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"Stop Gripping"



On September 1st, I logged onto a Zoom call with my online yoga community, The Body Mind Soul Studio, just as I have the last several firsts of the months. On those dates, our community leader, Allie Van Fossen, guides us through what she calls an "Inner Mentor Ceremony." We set goals for the month ahead, talk about missed opportunities for the previous month and how to change course, and even break out into smaller groups to discuss our dreams with fellow studio members.


This past month, Allie began our call by reading a chapter from Glennon Doyle's book, Untamed. I immediately bristled. Just I write about in my own book, I've long envied artists who seemingly rise to stardom overnight. Her book was an instant sensation, and I admire her journey, especially her sobriety. In that moment, however, as Allie read, the green-eyed monster would not loosen its grip. I quickly grabbed a sticky note and wrote the phrase "comparison is the thief of joy," a Theodore Roosevelt quote I first learned in a fitness community nearly a decade ago. When Allie asked if anyone wanted to share the thoughts coming up after the reading, I displayed complete transparency by speaking up about my unfounded envy.


Glennon Doyle did not rise to stardom overnight. Long before she was an author, I followed her on Instagram--images of her on stage as she created a platform through public speaking. Like me, she has waded through the trenches and come out bruised and battered, but willing to share her pain so that others may find hope. At the root of it, we are the same.


At the end of our Inner Mentor ceremony, I drew a card from my Kim Krans Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck. And wouldn't you know, I drew the gosh darn cheetah.



According to the guidebook for my oracle deck, the cheetah represents purpose and passion. Check. When out of balance, it is impatient and competitive. Also check. The meaning behind this card was eye opening. It would be impossible to deny that I would like my book to be a wild success, or at the very least, for it to open the door to broader distribution for my books in the future. However, it does not do me any good to rush that along, or for me to mentally compete against other authors. The passion and purpose behind my memoir, Strong Roots, Wayward Soul, was always to inspire the right readers at the right time, and as an unexpected benefit, to facilitate my own healing.


Around the same time of this ceremony, I completed a yoga flow where I heard a message loud and clear: "stop gripping." It's intuitive, this idea that I must trust in a bigger plan, but it doesn't make it easy. What I did realize, and stop to celebrate, is that I'm planting plenty of little seeds to build to that goal, like blowing a dandelion and letting all of those little wisps of white scatter to the wind: the podcast interviews I've done, the local papers I've reached out to for a feature, the signed book copies I've lovingly sent to people I admire who have a much bigger audience than I do. Come what may.


"We can do hard things." ~Glennon Doyle


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