Tag Archives: follow your own path

Start where you are and continue your own path….

Indrani - Marathon Finish at EpcotBetsy Rapoport is my friend and she is a an amazing coach for writers. I saw on Facebook where she was hosting a writing class…A Memoir writing class.

I have been longing to write my memoir. I know, I know, I don’t NEED a class…after all I write blogs and I just get an idea and begin to write, much like I am doing now.

Somehow though, when I think of writing a memoir I get all flummoxed and confused and I don’t know where to start.

So, when I saw her class offering, I jumped on it. I registered on line and I began to communicate with her about accommodations etc.

I was thrilled to get the homework list…I love homework.

And there… as I read the list, I laughed out loud.

Here is what was on the list:

  • What memoirs have you read, and what did you like about it?
  • What scares you about this class?
  • What excites you?
  • Send a sample of your writing, preferably a work in progress.

Simple enough, right? So why my outburst of laughter?

I immediately wrote an email to Betsy and it sounded a little like this…

Dear Betsy,

I have not completed a whole memoir of anyone, only bits a pieces from folks like

  • Mother Theresa
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Rosa Parks
  • Mahatma Gandhi

I tend to get bored!

I have read loads of other books. I love to read!

The thing that scares me about this class is that my life cannot fill a memoir.

The thing that excites me about this class is that my life is too much for one memoir.

I have NO unfinished works of writing, but I can start one.

Then I pressed Send.

I waited for Betsy to say something like, “you are not at all qualified for this memoir class” or “if you have not even read a whole memoir why would you expect anyone to read yours” or “perhaps you have nothing in progress because you are not a writer.”

Let me tell you why, IF she had said any of the above or worse, it would NOT have affected me in any way.

In 2003 I had decided to do an Olympic distance triathlon.

I began to search online for a trainer, one that would train a newbie triathlete and a rank beginner.

I finally found a web site that touted training beginners and  that looked promising.

I began to complete the on line form.

1. What distances do you currently swim? And how often do you swim?

My response:
I do not know how to swim competitively and I used to splash around in the pool with my kids when they were young. I know how not to drown. I have not been swimming in a very long time.

I should have added “I hate wearing a swim suit.”

2. What races have you participated in and what was your finish time?

My response:
I have not participated in any races so I do not have a finish time. I do not like to run. I like to walk a lot.

3. What cycling distances do you currently do and what is your average mph?

My response: 
I used to ride with my kids in the carrier seat about 18 years ago and still know how to ride a bike.

I figured they would see I know how to walk and I know how to ride a bike. I know many women my age who do not know how to ride bikes. I thought I was going to be just their type.

I pressed Send.

I got an e mail from someone at the site wanting to find out if I was serious about the Triathlon.  If I was why did I not insert the values they needed to create my program.
I assured them that those were indeed the facts and that I had ZERO numerical values to input.

I never heard from them again.

So I began to train on my own  and my dear friend Donna was my guide and helper and General ass kicker.

I began to walk slowly with Donna I would count the concrete squares on the path in my town to see how far I had walked.

Then one day I was able to run 5 concrete squares and then walk again.

I felt like calling the trainer to tell them how great I was doing.

I did not.

I bought a really nice bike and some of those clip in shoes and almost killed myself. I used to have to tip over onto the grass to try to get unclipped.

I got tired of falling so I went to spin class and practiced biking with my clip in shoes and also practiced clipping in and out…. but those were stationary bikes so I still almost killed myself when I began to practice on the real bike.

I tried to find a swim teacher who could teach beginners and got fired from about 3 teachers. One guy even took a video of me in the water and showed me what I looked like.

I looked like a spider, I had arms and legs all over the place.

That video was not pretty because I had this image of myself slicing thru water as I had seen Mark Spitz do in the Olympics.

Also I tried to wear cute swim suits with frills and decorations all over and was told that those suits would cause drag in the water. I knew what they knew… my unstreamlined body was causing drag in the water, not these three cute frills on the suit.

I did not give up.

I continued on my very unorthodox way of training.

Six months after attempting to engage the online trainer, I completed my Olympic Distance Triathlon.

I was dead last.

I never gave up.

In the hotel lobby that night, I heard a seasoned triathlete say, “man I got out of the lake, I got kicked in the face and got pissed off!”

I thought, man I never even thought of getting out of the lake and I wondered if I was the spider who had kicked him in the face.

Start where you are…. it’s your only choice.

See you at your finish line, I will be smiling and waiting for you, no matter how long it takes.


Love & light,


Striking a match… it’s important to know which end is which

downloadThe other night, I was trying to light a candle and was furiously striking the match but nothing was happening. Lamenting at how matches are so poorly made these days, I carried the candle into a lit room to try to find some different matches ONLY to realize that I was not striking the flint end if the match!

Man…did I feel dumb. I had to take back all the horrible things I was thinking about the match box manufacturer.

This, of course, had me thinking about other ways I had been wasting my energy and not putting my talents and gifts to best use.

Like the time I’ve wasted wondering why I did not get a gig that I wanted or whether my talents were good enough.

Every time a missed opportunities happened it was because I was barking up the wrong tree…not striking the proper end of the match.

I was not following my own unique gifts and purposes.

Every time I missed “a chance” I was given the space to dig deeper for my truer purpose.

One really good example of this happened about 9 years ago. I was working alongside some people who had invited me to be with them at an O Event where O Magazine was putting on a conference. I was supposed to get a behind the scenes pass to help my mentor who was presenting from the stage. I had to buy my own tickets and pay for my own hotel room but I would have the opportunity to talk to others about my coaching.

ONE day before I was supposed to be in Boston for the event, I got a call from one of my “colleagues” (the one who invited me in the first place) and she says, “I’m not sure how you thought you were invited. We never said that.”

I was devastated but I went anyway since it was my own money on the line.
I nursed my feelings of displacement and tried not to show anger when I saw my “colleagues”.

I am grateful now that those people showed me their true colors.
It forced me to figure out my own path and to strike out on my own.

I can see now that I was striking the wrong end of the match. As hard as I tried to make that opportunity work for me, there was NO FLINT to engage. There was just a lot of nothing. I could not make something from nothing.

I was forced to “make my own flint” and follow my own path.

So the next time you see a missed opportunity, ask yourself if there was any flint there in the first place.
Perhaps you are being asked to look elsewhere, to use your talents elsewhere and to strike out on your own in another place.

Love and light,