Thankful For This Conversation…

I have terrible writer’s block today. I’m talking the worst. I’ve stared out the window, snacked on stale peanuts, made a cup of tea and let it get cold while I paced around, yelled in frustration (just once), done two loads of laundry, and bought a pair of boots online.

All I want to do is write about being thankful. Why is it so hard? I think it’s not because I have nothing to say, but because there’s too much and no easy place to start.

And I’m feeling chatty. I’m already in holiday mode and would much rather have a conversation with my friend Joni about what I should bring to her Thanksgiving dinner.

As I continue to stare at my blank computer screen, my head soggy as a bowl of mush, one thought emerges. It’s a question I’ve been pondering the last few weeks, from author Dan Blank. I’m currently in Dan’s mastermind group along with 11 other writers from around the world. We meet virtually to talk about navigating the challenges of being a creative professional and identify ways to make creative shifts. Dan’s advice has been to stop thinking in terms of specific goals or milestones, like writing a bestseller or getting 5,000 followers, and instead to ask:

What conversations do I want to be having with people?

The idea is that when we shift into this kind of intention and awareness, it clarifies the why behind whatever we’re doing. It brings us back to what we hope to achieve by creating in the first place.

So today, since I desperately need some clarity and a major creative shift, I’m grateful that I can focus on this question. It clears away the cobwebs and makes me realize that, this week alone, I’ve had a profound appreciation for:

  • The conversation I had with my new intern, Nkem O’Gonuwe, about her ideas on how I can engage with people in a more meaningful way through social media.

  • My part-time job at Dr. Katie Ray’s chiropractic office, where we began a staff meeting talking about how we can shine brighter in the world and help others do the same.

  • My weekly calls with my prayer partner Danny, who likes to remind me that “it’s all good in God’s neighborhood.”

  • An unexpected discussion of quantum physics with my dance partner Jeff, who amazed me with his ability to review the movie What the Bleep Do We Know? in the middle of a swing dance.

  • Conversations with readers that occur as a result of this blog.

During this holiday season, what are the conversations you want to be having? Whether it’s with your family around the table, or with people you run into while shopping, can you keep an awareness of the why behind it all? Are you saying what you want to say? Are you connecting in a meaningful way?

There. Now that I’ve said what I wanted to say, I can happily close this computer, grateful for every word (even the mushy ones).

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