How many heartbeats per minute does it take to make you finally do the things you’ve always wanted to?

23.

Two years ago, I had just come home from my second hospital stay in the one month since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I could barely see out of my left eye. My vision was covered by a gray that I liken to an Instagram filter. Doctors put me on high-dose steroids to reduce the swelling on my optic nerve and maybe, over the next 6-12 months, my sight would improve. 

 High-dose steroids do a wild little thing to me though; it reduces my heart rate to under 30 beats per minute. I was hooked up to heart monitors and on one of my 5 nights, a nurse rushed in to check that I wasn’t slipping toward death because my heart rate had dropped to 23. 

 

Before I was diagnosed, life was a perpetual struggle. I was in a job that didn’t align with my creativity or highly sensitive, introverted nature. Tensions raged at home as we struggled to find ways to help our young son with school. My body was in a locked up, tense and fiery fight or flight mode every day for nearly two years. I accepted that this was life. I’d made my bed, and so on, and so on. 

But when you’re hooked up to IV drips and heart monitors, and your heart rate drops to 23 beats per minute, you have a moment when everyone’s opinions about how you should and shouldn’t be, what you should and shouldn’t do, don’t matter. 

You get over being told to stop being so sensitive, to smile more, to believe working in marketing is the only way to sustain both your creative and financial needs. You get over indecision about your son’s schooling; indecision about what to do next in all areas of your life.

 

I would no longer be a Should Girl, confining myself to the parameters of other’s expectations. Or the rules everyone kept telling me to live by; how I needed to change in order to succeed. 

 

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I gave myself permission to be who I truly was. I gave myself permission to expect more for my life.

 

I stopped listening to everyone else, and delved into a season of personal growth with meditation, journaling, tapping, and personality typing, that brought me to where I am today. 

I’ve wanted to get an MFA since I was 22. At 31, I got an MBA because I should. At 39, I applied and was 1 of 15 accepted into a Master of Fine Arts (Fiction) program.

I’d had a partially-written novel sitting on my hard drive for years. I finished it, hired an editor, and self-published it in July to the most affirming feedback this writer could ask for. 

Yes, you can have what you long for in life. Yes, you are worth having it.

And yes, you can have them in a way that aligns with who you are, how you work, and what’s important to you.

 

You don’t have to change in order to be accepted. You don’t have to change in order to live a life that feels good. And you certainly don’t have to change in order to finish your book. Not even a little bit.

Part of the reason my book sat on my laptop for so long is because my writing process didn’t look like how I was taught. It wasn’t “right” which in turn meant something must be wrong with me. 

 When your heart rate drops to 23 beats per minute, you begin to let go of standards that don’t apply to you. You give yourself permission to finish your book (among other things)—your style, your way.

 

You, intuitive introvert, are such a sensitive and powerful soul, with stories upon stories to write. I’ve made a gift for you- ‘Finish your book: a writing process for the intuitive introvert, fiction author.’ It’s a process that works with how you think and feel and process information; a process to help you get closer to that feeling of your published book in your hands.

 You can get access by signing up below.

Be well.


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