I was thinking this morning about my process, of creating, of living, and about how often we hear “Trust the process.” And I think this is important. We can trust that creating is a process, and that things might not look like we thought they’d look, or work the way we thought they’d work, and that’s okay.
But I think it’s not so much about trusting the process as it is about trusting your process. You trusting yours, and me trusting mine.
Because yours, I can guarantee, does not look like mine.
You might be able to borrow something from mine, if it feels right to you. And I might think something you do sounds terrific, and might be able to add that to my process, too. And there might be something that works great for me that doesn’t work for you, at all.
I remember a while ago when a friend quit her job of many years, and she had the next job lined up so she could start it the very next day. Without even a day in between.
“You’re not taking even a couple of days off?” I said incredulously. “No,” she said. “That would make me too nervous. I don’t want any time to sit around thinking about starting the new job. I just want to start it.”
That is her process. It isn’t mine. I want time in between my biggest endeavors, so I can let go of one a bit before jumping into the other. This works great for me. I show up for the next thing rested, with fresh eyes. This is my process, now. It may not always be. But adopting my friend’s process would make me feel crazy, and mine, for her, would feel like she was forcing herself to slow down when she wanted to move right along. For her, her process creates sanity. That’s why it is hers.
We can learn a ton from others whose process rings true for us when they talk about it. Anne Lamott, Geneen Roth, Natalie Goldberg, Tori Amos — I’ve learned so much from reading and hearing these women, and many other creators, discuss their process over the past fifteen or twenty years. Because their way of processing sparks my own.
But my process is still mine. It’s not like anyone else’s. I can learn what works for someone else, and 100% of the time I’ll find out that it doesn’t work exactly that way for me.
Sometimes I hear myself complaining, “Why isn’t this working for me the way it does for her?”
But there’s a better way to phrase this. “I wonder how this could work better for me.”
This is good. This means that when I feel like I’m in new territory, and I get a suggestion from someone else and it doesn’t work for me, nothing is wrong. I’m just discovering more about my own process. Which, really, is just about the most exciting thing I can think of.
Are you struggling in your process? You don’t have to. I have openings for new clients in April. Find out more here.