I am re-reading my first book to jump-start the thought process for the second installment. The material for the second book needs massaging and alignment. When I started reading the first book again, it felt more like running an obstacle course of experiences from boredom to confusion, intrigue to amusement. Instead of reading, I was mentally editing. I was rewriting. I was second-guessing the printed word. Once I stopped proofreading and started reading, the book became alive. So much seen buried among words and laying between lines. The introduction felt like a scavenger hunt with the grand prize being the point. The point suggested the nature of the search was necessary. The first chapter tested the reader’s level of interest. There must be a willingness to till the packed dirt of an unplowed field to prepare a rich soil ready for seeds.

My writing, like my conversations, takes time. The roots of my stories grow deep and produce fresh buds of wonderment. Background information intends to enrich and develop thinking. Yet, attempting to categorize the experience clouds the moment. The amount of information infused within a chunk of time overwhelms rather than prepares the reader. I skip right over some of the more important details. I jump right to the conclusion with an expectation that the listener instinctually follows. Some readers are patient. They are willing to mull abstracts ideas, ponder their own reasoning, and ease into their own conclusion. While others want reading to be recreation.

In college, a professor mentioned that he always moved my paper to the bottom of the stack. That while my writing was interesting and different, it was heavy. He finished all his other grading before settling in with my essay and a cocktail.

A reading circle may offer a beneficial feedback platform to jump into writing. But first, I need to shift my thinking about those who choose to read my book. Let me move away from the thought that one reads to grade my work. Allow me to think that the person who consumes my book, lets it flow over and through them. This reader is not out to analyze me.

My content is an invitation for the reader to uncover something within themselves. Their reading of my book is for their purpose, their journey, their development by my example. Not to grade, correct, or rewrite. I want to encourage the reader to visit dark places and allow an exploration of who they may be. Let them go beyond limiting beliefs, beliefs constructed through comparison and judgment.

“Heart Mind Belly” is the first installment of a trilogy. All three parts revealed themselves. I listened for guidance from my internal critic. I clarified dense areas and smoothed rough edges. Now that my personal exploration birthed the three centers of my being as part one, what is next? The second book fills in the area between the three centers. Once aligned, the way leads home. I admit, when these words come to me, I do not always understand them, but I trust them. The process is fascinating.

Two years since the printing and release of the first book. This lapse of work has been a time of reading, study, and growth. I would like to think it all was healthy. Then again, best not to think at all. “Bridges” calls me. I am ready to jump back into dark waters.