A Street Brawl With My Monkey Mind

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

It was a tough night of tossing and turning and strange dreams. My literary agent has been working diligently to find me a publisher for my book and we are getting close. There is going to be a meeting later this morning at one publisher where they are going to decide one way or the other. That is what is making it so difficult for me to concentrate on virtually anything at all. Usually I wake up at 6:30 and do something productive, to get my day off to a good start. Today, however, I have gotten up a half an hour earlier than that without any alarm and the thought of trying to do anything at all besides, perhaps stare at an old episode of “Monk”, seems completely out of the question.

It’s pretty frustrating, too. I have a lot of projects I could be working on if I wasn’t in a street brawl with my monkey mind. “What if they pass on it? They’re not going to pass on it. Visualize them green lighting it. Visualize the email of congratulations from your agent. Picture it coming over your iPhone while you are at work. Will you shut up please? You’re making me nervous.” On and on it goes without a stop in sight.

What is the alternative, though? I suppose I could quite possibly save myself from a lot of this chaos if I just decided to buckle down as a union truck driver and be satisfied with doing that until retirement age.

I’m lying when I say that. I couldn’t possibly do that.

Yesterday, I posted a request on Facebook that all my dear friends who love me, please say a prayer on my behalf. This worked once before when I was trying to land an agent. The post from yesterday garnered 75 different loves, likes and wows; 25 comments from well-wishers and one grumpy comment from a ne’er do well who probably came up to Woodstock when Dylan lived here and never left. He wrote:

“If there was a God, he’d have a lot more important things to do than to help you get your book published.”

I deleted his sunshiny contribution and unfriended the guy — not only because I have no room in my life for grouchy and curmudgeonous granolas — but because, frankly, he’s wrong. My book is telling the story of how I — one of the most disenfranchised former substance users on the planet — raised myself from being a $300 per week rural cab driver to a $75,000 a year cat with a future and a good credit rating. Then I go on to give real exercises and methods for anyone in the same boat to do the same thing for themselves.

The idea for the book came from when I used to bring 12 step meetings into my local jail on a weekly basis. I’d always bring a guest speaker with me and the guest would tell their story of how they got clean and it’d generally be met with a satisfactory and lukewarm reception. When I told my story about how I learned to drive a tractor trailer and started taking home $1000 a week and fell in love and started a family — well, there was a palpable electricity in the room. Inmates would get excited and as we packed up and got ready to leave, they’d ask me a million questions about how they could follow in my footsteps.

So yes, Grizzly Adams, God would be all for that.

I would never pretend to have a direct line to ecclesiastic matters, but I suspect God (or the universe or source energy) loves and supports anyone who feels compelled or downright driven to bring good into as many people’s lives as they possibly can. So, there is a part of me that believes that I am destined to see this thing to fruition, no matter how long it takes me.

The part of me that was flipping around the bed last night and having dreams of guns being pointed in my face — well, that is the part of me that wants everything to happen “right now.” I’m fairly certain that God (or the universe or source energy) is not down with that sort of thinking. A cursory glance at the story of Job would prove that out.

Whatever the case may be, this will be decided by lunchtime today and if it doesn’t go the way I am hoping it will go, I will allow myself to lean into the disappointment and then accept that God has a better plan in store for me.

He’s never let me down before, Grizzly Adams.

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