I preach and that is powerful.